Tannith Lee

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Wed Mar 6 07:25:53 EST 2002

>>>I have a strange relationship with Tanith Lee's books.  Some of them I
>>>really, really love.  But an awful lot are just not my scene at all.<<
> Hardly surprising. Taneth Lee has chiefly made her name writing what can
> only be called horror -- even if it generally IS marketed as fantasy.
> Deffinitely not everyone's bag.

Good.  I'm glad someone agrees with me on that point :-)

> But she has written straight fantasy as well. Particularly early in her
> career. And every once and a while she goes back to it.

>>>But three of her adult books stand out as books I would strongly recommend
>>>to anyone:
>>>The Silver Metal Lover

One of her (fairly) recent returns to straight fantasy.  In some sense, urban
fantasy (allowing for the fact that this list can't agree on the definition of
urban fantasy :-) )

>>>When the Lights Go Out
>>>Drinking Sapphire Wine<<
> Sapphire Wine is the second book of a pair. The first of the set is Don't
> Bite the Sun. Same world, a lot of the same characters. SF book club as an
> edition which includes both of them in one volume. In print now, I'm pretty
> sure.

Sorry, I didn't make that clear.  I meant the combined book - my copy has on the
cover "Drinking Saphire Wine (including Don't Bite the Sun)"

> I'm not familiar with When the Lights Go Out, but Electric Forest was one of

Electric Forest is the most recent of hers that I've read.  She seems to have
taken a literary device, "Characters are not who you think they are" (is there a
technical name for this?) and extrapolated it.  Good, but wouldn't have turned
me into a fan had I met it first.

> my keepers, and Silver Metal Lover has what amounts to a cult following. I

Hmm.  I'm certainly in the following, not sure about the cult :-)  My musical
settings of the two songs whose words appear entire in the book are in print,
but no real recording yet.  (Recordings of under-rehearsed amateur performances
do exist, but I'm not sure if I even got copies of both of them.  I shall have
to do some digging...)

> had a certain facination with Day by Night when it came out, but didn't keep
> a copy, and her collection of retold failry tales (Red as Blood) impresses
> the hell out of me.

I've not met either of those.  There are some retold fairy tales in Forests of
the Night (including, if I'm not confusing two stories, a take on Little Red
Riding Hood called, istr, Red as Blood) which I do have.  And enjoy.

> BTW, I believe that The Dragon Hoard was Lee's first novel.

It may well have been her first published novel, but I think her first novel was
Eva Fairdeath.  Published a few years ago with not much revision, if I read the
author's note aright.  Too close to Horror for my taste, I'm afraid.

But I really must seek out a copy of Dragon Hoard...


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