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Marta Randall papers

Identifier: Coll 476

Scope and Contents

The papers of Marta Randall, Nebula-nominated science fiction author, are primarily comprised of manuscripts for her novels, short fiction, and non-fiction, and include associated correspondence, research materials and notes, publicity materials, and financial records.

Series I, Representation, is primarily comprised of correspondence between Ms. Randall and her agent, Richard Curtis, regarding her work currently in print, in-progress projects, and finding publishers for her work. The financial papers in this series are primarily royalty statements.

Series II, Book Proposals, documents Ms. Randall's proposal to add two works - Mish, and Santa Theresa - to the existing Kennerin Saga, which then included Journey and Dangerous Games. Included in the single file is correspondence, information about the planet of Santa Theresa as presented in Dangerous Games, and portions of the manuscript for Cherek/The Sword of Winter. The proposed novel, Mish, is mentioned only in the correspondence.

The Anthology series, Series III, includes biographies for authors to be included in New Dimensions 11, 12, and 13; correspondence between Marta, the authors, and Robert Silverberg; contracts signed by the anthology authors and Marta Randall; and copies of the manuscripts, annotated with stylistic edits.

Series IV, Novels, contains correspondence, research notes and story outlines, publicity and financial materials, and edited manuscripts for Ms. Randall's novels. The correspondence is primarily between Ms. Randall and her agent, editors, and publishers. Financial materials are primarily comprised of contracts and royalty statements. It should be noted that Dangerous Games appears in the collection twice; it was first published as a novella in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in April of 1980 (and subsequently was nominated for a Nebula award). The novella was later expanded to a full-length novel, and published later that same year.

The Short Fiction series and the Non-Fiction Series - Series V and Series VI, respectively - are comprised of similar material as Series IV, and include correspondence, research notes and story outlines, publicity and financial materials, and edited manuscripts for Ms. Randall's short stories and non-fiction works. The John F. Kennedy biography in the Non-Fiction series was published in Demco Media's World Leaders: Past and Present series. The non-fiction piece, Conquering the Universe for Fun and Profit, was published by the Feminist Writers Press in the anthology, Words in Our Pockets. Sugarfang, which was written for the San Francisco Bay Guardian in the late 1970's, considers the implications of the presentations of evil in contemporary TV and cinema.

Series VII contains a single item, a Clackamas County (Oregon) surveyor's map. The map is not annotated, and is undated. The Audio-visual Materials series, Series VIII, also contains a single item: an Audio Saga reading Randall did of her short story, Secret Rider.


  • 1973-1988


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time. Collection includes sound recordings, moving images, and digital files to which access is restricted. Access to these materials is governed by repository policy and may require the production of listening or viewing copies. Researchers requiring access must notify Special Collections and University Archives in advance and pay fees for reproduction services as necessary.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Marta Randall (1948– ) was born in Mexico City, Mexico April 26, 1948 to Richard Baleme Randall and Nelly Amador Spat. At the age of two, her family moved to Berkeley, California, where she and her two siblings, Richard and Margaret, spent the rest of their childhoods. During high school she worked in a used book store; after graduating high school, she worked for the Pacific Bell Telephone Company, before teaching drama in Hilo, Hawaii for a summer. She then returned to Berkeley, where she married Robert Bergstresser. She attended San Francisco State College between 1966 and 1970, and volunteered as an Announcer and Production Engineer for KPFA (Pacifica Radio). She later worked as a legal assistant and paralegal for Harris Zimmerman, a patent attorney in Oakland, California (1968-1984, 1990-2008) and as a paralegal specializing in Federal trademark law for Carle Mackie Power & Ross, a law firm in Santa Rosa, California (2008-2013).

Her first story, Smack Run, appeared in New Worlds 5 (1973), an anthology edited by Michael Moorcock, and was published under her then-married name, Marta Bergstresser. Randall's first novel, Islands (1976) was nominated for the Nebula Award in 1976. A novella, Dangerous Games, was nominated for a Nebula Award in 1980. With Robert Silverberg, Randall edited two volumes of the New Dimensions anthology series, New Dimensions 11 (1980) and New Dimensions 12 (1981), and was responsible for the anthology Nebula Awards 19 (1984). From 1981 through 1984, she served first as Vice-President (1981-1982) and later the first female President (1982-1984) of the Science Fiction Writers of America. Her latest novel to date, Growing Light (1993) was published under the pseudonym Martha Conley. She continues to publish short stories in periodicals such as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Lightspeed Magazine.

In addition to her own writing, Randall has taught science fiction writing at the Clarion East and Clarion West writing workshops, the University of California Berkeley extension, Portland State University, and at private workshops. She created and taught a course entitled Science Fiction Writing for the Gotham Writers Workshop, and a Start Writing Science Fiction course for Barnes & Nobel University. Between 1984 and 1990, Randall was employed as a freelance writer for Pacificon of San Francisco, California, where she worked to develop an interactive software game under a grant from the California Department of Mental Health. She received a Paralegal Certificate from Sonoma State University in 1997.

Randall has a son, Richard K. Bergstresser, from her first marriage, and a daughter, Caitlin E. Conley, from her second marriage to Christopher E. Conley.


5.5 linear feet (11 containers)


The papers of Marta Randall, Nebula-nominted science fiction author, are primarily comprised of manuscripts for her novels, short fiction, and non-fiction and include associated correspondence, publicity materials, and financial records.


Collection is organized into the following series:

Series I: Representation Series II: Book Proposals Series III: Anthologies Series IV: Novels Series V: Short Fiction Series VI: Non-fiction Series VII: Miscellany Series VIII: Audio-visual Materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Marta Randall, 1988.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Rachel Lilley.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.


Guide to the Marta Randall papers
Complete Description
Rachel Lilley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA