Thursday, October 3, 2013

Joanna Russ chronological bibliography - work in progress, assistance requested!

I'm semi-considering beginning a chronological Joanna Russ read-through. Because I'm an obsessive, the mere thought prompted a painstaking effort to compile a chronological bibliography of all of her work that I'm aware of. I figure, hey, other people might want to use this, so I'm posting it here. (If you know of a better way to do this than linking to it on icky Google Drive, let me know).

I'm not a scholar, so my methods I'm sure are pretty slipshod, but I've written up an over-lengthy description of them anyway. If you are a scholar and you're interested, please wince your way through them; I'd be glad for any tips. If you don't care, you can just look at the bibliography, of course.

But I want to say right off: my feeling is that this bibliography is pretty much complete as far as her "genre" sf work is concerned (i.e., fiction published in the recognizable sf magazines), but that any number of other fiction and essays, and an assuredly vast quantity of letters, are missing from it. So: if you happen to know that any of the information on here is inaccurate, or if you have formatting or methodology tips, or, most importantly, if you know of any of Joanna Russ's works that are not listed here, please let me know: either by leaving a comment on this post, tweeting at me, or emailing me. (Also, let me know if it's hideously unlookatable--the equipment I'm on here dates from antiquity and I very likely am not seeing what you're seeing.) I'll update this post if and when new information comes in, noting what's been changed and crediting the source (unless you don't want me to).

UPDATE I: At Richard's urging I've added a list of books reviewed in the notes for each review column. 10-4-2013
UPDATE II: I've received some very good tips on search methods, which have so far enabled me to add 33 (thirty-three!!) more items to the bibliography. There are far too many to list here, but they include some very early poems, several interviews, and a number of essays and stories, along with some audio and video recordings and what appears to be a play version of "Window Dressing". 11-5-2013
UPDATE III: Added 14 more items, mostly very early poems I have learned about from Brit Mandelo's two articles on the subject at Stone Telling. 11-7-2013
UPDATE IV: Added 10 more items, some of which I'm less certain of (the MLA article from December 1977 might be "SF and Technology as Mystification" under a different name, for example), but also including several stories, interviews, and articles. Also noted original titles of two Alyx stories and titles of three letters.
UPDATE V: Improved accuracy of entries for early poetry with reference to the actual volumes of The Cornell Writer in question, rather than sloppy secondhand cataloging; fixed titles, added some previously unlisted poems and short fiction, moved "Innocence" from its 1975 F&SF publication to its original (identical) 1955 Cornell Writer publication.

OK, so, my methods:

First I went to Russ's sixteen books (that I'm aware of; if there are any more I will be shocked and amazed!): the seven novels Picnic on Paradise, And Chaos Died, The Female Man, We Who Are About To..., Kittatinny: A Tale of Magic, The Two of Them, and On Strike Against God; the two long nonfiction works How to Suppress Women's Writing and What Are We Fighting For? Sex, Race, Class and the Future of Feminism; the three nonfiction collections Magic Mommas, Trembling Sisters, Puritans & Perverts, To Write Like A Woman: Essays in Feminism and Science Fiction, and The Country You Have Never Seen: Essays and Reviews; and the four fiction collections: (The Adventures of) Alyx (which contains Picnic on Paradise), The Zanzibar Cat, Extra(Ordinary) People, and The Hidden Side of the Moon. In the case of The Zanzibar Cat the hardcover and paperback editions have different contents: each has three stories that the other does not. Two of the stories that are only in the hardcover version are also found in The Hidden Side of the Moon, while none of the three that are unique to the paperback have been collected in any of her other books, so I've considered the paperback the preferred version, and have put a note on "Poor Man, Beggar Man," the one story that can only be found in the hardcover.

I compiled a list of the books that are complete works and the contents of the collections, using the information given on the acknowledgments pages of the collections as my first source for the dates of the shorter works. Where this information was incomplete (which it was frustratingly often), my next recourse was to her ISFDB page. After that: lots of googling.

The books don't contain anywhere near her complete works, so next I went down her bibliography as listed at ISFDB and added anything on it that I didn't have already: stories, essays, and letters that haven't been collected (some have been anthologized, some have not). Then I added the small handful of her other works that I happen to know about (her contributions to the Khatru symposium on women in science fiction, the WisCon interview with Samuel R. Delany, etc.). That probably rounded out her genre sf work, but as I said before, I'm sure there's a large quantity of other work (and maybe even some more sf stuff) out there that I don't know about, and don't know how to look for.

I've been a little loose with accuracy as far as dates are concerned, because for my purposes assigning a rough date is more important than 100% accuracy. When I can't find a certain date for a piece, sometimes I've guessed based on other information (when it started getting reviewed, when it or the anthology it was published in had its softcover edition, things like that). Sometimes when I know things were written well before they were published (most notably The Female Man) I've gone with the date of publication; sometimes (especially with unprinted letters first published in one of her collections) I've gone with the date of composition. These decisions are all fairly arbitrary, depending as they do on what your interest in chronology is, and I've mostly gone with what "feels right" to me. I've at least tried to note where I've done this. Another thing I've done is that when pieces were originally published in quarterly journals I've assigned them to the last full month of the season (i.e., February for winter, May for spring, August for summer, November for fall). I've marked these with an asterisk. When I can't manage to make any guess whatsoever as to when in a given year a piece was published, I've left the month blank and put it at the end of the year of publication.

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