Guy Gavriel Kay
|Guy Gavriel Kay
Guy Gavriel Kay (right, with Élisabeth Vonarburg)
November 7, 1954 |
Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada
|Notable work(s)||The Summer Tree, Tigana|
Guy Gavriel Kay CM (born November 7, 1954) is a Canadian author of fantasy fiction. Many of his novels are set in fictional realms that resemble real places during real historical periods, such as Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I or Spain during the time of El Cid. Those works are published and marketed as historical fantasy, though the author himself has expressed a preference to shy away from genre categorization when possible.
When Christopher Tolkien needed an assistant to edit his father J. R. R. Tolkien's unpublished work, he chose Kay, then a student of philosophy at the University of Manitoba, whose parents were friends of Baillie Tolkien's parents. Kay moved to Oxford in 1974 to assist Tolkien in the editing of The Silmarillion. There he learnt a lot about writing and editing,[clarification needed] and later admitted of Tolkien's influence, "to be successful in fantasy, you have to take the measure of Tolkien—work with his strengths and away from his weaknesses".
He returned to Canada in 1976 to finish a law degree at the University of Toronto, and became interested in writing fiction.
- The Fionavar Tapestry, concerning five people from our Earth in a parallel world, "the first of all worlds," in three parts:
- Tigana (1990), winner of the 1991 Prix Aurora Award. Relating to a sorcerer-oppressed realm in a medieval Italy analogue.
- A Song for Arbonne (1992). A modification of the Albigensian Crusade in a medieval Provence analogue.
- The Lions of Al-Rassan, (1995). The story of two military strategists (one an El Cid analogue) in a medieval Spain analogue.
- The Sarantine Mosaic, a mosaicist under emperor Valerius II (a Justinian I analogue) in Sarantium (a Constantinople analogue), in two parts:
- Beyond This Dark House (2003). A collection of poetry.
- The Last Light of the Sun (2004). A story based on the Erling (Viking analogue culture) invasions of Anglcyn (which is an analogue of Saxon-England) and Cyngael (a medieval Wales analogue) during the rule of Aeldred (an analogue of Alfred the Great).
- Ysabel (2007). A modern urban fantasy set in Provence, centering around a teenage boy and his encounters with characters from the distant past. Explicitly if lightly linked to The Fionavar Tapestry, featuring two of its main characters as supporting roles.
- Under Heaven (April 27, 2010). A story based on the 8th century Tang Dynasty and the events leading up to the An Shi Rebellion.
- River of Stars (April 2, 2013). A story set in the same timeline as Under Heaven, based on the 12th century Song Dynasty and the events around the Jin-Song Wars and the transition from Northern Song to Southern Song.
Nominations, awards and accolades
- Kay won the 1985 Scales of Justice Award for best media treatment of a legal issue, Canadian Law Reform Commission, 1985, for Second Time Around.
- The Wandering Fire won the 1987 Prix Aurora Award in the English category, and the 1987 Casper Award for best speculative fiction.
- Kay was runner up for the White Pine Award in 2007 for Ysabel.
- Ysabel was the winner of the 2008 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.
- Kay has also won the International Goliardos Award for his work in the fantasy field.
- Kay was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014 "for his contributions to the field of speculative fiction as an internationally celebrated author."
- Kay was nominated for a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature in 1985 for The Summer Tree.
- Kay was nominated for a World Fantasy Award and a Prix Aurora Award in 1991 for Tigana.
- Kay was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 1999 for Sailing to Sarantium, and in 2001 for Lord of Emperors.
- The translation of The Lions of Al-Rassan was nominated for the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy Geffen Award in 2005.
- Kay was nominated for the Canadian Sunburst Award nomination in 2005 for The Last Light of the Sun.
- Interview with The National Post, 7 April 2010
- Bright Weavings the worlds of Guy Gavriel Kay
- Professional Awards (1980-2006)
- Guy Gavriel Kay (1954–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights
- 2009 World Fantasy Award Winners & Nominees
- Shortlist for the 2005 Sunburst Award
- Order of Canada Appointments June 30, 2014
- Guy Gavriel Kay's authorized website
- Guy Gavriel Kay at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Guy Gavriel Kay entry in The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Interview on the now-defunct Event Horizon, via Internet Archive Way Back Machine
- Interview by Raymond H. Thompson at the Library of Rochester
- World Fantasy 2008 Podcast