Jun. 3rd, 2011

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Here is a speech (originally given at a science-fiction convention, in 1969) by Joanna Russ, transcribed from Luna Prime #8 (editor: Franklin M. Dietz Jr.), that hasn't been collected or reprinted, as far as I know, since that zine was published in 1970.

I bought the zine off eBay a couple of weeks back. It arrived yesterday, so I typed up the essay last night, and gave it another look through for typos and transcription errors today with rested eyes, and am now uploading it to share with you all. (The zine also contains a speech by Anne McCaffrey, and others by Jack Williamson and Donald A. Wollheim, but it's the Russ one I bought it for.)

I hope the estate of Morris Bishop doesn't mind: Russ included a whole poem of his with permission then, so I'm reproducing it as well.

NOTE: I've e-mailed the community mod about turning anonymous commenting back on -- I'm sorry if anyone's been trying to leave comments to this entry but hasn't been able to. Also, if you need to view the entry in a simpler journal style, you can click on either one of these links:

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Dirty Wordies,
or, The Fiendish Thingie

A Speech* by Joanna Russ

* Presented at the Philadelphia Science Fiction Conference on Friday evening, November 14, 1969

Ladies and gentlemen, members of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, majors, minors -- in short, everybody -- thank you very much for being here and thank you for inviting me to speak. My coming to the Philcon is already a tradition (with me, anyway, if not with anybody else) and it's one that I'm very glad of. I meet really lovely people and I get to talk about science fiction (which I really can't do during the year) and when I make jokes, people actually laugh, and you don't know how nice that is. But there is one drawback. After you accept an invitation to speak, and think with great joy of someone else paying the plane fare (in this case Cornell University) and think of all the people you'll meet, and the friends, and the parties, and the drinks, and the fact that there are so many people who really like science fiction -- you can practically get maudlin about it -- there comes that one chilling thought: to speak, I must have something to speak about. And I'm afraid that today I'm going to speak about something rather serious.

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