Miriam Allen deFord

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Miriam Allen deFord (August 21, 1888 – February 22, 1975) was an American writer best known for her mysteries and science fiction. During the 1920s, she wrote for a number of left-wing magazines including The Masses, The Liberator, and the Federated Press.[1]

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she worked as a newspaper reporter for a time and, in the early 1900s, was also a campaigner and disseminator of birth control information to women. Her feminist work is documented in From Parlor to Prison: Five American Suffragists Talk About Their Lives, edited by Sherna B. Gluck.

She spent perhaps the most energy in mystery fiction and science fiction. Hence she did several anthologies in the mystery world.

She also had interest in historical crime or criminals. In 1968 she wrote The Real Bonnie and Clyde. She also wrote The Overbury Affair, which involves events during the reign of James I of Britain surrounding the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury. For the latter work she received a 1961 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Fact Crime book. She also worked for Humanist magazine and she was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto.[2]

However, in 1949 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction began with Anthony Boucher as editor. Anthony Boucher wrote science fiction and fantasy but also garnered attention in the mystery field as well. This gave his magazine some cross-over appeal to mystery writers like Ms. deFord. Hence much of her science fiction first appeared in Boucher's magazine. Her stories there dealt with themes like nuclear devastation, alienation, and changing sexual roles. Her two collections are Elsewhere, Elsewhen, Elsehow and Xenogenesis. She also edited an anthology of stories mixing science fiction with mystery called Space, Time, and Crime.

DeFord was also a passionate Fortean, a follower of Charles Fort, and did fieldwork for him. DeFord is mentioned in Fort's book Lo! Shortly before her death in 1975, Fortean writer Loren Coleman visited Ms. deFord frequently and interviewed her about her earlier interactions with Fort and her trips to Chico, California, to investigate the case of a poltergeist rock-thrower on Fort's behalf.

DeFord died February 22, 1975, at her longtime home, the Ambassador Hotel at 55 Mason Street in San Francisco.

In 2008, The Library of America selected deFord’s story of the Leopold and Loeb trial for inclusion in its two-century retrospective of American True Crime.

Married to Maynard Shipley.[3]

Bibliography[edit]

Anthologies[edit]

Science Fiction:

  • Xenogenesis (1969)
  • Elsewhere, Elsewhen, Elsehow (1971)

Mystery:

  • The Theme is Murder (1967)
  • La Maison fantastique (1988)

Anthologies containing stories by Miriam Allen deFord[edit]

  • The Lyrics West, Volume 1 (1921)
  • The Queen's Awards: Series 4 - prize-winning detective stories from EQMM (1949)
  • Star Science Fiction Stories, No. 4 (1958)
  • Star Science Fiction Stories, No. 6 (1959)
  • The Lethal Sex: The 1959 Anthology of the Mystery Writers of America (1959)
  • Tales for a Rainy Night: 14th Mystery Writers of America Anthology (1961)
  • The Fifth Galaxy Reader (1962)
  • The Quality of Murder: 300 Years of True Crime (1962)
  • Rogue Dragon (1965)
  • Alfred Hitchcock's Monster Museum: Twelve Shuddery Stories for Daring Young Readers (1965)
  • Best Detective Stories of the Year: 20th Annual Collection (1965)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories Not For the Nervous (1965)
  • Dangerous Visions (1967) - reprinted (2013)
  • Gentle Invaders (1969)
  • Crime Prevention in the 30th Century (1969)
  • Boucher's Choicest : A Collection of Anthony Boucher's Favorites from Best Detective Stories of the Year (1969)
  • With Malice Toward All (1970)
  • Worlds of Maybe: 7 Stories of Science Fiction (1970)
  • 15 Science Fiction Stories - a subset of Dangerous Visions reprinted in German (1970)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Scream Along With Me (1970)
  • New Dimensions 2: Eleven Original Science Fiction Stories (1972)
  • Two Views of Wonder (1973)
  • The Alien Condition (1973)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents: More Stories Not For the Nervous (1973)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories to be Read With the Lights On (1973)
  • Omega (1974)
  • Strange Bedfellows (1974)
  • The Venus Factor (1977)
  • Terrors, Torments and Traumas (reprint, 1978)
  • Nature's Revenge: Eerie Stories of Revolt Against the Human Race (1978)
  • Spirits, Spooks and Other Sinister Creatures (reprint, 1984)
  • Killer Couples: Terrifying True Stories of the World's Deadliest Duos" (1987)
  • Trois saigneurs de la nuit - (Vol. 3, 1988)
  • The Lady Killers: Famous Women Murderers (1990)
  • New Eves: Science Fiction About the Extraordinary Women of Today and Tomorrow (1994)
  • Women Resurrected: Stories from Women Science Fiction Writers of the 50s (2011)
  • Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense (2013)

Magazines containing stories by Miriam Allen deFord[edit]

  • Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (March, 1971)
  • Amazing Stories (January, 1962; March, 1972)
  • Analog (December, 1972; December, 1974)
  • The Best Science Fiction from The World of Tomorrow (No. 2, 1964)
  • Bestseller Mystery Magazine (November, 1958; July, 1959)
  • Beyond Fantasy Fiction (March, 1954)
  • The Dude (November, 1961)
  • Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine (November, 1946; March, 1947; May, 1948; November, 1950; October, 1952; August, 1953; May, 1954; December, 1956; October, 1957; December, 1958; March, 1963; July, 1964; October, 1964; March, 1965; March, 1966; May, 1966; November, 1966; July, 1967; September, 1968; May, 1972; August, 1972; May, 1973; August, 1973; November, 1973; February, 1975)
  • Famous Science Fiction (Vol. 2, No. 2, [whole number 8], Fall, 1968)
  • Fantastic (January, 1961)
  • Fiction - French magazine (No. 148, Mars, 1966)
  • Galaxy Science Fiction (No. 75, 3/6 [March, 1952]; March, 1955; April, 1958; December, 1961; October, 1964; August, 1967; November, 1968)
  • Gamma (Vol. 2, No.1, 1964)
  • The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (December, 1966)
  • The Haldeman-Julius Monthly (January, 1927)
  • If: Worlds of Science Fiction (November, 1959; October, 1965; February, 1966)
  • Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (August, 1951; October, 1952; January, 1954; August, 1954; May, 1955; February, 1956; May, 1956; November, 1956; December, 1956; June, 1958; December, 1958; May, 1959; March, 1960; July, 1960; December, 1960; June, 1962; April, 1963; September, 1964; February, 1965; July, 1965; February, 1966; March, 1966; May, 1966; December, 1966; March, 1968; April, 1968; October, 1969; November, 1969; March, 1970; October, 1970; January, 1972; May, 1973)
  • Mercury Mystery Magazine (April, 1958; February, 1959)
  • Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine (October, 1972)
  • Modern Age: A Quarterly Review (Vol. 11, 1966–67)
  • Prairie Schooner (Summer 1949, Volume XXIII)
  • The Realist (No. 41, June, 1963)
  • The Saint Mystery Magazine (May, 1963; January, 1965; December, 1965; August, 1966; May, 1967; August, 1967)
  • The Saturday Review of Literature (July 25, 1942)
  • SFWA Forum No. 33 - Science Fiction Writers of America (April, 1974)
  • Science Fiction Yearbook (No. 2, 1968)
  • Scribner's Magazine (Vol. 94, No. 5, Nov. 1933)
  • Shock Magazine (July, 1960)
  • Space Stories (October, 1952)
  • Startling Stories (July, 1952; October, 1952; December, 1952; Summer, 1955)
  • True Crime Detective Magazine (Winter, 1953)
  • Venture Science Fiction (November, 1957; October, 1965)
  • Worlds of Tomorrow (Vol. 1, No. 1, April, 1963; Vol. 2, No. 1, April, 1964)

Fact Crime/True Crime[edit]

  • The Overbury Affair (1960)
  • The Real Bonnie and Clyde (1968)
  • The Real Ma Barker (1970)

Little Blue Book Series[edit]

  • Little Blue Book No. 197: What Great Frenchwomen Learned About Love (1926)
  • Little Blue Book No. 832: The Life and Poems of Catullus (1925)
  • Little Blue Book No. 867: Cicero As Revealed in His Letters (1925)
  • Little Blue Book No. 895: Astronomy for Beginners (1927)
  • Little Blue Book No. 896: The Augustan Poets of Rome (1925) (editor)
  • Little Blue Book No. 899: Rome As Viewed by Tacitus and Juvenal (1925)
  • Little Blue Book No. 999: Latin Self-Taught (1926) (editor)
  • Little Blue Book No. 1009: Typewriting Self-Taught (1926)
  • Little Blue Book No. 1087: The Facts About Fascism (1911)
  • Little Blue Book No. 1088: The Truth About Mussolini (1926)
  • Little Blue Book No. 1174: How To Write Business Letters (1927)
  • Little Blue Book No. 1847: The Meaning of All Common Given Names (1947)

Other[edit]

Author

  • Love-Children: A Book of Illustrious Illegitimates (1931)
  • Facts You Should Know About California (1945)
  • California (1946)
  • They Were San Franciscans (1947)
  • Psychologist unretired: the life pattern of Lillien J. Martin (1948)
  • Up-Hill All The Way: The Life of Maynard Shipley (1956)
  • Stone Walls: Prisons from Fetters to Furloughs (1962)
  • Penultimates (1962)
  • Murderers Sane and Mad: Case Histories in the Motivation and Rationale of Murder (1965)
  • Thomas Moore - Twayne's English Authors Series (1967)

Editor

  • Space, Time and Crime (1964) - anthology of science fiction

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ De Leon, Solon (1925). The American Labor Who's Who. New York: Hanford Press. p. 57. 
  2. ^ "Humanist Manifesto II". American Humanist Association. Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  3. ^ [[Dangerous Visions]page 115] (2011)