Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Friday, April 11, 2014

L is for Lee, Tanith

I like my name. "Katherine" is a great name. It pairs well with almost any last name and it's been pretty popular throughout history. But the first thing I thought when I encountered Tanith Lee's writing was that she had one one of the great writer names. How cool is the name "Tanith?" Who wouldn't want to be named after a sky goddess? According to Wikipedia, Tanith has written 90 novels and more than 300 short stories. I found her about midway in her career, and was just stunned by the many different kinds of fantasy she wrote. The first book I read was her novella, To Kill the Dead, which came in a double-book from the Science Fiction and Fantasy book club. (I loved all those mail order book clubs, especially with the "get ten books for a dollar" come-ons.)

To Kill the Dead was my gateway drug to the Lee's work and over the next year or so, I read pretty much every book she'd written. Then I started tracking down the short stories. When Joy Sillesen, Joanne Renaud, and I started Dark Valentine Magazine, Tanith was one of our inspirations and the first issue featured an illustration of her namesake goddess. 

I love Tanith's gorgeous writing style which in other hands could have been just so much purple prose. I love some of her titles--Drinking Sapphire Wine is a particular favorite. I don't remember the plot of that book now, but I do love the title. And a lot of her covers are gorgeous. The book that I've most often wanted to see turned into a movie is her book The Silver Metal Lover. It was YA before YA was really a "thing.' And what most fans of the book may not know is that there's a sequel to it. If you're a fan of dystopian futures and star-crossed lovers, check it out.

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