Friday, April 29, 2011

SF Author Joanna Russ dies at age 74

Joanna Russ passed away this morning following a series of strokes.  She was 74 years old.

Ms. Russ was an influential feminist SF author, winner of almost every award in science fiction including 1 Hugo Award, 1 Nebula Award, 2 James Tiptree, Jr. Awards, 1 Locus Award, 1 Gaylactic Spectrum Award, 1 Pilgrim Award and many more nominations.

Russ was not a prolific writer but was well-known in the genre for her ground-breaking novel The Female Man.   She came out as a lesbian in 1969 near the time that The Female Man was published.  In addition to her ground-breaking novel, she was more prolific with her short fiction and garnered most of her awards in that field.  At least 4 different collections of her short fiction were published - including one by Baen and another by St. Martin's.

Russ was also a professional reviewer and an outspoken critic in the genre.  Her non-fiction books were often as notable as her fiction.  Since 1970, Russ had been a full-time professor of English, teaching at various colleges including her alma mater, Cornell University.

Though she had not published much in recent years due to her declining health, her influence on modern science fiction is unmistakable, her writing having inspired an entire generation of young authors.

Rest in Peace, Joanna.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a huge SF fan, and I don't recall ever hearing of her work before, but as an observer of feminist history I'm intrigued, and saddened to hear of her passing.