Kit Reed (1932-2017)

Locus Magazine, Science Fiction FantasyAuthor Kit Reed, 85, died September 24, 2017 several months after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. She was a prolific author with an astonishing range who published work consistently for almost 60 years, writing outstanding novels and stories in various genres for children, teens, and adults.

Her first SF story was “The Wait” (1958; AKA “To Be Taken in a Strange Country”) in F&SF. She published scores of stories in genre, literary, and mainstream magazines, as well as anthologies. Notable short works include “Winter” (1969), later included in the Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction (1987); World Fantasy Award finalist “The Singing Marine” (1995); “The Bride of Bigfoot” (1998), shortlisted for a Tiptree Award; and International Horror Guild Award finalist “Family Bed” (2004). Her short work was collected in Mister Da V. and Other Stories (1967), The Killer Mice (1976), Other Stories and… The Attack of the Giant Baby (1981), The Revenge of the Senior Citizens, **Plus (1986), Thief of Lives (1992), Tiptree-shortlisted Weird Women, Wired Women (1998), Seven for the Apocalypse (1999), Dogs of Truth (2005), and Shirley Jackson Awards finalists What Wolves Know (2011) and The Story Until Now (2013).

Reed’s first book was comic novel Mother Isn’t Dead, She’s Only Sleeping (1961), followed by At War as Children (1964) and The Better Part (1967). Her first SF novel was Armed Camps (1969), and other SF works include Magic Time (1980), Fort Privilege (1985), Tiptree Award-shortlisted Little Sisters of the Apocalypse (1994), @expectations (2000), Alex Award winner Thinner than Thou (2004), Bronze (2005), The Baby Merchant (2006), The Night Children (2008), Enclave (2009), Son of Destruction (2012), Where (2015), and Mormama (2017). She has also written numerous mainstream novels and psychological thrillers as Kit Craig, and a horror novel, Blood Fever (1986), under the name Shelley Hyde. She edited Fat (1974), an anthology featuring stories and essays (genre and mainstream) about food and compulsive eating.

Reed was born June 7, 1932 in San Diego as Lillian Craig, though she later legally changed her name to Kit. She earned a BA from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland in 1954. Reed worked as a reporter in the ’50s for the St. Petersburg Times (in Florida) and for the New Haven Register (in Connecticut), where she was twice named New England Newspaperwoman of the Year in 1958 and ’59. In 1974 she became an adjunct at Wesleyan University, where she ran fiction workshops, and later became Resident Writer. Reed served on the board of the National Book Critics Circle from 1991-95. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1964, was the first American recipient of an international literary grant from the Abraham Woursell Foundation (1965), and has received numerous other awards and grants. In 1959 she was a Hugo Award finalist for Best New Author of 1958.

She is survived by Joseph Reed (married 1955) and their two sons and daughter.