Tuttle, Lisa 1952–

views updated

Tuttle, Lisa 1952–

PERSONAL: Born September 16, 1952, in Houston, TX; daughter of R.E. and Elizabeth Tuttle. Education: Syracuse University, B.A., 1973.

ADDRESSES: Home—Harrow, Middlesex, England. Agent—Howard Marhaim, 175 5th Ave., Rm. 709, New York, NY 10010.

CAREER: Writer, novelist, editor, short-story writer, and educator. University of London, London, England, teacher of courses in science fiction for extramural department, 1984–88; freelance journalist in London, England, 1985–; writer. Editor of Mathom (a fan magazine), 1968–70; editor for the Women's Press, 1987–.

MEMBER: Science Fiction Writers of America, Women in Publishing.

AWARDS, HONORS: John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best New Writer, World Science Fiction Society, 1974.


(With George R.R. Martin) Windhaven (novel), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1980.

Familiar Spirit, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1983.

(Author of text) Catwitch (for children), idea and illustrations by Una Woodruff, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1983.

(With Rosalind Ashe) Children's Literary Houses, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1984.

Encyclopedia of Feminism, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1986.

A Nest of Nightmares (fiction), Sphere Books (London, England), 1986.

A Spaceship Built of Stone and Other Stories, Women's Press (London, England), 1987.

Gabriel (fiction), Tor Books (New York, NY), 1988.

Heroines: Women Inspired by Women, Harrap (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1988.

(Editor) Skin of the Soul: New Horror Stories by Women, Women's Press (London, England), 1990.

Pillow Friend (novel), White Wolf Publishing (Stone Mountain, GA), 1996.

The Mysteries (novel), Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2005.

The Silver Bough (novel), Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to anthologies, including Clarion II and Clarion III, both edited by Robin Scott Wilson, New American Library (New York, NY), 1972 and 1973; Survival From Infinity, edited by Roger Elwood, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1974; Best SF 75, edited by Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss, Bobbs Merrill (Indianapolis, IN), 1976; Lone Star Universe, edited by George W. Proctor and Steven Utley, Heidelberg, 1976; Ascents of Wonder, edited by David Gerrold and Stephen Goldin, Popular Library (New York, NY), 1977; New Voices in Science Fiction, edited by George R.R. Martin, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1977; SF Choice 77, edited by Mike Ashley, Quartet, 1977; and New Voices 2, edited by George R.R. Martin, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1979.

Contributor of stories to periodicals, including Amazing, Analog, Fantastic, Galaxy, Interzone, Twilight Zone, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, and Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

American Statesman, Austin, TX, columnist, 1976–79.

SIDELIGHTS: Lisa Tuttle is a novelist and short-story writer who works in the genres of science fiction and contemporary fantasy. A long-time practitioner of fantastic fiction, Tuttle is a consistent and well-regarded author in the science fiction and fantasy community. Her works do not appear frequently, but when they do, they are regularly reviewed favorably by critics within and outside of the genre.

Pillow Friend is a "strange and unsettling psychological fantasy that presents a very honest portrait of an alternative mindview," commented reviewer Charles de Lint in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Agnes Grey, the story's protagonist, experiences a miserable and unhappy childhood while growing up in middle-class Houston during the 1960s. Her mother suffers from depression and unpredictable mood swings, and her father is indifferent both to her mother's psychological condition and Agnes's misery. To cope, Agnes spends much of her time in a self-created world of deep fantasy, far from the grim realities of her everyday life. Aiding her is her mother's twin sister, her Aunt Marjorie, flamboyant, mysterious, unpredictable, even mystical. Aunt Marjorie explains to Agnes how she can have anything she wants, if only she wants it bad enough, and is willing to accept the consequences. To assist, Marjorie gives Agnes a small, dapper, old-fashioned gentleman doll, to be her "pillow friend," a comrade and confidant who Agnes can tell stories to, and share her innermost secrets with, much as Aunt Marjorie did with he own pillow friend. With the help of her pillow friend, Agnes learns to wish her desires into existence, from a beautiful white stallion to a devoted high school boyfriend. As Agnes grows older, however, the consequences her aunt warned her about become harder and harder to ignore, as her make-believe relationships gradually become more satisfying, and more appealing, than her real-life ones. When her pillow friend reenters her life some time later, she begins to realize how dangerous her association with the little homunculus has become. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called the book a "grim yet evocative tale." De Lint concluded that Pillow Friend is a "novel that explores the boundaries of consensual reality and perception in as fascinating a manner as any it's been my pleasure to read."

In The Mysteries, a modern-day fantasy set in urban England and Scotland, American Laura Lensky hires Ian Kennedy, a London detective and tracer of missing persons, to find her missing daughter, Peri. The twenty-one-year-old Peri inexplicably disappeared more than two years ago after a date with her boyfriend, Hugh. Kennedy's investigation turns up curious clues, including reports from some eyewitnesses who say they saw Peri, haggard, upset, and pregnant, a few months after her disappearance when she managed to make a strange phone call to her mother. Peri's diary contains stories that are apparently fantasies in which she encounters talking dolls and a man who claims to have loved her for thousands of years. When he interviews Hugh, he finds that Peri and Hugh had visited a nightclub where Hugh played chess with a mysterious stranger on the night of the girl's disappearance, who then claims to have won Peri from him. As his search deepens, Kennedy realizes the case is disturbingly similar to one he handled years prior, in which he discovered that the ancient Celtic world of the Sidhe actually existed, and in which a Sidhe prince abducted a mortal woman. After convincing Laura and Hugh of the reality of the fairy realm, the three must travel to Scotland to confront ancient and formidable powers in their quest to rescue the captive Peri. "Tuttle has total command of setting, style and her folklore sources" in this "superlative dark fantasy," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. A Kirkus Reviews critic called the book "Stylishly written, with evocative use of folklore elements."

Three women have come to the isolated Scottish coastal town of Appleton in The Silver Bough, each seeking respite and recovery in their own way. Ashley Kaldis is still in shock over the recent loss of her parents, and arrives to trace her grandmother's genealogy. Kathleen Mullaroy takes a job as librarian in Appleton's famously haunted library. And widow Eleanor Westray, still grieving the loss of her husband, works to maintain a rare specimen of Scarlet King apple tree, which legend has it will produce, once in a lifetime, a Golden Queen apple. Appleton, once a thriving orchard community, has fallen on hard times, which local legend claims began in 1950. Then, the woman who would have been Apple Queen did not marry her consort; her betrothed did not eat the precious Golden Queen apple; and the two did not settle in Appleton. Thus, the town's fortunes began to decay, and Apple Queen-elect Phemie and her consort, Roan Wall, simply disappeared. In modern-day Appleton, the legends stir again when a mysterious, brutally handsome man appears in town, and turns out to be the returned Roan Wall. A landslide cuts off access to and from the town. And, in Eleanor's walled orchard, a single golden apple appears on the well-known tree. As the battered town considers its second chance at redemption, Ashley, Kathleen, and Eleanor ponder which of them will be selected as Roan's Apple Queen, and which will see the realization of their heart's desire. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called the book a "superior fantasy" notable for "delightful characters, engagingly fey imagery, and well-researched Celtic lore." Jackie Cassada, writing in Library Journal, commented favorably on Tuttle's "fluid style and storytelling talent." Booklist reviewer Paula Luedtke remarked that the novel "abounds with charm and magic. Readers will want to take their time with it, to savor its layers of nuance."



Booklist, March 1, 2005, Ray Olson, review of The Mysteries, p. 1150; April 1, 2006, Paula Luedtke, review of The Silver Bough, p. 28.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2005, review of The Mysteries, p. 20; March 15, 2006, review of The Silver Bough, p. 267.

Library Journal, February 15, 2005, Jackie Cassada, review of The Mysteries, p. 123; April 15, 2006, Jackie Cassada, review of The Silver Bough, p. 71.

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October-November, 1996, Charles de Lint, review of Pillow Friend, p. 62; October-November, 2005, Charles de Lint, review of The Mysteries, p. 45.

Publishers Weekly, August 5, 1996, review of Pillow Friend, p. 431; April 9, 2001, review of Windhaven, p. 55; January 17, 2005, review of The Mysteries, p. 38; February 27, 2006, review of The Silver Bough, p. 38.