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Present Writers: Kate Elliott

This is the latest in a recurring series! For more about the series, please read the original post on Marta Randall, or subsequent posts on Dorothy Heydt, Barbara Hambly, Jane Yolen, Suzy McKee Charnas, Sherwood Smith, Nisi Shawl, Pamela Dean, Gwyneth Jones, Caroline Stevermer, Patricia C. Wrede, Lois McMaster Bujold, Nancy Kress, Diane Duane, Candas Jane Dorsey, Greer Gilman, Robin McKinley, Laurie Marks, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman,Rosemary Kirstein, Karen Joy Fowler, Susan Cooper, Ellen Klages, Lisa Goldstein, and C.J. Cherryh.

Kate Elliott has had a prolific and varied career in SFF that is only getting stronger every year. She has even, conveniently, put together a page to tell you where you might want to start with her books depending on your tastes! I call that considerate.

My personal favorites are–and everyone who knows me will be shocked to hear this–the trilogy with “cold” in their titles–Cold Magic and its sequels. They’re funny and adventurous and doing an alternate history thing that is not the common run of alternate history things. (Phoenicians many years on!) But the other series range from space opera to epic fantasy with lots of non-standard stops along the way. Elliott is great at taking a genre and constructing it, rather than deconstructing it–deciding what makes an epic fantasy interesting to her and doing it that way from the ground up rather than borrowing bits and pieces of genre furniture. Many/most of her books are medium-to-long books that exist in series, but generally with defined endings rather than meandering around.

Elliott has been at this since the mid-90s, and while she’s definitely picked a few things up along the way, I still like the Jaran books quite a lot–I feel like they hold up. The other thing she’s managed to do since the mid-90s, and with increasing skill, is to be a supportive presence around the writer community. In both cases, we’re very lucky.

1 thought on “Present Writers: Kate Elliott

  1. One thing I like about Elliott’s work is that none of her imagined cultures exist in a vacuum– or at least not more than one of them that I can think of right now– and so they are constantly influencing each other. Her work is to some extent *about* cultures interacting with each other.

    Also, the trolls!

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