Lettie Prell discovered science fiction alphabetically. In her high school library in tiny Durand, Illinois (population 1,400), fiction and literature were arranged by the author’s name, regardless of genre, and somewhere between Maya Angelou and Jane Austen there was this guy named Asimov. “I was pursuing the As,” she says, “and found the Foundation trilogy.”
“B” brought her to Bradbury, and further progress uncovered Heinlein, Herbert, and more. “I ended up reading all of the science fiction my library had to offer,” she says.
She went to college at Drake University, in her present hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, where she majored in public administration— “something practical,” as she now describes it. “But every elective I took had to do with literature or writing.”
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