Suzette Haden Elgin, November 18, 1936 – January 27, 2015

Suzette Haden Elgin, November 18, 1936 – January 27, 2015

Locus Online is reporting that fantasy author Suzette Haden Elgin, author of The Ozark Trilogy and the Coyote Jones novels, died last month.

Elgin’s first publication, “For the Sake of Grace,” the first part of her long-running series featuring Trigalactic Intelligence Service agent Coyote Jones, appeared in the May 1969 issue of F&SF. Her first novels — The Communipaths (1970), Furthest (1971), and At the Seventh Level (1972) — were part of the same series. They were collected in an omnibus volume from Pocket Books, Communipath Worlds, in 1980 (below, cover by Mara McAfee).

Communipath Worlds-small Twelve Fair Kingdoms-small The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense-small

Twelve Fair Kingdoms, the first novel in The Ozark Trilogy, came in 1981 (above, cover by Michael Flanagan); it was followed by The Grand Jubilee (1981), and And Then There’ll Be Fireworks (1981). Perhaps her most popular genre work, the Native Tongue trilogy — Native Tongue, The Judas Rose, and Earthsong (cover here) — were published between 1984 – 1994.

Elgin’s breakout book, the non-fiction bestseller The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense, was published in June 1985. Among the book’s other accomplishments, it helped put fledgling publisher Barnes & Noble on the map, selling over 250,000 copies. Elgin founded the Science Fiction Poetry Association in 1978. She died on January 27, 2015, at the age of 78.

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Oh dang. Knew her from her work as a language designer, and in linguistics/neuroscience. Had no idea she was a SF writer too.

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