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Newitz was born in 1969, and grew up in Irvine, California. They graduated from Irvine High School, and in 1987 moved to Berkeley, California. In 1996, Newitz started doing freelance writing. In 1998, they completed a Ph.D. in English and American Studies from UC Berkeley, with a dissertation on images of monsters, psychopaths, and capitalism in twentieth century American popular culture, the content of which later appeared in book form from Duke University Press.
Around 1999, they co-founded the Post-World War II American Literature and Culture Database in an attempt to chronicle modern literature and popular culture.
Newitz became a full-time writer and journalist in 1999 with an invitation to write a weekly column for the Metro Silicon Valley, a column which then ran in various venues for nine years. Newitz then served as the culture editor at the San Francisco Bay Guardian from 2000 to 2004.
In 2008, Gawker media asked Newitz to start a blog about science and science fiction, dubbed io9, for which they served as editor-in-chief from its founding until 2015 when it merged with Gizmodo, another Gawker media design and technology blog property; Newitz then took on the same leadership of the new venture. In November 2015, Newitz left Gawker to join Ars Technica, where they have been employed as Tech Culture Editor since December 2015.
After writing their first novel in 2017, Autonomous, for which they were nominated for the Nebula Award in 2018 for best novel, they wrote The Future of Another Timeline (2019), about which they said on their website: "It's about time travel and what it would be like to meet yourself as a teenager and have a really, really intense conversation with her about how fucked up your high school friends are."
Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz in 2011
Newitz is the child of two English teachers: their mother, Cynthia, at a high school, and their father, Marty, at a community college. Since 2000, they are in a relationship with Charlie Jane Anders with whom they created in March 2018 the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Newitz changed personal pronouns from "she" to "they" in 2019.
The Future of Another Timeline (Tor Books, 2019) 
The Terraformers (Tor Books, forthcoming 2021)
^Annalee Newitz, 2006, "About Annalee," at techsploitation.com (online), see "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 2, 2015. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), accessed 19 February 2015.
^ProQuest, 2015, "Citation/Abstract: When we pretend that we're dead: Monsters, psychopaths and the economy in American popular culture [Newitz, Annalee... University of California, Berkeley], see , accessed 19 February 2015.
^eDuke, 2015, "Books, Cholarly Collection: Pretend We're Dead, Capitalist Monsters in American Pop Culture, By Annalee Newitz, at Duke University Press (online), see , accessed 19 February 2015.
^For a review of the book: ILoz Zoc, 2006, "Book Review/Interview: Pretend We're Dead: Capitalist Monsters in American Pop Culture by Annalee Newitz," at blogcritics (online), September 12, 2006, see "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 19, 2015. Retrieved 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), accessed 19 February 2015.
^Knight Science Journalism, 2015, "Alumni Fellows, Class of 2003: Annalee Newitz, culture editor, San Francisco Bay Guardian", see "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 19, 2015. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), accessed 19 February 2015.
^Rona Marech, 2004, "A pop culture magazine for freaks and 'new outcasts,' Other journal is pro-rant, pro-loopy and pro-anarchy," at SFGATE (online), August 31, 2004, see , accessed 19 February 2015.
^Camille Dodero, 2003, "The New Outcasts," in the Boston Phoenix, November 14-20, 2003 [defunct weekly as of 2013, see "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 19, 2015. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), accessed 19 February 2015].
^Mathew Ingramm 2015, "Gawker Media merging Gizmodo and io9 teams into a tech super-hub." GIGAOM (online), January 15, 2015, see [gigaom.com/2015/01/15/gawker-media-merging-gizmodo-and-io9-blogs-into-a-tech-super-hub/], accessed 19 February 2015].
^Richard Mankiewicz, 2010, "Science 2.0: Eureka's Top 30 Science Blogs," at TimesOnline, February 21, 2010, see , accessed 19 February 2015.
^Annalee Newitz, 2018, author's own website (online), techsploitation.com; accessed 20 October 2018.
^Annalee Newitz, 1997, "Sexual Mutants of the Multiculture", BadPost (online), Issue #33, September 1997; accessed 19 February 2015.