Susan Wood

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(August 22, 1948 – November 12, 1980)

Susan Wood (briefly, Glicksohn) was an sf critic, academic and Hugo-winning fanwriter who was introduced to fandom by Richard Labonté while she was studying at Carleton University in the 1960s. She was a member of the Ontario Science Fiction Club and a founding member of Canadapa.

Her description of fandom is memorable: “We come together because we value sf. We stay because we value each other.

Wood met fellow fan Mike Glicksohn of Toronto at Boskone 4 in 1969. Wood and Glicksohn married in 1970 (she subsequently sometimes published as Susan Wood Glicksohn), and they published the fanzine Energumen together until 1973. Energumen won the 1973 Best Fanzine Hugo. She moved to Saskatchewan in 1973.

Although their marriage had ended by then, Wood and Glicksohn were jointly fan Guests of Honor at Aussiecon, the 1975 World Science Fiction Convention.

In 1971, at Noreascon One she founded the Le Front de Liberation de la Piscine, the Piscine being the hotel swimming pool and the Liberation being skinny-dipping. The Front was a regular feature through the 1970s. In 1974, she co-created the Mae Strelkov's Friends Fund.

Wood published a great deal of trenchant criticism of the field, both in fanzines and in more formal venues. She won the 1974 Best Fan Writer Hugo, the 1977 Best Fan Writer Hugo, and the 1981 Best Fan Writer Hugo. She was nominated numerous other times.

Some of her fan writing was collected in The Best of Susan Wood by Jerry Kaufman.

In 1976, she was instrumental in organizing the first feminist panel at a science fiction convention, at MidAmeriCon. Reaction to this helped lead to the founding of A Women's APA and of WisCon.

She joined the English Department at the University of British Columbia in 1975 and taught Canadian literature, science fiction and children's literature. She was the Vancouver editor of the Pacific Northwest Review of Books and also edited the special science fiction/fantasy issue of Room of One's Own. She wrote numerous articles and book reviews that were published in books and academic journals, while continuing to write for fanzines.

One of her students was William Gibson; his first published story, "Fragments of a Hologram Rose," was originally written as an assignment in her science-fiction class at UBC.

She was active in the BCSFA and VCON.

Wood was born in Ottawa, Ontario. Her last years were difficult, and she fell out with many friends — for example, at Noreascon Two in August, 1980 she had a drunken scuffle in which she threw a bottle at Terry Carr in the SFWA Suite — which may have been a consequence of her alcoholism. (Carr required stitches, but Wood did not remember the event the next day.) That November, she died of an overdose of aspirin and Naproxen (though some reports at the time said "heart attack"). Regardless, a great loss.

A memorial scholarship fund at Carleton University was established after her death, funded in part by donations from fandom and from the sale of parts of her collection of science fiction art).

Fanzines and Apazines:

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 19481980
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