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.[1] The collection was first published in hardcover by Henry Holt and Company in 1941 and in paperback by Pyramid Books in 1960.[2][1]

The Incomplete Enchanter
Incomplete enchanter
Dust-jacket illustration for The Incomplete Enchanter
AuthorL. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
Cover artistBoris Artzybasheff
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesHarold Shea Series
GenreFantasy
PublisherHenry Holt and Company
Publication date
1941
Media typePrint (hardback)
Pages326
Followed byThe Castle of Iron 

Summary

The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which magic exists in separate universes which coexist with our own, and which can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. The worlds are based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world. In the stories collected as The Incomplete Enchanter, the authors' protagonist Harold Shea visits two such worlds, that of Norse mythology and that of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene.

Contents

Reception

Reviewing the 1950 edition, Boucher and McComas described the series as "a high point in the application of sternest intellectual logic to screwball fantasy."[3] Damon Knight characterized the series as "relaced, ribald adventure ... priceless," saying that "no fantasy reader should be without them."[4] P. Schuyler Miller declared that these "first and best of the Harold Shea stories," through the authors' "fiendishly clever application of symbolic logic", have "annexed the entire realm of "pure" fantasy to science fiction."[5]

In 1977, Richard A. Lupoff described the series as "whole planes above the hackneyed gut-spillers and skull-smashers that pass for heroic fantasy."[6]

The book was also reviewed by E. J. Carnell in Operation Fantast, #6, September 1950, the editor in Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1950, P. Schuyler Miller in Other Worlds Science Stories, January 1951, Joseph H. Crawford, Jr., James J. Donahue and Donald M. Grant in '333': A Bibliography of the Science-Fantasy Novel, 1953, Alfred Bester in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1960, John Carnell in Science Fantasy, August 1962, Joseph Nicholas in Paperback Parlour, December 1979, Everett F. Bleiler in The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, 1983, and Bill Fawcett and Jody Lynn Nye in Galaxy's Edge Magazine, Issue 19, March 2016.[1]

Editions

The Incomplete Enchanter has been reprinted by a number of other publishers since its first appearance. A 1979 edition published by Sphere Books was issued under the variant title The Incompleat Enchanter.[2][1] 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.[7][8]

The collection has been combined with later books in the series in the omnibus editions The Compleat Enchanter (1975) (which presumably influenced the title of the Sphere edition just mentioned),[2] 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 published in German,[1] Itallian,[1] and Dutch.[2][1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g The Incomplete Enchanter title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  2. ^ a b c d Laughlin, Charlotte; Daniel J. H. Levack (1983). De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood/Miller. pp. 67–68.
  3. ^ "Recommended Reading," The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, December 1950, p. 104.
  4. ^ "The Dissecting Table", Worlds Beyond, December 1950, p. 114.
  5. ^ "Book Reviews", Astounding Science Fiction, February 1951, p. 150
  6. ^ "Lupoff's Book Week", Algol 28, 1977, p.56.
  7. ^ Orion Publishing Group's L. Sprague de Camp webpage
  8. ^ Amazon.com entry for e-book edition
  • Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers. p. 95.
Preceded by
none
Harold Shea Series
The Incomplete Enchanter
Succeeded by
The Castle of Iron
Aristotle and the Gun and Other Stories

Aristotle and the Gun and Other Stories is a collection of short stories by American science fiction and fantasy author L. Sprague de Camp. It was published in hardcover in August 2002 by the Gale Group as part of its Five Star Speculative Fiction Series.The book contains short works of fiction by the author spanning much of his writing career, having originally been published from 1939 to 1993. It also contains an introduction by Harry Turtledove.

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.

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.

L. Sprague de Camp

Lyon Sprague de Camp (; 27 November 1907 – 6 November 2000), better known as L. Sprague de Camp, was an American writer of science fiction, fantasy and non-fiction. In a career spanning 60 years, he wrote over 100 books, including novels and works of non-fiction, such as biographies of other fantasy authors. He was a major figure in science fiction in the 1930s and 1940s.

Land of Unreason

Land of Unreason is a fantasy novel by American writers Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague de Camp. It was first published in the fantasy magazine Unknown Worlds for October, 1941 as "The Land of Unreason". Revised and expanded, it was first published in book form by Henry Holt and Company in 1942. It has been reprinted numerous times since by various publishers, including by Ballantine Books in January 1970 as the tenth volume of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. 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.

Losel

In the Dungeons and Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the Losel is an orc-baboon crossbreed. Though roughly humanoid, they are little more than tool-using animals in many respects. Their name means "lost ones."

Norse mythology in popular culture

The Norse mythology, preserved in such ancient Icelandic texts as the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda, and other lays and sagas, was little known outside Scandinavia until the 19th century. With the widespread publication of Norse myths and legends at this time, references to the Norse gods and heroes spread into European literary culture, especially in Scandinavia, Germany, and Britain. In the later 20th century, references to Norse mythology became common in science fiction and fantasy literature, role-playing games, and eventually other cultural products such as Japanese animation.

Prime Press

Prime Press, Inc. was a science fiction and fantasy small press specialty publishing house founded in 1947. It published a number of interesting science fiction books in its brief four-year lifespan.

It was founded by Oswald Train, James A. Williams, Alfred C. Prime, and Armand E. Waldo who were all members of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society. The founders originally intended that the press focus on writers living in the Philadelphia area or associated with PSFS. In 1950, Prime and Waldo asked Williams and Train to buy them out. Williams died suddenly in 1951. Train was unable to continue the press on his own. Their next book was to have been Lost Continents, by L. Sprague de Camp. Prime had printed the signatures, but handed the project off to Gnome Press who bound them with a new title page.

The Blade of Conan

The Blade of Conan is a 1979 collection of essays edited by L. Sprague de Camp, published in paperback by Ace Books. The material was originally published as articles in George H. Scithers' fanzine Amra. The book is a companion to Ace’s later volume of material from Amra, The Spell of Conan (1980). Most of the material in the two volumes, together with some additional material, was reprinted from three previous books issued in hardcover by Mirage Press; de Camp’s collection The Conan Reader (1968), and the de Camp and Scithers-edited anthologies The Conan Swordbook (1969). and The Conan Grimoire (1972).

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 Conan Grimoire

The Conan Grimoire is a 1972 collection of essays, poetry and fiction edited by L. Sprague de Camp and George H. Scithers, published in hardcover by Mirage Press. The essays were originally published as articles in Scithers' fanzine Amra. The book is a companion to Mirage’s previous two volumes of material from Amra, The Conan Reader (1968) and The Conan Swordbook (1969). Most of the material in the three volumes, together with some additional material, was later reprinted in two de Camp-edited paperback anthologies from Ace Books; The Blade of Conan (1979) and The Spell of Conan (1980).

The Magic Goes Away

The Magic Goes Away is a fantasy short story written by Larry Niven in 1976, and later expanded to a novella of the same name which was published in 1978. While these works were not the first in the "Magic Universe" or "Warlock" series, they marked a turning point after the 1973 oil crisis and Niven's subsequent transformation of the series into an allegory for a modern-day energy crisis. The setting was later used as a backdrop for a series of full-length novels, The Burning City (2000) and its sequel, Burning Tower (2005), which were co-written with Jerry Pournelle.

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.

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