Huff, Tanya (Sue) 1957-
HUFF, Tanya (Sue) 1957-
(T. S. Huff, Terri Hanover)
PERSONAL: Born September 26, 1957, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; partner of Fiona Patton (a writer). Education: Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, B.A.A.
ADDRESSES: Home—Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Penguin Putnam, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.
CAREER: Bakka (science fiction bookstore), Toronto, Ontario, Canada, owner, 1984—. Military service: Served three years in Canadian Naval Reserve.
AWARDS, HONORS: CASPER nomination, 1987, for "And Who Is Joah?"
Child of the Grove, DAW Books (New York, NY), 1988.
The Last Wizard, DAW Books (New York, NY), 1989.
Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light (see below), DAW Books (New York, NY), 1989.
The Fire's Stone (see below), DAW Books (New York, NY), 1990.
Blood Price, DAW Books (New York, NY), 1991.
Blood Trail, DAW Books (New York, NY), 1992.
Blood Lines, DAW Books (New York, NY), 1993.
Blood Pact, DAW Books (New York, NY), 1993.
Sing the Four Quarters, DAW Books (New York, NY), 1994.
Fifth Quarter, DAW Books (New York, NY), 1995.
Scholar of Decay, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1995.
Summon the Keeper, DAW (New York, NY), 1998.
What Ho, Magic!, Meisha Merlin (Decatur, GA), 1999.
Stealing Magic: The Complete Adventures of Magdelene and Terazin, Tesseract Books (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 1999.
The Quartered Sea, Penguin (New York, NY), 1999.
Wizard of the Grove, BT Bound, 1999.
Valor's Choice, DAW Books (New York, NY), 2000.
The Second Summoning, DAW Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Of Darkness, Light, and Fire: Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light/The Fire's Stone, DAW Books (New York, NY), 2001.
The Better Part of Valor, DAW Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Long Hot Summoning, DAW Books (Decatur, GA), 2003.
Relative Magic, Meisha Merlin (Decatur, GA), 2003.
Contributor, sometimes under name T. S. Huff or pseudonym Terri Hanover, of novellas and short stories to periodicals, including Amazing Stories.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Another Fine Summoning.
SIDELIGHTS: Tanya Huff's novels mix elements from the detective, horror, and fantasy genres. Her series about Toronto private detective Vicki Nelson chronicles cases involving mummies, zombies, and werewolves, while Vicki's romantic interest is Henry Fitzroy, a vampire. Huff's fantasy adventure novels, set in a world where singing can conjure the elemental spirits, combine magic and political intrigue.
The series about detective Vicki Nelson concerns an ex-police officer who has retired early due to a progressive eye disease which will eventually lead to blindness. She teams with her vampire lover and with police sergeant Michael Celluci to battle supernatural creatures let loose on the citizens of Toronto. Throughout the series, according to Samantha Hunt in Voice of Youth Advocates, "Huff has retained her humor along with her horror, her characters have continued to develop, and her plots are quirky and original."
In Blood Price Vicki is called upon when a demon is accidentally released into the world by a college student's magical spell. The fight against the demon draws Vicki and Henry together for the first time. In Blood Trail, a novel Debora Hill in the Saint James Guide to Fantasy Writers called "the most delightful" of the series, Vicki finds herself asked by a group of werewolves to help protect them from trigger-happy religious zealots. Blood Lines tells of an Egyptian mummy which contains the still-active evil soul of an ancient wizard. "When that soul is unwittingly released," Hill explained, "and takes possession of a human body, all Hades breaks loose in Toronto." Vicki, Henry, and Celluci must thwart the evil wizard's plot to take over the Canadian government. The final book in the series, Blood Pact, finds Vicki's mother turned into a zombie as part of a crazed doctor's scheme. While stopping the zombie menace, Vicki is mortally wounded and only by becoming a vampire can she be saved. Hill called Blood Pact "the goriest and least enjoyable" of the series.
Huff has also published other series of fantasy adventure novels. The first book in a saga, Sing the Four Quarters, concerns the young woman Annice, a princess who trains to become a bard. In Annice's kingdom of Shkoder, bards have enormous memory powers which allow them to serve as expert witnesses and storehouses of the past. More than that, as Jane Anne Hannigan explained in Voice of Youth Advocates, "through their singing [bards] often bring forth the kigh, the spirits of earth, fire, water, and air." Hannigan described Annice as "a sometimes feisty but always intelligent, vocal, and vigorous heroine."
Fifth Quarter is set in the same world of magic as was Sing the Four Quarters but follows a different set of characters. In this tale, Vree and Bannon, a sister and brother, are assassins who must kill a rival leader. In the course of their mission, Bannon is magically forced from his body and into Vree's body, where the two siblings must coexist as one. Hannigan found that "Huff evokes her well-established writing style to create a story of horror and possession."
Before turning to a writing career Huff established Bakka, a Toronto bookstore specializing in science fiction and fantasy literature. She now enjoys a dual career as a bookstore owner and fantasy writer. Huff once told CA: "I have, besides my novels, done a number of short stories. 'Third Time Lucky,' 'And Who Is Joah?,' and 'The Last Lesson' are a continuing humorous series about Magdelene, the most powerful wizard in the world, and have all appeared in Amazing Stories. 'The Chase Is On' is a space opera of novella length, also appearing in Amazing Stories. My work has been said to have a sneaky feminism."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
Kliatt, March, 1994, p. 16; May, 1995, p. 14; November, 1995, p. 17; March, 1996, p. 16; July, 1996, p. 20; November, 1997, review of Blood Debt, p. 16; September, 1999, review of The Quartered Sea, p. 24.
Library Journal, April 15, 1998, Jackie Cassada, review of Summon the Keeper, p. 119; March 15, 2002, Jackie Cassada, review of The Better Part of Valor, p. 112.
Locus, November, 1994, p. 33; February, 2001, review of The Second Summoning, p. 27.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May, 1996, p. 41; July, 2002, Michelle West, review of The Better Part of Valor, p. 27.
Science Fiction Chronicle, November, 1993, p. 45; February, 1995, p. 36; May, 1998, review of Blood Debt, p. 45; December, 1999, review of What Ho, Magic!, p. 46; April, 2001, review of The Second Summoning, p. 37.
Voice of Youth Advocates, February, 1994, p. 382; April, 1995, p. 34; February, 1996, pp. 383-384; April, 1997, review of No Quarter, p. 11; October, 1998, review of Summon the Keeper, p. 284; April, 1999, review of Summon the Keeper, p. 13.
Bookbrowser, http://www.bookbrowser.com/ (March 19, 1998), review of Summon the Keeper.
Tribute to Tanya Huff Home Page, http://www.mctcnet.net (September 25, 2003), biographical information.*