Janet Kagan (born Janet Megson, April 18, 1946 – February 29, 2008) was an American science fiction writer. Her works include three books — Hellspark, Mirabile, and the Star Trek Expanded Universe novel Uhura's Song — and a large number of short stories. The short stories include the Hugo Award winner "The Nutcracker Coup", and two stories, "Winging It" and "Fighting Words", set in the Isaac's Universe Shared Universe.
As of May 2016, Hellspark, Mirabile, and a collection of her short stories are available as Baen ebooks.
Works by Janet Kagan with their own pages include:
Other works by Janet Kagan contain examples of:
- Embarrassing First Name: Eben in "Standing in the Spirit". (His mother was a fan of A Christmas Carol, and didn't consider the schoolyard bullying potential.)
- The Exotic Detective: The protagonist of "She Was Blonde, She Was Dead—And Only Jimmilich Opstromommo Could Find Out Why!!!" is an alien sociologist on a study trip of Earth culture, whose penchant for Earth detective fiction leads to one of his human friends asking him to solve a real-life mystery.
- Fake Mystery: In "She Was Blonde, She Was Dead—And Only Jimmilich Opstromommo Could Find Out Why!!!", Jimmilich eventually deduces that the entire mystery was staged by his friend as a way of showing him a good time.
- Most Writers Are Writers:
- In "Standing in the Spirit", one of a series of Christmas stories Kagan wrote for Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, the protagonist is a writer suffering from writer's block while working on the latest in a series of Christmas stories she's written for a magazine.
- The protagonist of "Naked Wish Fulfillment" is a fantasy writer (though in the story, as the result of a dare, she's moonlighting as a scenarist for a porn movie).
- Traumatic Haircut: In "The Nutcracker Coup"
- Unusual Pop Culture Name: Eben in "Standing in the Spirit"; his mother was a fan of A Christmas Carol, and his full first name is Ebenezer.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: "Standing in the Spirit" is about a Dickens fan regaining her Christmas spirit with some supernatural intervention. It's a lot more creative than the usual 'you will be visited by three spirits' retread, though.