Ellen Klages was born in Ohio and now lives in San Francisco. Her short fiction collection, Portable Childhoods (Tachyon, 2007), was a World Fantasy and Crawford finalist and includes the 1998 Hugo and Nebula novelette finalist "Time Gypsy," 2000 Nebula short story finalist "Flying Over Water," 2001 Gaylactic Spectrum finalist "Triangle," and 2003 Nebula novelette winner "Basement Magic," as well as "Travel Agency" from Year's Best Fantasy 4 (Hartwell and Cramer, eds.), "Intelligent Design" from Fantasy: The Very Best of 2005 (Strahan, ed.), and "In the House of the Seven Librarians" from the 20th Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (Datlow, Grant, and Link, eds.). "Singing on a Star," from Firebirds Soaring (November, ed.), was a 2009 World Fantasy short story finalist, and "What Remains" and "Goodnight Moons" appear in the 4th and 6th The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (Strahan, ed.). Other fiction appears in The Coyote Road (Datlow and Windling, eds.) and Eclipse One and Three (Strahan, ed.). She was a Campbell new writer finalist for 1999.

Her first novel, The Green Glass Sea (Viking, 2006), won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the New Mexico Book Award for YA, and the Lopez Award for Children's Literature, and was a Locus first novel finalist. The sequel, White Sands, Red Menace (Viking, 2008), won the California Book Award and the New Mexico Book Award for YA. Ellen is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and the Clarion South writers' workshop, and in addition to her writing serves as the auctioneer and member of the Motherboard of the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award. She lives in a small house full of odd and wondrous things.