Elizabeth Hand flunked out of college a couple of years after seeing Patti Smith perform and became involved in the nascent punk scenes in DC and New York. From 1979 to 1986 she worked at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. She was eventually readmitted to university to study cultural anthropology and received her BA. She is the author of many novels, including Winterlong, Waking the Moon, Glimmering, Mortal Love, Illyria, and Radiant Days, as well as three collections of stories, including the recent Saffron and Brimstone. Her fiction has received the Nebula, World Fantasy, Mythopoeic, Tiptree, and International Horror Guild Awards, and her novels have been chosen as notable books by both the New York Times and the Washington Post. She has also been awarded a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship. A regular contributor to the Washington Post Book World and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, she lives with her family on the coast of Maine.
Author: Elizabeth Hand
Publisher: PM Press/Outspoken Authors
Page count: 128
The title story, “Fire.” written especially for this volume, is a harrowing postapocalyptic adventure in a world threatened by global conflagration. Based on Hand’s real-life experience as a participant in a governmental climate change think tank, it follows a ragtag cadre of scientists and artists racing to save both civilization and themselves from fast-moving global fires.
“The Woman Men Didn't See” is an expansion of Hand’s acclaimed critical assessment of author Alice Sheldon, who wrote award-winning SF as “James Tiptree, Jr.” in order to conceal identity from both the SF community and her CIA overlords. Another nonfiction piece, “Beyond Belief,” recounts her difficult passage from alienated teen to serious artist.
Also included are “Kronia,” a poignant time-travel romance, and “The Saffron Gatherers,” two of Hand’s favorite and less familiar stories. Plus: a bibliography and our candid and illuminating Outspoken Interview with one of today’s most inventive authors.
“Hand is an expert at building mood and atmosphere in ways that you don’t realize until you feel it around you.”
“A superior stylist.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Real enchantment . . . Elizabeth Hand’s work possesses it in every word.”
—Francesca Lia Block, author of Love in the Time of Global Warming
“Elizabeth Hand’s prose is a wiry, intelligent force that ranges from blunt athleticism to fluid luminosity.”
—Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
“A predilection for probing the translucent borderline between magic and reality . . . a beautifully nuanced, often disquieting style.”
For a calendar of speaking events, please click here
- Fire. on San Diego City Beat
- Fire. on RainTaxi
- Elizabeth Hand on Tor
- Elizabeth Hand on WritersCast
- Elizabeth Hand on Wired and the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy
- Fire: Books to Look For
- Fire.: True Review
- Maine’s Elizabeth Hand shares her fascination with apocalypse: Portland Press Herald
- Kirkus Mention
Fire. A Review
By Jim Ruland
San Diego City Beat
October 2nd, 2017
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Fire. A Review
By George Longenecker
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Fire. A Review
By Matthew Keeley
August 23rd, 2017
Some authors have a very distinct brand; their individual works, whether major or minor, are all of a type. If they publish enough, readers tend to make an adjective of their name—so “Ballardian” evokes crashed cars, empty swimming pools, and accelerating entropy, all clinically described, while “Vancean” writers evince a fondness for abstruse vocabulary, ponderous elegance, and gloriously improbable societies. An “Asimovian” story might sacrifice prose and characterization to the rational working out of a Big Idea, while a “Phildickian” tale proceeds by way of shattered realities and paranoid revelations.
Other writers, though, seem almost to begin anew with each new book; so restless are their subjects, styles, and preoccupations that readers never feel entirely settled or comfortable with them. Elizabeth Hand is one such author. She is far too mutable a writer for “Handian” to ever become science fiction shorthand.Read more | Buy the book now | Buy the e-Book now | Read Reviews | Back to the top
Fire. A Review
Geek’s Guide to Culture
April 8th, 2017
n 2013 author Elizabeth Hand was invited to Washington DC by a think tank that thought her experience writing dystopian science fiction might give her a useful perspective on current climate change challenges. Hand is well-versed in doomsday scenarios, but what she learned at the think tank about the risk of massive fires really startled her.
“We’re not looking at if a mega-fire is going to happen and overtake a major urban area, or a major residential area, it’s a matter of when,” Hand says in Episode 250 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “And we are not at all prepared for it.”
Listen to Elizabeth Hand on the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy Podcast HERE.
That knowledge inspired her story “Fire,” about a group of hikers facing certain death in the midst of an apocalyptic forest fire, and also gave her a new appreciation for the scientists and firefighters of the Forest Service...
Fire. A Review
by Charles deLint
Books to Look For
May 1st, 2017
Because they’re excellent books, of course, but also because of the publisher’s mission statement, which appeals to the old hippie/anarchist in me:
“We seek to create radical and stimulating fiction and nonfiction books, pamphlets, T-shirts, visual and audio materials to entertain, educate, and inspire you. We aim to distribute these through every avail- able channel with every available technology, whether that means you are seeing anarchist classics at our bookfair stalls; reading our lat- est vegan cookbook at the café; downloading geeky fiction e-books; or digging new music and timely videos from our website.”
Fire. A Review
by Andrew Andrews
I have always enjoyed the work of Elizabeth Hand, one of the finest, if not THE finest, horror stylists we’ve seen.
In “The Saffron Gatherers,” in the present-day, professional authors and other artists gather to discuss their artistic work and the beauty of ancient art. This all happens when an East Coast author ventures to find a home near San Francisco. But appreciating art is all they may have, as a catastrophe on land happens during the artist’s plane trip home: a catastrophe that defines why even appreciation of long-ago art is not forgotten, and the work of an artist is oh-so transitory and subject to the tyranny of reality.
Maine’s Elizabeth Hand shares her fascination with apocalypse: A Review
by Michael Berry
Portland Press Herald
January 29th, 2017
Apocalypse, dystopia and natural disaster have always loomed large in Hand’s imagination, fueling, for example, her novels “Glimmering” and “Waking the Moon.” The selections in this latest collection reflect that tendency.
In “The Saffron Gatherers,” a woman travels to San Francisco to meet with her lover, only to be captivated by an ancient fresco prophetic in ways she cannot guess. Time, cause, effect and missed connections collide in the moving and mind-bending “Kronia.”