RIP Margot Adler: 1946 to 2014


Margot-adler-2004Science Fiction and Fantasy fandom just lost a powerful ally: public radio journalist and author Margot Adler.  Adler died of cancer yesterday at the age of 68.

While many might know Adler for her quality coverage of politics and current events, she was also passionate fan of science fiction and fantasy who enjoyed reviewing books and speaking with with authors. Adler did the first American interview with Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, and covered Pottermania and other aspects of “geek culture” for many years. She created  “The Hour of the Wolf“, a radio program highlighting the world of speculative fiction. Adler launched it in 1972, and hosted it herself for several years before turning it over to current host Jim Freund (a delightful and enthusiastic man, himself). The long-running radio program has featured such special guests as Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov, and Ursula K. Le Guin, and is a must-listen for any fan of sci-fi, horror or fantasy.

A Wiccan Priestess, Adler was an influential figure in the pagan religious movement. Her 1979 non-fiction work Drawing Down the Moon, was a seminal work on the growing New Age and pagan religious movements in America, and has is still in print today. She also wrote several other books, including Vampires Are Us, an exploration of our fascination with the legendary creatures.

I read Margot’s Drawing Down the Moon in college, and was very pleased to have gotten a chance to know her a little bit over the net. While I would never presume to call someone I only spoke with via Facebook and email a friend, my interactions with Margot were always a pleasure. She was unassuming, friendly and always up for trading a few messages about fantasy novels, religious movements, and more. She was also a very strong person. She lost her husband during the time we were acquainted, and I admired her ability to press on despite hardship.

I wish that more people knew about her love for fantasy and science fiction. She deserved more recognition than she got, I think. I hope that she’s happy wherever she is. In my mind, I imagine the heavenly Margot with a microphone in hand interviewing all of the great speculative fiction figures that we’ve lost over the years.

Rest in Peace and “Blessed Be”, Margot. We’ll miss you.