Rosel George Brown

I admit: I’ve been intrigued by Rosel George Brown since I discovered her existence earlier in this project. Primarily, I’m intrigued because I had never heard of her and yet, she was nominated for Best New Writer in 1958. So I went to Wikipedia and discovered that she died in 1967 at the age of 41, nine years after her first short story was published in Galaxy. I then hopped over to The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, which had less information on her than Wikipedia (sad, that, to my mind anyway), where the only useful thing I found was a link to the Internet Science Fiction Database.

I know the information on all three sources—Wikipedia, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, and ISFDB—are woefully inadequate when it comes to my own work (and, frankly, I’m too lazy to update), so I didn’t expect any of them to be 100% accurate. Since I’m just discovering, they’re a place to start. ISFDB has what looks like the most complete list of Brown’s work. Here’s the link.

As far as I can tell, she published 21 short stories, three novels, and a space opera collaboration with Keith Laumer. You’ll find the collaboration and some of the stories in Earthblood & Other Stories, which was edited by Eric Flint.

Brown’s stories in that volume were intriguing, very voice heavy, and had a lot of humor (some of which fell flat for me). Her voice was so strong that it felt vibrant, almost as if I could hear her telling the tales.

I’m going to see if I can find her one short story collection. I printed up the ISFDB list, so that I can read all 21 stories, even if I have to dig into Dean’s extensive digest collection (and read very very carefully). I’m also intrigued enough to look for her Galactic Sybil Sue Blue novels, featuring a female detective, which sounds right up my alley.

By the way, her name, which also intrigued me, was Rosel George. She married W. Burlie Brown, a professor at Tulane, and took his last name. Sadly, in his Wikipedia listing, she’s not mentioned at all. (He died in 2005.)

I knew this project would take me on a voyage of discovery. I expected to read stories I’d heard about all my life. I hadn’t expected to find writers who were major in their time, writers I’d never heard of at all.


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