Books, Books, Books

Still glomming Lisa Kleypas: I’ve now bought more or less the rest of Lisa Kleypas’s backlist: Fictionwise has 60% micropay rebates on all books at the moment. Wheee!!! (Those people are terribly eeeeehvil, of course, temping poor, little innocent readers … *g*)

Yesterday I browsed all volumes of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword & Sorceress anthologies in search of dragons and dragonslayers, and was overcome by a wave of nostalgia. I started reading these anthologies when I was not yet twenty, and I’ve always been aware that they influenced my writing a great deal. I loved, loved, loved those stories with strong female protagonists (of course, later on, when I started to read more romance novels and novels with romantic elements, I realised that there’s a certain imbalance in these anthologies as well: there are very few positive male characters; the men are almost always cast as villains).

What I liked and still like most about the Sword & Sorceress books are the introductions to the stories. At least some of them offer you tantalising glimpses of the circle of writers around Bradley, most whom had their first stories published in S&S. It’s truly amazing if you think about how many writers Bradley nurtured during her life-time: people like Diana L. Paxson, Jennifer Roberson, Mercedes Lackey.

My favourite intro is not from S&S, but from Return to Avalon: A Celebration of Marion Zimmer Bradley, edited by Jennifer Roberson. The introduction to the collection was written by Diana L. Paxson, and this is how it starts:

A number of years ago, when our children were young and none of us were on diets, we used to have Sunday afternoon tea parties at Greyhaven. Marion would come up the hill from Greenwalls (her house about ten minutes away), accompanied by her daughter Moira or some of the young women who at various times lived there. My sister-in-law Tracy Blackstone would cook up some goodies, and I would make endless cups of English tea.

*sigh* Doesn’t that make you wish you could have taken part in those tea parties, too?

More info about Greyhaven can be found here.