LYNN, Elizabeth A.

LYNN, Elizabeth A.
   US writer who began publishing work of genre interest with "We All Have to Go" for The Berkley Showcase (anth 1976) ed Victoria Schochet and John SILBERSACK. This was assembled with other early work in The Woman who Loved the Moon and Other Stories (coll 1981). Her early sf stories and her first novel, A Different Light (1978), share certain assumptions about the nature of the Universe, including the existence of HYPERSPACE, used here both to facilitate storytelling and as an existential cusp for her protagonists - like the cancer-stricken artist in the novel, who must decide whether or not to seize the day by travelling where he needs to go by hyperspace, even though such travel will mortally intensify his illness. In her second and best-received novel, The Sardonyx Net (1981), EAL applies a similar ironic torsion to a tale whose moral premises seeminitially unproblematic - slavery is bad for a planet, drugs are bad for society, sadism is bad for the soul - but which become significantly less clearcut in the telling. Although the slavery which obtains in one mercenary planet in the Galaxy is never justified, its operations are seen as complexly interactive; and the sadism of the captain and slavetrader turns out to express so vividly his violated inner state that he almost becomes the protagonist of the book. Most of her remaining work - including the effective Chronicles of Tornor sequence, comprising Watchtower (1979), The Dancers of Arun (1979) and The Northern Girl (1980)- has been fantasy, and as the 1980s progressed she wrote less and less sf. Given the sophisticated use to which she has put conventional sf-adventure plots and venues, this slow departure seems most regrettable.
   Other works: The Red Hawk (1984 chap); The Silver Horse (1984), a fantasy for children; Tales from a Vanished Country (coll 1990), stories all previously published in earlier volumes.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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