Ellen Kushner is a novelist, editor, performer, and public radio personality. Her novel Thomas the Rhymer (Morrow/Tor, 1990; Bantam Spectra, 2004) was a World Fantasy and Mythopoeic winner and Locus finalist. Most of the rest of her fiction constitutes what's now called the "Riverside" Series, beginning with Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners (Unwin Hyman, 1987), an SF Chronicle finalist and 2000 Gaylactic Spectrum Hall of Fame choice. The 2003 Bantam Spectra edition adds three stories, including the 1998 World Fantasy short story finalist "The Death of the Duke" and "The Swordsman Whose Name was Not Death" from the 5th The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (Datlow and Windling, eds.). The Fall of the Kings (Bantam, 2002), written with Delia Sherman, takes place 60 years later; it was a Mythopoeic and Gaylactic Spectrum finalist and is an expansion of a 1997 World Fantasy novella finalist. The Privilege of the Sword (Small Beer/Bantam, 2006) was a Locus winner and Nebula, World Fantasy, Tiptree, and Gaylactic Spectrum finalist; it takes place about 20 years after Swordspoint and was included with it in the omnibus Swords of Riverside (SFBC, 2006). More recent stories in the "Riverside" continuum include "‘A Wild and a Wicked Youth'" from the 4th The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (Strahan, ed.), The Man with the Knives (Temporary Culture, 2010) from the 5th, and tales in Coyote Road (Datlow and Windling, eds.) and Naked City (Datlow, ed.).
She was a contributor to Terri Windling's seminal urban fantasy "Bordertown" series, with stories in Borderland and Bordertown (Windling and Arnold, eds.), Life on the Border (Windling, ed.) and The Essential Bordertown (Windling and Sherman, eds.). In 2011 she and Holly Black revived the series by editing Welcome to Bordertown (Random House; Locus finalist). Earlier she edited the anthologies Basilisk (Ace, 1980; Balrog finalist) and, with Sherman and Donald G. Keller, The Horns of Elfland.
Her non-series short fiction includes "The Unicorn Masque" in A Century of Fantasy 1980-1989 (Silverberg, ed.), "Playing with Fire" in the 7th The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (Datlow and Windling, eds.), "The Hunt of the Unicorn" in the 9th, and "The Children of Cadmus" in the 2011 Heiresses of Russ (Vanderhooft and Berman, eds.); as well as stories in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories by Women (Jones, ed.), Heroic Visions II (Salmonson, ed.), The Armless Maiden (Windling, ed.), The Horns of Elfland, Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Datlow and Windling, eds.), Troll's Eye View (Datlow and Windling, eds.), Eclipse Three (Strahan, ed.), Last Drink Bird Head (VanderMeer and VanderMeer, eds.), and Teeth (Datlow and Windling, eds). Her poem "Sonata: For Two Friends in Different Times of the Same Trouble" originally appeared in Monochrome: The Readercon Anthology (Cholfin, ed.) and was reprinted in the 4th Datlow and Windling Year's Best.
Kushner's children's fantasy The Golden Dreydl: A Klezmer Nutcracker (2001 Gracie Allen Award) is available on CD from Rykodisc and as a chapter-book from Charlesbridge (2007). She has done a live version of the show with Shirim Klezmer Orchestra each holiday season. A children's theatre version, A Klezmer Nutcracker, was produced by New York's Vital Theatre in 2008-10, with Kushner herself playing Tante Miriam the first year! The Witches of Lublin, a feminist-magic realist-shtetl-musical audio drama which she wrote with Yale Strom & Elizabeth Schwartz, was produced in 2011 (available on CD & Audible.com; Gracie Award, Gabriel Award, Wilbur Award, Audie finalist). With SueMedia Productions she has narrated and co-produced "illuminated" audiobook versions of her novels Swordspoint (2011 Earphones Award) and The Privilege of the Sword (2012) for Neil Gaiman Presents/ACX. She has been a writing instructor at Clarion, the Odyssey Workshop, and Hollins University, and helped found the Interstitial Arts Foundation.
Kushner began her career in New York as a fantasy editor, first at Ace Books with Jim Baen, then at Timescape with David Hartwell. In 1987 she moved to Boston to work at WGBH Radio, where in 1996 she created PRI's award-winning weekly series Sound & Spirit, heard on public radio stations nationwide through 2010 and still online at www.wgbh.org/pri/spirit . In 2006, she and her partner, Delia Sherman, moved back to New York City, where they happily live with too many books and ticket stubs. Her website is ellenkushner.com .