Atheist transsexual lesbian genre writer Caitlín R. Kiernan started off as a directionless geology student. After graduating she went into paleontology and helped with the discovery of a new type of mosasaur by pinning down its location based on the nanoplankton remnants found in its skeleton. When she grew tired of dusting off dinosaur bones, Kiernan quit and started writing genre fiction full-time. Her novels, comic books, and short stories, which have an impressive list of awards to their name, include: Silk, her first novel, which features copious numbers of spiders; The Drowning Girl, a semi-autobiographical magical realist fictional memoir; and contributions to The Dreaming, a spinoff of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics. She is also a musician who has played in several grunge bands.