Gateway Essentials: Sheri S. Tepper

31 October 2016

In our moments of peak efficiency, we have content for the Gateway website and blog scheduled weeks in advance – occasionally, months. Mostly, that’s a good thing, enabling us to see what we’re doing over a sustained period and help us do our best to balance out our offerings as best we can.

But sometimes, fate intervenes and we find that an author whose work we are currently spotlighting on the Home page and are planning to blog about in a week’s time, passes away. So it has been with Sheri S. Tepper, with news breaking early last week that the eighty-seven-year-old author had died.

What to do in that situation?  After much soul-searching, we have decided to go ahead with the post as scheduled. To do otherwise seems to us to do a disservice to anyone wanting to read her books (which, in the end, is how we remember our favourite writers, isn’t it?). Anyone who is in any way offended by that decision should probably clcik away now – perhaps to last week’s In Memoriam post.

So: where does one start with the works of Sheri S. Tepper?  Her two outstanding works are probably The Gate to Women’s Country and Grass – both of which appear in the SF Masterworks. Or you could try her clever inversion of the tropes of fairy tales, in the Fantasy Masterwork Beauty.

The Gate to Women's Country Grass Beauty

After that, we recommend the two-part Awakeners series: Northshore and Southshore.

Northshore Shouthshore

And if you’re still hungry to explore Sheri S. Tepper’s worlds (and why wouldn’t you be?), you could try King’s Blood Four, the first volume of her much-loved The True Game series, Raising the Stones, a thematic sequel to Grass, or standalones Gibbon’s Decline and Fall and The Family Tree.

King's Blood Four Raising the Stones Gibbon's Decline and Fall The Family Tree

Sheri S. Tepper was a major figure of modern SF and Fantasy and her passing is a great loss to the field.

Sheri S. Tepper (1929 – 2016)

About Darren Nash

I’m Digital Publisher at Gollancz, responsible for the SF Gateway and SF Masterworks. Digitally, I can be found here, on Twitter at @SFGateway (officially) and @thenashmeister (unofficially). In meat space, I operate from a secret base inside a dormant volcano, on a remote pacific island that – mysteriously – doesn’t appear on any official maps. Possibly.

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