About Ms. Tepper

Very short biography:
 Sheri Tepper was born Sheri J. Stewart in Littleton Colorado in 1929.
She started out writing childrens stories, and released her first adult book in 1982. In 1991 she released the novel “Beauty” for which she won the Locus award for Best Fantasy Novel. She also wrote as E E Horlak, B J Oliphant and A J Orde.

She is now a great grandmother and currently lives with her husband Gene of 50 years in Santa Fe, NM, where the climate is warmer and kinder to arthritic bones than was her former residence in Larkspur, Colorado, which is high altitude and high snow bank country.

She is currently working on a sequel to three former writings:

  1. The True Game books, all nine of them.
  2. Plague of Angels.
  3. The Waters Rising.

If anyone is wondering what happened to Maven Manyshaped, who was petrified into stone for a thousand years, this book —Fish Tales— will answer the question.

___________________________________

An Interview with Sheri S. Tepper – By Neal Szpatura – 21 July 2008

Sheri S. Tepper is unapologetic about the label “ecofeminist.” Author of nearly forty novels, she creates complex, well-rounded characters in elegant blends of science fiction, fantasy, ecological alarum, and feminist fable. She writes what she cares about deeply, hoping to awaken readers to the hard realities of history and our times. She argues for a truly long view regarding our use of the Earth and its creatures—including each other—if we mean to survive…. read more

24 thoughts on “About Ms. Tepper

  • grassfan

    I just wanted Ms Tepper to know that her books have been such a powerful infuence on my life, especially “Grass” what a book! I want to read everything by Ms Tepper, and I will do my best to do so.
    Much love and respect from a real fan.

    Reply
  • Hagsrus

    I have to confess The Waters Rising didn’t “do the magic” for me, though I love Plague of Angels. I very much look forward to Fish Tales – perhaps that will knock Waters into the right mental spot for me.

    “Ecofeminist”? You go, girl!

    Reply
  • Brady

    hello, i’m studying sheri s tepper’s novel “Grass” at the moment for my final year extension english major work, and i’m also a fan of her :) i wonder if you woule be able to link or send me some informaion of her? a biography of ms. tepper, or some contextual information from 1989 that influenced Grass (if you know anything)
    thank you! your site is a good reference ^_^

    Reply
    • Sheri S. Tepper

      From Ms. Tepper…

      My bio won’t help a bit, that’s writing to order, literary order. The teacher has asked certain questions. Never mind whether those questions are relevant to the particular author. “What influenced the author to write this?” “what episodes in the author’s life can be said to have had an affect upon this writing.” “What situations in the environment at that time may have guided the plotting (or character, or descriptions, etc.) of this work.”

      The truth is I have no idea what influenced any of my books particularly. I start writing about a situation, or a person, or a place, and it spins from there. It’s like going on a walking tour, you don’t know what’s over the hill until you get there. I know this isn’t a neat, nice way of doing things, but it’s the only way I can.

      Some authors don’t write analytically. Then, when people try to analyze, they don’t get very far. People who “learn to write” properly can produce works that fit the mold. Here’s my plot. Here’s my subplot. Here’s my sub text. Here’s my character development. Here’s my denouement. See, it fits the pattern.”

      Reply
  • Tatja Grimm

    After half a day of traveling I see the sign of the dragon in Old Town. Inside, the communal slow shuffling with eyes averted brings me to the right section. Hands are shaking when I bring it past the gatepost, papers in order and the item concealed in a drab paper bag. Chatting with Controllers and fellow commuters is a necessary diversion, but in the evening it finally rests on a low table in the main room. Seated in front of it, the heels of my hands dig white sparks into my tired eyesockets. Should I start now? But once begun it is too soon over. I resolve to wait a full fortnight to savor the occasion. The cycle of waiting and will begin again, after.

    The book is The waters rising.
    The sign of the dragon is above She Sci-Fi & Fantasy bookshop in the medieval Old Town of Stockholm.
    I travel bi-monthly 4hrs from rural Sweden to the capital.

    Reply
  • tyroel

    I am a very big fan of your work since reading “Grass” a few years ago. I’m now reading “Decine and Fall” and am full of trepidation

    Reply
  • ritam

    so excited to hear that mavin will be in fish tales
    ms tepper, thank you for the conviction of your voice, and your damn fine writing

    Reply
  • The walnut

    While visiting my mother I ran across and old copy of Beauty, I remembered I had liked it quite a lot and decided to read it again. I have just finished it for the second time and I must say it means a lot more to me now than it did when I first read it in high school. I never realized how much the book may have changed my way of thinking during my teen years. Although it may not have changed it outright it may have lent me the strength to think as I already did. I am happy to say that I stayed true to myself and have recently graduated with a dual degree in fisheries and wildlife, and forestry. I have also worked as a naturalist, a nature camp counselor and nature guide over the years. Having reread the book I was surprised to see many of my own thoughts, ideals and worries mirrored by the characters in the book along with my own sense of right and wrong. Thanks for helping out a kid who might not have had the strength to endure the desire to follow the crowd.

    Reply
  • Jenny Brown

    I found your blog via a link from Goodreads. I read hundreds of books every year and have done so for decades, but your book, The Gate To Women’s Country, which I read when it was first published is one that has stayed with me when hundreds of others have been forgotten. Thanks for writing it! I’ve read all your other SF with great pleasure too. A Plague of Angels is my second most favorite. I am so pleased to discover it has a sequel.

    Reply
  • Jacquelien Bugeja

    I would love to know when the sequel Fish Tales will be published.

    Could you please put me out of my misery?

    Thanks

    Reply
  • Trisha Pacholski

    Ms. Tepper, Thank you thank you for writing Beauty. Not all humans are lucky enough to find reality that resonates with them and encourages change, let alone a gorgeous work of fiction that can touch reality. Beauty is a book I bury myself in regularly when I believe that I am taking too much for granted. I’ve gifted it many times over and now my own daughter and her friends are reading it.

    The book always reminds me of the fragile concept of magic, imagination and the need to create beauty in any definition. I’ve taught my children to avoid enjoyment of gratuitous violence and fear and to hunt and more, create, good. That magic is contagious, as is evil – you must make a choice and you must embrace that choice with your heart and not just believe it but live it…and quite honestly, Ms. Tepper, this is a result of your words and how they resonate.

    Far, far more than a lovely fairy tale, and far more than a prognostic, and more and more accurate, view of tomorrow, you inspired me like no other to focus on today and the magic it brings. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    T

    Reply
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  • Bob Sullivan

    Sheri,

    I am astonished by your imagination. It has been many years, the 80s, since I have read science fiction/fantasy. I understand from your bio, and from reading, your feminist theme. You do not stray from it.
    I am glad I found you by chance. I am worried that I am missing some of what you have to say.
    Where did you get the characters/life forms? I am astonished by your writing.

    Regards
    Bob

    Reply
    • Sheri S. Tepper

      Bob:

      I was born and brought up in a family that idolized my brother and pretty much ignored me, which establishes the feminist theme. I was brought up in the country, among trees and animals where there were no other children, so the trees and animals were my family and friends.
      I understand that I am labeled an eco-feminist, which pretty well fits, though eco-humanist would do as well. I do like men, Gene and I celebrated our 50th anniversary not long ago.

      I do not like people who see nothing wrong with having five children when mass starvation is merely waiting for the Indian aquifers to run dry and the world to heat up a few more degrees. In a way, I’m grateful that I won’t live to see it though I know even now that mankind will survive it, regroup, and start doing it all over again, having learned absolutely nothing. Mankind as a race has no bao.

      Bao, which was a topic of the first books I ever wrote and published, is also the topic of the last one, that I’m just finishing.

      Thank you for the kind words.

      Sheri Tepper

      Reply
      • B. Morris Allen

        “Last” has such an ominous feel. I hope that here it means “most recent”.

        PS I can’t remember whether it was my first of your books (might have been the True Game), but I was bowled over by “The Gate to Women’s Country” many years ago.

  • Helen

    I’m such a fan of yours! The Gate to Women’s Country is my all-time favorite; I re-read it at least once a year and I wonder why it is not in audiobook form. Are there any plans for your books to be recorded as audiobooks? I think you would find a vast, new audience for your work. I’ve often thought of recording it on my own (I work in radio and do voice over work), but I would want your permission first. Raising the Stones and Grass would be my next favorites.

    Thank you thank you thank you for your art!!

    Reply
  • Shannon Leah

    Dear Sheri,
    It has been such an honor and privilege to enjoy your work. Your books have been such an enriching and joyful part of my life. I have enjoyed them so much and every time I re-read them I learn something more.
    I can honestly say that not a day goes by that I don’t remember something you said in your books. Your writing is amazing and inspiring to me. I cannot think of a single word I would change, not a single idea I would counter, not a single view I would object to. At every opportunity I seek out more of your work and treasure it like the precious gift that it is.

    Thankfully, I was raised quite differently from you. While far from perfect, I grew up for the most part in a feminist (humanist) family who fought for the rights of women and children. Who believe in saving the planet and respecting her.

    My mother has been such a teacher for me and has helped me to understand more of the many facets of society and the perceived roles of women in our and other cultures. She has taught me to recognize and fight sexism and racism in our society. As have you.

    My father, in his legal career, has defended and helped many women and their children in their struggles. He is a man who truly respects women as equals with every right to every freedom and advantage that men have. As do you.

    I am grateful for your gift of sharing with the world your wisdom, intelligence, wit, love and compassion. Thank you for every word.

    Respectfully,
    Shannon Leah

    Reply
  • Christina Paige

    I am so glad Fish Tales will continue one of my favorite story sequences. Of all the books I have read, these stories are some of the most hauntingly persistent in my heart. I hope some day I get to meet Ms. Tepper in person.

    Reply
  • Corinne Duhig

    Dear Ms Tepper

    I have loved your books for many years, re-read them regularly and given them as gifts in the hopes that my friends will gain the pleasure and nourishment from them that I have had, and have.

    Thank you for your captivating and thrilling writing, filled with characters we can love, admire, be amused by and suffer with – women who show courage without being fearless; men of subtlety and gentleness; beautiful, wise non-humans in tune with their worlds (oh how I love you, Bondri Gesel the Wide Eared!) — and some we can detest and deeply fear. Thank you for taking us to other worlds that are real and vivid and filled with magic. Thank you for your wisdom.

    With love and respect

    Corinne
    Cambridge UK

    Reply
  • Simon Duncan

    Dear Sheri
    Thanks for your great books & wonderful website which I came across whilst updating my library database.
    I must agree with you about people having 5 children with no sense of responsibility. We seem to be a species with no more intellect than rabbits, who, as you probably realise, have devastated my homeland (Australia) simply because they can’t see the stupidity of over breeding.
    On the other hand I must observe that we WILL NOT COME BACK from the coming catastrophe because a)no one will look after all the toxic and radioactive waste which we will leave behind and b)we have used ALL the easily available resources making it a LOT harder, if not impossible, for our descendants to remake civilisation.
    Sorry to be so down but hey I didn’t make the world what it is.
    All the best
    Kind Regards/Love
    Simon

    Reply
  • Catherine Phillips

    Dear Ms. Tepper: Thank you very much for writing your books. I am always recommending them to others, and have reread them all more than once. I think many of us struggled in our youth to make a place for ourself, and heard things like this from our husbands “Women’s Liberation is ruining our marriage”. Unfortunately, that’s one of the less stupid things I’ve heard men say in my lifetime about women. I am so mad I could spit about these jerks forcing closures of abortion and women’s care clinics. Suffice it to say that I think they should all have to handle the things women do every day. Good books! Smart thoughts! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Peter Tumelty

    From the borrow of The Chronicles of Mavin Manyshaped, I have been hooked. That was some30+ years ago.
    I adored The True Game books and consider Beauty to be a true masterpiece. That, I lend to anyone who will read it.
    And so many others.
    Sheri is up there with my favourite authors such as Mark Chadbourn, Neil Gaiman and Robert Jordan.

    Thank you so much for the worlds and people. A true joy and escape for me

    Reply

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