In Memoriam – Phyllis Eisenstein

Phyllis Eisenstein (b.1946) died on December 7. Eisenstein’s novels included Sorcerer’s SonIn the Red Lord’s Reach, and Shadow of Earth.

Eisenstein published two volumes in the Tales of Alaric the Minstrel series and two volumes of the Book of Elementals trilogy. She also published two stand-alone novels.  Many of her early short stories were published in collaboration with her husband, Alex Eisenstein, with whom she shared a birthday. The couple was also active in the Chicago science fiction social scene and spent several years collecting science fiction art.

In the early 1970s, shortly after publishing her first short story, a group of fans created Windycon in Chicago. Although Phyllis wasn’t directly involved, she did describe herself as an agent provocateur in its formation. She later spent several years teaching science fiction writing to students at Columbia College in Chicago.

Eisenstein won what she always referred to as “The coveted Balrog Award” for her novel Born to Exile in the award’s inaugural year.  Her novella “In the Western Tradition” earned her a Nebula and Hugo nomination. She earned two additional Nebula nominations for “Attachment” and “The Island in the Lake” and another Hugo nomination for “Nightlife.”