Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pioneer SF&F writer Leslie F. Stone

SF&F author Sandra McDonald has created an awesome three-minute video (and a cool chart) entitled “75 Years of Fabulous Writers: A Periodic Table, 1933-2008,” highlighting the contributions of more than one hundred female writers, publishers and editors to the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror:

Sadly, pioneer SF&F writer Leslie F. Stone (pseudonym of Leslie F. Silberberg, nee Leslie Francis Rubenstein) didn’t make the cut, so here’s a nice biographical sketch of "Miss Stone" from Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction, 1926-1965 (2005), by Eric Leif Davin:
Leslie F. Stone, (1905-1991): Born in Philadelphia, Stone’s family moved to Philadelphia when she was eight. She began selling fairy tales to newspapers at age fifteen. Perhaps for this reason she studied journalism in school. She was married to William Silberberg from 1927 until his death in 1957. They had two sons. In the late 1940s they moved to Kensington, Maryland, where she became a prize-winning ceramicist and gardener. In the 1960s she worked at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda.

Along with Clare Winger Harris, Stone was one of the first women writers to appear in the science fiction magazines, debuting in 1929. Her science fiction was most popular in the Thirties. She also published two SF novels. In addition to her science fiction, she published fantasy fiction in Weird Tales between 1935-1938. Her last story appeared in 1951.
Leslie F. Stone is the author of the Mars novella/novel Out of the Void (1929/1967) and the short story "The Human Pets of Mars" (1936).

Thanks to editor, publisher and longtime SF fan Andrew Porter for the photograph of Leslie F. Stone!

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