I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of one of the best fantasy authors who ever lived.
These posts are totally inadequate.
Here’s my attempt to rank all her novels, a most challenging task as so many are virtually perfect. This post is also an inadequate tribute, but it’s better than one of these brief obituaries.
Patricia McKillip was absolutely central to forming my own taste in fantasy novels and my own ideas of what a perfect novel looked like, or maybe I should say, felt like. She wrote poetry disguised as prose better than any other fantasy author has ever done. It feels to me that some of the poetry in the world just disappeared when she passed away.
My debut novel, The City in the Lake, was my attempt to write a novel just like hers. I read everything McKillip had ever written, one book after another, until I’d read them all. Then I sat down and wrote City. Every time someone compared City to McKillip’s work — and I’m happy to say this has happened more than once — it made me so happy. I’m not sure I ever captured that fairy-tale feel quite so well again.
I met her at a convention once, but found it impossible to express to her what her writing had meant to me.
“You can weave your life so long — only so long, and then a thing in the world out of your control will tug at one vital thread and leave you patternless and subdued.”The Forgotten Beasts of Eld