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Adams, Robert

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1932-1990) US soldier and author best known for his Post-Holocaust Horseclans sequence of adventures set after 2500 CE in a series of states occupying what was once the USA and dominated from behind the scenes by a strain of immortal Mutants, while an unsavoury group of human scientists opposes them from a secret base. Occasionally the reader gains sight of repulsive sects who decayedly parody twentieth-century movements – Ecology, for instance – that were bêtes-noires of the author, who was not averse to polemical intrusions which have not perhaps worn very well, though he did not utter the full-blown Survivalist doctrines adopted by writers who followed him. The sequence begins with The Coming of the Horseclans (1975; exp 1982), Swords of the Horseclans (1977) and Revenge of the Horseclans (1977) – all three being assembled as Tales of the Horseclans (omni 1985) – and ends with The Clan of the Cats (1988). From about 1981 the series was unfortunately larded with repetitive flashbacks to previous instalments, often repeating entire scenes word for word. Two Shared-World anthologies – Friends of the Horseclans (anth 1987) and Friends of the Horseclans II (anth 1989) – also appeared, both edited with his wife, Pamela Crippen Adams.

A second series, the Castaways in Time alternate-history Time-Travel sequence, begins with Castaways in Time (1980) and ends with Of Beginnings and Endings (1989). Most of his remaining work, including another, unfinished series, was fantasy; some of his anthologies, however – including Robert Adams' Book of Alternate Worlds (anth 1987) with Pamela Crippen Adams and Martin H Greenberg, Robert Adams' Book of Soldiers (anth 1988) with Pamela Crippen Adams and Martin H Greenberg and Alternatives (anth 1989) with Pamela Crippen Adams – were of sf interest. [JC]

see also: Alternate History; Sword and Sorcery.

Franklin Robert Adams

born Danville, Virginia: 31 August 1932

died Apopka, Florida: 4 January 1990




Castaways in Time

Stairway to Forever

works as editor



Magic in Ithkar

Friends of the Horseclans

individual titles


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