Janet Kagan (1946 - 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, including the Hugo Award winner "The Nutcracker Coup".
Works by Janet Kagan provide examples of:
- Cool Old Lady: Mama Jason in Mirabile
- 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.)
- I Know Your True Name: In Hellspark, Yn shamans can do magic on people whose true name they know.
- Instant AI, Just Add Water: Maggie in Hellspark
- Intrepid Merchant: The protagonist, and many of the other Hellsparks, in Hellspark.
- Language of Truth: In Hellspark, it is technically possible to lie in Jenji, but the language is structured to provide as much accuracy and detail as possible, and is backed up by cultural and religious penalties for lying. Several times characters refer to speaking in Jenji as synonymous to telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
- Planet of Hats: Played with in Hellspark, where each of the planetary cultures has a distinctive quirk, but it's not the be-all and end-all of any character's personality.
- Rousseau Was Right
- Starfish Robots: The 'arachne' (multi-legged robot drone) in Hellspark.
- Traumatic Haircut: In "The Nutcracker Coup"
- 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.