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Kit Reed, born Lillian Hyde Craig or Lil(l)ian Craig Reed (June 7, 1932 – September 24, 2017),[1][2][3][4][nb 1] was an American author of both speculative fiction and literary fiction, as well as psychological thrillers under the pseudonym Kit Craig.



Reed was born Lillian Hyde Craig[6] on June 7, 1932, in San Diego, California.[nb 1] She was a daughter of schoolteacher Lillian Hyde and US Naval officer John R. Craig. She was nicknamed "Kitten" at an early age. Her father would command the submarine USS Grampus (SS-207), which was lost with all hands early in 1943, probably sunk by the Japanese. "By 12, she had written a series of books about a stand-up bunny rabbit. At the College of Notre Dame of Maryland (now Notre Dame of Maryland University), nuns let her write short stories instead of a research paper for her senior thesis, allowing her to avoid the research she hated."[4]

She legally changed her name to Kit Reed.[3] Her first short story, "The Wait" (1958), was published by Anthony Boucher in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.[7] She is a Guggenheim Fellow[8] and recipient of a five-year grant literary from the Abraham Woursell Foundation.

The New York Times Book Review said about her short fiction in 2006: "Reed has a prose style that's pure dry ice, displayed in dystopian stories that specialize in bitterness and dislocation."[9] The Wall Street Journal said: "The title of Kit Reed's [2013] selection of her own short stories, The Story Until Now (Wesleyan), reminds us that although she has been writing award-winning fiction for some 50 years, she's still accelerating. The scope of these 35 stories is immense, their variety unmatched."[10]

Her stories appeared in venues ranging from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction to The Yale Review and The Kenyon Review, and are widely anthologized. Many of her stories are published as feminist science fiction and she was nominated for the James Tiptree Jr. Award three times.[11] In 2005 her novel, Thinner Than Thou, was given the Alex Award by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). She was Resident Writer at Wesleyan University.

Reed died on September 24, 2017, at age 85, after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.[12]



  1. ^ a b Many sources spell her birth name "Lillian Craig Reed",[2][5] although some spell it "Lilian Craig Reed".[3]


  1. ^ "Reed, Kit 1932- (Kit Craig, Shelley Hyde)". Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Obituary: Kit Reed". SF Site. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Reed, Kit". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Sandomir, Richard (September 28, 2017). "Kit Reed, Author of Darkly Humorous Fiction, Dies at 85". The New York Times. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  5. ^ Reginald, R. (September 2010). Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature. Wildside Press LLC. p. 1044. ISBN 978-0-941028-77-6.
  6. ^ Sandomir, Richard (September 28, 2017). "Kit Reed, Author of Darkly Humorous Fiction, Dies at 85". Retrieved October 22, 2017 – via
  7. ^ "Interview with Kit Reed – SFFWorld". Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  8. ^ "Kit Reed". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  9. ^ Ferguson, Sarah (January 1, 2006). "Fiction Chronicle". The New York Times Book Review. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  10. ^ Bookshelf, Genre Neutral. Wall Street Journal. April 12, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  11. ^ "Locus Index to SF awards". Archived from the original on May 11, 2008. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  12. ^ In Memoriam Kit Reed, September 24, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017

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