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The Challenger Tribute
Sunday, June 10, 2007
  Spring-Summer 2007 - Astrid Anderson Bear
In 1967, when I was 18 years old and the littlest of the Little Men, I attended a party at Poul Anderson's house in Orinda, California. I knew Poul and Karen, of course -- generous souls that they were, they had driven me to my first club meeting. But I had never met the third member of the family... I remember the very moment. I was talking with the late Jerry Jacks, asking him about the ancient fannish schtick, "Gnu". All of a sudden we -- and the room -- were utterly overwhelmed, in an explosion of red hair and personality. She was wearing a dark cloak, and carrying a real, straight-from-the -Star-Trek-set tribble. Astrid had come into the room.

Astrid has never left. She's been a radiance in the science fiction firmament all of her life. Among her excellences, costuming. At Louiscon in 1969 she and her mother premiered the most famous masquerade presentation of all time, "The Bat and the Bitten" -- Charlie Williams' illo above depicts that incredible costume. Jay Kay Klein's photo to right shows her with Ron Bounds in '71, as "Poseidon & Friend". She chaired Costume-Con 2 in 1984. But Astrid's SF interests haven't been restricted to masquerades. With her husband, Greg Bear, she serves on the advisory board for Seattle's Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame. They have two kids, Erik and Alexandra. Astrid, mother to a 20-year-old man? A 17-year-old lady? Pardon the astonishment of someone who knew her when she was 14, still wearing a huge black cloak, still playing with a genuine tribble.

How fortunate those of us who have been privileged to know this lady named for the stars.

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Spring-Summer 2007 - Astrid Anderson Bear

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