Lucius Shepard

Lucius Shepard (August 21, 1943 – March 18, 2014) was an American writer. Classified as a science fiction and fantasy writer, he often leaned into other genres, such as magical realism. His work is infused with a political and historical sensibility and an awareness of literary antecedents.

Lucius Shepard
Utos068-Lucius Shepard
Lucius Shepard, Utopiales 2011
BornAugust 21, 1943
DiedMarch 18, 2014 (aged 70)


A native of Lynchburg, Virginia where he was born in 1943,[1] Shepard's first short stories appeared in 1983, and his first novel, Green Eyes, appeared in 1984. At the time, he was considered part of the cyberpunk movement. Shepard came to writing late,[2] having first enjoyed a varied career, including a stint playing rock and roll in the Midwest and extensive travel throughout Europe and Asia. Algis Budrys, reviewing Green Eyes, praised Shepard's "ease of narrative style that comes only from a profound love and respect for the language and the literatures that have graced it."[3]

Lucius Shepard has won several awards for his science fiction: in 1985 he won John W. Campbell Award for best new writer, followed in 1986 with a best novella Nebula Award for his story "R&R", which later became part of his 1987 novel Life During Wartime. This novel won the Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis in 1990. His novella "Barnacle Bill the Spacer" won a Hugo in 1993. His poem "White Trains" won the Rhysling Award in 1988. Two early collections of short stories won the World Fantasy Award for best collection: The Jaguar Hunter in 1988 and The Ends of the Earth Collection in 1992.[4] His novella "Vacancy" won a Shirley Jackson Award in 2008.

Lucius Shepard resided in Portland, Oregon.

Themes and evolution

Shepard embraced many different themes throughout his career. In his early work, he wrote extensively about Central America. This included clearly science-fictional stories about near future high-tech jungle war (such as "R&R" and "Salvador"), as well as stories that seemed more in line with magic realism. Many of these, such as "Black Coral" (which concerns an American living on an island off of Honduras) and "The Jaguar Hunter" (the story of a man whose wife's debt forces him to hunt a mythical black jaguar which his people consider sacred), explore cultural clashes. Shepard traveled extensively in Central America and lived there for a time.

Shepard stopped writing fiction for much of the 1990s. He returned near the end of that decade, producing such works as the novella Radiant Green Star, which won a Locus Award for Best Novella in 2001.[5] Though he still wrote Central American fiction, Shepard's interest seemed to be moving north: he published two short novels, "A Handbook of American Prayer" and "Viator", both set in North America. On that same note, he published many works where culture and geography were secondary (his novella "Jailwise" is a prime example), preferring to focus on wider questions such as the role of justice in society.

Much of Shepard's later work was non-fiction. He researched the Freight Train Riders of America and spent time riding the rails, writing both fiction and non-fiction based on those experiences. He was also a regular movie reviewer for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and[6] His reviews are marked by general contempt for the current state of American film.

According to fellow author James Patrick Kelly, Shepard was an avid sports fan who has often used dramatic sports moments as inspiration to write.[7]

In the summer of 2008, he moved to Neuchatel, Switzerland in order to work on several screenplays. He served on the jury of the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) with the American director Joe Dante.

He died in March 2014 at the age of 70 of complications from a stroke.[1][8]


Novels and novellas

  • Green Eyes (1984)
  • Life During Wartime (1987)
  • The Scalehunter’s Beautiful Daughter (1988) (novella)
  • The Father of Stones (1988) (novella)
  • Kalimantan (1990) (novella)
  • The Golden (1993)
  • The Last Time (1995) (novella)
  • Valentine (2002) (Four Walls Eight Windows, novella)
  • Aztechs (2003) (Subterranean Press, novella)
  • Louisiana Breakdown (2003) (novella)
  • Colonel Rutherford’s Colt (2003) (novella)
  • Floater (2003)
  • Liar’s House (2004) (Subterranean Press, novella)
  • A Handbook of American Prayer (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2006)
  • Viator (2004)
  • Trujillo (2005)
  • Softspoken (2007)
  • Stars Seen through Stone (2007) in F&SF July 2007 (novella)
  • "Halloween Town" (2009) in F&SF October 2009 (novella)
  • The Taborin Scale (2010) (Subterranean Press, novella)
  • The Skull (2012) (Subterranean Press, novella)
  • Beautiful Blood: A Novel of the Dragon Griaule (2014) (Subterranean Press)


  • The Jaguar Hunter (1987; 2001, second revised edition; Four Walls Eight Windows)
  • Nantucket Slayrides (with Robert Frazier) (1988)
  • The Ends of the Earth (1990)
  • Sports & Music (1994)
  • Barnacle Bill the Spacer and Other Stories (1997; Four Walls Eight Windows; published in US as Beast of the Heartland)
  • Trujillo and Other Stories (2004)
  • Two Trains Running (2004)
  • Eternity and Other Stories (2005) (Thunder's Mouth Press)
  • Dagger Key and Other Stories (2007)
  • The Best of Lucius Shepard (2008) (Subterranean Press)
  • Skull City and Other Lost Stories (2008)
  • Vacancy & Ariel (2009)
  • Viator Plus (2010)
  • The Dragon Griaule (2012) (Subterranean Press, six inter-related novellas and novelettes)
  • Five Autobiographies and a Fiction (2013) (Subterranean Press, short stories)


  • Weapons of Mass Seduction (2005)
  • With Christmas in Honduras: Men, Myths and Miscreants in Modern Central America (forthcoming)

Film reviews


  • Vermillion (1996–1997, comic book series: writer)

Work available online


  1. ^ a b Clute, John. "Shepard, Lucius". In Clute, John; Langford, David; Nicholls, Peter. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (3rd ed.). Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  2. ^ "Banging Nails". Locus: 6. November 2001. While stories under his name were published in the 1950s, Shepard reports those were actually written by his father.
  3. ^ "Books". F&SF: 24. July 1984.
  4. ^ World Fantasy Convention. "Award Winners and Nominees". Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  5. ^ Locus Publications. "2001 Locus Awards". Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  6. ^ Electric Story. "Exclusive Movie Reviews by Lucius Shepard". Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  7. ^ James Patrick Kelly. "How to Talk to Lucius Shepard". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  8. ^ Gillossen (20 March 2014). "Décès de Lucius Shepard" [Death of Lucius Shepard]. (in French). Retrieved 2014-08-04.

External links

Altri Mondi

Altri Mondi (or Altrimondi, Italian for "Other Worlds") was a collection of science fiction novels published by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore from 1986 to 1993.

The first number was the Italian translation of Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov (May 1986). Other authors published included Alfred Bester, William Gibson, Robert A. Heinlein, Robert Silverberg, Lucius Shepard and others.

Covers were initially painted by Vicente Segrelles, soon replaced by the Argentine Oscar Chichoni.

Ends of the Earth

Ends of the Earth may refer to:

Extreme points of Earth

"Ends of the Earth" (DC Comics), a Wonder Woman story line

"Ends of the Earth" (Marvel Comics), a Spider-Man story line

The Ends of the Earth (novel), a novel by Valerio Massimo Manfredi

The Ends of the Earth (short story collection), a story collection by Lucius Shepard

The Ends of the Earth (play), by Morris Panych

"Ends of the Earth," a song by Lord Huron from their 2012 album Lonesome Dreams

"Ends of the Earth," a song by Dirty Three from their 1998 album Ocean Songs

Four Walls Eight Windows

Four Walls Eight Windows was an independent book publisher in New York City. Known as 4W8W or Four Walls, the company was notable for its dual commitment to progressive politics and adventurous, edgy literary fiction.

Among the more significant contemporary authors published by Four Walls were Steve Aylett, Ed Ayres, Michael Brodsky, Octavia Butler, Jerome Charyn, Andrei Codrescu, Richard Condon, Sue Coe, R. Crumb, Paul Di Filippo, Cory Doctorow, Andrea Dworkin, Brian Evenson, Annie Ernaux, Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman, Margo Howard-Howard, Kathe Koja, Gordon Lish, Gary Lutz, Jim Munroe, Harvey Pekar, Tito Perdue, Rudy Rucker, John Ralston Saul, Lucius Shepard, Sasha Sokolov and Edward D. Wood, Jr. It also had a line of "modern classics," which included authors such as Nelson Algren, Sherwood Anderson, George Plimpton and Sloan Wilson.

Golden Gryphon Press

Golden Gryphon Press is an independent publishing company, specializing in science fiction, fantasy, dark fantasy and cross-genre novels. It was founded in 1996 by Jim Turner, former editor at Arkham House, and is currently run by his brother Gary and his wife, Geri Turner.

The company has published work by Robert Reed, Michael Bishop, Andy Duncan, Geoffrey A. Landis, Paul Di Filippo, James Patrick Kelly, Lucius Shepard, Charles Stross, Gregory Frost, Nancy Kress, George Alec Effinger, Warren Rochelle, Jeffrey Ford and Howard Waldrop.

Helix (comics)

Helix was a short-lived, science fiction and science fantasy imprint of DC Comics, launched in 1996 and discontinued in 1998. In early promotional materials prior to the release of the first title, the imprint was called Matrix instead of Helix. It was renamed because of the then-upcoming film, The Matrix. It featured a handful of ongoing monthly series, several limited series, and one short graphic novel.

Despite the involvement of successful science fiction/fantasy novelists Michael Moorcock, Lucius Shepard and Christopher Hinz, and established comics creators Howard Chaykin, Elaine Lee, Matt Howarth, Warren Ellis, Walt Simonson, and Garth Ennis, sales of the comic books were low, and most of the ongoing titles were cancelled after 12 or fewer issues. Ellis' Transmetropolitan was switched to the Vertigo imprint, where it continued for several more years before reaching its planned conclusion. Ennis' Bloody Mary mini-series and Michael Moorcock's Multiverse were later collected in Vertigo-label paperbacks and Moeller's Sheva's War was released as a graphic novel paperback by Dark Horse.

Limited availability of the books in bookstores that already sold science fiction, resistance among science-fiction readers to serialized monthly publication, the lower visibility of the line's deliberately muted cover color palette, and the lack of interest in genre SF among regular patrons of comic-book stores, were all cited by industry observers as factors in the imprint's demise.

Hugo Award for Best Novella

The Hugo Award for Best Novella is one of the Hugo Awards given each year for science fiction or fantasy stories published or translated into English during the previous calendar year. The novella award is available for works of fiction of between 17,500 and 40,000 words; awards are also given out in the short story, novelette and novel categories. The Hugo Awards have been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing".The Hugo Award for Best Novella has been awarded annually since 1968. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. Retro Hugos may only be awarded for years in which a World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, was hosted, but no awards were originally given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been given for novellas for 1939, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1951, and 1954.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by the supporting and attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. These novellas on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of stories that can be nominated. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near the start of September, and are held in a different city around the world each year. Members are permitted to vote "no award", if they feel that none of the nominees is deserving of the award that year, and in the case that "no award" takes the majority the Hugo is not given in that category. This happened in the Best Novella category in 2015.During the 57 nomination years, 161 authors have had works nominated; 41 of these have won, including coauthors and Retro Hugos. Connie Willis has received the most Hugos for Best Novella at four, and at eight is tied for the most nominations with Robert Silverberg. Willis and Charles Stross at three out of four nominations are the only authors to have won more than twice, while thirteen other authors have won the award twice. Nancy Kress has earned seven nominations and Robert A. Heinlein, George R. R. Martin, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Lucius Shepard six, and are the only authors besides Willis and Silverberg to get more than four. Robinson has the highest number of nominations without winning.

Life During Wartime (novel)

Life during Wartime is a science fantasy novel written by American author Lucius Shepard. His second novel, it was published by Bantam Books in 1987, in which year it was nominated for the Philip K Dick Award. In 1990, it won the Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis.

Locus Award for Best Novella

The Locus Award for Best Novella is one of a series of Locus Awards given out each year by Locus Magazine. Awards presented in a given year are for works published in the previous calendar year.

The first award in this category was presented in 1973.

Mark V. Ziesing

Mark V. Ziesing is a small press publisher and bookseller. Active as a bookseller from 1972 to present, Ziesing was active in publishing from the mid-1980s into the late 1990s. The Ziesing publishing imprint specialized in science fiction, horror, and other forms of speculative fiction. Originally based in Willimantic, Connecticut and in partnership with his brother, he published two books by Gene Wolfe under the Ziesing Brothers imprint. He later published books by Philip K. Dick, Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Howard Waldrop, Bruce Sterling, Joe R. Lansdale, and Lucius Shepard, among others. In 1989 he returned to his home state, to Shingletown, California, where he and his wife Cindy continue to operate a catalog-based book selling business under the name Ziesing Books.

Nebula Award for Best Novella

The Nebula Award for Best Novella is given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) for science fiction or fantasy novellas. A work of fiction is defined by the organization as a novella if it is between 17,500 and 40,000 words; awards are also given out for pieces of longer lengths in the novel category, and for shorter lengths in the short story and novelette categories. To be eligible for Nebula Award consideration a novella must be published in English in the United States. Works published in English elsewhere in the world are also eligible provided they are released on either a website or in an electronic edition. The Nebula Award for Best Novella has been awarded annually since 1966. Novellas published by themselves are eligible for the novel award instead if the author requests them to be considered as such. The award has been described as one of "the most important of the American science fiction awards" and "the science-fiction and fantasy equivalent" of the Emmy Awards.Nebula Award nominees and winners are chosen by members of the SFWA, though the authors of the nominees do not need to be members. Works are nominated each year between November 15 and February 15 by published authors who are members of the organization, and the six works that receive the most nominations then form the final ballot, with additional nominees possible in the case of ties. Members may then vote on the ballot throughout March, and the final results are presented at the Nebula Awards ceremony in May. Authors are not permitted to nominate their own works, and ties in the final vote are broken, if possible, by the number of nominations the works received. The rules were changed to their current format in 2009. Previously, the eligibility period for nominations was defined as one year after the publication date of the work, which allowed the possibility for works to be nominated in the calendar year after their publication and then be awarded in the calendar year after that. Works were added to a preliminary list for the year if they had ten or more nominations, which were then voted on to create a final ballot, to which the SFWA organizing panel was also allowed to add an additional work.During the 53 nomination years, 171 authors have had works nominated; 49 of these have won, including co-authors and ties. Nancy Kress has won the most awards: four out of eight nominations. Robert Silverberg, John Varley, and Roger Zelazny have each won twice out of eight, two, and three nominations, respectively. Silverberg's and Kress's eight nominations are the most of any authors, followed by Lucius Shepard and Michael Bishop at seven, and Kate Wilhelm and Avram Davidson with six. Bishop has the most nominations without receiving an award for novellas, though Wilhelm and Davidson have also not won an award.

Rubber science

Rubber science is a science fiction term describing a quasi-scientific explanation for an aspect of a science fiction setting. Rubber science explanations are fictional but convincing enough to avoid upsetting the suspension of disbelief. Rubber science is a feature of most genres of science fiction, with the exception of hard science fiction. It is also frequently invoked in comic books.The term was coined by Norman Spinrad in an essay entitled "Rubber Sciences", in Reginald Bretnor's anthology The Craft of Science Fiction.

Salvador (short story)

"Salvador" is a science fiction short story by American writer Lucius Shepard. Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fict ion in 1984, the following year it won the Locus Poll award for Best Short Story, the SF Chronicle award for Short Story and was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Short Story.

The Ends of the Earth (short story collection)

The Ends of the Earth is a collection of science fiction and horror stories by American writer Lucius Shepard. It was released in 1991 and was the author's second book published by Arkham House. It was published in an edition of 4,655 copies. The stories originally appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and other magazines.

The Hercules Text

The Hercules Text is a 1986 science fiction novel by American writer Jack McDevitt. It tells the story of a message of intelligent extraterrestrial origin received by SETI scientists. The Hercules Text was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award in 1986.Science fiction author Michael Swanwick said, in an overview of McDevitt's work, "Jack's first novel, The Hercules Text, appeared in 1986 as an Ace Special, putting him in the august company of such luminaries as William Gibson, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Lucius Shepard. It was a good book."

The Jaguar Hunter

The Jaguar Hunter is a collection of science fiction, fantasy and horror stories by American author Lucius Shepard. Illustrated by J. K. Potter, it was released in May, 1987 and was the author's first book published by Arkham House. It was originally published in an edition of 3,194 copies, with a second printing later in 1987 of 1,508 copies. Bantam Books issued a trade paperback edition in 1989, and Four Walls Eight Windows reprinted the collection in 2001. The first British publication came as a Paladin Books trade paperback in 1988, followed quickly by a Kerosina Books hardcover. A Rumanian translation appeared in 2008.The Jaguar Hunter won the 1988 World Fantasy Award for best collection, as well as the Locus Award in the same category. Five of the stories were nominated for the Nebula Award, one winning the award; three of those were also nominated for the Hugo Award; and one nominated, for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards. Ten of the eleven stories placed in the annual Locus polls, eight reached the top ten, and two won Locus Awards.

Theodore Sturgeon Award

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is an annual award presented by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas to the author of the best short science fiction story published in English in the preceding calendar year. It is the short fiction counterpart of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, awarded by the same organization. The award is named in honor of Theodore Sturgeon, one of the leading authors of the Golden Age of Science Fiction from 1939 to 1950. The award was established in 1987 by his heirs—including his widow, Jayne Sturgeon—and James Gunn, at the time the Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction.From 1987 through 1994 the award was given out by a panel of science fiction experts led by Orson Scott Card. Beginning in 1995, the committee was replaced by a group of jurors, who vote on the nominations submitted for consideration. The initial jurors were James Gunn, Frederik Pohl, and Judith Merril. Merril was replaced on the jury by former winner Kij Johnson in 1997, one of Sturgeon's children—Noel Sturgeon in most years—was added to the panel in 1999, and George Zebrowski was added to the panel in 2005. Nominations are submitted by reviewers, fans, publishers, and editors, and are collated by the current Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, Christopher McKitterick, into a list of finalists to be voted on by the jury. The maximum eligible length that a work may be is not formally defined by the center. The winner is selected by May of each year, and is presented at the Campbell Conference awards banquet in June at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, as part of the centerpiece of the conference along with the Campbell Award. Winners are always invited to attend the ceremony. Since 2004 winners have received a personalized trophy, while since the inception of the award a permanent trophy has recorded all of the winners.During the 32 years the award has been active, 188 authors have had works nominated, 33 of whom have won, including one tie. No author has won more than once. John Kessel and Michael Swanwick have each won once out of seven nominations, Ursula K. Le Guin, Nancy Kress, and Ian McDonald one of six, Ted Chiang one of five, and Paolo Bacigalupi and Lucius Shepard have won once out of four times. Robert Reed has the most nominations without winning at eight, followed by James Patrick Kelly and Ian R. MacLeod at seven, and Greg Egan, Ken Liu,and Bruce Sterling at five.

Vermillion (Helix)

Vermillion is a dark science fantasy comic book series set in an eponymous city located in an imagined far future or alternate reality. The series was conceived and written by science fiction author Lucius Shepard as part of the short-lived DC Comics imprint, Helix. The title was cancelled after a one-year publication run shortly before the Helix imprint was itself cancelled by DC and its remaining titles shifted across to the Vertigo line.

Wheatland Press

Wheatland Press is an independent book publisher, specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and horror short story and poetry collections. It was founded in 2002 by Deborah Layne. Although the number of books it produced tailed off significantly in 2006, Wheatland Press has published some remarkable work in a very short time, including works by Ben Peek, Bruce Holland Rogers, Lucius Shepard, Steven Utley, Jerry Oltion, and Howard Waldrop. The Press's series of original anthologies, Polyphony, has consistently ranked among the best in the field.

On January 29, 2009, Layne announced the press was going on hiatus.

World Fantasy Award—Long Fiction

The World Fantasy Awards are given each year by the World Fantasy Convention for the best fantasy fiction published in English during the previous calendar year. The awards have been described by book critics such as The Guardian as a "prestigious fantasy prize", and one of the three most prestigious speculative fiction awards, along with the Hugo and Nebula Awards (which cover both fantasy and science fiction). The World Fantasy Award—Long Fiction is given each year for fantasy stories published in English. A work of fiction is eligible for the category if it is between 10,000 and 40,000 words in length; awards are also given out for longer pieces in the Novel category and shorter lengths in the Short Fiction category. The Long Fiction category has been awarded annually since 1982, though between 1975—when the World Fantasy Awards were instated—and 1982 the short fiction category covered works of up to 40,000 words. In 2016, the name of the category was changed from Best Novella to Long Fiction.World Fantasy Award nominees and winners are decided by attendees and judges at the annual World Fantasy Convention. A ballot is posted in June for attendees of the current and previous two conferences to determine two of the finalists, and a panel of five judges adds three or more nominees before voting on the overall winner. The panel of judges is typically made up of fantasy authors and is chosen each year by the World Fantasy Awards Administration, which has the power to break ties. The final results are presented at the World Fantasy Convention at the end of October. Winners were presented with a statue in the form of a bust of H. P. Lovecraft through the 2015 awards; more recent winners receive a statuette of a tree.During the 37 nomination years, 131 authors have had works nominated; 37 of them have won, including ties and co-authors. Only four authors have won more than once: Elizabeth Hand, with three wins out of eight nominations; Richard Bowes, with two wins out of three nominations; K. J. Parker, who also won twice out of three nominations; and Ellen Klages, with two wins out of two nominations. Of authors who have won at least once, Hand has the most nominations, followed by George R. R. Martin at five and Ursula K. Le Guin at four. Lucius Shepard has the most nominations without winning and the most overall at ten; he is followed by Kim Newman, who has six nominations without winning.

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