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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 (
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (
The Commonwealth of Letters Webring (;id=1;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eanitra%2Enet%2Fcommonwealth%2F)
U. S. Dictionary of Literary Biography: John Myers Myers (
Black Gate – 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 (
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (
The American Chesterton Society (
Black Gate – The Man Who Was Gilbert Keith Chesterton (
Poetry Foundation: G. K. Chesterton (
Encyclopedia Britannica (
TV Tropes (


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 (
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (
Encyclopedia Britannica (

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 (
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (
Official LiveJournal (
Official website (


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 (
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (
Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust (
The Guardian – SFF Community Reeling After Marion Simmer Bradley’s Daughter Accuses Her of Abuse (
The Washington Post – Re-Reading Feminist Author Marion Zimmer Bradley in the Wake of Sexual Assault Allegations (
Jim C. Hines – Rape, Abuse, and Marion Zimmer Bradley (


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 (
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (
Official website (


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 (
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (
Official website (
Into the Woods: The Faery Worlds of Terri Windling (
Jo Walton – The Language of Stones: Terri Windling’s 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:,16.0.html#forum
Community Storytelling / Re: The Land of Ayra [Roleplay] [Open]
« Last post by Raven on February 06, 2018, 10:56:08 PM »
Queryn and Birdweaver hurried beneath the eaves of the forest in the pre-dawn light. Once the branches of the trees guarded them from the skies, both breathed easier. It had been far easier to descend the ridge than to climb it, even with Birdweaver struggling under the added weight. A black leather strap hung from his shoulders, attached to a black bag that seemed to be woven from a kind of light metal that Queryn couldn't place. From within the bag, the occasional clink of metal could be heard.
Qeuryn had offered to carry the bag, but Birdweaver had refused.
"Your wounds might reopen, and you find yourself in a worst state than before. I will carry it." Still, Queryn felt a little frustrated. As lithe as the elf was, he was not strong, and he often faltered and stumbled under the weight. Queryn was used to heavy burdens and would have preferred to shoulder it, himself, regardless of the pain. Instead, he walked slowly behind the elf on a sparse forest game trail.
"Where to, now?" Queryn asked the elf.
"Aelfwine Monastery," Birdweaver said. "There is a great concentration of prayer there. . . I suspect that is where we will be needed."
"That's far," Queryn said flatly.
"We will need to travel quickly." As if Birdweaver could see the incredulous glance that Queryn directed at the back of the elf's head, he added: "Don't worry. There is a way."
The Grey Horse Tavern / Re: Hey!
« Last post by Coír Draoi Ceítien on February 06, 2018, 07:23:51 PM »
Nice to have you on the forum.

I'd tell you more about myself, but I actually have a topic set aside for that already - "Introduce Yourself Here!" It's one of the sticky topics. Of course, I don't mind you making a separate topic for yourself, but if you really wanted to find an official place for it, that's why it was created.

I hope we have similar interests, so We can make something out of our association. If not, well, we'll still work something out. Feel free to post wherever you want. Some topics really need to get going!
The Grey Horse Tavern / Re: February 2018 Recommended Reading/Viewing
« Last post by Raven on February 02, 2018, 08:09:46 PM »
I've looked at the movie before and considered whether I wanted to watch it. I may have to read this book.
The Grey Horse Tavern / Re: Horror: Why Are People Drawn to It?
« Last post by Raven on February 02, 2018, 08:07:58 PM »
Horror certainly teaches us to run towards crowded places, not back into dark alleys. . . Unless of course it's a zombie thriller and then the crowded places could be an entirely bad choice.

I hope I haven't given the idea that liking thriller/suspense/horror is inherently bad. In fact, I was just thinking about this topic more because I finished reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and parts of it had quite a bit of a thriller/horror flare, and maybe with a couple exceptions I really enjoyed the Gothic atmosphere that it occasionally invoked, and the sense of suspense. In fact, that book had a really compelling villain -- one of the best written villains I have read in a long time, and he was sometimes down-right scary.
Adding the spooky, mysterious, thrilling certainly can certainly benefit a story quite a lot.
The Grey Horse Tavern / Re: Hey!
« Last post by Raven on February 02, 2018, 07:18:20 PM »
Hello DastenHero!

A hearty welcome to you. And honestly, post wherever feels like the right place.
Pretty much all our active people here are Christians. You're welcome to jump in on whatever stories, rp, or discussions you like (Or start your own). There are a few active story projects in the Community Storytelling section of the Well of Visions. You're welcome to hop in on any you like. We like new participants. We do both RP (where everyone has a specific character(s) they "own") and community storytelling / round robin (where no one "owns" any character but we collaborate on telling a story post by post). The threads should be flagged with the appropriate genre.

I also like to play music and do various artistic sorts of projects.

No problem on the out of character texting slang. Out of character is just chit chat. In character, not so much -- unless we decide to do another modern fantasy like we did years ago!
The Grey Horse Tavern / Re: December 2017 Recommended Reading/Viewing
« Last post by Raven on February 02, 2018, 07:12:42 PM »
Ah! I better not get to hoping about it. Yet another author who may not ever continue their work.
The Grey Horse Tavern / Re: Horror: Why Are People Drawn to It?
« Last post by DastenHero on February 02, 2018, 02:26:27 PM »
I think the number one reason people enjoy the horror genre is because of the adrenalin rush it tends to supply its viewers with. An avid fan of anything "spooky" or "mysterious" myself, I acknowledge the fact that I find a strange beauty in things commonly discarded or cast away by most people. While, albeit, I am quite a unique individual, I personally love watching people explore creepy, crumbling houses, just to watch the awesome architecture and feel the mystery of what happened there. Why did the previous inhabitants just get up and leave so quickly? Is there a ghost haunting the house? Or is it just some school kids from down the street? What bits of forgotten history can be uncovered by simply pawing through the various, every-day objects left behind?

The horror genre feeds on a wanting to know more. People are afraid of what they do not understand, and horror movies are definitely one of those things. There's a certain fascination and curiosity found in the genre that isn't often touched upon in other niches of literature and film. You get hints of it, but primarily, stories outside of its loop tend to be lighter, and emphasize less of the real darkness that is inside of our world.

For example, while reading the Chronicles of Narnia, you aren't going to read about graphic, disturbing murder or a tear-jerking tragedy. It's a lighter tale meant for children; to make it overly-dark would be inappropriate. It's still a great read, and I myself am in love with the books and movies alike, but you're not going to get the same amount of adrenaline or "edge of your seat" action that you often may encounter in a horror/thriller novel. The stakes aren't as high, Aslan is on their side, and you know that in the end, no children are going to be hurt.

With horror and thriller stories, however, the stakes are often literally undefinable. Characters die left and right, causing a sense of stress that pulls the readers or viewers into a sense of paranoia, and the stories, when written correctly, are often unpredictable.

In short however, yes, I would have to say adrenline. I don't know if any of this made any sense, but yeah, my guess is that it's the thrill that keeps audiences (including me) coming back, as well as the unrestrained ability to write about difficult subjects not touched upon in other works. I personally am a fan of teaching lessons through difficult topics, so you could consider me a "darker" writer. Maybe that's just me.

By the way, I have seen Stranger Things, and I found it an excellently written show. I guess I'm just a sucker for being on the edge of my seat, while simotaneously getting to know an entire cast of likable characters. And as for benefits? That one's tough. I mean, there's always entertainment, but some stories considered frightening genuinely do teach some good lessons, and may even instill a sort of caution in dangerous situations. (Don't open that door, Billy...) XD
The Grey Horse Tavern / Hey!
« Last post by DastenHero on February 02, 2018, 02:08:15 PM »
Hey! My name is DastenHero, and I stumbled upon this site after a long search for a Christian role play community. I saw a forum post on another site, and was lead here! I am currently a seventeen year old writer, creative fiction writer and amateur voice actor for online, free projects.

My hobbies include cinema, reading, singing (by myself, lol) reading comic books, performing with the trumpet and piano and creating art. I am a guy, and I love to come up with deep, dark stories to scare others with. (Just kidding! Kind of XD They always have lessons, lol.)

So, yeah! That's me! I wasn't sure where else I should post this, so I just kind of posted it here! I'm pretty laid back, so you don't need to ever feel uncomfortable around me. Also, I may use texting slang in my out of character messages, but I do not let it leak into my actual writing. We're in the same boat on that one. XD

Community Storytelling / Re: The Land of Ayra [Roleplay] [Open]
« Last post by Bluerose31 on February 02, 2018, 01:54:28 PM »
After the praying Esta took the woodland elves to spare rooms where they would be able to sleep for the night. They each got their own room. Luin’s room was a beautiful medium sized room with pale lilac walls and a wooden bed with a wooden desk with a vase and a lily in it.
“The room is beautiful,” Luin told Esta.
“I am so glad you like it.” Esta said with a warm smile.
“Esta, thank you for the prayer session. I think it comforted us all a lot. I am looking forward to beginning the process of healing the dragons. It is something our land truly needs. Should we have more prayer sessions during this process?” Luin asked.
“Yes, surely we will. We will find time to do more prayer sessions and tonight before I sleep I will pray about how to lure the dragon here safely. I am thinking we will slaughter a lamb and lay it in the courtyard while we all wait in the monastery and when the dragon comes that we will go outside and touch it and pray on it, it will not harm us because our energy will subdue it.” Esta said.
“That sounds wonderful Esta,” Luin said with warmth and peace in her heart.
“We will begin preparations for the luring of the dragon tomorrow.” Esta said.
“Very well then,” Luin said.
Esta walked to the bedroom door, “Rest well Luin.” Esta said.
“Rest well Esta,” Luin said.
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