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Coír Draoi Ceítien

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Masters of Fantasy: Part XVIII



It’s slow going, as I’ve set up quite a number of distractions for myself, but I have another entry for you all. No connecting themes this time around – this is just who I picked out after some thought. It’s probably going to be like that for some time, as I have several entries planned out that are rather piecemeal. I hope I have some good information for you!



JOHN MYERS MYERS (1906-1988)

John Myers Myers, so names after his paternal grandfather, grew up all around New York, having early aspirations to write (which later got him thrown out of college for mocking the faculty). Extensive foreign travel was followed by a stint at two different newspapers and a five-year service in the U. S. Army during WWII; afterwards, in his later life, he moved to Arizona and became attached to the West. While his bibliography consists of a few historical novels and several nonfiction pieces, the work he is best remembered for is the literary fantasy Silverlock, in which an American businessman, not well versed in literature, is shipwrecked on the “Commonwealth of Letters”, where numerous characters from myth, history, and literature mingle together.

Offsite resources:

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Myers_Myers)
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (http://sf-encyclopedia.uk/fe.php?nm=myers_john_myers)
The Commonwealth of Letters Webring (http://www.webring.org/l/rd?ring=kalliope;id=1;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eanitra%2Enet%2Fcommonwealth%2F)
U. S. Dictionary of Literary Biography: John Myers Myers (https://ansible.uk/writing/dlb-myers.html)
Black Gate – John Myers Myers, Silverlock, and the Commonwealth of Letters (https://www.blackgate.com/2012/09/23/john-myers-myers-silverlock-and-the-commonwealth-of-letters/)



G. K. CHESTERTON (1874-1936)

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, the “prince of paradox”, was one of the most outstanding intellectuals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a friend and rival of such esteemed figures such as George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, and Clarence Darrow. He authored 80 books, around 200 short stories, numerous poems, several plays, and about 4,000 essays, wielding an immensely sharp wit towards Christian apologetics and political discourse; his opinions may have worked against him, as he was charged both during his lifetime and posthumously with anti-Semitic tendencies. In fiction writing, he is best remembered for creating the ecumenical detective Father Brown, as well as novels of speculative and apologetic interest such as The Napoleon of Notting Hill, The Ball and the Cross, Manalive, and The Flying Inn; he also wrote significant biographies of Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Francis of Assisi, Robert Browning, and others. His best-known novel is The Man Who Was Thursday, a “metaphysical thriller” – a unique hybrid of fantasy, mystery, philosophy, and farce – in which a man is recruited by Scotland Yard to infiltrate an anarchist cell and thwart their mysterious leader, Sunday, but finds himself thrust into a situation beyond his control.

Offsite resources:

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._K._Chesterton)
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (http://sf-encyclopedia.uk/fe.php?nm=chesterton_g_k)
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/chesterton_g_k)
The American Chesterton Society (https://www.chesterton.org/)
Black Gate – The Man Who Was Gilbert Keith Chesterton (https://www.blackgate.com/2013/12/22/the-man-who-was-gilbert-keith-chesterton/)
Poetry Foundation: G. K. Chesterton (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/g-k-chesterton)
Encyclopedia Britannica (https://www.britannica.com/biography/G-K-Chesterton)
TV Tropes (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/GKChesterton)



RICHARD GARNETT (1835-1906)

Educated in Bloomsbury, Richard Garnett entered into the British Museum in 1851 as an assistant librarian and worked there in various other positions until his retirement in 1899. His bibliography includes numerous translations, biographies of eminent figures, poetry, and articles for encyclopedias and the Dictionary of National Biography. His sole work of fiction is the short story collection The Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales, an assortment of original fantasy stories spanning numerous mythologies and time periods; it is considered to be a classic in the genre.

Offsite resources:

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Garnett_(writer))
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (http://sf-encyclopedia.uk/fe.php?nm=garnett_richard)
Encyclopedia Britannica (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Richard-Garnett)



EMMA BULL (1954- )

Emma Bull may not be prolific, but she has carved out a uniquely significant space for herself. Her first novel, War for the Oaks, about a rock musician pulled into conflict between opposing sides of faerie, is one of the first groundbreaking works of urban fantasy. Following this were science fiction tales like Falcon and the award-winning Bone Dance. She also collaborated in shared universe projects with her husband and with Terri Windling’s Borderland. She also made her living as a singer and guitarist for two bands in her native Minneapolis.

Offsite resources:

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Bull)
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (http://sf-encyclopedia.uk/fe.php?nm=bull_emma)
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/bull_emma)
Official LiveJournal (http://coffeeem.livejournal.com/)
Official website (https://emmabull.wordpress.com/)



MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY (1930-1999)

Raised during the Great Depression, Marion Zimmer Bradley followed the path of the adventure fantasy authors of her youth, writing her first novel at age 17 (which was posthumously published) and making her first sale to Amazing Stories in 1949; she became keenly involved in speculative fiction as a movement, writing fanfiction and publishing her own fanzines. Her best-known work is the science fantasy Darkover series, following a planet populated by powerful psychics, and the revisionist fantasy The Mists of Avalon, a feminist retelling of King Arthur and the Matter of Britain from the perspective of the women. Despite winning the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement one year after her death, her reputation has been tainted by her daughter’s allegations of sexual abuse and complicity in her husband’s pederasty.

Offsite resources:

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Zimmer_Bradley)
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (http://sf-encyclopedia.uk/fe.php?nm=bradley_marion_zimmer)
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/bradley_marion_zimmer)
Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust (http://mzbworks.com/)
The Guardian – SFF Community Reeling After Marion Simmer Bradley’s Daughter Accuses Her of Abuse (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jun/27/sff-community-marion-zimmer-bradley-daughter-accuses-abuse)
The Washington Post – Re-Reading Feminist Author Marion Zimmer Bradley in the Wake of Sexual Assault Allegations (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2014/06/27/re-reading-feminist-author-marion-zimmer-bradley-in-the-wake-of-sexual-assault-allegations/?utm_term=.d8e14023fa04)
Jim C. Hines – Rape, Abuse, and Marion Zimmer Bradley (http://www.jimchines.com/2014/06/rape-abuse-and-mzb/)



STEPHEN R. LAWHEAD (1950- )

Stephen R. Lawhead began his writing career writing both a weekly column for his college newspaper and contributions of short stories and poetry for local magazines. He honed his craft with writing classes at Wheaton College while enrolled at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, and after a stint running his own record company, he turned to full-time fiction writing. His first work of interest was the Dragon King trilogy (In the Hall of the Dragon King, The Warlords of Nin, and The Sword and the Flame), followed by the Pendragon Cycle (Taliesin, Merlin, Arthur, Pendragon, and Grail), a Christian retelling of the Arthur mythos mixed with Celtic overtones and elements of Atlantis. One of his most popular series is the Song of Albion trilogy (The Paradise War, The Silver Hand, and The Endless Knot), a mixture of Celtic mythology with Christian themes; another series of interest is the King Raven Trilogy (Hood, Scarlet, and Tuck), a retelling of the Robin Hood legends.

Offsite resources:

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_R._Lawhead)
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (http://sf-encyclopedia.uk/fe.php?nm=lawhead_stephen_r)
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/lawhead_stephen_r)
Official website (http://www.stephenlawhead.com/)



TERRI WINDLING (1958- )

Terri Windling is the winner of multiple prestigious awards in various categories for her work both as a writer and as an editor of the fantasy field. She is held as a chief contributor to the resurgence of mythic fiction, first as an editor for both Ace and Tor Books, then as the creator and orchestrator of a “Fairy Tale” series of novels which serve as modern reinterpretations of classic fairy tales by several authors. From 1986-2003, She and Ellen Datlow edited Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, which expanded the scope of the field by incorporating outlying and related subject matter; they also brought anthologies of myths and folklore to younger readers. After creating and editing the Borderland series for teenagers, She took her own shot at writing with her first novel, The Wood Wife, about a young artist who finds inspiration in an enchanted desert landscape; several children’s books followed. Windling continues to be a prominent, outspoken voice in the popularization of fantasy.

Offsite resources:

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terri_Windling)
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (http://sf-encyclopedia.uk/fe.php?nm=windling_terri)
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/windling_terri)
Official website (http://www.terriwindling.com/)
Into the Woods: The Faery Worlds of Terri Windling (http://bestoflegends.org/fairy/woods.html)
Jo Walton – The Language of Stones: Terri Windling’s The Wood Wife (https://www.tor.com/2010/07/23/the-language-of-stones-terry-windlings-the-wood-wife/)



And that’s all I have this time. Hopefully, I can get out the next entry soon enough. I hope that Nothing I’ve talked about has been too problematic, as it touches upon some sensitive subjects. Comments are appreciated, and the original forum topic can be found here: http://www.lostpathway.com/index.php/topic,16.0.html#forum


The wind blows, for good or ill, and I must follow.