(1948- ) US writer, who began with the The Books of Suns (1977), which, revised, became the second volume of the High-Fantasy Vale sequence: The White Hart (1979), The Silver Sun (1980), The Sable Moon (1981), The Black Beast (1982), The Golden Swan (1983) – the latter two assembled as The Book of Vale (omni 1983) – and Wings of Flame (1985). NS's lyrical, sometimes florid style is also evident in Chains of Gold (1986) and the Sea King trilogy: Madbond (1987), Mindbond (1987) and Godbond (1988). With The Hex Witch of Seldom (1988) and Apocalypse (1989) NS began to write Contemporary Fantasy, the well rendered rural Pennsylvanian settings and strongly portrayed female characters marking a distinct advance over her earlier work. She also began to write Children's Fantasies, including Red Wizard (1990) and The Friendship Song (1992). Larque on the Wing (1994), a contemporary novel dealing with Gender changes and questions of sexual identity, and Metal Angel (1994), which features a bisexual Angel, incline more toward Fabulation than to Genre Fantasy; the former won the James Tiptree Award. The novels' high spirits and eclectic story lines can be seen as a feminist counterpoint to the works of Tim Powers and James Blaylock. [JCB/GF]
other works: A Horse to Love (1987) and Not on a White Horse (1988), both for children; Chance & Other Gestures of the Hand of Fate (coll 1987), Damnbanna (1992 chap) and Stardark Songs (1994 chap), mostly fantasy poetry; The Blind God is Watching (1995 chap).