Randall Garrett (December 16, 1927 – December 31, 1987) was an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was a contributor to Astounding and other science fiction magazines of the 1950s and 1960s. He instructed Robert Silverberg in the techniques of selling large quantities of action-adventure science fiction, and collaborated with him on two novels about men from Earth disrupting a peaceful agrarian civilization on an alien planet.
|Born||December 16, 1927|
|Died||December 31, 1987 (aged 60)|
|Pen name||David Gordon, John Gordon, Darrel T. Langart, Alexander Blade, Richard Greer, Ivar Jorgensen, Clyde Mitchell, Leonard G. Spencer, S. M. Tenneshaw, Gerald Vance|
|Genre||Science fiction and Fantasy|
|Notable awards||Sidewise Award for Alternate History Special Achievement Award, 1999 (posthumous)|
Garrett is best known for the Lord Darcy books — the novel Too Many Magicians and two short story collections — set in an alternate world where a joint Anglo-French empire still led by a Plantagenet dynasty has survived into the twentieth century and where magic works and has been scientifically codified. The Darcy books are rich in jokes, puns, and references (particularly to works of detective and spy fiction: Lord Darcy is himself partially modelled on Sherlock Holmes), elements that often appear in the shorter works about the detective. Michael Kurland wrote two additional Lord Darcy novels.
Garrett wrote under a variety of pseudonyms including: David Gordon, John Gordon, Darrel T. Langart (an anagram of his name), Alexander Blade, Richard Greer, Ivar Jorgensen, Clyde Mitchell, Leonard G. Spencer, S. M. Tenneshaw, Gerald Vance. He was also a founding member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, as "Randall of Hightower" (a pun on "garret"). The short novel Brain Twister, written by Garrett in conjunction with author Laurence Janifer (using the joint pseudonym Mark Phillips) was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1960.
An inveterate punster (defining a pun as "the odor given off by a decaying mind"), he was a favorite guest at science fiction conventions and friend to many fans, especially in Southern California. According to various anecdotes in a tribute volume, Garrett was a complicated man. Although cherished by his friends, who often repeated anecdotes of his rakish and endearing behavior, he horrified many women, to whom he routinely introduced himself with obscene propositions. He introduced himself to Marion Zimmer Bradley with the Latin sentence "Coito ergo sum,"(sic) which she didn't understand until it was explained to her some time later as an obscenity, and at another time to a pregnant Anne McCaffrey with "sly innuendoes" which horrified her. Philip José Farmer recounted an anecdote where Garrett was punched by his then-wife for having a pair of someone else's lace underpants in his pocket, and later ran naked through a hotel after being caught having sex with another woman in the wrong room. Frank Herbert said "You could follow his movements around this creative Anachronists' picnic by the squeals of the women whose bottoms he had just pinched." Isaac Asimov referred to Garrett's offending Judith Merril enough that she emptied an ashtray over his and Garrett's heads.
Garrett suffered an attack of encephalitis in the summer of 1979; he spent the last 8 years of his life in a coma. He was married to fellow author Vicki Ann Heydron who, while Garrett was comatose, largely wrote the Gandalara Cycle fantasy series credited to both spouses.
In 1999, Randall Garrett won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History Special Achievement Award for the Lord Darcy series. He was also ordained in the Old Catholic Church. Glen Cook's private detective character Garrett P.I. is named in honor of Garrett.
By Garrett and his wife Vicki Ann Heydron; written by Heydron from a draft of the first volume and an outline of the series by Garrett.
With Robert Silverberg, as Robert Randall.
With Laurence M. Janifer, as Mark Phillips.
The collection Takeoff Too included a poem, which the editor titled "The Egyptian Diamond", which was erroneously credited to Garrett. It was actually written by Jack Bennett and originally published under the title "Ben Ali the Egyptian". Parts of "Ben Ali the Egyptian" were quoted in Garrett's short story "The Foreign Hand Tie."
"Backstage Lensman" is a short story by Randall Garrett, a parody or pastiche of the Lensman series of E.E. 'Doc' Smith. It was first written in 1949, lost and then rewritten in 1978.
Garrett claimed that "Doc read the first version of 'Backstage Lensman' and laughed all through the convention. It was his suggestion that I call the spaceship Dentless rather than Dauntless."
Garrett plays on the rather breathless and adjective-heavy prose of Smith—long strings of adjectives and adverbs, many of them compounded by hyphens, or offering the highest extremes, e.g. inconceivable, completely, irresistible, unimaginably, ultra-, indescribable. "The awesome awfulness of the unimaginable vastness of the intergalactic void", "the depths of degradation, the valleys of vileness, the caverns of corruption" or "beams, rods, cones, stilettos, icepicks, corkscrews, knives, forks, and spoons of energy raved against the screens of the Dentless."
There is an almost complete lack of levity, for example the character Ginnison observes with a complete lack of irony that, "I got a line through Banjo Freeko, the planetary dictator, but only after I blew up the mining industry on his planet and killed a few thousand innocent people -- regretfully, of course. But I do that all the time. It revolts me, but I do it." However, the long, stern descriptions are given a final twist in an appended sentence. The "blocky" plotting and the characteristic long background discussions are parodied, as is the unevenly applied physics (Smith often has problems with mass, inertia and gravity).
Character names are often puns—Frite of the Meich, Gimble Ginnison, the Starboard Admiral Partisipple, Hess von Baschenvolks, Flatworthy, Woozle, Shadrack, Houston Carbarn, Banlon of Downlo, Banjo Freeko. Personal characteristics are exaggerated—- Ginnison uses phrases like "Jeepers!" and "Gee whiz!"; Shadrack describes himself as "a yellow-bellied, chicken-livered, jelly-gutted coward."
This story appeared in:
The magazine Analog, June 1978
Takeoff, a collection of short fiction and poems by Randall Garrett, 1980
Shaggy B.E.M. Stories, an anthology edited by Mike Resnick, 1988Blank!
Blank! is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. It was commissioned by Larry Shaw, editor of Infinity Science Fiction, as being the least inspirational title on which to base a story. Harlan Ellison and Randall Garrett were also invited to submit stories based on the same title; Garrett wrote one with "Blank?" as the title while Ellison submitted "Blank." All three were published in the magazine in June 1957. Asimov's story was later reprinted in the 1975 collection Buy Jupiter and Other Stories.Despoilers of the Golden Empire
"Despoilers of the Golden Empire" is a science fiction novelette by Randall Garrett, originally published in Astounding Science Fiction in March 1959 under the pseudonym David Gordon.
The story appears to be about an expedition through space to a planet inhabited by a civilized but technologically backward people, whom the expedition conquer. However, in the last line it is revealed to be anything but that.
In terms of genre, the story reads like a pulp magazine yarn mixing space travel and classic swashbuckling themes, to the point where the characters even fight with swords, bringing to mind the adventures of Flash Gordon, or the Barsoom stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs.Elijah Baley
Elijah "Lije" Baley is a fictional character in Isaac Asimov's Robot series. He is the main character of the novels The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun and The Robots of Dawn, and of the short story "Mirror Image." He is seen in flashbacks several times and talked about frequently in Robots and Empire, which is set roughly 160 years after his death. He is further mentioned in passing in "Foundation and Earth" as a "Culture Hero". Besides Asimov's works he appears in the Foundation's Friends story "Strip-Runner" by Pamela Sargent, and "Isaac Asimov's 'The Caves Of Steel'" poem by Randall Garrett.Laurence Janifer
Laurence M. Janifer (March 17, 1933 - July 10, 2002) was an American science fiction author, with a career spanning over 50 years.List of fictional detective teams
This is a list of fictional detective teams from popular detective fiction. This list includes pairs of characters who appear in a series of novels or short stories, not characters who are teamed only for a single story.
Where two detectives work together, they are listed as A and B; where a single detective is regularly accompanied by a non-detecting sidekick or chronicler they are listed as A with B. The author who created the team appears in parentheses.
Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw - (Isaac Asimov)
Tommy and Tuppence Beresford - (Agatha Christie)
Hercule Poirot with Arthur Hastings - (Agatha Christie)
Grijpstra and de Gier - (Janwillem van de Wetering)
Frank and Joe Hardy - (Franklin W. Dixon)
Sherlock Holmes with Dr. John H. Watson - (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Bertha Cool and Donald Lam - (Erle Stanley Gardner as A. A. Fair)
Lord Darcy and Sean O'Lochlainn - (Randall Garrett)
Hawk and Fisher - (Simon Green)
Nick and Nora Charles - (Dashiell Hammett)
Dalziel and Pascoe - (Reginald Hill)
Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster - (Steve Franks)
Solomon and Lord - (Paul Levine)
Travis McGee and Meyer - (John D. MacDonald)
Morse and Lewis - (Colin Dexter)
Hildegarde Withers with Inspector Oscar Piper - (Stuart Palmer)
Adrian Monk and Natalie Teeger - (Andy Breckman)
Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin - (Rex Stout)
Sister Fidelma with Brother Eadulf - (Peter Tremayne)
Master Li with Number Ten Ox - (Barry Hughart)
Inspector Lynley with Sergeant Havers - (Elisabeth George)
Martin Beck with Gunvald Larsson - (Sjöwall and Wahlöö)
Michael Knight and KITT - (Glen A. Larson)
Shaggy Rogers with Scooby Dooby Doo - (Hanna-Barbera)
Nick Wilde and Judy Hops - (Clark Spencer)
Phoenix Wright With Maya Fey - (Shu Takumi)Lord Darcy (omnibus)
Lord Darcy is a 1983 omnibus collection of two previous fantasy collections and one fantasy novel by Randall Garrett featuring his alternate history detective Lord Darcy, published by Doubleday as a selection in its Science Fiction Book Club. The component books had originally been published in 1966, 1979 and 1981. The collection was reissued in 1999. A second edition, edited by Eric Flint, was published by Baen Books in 2002. The second edition reorganized the contents, added two stories not included in the original edition or its component volumes, and was edited slightly to remove duplicative material.
The Lord Darcy stories are set in an alternate world whose history supposedly diverged from our own during the reign of King Richard the Lionheart, in which King John never reigned and most of western Europe and the Americas are united in an Angevin Empire whose continental possessions were never lost by that king. In this world a magic-based technology has developed in place of the science of our own world.Lord Darcy Investigates
Lord Darcy Investigates is a collection of short stories by Randall Garrett featuring his alternate history detective Lord Darcy. It was first published in paperback in 1981 by Ace Books, and has been reprinted a number of times since. It was later gathered together with Murder and Magic (1979) and Too Many Magicians into the omnibus collection Lord Darcy (1983, expanded 2002).
The book collects four Lord Darcy short stories originally published in the magazines Analog Science Fact & Fiction in October 1974 and December 1976, and June 1965, Fantastic in May 1976, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine in April 1979.
The Lord Darcy stories are set in an alternate world whose history supposedly diverged from our own during the reign of King Richard the Lionheart, in which King John never reigned and most of Western Europe and the Americas are united in an Angevin Empire whose continental possessions were never lost by that king. In this world a magic-based technology has developed in place of the science of our own world.Mark Phillips (author)
Mark Phillips was the joint pseudonym used by science fiction writers Laurence Mark Janifer and Randall Philip Garrett in the early 1960s. Together they authored several humorous short novels in the so-called "Psi-Power" series: Brain Twister (1962), The Impossibles (1963), and Supermind (1963). For Brain Twister they were nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1960 (under the novel's original title, "That Sweet Little Old Lady"). They also co-authored the novel Pagan Passions (1959) with Garrett using his own name and Janifer using his Larry M. Harris pseudonym.Murder and Magic
Murder and Magic is a collection of short stories by Randall Garrett featuring his alternate history detective Lord Darcy. It was first published in paperback in 1979 by Ace Books, and has been reprinted a number of times since. It was later gathered together with Too Many Magicians (1967) and Lord Darcy Investigates (1981) into the omnibus collection Lord Darcy (1983, expanded 2002).
The book collects four Lord Darcy short stories originally published in the magazine Analog Science Fact & Fiction in January 1964, November 1964, and June 1965, and the Dean W. Dickensheet edited anthology Men & Malice, (Doubleday, 1973).
The Lord Darcy stories are set in an alternate world whose history supposedly diverged from our own during the reign of King Richard the Lionheart, in which King John never reigned and most of Western Europe and the Americas are united in an Angevin Empire whose continental possessions were never lost by that king. In this world a magic-based technology has developed in place of the science of our own world.Polly Plus
"Polly Plus" is a science fiction short story by Randall Garrett, originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction in 1978.The Best Policy
The Best Policy is a science fiction short story by Randall Garrett (under the pseudonym "David Gordon") about honesty. It was first published in Astounding Science Fiction, in 1957.The Bitter End (short story)
"The Bitter End" is a short story by Randall Garrett featuring his alternate history detective Lord Darcy and magician Master Sean. It was first published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and has been included in the second edition of the collection Lord Darcy.
The Lord Darcy stories are set in an alternate world whose history supposedly diverged from our own during the reign of King Richard the Lionheart, in which King John never reigned. Most of Western Europe and the Americas are united in an Angevin Empire whose continental possessions were never lost by that king. In this world, a magic-based technology has developed in place of the science of our own world.The Dawning Light
The Dawning Light is a 1959 science fiction novel published under the name Robert Randall, collaborative pseudonym of American writers Robert Silverberg and Randall Garrett. It depicts the changes in the society of the fictional planet Nidor, a world perpetually covered in dense cloud, inhabited by humanoids resembling humans but differing in several respects, notably in being covered from head to foot in short downy fur. The technological level of the society is about that of Renaissance Europe, and has been that way for thousands of years.
In the novel the main characters are struggling to throw off the influence of the Earthmen. These are humans with advanced technology who came to their planet as benefactors, founding a University and presiding over advances in agriculture, but whose work always seemed to have adverse results. Some of this was depicted in a previous set of shorter stories, collected as The Shrouded Planet two years previously.The Nine Wrong Answers
The Nine Wrong Answers, first published in 1952, is a detective story by John Dickson Carr which does not feature any of Carr's series detectives. It is an expansion of Carr's 1942 radio play "Will You Make A Bet With Death".This novel is a whodunnit mystery, with an emphasis on the puzzle aspect. The title derives from Carr's atypical use of footnotes to address the reader, remarking on certain interpretations of events, conclusions, or mystery cliches, and telling the reader to discard them, while also urging a very literal interpretation of text. These serve as the "nine wrong answers," while in the denouement, the protagonist reveals the nine correct answers he arrived at in order to solve the mystery.The Shrouded Planet
The Shrouded Planet is a 1957 science fiction novel published under the name "Robert Randall", actually the collaborative work of American writers Robert Silverberg and Randall Garrett. It consists of three linked stories, each originally published separately in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction. Linking chapters were added for book release. The first book printing, by Gnome Press in New York, was small and did not sell well. This and the sequel novel, The Dawning Light, were reprinted 25 years later, and well received.
The original stories were:
"The Chosen People" (Astounding June 1956)
"The Promised Land" (Astounding August 1956)
False Prophet" (Astounding, December 1956; also front cover art)All the stories relate to the fictional planet Nidor and the effects on its humanoid inhabitants of the coming of Earthmen, humans with advanced technology and apparently benevolent motives. The common thread is a family, beginning with Kiv peGanz Brajjyd, his daughter Sindi, and her son Norvis. Each contributes to the slow breakdown of Nidorian society, which is apparently what the Earthmen really want.Too Many Magicians
Too Many Magicians is a novel by Randall Garrett, an American science fiction author. One of several stories starring Lord Darcy, it was first serialized in Analog Science Fiction in 1966 and published in book form the same year by Doubleday. It was later gathered together with Murder and Magic (1979) and Lord Darcy Investigates (1981) into the omnibus collection Lord Darcy (1983, expanded 2002). The novel was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1967.
The Lord Darcy character also appears in several other novellas and short stories by Garrett, but this is his only novel-length Lord Darcy story. Michael Kurland has written two further novels set in the Lord Darcy universe.Vicki Ann Heydron
Vicki Ann Heydron (born 21 October 1945) is an American writer of speculative fiction and poet.
Born in Sacramento, she wrote most of her work in collaboration with her husband Randall Garrett. Her principal work is the Gandalara Cycle (1981–1986), a seven-volume fantasy series. Although both Garrett and Heydron are credited as authors, she is believed to be the principal author given that Garrett was in a coma for most of the series' publication history.William Tuning
Orville William Tuning (June 21, 1935 in Ottumwa, Iowa – April 18, 1982 in Santa Barbara, California)  was an American author of science fiction and a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). He was reported to be close friends with authors Jerry Pournelle, Randall Garrett (SCA name: Randall of Hightower) and Robert A. Heinlein. Tuning was closely involved with the founders of the SCA.
Among his works were the 1981 Fuzzy Bones, a posthumous sequel to H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy and Fuzzy Sapiens (written and published before the discovery and subsequent publication of the lost manuscript of Piper's Fuzzies and Other People), and the 1978 "Tornado Alley".
Tuning died in 1982, of "blood disease contracted during a hospital stay for the treatment of alcoholism".