Tanya Huff

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Tanya Huff
Tanya Huff at OVFF 2005.jpg
Tanya Huff at Ohio Valley Filk Fest 2005
Born 1957
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Occupation Novelist
Nationality Canadian
Genre Fantasy, science fiction

Tanya Sue Huff (born 1957) is a Canadian fantasy author. Her stories have been published since the late 1980s, including five fantasy series and one science fiction series. One of these, her Blood Books series, featuring detective Vicki Nelson, was adapted for television under the title Blood Ties.


Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Huff was raised in Kingston, Ontario. Her first sale as a writer was to The Picton Gazette when she was ten.[1][2] They paid $10 for two of her poems. Huff joined the Canadian Naval Reserve in 1975 as a cook, ending her service in 1979. In 1982 she received a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, Ontario; she was in the same class as noted science-fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer; they collaborated on their final TV Studio Lab assignment, a short science-fiction show.

In the early 1980s she worked at Mr. Gameway's Ark, a game store in Downtown Toronto. From 1984 to 1992 she worked at Bakka, North America's oldest surviving science fiction book store, in Toronto.[3] During this time she wrote seven novels and nine short stories, many of which were subsequently published. Her first professional sale was to George Scithers, the editor of Amazing Stories in 1985, who bought her short story Third Time Lucky.[1] She was a member of the Bunch of Seven writing group. In 1992, after living for 13 years in downtown Toronto, she moved with her four large cats to rural Ontario, where she currently resides with her wife, fellow fantasy writer Fiona Patton.[4][5] Her current pet population consists of six cats and what she describes as an "unintentional chihuahua".

Huff is one of the most prominent Canadian authors in the category of contemporary fantasy, a subgenre pioneered by Charles de Lint. Many of the scenes in her stories are near places where she has lived or frequented in Toronto, Kingston, and elsewhere. This author frequently uses as character names the names of people in her circle of acquaintances. A prolific author, "she has written everything from horror to romantic fantasy to contemporary fantasy to humour to space opera."[6]

She appeared in a 2009 documentary Pretty Bloody: The Women of Horror.


Keeper's Chronicles[edit]

Claire is a Keeper, charged with keeping the fabric of the metaphysical universe together, who inadvertently finds herself in charge of a small hotel with a hole to Hell in the basement. Her sidekick is Austin, a large, elderly talking cat. Claire's love interest, Dean, is a man without magical powers, whom she finds working as a handyman at the hotel. She is also assisted by Jacques, a hedonistic but noble ghost. Claire's sister, Diana, plays a large part in the books as well. In the second book, Diana acquires a talking cat of her own, which was an angel until Diana helped it to reconfigure as a cat and which, like Austin, provides comic commentary and a partner in dialogue.

  1. Summon the Keeper (1998)
  2. The Second Summoning (2001)
  3. Long Hot Summoning (2003)

Quarters series[edit]

Describes a world where musicians (or bards) create magic and an invasion from a neighboring country threatens the land. Many of the bards travel to carry their magical skills, as well as news, throughout the kingdom. The first book focuses on a bard who happens to be the king's sister and who has been forbidden to have a child. When she finds herself pregnant after a wild night of passion with the duke of a border duchy, she fears reprisal. The second and third books focus on a brother-sister pair of assassins. The fourth book primarily takes place in a new land and continues the story of Bannon, the brother portion of the assassin pair from previous books.

  1. Sing the Four Quarters (1994)
  2. Fifth Quarter (1995)
  3. No Quarter (1996)
  4. The Quartered Sea (1999)

Wizard Crystal series[edit]

  1. Child of the Grove (1988)
  2. The Last Wizard (1989)
    Wizard of the Grove (1999) (Omnibus edition of Child of the Grove and The Last Wizard)

Blood Books[edit]

This series pairs a detective with a vampire. The first book introduces Vicki Nelson, a former police officer with failing eyesight due to Retinitis Pigmentosa and Henry Fitzroy, a vampire and writer of historical romances—which is natural for him as he was Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset, illegitimate son of Henry VIII before he was seduced by a vampire. She is known to her police colleagues as "Victory Nelson" for her successful record of investigations; her mother calls her by her legal given name, "Victoria". Henry's protégé, Tony, is also introduced, as well as Vicki's hard-boiled former partner on the police force, Mike Celluci. Vicki's failing eyesight disqualified her from street work and she resigned rather than take a desk job, and, at the start of the first book, is working as a private detective. Together Vicki and Henry stand against a number of supernatural threats. The series is set in Canada, mainly in Toronto, Ontario, London, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia. It uses familiar landmarks, down to Tony's home on "Neal Avenue" being recognizably Nealon Avenue north of Danforth Avenue.[citation needed]

The series was adapted for CBC Television under the title Blood Ties and also aired on the Lifetime channel in the US. In the TV show, Tony's character was omitted with the idea that in future another series might centre around him.[7]

  1. Blood Price (1991)
  2. Blood Trail (1992)
  3. Blood Lines (1992)
  4. Blood Pact (1993)
  5. Blood Debt (1997)
  6. Blood Bank – a short story collection
Omnibus editions
  1. The Blood Books, Volume I (Omnibus edition of Blood Price and Blood Trail) paperback 2006 ISBN 0-7564-0387-1. 
  2. The Blood Books, Volume II (Omnibus edition of Blood Lines and Blood Pact) paperback 2006 ISBN 0-7564-0388-X. 
  3. The Blood Books, Volume III (Omnibus edition of Blood Debt and Blood Bank) paperback 2006-09-05 ISBN 0-7564-0392-8.  (does not contain Tanya Huff's TV script for "Stone Cold" from Blood Ties that was added to the 2008 reissue of Blood Bank)

Smoke Books[edit]

A follow-up to the Blood Books, featuring Tony Foster as the main character with his work in syndicated television on a show about a vampire detective.

  1. Smoke and Shadows (hardcover 2004 ed.). ISBN 0-7564-0183-6, paperback ISBN 0-7564-0263-8. 
  2. Smoke and Mirrors (hardcover 2005 ed.). ISBN 0-7564-0262-X, paperback ISBN 0-7564-0348-0. 
  3. Smoke and Ashes (hardcover June 2006 ed.). ISBN 0-7564-0347-2, paperback ISBN 978-0-7564-0415-4. 

Valor Confederation[edit]

Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr's aim is to keep both her superiors and her company of space marines alive as they deal with lethal missions throughout the galaxy.

A Confederation of Valor (2006-12-05) (Omnibus edition of Valor's Choice and The Better Part of Valor)
  1. Valor's Choice (2000)
    SSgt Kerr is sent with a motley platoon of space marines to help induct a new member species into the Confederation.
  2. The Better Part of Valor (2002)
    SSgt Kerr is sent with a scratch squad of select recon force marines to investigate an unknown alien spaceship
  3. The Heart of Valor (2007)
    GySgt Kerr escorts a newly rehabilitated Major to the Marines combat training grounds for field exercises.
  4. Valor's Trial (2008)
    GySgt Kerr fights her way out of an underground POW camp.
  5. The Truth of Valor (hardcover 24 August 2010)
  6. Peacemaker (2015 release)[8]

Enchantment Emporium[edit]

  • The Enchantment Emporium (2009)
  • The Wild Ways (2011) – an Emporium sequel from Charlie's point of view[9]
  • The Future Falls (2014)

Other novels[edit]

  • Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light (1989)
  • The Fire's Stone (1990)
  • Of Darkness, Light, and Fire (2001) (Omnibus edition of Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light and The Fire's Stone)
  • Scholar of Decay (1995) a Ravenloft novel
  • The Silvered (2012)

Short story collections[edit]

Short stories[edit]

  • "Music Hath Charms" (in anthology Hotter Than Hell, 2008)
  • "Quartered" (in anthology A Fantasy Medley 2, Edited by Yanni Kuzniz, 2012)


  • Anon. (December 2013). "Tanya Huff : builder". Interviews. Locus 71 (6): 6–7, 58. 


The CBC Television series Blood Ties was based on Huff's Vicki Nelson novels, and also aired in the United States on Lifetime. It was produced by CHUM Television and Kaleidoscope Entertainment. It was not picked up for a second season (which would have been the third season in the US).[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Dani Fletcher. "Tanya Huff – Blood and Valor (vol IV/iss 1/January 2001)". Sequential Tart. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  2. ^ Switzer, David M.; Schellenberg, James (19 August 1998). "Wizards, Vampires & a Cat: From the Imagination of Tanya Huff". Challengingdestiny.com. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  3. ^ Hanover, Terri; T. S. Huff (1 January 2005). "Huff, Tanya (Sue) 1957–". Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. Gale via Highbeam Research. 
  4. ^ Keith, Christie. "Behind the Scenes of Blood Ties" 7 March 2007 afterellen.com
  5. ^ [http://www.denvention3.org/programming/bios16.php[dead link] Denvention 3 "Program Participant Biographies: Tanya Huff"
  6. ^ Gaylaxicon 2006. "Additional Author Guest". Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Interview with Tanya Huff
  8. ^ Literary Agent
  9. ^ Emporium sequel

External links[edit]

"Cover Reveal: Tanya Huff's THE FUTURE FALLS". Zeno Agency Ltd. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014. The novel is due to be published in the UK in November 2014 by Titan Books.