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Bishop, Anne

Bishop, Anne

PERSONAL:

Female. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, storytelling, arts and crafts, music.

ADDRESSES:

Home—NY. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and proofreader.

AWARDS, HONORS:

William L. Crawford Memorial Fantasy Award for best new fantasy author, International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, 2000, for The Black Jewels Trilogy.

WRITINGS:

"EPHEMERA" SERIES

Sebastian, Roc (New York, NY), 2006.

Belladonna, Roc (New York, NY), 2007.

"BLACK JEWELS" SERIES

Daughter of the Blood (also see below), New American Library/ROC (New York, NY), 1998.

Heir to the Shadows (also see below), New American Library/ROC (New York, NY), 1999.

Queen of the Darkness (also see below), New American Library/ROC (New York, NY), 2000.

The Invisible Ring, New American Library/ROC (New York, NY), 2000.

The Black Jewels Trilogy (contains Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, and Queen of the Darkness), ROC (New York, NY), 2003.

Dreams Made Flesh, (short stories set in the "Black Jewels" trilogy world), New American Library/ROC (New York, NY), 2005.

Tangled Webs, Roc (New York, NY), 2008.

"TIR ALAINN" TRILOGY

The Pillars of the World, New American Library/ROC (New York, NY), 2001.

Shadows and Light, New American Library/ROC (New York, NY), 2002.

The House of Gaian, New American Library/ROC (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor of short stories to anthologies and magazines, including White Swan, Black Raven and 365 Scary Stories.

Coauthor of collective novel, Summer in Mossy Creek, BelleBooks, 2003.

SIDELIGHTS:

Anne Bishop began writing stories as a child, and as an adult she became a best-selling fantasy/science fiction/romance novelist and short story writer. On her home page she cited her literary influences as Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock, Andre Norton, and Jane Austen. She explained her choice of genre: "I write fantasy because the worlds of fantasy are the settings I most enjoy, and those worlds seem to give me the scope for the stories that come to me." She also includes elements of romance in her fiction, telling interviewer Shelley Dodge on the RomanticSF.com Web site that, after reading many Regency romances, she "became very fond of the typical alpha male characters" and has portrayed similar characters in her own books. Bishop's loyal following has created online discussion lists dealing with her work.

Bishop's first novel, Daughter of the Blood, became the first book in her "Black Jewels" series. The first three books form a trilogy, and include Heir to the Shadows and Queen of the Darkness. The novels describe a world of three realms that are ruled via magic by a caste known as the Blood whose powers are indicated by the colored jewels they wear. The plot revolves around two enslaved and sexually exploited brothers, Daemon and Lucivar, who threaten the rule of the corrupt priestess Dorothea. Jaenelle, another important character, is a powerful child who some believe may grow up to fulfill prophesies about a queen who will restore justice. Rosalind Jackson wrote on the Warpcore SF Web site that the author "mixes sex and politics so that the two are usually inseparable" and added that Bishop's trilogy has "much in common with the works of De Sade or The Story of O." About Daughter of the Blood, Jackie Cassada wrote in Library Journal that the book "features a richly detailed world based on a reversal of standard genre cliches of light and darkness."

Bishop's fourth novel, The Invisible Ring, is also set in the realms of the Black Jewels, but with different characters from those who appeared in the trilogy. Don D'Ammassa wrote in Science Fiction Chronicle that the book "is a fairly standard though entertaining other-worlds fantasy adventure with battles and dangers and chases and a cast of reasonably well-fleshed-in characters."

Bishop followed this story with a new series called the "Tir Alainn" trilogy, which includes The Pillars of the World, Shadows and Light, and The House of Gaian. The trilogy takes place in a world populated by witches, small folk, and the magical and powerful Fae. While the entire realm gradually begins to mysteriously fall apart, the Master Inquisitor and his greedy cohorts launch a systematic witch hunt. They also impose severe and cruel restrictions on women. However, the witches' magic—based on the natural forces of earth, air, fire, and water—is actually what holds the fragile world together. The struggles between the various characters will determine the balance of nature and the survival of the world. The trilogy is suffused with themes of feminism and environmentalism that make the story "relevant to contemporary life," according to Liz LaValley in Kliatt. Also in Kliatt, Judith H. Silverman wrote of The Pillars of the World that "Bishop includes just enough shape-changing, sexual situations, and innuendoes to appeal to a YA audience without offending most parents." And in Booklist, Paula Luedtke asserted that with this novel "Bishop only adds luster to her reputation for fine fantasy."

Bishop returned to the Black Jewels realm in Dreams Made Flesh, a collection of four stories based on the central characters of the referenced trilogy. Two of the tales are basically love stories, according to Jackson on the Warpcore SF Web site, yet also contain "moments of brutality as well. The world of the Blood is as red in snake-tooth and claw as it ever was." In the Midwest Book Review Harriet Klausner called Dreams Made Flesh "an absolutely riveting romantic fantasy," dubbing one story "a great character study" and another "a beautiful adult fairy tale."

Tangled Webs continues the story of the Blood and the other inhabitants of the Black Jewels world. As this novel opens, Queen Jaenelle Angelline has created a new entertainment, a manufactured haunted house with exhibits and attractions that parody the myths and misconceptions about the magically powerful Bloods. When Lady Surreal SaDiablo receives an invitation to tour the house, she persuades Warlord Prince Rainier to accompany her, along with several local children. Once secured inside the house, they discover to their shock that it was not created by Queen Angelline at all; instead, the house has been crafted by insane writer Jarvis Jenkell, who has only recently discovered his own ties to the Blood. Jenkell intends to trap other Bloods within the dangerous confines of the house, and use their struggles to escape as fodder for his novels. As Lady Surreal, Rainier, and the children fight for their lives and a safe exit, the Queen's husband, Daemon Sadi, and his half-brother, Lucivar, apply their Blood magic to help free them. The story "seems plausible so much so that readers will feel trapped inside Jenkell's house of horrors." remarked World of Wonder Web site reviewer Harriet Klausner. "With feverish pacing and terrifying twists, Bishop's surefire spell craft will leave readers' hearts pounding," commented a Publishers Weekly contributor.

With Sebastian, Bishop inaugurates a new series, known as "Ephemera," named for the world in which the stories take place. In Ephemera, the land is in a constant state of change and flux, made and remade in response to the inhabitants' deepest, strongest desires. Long ago, the terrible creature known as the Eater of the World came into existence. To save Ephemera, the Guides of the Heart broke the world into many pieces, each of which is controlled by the will of a Landscaper, a woman who helps mold the world into its many forms. Each island-like piece is connected to the other fragments by bridges, males who serve as the transition points between the many separate lands within the realm. Like the rest of the world, these bridges are controlled by the true heart's desire of those who cross them; thus travelers might not end up where they intended to go, but where they truly wanted to go. In Ephemera's early days, the Guides were able to force the Eater into an island unconnected to the rest of the world, trapping it safely where it posed no danger. Now, however, the Eater is about to be set free, and his destructive wrath will be felt all over the many-faceted world of Ephemera.

The novel's titular protagonist, Sebastian, is a half-human, half-demon incubus who lives in the Den, a fragment of Ephemera dedicated to lust and pleasures of the flesh, a place where it is always twilight and where creatures of the night and hidden secrets dwell. Sebastian and his friend Teaser are happy with their lives in Den, offering pleasure to lonely women, but soon an evil force is seen walking among them as the Eater of Worlds comes closer to escape. Sebastian is forced to travel to Wizard City to seek help against the dark forces threatening Ephemera. Soon, faced with even greater evil, Sebastian must turn to his Landscaper cousin, Glorianna Belladonna, his old friend Teaser, and his lover, Lynnea, to intercede before the world is forever altered, or destroyed altogether. Jackie Cassada, in another Library Journal review, observed that Bishop's "talents lie" within her "ability to craft a story filled with intriguing characters and in her flair for smoldering sensuality." A Publishers Weekly reviewer remarked favorably on Bishop's "pure originality and lyrical prose," and concluded that the book's "tender romances and friendships will delight fantasy readers tired of gore and lust." Booklist contributor Paula Luedtke concluded: "Erotic, fervently romantic, superbly entertaining, Sebastian satisfies."

In the second book of the "Ephemera" series, Belladonna, the Eater of Worlds has escaped and is spreading its evil influence throughout the many-faceted lands. The only person with a chance of stopping the vile creature is Glorianna Belladonna, a rogue Landscaper feared and distrusted by many because of her powers over the land. When a mysterious man named Michael arrives with a possible solution for trapping the Eater, a deep romance is sparked between him and Belladonna. As they proceed with their plan, they soon realize that if they successfully confine the Eater of Worlds, it may mean they will be separated forever. A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that the complex world of Ephemera may be confusing to first-time readers, but that fans of Sebastian "will revel in Bishop's imaginative powers."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 2001, Paula Luedtke, review of The Pillars of the World, p. 200; October 1, 2002, Paula Luedtke, review of Shadows and Light, p. 307; October 1, 2002, Paula Luedtke, review of Shadows and Light, p. 307; February 15, 2006, Paula Luedtke, review of Sebastian, p. 54.

Kliatt, January, 2002, Judith H. Silverman, review of The Pillars of the World, p. 15; March, 2003, Liz LaValley, review of Shadows and Light, p. 30.

Library Journal, February 15, 1998, Jackie Cassada, review of Daughter of the Blood, p. 174; January 1, 2005, Jackie Cassada, review of Dreams Made Flesh, p. 102; January 1, 2006, Jackie Cassada, review of Sebastian, p. 104; February 15, 2007, Jackie Cassada, review of Belladonna, p. 116.

Midwest Book Review, January, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Dreams Made Flesh.

Publishers Weekly, December 20, 2004, review of Dreams Made Flesh, p. 41; December 5, 2005, review of Sebastian, p. 36; January 8, 2007, review of Belladonna, p. 38; December 17, 2007, review of Tangled Webs, p. 38.

Science Fiction Chronicle, August-September, 2000, Don D'Ammassa, review of The Invisible Ring, p. 45.

Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 2003, review of Shadows and Light, p. 146.

ONLINE

Anne Bishop Home Page,http://www.annebishop.com (February 12, 2008).

Civil Bitch,http://civilbitch.blogspot.com/ (November 12, 2007), Shelly Hattan, review of Belladonna.

RomanticSF.com,http://www.romanticsf.com/ (February 12, 2008), Shelley Dodge, interview with Bishop.

Warpcore SF,http://www.warpcoresf.co.uk/ (February 12, 2008), Rosalind Jackson, reviews of Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, The Invisible Ring, The Pillars of the World, Shadows and Light, The House of Gaian, Dreams Made Flesh, Sebastian, Queen of the Darkness.

World of Wonder,http://worldofwonders.blogspot.com/ (December 21, 2007), Harriet Klausner, review of Tangled Webs.

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