Although there are many authors from the 80s who I would love to be compared to, (like Charles de Lint, Patricia C. Wrede, Sherri S. Tepper, or anyone from the Fourthe Street Fantasy group), there is one author whose early books stand out as the pinnacle of “I wish I could have written that.”
Patricia A. McKillip’s Riddlemaster of Hed series, The Changeling Sea, and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld have the perfect combination of plot, angst, mystery, love and humor. They are books I can read over and over again. In fact, the characters in these books feel more like friends I go visit than mere words on a page.
While McKillip later drifted into the realm of too lyrical for me, these books (written in the late 70s to late 80s), made me dream of being a writer. I have studied these books in detail, counting words, plotting out the actions, tracing the emotional arcs, hunting down foreshadows and generally marveling in the completeness of the worldbuilding.
When I left Canada to move to Spain, I allowed myslf one shelf of books, and these five books had to come with me.
In future psts I will talk about the other books that crossed the Atlantic with me, but in the meantime, go check out these books which unfortunately are not still in print, nor available in ebook format, but most online stores do have secondhand copies for sale.