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Huff, Tanya

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1957-    ) Canadian author whose wife Fiona Patton (1962-    ) writes fantasy exclusively. She began publishing work of genre interest with "What Little Girls are Made Of" for Magic in Ithkar 3 (anth 1986) edited by Robert Adams and Andre Norton. Most of her subsequent work has also been fantasy, beginning with the Novels of Crystal sequence comprising Child of the Grove (1988) and The Last Wizard (1989). The Blood sequence beginning with Blood Price (1991) is Contemporary Dark Fantasy set in a Crosshatch-version of Toronto, where its (good) Vampire protagonist and his Companions prevent various evils from afflicting the City. There is a bright, graceful ingenuity about the telling of these tales. The Quarters sequence beginning with Sing the Four Quarters (1994), which is set in a competently visualized medieval fantasyland, perhaps more interestingly matches premise and narrative practice [for Companions, Contemporary Fantasy, Crosshatch, Dark Fantasy and Tanya Huff (especially for description of the fantasy sequences above) see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below].

Huff's fantasy singletons are in much the same mode, some of them involving characters – sometimes crosshatched from Faerie – reminiscent of those in Emma Bull's War for the Oaks (1987) or in various novels by Charles de Lint, and with a smooth ominousness similar to de Lint's. Her fantasy short fiction has been assembled in several volumes, beginning with Stealing Magic: The Complete Adventures of Magdelene and Terizan (coll 1999).

Of sf interest is the Confederation of Valor sequence beginning with Valor's Choice (2000; exp as coll Valour's Choice 2013), which comprises a loosely connected array of Military SF tales set in a Space Opera venue dominated by two Alien Galactic Empires; the Confederation, being the more friendly of the two, agrees to protect Homo sapiens, but in exchange human soldiers (most of them grunts) must perform widespread mercenary duties in order to defend less combat-ready higher species. The main protagonist of the sequence, Sergeant of Marines Torin Kerr, guides her platoon with something like tactical genius; and is ultimately of importance in maintaining civilization as a whole. More remarkable than the familiar topoi here utilized is Huff's highly professional handling of her material; this professionalism, which has grown over her prolific career, is central to the pleasures she provides. [JC]

Tanya Sue Huff

born Halifax, Nova Scotia: 26 September 1957



Novels of Crystal

  • Child of the Grove (New York: DAW Books, 1988) [Novels of Crystal: pb/Stephen Laws]
  • The Last Wizard (New York: DAW Books, 1989) [Novels of Crystal: pb/Dennis Nolan]
    • Wizard of the Grove (New York: DAW Books, 1999) [omni of the above two: Novels of Crystal: pb/Yvonne Gilbert]

Quatro Goddess

Fitzroy: Victoria Nelson, Investigator

Fitzroy: Tony Foster


Keeper Chronicles

Confederation of Valor

Confederation of Valor: Peacekeeper

Gale Family

individual titles


works as editor

  • Women of War (New York: DAW Books, 2005) with Alexander Potter [anth: pb/]


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