Melisa C. Michaels (b.1946) died on August 30. Michaels began publishing with the 1979 short story “In the Country of the Blood, No One Can See,” which appeared in the January issue of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. She followed up with a handful of short stories and the first two novels of her five volume Skyrider series, Skirmish and First Battle appeared in 1985. She published two books in the Rosie Lavine series in the late 1990s, as well as three stand-alone novels. In addition to writing, she also created the cover art for The Darkover Concordance: A Reader’s Guide, Bones of the World, and The Ballad of Billy Badass and the Rose of Turkestan.
When not writing, Michaels volunteered much of her time to SFWA. In 1995, she created the first iteration of the SFWA Website and served as its webmaster until 2000. Michael Capobianco, who served as President of SFWA when Michaels was working on that first website, notes that “she donated prodigious amounts of time and effort to maintaining SFWA’s presence on the web, and was influential in making sfwa.org a valuable resource for members and non-members alike.”
Michaels also served as SFWA Bulletin Marketing Director and was on the Nebula Awards Jury a number of times. In 2007, she was recognized for her work with SFWA as a recipient of the Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award.
SFWA President, Mary Robinette Kowal adds:
It is never easy to lose someone, and a tireless advocate like Melisa Michaels will leave a large hole behind her.