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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works
Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.
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You are here: Home » Authors » Individual » Hope Mirrlees ( = this page)
This is a brief discussion of Hope Mirrlees and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Mirrlees.
This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Mirrlees: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)
I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Mirrlees tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Mirrlees worthy; in sum, to help you rank Hope Mirrlees (and the works by Mirrlees listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.
A Few Words About Hope Mirrlees
Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the "Other Resources" section below will lead you to some information about the "Notable Books" listed
farther down this page.
Other Hope Mirlees Resources
Probably in good part because she only produced so little, Hope Mirlees today largely languishes in obscurity, and there is correspondingly little about her to be found on the web (or
Michael Swanwick has given us the best we have in his essay "The Lady Who Wrote
Lud-in-the-Mist". Otherwise, things are so dire that I even refer you to the Hope
Mirrlees Wikipedia page. But beyond the scant information on Mirrlees herself, there is now a growing literature of appreciations of Lud-in-the-Mist, a surprising and
pleasing development (I gather that Swanwick's and perhaps even more so Neil Gaiman's fulsome praise for Lud-in-the-Mist have raised the awareness of a new generation of readers).
There is an essay by Gaiman in The
Guardian about how he came to write his novel Stardust, in which essay he gives some brief space to Mirrlees; but the essay is well worth reading for itself.
As to reviews and comments on the book, Google Is Your Friend, but a couple worth especially noting are those of George T. Dodds at The SF Site and Catherynne M. Valente at The Bitter Quill.
Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by Hope Mirrlees ****
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