Carol Severance (1944-2015)

Carol Severance, whose Reefsong won the 1992 Compton Crook Award for best first novel, passed away February 19 at the age of 71.

Her friend and colleague Linda Nagata, another Hawaiian writer, has written a fine tribute for the SFWA Blog:

Reefsong had wide-ranging appeal and for many years afterward its adventurous plot and islander theme made it popular in Hawaii’s middle schools and high schools. My daughter read it many times over; it was one of her favorite books growing up. Reefsong is a novel that should not be forgotten, especially in Hawaii. It’s presently available as an ebook, and I hope that many more people are able to discover it that way.

At the start of her career Severance had short stories published in several anthologies edited by Andre Norton, “Isle of Illusion” in Tales of the Witch World (1987), “Day of Strange Fortune” in Magic in Ithkar 4 (1987), and “Whispering Cane” in Tales of the Witch World 3 (1990), as well as “Shark Killer” in Susanna J. Sturgis’ The Women Who Walk Through Fire: Women’s Fantasy & Science Fiction Vol. 2 (1988).

Then her first novel Reefsong appeared in 1991, followed by three novels that formed the Island Warrior trilogy: Demon Drums (1992), Storm Caller (1993), and Sorcerous Sea (1993).

At other times Severance worked as an inside page editor and feature writer for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and as a Volcano Art Center artist. She is survived by husband Craig, daughter Linina Pfeffer, son Maui, and two grandchildren.