REED, Kit
   Working name of US writer Lillian Craig Reed (1932-), as well known for her work outside sf and fantasy as within; she has also written a horror novel, Blood Fever (1986) as by Shelley Hyde, and two detections - Gone (1992) and Twice Burned (1993) - as by Kit Craig. She began publishingstories of genre interest with "The Wait" (vt "To Be Taken in a Strange Country") in 1958 for FSF, afterwards publishing mainly with that journal.After some non-genre novels, the first being Mother isn't Dead She's Only Sleeping (1961), KR began to assemble short stories of genre interest in Mister da V. and Other Stories (coll 1967 UK), later releasing The Killer Mice (coll 1976 UK), Other Stories And . . . the Attack of the Giant Baby (coll 1981), Revenge of the Senior Citizens ** Plus: A Short Story Collection (coll 1986) and Thief of Lives (coll 1992). It could be said, unkindly, that her stories domesticate the world of Shirley JACKSON; but that would be unduly to deprecate the sharp, clear, self-amused perceptiveness of her best moral fables, often closer to fantasy than sf as they make their uncomfortable points with precision and delicacy. Her first sf novel, Armed Camps (1969 UK), perhaps more conventionally posits a NEAR FUTURE USA sliding into irretrievable collapse; neither the soldier nor the woman pacifist who share the narrative, nor what they represent, are seen as representing any solution. Magic Time (1980), less effective because of its chatty plot, treats the USA as analogous to a grotesque theme park, posthumously run by a Disney-like guru in cold storage. Fort Privilege (1985) more convincingly transforms into moral fable a tale setin an expensive New York apartment building under siege from the innumerable homeless of the great city; and Little Sisters of the Apocalypse (1994) similarly examines the lives of a group of womenbesieged - in a world tainted by violence and social disintegration - by conflicting gangs of marauders. Though sometimes her reticence is overpowering, KR at her best is, very quietly, an explosive writer.
   JC
   Other works: Fat (anth 1974), stories about obesity, several being sf or fantasy; George Orwell's 1984 (1984), nonfiction.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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