Author Phyllis Eisenstein, 74, died December 7, 2020. She suffered a stroke in January 2020 and entered hospice care not long after.
Her first SF story was “The Trouble with the Past” (1971), co-written with husband Alex Eisenstein, who collaborated with her on many other works as well. Her debut Born to Exile (1978) collects her stories about Alaric the Minstrel, who also appeared in novel In the Red Lord’s Reach (1989). Sorcerer’s Son (1979) was nominated for a British Fantasy Award, and later had a sequel, The Crystal Palace (1988); a third volume, The City in Stone, was completed, but publisher Meisha Merlin ceased operations in 2007, and the book remains unreleased. Other novels include Shadow of Earth (1979) and In the Hands of Glory (1981).
Notable stories include Hugo and Nebula Award finalist “In the Western Tradition” (1981); Nebula Award nominees “Attachment” (1974) and “The Island in the Lake” (1998); Hugo Award finalist “Nightlife” (1982); and novella Walker Between the Worlds (2007). “Lost and Found” (1978) was adapted as an episode of The Twilight Zone in 1986. Some of her stories were collected in Night Lives: Nine Stories of the Dark Fantastic (2003). She edited anthologies Spec-Lit: Speculative Literature, No 1 (1997) and Spec-Lit: Speculative Literature, No 2 (1998), and has also written non-fiction.
Phyllis Leah Kleinstein was born February 26, 1946 in Chicago IL. She attended the University of Chicago, where she met Alex Eisenstein at a weekly meeting of SF fans; they were married in 1966. She lived in Germany for three years while her husband was posted there during his Air Force service. Afterward, they returned to Chicago. She went back to college, earning a BA in Anthropology in 1981 at the University of Illinois. She taught writing extensively, at Clarion, Michigan State University, and the Writer’s Digest School, and taught part-time for 20 years at Columbia College in Chicago. She received an “Excellence in Teaching” award from the college in 1999, and retired in 2009. She worked in advertising from 2000 until her retirement in 2015. Her husband survives her.
[Edit: We’ve seen several dates reported for when she died. The current one listed comes from Legacy.com.]