No, not Tanith!


Sad news: Tanith Lee has died. I first discovered her when I was in college, and was a bit of a fanatic — tasty dark fantasy written in lovely prose. When I get home I’ll have to find my Lee collection and reread a few…unless my wicked daughter has stolen them all. She might have.


  1. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of Tanith Lee. It’s possible I’ve read a book or two but didn’t latch on to the author’s name, but really, TL isn’t ringing any bells at all. I’ll have to check her out when I have some time.

  2. Al Dente says

    Now I’ll have to reread the Flat Earth books and Drinking Sapphire Wine and the Birthgrave Trilogy and The Secret Books of Paradys.

  3. duncanbooth says

    I haven’t read very many of her books, but I remember when I met her she said how much she liked my accent. Sad she’s gone.

  4. says

    What is your favorite book or short story collection, PZ. If I am going to read Tanith Lee’s work, where should I start?

  5. says

    Lynna @5: If you’re in the U.S., Red as Blood is your best entry point of the current, limited Kindle listings. There’s so much to chose from, though. It’s hard to go wrong with her old Tales from Flat Earth series (starts with Night’s Master), if it’s in a format you enjoy.

    You can also find short stories available online here, if you want a taste before buying something. I recommend “The Gorgon” as a good sample.

  6. Skatje Myers says

    I can’t find Red As Blood, so I probably didn’t steal that one! I think all the others I have I’ve collected from used book stores.

  7. says

    When i was in Melbourne, staying with a friend i met her. That friend of mine.. was a friend of hers and we went to her house. Her arm was broken at that moment and she was trying to paint one of the walls of her house.
    I will never forget that.
    Oddly enough i have never read any of her books.

  8. yazikus says

    I read Biting the Sun when I was 12 and I credit it for putting me on a radically different path than I might have gone. It changed my ideas about what people are, what gender is, what society is and basically blew my mind.

  9. Lady Mondegreen says

    I learned of her from horror anthologies. Love When the Clock Strikes (her retelling of Cinderella.) Time to read Red as Blood, or, Tales From the Sisters Grimmer.

    Sad news.

  10. Alverant says

    Is the audio book version of her Flat Earth series any good (as in well narrated)?

  11. llewelly says

    Here is a project: Compare Tanith Lee’s Flat Earth series with Discworld … he he he.

  12. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    I have never heard of Tanith Lee, but “dark fantasy” sounds right up my street. I’ll have to give the Tales of a Flat Earth series a go.

  13. call me mark says

    She wrote a couple of the more thoughtful episodes of Blake’s 7 too.

  14. says

    I really liked Night’s Master, Death’s Master, and Delusion’s Master — tales about demons.

    I can compare them to Discworld: the Flat Earth is not funny at all. But Discworld isn’t dark, with erotic undercurrents.

  15. ottomarxhausen says

    No! It’s so weird that this is the first place I heard about it. I was basically in love with her all through high school. She was prolific and entrancing. I still sometimes get stuck in my head a phrase from her books of Pardys: “Penguin gin, Penguin gin, drink it up, it’ll do you in.”

    She was also younger than either of my parents, which is terrifying on a whole different level.

  16. Rich Woods says

    @call me mark #15:

    She wrote a couple of the more thoughtful episodes of Blake’s 7 too.

    Indeed. The one I remember was where Cally got taken over by an alien and her telepathic powers were boosted with the alien’s telekinesis. Blake’s 7 was always said to have incorporated long dialogue rather than plenty of action scenes because the BBC budget couldn’t be stretched to too many special effects, so Lee nicely wrote a way to talk down the possessed Cally.

    I watched Blake’s 7 when it was first broadcast when I was a teenager, and then again 15 years ago when I got cable. I’m going to have to go download that episode now, rather than just relying on memory and a few web sites…

  17. favog says

    I’ve read a few of her stories here and there, and have always thought, “Man, this lady is great, I really need to read more of her stuff” … and then not gotten around to it. It really is time to stop that procrastination.

  18. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    The Flat Earth series is not available as a kindle e-book, and a new paperback is like 50 quid on Amazon *grumble*