75 Years: Carol Emshwiller

Thanks to all for making Diana Comet’s media debut a success! Last night we passed 500 views on the YouTube video, which means 500 people (or 50 people who watched it 10 times each, or 10 people who watched it 50 times each . . . er, hmmm) helped celebrate the great women writers in our field.

(Not to be competitive or anything, but my cousin’s YouTube video on hacking the iPhone has several million views, and I hate for women writers to be outdone…)

One of my favorite parts of Wiscon was moderating a panel on aging. I was recruited for this and happy to do it, because Carol Emshwiller was one of the panelists. And what a delight she is! 89 years old now, a sweet lady. She told the audience that she can’t spell at all and that she climbed mountains until she was 83, when she started falling off them.

Emshwiller grew up in Michigan and France, and now lives in New York City and California. She attended the Milford workshops and began her writing career in the 1950’s with short stories and, later, novels. Since then she’s taught college, attended the MacDowell colony, received an NEA grant, and won or been nominated for many awards. I originally came to her work through F & SF magazine and she’s still publishing short fiction: she’ll soon be in Lightspeed magazine, which just launched, and which had a great handout and party at the con.

Here are some nice words swiped from Weightless Books about her 2002 collection, Report to the Men’s Club and Other Stories:

Carol Emshwiller’s stories are wonder-filled, necessary, and beautifully crafted. It’s a high pleasure indeed to see this new collection. – Samuel R. Delany, author of Dhalgren

I am disappointed by these stories. Disappointed that they have not (yet) won Emshwiller the Pulitzer she deserves as our premier magic realist. Disappointed that their sly and scary intimacy has not (yet) altered the tone of all science fiction for the better. Disappointed that she wrote them, not I. –Terry Bisson, author of The Pickup Artist

Carol Emshwiller makes fiction out of the stuff of our everyday lives; about moms and memory and monsters that end up as familiar as Border Collies. She’s deceptively deft, full of strange things that end up feeling as familiar as your own kitchen. –Maureen F. McHugh, author of Nekropolis


This is part of the series Diana Comet Presents…75 Years of Fabulous Writers. Watch the YouTube video or download your free pdf copy of the periodic table.

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