The Elusive Margaret St. Clair

Science Fiction has a reputation as being the boy’s club, where all the major names, such as Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke get a majority of the credit for the development and direction of the genre as a literary movement. It’s unfortunate, because that’s not the full story, and it means that there’s a lot of other authors out there that really don’t get the credit that they deserve.

Margaret St. Clair is one of those authors, and she’s someone who’s name I’ve seen come up a lot as I’ve researched this column. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot known about her life: just her numerous stories that were published throughout the 1950s and 1960s. I’m not sure why she’s not as well known as others, despite the higher quality of her stories.

Go read The Elusive Margaret St. Clair on Kirkus Reviews.

Sources:

  • Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction, 1926-1965, Eric Leif Davin: This was a fantastic resource to use, and an interesting book about women in science fiction. He’s working under the thesis that women’s writing in the genre wasn’t actively suppressed, and makes a compelling argument to back it up. It’s an interesting side of the issue, for sure, with lots on St. Clair.
  • Change the Sky and Other Stories, Margaret St. Clair: There’s a short introduction here from
  • The Best of Margaret St. Clair, Margaret St. Clair: This collection of her stories is a great compilation of her fictional works. No introduction or other non-fiction, but some great stories.
  • Women of Wonder: The Classic Years, Pamela Sargent: This anthology has a great introduction from Sargent about the state of women authors in the early SF field, with some good comments about St. Clair and her life.
  • Margaret St. Clair Part 1 and Part 2: These two blog posts that came up provided some interesting details that helped fill in some gaps about her life.
  • St. Clair, Margaret: This SF Encyclopedia entry has a good blurb on her.
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