Wilmar H. Shiras

(1908 — 1990)

Wilmar House Shiras was a SF author, who also wrote under the name Jane Howes. Her most famous SF story was “In Hiding,” a novella that was later reprinted in several anthologies, including The Best Science Fiction Stories: 1949, Great Stories of Science Fiction (1951), Stories for Tomorrow (1954), and The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume II (1973).

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Shiras attended Boston University, but dropped out in her freshman year to get married, at 18. She then attended the University of California, Berkeley, studying history. She and her husband Russell Shiras raised five children, two boys and three girls, and it was for her family that she began creating stories.

Her story “In Hiding” was published in the November, 1948, issue of Astounding Science Fiction. The story, about mutant children who were trying to find their place in the world, became a classic.

Shiras published two sequels in Astounding: “Opening Doors,” and “New Foundations.” These stories then became the first three chapters in her novel, Children of the Atom, published by Gnome Press in 1953. This book was hailed as another step in the coming of age of SF, as it served as a precursor to the “psi boom” of the late 1950s.

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