Fantasy fans will recognize the name Ursula K. Le Guin, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and National Book awards and writer of 21 novels, 11 volumes of short stories, three collections of essays, 12 books for children and six volumes of poetry. They may not recall Fort Collins author Carol Berg's name as quickly.
But that may soon change.
Last month, Berg, 60, received the 2009 Mythopoeic Award in adult literature for her Lighthouse Duet: Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone — beating out four other finalists, including Le Guin.
Since 1971, the Mythopoeic Society has awarded national honors to approximately 50 authors; Berg's work now is listed alongside that of other winners such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie and J.K. Rowling.
"Of all the awards that are given in fantasy and science fiction," Berg says in a phone interview, "this one is given by a literary society, and it's one that when I look at the winners, those are the books that I have on my shelves ... the kind of books that I've aimed to write. It's truly overwhelming."
Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book also recognized Berg's talent in June with a 2009 Colorado Book Award in genre fiction for Breath and Bone.
Check out Berg's full book list at sff.net/people/carolberg. And when her next release, The Spirit Lens, a Novel of the Collegia Magica (NAL/Roc Books), emerges in January, add it to your must-read list, too.