Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tanith Lee

Tanith Lee has always been one of my favorite writers. Her worlds are strange, fantastical, and disturbing, as are the scenes she writes--a woman in an alternate Renaissance is killed by a flamingo; Snow White falls in love with a beautiful dwarf; a family of vampires exists like the mob in modern England. Her heroines seem to be victims until they discover a goddess-like power within. Her heroes are as striking and unsettling as dark gods, yet are still fallible and human. Love is an ancient, erotic power. Her universes are gorgeous nightmares, even when set in reality (When the Lights Go Out), the Victorian era (Reigning Cats and Dogs, Elephantasm), strange futures (The Silver Metal Lover, Eva Fairdeath), or other worlds like something out of a glittering and grotesque Mesopotamian mythology (The Flat Earth series, Anackire). Her Secret Books of Paradys might as well take place in some elegant hell, the characters poets and artists and criminals. In her hands, vampires and werewolves become bizarre, seductive, and truly terrifying (Heart-Beast, Personal Darkness, Lycanthia, Red as Blood). She even manages to make robots and Romeo and Juliet her own (The Silver Metal Lover, Sung in Shadow). As for her antagonists, they are as perverse and glamorous as devils, yet still manage to remain human.

Other books by Tanith Lee: The Heroine of the World
                                           Mortal Suns
                                           The Blood of Roses
                                           Sometimes, After Sunset
                                           A Bed of Earth
                                           White as Snow
                                           The Secret Books of Venus

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