If you were a geek, a nerd, or a dork growing up in the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s, chances are you read rather a lot of our much-beloved Science-Fiction/Fantasy genre. (If you’re a geek, a nerd, or a dork growing up now, I certainly hope that’s still the case.) If you were anything like me, in fact, you probably voraciously read every book your school and public library had that looked even remotely like it might fit the SFF niche, and then re-read them until new ones came in. And if your library was anything like my library, that meant you read a lot of Tanith Lee.
Whether it was the twisted retellings of fairy tales in the collection Red as Blood, or the eminently relatable journey of Tanaquil the tinkerer in The Unicorn Series, Lee’s darkly poetic style never failed to draw me in and pull me dizzily through a kaleidoscope of worlds. Lee used her own experiences as an outsider to inform her characters, and her love of the dark and the weird to shape her worlds.
Lee was first published in 1968 and continued writing and publishing works up through 2015. In the 49 years that spanned her professional writing career, she published over 90 novels, 300 short stories, various poems and two episodes of the BBC sci-fi series, Blake’s 7. She was nominated time and again for both World Fantasy Awards and British Fantasy Awards, won awards for her works The Gorgon, Elle Est Trois, (La Mort), and Death’s Master, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
Her words helped to shape generations of geeks. We are who we are today because of people like her, people who gave us worlds to live in when our own didn’t quite seem to fit. People who gave voice to the dreams lying dormant inside of us.
Rest in peace Tanith Lee, and may your stories live on.
“Though we come and go, and pass into the shadows, where we leave
behind us stories told – on paper, on the wings of butterflies, on the
wind, on the hearts of others – there we are remembered, there we work
magic and great change – passing on the fire like a torch – forever
and forever. Till the sky falls, and all things are flawless and need
no words at all.”
Sept 19, 1947 – May 24, 2015
More like this!
Also, she is not always blue.
Latest posts by Lesley Beckmann (see all)
- Taking a Look at a Popular Beauty and the Beast Fan Theory - March 24, 2017
- Supergirl 1.14 “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” - February 22, 2016
- Tanith Lee Passes - May 26, 2015