During an era when women authors rarely appeared in science fiction magazines, Evelyn E. Smith featured regularly in the pages of magazines such as Galaxy and Fantastic Universe. This was certainly not an accident. She was a talented writer who could be humorous and sardonic at the same time. I suspect it was the humor that persuaded editors to accept her stories rather than a search for the ‘feminine touch.”.
I first came across Evelyn E. Smith in the early 60’s with the story “The Vilbar Party” in the collection The Third Galaxy Reader. That story has stayed with me when the memories of many others have faded from my mind. That story of how a visiting professor from Saturn becomes a “party animal” is typical of much of her writing, turning the conventions of alien-human encounters on their heads.
It is evident from her writing that she spent some time in the halls of academe. She seems to have formed a rather jaundiced view of some of its denizens. Fortunately, this provided her with a wealth of material, and many of her stories skewer academics and students alike with caricatures that one suspects are all too accurate.
Her aliens didn’t conform to the stereotypes of the time. They were more likely to take the form of teddy bears or sentient vines than bug eyed monsters, not that their motives might not be as malevolent as the creatures of her peers. The humans in her stories flouted conventions, too. No strong he-men against the universe. They were much more likely to be vane, self-centered, and not to bright no matter what their academic credentials might say.
Smith’s career didn’t end with the 50’s. She published a number of novels in the 60’s and 70’s and then in the 80’s she began a series which featured a middle-aged woman who turns to a career as an assassin when her life falls apart. They were written with the same wit that her earlier works exhibited.
Resurrected Press is proud to issue this volume of her stories, Evelyn E. Smith Resurrected – The Selected Stories of Evelyn E. Smith. Evelyn E. Smith is too important a writer to be forgotten. We hope that you will find them as engaging as we have.
About The Author
Evelyn E. Smith (January 1, 1927-January 1, 2000) was an American author of Science Fiction. During the 50’s her works appeared regularly in magazines such as Galaxy and Fantastic Universe. In the 80’s she wrote a number of novels featuring the character Miss Melville about a middle-aged assassin. She also wrote as Delphine C. Lyons and Christopher Grimm.