Thursday, July 30, 2009

Photo of pioneer SF&F writer Leslie F. Stone

Here’s a neat item, thanks to longtime SF fan, editor, and publisher Andrew Porter: a photograph of pioneer science fiction and fantasy writer Leslie F. Stone (pseudonym of Leslie F. Silberberg, nee Leslie Francis Rubenstein; 1905-1991). The only other image I’ve seen of Stone is a portrait sketch that was printed in the April 1931 issue of Wonder Stories magazine and reproduced in Justine Larbalestier’s The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction (2002) and her Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century (2006).

To accompany the photo, I found a nice biographical sketch of "Miss Stone" in Eric Leif Davin’s Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction, 1926-1965 (2005):
Leslie F. Stone, (1905-1991): Born in Philadelphia, Stone’s family moved to Philadelphia when she was eight. She began selling fairy tales to newspapers at age fifteen. Perhaps for this reason she studied journalism in school. She was married to William Silberberg from 1927 until his death in 1957. They had two sons. In the late 1940s they moved to Kensington, Maryland, where she became a prize-winning ceramicist and gardener. In the 1960s she worked at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda.

Along with Clare Winger Harris, Stone was one of the first women writers to appear in the science fiction magazines, debuting in 1929. Her science fiction was most popular in the Thirties. She also published two SF novels. In addition to her science fiction, she published fantasy fiction in Weird Tales between 1935-1938. Her last story appeared in 1951.
Leslie F. Stone is the author of the novella/novel Out of the Void (1929/1967) and the short story "The Human Pets of Mars" (1936).

Checkout some other historical photos of SF fandom in Andrew Porter's collection.

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