Continuation of a list compiled from posts on the alt.fan.pratchett [What?] newsgroup in answer to a challenge to name great women authors of fantasy and science fiction.
All links current as of January 17, 2002
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Sorcha: Funny, I was about to suggest 'Power of Three' in relation to fantasy books with an English folklore background (ref. Susan Cooper and Alan Garner). I find the idea of using local folklore and superstitions in fantasy very refreshing. Especially when confronted with reams of 'high' fantasy sagas with elves and dwarfs cavorting around with enchanted swords and wizards who speakest like this and doth fling fireballs at every possible opportunity. I think the phrase 'sub-Tolkienesque' has been often used in this context. Which is pretty damn ironic, when you consider Tolkien was trying to create an alternate mythology with numerous old English elements.
Morgan Lewis: Very good, well-developed characters of both sexes, and an interesting storyline.
Sorcha: Speaking of 'Celts in Space' ... has anyone read anything by Patricia Kenneally? Now there would be an interesting subject for pseudo-psychological analysis if ever I saw one. I've only read the first two (The Copper Crown and the Silver Branch) but they are surprisingly good. I did find the characterisation of Aeron and Gwydion a bit suspect though, and stretched the 'write about what you know' thing a bit tooo far.
Like C.S. Lewis, her books may be most enjoyed by those who share the Christianity meme, but I do know non-Christians who also enjoy them.
Stephen Booth: Some of her stuff can be a bit off but most of the rest is excellent. She's also very good at collaberations and at adjusting her style to fit another authors readership ('If I pay thee not in silver' which she wrote from a summary from Piers Anthony reads like Anthony at his best with enough Misty to be better, similarly for her collaborations with Anne McCaffrey).
Hugh Sider: "Wizard of the Pigeons" is a classic fantasy novel set in 1970s America. I first read this book many years ago; images from it stuck with me for decades. This is a must read novel, even for those who don't normally read fantasy.
This book is popular here in Seattle (the novel's locale), even among those who don't read fantasy.
Melusine: The Tombs of Atuan: Dunno about the rest of the female AFPers, but this was a novel I didn't dare re-read for a few years. Had a major impact on me and I was terrified that re-reading would kill that for me. Basically created a female character that every female reader could identify with - she has to make decisions that affect her life. Tellingly, I and all my friends read her at points in our lives where everything was changing. See also Tehanu. The two best books in the Earthsea Quartet, which is a pretty good series in itself.
Irina: _Tehanu_. I *hate* it. I wish I'd never read it, because it spoiled all the rest for me because it *explained* everything in tedious detail, and it was so full of meaning that the meaning overshadowed the story. I think that Ursula LeGuin has developed her personal opinions and beliefs to the point that she can write *nothing* that isn't dripping with them; _Always Coming Home_ is another example, though not such an irritating one.
Miq: 'Always Coming Home' did irritate me considerably. If you want to learn about human nature, there are various ways of doing it; one of these would be to study the anthropology of a real group of people. But to make up such a group, and write about their society, tells us nothing at all about people, and everything about the author's prejudices.
Paul E. Jamison, Esq.: ... she threatens to transcend fantasy authorship to achieve actual Literature. Possibly one of the best genre craftsmen around.
Sorcha: That would be the Pliocene Exile then. I'd put them someplace in between fantasy and space opera, but they're certainly a lot of fun. And have a very well thought out take on Celtic mythology to boot. She really got into her stride with the Milieu Trilogy, though. They (and 'Intervention', the book in between) go into the events in the 20th (and into the 21st) century that formed the backdrop to the Pliocene ones.
Anitra: May was also the author of "Dune Roller", a classic novelette that I read in my Dad's old pulp mags way-back-when.
There are few online sources for this major figure in the history of sf. I'm still looking.
The description of Greenwar was intriguing. ("Tom Clancy meets Greenpeace.") The customer reviews at Amazon are mixed -- one thought it was rather boring, the other said "good book--read it soon!" The one phrase that hooked me was "lots of character development motivated by ethical conflict." I'm a sucker for that stuff. It's going on my TBR list.
Elizabeth Moon's military background add detail to both her fantasy and sf.
1981 World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
The subject of Andre Norton came up on an sf books discussion list when she won the 1998 World Fantasy Convention Life Achievement Award. The initial post was something to the effect of "How could they possibly call all that twaddle an *achievement*?" However, Andre Norton was a major part of my growing up. This may be considered as a further argument to her detriment, if you are so inclined, but I'm obviously going to disagree with that. :) Andre Norton had a lot of influence on many young readers who went on to read many bigger things. I wouldn't be at all unhappy about leaving that kind of heritage.
September 25, 1999
Updated: December 8, 2002