Sad news for the Appendix N community as Karen Anderson passed away yesterday. Karen Anderson, was perhaps most widely known for her collaborations with her husband Poul Anderson, and also as the mother in law to author Greg Bear.

Anderson has the distinction of being the first author to use the term “filk” in print, as well as the first published science fiction haiku. She was a student of Philology (the study of language in oral and written historical sources) and had founded her own Holmesian group, the “Red Circle Society”.

Karen married Poul Anderson in 1953 and moved with him to the San Francisco Bay area. Their daughter Astrid was born the following year (Astrid married author Greg Bear in 1983). At the time of Poul Anderson’s passing in 2001, she and Poul were living in Orinda, California.

News of her passing was announced via the Poul Anderson Facebook Page

“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Poul’s widow, Karen Anderson. It was a peaceful and unexpected passing — she died in her bed and was found by the Sunday visiting nurse. Memorial gathering plans to be announced later, but in the meantime, raise a glass to the memory of a fine woman. If you are moved to make a donation, please consider the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund or the UCLA Medical School.

This picture dates from the mid-1950s, probably not long after they were married. Photographer unknown.”