Miriam Allen DeFord

Miriam Allen deFord (August 21, 1888 – February 22, 1975) was an American writer.Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she worked as a newspaper reporter for a time and, in the early 1900s, was also a campaigner and disseminator of birth control information to women. She spent perhaps the most energy in mystery fiction and science fiction. Hence she did several anthologies in the mystery world. She also had interest in historical crime or criminals. In 1968 she wrote The Real Bonnie and Clyde. She also wrote The Overbury Affair which involves events during the reign of James I of Britain. For the latter work she received a 1961 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Fact Crime book. She also worked for the magazine The Humanist.However, in 1949 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction began with Anthony Boucher as editor. Anthony Boucher wrote science fiction and fantasy, but also garnered attention in the mystery field as well. This gave his magazine some cross-over appeal to mystery writers like Ms. deFord. Hence much of her science fiction would appear first in Boucher's magazine. Her stories there dealt with themes like nuclear devastation, alienation, and sexual roles. Her two collections are Elsewhere, Elsewhen, Elsehow and Xenogenesis. She also edited an anthology of stories mixing science fiction with mystery called Space, Time, and Crime.DeFord was also a passionate Fortean, a follower of Charles Fort, and did fieldwork for him. DeFord is mentioned in Fort's book "Lo!" Shortly before her death in 1975, Fortean writer Loren Coleman visited Ms. deFord frequently and interviewed her about her earlier interactions with Fort and her trips to Chico, California, to investigate the case of a poltergeist rock-thrower on Fort's behalf.DeFord died February 22, 1975 at her longtime home, The Ambassador Hotel at 55 Mason Street in San Francisco.
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