Judith Merril

(January 21, 1923 - September 12, 1997)

Judith Josephine Grossman, who took the pen-name Judith Merril about 1945, was an American and then Canadian pro editor. She was a member of the Futurians (under her then-married name of Judith Zissman), and was accounted the first woman to join that famous club in her own right rather than as another member's girlfriend or wife.

Her pseudonym was taken from the first name of her eldest daughter, Merril Zissman. Judith Merril wrote three novels (the last two co-authored with C.M. Kornbluth under the pseudonym Cyril Judd) and some stories. She was a co-founder of the Hydra Club and the Milford conferences.

After a romance with Futurian John B. Michel, she married Frederik Pohl; when their marriage fell apart, she spent time living with Walter M. Miller, Jr.

She published the fanzine Temper.

She is probably best known for the anthologies she started editing in 1950 — especially a popular "Year's Best" story-anthology series that ran from 1956 to 1967. Later, in Canada, she initiated the long-running Tesseract series of anthologies of Canadian sf. She was a judge of the International Fantasy Award.

In 1970, she began an endowment at the Toronto Public Library for the collection of all science fiction published in the English language. She donated all of the books and magazines in her possession to the library, which set up the Spaced Out Library, with Merril as curator. It was renamed in Merril's last decade as the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation, and Fantasy.

Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril a posthumous autobiography (finished by Emily Pohl-Weary, her granddaughter, won the 2003 Best Related Book Hugo.

GoHsips, awards and honors:

For more on her career: http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/merril_judith