Margaret St. Clair
was an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...
writer, who also wrote under the pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...
s Idris Seabright
and Wilton Hazzard
St. Clair was born at Huchinson, Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...
. She married Eric St. Clair in 1932, whom she met while attending the University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...
. In 1934 she graduated with a Master of Arts
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...
in Greek classics
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...
She started writing science fiction with the short story
A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas and novels. Short story definitions based on length differ somewhat, even among professional writers, in part because...
"Rocket to Limbo" in 1946. Her most creative period was during the 1950s, when she wrote such acclaimed stories as "The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles" (1951), "Brightness Falls from the Air" (1951), "An Egg a Month from All Over" (1952), and "Horrer Howce" (1956). She largely stopped writing short stories after 1960. The Best of Margaret St. Clair
(1985) is a representative sampler of her short fiction.
Apart from more than 100 short stories, St. Clair also wrote nine novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....
s. Of interest beyond science fiction is her 1963 novel Sign of the Labrys
, for its overt early use of Wicca
Wicca , is a modern Pagan religious movement. Developing in England in the first half of the 20th century, Wicca was popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by a Wiccan High Priest named Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft," and its adherents "the Wica."...
elements in fiction. These elements may have derived from her reading of Robert Graves
Robert von Ranke Graves 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985 was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works...
's book The White Goddess
and of the writings of Gerald Gardner
Gerald Brousseau Gardner , who sometimes used the craft name Scire, was an influential English Wiccan, as well as an amateur anthropologist and archaeologist, writer, weaponry expert and occultist. He was instrumental in bringing the Neopagan religion of Wicca to public attention in Britain and...
, with whom Margaret and her husband were put in touch by Raymond Buckland
Raymond Buckland , whose craft name is Robat, is an English American writer on the subject of Wicca and the occult, and a significant figure in the history of Wicca, of which he is a High Priest in both the Gardnerian and Seax traditions.According to his written works, primarily Witchcraft from the...
. It was Buckland who initiated the St Clairs into Gardnerian witchcraft. They were also influenced by reading the novels of Dion Fortune
Violet Mary Firth Evans , better known as Dion Fortune, was a British occultist and author. Her pseudonym was inspired by her family motto "Deo, non fortuna" , originally the ancient motto of the Barons & Earls Digby.-Early life:She was born in Bryn-y-Bia in Llandudno, Wales, and grew up in a...
Her interests included witchcraft
Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft...
, nudism, and feminism
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights...
. She and her husband decided to remain childless.
She died at Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County, California, United States. The 2010 census reported a population of 167,815. Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's Wine Country and fifth largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont and 26th...
, in 1995.
- The Green Queen (1956)
- Agent of the Unknown (1956)
- The Games of Neith (1960)
- Sign of the Labrys (1963)
- Three Worlds of Futurity (1964)
- Message from the Eocene (1964)
- The Dolphins of Altair (1967)
- The Shadow People (1969)
- The Dancers of Noyo (1973)
- Three Worlds of Futurity (1964)
- Change the Sky and Other Stories (1974)
- The Best of Margaret St. Clair (1985)