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One of the truly great SF/Fantasy writers, but you know that already. Anne's Dragonriders of Pern books are known and loved throughout the world, along with the rest of her myriad works. The woman is amazing - acres of talent and a boundless enthusiasm for life and for her craft.

Jane has won about every award they ever came up with, and in my view it's still not enough. She is a profoundly gifted storyteller. She has accomplished in her person that which I strive towards - it is as if she has taken in the truths of mythology from all over the world, and distilled them into her own vision. If you don't know her work, now's a good time to start.

Deborah Turner Harris and Robert J. Harris have been dear friends for many years. They are both terrific writers, and if it hadn't been for Debby taking her courage in both feet and kicking my backside several times - hard - about my own early work, I'd still be whimpering "I wanna be a writer someday..." Bob has written with the amazing Jane Yolen for some years, and has now begun his solo career with the young adult novel "Leonardo and the Death Machine", a fabulous adventure with the young Leonardo da Vinci. Deborah Turner Harris' first trilogy, the Mages of Garillon, is terrific, as is her second solo series The Mages of Caledon - very atmospheric, grand story-telling and rip-snorting action scenes that I'd kill to be able to write. Debby also writes with Katherine Kurtz - the "Adept" novels and several Templar books have come out in their combined names to critical acclaim. And it's a great website, created by Mark and Kirsty Nicol, who are also good pals. Plug, plug, plug...
  
I've only just discovered Lois Bujold's work (thanks, Anne!) and am entirely enthralled. She is a splendid writer and has brought me hours of delight. The central character of many of her works, one Miles Vorkosigan, is a creation of genius, and is as alive and fully rounded as any character I have ever encountered in literature. Trust me, this is going some. Amazing work. Read it. Read it now.

Elizabeth Anne Scarborough I met Annie Scarborough through the kindness of Jane Yolen (thank you, Aunty Jane!). Annie came to stay with me for a short while when I lived in Edinburgh, and we have spent much of the time since trying to figure out how we're going to get together again. (This living on two separate continents is a pest.) Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, aside from being a world-class beadworker and creator of bead patterns, and having an absolutely glorious capacity for lousy puns, just happens to be a Nebula-award winning author for one of her many excellent novels, in this case The Healer's War. Her works are not as easy to get hold of as they might be, but make the effort. She's damn good. Annie also collaborates with Anne McCaffrey on a fairly regular basis.

Tania Opland &
Mike Freeman
I only met Tania and Mike in person a few years ago. Not only were they delightful company and fascinating conversationalists, not only were they dear friends of my pal Annie Scarborough - but on that occasion, I got to hear them play for the first time. They are very fine professional musicians, their music is haunting and funny and joyful by turns, and it is a complete delight to attend their concerts, which are even better than their recorded CDs. This is going some.
More specifically, in direct collaboration with Anne McCaffrey, they have written music to accompany Anne's book The Masterharper of Pern. That book desperately needed to be accompanied by a CD, and now you can get it direct from Mike and Tania, knowing that Anne McCaffrey not only approved the music but helped develop it. If this sounds like a plug, it is. More people need to know about this
AND about the fact that they have now produced a second CD Sunset's Gold, turning Anne McCaffrey's music from the prose of the Harper Hall books into haunting melodies, sung by the ever-brilliant Tania. Rest assured, Anne helped! And Pern music isn't all these wonderful musician do! I strongly advise to go and check out their webshop!

The Pern Museum & Archives Do check out this lovely site created by my very good friend and kind webmaster Hans van der Boom in honour of Anne McCaffrey and her world of Pern. Hans and I met through various websites run by fans/friends of Anne McCaffrey. See, Anne can even spread happiness once removed!

Stephen Hickman Multi-award winning artist Stephen Hickman has created beauty in bookcovers, stamps and statuary. I have been fortunate enough to have his work adorn both The Lesser Kindred and Redeeming the Lost. The man's indecently talented.

Tor books My publishers. Three bows to the West (well, to New York, from wherever you are) and a loud hip-hip-hurrah! for the best SF/Fantasy publisher in the business and the employers of my stellar editor, Claire Eddy. You'll know most of the names of their authors, I suspect...

Ansible is an SF fanzine written by Dave Langford, whom some of you may remember as the reviewer in White Dwarf magazine in the 80s. Others who are more with it will know that he KEEPS winning Hugo awards for his own writing and for Ansible. He's well into the teens now. It's getting embarrassing.

Tolkien Society The first, greatest fantasy writer, J.R.R. Tolkien. This is the British Society dedicated to the man and his works.
  
Scotland
I have the good fortune to live very near to Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh. I adore Edinburgh, it's a wonderful place, and one of its most amazing features is the presence of a huge, fantastic castle on a bloody great rock in the middle of the city. Check out the above link for an idea of the place - though nothing compares with actually being here.

Edinburgh Castle A very special place and worth a visit, or two, three... ah well, just keep returning to this interesting place that offers beautiful views of the city and its surroundings.

ScotsteXt A site dedicated to works in the Scots language, and the homepage of my friend Sandy Fleming. Sandy's a writer as well, but this site is mostly texts of Scots writings. Fascinating stuff!