“Gothic poetess, comic young-adult author, robust adventure-fantasy novelist: Tanith Lee has more writing personas than Sybil. But in her short fiction, all these aspects come gloriously together. Such stories as ‘Antonius Bequeathed’ or ‘The Persecution Machine,’ with their death-defying mixture of prose poetry, genre trope reversals and ominous wit, could be written by no one else.”–from my tribute in Weird Tales.
I just learned that Tanith Lee passed away on Sunday.
I first encountered her writing in 1986, with the novel Delirium’s Mistress and the short story collection, Dreams of Dark and Light. Her poetic prose and soaring imagination astounded me. She was a versatile storyteller who wrote in many different modes. She published children’s and young adult, mystery, horror, science fiction, historical and fantasy.
I got in contact with her when she published Fatal Women, her collection of dark magical realist tales of lesbian fiction she channelled as Esther Garber. I met her shortly after in London during a con. We kept in touch via email and the occasional surprise snail-mail post. I had the honor of working on Disturbed By Her Song, a second collection of channelled fiction, which included work by Esther’s half-brother, Judas.
I will miss her fiction, and her lovely correspondence.
I am keeping her husband, John Kaiine, in my thoughts.