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Morressy, John

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1930-2006) US academic connected with Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire from 1968, latterly as Writer Emeritus; and author who, After two nonfantastic novels, began his sf career in December 1971 with "Accuracy" for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, where most of his short fiction appeared. Morressy's early books were generally Space Opera, through which medium he constructed a series of interesting Alien societies, and most of them shared a common galactic background: a somewhat disordered polity still dominated by humans, though with no imperial government. Within this scenario, his stories tended to the dark and extravagant end of the sf-epic spectrum, as in the Del Whitby trilogy – Starbrat (1972), Nail Down the Stars (1973; vt Stardrift 1975) and Under a Calculating Star (1975) – which intriguingly tells the same noisy tale of interstellar intrigue and revolution from three partial points of view; none of the protagonists (orphans or impostors all) knows the whole story. Also set explicitly in the same galactic scene were A Law for the Stars (1976) and Frostworld and Dreamfire (1977), though no characters are shared. The latter tale is a strongly constructed and occasionally rousing epic of a metamorphic humanoid's search for a breeding-partner; the last of his race on his native planet, he must find her elsewhere or the race dies.

Later sf works, like The Mansions of Space (1983), continue to inhabit the same loosely defined, dark-textured milieu, but Morressy's 1970s juveniles were not identifiably set there: The Windows of Forever (1975 chap) is an effective Time-Travel tale, and the Ziax series comprising The Humans of Ziax II (1974 chap) and The Drought on Ziax II (1978 chap), both assembled as The Humans of Ziax II/The Drought on Ziax II (omni 1978), apply the concerns of Ecology to a planet colonized by humans (see Colonization of Other Worlds), though the natives of Ziax survive in the jungles. In the 1980s Morressy concentrated mainly on two fantasy sequences: the Iron Angel series – Ironbrand (1980), Graymantle (1981), Kingsbane (1982) and The Time of the Annihilator (1985) – and the Kedrigern series, about a reluctant wizard – A Voice for Princess (1986), The Questing of Kedrigern (1987), Kedrigern in Wanderland (1988), Kedrigern and the Charming Couple (1990) and A Remembrance for Kedrigern (1990). This latter series, in strong contrast to Morressy's early work, is determinedly light-hearted. His first novels are perhaps more likely to last. [JC]

John Morressy

born New York: 8 December 1930

died Sullivan, New Hampshire: 20 March 2006



Del Whitby

  • Starbrat (New York: Walker and Company, 1972) [Del Whitby: hb/James E Barry]
  • Nail Down the Stars (New York: Walker and Company, 1973) [Del Whitby: hb/James E Barry]
    • Stardrift (New York: Popular Library, 1975) [vt of the above: Del Whitby: pb/]
  • Under a Calculating Star (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1975) [Del Whitby: hb/John Cayea]


Iron Angel

  • Ironbrand (New York: Playboy Paperback, 1980) [Iron Angel: pb/PEI Books]
  • Graymantle (New York: Playboy Paperback, 1981) [Iron Angel: pb/PEI Books]
  • Kingsbane (New York: Playboy Paperback, 1982) [Iron Angel: pb/Esteban Maroto]
  • The Time of the Annihilator (New York: Ace Fantasy Books, 1985) [Iron Angel: pb/Kevin Eugene Johnson]


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