Leslie Fish is a filk musician, author, and anarchist political activist.


Along with The DeHorn Crew, she created the first commercial filk recording (Folk Songs for Folk Who Ain't Even Been Yet, 1976). Her second recording, Solar Sailors (1977) included the song "Banned From Argo", a comic song which has since spawned over 80 variants and parodies. These two albums (originally vinyl) have recently been put back into print on joint CD, entitled Folk Songs for Solar Sailors. She has also recorded the comic song "Carmen Miranda's Ghost", which was the source for the book Carmen Miranda's Ghost Is Haunting Space Station Three, edited by Don Sakers. Her song "Hope Eyrie" is regarded by some as being as close to the national anthem of science fiction fandom as is possible in such a disparate group.

Fish often weaves pagan and anarchist themes into her music. She has also set to music many poems by Rudyard Kipling. She is a popular guest at science fiction conventions, and she can often be seen at the large filksings with her distinctive 12-string guitar, 'Monster', who Leslie says plays best when given good scotch whiskey.


She sings (and makes several appearances) in the film Finding the Future: A Science Fiction Conversation[1][2][3], which makes extensive use of her music.

Fish stars in the fantasy/comedy film Officequest which is in production and scheduled to be released in November of 2007.

Political activism

Fish has been involved with numerous political causes, most notably anti-war activism during the Vietnam War, and is a long time member of the Industrial Workers of the World, a fact referred to in several of her songs (e.g., "Wobblies From Space", "Leslie's Filks"). She is also well known as a gun-rights activist (allegedly going so far as to smuggle firearms at times), and has asserted that private gun ownership is the only true protection of individual freedom (a topic touched on in several of her songs). Because of her distrust of the stability of modern society, she has in the past worked to organize groups for carrying on civilization after what she (at one time at least) considered the imminent collapse of the current society. Her album Firestorm was in large part meant as a set of instructions for surviving a nuclear war, on the reasoning that it would be easier to recall them if they were in lyric form.

Other activities

In addition to her work as a filk artist, Fish is also well-known within the Star Trek fan community for her works of fan fiction, which include one of the first Kirk/Spock stories ever published ("Shelter", 1976) and the fan-published Star Trek novel The Weight. She has also written original novels and short stories, both alone and in collaboration with C. J. Cherryh and others.

She is an avid roleplaying gamer, especially in regard to LARPing. She has also been a member in the SCA since the 1970s. In recent years, she has been the driving force behind in the establishment of Fan Haven, a 230 acre private park in Arizona meant to serve as a safe space for LARPers, pagans, naturists, SCAdians, and other marginalized groups associated with fandom.

While Fish rarely discusses her private life, she had been in a romantic relationship with anarchist political activist Mary Frohman in the 1970s. She has often asserted that bisexuality is the human norm, and that the pervasive sexual repression she sees in current society causes many of the current social ills. She briefly worked as a dominatrix in San Francisco during the 1970s, and has since been (at times) a defender of the rights of sex workers.

One of Fish's more unusual personal projects is an on-going attempt to breed domestic cats for intelligence and other traits, including polydactyly. She claims that her cats are about as intelligent as a six-year-old human child, except in regards to symbolic language.


  • Minus Ten and Counting (contributor)
  • Cold Iron
  • Chickasaw Mountain
  • Firestorm: Songs of the Third World War, 1989
  • Folk Songs For Folk Who Ain't Even Been Yet, 1976 (with DeHorn)
  • Our Fathers of Old (with Joe Bethancourt)
  • Serious Steel (with Joe Bethancourt)
  • Skybound
  • Smoked Fish And Friends, 1996 (with many others)
  • Solar Sailors, 1977 (with DeHorn)
  • Not Canned or Frozen, 1996


  • A Dirge for Sabis (with C. J. Cherryh), collected in The Sword of Knowledge trilogy

Short Stories

The following short stories were produced as part of the Merovingen Nights series of science fiction books. The series was edited by C. J. Cherryh.

  • First Night Cruise in Festival Moon
  • Guardian in Festival Moon
  • War of the Unseen Worlds in Fever Season
  • Treading The Maze in Troubled Waters
  • Fair Game in Smuggler’s Gold
  • Run Silent, Run Cheap in Divine Right
  • Walking on the Waves in Flood Tide

Pegasus Awards

The Pegasus Awards are the most prestigious award in filk fandom. Leslie Fish has won the following Pegasus awards:

  • 1984 - Best Original Filk Song - "Hope Eyrie"
  • 1986 - Best Original Filk Song - "Witnesses' Waltz"
  • 1986 - Best Female Filker
  • 1987 - Best Writer/Composer
  • 1989 - Best Fantasy Song - "Wind's Four Quarters" (with Mercedes Lackey)
  • 1999 - Best Hero Song - "A Toast For Unknown Heroes"
  • 2002 - Best Song That Tells A Story - "Horsetamer's Daughter"
  • 2003 - Best Classic Filk Song - "Banned From Argo"
  • 2005 - Best Space Opera Song - "Signy Mallory" (with Mercedes Lackey)
  • 2005 - Best Sword & Sorcery Song - "Threes" (with Mercedes Lackey)

External links

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