Night’s daughter: Tanith Lee, 1947 – 2015
British sf and fantasy writer Tanith Lee has died, her family reports, at age 67. First starting as a children’s author, she came to early prominence with her first sf/fantasy (accounts and opinions vary), The Birthgrave, in 1975. She continued to mix and mingle the speculative genres, producing works that were often Biblical in their prose cadences and imagery, even as she re-imagined classical myth and history and drama (particularly Shakespeare, in her alternate Romeo and Juliet, Sung in Shadow).
Of all of her wondrous sf and fantasy, I sometimes like to recommend one of her lesser renowned works, Volkhavaar, a slender 1977 fantasy that would likely come out as “paranormal romance” these days. But it captures her amazing ability to work with the foundations of myth and faith, and it includes a captivating piece of post-modern sorcery, wherein a sword is deconstructed magically and a killing undone.
“For day follows night, night day; then comes day again. The apples ripen, the apples fall, the birds peck them, seeds drop from their beaks — and somewhere new apple trees begin to grow. That is how it is, a circle, a ring. And the world turns.”