About is a subreddit dedicated to news, discussion, AMAs, charities, and interaction related to the greater genre. For an audio overview of the origins of or how to be the best member possible,. Craig Shaw Gardner is an acclaimed author best known in fantasy circles for his series of comedic fantasy books centering on the wizard Ebenezum and his hapless apprentice Wuntvor. I first came to read him when I selected omnibus versions of his first two series to be part the introductory set of books I got when joining the Sci-fi Fantasy book club back in 1989 and found them to be extremely funny. I would describe much of his writing as being like early Pratchett but with an American voice and more slapstick.
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Originally from Rochester, NY Gardner moved to Boston to attend Boston University and after graduation began his writing career while working in and around the city. His first professional sale was an Ebenezum story titled A Malady of Magicks published in the Oct. 1978 issue of Fantastic. From there he continued to sell related stories to fantasy anthologies like Orson Scott Card's Dragons of Light, Lin Carter's Flashing Swords #5, and Marvin Kaye's Ghosts. The popularity of these stories led to his compiling and rewriting them into his first novel, also titled A Malady of Magicks, published in 1986, which he followed up with two more books for a complete Ebenezum Trilogy. He then wrote a second trilogy called The Ballad of Wuntvor about the same characters.
Next up were two more comedic trilogies, The Cineverse Cycle which lampoons classic movies, and a comedic take on Sinbad called The Other Arabian Nights. He has also written some serious fantasy with his series too, The Dragon Cycle, about a sleepy 1960s suburb getting sucked into a magic world, and under the pen name, Peter Garrison, a darker portal fiction called The Changeling War. He continues to write to this day, recently returning to comedic novels with a new series of books called Temporary Magic in which the main character takes a temp job that throws him into all sorts of supernatural adventures. Though he is best known as a fantasy author, those books have not been his best sellers.
In the 80s Gardner was frequently hired to author the novelizations of big feature films. Among the biggest of these are the adaptations of the 1988 Tim Burton Batman (A New York Times Bestseller) and Batman Returns, as well as Back to the Future II & III, and the 80s hit vampire movie The Lost Boys. He's also done other licensed works like episode adaptations for Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, and some original stories for Battlestar Galactica, and Spiderman and Batman comic book tie-in stories.
I've found his film adaptations to be very readable and great at conveying the humor and tone of the source, though most of them were based on the scripts, not the completed films, so there are sometimes some interesting differences. Here is an overview of his series and some of my thoughts on the ones I’ve read. The Ebenezum Trilogy • A Malady of Magicks (1986) • A Multitude of Monsters (1986) • A Night in the Netherhells (1987) • The Exploits of Ebenezum (omnibus) The Ballad of Wuntvor • A Difficulty with Dwarves (1987) • An Excess of Enchantments (1988) • A Disagreement with Death (1989) • The Wanderings of Wuntvor (omnibus) There is also another related story, An Embarrassment of Elves in an anthology titled The Fair Folk (2007) edited by Marvin Kaye. These books are really a sextet rather than two trilogies. They are madcap comedies taking on a myriad of fantasy tropes including wizards, dragons, damsels, witches, warriors, demons, assassins, Death, giants, magical creatures (especially unicorns), brownies (and through them, fairies), dwarves, fairy tales and the 1976 Boston Red Sox among many many others.
The basic premise is that after accidentally summoning a demon from the Netherhells, the wizard Ebenezum becomes afflicted with a certain malady and goes on a quest to find a cure with his apprentice Wuntvor. They meet a wide variety of characters along the way, many of whom become entangled in the quest, and/or frequently reoccur. It should be noted that these books are not for everyone, and they can be found on lists of the worst fantasy books (lists made by soulless people with no sense of humor, I presume).
The jokes do become more and more self-referential as the story goes along, which some people find repetitive, and even I, as a lover of these books, found that I had to take breaks from them during my recent re-read. Also, no discussion of these books would be complete without mentioning the outstanding covers by Walter Velez which represent the characters brilliantly and give you a good idea of the type of humor contained within. The Cineverse Cycle * Slaves of the Volcano God (1989) • Bride of the Slime Monster (1990) • Revenge of the Fluffy Bunnies (1990) • The Cineverse Cycle Omnibus I’ve only read the first of these books, which are about a man traveling through a series of movie-themed worlds using a magical cheap plastic decoder ring. The first one parodies gangster movies, westerns, pirate films, and a Tarzan-like jungle movie. In my opinion the first book suffers a bit from having a weakly defined main character, but the book still has quite a few funny gags. The Further Arabian Nights • The Other Sinbad (1991) • A Bad Day for Ali Baba (1992) • Scheherazade's Night Out (a.k.a.
The Last Arabian Night) (1992) Again I’ve only read the first book, but this one has a more unique voice from his previous books, taking on an Arabian Nights storytelling tone. If you know the original Sinbad story, you know that it’s a story within a story. Well Gardner, by making a side character from the original the main character in the book has turned this into a story within a story within a story.
Even with the different tone, the humor is much the same as it is in his other books. The Dragon Circle • Dragon Sleeping (1994), a.k.a. Raven Walking • Dragon Waking (1995) • Dragon Burning (1996) I have not read anything but a sample from this one, but it is not a comedic series at all. It has a serious tone and seems to center on teenagers with coming of age themes.
The Changeling War (Written as Peter Garrison) • The Changeling War (1999) • The Sorcerer's Gun (1999) • The Magic Dead (2000) I’m in the middle of reading the first of these books. It’s a portal fiction that feels pretty dated even considering it’s publication date. It starts off slow with some not very compelling protagonists but is starting to pick up in the middle with some interesting antagonists. Temporary Magic • Temporary Monsters (2013) • Temporary Hauntings (2014) I haven’t had a chance to read anything but a sample of the first book, but this is a definite return to Gardner’s comedic roots with a supernatual story set in the modern day.
Wow, all your research paid off - this is a great post. And glad to see an author that's made me so happy get more attention! I really like the six fantasy books - I suspect I'd also struggle to read them all in a row, but I always got a huge laugh out of them as a kid. Just to chime in on the Cineverse books, they really aren't quite as fun as the other series.
There are lots of entertaining/silly movie jokes, but the character never really goes anywhere. Basically a long Mel Brooks film? I read one volume of the Dragon Circle waaaay back in the day, but my library never had the others, and now I'm incredibly curious how they hold up! [ETA: just looking at him on Amazon now, and the Cineverse omnibus is available for as low as 1p, and the Ebenezum trilogy is on ebook for. I really liked the Ebenezum and Wuntvor trilogies as a kid, but on reading them again later I realized just how derivative they were.of themselves! He repeats the same jokes over and over from book to book. I imagine that he wanted to make sure someone picking up a random book wasn't totally lost but most authors are more respectful of the reader (in my opinion).
I liken it to David Eddings where he practically recycled conversations in successive books; I could never enjoy the Elenium and Tamuli as much as the Belgariad (and mostly Mallorean) because I felt they were basically the same characters with different names. Csr Harmony Bluetooth Software Stack Download.