Goss, Theodora

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Goss, Theodora


Born in Hungary; immigrated to the United States as a child; married to Kendrick Goss (a scientist); children: Ophelia. Education: University of Virginia, B.A.; Harvard Law School. J.D.; Boston University, M.A., enrolled in Ph.D. program.


Home—Boston, MA. Office—Department of English, Boston University, 236 Bay State Rd., Boston, MA 02215. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]


Writer. Worked briefly as a corporate attorney in New York, NY.


Nebula Award finalist, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, for the short story "Pip and the Fairies."


(Author of introduction) Mike Allen, Disturbing Muses (poems), Wildside Press (Rockville, MD), 2005.

In the Forest of Forgetting (short stories), Prime Books (Holicong, PA), 2006.

(Editor, with Delia Sherman) Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing, Interstitial Arts Foundation (Boston, MA), 2007.

Also author of the chapbook The Rose in Twelve Petals and Other Stories. Contributor of short stories and to books, including The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, The Year's Best Fantasy, The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens,Best New Fantasy, and Polyphony. Contributor of short stories and poems to periodicals, including Realms of Fantasy, Alchemy, Strange Horizons, and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet.


Hailed as a rising star of the "New Weird" genre of fantasy fiction, Theodora Goss has published numerous critically acclaimed short stories. Her first collection, In the Forest of Forgetting, was welcomed as an elegantly imagined exploration of motifs from fairy tales and folk legends. Cheryl Morgan, reviewing the book in Emerald City, praised Goss's "elegant but creepy prose that often puts a chill up the spine at the same time as you are admiring the author's eloquence."

The collection begins with "The Rose in Twelve Petals," a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story that was originally published as the title story in a chapbook. As described by SciFi.com contributor John Clute, the piece is "a superb example" of a twice-told tale. "It does everything a great Twice-Told must do, or any great story of our time," he observed. "It takes every mode of telling it feeds from as a literal description of the case: for the only way to narrate the fissures is to believe what you say." In an SF Site review of the chapbook, Charlene Brusso deemed "The Rose in Twelve Petals" a "chilly, expertly crafted blossom of a story."

Critics also cited "The Rapid Advance of Sorrow," "Professor Berkowitz Stands on the Threshold," and "Miss Emily Gray" as among In the Forest of Forgetting's more memorable pieces. Booklist contributor Ray Olson deemed the latter story an instant "classic." Observing that Goss's stories "celebrate a free-spirited disdain for social conventions but … more often than not end on a bittersweet, and sometimes even a sombre, note," Strange Horizons writer Abigail Nussbaum concluded that the "cumulative effect of her stories is the heartfelt reminder that we can do as we like so long as we remember that no one ever promised us a happy ending. Taken as a whole, perhaps the moral of In the Forest of Forgetting is a very simple one—be careful what you wish for."

Goss explained in an interview in Science Fiction Writers of Earth that she has been drawn to fantasy literature since early childhood. She hated being made to read realistic fiction in school. "I couldn't imagine a life so … boring [and] ugly," she said. "I still remember … falling asleep to the sound of a train travelling through Europe and waking up in small towns, knowing that we had arrived in yet another country. I remember relatives who talked about having seen tanks rolling down the streets of Budapest, in 1956. I remember seeing Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, crumbling on the walls of a church in Milan. None of these things appeared in ‘realistic’ fiction, and yet they were real. "Fantasy," she added, "was about adventure, and peril, and the search for beauty. That made sense to me."

Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing, which Goss edited with Delia Sherman, contains examples of fiction that, according to the editors, does not fit neatly within traditional categories. The works in this collection, by such writers as Mikal Trimm, Karen Jordan Allen, and Veronica Schanoes, show influences from science fiction, fairy tale and fantasy, and magic realism, but also transcends these labels. "Interfictions is a phenomenal collection," wrote Marie Mundaca in the Hipster Book Club. "The stories are as slippery as eels, and are engrossing and provocative."



Booklist, June 1, 2006, Ray Olson, review of In the Forest of Forgetting, p. 50.

Library Journal, July 1, 2006, Jackie Cassada, review of In the Forest of Forgetting, p. 70.

Publishers Weekly, June 12, 2006, review of In the Forest of Forgetting, p. 36.


Emerald City Magazine,http://wwww.emcit.com/ (March, 2006), Cheryl Morgan, "Scenes from Beyond."

Hipster Book Club,http://www.hipsterbookclub.com/ (July 28, 2007), Marie Mundaca, review of Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing.

Interstitial Arts Foundation Web site,http://interstitialarts.org/ (July 28, 2007).

Science Fiction Writers of Earth,http://home.flash.net/~sfwoe/ (April 6, 2002), interview with Theodora Goss.

SciFi.com,http://www.scifi.com/sfw/books/ (April 17, 2006), John Clute, review of In the Forest of Forgetting.

SF Site,http://www.sfsite.com (July 28, 2007), Charlene Brusso, review of The Rose in Twelve Petals and Other Stories.

Strange Horizons,http://www.strangehorizons.com/ (September 21, 2006), Abigail Nussbaum, review of In the Forest of Forgetting.

Theodora Goss Home Page,http://www.theodoragoss.com (July 28, 2007).