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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.

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Author: Elizabeth Hand
Publisher: PM Press/Outspoken Authors
ISBN: 978-1-62963-234-6
Published: 01/2017
Format: Paperback
Size: 7.5x5
Page count: 128
Subjects: Fiction

Hand, Elizabeth, or Liz as she’s known to her colleagues, students, and devoted fans, is a maverick in modern fiction: a fearless literary sojourner whose award-winning novels and short stories mix murder and magic, high fantasy and post-punk noir in extravagant and unforgettable new ways.

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.”
SF Signal

“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.”

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For a calendar of speaking events, please click here


What Others are Saying

More about Elizabeth...

fireFire. A Review
By Michael T Fournier
Maximum RocknRoll Magazine
September 2018

Fire. is an installment of PM Press’s Outspoken Author series. If this slim volume is any indication, the series is a must-read, a means for readers to introduce themselves to indispensable writers like Elizabeth Hand. It’s great to be genuinely excited to dive into an author’s work—which I am. So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be swimming in Generation Loss with Singles Going Steady playing in the background.

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fireFire. A Review
By Jim Ruland
San Diego City Beat
October 2nd, 2017

Fire., the latest installment in the Outspoken Author series from PM Press, features Elizabeth Hand. It includes a worthy and fascinating selection of previously published fiction and nonfiction, as well as an interview and a new short story. 

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fireFire. A Review
By George Longenecker
Rain Taxi
September 2017

"...In Hand’s writing, anything can happen. “I’ve always wanted to believe in the existence
of that other, hidden reality. In my writing I try to . . . depict it in as realistic a fashion as possible,” she says in “Flying Squirrels in the Rafters,” in which she’s interviewed by Terry Bisson. She also reflects on her work with other writers in the Stonecoast MFA program in Maine. .."

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fireFire. 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.

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fireFire. 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...

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fireFire. 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.”

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fireFire. A Review
by Andrew Andrews
True Review
March 2017

 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.

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fireMaine’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.”

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