Daína Chaviano was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1979 she was awarded the David Prize for Science Fiction for Los mundos que amo (The Worlds I Love), a collection of stories she authored between the ages of 15 and 19.
It was the first time a literary contest for science fiction – primarily a male genre – was held on the island. Thus, the fact that the winner was a young, female student came as a surprise. The book was adapted for radio and served as the inspiration for a short independent film, while a photonovel version sold 200,000 copies in less than two months.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Havana, she began working as a literary and cultural consultant. In 1982 she established the first science fiction literary workshop in Cuba, and possibly in Latin America, which she called “Oscar Hurtado,” in honour of the father of this genre on the island. While directing the workshop, she also hosted a radio program called «El universo de la música» (The Musical Universe), featuring pieces with mythological, mystery, and science fiction themes. By that time, she published the first anthology on Hurtado’s work titled Los papeles de Valencia el Mudo (The Manuscripts of Valencia the Mute).
Soon before she had published her second book, Amoroso planeta (Loving Planet) a collection of tales where the author began her exploration of one of her future leitmotifs―the fusion of science fiction and mythology.
In 1985, she began writing TV scripts, adapting fairy tales for the program «Había una vez» («Once upon a time»), aimed mainly at children. And that summer she hosted a TV program dedicated to science-fiction films.