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Other Authors?

Does anyone have an author to recommend to someone who likes McKinley? I think some fantasy authors' books for children fall into this category. Maybe Tanith Lee's book Black Unicorn, or some of Jane Yolen's books for kids, or Barbara Cohen's Unicorns in the Rain, or Patricia McKillip's Forgotten Beasts of Eld, or even Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain (sp?), and, of course, C.S. Lewis' Narnia books. Email me if you have a suggestion. Or post? It's so hard to find the pearls in the slop, so maybe we with similar tastes could help each other out.

From: Amanda Eason
Monday, October 14, 1996 at 22:06:29 (EDT)

re:Other Authors

Tough questions. Few authors can retell or invention new fairy tales well. Most just go for satire or parody of the genre. Try Sharon Shin's two novels. She's new and should be easy to find. Diana Wynne Jones Dalemark quartet has been reprinted, I haven't read the last volume (it's hardcover, and I'm feeling cheap), but I do recommend "Spellcoats." Esther Friesner (yes, I know one) early series "Tales of the Seven Kingdoms" (I think) is good, but have fun finding it. Someone who's good, but hard to find is Meredith Ann Pierce. She's written six books, I think. The Darkangel trilogy was available through the Sci-Fic Book Club. If you want to actually see fairy tales, then try Japanese anime. Some recommendations are: Vampire Princess Miyu- get both volumes and watch. Dark tone, creepy story, but good use of Japanese mythology Mermaid's Forest & Mermaid's Scar- more violent, but still a lovely story Ninja Scroll-extremely violent, believe me. Still the love story is beautiful. Sad, but beautiful. Doomed Megapolis (sp)-just as violent, maybe more disturbing. Be careful if you decided to watch anime. Most anime is US has a lot of T&A (different nudity taboos), add that to being as violent, sterotypical and misogynicist. but some is worth the price. I know this is more then was asked for, but why not?

From: Meredith
Tuesday, December 03, 1996 at 09:46:29 (EST)

Re: Other authors

Other favourite authors of mine include Patricia Wrede, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough and Anne Logston. They all tend to write stories with strong female leading characters.

From: Raees Zafar
Saturday, December 07, 1996 at 13:00:45 (EST)


has anyone read any of peter dickinson's (robin's husband's) books? - would someone who loves robin's books enjoy his? not that i want this to turn into people magazine, but does anyone know any juicy tidbits about him? someone said Luthe might be based on him - is that physically :) or personality-wise? is he a lot older than robin(not that age matters!)? p.s. - i love getting mail so any and all robin fans please feel free to e-mail me!

From: cameron lynn
Thursday, January 16, 1997 at 18:38:59 (EST)

re: peter

(get comfortable, this is going to be a long one) i've read as many of peter's books as i can get from local libraries. i think they're wonderful. he writes children's books, sometimes fantasy, sometimes politically centered (for example, an orphaned African boy who is recruited into a modern band of warriors, or the granddaughter of the last democratically elected prime minister of a country in the Romania-Bulgaria-Yugoslavia region); and adult mystery novels, which are always hilarious. i think he's a genius (so does he). and, of course, he too writes strong female protagonists (in a recent interview: "i think that women are more observant than men...I also think that women don't get to do enough derring-do...You should hear Robin on that subject!"). i don't know any juicy tidbits; i do know that the probably live in Bramdean Lodge, Bramdean, England (unless they've moved, which probably isn't likely, since he's lived there for many many years, and also Robin gave up her lilac-covered cottage in Maine to move to England, so she had damn well better not be living an apartment in London with no place for a horse or two!!) with their three whippets, one of whom was the subject of Peter's latest book, _Chuck and Danielle_, at one point in whcih Danielle is reading a book about a princess who kills dragons, and was particularly involved in that particular passage because the princess had just gotten to her first REALLY BIG dragon. as to whether Luthe was based on him: i know that Peter is very tall, over six feet, i think, and thin. i don't know what color his hair is, as i have never seen a color picture of him. in my opinion, he and Luthe are very much alike, personality-wise. he also likes to cook. and the last question, age: he's 69, she's 44, about four years older than his oldest child. i find nothing wrong with it; my mother does.

From: Maren Williams
Friday, January 17, 1997 at 23:19:19 (EST)

respond to other authors

Ok, you want somemore authors? be prepared to get your full. If you are looking for fantasy I can give it to you. Robin McKinley was my first fantasy writer I read and I now have every book she has writen(that I know of). O.k. back to the topic at hand. Have you tried Piers Anthony? He does good writing, is funny, and he makes grate puns. If you want to read him read the "Xanth" series. Another good fantasy/ScienceFiction author is Anne McCaffery. She is really good at developing strong female characters in her "Pern" Series. And Please, take her advice about reading them in order of being published. Also a hint, even though most of her books don't list it she has also writen a "Harper Hall" trilogy in connection to Pern. Well I guess I should stop you before I bore you to death! Good Luck!

From: alison
Tuesday, February 04, 1997 at 16:15:49 (EST)

(Peter Dickenson) Flight of Dragons

I'm familiar with Flight of Dragons myself, in fact every time I hear the name 'Peter Dickenson' I think of Flight of Dragons. I agree with your idea for doing Robin's books in that style, were they to be animated. Great thinking!

From: (alias) Willow
Saturday, February 08, 1997 at 20:26:13 (EST)

[more] other authors

after hearing _hero_ won the newbery award several years ago, i decided to check out some other past winners - and discovered karen cushman's _the midwife's apprentice_ as well as her newbery honor book _catherine, called birdy_. although the heroines of these stories are less mature than aerin or harry,(catherine and alyce are both about thirteen or fourteen), the books are Not merely "children's stories" - the characters are strong-willed and have a great sense of humor, which, along with their medieval settings, reminded me in part of robin's work - they aren't science fiction or fantasy(although there is mention of dragons and magic spells), but the heroines are certainly memorable and admirable, the books themselves enough to make you laugh out loud in the middle of history class(which may or may not be a good thing) - i enjoyed going through my third or fourth childhood(although maybe i'm not yet out of the first) in the course of reading them.

From: cameron lynn
Sunday, February 09, 1997 at 18:03:15 (EST)


i just got _imaginary lands_, although so far i've only read robin's and peter's stories. does anyone know if the imaginary land in peter's story, "flight," is further developed in any of his other work? p.s. - is _a flight of dragons_ part of a series? - someone recommended one of his "young adult" fantasy series to me but i can't remember the name of it.

From: cameron lynn
Wednesday, February 12, 1997 at 14:03:12 (EST)

re: other authors

Robin McKinley has been one of my favorite authors since I was ten or so, and I also reread the Damar books yearly! If you want to read another author of thought-provoking sci-fi, try Orson Scott Card. Sherri Tepper is also fantastic and full of strong women , although her stuff is much darker than McKinley's. Those are my three 'hard-cover' authors, because I would never wait the extra months to read a book of theirs! Rachel

From: Rachel Lipson
Saturday, February 15, 1997 at 20:49:06 (EST)

patricia mckillip/jane yolen

sorry, this is about _imaginary lands_ again, only indirectly about robin! has anyone read anything good by patricia mckillip? i liked her story, "the old woman and the storm," and her name sounds very familiar, although that's probably because it comes right next to robin's on the bookstore shelves. i know i've heard of jane yolen before reading "evian steel," but she's written so many books - any suggestions for where i should begin?

From: cameron lynn
Sunday, February 16, 1997 at 23:39:58 (EST)

re: jane yolen/patricia mckillip

i've read a few books by patricia mckillip, but i don't remember the names. i'm pretty sure the only thing i've read by jane yolen was "briar rose", and it had a reference to "beauty" in it. it was also a good book. since i'm here, i might as well tell everyone about other authors that i read. right now, i'm reading 'shadow's end' by sheri s. tepper. i've also read her "the gate to women's country". they're both very good, but "gate" is somewhat disturbing if you happen to like men at all. i loved connie willis' books, especially "the doomsday book". and, of course, peter's books are great.

susan cooper

ok, i promise this is the last time i'll bring up another author that reminds me of robin - actually i haven't read any of susan cooper's books yet but i promised one of my friends i would if he would read some of robin's - does anyone have any suggestions for which of susan's books i should begin with(i.e.-which of her books would someone who loves robin like)?

From: cameron lynn
Saturday, February 22, 1997 at 11:48:28 (EST)

From: Maren Williams
Friday, February 21, 1997 at 16:52:15 (EST)

re: Susan Cooper

Susan Cooper has written a sequence of books called, collectively, "The Dark is Rising," which is now conveniently collected in a box set. If you want to start there, the order of the novels is "Over Sea, Under Stone," "The Dark is Rising," "Greenwitch," "The Grey King," and "Silver on the Tree." She ties in a lot of folklore and Arthurian myth, and she writes some really great charcters. In my copy of the sequence (copyright 1984, though all these books were written in the late 70s), it lists her other books as "Dawn of Fear," and "Seaward." I haven't read the first, but "Seaward" is good. I would suggest that you start with "Over Sea, Under Stone" because these are really her best books (in my humble opinion). The problem is, they're kind of addicting (much like Robin's. . .)!

From: Laura Price
Thursday, February 27, 1997 at 14:25:14 (EST)

re: other authors

Hi, wow. now there're already four other authors mentioned on this discussion group whom i love. anyway, for the person who was enquiring: i already posted about hodgell, so 1) patricia mckillip: really, really wonderful author. she's the one i always cite when people say sci-fi/ fantasy genres don't have any "beautifully" written works. her best stories are, IMHO: a trilogy collectively called Riddle of the Stars (Riddle Master of Hed, and two others i have forgotten the title of...), the forgotten beasts of eld, winter rose, a series including so far the sorceress and the cygnet and the cygnet and the firebird, and the book of atrix wolf. she also has a page on the web... 2) jane yolen: o.k. i don't love her as much as the others...but still some nice books one of which has already mentioned: briar rose. i know i have read some others by her but i just can't remember at the moment. sorry. 3) susan cooper: i would second someone else's suggestion to read the dark is rising series... my favorite book in the series is one with the same title as the series, which i believe is the second in the series, i think. i really, really envy the person who's about to read all these authors... i wish i can read them all for the first time again... tawen

From: Tawen Chang
Thursday, February 27, 1997 at 18:27:36 (EST)

Other Authors

It is hard to find an author whose writing and heart is as pure as McKinley's. Tamora Pierce, however, has two fantasy series that might be of interest. The first, beginning with The Woman Who Rides Like A Man, features a young heroine who runs away from home because she wants to be a warrior, not a homebody. The second, set in the same magical lands, follows a young girl as she connects with her Goddess given abilities to heal and hear animals.

From: Candace Hale
Friday, April 11, 1997 at 14:42:17 (EDT)

the maiden with no arms?

has anyone ever read the faerie tale about the maiden with no arms? i think i read somewhere that robin's editor terry windling did either a retelling or an anthology including it. i don't think robin has any stories in the anthology but i'd be interested to know the plot of this unusually titled story if anyone knows...

From: cameron lynn
Thursday, April 17, 1997 at 09:46:52 (EDT)

re: the maiden with no arms?

Terri Windling published an anthology called "The Armless Maiden". It doesn't have any stories by Robin in it; it does list "Deerskin" as recommended reading in the back.

From: Maren Williams
Friday, April 18, 1997 at 23:07:13 (EDT)

andrew lang?

robin's always referring to andrew lang's collections of faerie tales - so far i think i've heard of the blue fairy and the orange fairy books - does anyone know how many of these collections there are and which of these books are best?

From: cameron lynn
Monday, April 21, 1997 at 11:28:10 (EDT)

more faerie tales

(sorry for posting that last message twice - i thought it hadn't worked the first time!) anyway, besides rereading all of robin's books this summer, i feel the need to read up on some of the "original" faerie tales - i probably won't have time to read All of them ever written, so does anyone have an opionion as to whether Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm have better collections(or some other author)?(i don't mean better collections as far as the generic disney re-done faerie tales everyone already knows but as far as more obscure yet under-rated or over-looked stories...)

From: cameron lynn
Monday, April 21, 1997 at 11:44:38 (EDT)

re: more faerie tales

I have the complete collections of both Hans Christian Anderson's and the Grimms' fairy tales. Personally, I like the Grimms fairy tales better.

From: Linda Abcede
Tuesday, April 22, 1997 at 19:13:47 (EDT)

susan cooper + other authors

I just wanted to add to an old discussion on Susan Cooper. I have read all of her books and I love them. Dawn of Fear is my least favorite - it has little (or no - I can't remember) fantasy element. It's set in London during WWI or II and the main characters are two young boys. Seaward is amazing, and so is the Dark is Rising series. The second book of that series, also named the Dark is Rising, is the most addictive + the one I reread most often. Anther author I love who writes fantasy about strong women is Madeleine L'Engle. It's a different style than Robin McKinley's, but still wonderful. My favorites are the famous ones: A Wrinkle in Time, Wind in the Door, etc., but once you read those, explore further - I think every single one of her books is worth reading, although not all of them are fantasy-oriented. Jane Yolen and Anne McCafferey's HaperHall Trilogy are also good bets. Terry Pratchett is a lot of fun, too - very, very funny fantasy. Try Equal Rites or Wyrd Sisters for very strong female protaganists indeed. I love email, and can usually be relied upon to respond to any and all mail, so if you have any suggestions, other authors you think I should read, please write. Robin K.

From: Robin Kortright
Saturday, April 26, 1997 at 01:22:09 (EDT)

irish/celtic stories for Willow

For a book based on irish myths you should find a book called The Singing Stone. I really love it. I've forgotten the author's name (maybe someone else out there knows?). When I wrote my other message about authors who write about strong women I forgot about this author/book (she's written others, but this is the best, I think). The heroine is a young woman named Kay who goes back into Ireland's distant past. I definitly recommend it, just as a good read. Personally, I'd love to take a class in celtic folk-tales, but I've always been obssessed with fairy-tales + I love english classes, so I'm perhaps not the one to judge.

From: Robin
Saturday, April 26, 1997 at 20:13:17 (EDT)

corrections + apologies!

I should read through everything before I post. The meesage was a response to cameron lynn, not willow (sorry!) and the author i was thinking of is O.R. Melling (thank you, Willow!). The two she mentioned are both good, but I liked The Singing Stone better because it's less obviously a "young people" book.

From: Robin
Saturday, April 26, 1997 at 20:20:42 (EDT)

andrew lang

About fifty years ago (I think - it might have been earlier) andrew lang collected together all kinds of fairy and folk tales that were floating around and rewrote them to make them "suitable" for children. There are probably seven or eight named after the colours of the rainbow - pink, violet, blue, green, orange and yellow are ones I remember. There may be more. The children's section of the public library down the street from my house had them when I was young. Still do, in fact. When I discovered them I took them all home, in a stack, and read them in one large, rather indigestible chunk. It makes you realize how strangely repetative fairy-tales are - children come in sets of three of the same sex, although sometimes there will be seven or eight; youngest children are often different, in looks and in character; step-parents are invariably evil, etc. They do give you that "feel" for fairie, though, which seems to permeate all of Robin's stories. I don't think it matters which book you read of the series. Go to the library and look them up - ask the children's librarian and she should know what you're talking about. Andrew Lang is good over-all, and you should read them, but if you want something more like Robin's fairy-tales try Oscar Wilde's. The Selfish Giant is my favorite, but there are others, all very beautiful. You'll love them, I promise.

From: Robin
Sunday, April 27, 1997 at 00:38:06 (EDT)

Other authors

For other authors, try the Fairy Tale Series (edited by Terri Windling). They're published by Tor, and there's -- I think -- six of them out now? "Snow White and Rose Red" by Patricia Wrede is closest in tone and age level to "Beauty" -- "Tam Lin" (by Pamela Dean), "Thomas the Rhymer" by Ellen Kushner, "Jack the Giant Killer" by Charles de Lint, "The Sun, the Moon and the Stars" by Steven Brust, and "Briar Rose" by Jane Yolen are the others. They vary wildly in tone and setting: Elizabethan England for the Wrede book, a small college (*my* small college :) ) in Minnesota in the 70s for "Tam Lin". I also recommend "Beauty," by Sheri S. Tepper, with reservations. This is definitely not the same age group as our "Beauty," and actually deals with the Sleeping Beauty, not Beauty and the Beast -- although Tepper also works in Cinderella, Tam Lin, and other fairy tales/legends. You can pick and choose stories from Windling's other fairy tale collections, too -- the "Black Thorn, White Rose" series (with Ellen Datlow) and "The Armless Maiden," a collection about child abuse with fairy tale themes. Bruising at times, but interesting takes on famous tales -- including Alleluirah/Donkeyskin/Deerskin. No one writes so well as Robin, of course, but these at least use her subject matter! :)

From: Cheryl Klein
Wednesday, April 30, 1997 at 21:37:17 (EDT)

New Peter book

I was pleasatly surprised today to find that Robin's husband's (Peter Dickinson) latest book, "The Lion-Tamer's Daughter and Other Stories" actually came out on time (unlike "Chuck and Danielle", which came out about nine months late). It's very good so far, as are all his books. And guess who took the picture of him that's on the inside of the back cover?

From: Maren Williams
Sunday, May 04, 1997 at 00:37:27 (EDT)

re: other authors

i just looked through the list and realized that I never added to this the first time, so i will now. aside from Robin's books (of course), i have read every Peter Dickinson book available in Sioux Falls, S.D. except for Chance, Luck and Destiny, which is listed in the catalog for one of the other high schools. my connection there said that, although the computer said it was in, it wasn't on the shelf, so maybe it's not available anyway. i own Ellen Kushner's books, as they are not available in libraries. i love Connie Willis's books, especially The Doomsday Book. i also love Patricia C. Wrede's books. Sheri Tepper is pretty good; i liked Beauty the best. i recently read Vonda N. McIntyre's books, beacuse i think she's the same Vonda who Robin mentioned in her letter on this very website; how many fantasy authors named Vonda do you suppose live in the northwest U.S., as the book said she did (and, of course, Robin said she was writing from Seattle)? Anyway, I liked Dreamsnake, but the stories in Fireflood were all very similar to each other.

From: Maren Williams
Sunday, May 18, 1997 at 01:14:33 (EDT)

Andrew Lang

Any of Lang's fairy tale books would be worth the read. I don't know if our library has all of them, but they have the following: Crimson, Grey, Brown, Blue, Green, Lilac, Olive, Orange, Pink, Red, and Yellow. I think there are others. They were among my first exposure to fairy tales, but since then, I have read Grimm, Andersen, and a wonderful series (probably out of print now) called "Tales of a ------- Grandmother" (i.e. Chinese, Korean, etc.) which I discovered in about 4th grade and devoured, book by book. I still like Lang and Andersen the best. Has anyone read Oscar Wilde's "The Selfish Giant"? That was always one of my favorite stories when I was growing up, even before I figured out that it was a Christian allegory. I also like TH White, JRR Tolkien, Anee McCaffrey, and Stephen Lawhead. I love to get mail (and am new to the e-mail world) so if you'd like to develop an on-line book discussion, please write. Betty

From: Betty
Wednesday, May 21, 1997 at 10:46:57 (EDT)

george eliot

half way through reading _the mill on the floss_ i realized george eliot and robin have a similar sense of humor which comes through in their similar writing styles - i remember robin saying in one of her interviews that she could never live up to george eliot's example, but as much as i love george(marian) i'd have to say robin has lived up to her example and surpassed it - though maybe that's not a fair comparison since they're working in different genres, but they both deal well with strong female characters(and eliot's work has elements of or at least makes reference to faerie tales, too).

From: cameron lynn
no more e-mail til fall :(
Wednesday, May 28, 1997 at 11:03:27 (EDT)

Another Really good author

I just remembered that Vivan Vane Veld is GREAT!!! Adventure\Romance!

From: Stormy
Thursday, May 29, 1997 at 18:40:09 (EDT)

Favourite Authors

I know that these aren't always the best things, because just because fans like one particular author, doesn't mean we'll necessarily all like other authors. Still, it would be cool to see if anyone else has discovered any authors that they might recommend. Connie Willis - in particular, 'The Doomsday Book', 'The Bellweather', 'Uncharted Territory' and the short stories: 'Ado', 'Even the Queen' and 'Spice Pogrom'. Tamora Pierce - in particular, The Immortals Series, and the first of the Alannah series. Pamela Belle - although she started out writing historical fiction, she has written three fantasy novels called 'The Silver City', 'The Wolf Within' and 'Blood Imperial'. Liz Berry - she's written three very good novels called 'Easy Connections', 'Easy Freedom' and 'Mel' but the fantasy novel she has written is called 'The China Garden' and it's kind of weird, but interesting. Anne Logstan - 'The Guardian's Key'. I've only liked one of her novels. I thought 'Firewalk' was absolutely ghastly. Isobelle Carmody - in particular, 'Scatterlings' is very good as are the first two in the 'Obertnewtyn' series. I'm not sure if these are well known anywhere outside of Australia. Jennifer Roberson - 'The Lady in the Forest'. This is the only novel I've only ever liked by Ms Roberson. I found it a very interesting contrast to the story told in 'Outlaws of Sherwood'. Anyone cherishing romantic fantasies about Will Scarlett - stay away. *Grin* Katherine Neville - she has only written two books 'The Eight' and 'A Calculated Risk' but they're great. Big, extremely conceited and very detailed. Comments: Mercedes Lackey - heaps of people have recommended her but I've never really gotten in to her books. Robin Hobbes - I read two of these novels because of the speculation on the sci fi novels newsgroup that Robin Hobbes might be Robin McKinley. When I first started reading 'Assassin's Apprentice' or whatever the first one was called, I remember thinking: 'Hmmm, could be.... the writing style is kind of similar.' Then when the story went on and on and ON and felt like it was going nowhere, I knew it couldn't have been Robin McKinley because she just doesn't write protracted passages that take a long time to go anywhere. Cheers, Clara

From: Clara Duong
Saturday, May 31, 1997 at 02:59:41 (EDT)

Patricia McKillip

I kept seeing McKillip instead of McKinley myself, and had heard the former recommended by newsgroup McKinley fans. On the other hand I've heard Lackey likewise recommended -- but trashed by the people I know whose taste I trust. And I have a bias against non-classic books which I can find too easily in used bookstores, and McKillip is much more common than McKinley around here.

So I eventually tried reading two of McKillip's, _Forgotten Beasts of Eld_ and _Riddlemaster of Hed_, and was not grabbed. I'd finish the story, but not care about the characters. For example, I got very upset when Deerskin got raped (and when she fell apart, but never mind that for now); the heroine of _Beasts_ almost gets mindraped and almost raped, and I didn't care.

Then a friend rattled off a list of books I'd never seen, and said I'd read some of the worse ones. Since they're the ones I see in used bookstores, maybe she's right. Try the Sorceress/Cygnet books, or other unrelated ones. I don't know what they're like, but they're even rarer than McKinley around here, so someone's holding onto them. :)

From: Damien R. Sullivan
Sunday, June 01, 1997 at 17:21:40 (EDT)

McKillip, newsgroups etc

I've occasionally seen references to Robin McKinley on the rec.arts.sf.written newsgroup. This group generates heaps of posts though and it can be quite tedious to sift through them all.

I actually did read 'The Cygnet and the Swan'or whatever it was called because that was the book that seemed to always be there when I when looking for 'McKinley'. Part of the reason I read it was the sound of the name 'the blah and the blah' etc. I felt nothing for any of the characters and McKillip's writing definitely does not have the effortless feel of Robin McKinley's. Patricia McKillip uses a lot of italic sessions - self-conscious introspective and dreamy musings which are a distinct contrast to the very down to earth writing style favoured by Ms McKinley. It took me a long time to get into the book, and I guess I never really felt much interest in the characters or the storyline. I have friends who like her a lot, but apart from sharing the 'McK' - there's little in common between the two writers.


From: Clara Duong
Monday, June 02, 1997 at 05:06:46 (EDT)


Omigod! The Peter Dickinson that wrote _Eva_, which has been one of my favorite books for a while, is the same one that's married to Robin McKinley?!?!?!?!? Wow. Small world. :) [Lauren had a revelation. Lauren is sorry for cluttering up this page with this useless statement. Lauren is sorry for scaring anyone with this third-person thing. Lauren says goodbye, and have a nice day.]

From: Lauren
Saturday, June 07, 1997 at 19:40:07 (EDT)