Guy Gavriel Kay
|Guy Gavriel Kay
Guy Gavriel Kay (right, with Élisabeth Vonarburg)
November 7, 1954 |
Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada
|Notable works||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.
Kay has written 12 novels and a book of poetry. His fiction has been translated into more than 25 languages.
When Christopher Tolkien needed an assistant to edit his father J. R. R. Tolkien's unpublished work, he chose Kay, then a student of philosophy at the University of Manitoba. Kay moved to Oxford in 1974 to assist Tolkien in the editing of The Silmarillion.
He returned to Canada in 1975 to take a law degree at the University of Toronto. He was called to the bar of Ontario in 1981.
Kay became Principal Writer and Associate Producer for a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio series, The Scales of Justice.
- The Fionavar Tapestry, concerning five people from our Earth in a parallel world, "the first of all worlds," in three parts:
- Tigana (1990), set in a period inspired by renaissance Italy.
- A Song for Arbonne (1992), a modification of the Albigensian Crusade in a medieval Provence. Winner of the 1993 Prix Aurora Award.
- The Lions of Al-Rassan (1995), set in an analogue of medieval Spain.
- The Sarantine Mosaic, inspired by the Byzantium of Justinian I, in two parts:
- Beyond This Dark House (2003), a collection of poetry.
- The Last Light of the Sun (2004), evoking the Viking invasions during the reign 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.
- Under Heaven (April 27, 2010), Based on the 8th century Tang Dynasty and the events leading up to the An Shi Rebellion.
- River of Stars (April 2, 2013), 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.
- Under Heaven won the Sunburst Award in 2011.  and was long listed for the IMPAC/Dublin Literary prize. 
- 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 has been nominated several times for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature.
- Kay has been nominated four times for the World Fantasy Award, and won in 2008 for "'Ysabel'".
- 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 in 2005 for The Last Light of the Sun.
- 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