This page is dedicated to one of the most original, entertaining and under-appreciated writers of Fantasy to emerge since the war and to her creations Jame and the Kencyrath.
Her books used to be very difficult to obtain, even through the publishers. They really deserved much better and now they are once again generally available P.C. Hodgell will hopefully get the credit she merits as a SF writer. From the breadth and depth of her writing she should be considered in the same class as Robert Jordan, Raymond Feist and Stephen Donaldson. In terms of her feel for the "fairy tale" genre and historical understanding she may be only surpassed by the master, Tolkien, like whom she has the artistic talent to illustrate her own works.
|The four books and the short stories she has published about Jamethiel Priestbane and the Kencyrath have achieved cult status among discerning readers. She is currently at work on a fifth book, continuing Jame's time in Military School.
Aug 28, 2007
You can let the Kencyr list know that Baen is buying the next Jame novel and reissuing the first four, possibly in omnibus editions. I don't know if the latter are trade paperback, mass, or hardcover.
Also, someone told me about the collection of first editions sold for $280. Someone got a bargain. I've seen a signed 1st ed. Atheneum God Stalk going for $410 by itself at AbeBooks.com.
Nice to have met you at NASFIC!
I am delighted to announce that on Saturday, May 5th at 1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific, I will be conducting a live call-in talk radio interview with fantasy author P.C. Hodgell on my book-related talk show, The Biblio File ( "http://terrania.us/biblio/" ). The interview will cover her career in general, as well as recent news such as the Baen Webscription bundle and the closing down of Meisha Merlin. After I finish my prepared questions, Hodgell will take questions from the audience.[Note : The very interesting interview can be downloaded as two MP3 files 13Mb and 14Mb resp.]
Pat's friend, Melinda, asked me to post this:
PC finished the outline for the next novel (it is quite long, intricate, and wonderful), and has started work on the chapters. Losing her publisher has (Meisha Merlin) has discouraged her. She always writes much slower when she hasn't got a comittment to have the book published. She stopped work for a time to do the illustrations for the Baen e-book, and was planning on getting back to the novel last week. Unfortunately, she had a nasty fall and broke her arm/shoulder. The last I heard from her (several days ago), she was going to have surgery the next day to have a metal plate/pin put in to hold everything together. I suspect it will be a while before the next book appears, unless she aquires a new publisher.
From: <Meisha Merlin> 23 Apr 2007
I am sorry to say that due to major distribution problems Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc. will be closing their doors in May 2007. Both Kevin and I along with the entire staff here at Meisha Merlin want to thank all our fans, customers, authors, & artist for your support over the past eleven years. We are sorry to have to do this, but events beyond our control have forced us to make this decision.
She has begun the next novel and it should be out in three years.
Meisha Merlin Publishing
Earlier posts and newsgroup discussions of Pat's work can be found in the News Archive
She currently lives in Winsconsin and teaches English at the Oshkosh campus of the University of Wisconsin. [Thanks to Heidi Stanton for that snippet. - Note PCH does not use the email address at Oshkosh.]
She also teaches a distance learning course at the University of Minnesota (University College) entitled
"Studies in Narrative: Science Fiction and Fantasy".
On this page PCH also gives some background information about herself. I'll quote what she says about her
Kencyr books :
Also, I've published three novels: God Stalk, Dark of the Moon, and Seeker's Mask. All are part of an on-going fantasy saga concerned not only with high adventure but also with questions of personal identity, religion, politics, honor, and arboreal drift. From this, you may gather (correctly) that I have a deep commitment to fantasy as a vehicle not only of wonder but also of self-discovery, as the best fantasy always is -- in support of which, see Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.From the notes in "The Confidential Casebook of Sherlock Holmes"
P.C. Hodgell... is currently working on a fantasy sequel to Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. A teacher at the University of Winsconsin, she lives in a wind-swept mansion with her mother, three cats and 1,600 balls of yarn, "because I'm an art knitter."see also her biography on the Meisha Merlin Page
|(ISBN 0-940841-44-4) original Berkley trade pbk
|Dark of the Moon
|Chronicles of the Kencyrath
|(ISBN 0-450-42400-6) trade paperback
|(ISBN 0-940841-30-4) limited edition hardback
|Dark of the Gods
|(ISBN 1-892065-26-6) trade pbk
|(ISBN 1-892065-25-8) limited edition hardback
|(ISBN: 1-892065-34-7) trade pbk
|(ISBN: 1-892065-33-9) limited edition hardback
|To Ride a Rathorn
|(ISBN: 1-59222-102-5) hardback
|plus a collection of short stories :
|Blood and Ivory
|Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry
|(ISBN: 1-892065-73-8) trade paperback
|Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry
|(ISBN: 1-892065-72.X) hardback
[The first two were published in mass-market paperback format. A trade paperback
version of Blood and Ivory was announced but never seen.]
"Chronicles of the Kencyrath" was published in the UK by the New English Library as a single volume containing "God Stalk" and "Dark of the Moon" and is long out of print.
The full publication history of all PC Hodgell's books can be found on the Locus Index to Science Fiction and Internet Speculative Fiction Database websites
Several of her shorter stories (set in the same world) were printed as chapbooks which Hypatia reprinted the 4 Jame short stories in a collection entitled "Blood and Ivory" to match the full-length stories.
Reviews of God Stalk and Seeker's Mask can be found in the Linköping Science Fiction Archive.
The "In Other Worlds" site has reviews of all three books (and other authors' books as well).
Comprehensive reviews of Seekers Mask are to be found on the Science Fiction Reviews and Epiphyte Book Review sites. Both are very thorough and contain many spoilers.
Having started with my (unashamedly biased) take on the Kencyr books I thought I'd finish with an extract from the introduction to "Seeker's Mask".
...the bare bones of the plot undoubtedly sound like any one of the literaly dozens of derivative fantasy novels that clog the shelves of our bookstores, but that's far from the case here. Like Guy Gavriel Kay and Patricia A. McKillip, like Janet Yolen and Midori Snyder and a few other talented fantasists, Pat works with the archetypes of myth and high fantasy and uses tham as a means of confronting and dealing with the real world, rather than as simple escapism. Her work demands involvement from the reader, not because her prose can be so dense, or the plotlines don't always follow through in a traditionally linear sense, but because there is an underlying resonance to every action and motive and description.
You come away from one of Pat's books with your mind and heart humming. The reverberations of what you've read carry through into the world beyond the book's pages and you see things differently. Connections that originated in the novels link with our own lives, offering insights and questions, both of which are important as we make our way though the confusing morass of the world.
...Like many of us Pat has cast her net into the pool of what went before, but unlike most, she replenishes those waters with more than what she took.
I would welcome any information or news about P.C. Hodgell and any contributions to this
In particular, if anyone would like to contribute artwork or fan fiction drop me an e-mail and I'll find some space for you.
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since 1st August 2005
© Steve Clark:
Original created 12th December 1996
Last Updated 25th April 2007