Rebecca Ore was born in Louisville, KY, out of people from Kentucky and Virginia, Irish Catholic and French Protestant turned Southern Baptist on her mother’s side and Welsh and Borderer on her father’s. She grew up in South Carolina and fell in love with New York City from a distance, moved there in 1968 and lived on the Upper West Side and Lower East Side for seven years. Somehow, she also attended Columbia University School of General Studies while spending most of her energy in the St. Mark Poetry Project.
In 1975, she moved to San Francisco for almost a year, then moved to Virginia, back and forth several places for several years, finished a Masters in English, then moved to rural Virginia for ten years, writing s.f. novels and living in her grandparent’s house after they died. She’s now owner of a small house in Philadelphia with a walled garden, one wall stone and brick, one wall stone against a hill, and the west wall not there as the neighbor and she share the space.
Rebecca owns a Border Terrier named Kit and grows roses and hostas. She’s currently an academic gypsy and has been variously an editorial assistant for the Science Fiction Book Club, a reporter/photographer for the Patrick County Enterprise, and an assistant landscape gardener. She has just had a gun put to her head to finish a work of fiction that’s five or six years overdue.
She writes about Alien Bootlegger:
“Alien Bootlegger” comes from driving around the mountains of southwestern Virginia, south of Roanoke, and being in hardware stores when men walked out with lengths of copper pipe that wasn’t for traditional indoor plumbing. I had a tremendous sense of being the right witness for the region as it was—the mix of high tech with the old businesses: cockfighting arenas with bleacher seats, stills in the backs of pickups run by propane, the lore of how to find safe good moonshine. Tourists looking for illegal liquor drove the prices up, people complained. Someone in Franklin County was selling teeshirts with “Franklin County, Moonshine Capital of the United States.” One of my uncle’s tenants raised fighting chickens and sold a pair of used gaffs to a science fiction writer in Philadelphia, a sale I brokered.
Originally, Alien Bootlegger was supposed to be one of the Tor Doubles, but that series folded before it could be published. My editor at Tor asked me to make some changes in it. I didn’t pick up the hint that I was supposed to expand it into a novel and shortened it a bit. Tor paid me a bit more and put out a short story collection in hardcover, Alien Bootlegger and Other Stories, with a wonderful Wayne Barlowe cover.
When the book came out, I did the usual painful signing at local bookstores. A man in casual dress with a thin gold chain around his neck came up to the table at some mall store in Montgomery County, looked at the title and looked at me with a “you can’t possibly know anything about it” look on his face. I looked back at him with “you think not. I made you” look on mine.
After a while, I figured I’d done what I could about the region and needed to remap my visual centers with urban scenes and Paul Klee at the Pennsylvania Academia, but I have a tremendous nostalgia for having that nostalgia for that present.
For the list of her works, click here.
Rebecca now lives and works in Virginia, near Washington, DC. Kit’s still with her.