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Joanna Russ (provisionally) put to bed

I've seen the cover (not for sharing, as yet). I've responded to the last few page proof queries . . . There may be more stages that need my input, further down the line, but for now, Joanna Russ (Masters of Science Fiction Series) is off my desk. This seems an appropriate moment to celebrate, anyway. It's been a long haul, and a fascinating, absorbing task, taking in not only the writing life of one iconic female sf writer of the "Feminist Seventies", but also the story of Gernsback and the Female Utopians in the Twenties; the Cold War and domestic revival politics of the Fifties, the Cultural Revolutions of the Sixties; the Feminist Sex Wars of the Eighties . . . You can't separate Joanna Russ's fiction from her life and times. No more than you can separate her from Modernism, Erwin Schrodinger's Cat, or the United States of America (with special reference to NY state, the Great Plains, and the Pacific North West, but most of all New York city).

Never heard of Joanna Russ?
Or you read The Female Man and thought that was it?
Try her story collections, The Zanzibar Cat and The Hidden Side Of The Moon. ("out of print" but easy to find, at any online bookseller of your choice). Or may I recommend How To Suppress Women's Writing; "A provocative survey of the forces that work against women who dare to write". Not so easy to find secondhand, but readily available in the new, 2018 edition, prepared & curated by Louann Atkins. Knowledgeable, very funny, and not at all out of date.

Many thanks to all the kind, helpful people at the University of Illinois Press; to my utterly essential Indexer, and to the many others, in and out of genre, who answered my questions, lent me books, and cheered me on my way.


ps. The photo of Joanna (above) featured in an issue of "Galileo" magazine in 1978, which is where I found it. I believe it was taken much earlier, maybe as early as 1966. Many have tried, but nobody can trace the photographer.


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