Carol Carr (1938-2021)

Writer Carol Carr died September 1 of cancer. She was 82.

Her short story “Look, You Think You’ve Got Troubles,” which first appeared in Damon Knight’s Orbit 5 (1969), has since been reprinted more than a dozen times, including in Jack Dann’s memorable Wandering Stars collection (1974).

Karen Haber said in Introduction to Carol Carr: The Collected Writings (2013), “She’s sold every piece of fiction that she’s written. She’s appeared in the highly respected Omni magazine, scooped up by its fiction editor Ellen Datlow, and twice in Damon Knight’s anthology series, Orbit.”

Carr’s other stories are “Inside” (1970), “Some Are Born Cats” (1973, with Terry Carr), “Wally a Deux” (1973), “Tooth Fairy” (1984), and “First Contact, Sort Of” (1995, with Karen Haber).

She was born Carol Newmark in Brooklyn, NY. For a short time she was married to Jack Stuart. She was married to Terry Carr from 1961 until his death in 1987. She is survived by Robert Lichtman, whom she married in 2000.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.][Update 09/03/2021: Corrected date of death per Robert Lichtman, from date originally announced by Robert Silverback and DisCon III.]

16 thoughts on “Carol Carr (1938-2021)

  1. Sad news, but she did what a writer hopes to do: she wrote good stories and saw them read and admired.
    Seeing her on the subway with Terry and Jock is really a moment of nostalgia for me.

  2. That’s a good summary of the professional side of Carol’s life. But having been married to her for so many years — and a loving couple for many years before that — it only scratches the surface of my amazing wife. I miss her so much; life is definitely going to be different going forward. Fortunately I have the support of many friends and my four sons, and feel blessed.

    By the way, her book, cover above, is still very much available on Amazon. If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend buying a copy (I get no royalties, by the way) and savoring her amazing writing — lots of other content than the stories mentioned above. I say this not as her husband, but as a fan.

    –Robert Lichtman

    (Just noticed: she was actually born in 1938.)

  3. Robert Lichtman: Thanks for the correction — I saw a note that she was 82 but didn’t know her birthday — I played the odds, it being September already.

  4. Oh, I am so sad to hear this. Carol was a delight to be around. She conjured laughter from spare parts. Robert, I am so sorry!
    -Eileen Gunn

  5. I remember enjoying her fanzine writing. In Bill Donaho’s HABBAKUK, I think (a few years before I entered fanzine fandom, but I picked up and read older fanzines whenever I could), and a few others.

  6. Another, smaller correction: She didn’t die on August 31, but correctly at 2 a.m. on September 1st. Thanks for fixing the headline about the year of her birth.

    On Bruce Arthurs’ comment: So far as I can recall, she never appeared in Habakkuk. Her primary contributions were in Lighthouse and Trap Door

  7. Carol Carr was an extraordinar woman whose friendship and encouragement meant so much to my wife and I. She was hilarious company, a talented writer, a fine photographer and an endlessly inspiring correspondent. For me, she was fannish royalty and one of the few people who always made me glad I became a fan.

  8. A lot of her fan writing is in her book of “Collected Writings.” It’s not just her handful of short stories. If you don’t have it, Amazon does.

  9. On your last point, Dan, I could say the same. Now and then I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t discovered fandom at 15. My parents wanted me to become a banker, a concept that made me want to throw up. (I came sorta close 1965-68, when I worked for credit rating agency Dun and Bradstreet as a “credit analyst.”) I didn’t meet my previous wife, the mother of my four sons, via fandom (through Stephen Gaskin’s Monday Night Class, instead, when I was being a semi-hippie living near but not in Haight-Ashbury) — but having them in my life, and so supportive, I count as a happy blessing. Before her, there was Margo Newkom, whose name might be familiar to some of you. She was a “Berkeley fringefan,” and also very funny and smart (and beautiful). We never married, but we had some good years together.

  10. Measured story by story, Carol Carr was my favorite science fiction author.
    I’m glad I once had the chance to tell her that in person.

  11. Terry and Carol used to live just a few blocks away from me, on Pierrepont Street, and I often pass the buildings where they used to live — they moved back to the Bay Area in 1971.

    My very first memory of Brooklyn Heights is from a visit to a party, I think for visiting TAFF winner (and literary agent now) Tom Schluck, in 1966. I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d move here 2 years later.

    I do have a Carol Carr story. I was at a party that Terry and Carol were also at, and I was wearing a tweed jacket, left over from my prep school days, that was apparently much like one that Terry had on. I was about the same height as Terry, and from the back…

    Carol came by and put something in my pocket — then, a few minutes later, came by again, said, “You’re not Terry!” and took it out.

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  13. John Hertz has pointed out to me (but not to you?) that the original date of death shown was provided by “Robert Silverback” and the Discon III committee. Kind of an appropriate mistake.

  14. Robert Lichtman on March 2, 2022 at 12:20 p.m. said:

    Jerry: Hertz may have pointed these things out to me, but he writes letters and I don’t always keep them around — ongoing paper elimination, but not of everything. (Someday I may be able to auction off poctsarcds from Bloch written about Trap Door.) Yesterday marked six months since Carol’s passing, and while I sort of remember “Robert Silverback” I don’t recall the Discon III committee being involved. The original report here on Carol’s death, including the URL, has evolved over the months.

    If you haven’t seen it, check out Karen Haber’s memorial piece about Carol in the October 2021 Locus.

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