Fantasy booklist: American Southwest authors

Some authors from the American southwest. For websites and other books, click on author’s name.

610Y-M8z8FLOn another note entirely, Barry Hughart’s *Bridge of Birds is about an ‘ancient China that never was’, a sage with ‘a slight flaw in his character’, his assistant, Number Ten Ox, and their quest to save the comatose children of Ox’s village and solve the mystery of the lost princess of birds. This is the first in a series of mysteries about the sage Li Kao, Number Ten Ox, and the occult mysteries they solve.

Evangeline Walton retold some of the lesser known stories from The Mabinogion (ancient Welsh): The Island of the Mighty; The Children of Llyr; *The Song of Rhiannon; and The Prince of Annwn. She wrote in the 1940s-50s but her books didn’t do well until they were reissued in the 1970s. She is a total word magician; her books are evocative, simply written, psychologically astute, bringing a mythical past alive. Just discovered: she wrote two books about Theseus, but didn’t even try to publish them during her lifetime, because that other magician of bringing the past to life, Mary Renault, had just published her Theseus books. (See earlier post.)

Nancy Farmer, *The House of the Scorpion, about a boy who lives in the American southwest, which has become a country called Opium, who is the clone of a 130 year old drug lord.

Also A Girl Named Disaster, about a young African orphan about to be married off to a middle-aged man with 3 other wives. She runs away instead, aided by her grandmother, as well as spirits, baboons, and a leopard, to find another kind of family.

She’s also got a new one out, adult fantasy/s.f. called A New Year’s Tale, about a near future where there’s no social security or Medicare, and the government is trying to get rid of its old people, which is making the ancestors (spirits) truly pissed off. I can’t wait to read this one.


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