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Biographical data

Gael Baudino (1955- ) grew up in Los Angeles, later relocated to Denver.

A feminist and author of speculative fiction, she is a self-reported minister of Dianic Wicca, and a Morris dancer.

She lives with her same-sex partner, Mirya Rule, after whom one of her characters was named, and to whom several of her books are dedicated. In the afterword to Gossamer Axe, she notes that the story is somewhat autobiographical.

Under the pseudonym "Gael Kathryns," she is a concert harpist who teaches workshops, composes, and regularly writes for the Folk Harp Journal.

Bibliography

  • Novels and Collections
    • Dragonsword - fantasy series of a UCLA professor who becomes a warrior in a fantasy kingdom
      1. Dragonsword (1990)
      2. Duel of Dragons (1991)
      3. Dragon Death (1992)
    • Strands of Starlight - historical fantasy series about elves living among us, spanning 14th-century Europe amid the Inquisition to contemporary Colorado
      1. Strands of Starlight (1989) - a young girl’s healing powers bring her into conflict with the Inquisition
      2. Maze of Moonlight (1993) - a crusader and a peasant girl become involved with the Elven folk.
      3. Shroud of Shadow (1993)
      4. Strands of Sunlight (1994) - the last living elf in the world
      5. Spires of Spirit (1997) - collection of six novelettes from the entire time span of this setting
    • Gossamer Axe (1990) - rock and roll time-travel Celtic fantasy novel about a bisexual harper seeking her female lover, kidnapped by the Sidhe
    • Water! alternate-world fantasy series. The Puritan-controlled Righteous States of America seek a foothold in Africa from which to oppose Napoleon, and choose the stagnant, drought-stricken Three Kingdoms.
      1. O Greenest Branch! (1995)
      2. The Dove Looked In (1996)
      3. Branch and Crown (1996)
  • Short Stories, Novelettes, Novellas
    • "Before," Lammas Night, ed. Josepha Sherman (1996)
    • "Bitterfoot," Sisters in Fantasy 2, ed. Susan Shwartz & Martin H. Greenberg (1996)
    • "Charity," Spires of Spirit (1997)
    • "Elvenhome," Spires of Spirit (1997)
    • "Introduction," Spires of Spirit (1997)
    • "Lady of Light," Spires of Spirit (1997)
    • "The Persistence of Memory," F&SF (Nov 1985), and The Year’s Best Fantasy Stories: 12, ed. Arthur W. Saha (1986)
    • "The Persistence of Memory," F&SF (Nov 1985), and The Bank Street Book of Fantasy, ed. Howard Zimmerman, Seymour Reit & Barbara Brenner, (1989); adapted by David M. Harris, illustrated by Rurik Tyler
    • "Please Come to Denver (in the Spring)," Spires of Spirit (1997)
    • "The Shadow of the Starlight," F&SF (Apr 1985), and Spires of Spirit (1997); revised.
    • "Tidings of Comfort and Joy," The Magic of Christmas, ed. John Silbersack & Christopher Schelling (1992)
    • "A Touch of Distant Hands," Spires of Spirit (1997)

Awards

Notable Quotes

  • " 'Sodomites and elves have come to your door,' she said, 'and you're just going to have to get used to it.' " (Strands of Starlight)

Opinion

Gael Baudino's elves are some of the most fully realized, complex depictions of elfin folk, positing an interesting origin at the dawn of time, and suggesting intriguing connections between elf and human. While her Dragonsword books are fairly typical and largely unremarkable sword and sorcery novels, and her Water! series, though starting from an interesting premise, just don't work to hold my attention (and the intentional humor and attempts to play with literary form and style fall flat, to my ear), Strands of Starlight are among the books that have had tremendous personal relevance, and a significant impact on my self-conception and my spiritual search.

Gossamer Axe also is an excellent novel, somewhat (and ironically, considering the derivation of the word) seminal in fantasy literature for its positive depictions of loving, bisexual, Lesbian, and polyamorous relationships.

Unfortunately, at least in terms of her fantasy writing, Ms. Baudino seems to have dropped off the face of the earth, having published nothing under that name since 1997, and only one short story under a pseudonym in 1999.

Sources

  • My personal collection of Ms. Baudino's novels
  • The Locus Index to Science Fiction (www.locusmag.com/index/)
  • A smattering of other fan and bibliographical sites

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