Annal: 2004 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature

Results of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in the year 2004.

Book:Sunshine (Robin McKinley)

Sunshine

Robin McKinley

They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion-within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight.

She knows that it is a vampire.

She knows that she’s to be his dinner, and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, when light breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is he who needs her to help him survive the day…

Book:Changing Planes

Changing Planes

Ursula K. Le Guin

“Then came a child trotting to school with his little backpack. He trotted on all fours, neatly, his hands in leather mitts or boots that protected them from the pavement; he was pale, with small eyes, and a snout, but he was adorable.”
—from Changing Planes

The misery of waiting for a connecting flight at an airport leads to the accidental discovery of alighting on other planes—not airplanes but planes of existence. Ursula Le Guin’s deadpan premise frames a series of travel accounts by the tourist-narrator who describes bizarre societies and cultures that sometimes mirror our own, and sometimes open puzzling doors into the alien.

Book:Fudoki

Fudoki

Kij Johnson

In her skillful debut novel, Kij Johnson took the classic Japanese myth of the fox who dared to become a woman to win true love and created The Fox Woman, a luminous, lyrical tale of love, desire, joy, and the nature of the soul.

Set in the same universe as The Fox Woman, this time Kij Johnson takes on another animal totem and enters the world of the creature who comes to be known as Kagaya-hime, a sometime woman warrior, occasional philosopher, and reluctant confidante to noblemen.

And who may or may not be the figment of the imagination of an aging empress who is embarking on the last journey of her life, setting aside the trappings of court life and reminiscing as she follows the paths that are leading her to the nunnery and death. …[more]

Book:In the Forests of Serre

In the Forests of Serre

Patricia A. McKillip

Returning from war astride his horse, Prince Ronan of Serre accidentally tramples a white hen in the road—and his inattention earns him a witch’s curse. It seems not much of a threat, though, to a man so shattered by grief that his life is worth nothing to him. What curse is worse than already having lost your wife and child?

But the witch’s words come to pass when Ronan’s homecoming is ruined by his father’s pronouncement of an arranged marriage. Numbed by shock and despair, Ronan casts his gaze toward the forest and glimpses a wondrous sight: a firebird perched on a nearby branch. Filled with an unexplainable yearning, Ronan follows the firebird—and slips into a sideways world where the palace no longer exists. But his intended, the beautiful Princess Sidonie, is on her way to that palace. And her fate depends on Ronan wanting to find his way home…

Book:Paladin of Souls

Paladin of Souls: A Novel

Lois McMaster Bujold

One of the most honored authors in the field of fantasy and science fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold transports us once more to a dark and troubled land and embroils us in a desperate struggle to preserve the endangered souls of a realm.

Three years have passed since the widowed Dowager Royina Ista found release from the curse of madness that kept her imprisoned in her family’s castle of Valenda. Her newfound freedom is costly, bittersweet with memories, regrets, and guilty secrets—for she knows the truth of what brought her land to the brink of destruction. And now the road—escape—beckons.…A simple pilgrimage, perhaps. Quite fitting for the Dowager Royina of all Chalion.

Yet something else is free, too—something beyond deadly. To the north lies the vital border fortress of Porifors. Memories linger there as well, of wars and invasions and the mighty Golden General of Jokona. And someone, something, watches from across…[more]

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