Fri
Apr 29 2011 4:46pm

Joanna Russ (1937-2011)

Joanna Russ 1937-2011Several sources are reporting, with Locus Magazine and Eileen Gunn confirming, that science fiction/fantasy author and critic Joanna Russ has passed away this morning in Tucson at the age of 74.

Russ suffered a series of strokes earlier this week and was admitted into hospice care shortly afterward. She was not expected to recover and had completed a “Do Not Resuscitate” order.

Joanna Russ’ fiction and criticism helped advance the dialogue regarding sexism in the field of science fiction and fantasy and she is perhaps most well known for her 1975 work The Female Man, the 1972 short story “When It Changed,” and her writing guide How to Suppress Women's Writing, both of which you can read more about at the above links.

Her accomplishments continue to inspire present day SFF writers. She will be missed.

6 comments
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
1. tnh
All words seem inadequate.

She would have been impatient with that.
Chris Willrich
3. Chris Willrich
From "It's Important to Believe," by Joanna Russ

That they plucked her from the muddy pond where she lay, breathing life back into her... That there was soft laughter... That she asked for her manuscripts and they had them... That she loved one who loved her.

That they went there.

That it was a good place.
Chris Willrich
4. Teka Lynn
Rest in peace. She will be very much missed.

I was going to start rereading A Game of Thrones this weekend, but maybe I'll reread The Female Man first. Just because.
Chris Willrich
5. Jed Hartman
Thanks for this post.

One tiny nitpick: It seems odd to me to refer to How to Suppress Women's Writing as a "writing guide." It's such an important book that I hate to see it (in my view) mischaracterized. But if that phrasing was intentional, then never mind.

Btw, I tried to send you a private note about this using your Shoutbox, and I got an error message: "Fatal error: Class 'JModuleHelper' not found in/www/sites/www.tor.com/files/html/components/com_comprofiler/comprofiler.phpon line 969." I couldn't figure out any other way to contact you, because I'm not sure who "Management services" is, so I'm posting a comment here. But feel free to delete this comment once you've seen it; I don't mean to shift focus of discussion away from Russ herself.

--Jed
Chris Willrich
6. Jed Hartman
And when I posted that last comment, I got the following error message:

ErrorJFolder::delete: Could not delete folderYour comment has been flagged as spam and has been submitted to the moderator for approval.

It's fine that it was submitted to a moderator; I didn't want it to be actually posted anyway. But the "Could not delete folder" error sounds like there's a bug somewhere, so I figured I should report it.

As with my previous comment, if this one makes it through the moderation filter then please delete it--I'm only posting here because I don't know how else to contact you.

--Jed

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