Harold Shea

The "Harold Shea" Stories is a name given to a series of five science fantasy stories by the collaborative team of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt and to its later continuation by de Camp alone, Christopher Stasheff, Holly Lisle, John Maddox Roberts, Roland J. Green, Frieda A. Murray, Tom Wham, and Lawrence Watt-Evans. De Camp and Stasheff collectively oversaw the continuations. The series is also known as the "Enchanter" series, the "Incomplete Enchanter" series (after the first collection of stories) or the "Compleat Enchanter" series.

In the original stories, psychologist Harold Shea and his colleagues Reed Chalmers, Walter Bayard, and Vaclav Polacek (Votsy) travel to various parallel worlds where ancient myths or old literature are reality. In the course of their travels, other characters are added to the main cast, notably Belphebe and Florimel, who become the wives of Shea and Chalmers, respectively, and Pete Brodsky, a policeman who is accidentally swept up into the chaos. In the later continuations, the most notable additions to the cast are the recurring villain, Malambroso, and Voglinda, the young daughter of Shea and Belphebe.

Harold Shea Stories/Enchanter series
The Roaring Trumpet
"The Roaring Trumpet" in Unknown, May 1940


  • "Professor Harold and the Trustees" (1992)
  • "Sir Harold and the Gnome King" (1990)
  • "Sir Harold and the Monkey King" (1992)
  • "Knight and the Enemy" (1992)
  • "Arms and the Enchanter" (1992)
  • "Enchanter Kiev" (1995)
  • "Sir Harold and the Hindu King" (1995)
  • "Sir Harold of Zodanga" (1995)
  • "Harold Shakespeare" (1995)
  • "Return to Xanadu" (2005)

AuthorL. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, various
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
GenreScience fantasy
Published1940–1954, 1990–2005
No. of books5 (original series), 10 (later series)

Original series

The protagonists utilize a system of symbolic logic to project themselves into the worlds they visit, but it is an inexact science, and they miss their target realities as often as they hit them. For example, in the first story, "The Roaring Trumpet", Shea intends to visit the world of Irish mythology, and instead ends up in Norse mythology. Most of the worlds visited have systems of physics different from ours, usually magical, which the heroes devote a considerable amount of effort to learning and applying. Much humor is drawn both from the culture shock of their encounters and from the reality that they usually do not understand the local systems well enough to be able to predict the actual effects of the spells they attempt.

Much of the series' attraction stems from the interaction of the psychologists' logical, rationalistic viewpoints with the wildly counterintuitive physics of the worlds they visit. Their attitudes provide something of a deconstructionist look at the basic rationales of these worlds, hitherto unexamined either by their inhabitants or even their original creators. Essentially, they allow the reader to view these worlds from a fresh viewpoint. The "worlds" so examined include not only the Norse world of "The Roaring Trumpet", but also the worlds of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene in "The Mathematics of Magic", Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (with a brief stop in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Xanadu from "Kubla Khan") in "The Castle of Iron", the Kalevala in "The Wall of Serpents", and, at last, Irish mythology in "The Green Magician".

With "The Green Magician" the original collaboration ended, Pratt's early death precluding any additional entries. A final planned story set in the world of Persian mythology was never written, nor was a projected response to L. Ron Hubbard's misuse of their hero in his novella The Case of the Friendly Corpse (1941). (De Camp would finally address the latter issue in "Sir Harold and the Gnome King".)

Reviewing the 1950 edition of The Castle of Iron, Boucher and McComas described the series as "a high point in the application of sternest intellectual logic to screwball fantasy.".[1] Damon Knight characterized the series as "relaced, ribald adventure ... priceless," saying that "no fantasy reader should be without them."[2] In 1977 Richard A. Lupoff described the series as "whole planes above the hackneyed gut-spillers and skull-smashers that pass for heroic fantasy."[3]

Second series

De Camp was reluctant to continue the series on his own, feeling that the collaboration with Pratt had a flavor impossible for either of them to duplicate alone. When he finally did revive the series in company with younger authors nearly forty years later, this impression was seemingly borne out; while not without interest, his own solo contributions to the second series exhibit a wryer, more cynical view of the worlds toured, and the protagonists' problematic use of magic is abandoned. His interest appears to have shifted to debunking the less credible aspects of the universes visited, rather than taking these as a given and extrapolating the fantasy worlds' physical or magical laws from them, as in the previous sequence. On the other hand, some of the new authors made efforts to duplicate de Camp and Pratt's original achievement, exploring fresh venues where their heroes once again have to learn the world's fundamental magical rules from the ground up. Holly Lisle ("Knight and the Enemy"), John Maddox Roberts ("Arms and the Enchanter") and Tom Wham ("Harold Shakespeare") were among the authors who recreated the original formula.

The initial impulse for the continuation may have been the successful adaptation of the characters into Tom Wham's authorized gamebook adventure Prospero's Isle, published by Tor Books in October 1987 (the basis of "Harold Shakespeare"), to which de Camp had contributed an admiring introduction. This may have encouraged him to wrap up long-unresolved loose ends from the original series, such as the stranding of Walter Bayard in the world of Irish mythology, and to resolve the unaddressed complication introduced by L. Ron Hubbard's "borrowing" of Harold Shea for use in his novel The Case of the Friendly Corpse. Both of these goals he accomplished in Sir Harold and the Gnome King (1990 chapbook). When the decision was made to continue the series further, this story was revised slightly to reconcile it with the other new stories, though the fit is somewhat awkward.

Once the loose ends are resolved, most of the action in the second sequence involves Shea and Chalmers' quest across several universes to rescue Florimel, who has been kidnapped by the malevolent enchanter Malambroso. After Florimel is finally recovered, a similar effort must be made to recover Shea and Belphebe's daughter Voglinda, likewise seized by the unrepentant Malambroso. A final tale sends Shea and Belephebe on an unrelated adventure precipitated by the foolishness of Shea's colleague Polacek.

Milieus encountered in the second series include the worlds of Irish myth and the Orlando Furioso (again) in "Professor Harold and the Trustees", L. Ron Hubbard's setting from The Case of the Friendly Corpse and L. Frank Baum's land of Oz in "Sir Harold and the Gnome King", the classical Chinese epic novel Journey to the West in "Sir Harold and the Monkey King," the romantic fantasies of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote (with the unique twist of its being Quixote's version of reality rather than Cervantes') in "Knight and the Enemy", Virgil's Graeco-Roman epic the Aeneid in "Arms and the Enchanter", the old Russian Tale of Igor's Campaign in "Enchanter Kiev," Bhavabhuti's Baital Pachisi (or "Vikram and the Vampire"), a proto-Arabian Nights collection of Indian tales, in "Sir Harold and the Hindu King", Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom in "Sir Harold of Zodanga", and William Shakespeare's The Tempest in "Harold Shakespeare".

There exists one additional contribution to the series; "Return to Xanadu" by Lawrence Watt-Evans, which revisits the world of Kubla Khan and transfers a minor character appearing therein to that of The Arabian Nights by the agency of an unnamed magician who appears to be intended to represent L. Sprague de Camp himself. "Return to Xanadu" was first published in The Enchanter Completed: A Tribute Anthology for L. Sprague de Camp edited by Harry Turtledove and published by Baen Books in 2005.

Publication

The original publication of the first three Pratt and De Camp collaborations ("Roaring Trumpet", "Mathematics of Magic", and The Castle of Iron) was in Unknown Magazine during its brief run. The remaining two appeared in Beyond Fantasy Magazine and Fantasy Magazine a few years later. Sir Harold and the Gnome King first appeared in the World Fantasy Convention program book in 1990 and as a chapbook the following year. It was later revised and appeared with the remainder of the later continuations in regular trade books.

Yngvi

In the original story a character in a jail comes to the bars every hour on the hour to announce that "Yngvi is a louse!". This phrase has moved into the lexicon and has taken on a life of its own in certain SF-related circles. Who, or what, Yngvi may be is not mentioned in the book, though in Old Norse, Yngvi is another name for the god Freyr.

Bibliography

Original stories

Later stories

  • "Professor Harold and the Trustees" (1992, by Christopher Stasheff)
  • "Sir Harold and the Gnome King" (1990, by L. Sprague de Camp)
  • "Sir Harold and the Monkey King" (1992, by Christopher Stasheff)
  • "Knight and the Enemy" (1992, by Holly Lisle, from an outline by L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff)
  • "Arms and the Enchanter" (1992, by John Maddox Roberts, from an outline by L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff)
  • "Enchanter Kiev" (1995, by Roland J. Green & Frieda A. Murray)
  • "Sir Harold and the Hindu King" (1995, byChristopher Stasheff)
  • "Sir Harold of Zodanga" (1995, by L. Sprague de Camp)
  • "Harold Shakespeare" (1995, by Tom Wham)
  • "Return to Xanadu" (2005, by Lawrence Watt-Evans)

Collected editions

  • The Incomplete Enchanter (1941) (L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt), includes: "The Roaring Trumpet" and "The Mathematics of Magic"
  • The Castle of Iron (1950) (L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt), a novel-length expansion of the original story
  • Wall of Serpents (1960) (L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt), includes: "The Wall of Serpents" and "The Green Magician"
  • The Enchanter Reborn (1992) (L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff), includes: "Professor Harold and the Trustees," "Sir Harold and the Gnome King," "Sir Harold and the Monkey King," "Knight and the Enemy," and "Arms and the Enchanter"
  • The Exotic Enchanter (1995) (L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff), includes: "Enchanter Kiev," "Sir Harold and the Hindu King," "Sir Harold of Zodanga," and "Harold Shakespeare"

The Incomplete Enchanter and The Castle of Iron have also been issued together as The Compleat Enchanter (1975); Wall of Serpents has also been issued under the title The Enchanter Compleated (1980); all three volumes of the original series have also been issued together as The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989). The original tales and de Camp's additions from the 1990s were issued together as The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (2007).

Gamebooks

  • Prospero's Isle (1987, byTom Wham)

References

  1. ^ "Recommended Reading," F&SF, December 1950, p.104
  2. ^ "The Dissecting Table", Worlds Beyond, December 1950, p.114
  3. ^ "Lupoff's Book Week", Algol 28, 1977, p. 56.

External links

Christopher Stasheff

Christopher Stasheff (15 January 1944 – 10 June 2018) was an American science fiction author and fantasy author whose novels include The Warlock in Spite of Himself (1969) and Her Majesty's Wizard (1986). He had a doctorate in Theatre and taught radio and television at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico; he retired in 2009 and moved to Champaign, Illinois. Stasheff has been noted for his blending of science fiction and fantasy, as seen in his Warlock series, which placed an "'epic fantasy' in a science fictional frame". Stasheff's writing is often seen in the moral and ethical mentor style similar to Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks or J.R.R. Tolkien.

Danny Shea (footballer)

Daniel Harold Shea (6 November 1887 – 25 December 1960) was an English footballer who played as an inside-forward.

Fletcher Pratt

Murray Fletcher Pratt (25 April 1897 – 10 June 1956) was an American writer of science fiction, fantasy and history. He is best known for his works on naval history and on the American Civil War and for fiction written with L. Sprague de Camp.

Sir Harold and the Gnome King

"Sir Harold and the Gnome King" is a fantasy novella American writer L. Sprague de Camp, part of the Harold Shea series he originated in collaboration with Fletcher Pratt and later continued with Christopher Stasheff. It was first published in the 1990 World Fantasy Convention Program Book. It first appeared in book form as a limited edition hardcover chapbook issued by Wildside Press in August, 1991, with a paperback edition following from the same publisher in October of the same year. In addition to the title story, the book includes an afterword by de Camp and illustrations by Stephen Fabian; the paperback edition also has a cover by Fabian. The story was afterwards reprinted, slightly revised, in de Camp and Stasheff's shared world anthology The Enchanter Reborn (1992). The original version was later reprinted together with the remainder of the de Camp/Pratt Harold Shea stories in the collection The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (2007).The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In Sir Harold and the Gnome King, Shea visits two such worlds, first (briefly) that of L. Ron Hubbard's setting from The Case of the Friendly Corpse (actually invented by John D. Clark and Mark Baldwin) and second L. Frank Baum's land of Oz.

As originally written, "Sir Harold and the Gnome King" was a direct sequel to de Camp and Pratt's previous Harold Shea story "The Green Magician", and appears to have been intended to tie up the main loose end remaining from that story, in which Shea's colleague Walter Bayard had been left stranded in the world of Irish mythology. Another issue addressed was a long-standing plot complication introduced by L. Ron Hubbard's "borrowing" of Shea for use in his novella The Case of the Friendly Corpse (1941), previously ignored by de Camp and Pratt. While the collaborators' original discussions for a sequel to "The Green Magician" had called for a story set in the world of Persian mythology, de Camp abandoned that plan in the sequel written.

When the story was reprinted in The Enchanter Reborn another tale, "Professor Harold and the Trustees", was interposed between it and "The Green Magician", necessitating some alteration to take into account the events of the new story. This was clumsily done through the insertion of a phrase into one sentence in a way that disturbed the actual sense of the sentence; further, a longer block of text was allowed to remain which should have been excised, as it directly contradicts the account of the new story.

Sir Harold of Zodanga

Sir Harold of Zodanga is a fantasy novella by American writer L. Sprague de Camp, part of the Harold Shea series he originated in collaboration with Fletcher Pratt and later continued with Christopher Stasheff. It was first published in paperback by Baen Books in de Camp and Stasheff's shared world anthology The Exotic Enchanter (1995). It was later reprinted together with the remainder of the de Camp/Pratt Harold Shea stories in the collection The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (2007).The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In "Sir Harold of Zodanga", in a new wrinkle, Shea visits a parallel Mars rather than a parallel Earth, Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom.

The Castle of Iron

The Castle of Iron is the title of a fantasy novella by American authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, and of the novel into which it was later expanded by the same authors. It was the third story (and afterwards the second volume) in their Harold Shea series. As a 35,000 word novella it was first published in the fantasy magazine Unknown for April, 1941. The revised and expanded novel version was first published in hardcover by Gnome Press in 1950, and in paperback by Pyramid Books in 1962. The book has been reprinted by a number of other publishers since its first appearance. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form. The novel has been combined with other books in the series in the omnibus editions The Compleat Enchanter (1975), The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989) and The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (2007). It has also been translated into Italian.

The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In The Castle of Iron, the authors' protagonist Harold Shea visits two such worlds, first (briefly) that of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem Kubla Khan and second that of Ludovico Ariosto's epic, the Orlando Furioso.

The Compleat Enchanter

The Compleat Enchanter: The Magical Misadventures of Harold Shea is an omnibus collection of three fantasy stories by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, gathering material previously published in two volumes as The Incomplete Enchanter (1941) and The Castle of Iron (1950), the first two books in their Harold Shea series, with the essay "Fletcher and I", de Camp's paean to his deceased collaborator. The collection was first published in hardcover by Nelson Doubleday in 1975 as an offering for its Science Fiction Book Club, and was reissued in paperback by Del Rey Books in 1976. Minus the essay, it has more recently been combined with Wall of Serpents (1960), the third book of the series in the omnibus edition The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989). This book had been left out of The Compleat Enchanter due to "considerations of space and …contractual considerations". The stories in the collection were originally published in the magazine Unknown in the issues for May and August 1940 and April 1941.

The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. Psychologist Harold Shea and his colleagues Reed Chalmers, Walter Bayard, and Vaclav Polacek ("Votsy), travel to several such worlds, joined in the course of their adventures by Belphebe and Florimel of Faerie, who become the wives of Shea and Chalmers, and Pete Brodsky, a policeman who is accidentally swept up into the chaos. The three stories collected in The Compleat Enchanter explore the worlds of Norse mythology in "The Roaring Trumpet", Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene in "The Mathematics of Magic", and Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (with a brief stop in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Kubla Khan) in "The Castle of Iron".

The Complete Compleat Enchanter

The Complete Compleat Enchanter is an omnibus collection of five fantasy stories by Ametican authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, gathering material previously published in three volumes as The Incomplete Enchanter (1941), The Castle of Iron (1950), and Wall of Serpents (1960), and represents an expansion of the earlier omnibus The Compleat Enchanter, which contained only the material in the first two volumes. The expanded version also differs from the previous omnibus by omitting its afterword, de Camp's essay "Fletcher and I". The omnibus is the first edition of the authors' Harold Shea series to be complete in one volume. It has appeared under three different titles. It was first published in the UK in paperback by Sphere Books in 1988 under the title The Intrepid Enchanter and with a foreword by Catherine Crook de Camp. The first US edition appeared under the title The Complete Compleat Enchanter, and replaces the foreword with a preface by David Drake. That edition was published by Baen Books in 1989, and has been reprinted a number of times since. Orion Books published an edition in the UK under the title The Compleat Enchanter in 2000 as volume 10 of their Fantasy Masterworks series. The stories in the collection were originally published in magazine form in the May 1940, August 1940 and April 1941 issues of Unknown, the June 1953 issue of Beyond Fantasy, and the October 1954 issue of Fantasy.

The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. Psychologist Harold Shea and his colleagues Reed Chalmers, Walter Bayard and Vaclav Polacek (Votsy), travel to several such worlds, joined in the course of their adventures by Belphebe and Florimel of Faerie, who become the wives of Shea and Chalmers, and Pete Brodsky, a policeman who is accidentally swept up into the chaos. The five stories collected in The Complete Compleat Enchanter explore the worlds of Norse mythology in "The Roaring Trumpet", Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene in "The Mathematics of Magic", Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (with a brief stop in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Kubla Khan) in "The Castle of Iron", the Kalevala in "The Wall of Serpents", and Irish mythology in "The Green Magician".

The Enchanter Reborn

The Enchanter Reborn is an anthology of five fantasy short stories edited by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff, the first volume in their continuation of the Harold Shea series by de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. It was first published in paperback by Baen Books in 1992; an ebook edition followed from the same publisher in May 2013. The book has also been translated into Italian. All but one of the pieces are original to the anthology; the exception, de Camp's "Sir Harold and the Gnome King", first appeared in the World Fantasy Convention program book in 1990 and was then published as a separate chapbook in 1991.De Camp and Pratt's original Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In these stories psychologist Harold Shea and his colleagues Reed Chalmers, Walter Bayard, and Vaclav Polacek (called "Votsy", a nickname derived from the Czech pronunciation of Vaclav, approx.: VAHTs-lahff), travel to a number of such worlds. In the course of their travels other characters are added to the main cast, including Belphebe and Florimel, who become the wives of Shea and Chalmers, and Pete Brodsky, a policeman who is accidentally swept up into the chaos. In The Enchanter Reborn the series is opened up into a shared world to which other authors were invited to contribute. In addition to stories by de Camp and Stasheff, who collectively oversaw the project, it includes contributions by Holly Lisle and John Maddox Roberts, both of whom worked from outlines provided by the editors.

The initial impulse for the continuation may have been the successful adaptation of the characters into a gamebook adventure (Prospero's Isle, by Tom Wham, published by Tor Books in October 1987), to which de Camp had contributed an admiring introduction. This may have encouraged him to wrap up long-unresolved loose ends from the original series, such as the stranding of Walter Bayard in the world of Irish mythology, and to resolve the unaddressed complication introduced by L. Ron Hubbard's "borrowing" of Harold Shea for use in his novel The Case of the Friendly Corpse. Both of these goals he accomplished in "Sir Harold and the Gnome King" (1990 chapbook). When the decision was made to continue the series further this story was revised slightly to reconcile it with the other new stories, though the fit is somewhat awkward.

Once the loose ends are resolved, most of the action in the second sequence involves Shea and Chalmers' quest across several universes to rescue Florimel, who has been kidnapped by the malevolent enchanter Malambroso. Milieus encountered in the stories of The Enchanter Reborn include the worlds of Irish myth and of Ludovico Ariosto's epic poem the Orlando furioso from the original series, revisited in "Professor Harold and the Trustees," L. Ron Hubbard's setting from The Case of the Friendly Corpse and L. Frank Baum's land of Oz in "Sir Harold and the Gnome King," the world of Taoist legend as portrayed in Wú Chéng'ēn's classic Chinese novel Journey to the West in "Sir Harold and the Monkey King," the romantic fantasies of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote (with the unique twist of its being Quixote's version of reality rather than Cervantes') in "Knight and the Enemy," and Virgil's Graeco-Roman epic the Aeneid in "Arms and the Enchanter." The last two stories appear to have been transposed as published; the opening sequence of "Knight and the Enemy" refers to Shea and Chalmers has having just come from the world of the Aeneid, which is the setting of the story following it in the collection.

The Enchanter Reborn was followed up by a sequel anthology, The Exotic Enchanter (1995), which featured more stories by de Camp and Stasheff, together with additional new authors.

The Exotic Enchanter

The Exotic Enchanter is an anthology of four fantasy short stories edited by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff. The Exotic Enchanter is the second volume in the continuation of the Harold Shea series by de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. It was first published in paperback by Baen Books in 1995; an ebook edition followed from the same publisher in September 2013. All the pieces are original to the anthology.

De Camp and Pratt's original Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In these stories psychologist Harold Shea and his colleagues Reed Chalmers, Walter Bayard, and Vaclav Polacek (Votsy), travel to a number of such worlds. In the course of their travels other characters are added to the main cast, including Belphebe and Florimel, who become the wives of Shea and Chalmers, and Pete Brodsky, a policeman who is accidentally swept up into the chaos. The Exotic Enchanter continues the new format of the series introduced in de Camp and Stasheff's previous volume, The Enchanter Reborn (1992), in which it was opened up into a shared world to which other authors were invited to contribute. In addition to stories by de Camp and Stasheff, who collectively oversaw the project, this volume includes contributions by Roland J. Green and Frieda A. Murray (in collaboration) and Tom Wham. Green and Murray may have worked from an outline provided by the editors as in the previous volume, though this is not stated. Wham's contribution is a distillation into concrete story form of his earlier authorized Harold Shea gamebook, Prospero's Isle, originally published by Tor Books in October 1987.The action in the first two stories concludes the quest by Shea and Chalmers to rescue Florimel that began in the previous volume, where she was kidnapped by the malevolent enchanter Malambroso. Their mission takes them into the worlds of the old Russian Tale of Igor's Campaign in "Enchanter Kiev," and that of Bhavabhuti's Baital Pachisi (or "Vikram and the Vampire"), a proto-Arabian Nights collection of Indian tales, in "Sir Harold and the Hindu King." After Florimel is finally recovered Shea and Belphebe must undertake a similar mission to Edgar Rice Burroughs's fictional version of Mars in "Sir Harold of Zodanga," this time to recover their daughter Voglinda, likewise seized by the unrepentant Malambroso. "Harold Shakespeare," the final tale, sends Shea and Belephebe on an unrelated adventure precipitated by the foolishness of Shea's colleague Polacek, into William Shakespeare's The Tempest.

The Green Magician

The Green Magician is a fantasy novella by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. The fifth story in their Harold Shea series, it was first published in the November 1954 issue of the fantasy pulp magazine Beyond Fiction. It first appeared in book form, together with "The Wall of Serpents", in the collection Wall of Serpents, issued in hardcover by Avalon Books in 1960; the book has been reissued by a number of other publishers since. It has also been reprinted in various magazines, anthologies and collections, including The Dragon (June–July 1978), The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989), Masterpieces of Fantasy and Enchantment (1988), and The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (2007). It has been translated into Italian and German.The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In The Green Magician, Shea visits his sixth such world, that of Irish myth.

The Incomplete Enchanter

The Incomplete Enchanter is a collection of two fantasy novellas by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, the first volume in their Harold Shea series. The pieces were originally published in the magazine Unknown in the issues for May and August 1940. The collection was first published in hardcover by Henry Holt and Company in 1941 and in paperback by Pyramid Books in 1960.

The Mathematics of Magic

"The Mathematics of Magic" is a fantasy novella by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, the second story in their Harold Shea series. It was first published in the August 1940 issue of the fantasy pulp magazine Unknown. It first appeared in book form, together with the preceding novella, "The Roaring Trumpet", in the collection The Incomplete Enchanter, issued in hardcover by Henry Holt and Company in 1941, and in paperback by Pyramid Books in 1960. It has since been reprinted in various collections by numerous other publishers, including The Compleat Enchanter (1975), The Incompleat Enchanter (1979), The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989), and The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (2007). It has been translated into Dutch and Italian. In 2016, the story was shortlisted for the Retro Hugo Award for Best Novella.

The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In "The Mathematics of Magic", Shea visits his second such world, that of Edmund Spenser's epic poem The Faerie Queene.

The Roaring Trumpet

"The Roaring Trumpet" is a fantasy novella by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. The initial story in their Harold Shea series, it was first published in the May 1940 issue of the fantasy pulp magazine Unknown. It first appeared in book form, together with its sequel, "The Mathematics of Magic", in the collection The Incomplete Enchanter, issued in hardcover by Henry Holt and Company in 1941, and in paperback by Pyramid Books in 1960. It has since been reprinted in various collections by numerous other publishers, including The Compleat Enchanter (1975), The Incompleat Enchanter (1979), The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989), and The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (2007). It has been translated into Dutch and Italian. In 2016, the story was shortlisted for the Retro Hugo Award for Best Novella.

The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In "The Roaring Trumpet", Shea visits his first such world, that of Norse mythology.

The Wall of Serpents

The Wall of Serpents is a fantasy novella by American science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. The fourth story in their Harold Shea series, it was first published in the June 1953 issue of the fantasy pulp magazine Fantasy Fiction. It first appeared in book form, together with its sequel, "The Green Magician", in the collection Wall of Serpents, issued in hardcover by Avalon Books in 1960; the book has been reissued by a number of other publishers since. It has also been reprinted in various anthologies and collections, including Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy I (1972), The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989), and The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (2007). It has been translated into Italian and German.

The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In The Wall of Serpents, Shea visits his fifth such world, that of the Finnish mythological epic poem the Kalevala.

Unknown (magazine)

Unknown (also known as Unknown Worlds) was an American pulp fantasy fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1943 by Street & Smith, and edited by John W. Campbell. Unknown was a companion to Street & Smith's science fiction pulp, Astounding Science Fiction, which was also edited by Campbell at the time; many authors and illustrators contributed to both magazines. The leading fantasy magazine in the 1930s was Weird Tales, which focused on shock and horror. Campbell wanted to publish a fantasy magazine with more finesse and humor than Weird Tales, and put his plans into action when Eric Frank Russell sent him the manuscript of his novel Sinister Barrier, about aliens who own the human race. Unknown's first issue appeared in March 1939; in addition to Sinister Barrier, it included H. L. Gold's "Trouble With Water", a humorous fantasy about a New Yorker who meets a water gnome. Gold's story was the first of many in Unknown to combine commonplace reality with the fantastic.

Campbell required his authors to avoid simplistic horror fiction and insisted that the fantasy elements in a story be developed logically: for example, Jack Williamson's "Darker Than You Think" describes a world in which there is a scientific explanation for the existence of werewolves. Similarly, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt's Harold Shea series, about a modern American who finds himself in the worlds of various mythologies, depicts a system of magic based on mathematical logic. Other notable stories included several well-received novels by L. Ron Hubbard and short stories such as Manly Wade Wellman's "When It Was Moonlight" and Fritz Leiber's "Two Sought Adventure", the first in his Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series.

Unknown was forced to a bimonthly schedule in 1941 by poor sales, and cancelled in 1943 when wartime paper shortages became so acute that Campbell had to choose between turning Astounding into a bimonthly or ending Unknown. The magazine is generally regarded as the finest fantasy fiction magazine ever published, despite the fact that it was not commercially successful, and in the opinion of science fiction historian Mike Ashley it was responsible for the creation of the modern fantasy publishing genre.

Wall of Serpents

Wall of Serpents is a collection of two fantasy short stories by American science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, the third volume in their Harold Shea series. The pieces were originally published in the magazines Fantasy Fiction and Beyond Fantasy Fiction in the issues for June, 1953 and October, 1954. The collection was first published in hardcover by Avalon Books in 1960, with a new edition from Phantasia Press in 1978. The first paperback edition was published by Dell Books in 1979. A 1980 edition published by Sphere Books was retitled The Enchanter Compleated. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.The book has also been combined with the earlier books in the series in the omnibus edition The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989), and with the earlier books and later stories in the omnibus edition The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (2007). It has also been published in Italian and German.

The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In the stories collected as Wall of Serpents, the authors' protagonist Harold Shea visits two such worlds, those of Finnish and Irish mythology.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.