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Mayhar, Ardath

Entry updated 9 January 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1930-2012) US author who began publishing poetry in the 1940s and who wrote historicals and Westerns as Frank Cannon and other non-sf/fantasy books as John Killdeer and Sarah MacWilliams. She began publishing sf/fantasy with "The Cat with the Sapphire Eyes" for Weirdbook #8 in 1973; she integrated this tale into the second volume of her Kyrannon Shar-Nuhn sequence, which comprises her first novel, How the Gods Wove in Kyrannon (1979), and The Seekers of Shar-Nuhn (1980). Like much of her work, this sequence makes use of the instruments of Science Fantasy – specifically, magical devices and powers which are justified by recourse to "scientific" explanations, generally rooted in the past (see Science and Sorcery) – to heighten tales whose protagonists, often adolescent girls, exhibit a goodness which is sometimes shining. In the Tales of the Triple Moon sequence, folk of transparent decency must resist a tyrant whose disruptive influence threatens to sour the harmony between human beings and Nature. The Macaque Cycle, both with Ron Fortier and comprising Trail of the Seahawks (1987) and Monkey Station (1989), features Uplifted monkeys (see Apes as Human) who must work out how to coinhabit our planet with us; it is not certain if a projected Game was ever released.

The most sf-like of Mayhar's individual novels were Khi to Freedom (1983), Golden Dream (1983), Exile on Vlahil (1984), an elaborate and effective Planetary Romance, The World Ends in Hickory Hollow (1985), a Post-Holocaust tale set in Texas, where a small family fends off raiders in terms evocative of Survivalist Fiction, and A Place of Silver Silence (1988), a First Contact tale for a younger audience. Mayhar's work has been compared to that of Andre Norton, with which it shared the qualities of transparent story-telling and a sense of moral certainty. In 2008 she was named as SFWA Author Emeritus (see SFWA Grand Master Award). [JC]

Ardath Frances Hurst Mayhar

born Timpson, Texas: 20 February 1930

died Nacogdoches, Texas: 1 February 2012



Tales of the Triple Moon

  • How the Gods Wove in Kyrannon (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1979) [Tales of the Triple Moon: hb/Kathy Canzanin]
  • The Seekers of Shar-Nuhn (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1980) [Tales of the Triple Moon: hb/Bruce Schluter]
  • Warlock's Gift (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1982) [Tales of the Triple Moon: hb/Bruce Schluter]
  • Lords of the Triple Moons (New York: Atheneum/Argo, 1983) [Tales of the Triple Moon: hb/Michael Mariano]


Macaque Cycle

Human-Knacker War

individual titles




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