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Roberts, John Maddox

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1947-    ) US author, prolific in the later 1980s, who has also written nonfantastic novels as by Mark Ramsay. His first sf novel, The Strayed Sheep of Charun (1977; rev vt Cestus Dei 1983), is an action-packed romance set on a medievalized planet in which Jesuits and others attempt to reform the violence which is the planet's (and novel's) raison d'être. There followed a variety of work, all adventure fiction – whose style is perhaps best described as brisk – in sf or fantasy settings, including the Young Adult Space-Opera Spacer sequence comprising Space Angel (1979), in which the commandeering of a spaceship by an ancient Alien leads to adventures for a boy, and its sequel Spacer: Window of the Mind (1988). King of the Wood (1983) is set in an alternate USA inhabited variously by Norsemen, Native Americans, Aztecs and Spanish Muslims. The Cingulum sequence about a raffish spaceship crew's adventures is The Cingulum (1985), Cloak of Illusion (1985) and Cingulum #3: The Sword, the Jewel and the Mirror (1988). Roberts also collaborated with Eric Kotani (whom see for details) on the Act of God sequence beginning with Act of God (1985); two singletons, Delta Pavonis (1990) and Legacy of Prometheus (2000) were also written with Kotani. Roberts's The Enigma Variations (1989) sets an Amnesiac in a corporate future. While all this sf activity was going on, Roberts also contributed several Ties to the ever-growing Conan series, set in a Shared World derived from Robert E Howard's famous Sword-and-Sorcery stories, and beginning with Conan the Valorous (1985). The Stormlands series, set in a tribalized fantasy world, so far comprises The Islander (1990), The Black Shields (1991), The Poisoned Lands (1992), The Steel Kings (1993) and Queens of Land and Sea (1994). The SPQR sequence beginning with SPQR (1990) comprises police-procedural mystery novels set in ancient Rome; the Hannibal's Children sequence beginning with Hannibal's Children (2002) is an Alternate History saga in which Rome lost the Second Punic War. [PN]

John Maddox Roberts

born Ohio: 25 June 1947





Act of God



Some titles in this Shared World series are by other hands.


Hannibal's Children

  • Hannibal's Children (New York: Ace Books, 2002) [Hannibal's Children: hb/Scott Grimando]
  • The Seven Hills (New York: Ace Books, 2005) [Hannibal's Children: hb/Scott Grimando]

individual titles


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