British writer Tanith Lee passed away on Sunday May 24th, aged 67.
Lee was the author of over 90 books and 300 short stories, as well as four BBC Radio plays, and two highly-regarded episodes of the BBC’s SF series Blake’s 7 (Sand and Sarcophagus). She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton in 2013 and the Horror Writers Lifetime Achievement Award this year, which joined her British Fantasy Award from 1980 for Death’s Master, and her World Fantasy Award for her short story “The Gorgon”.
I was very sorry to hear this since Lee’s The Secret Books of Paradys and The Secret Books of Venus are two of my favorite fantasy series. I’ve been re-reading them over the last month or so, and it’s sad to know that she won’t be writing any more.
Like many a British writer before her, she loved Italy and her love for the country shone through in her writing. Based on her books, Venice must have struck her in much the same way it struck me, a dark, watery, and mysterious place of beautiful decay.
If you haven’t read her, you really should. If you like Poe, you will enjoy her work.