William Shunn (born August 14, 1967) is an American science fiction writer and computer programmer. He was raised in a Latter-day Saint household, the oldest of eight children. He attended the Clarion Workshop in 1985. In 1986, he served a mission to Canada for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but was arrested for making a false bomb threat, for the purpose of preventing his fellow missionary from returning home.[1]

William Shunn
William Shunn at the 2007 World Fantasy Convention
William Shunn at the 2007 World Fantasy Convention
BornDonald William Shunn II
(1967-08-14) August 14, 1967 (age 52)
Los Angeles, California, US
OccupationShort story writer
GenreScience fiction

Life and careerEdit

Shunn received a B.S. in computer science at the University of Utah in 1991.[2] He went to work for WordPerfect Corporation and was part of the team that developed WordPerfect 6.0 for DOS (the word processor's final major DOS version, released in 1993). In 1995, he moved from Utah to New York City. He left the LDS Church at the same time and created one of the earliest ex-Mormon web sites.[3]

Science fictionEdit

Shunn's first professional short story was published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1993.[4] He has been nominated once for the Hugo Award and twice for the Nebula Award.


Shunn is the author of a 2015 memoir, The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary.[5]

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, he created what may have been the first online survivor registry.[6][7]

Awards and nominationsEdit




  • The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary (2015).


  1. ^ "Missionary gets day's jail, $2,000 fine for bomb hoax", Monica Zurowski, Calgary Herald, February 27, 1987
  2. ^ "Through the Years", Continuum: The Magazine of the University of Utah, Fall 2007
  3. ^ "Mormon Matter"
  4. ^ Editorial introduction to "From Our Point of View We Had Moved to the Left," The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1993
  5. ^ Shunn, W., The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary, Sinister Regard (November 10, 2015). ISBN 978-1941928554
  6. ^ Journalism After September 11, Barbie Zelizer and Stuart Allan (eds), Routledge, 2002, ISBN 0-415-28799-5
  7. ^ "Online help spawns hope for victims", Charles Cooper, CNET News.com, September 13, 2001

External linksEdit