The Chronicles of Tornor Critical Essays

Elizabeth A. Lynn


(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

When the books of the Chronicles of Tornor were first published, Lynn’s career as a fantasy and science-fiction author appeared full of promise. She had published A Different Light (1978), a science-fiction novel, before publishing the three Tornor novels, and she followed them with another science-fiction novel, The Sardonyx Net (1981), and a collection of previously published stories, The Woman Who Loved the Moon and Other Stories (1981). She was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award in 1977, and in 1980 she received the World Fantasy Award for Watchtower and for the short story “The Woman Who Loved the Moon” (originally published in Amazons!, edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, 1979). Her work received good reviews. In the remainder of the 1980’s, however, her only two full-length books were both for children: The Silver Horse (1984), a fantasy novel, and Babe Zaharias (1988), a biography of the athlete.

Lynn’s range as a writer is easily seen in the collection The Woman Who Loved the Moon and Other Stories. The stories include science fiction (set both on Earth and on alien worlds), fantasy, and what Lynn herself calls “category-straddling” stories that contain elements of science fiction and crime fiction, among other genres.

Science fiction was for a long time a market dominated by men, both in readership and in authorship. It was not until the 1960’s and 1970’s, with the rise of the women’s movement, that women began to both read and write science fiction. Suzy McKee Charnas and Joanna Russ have both written of the...

(The entire section is 672 words.)