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Rosenberg, Joel

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1954-2011) Canadian author, in the US from an early age; he began publishing sf with "Like the Gentle Rains" in Asimov's for February 1982, but clearly felt more comfortable with tales of novel length. His first book, The Sleeping Dragon (1983), a Sword-and-Sorcery fantasy, began the Recursive Guardians of the Flame sequence, which ends with Not Really the Prisoner of Zenda (2003). Other fantasy series include the D'Shai sequence comprising D'Shai (1991) and Hour of the Octopus (1994); the Keepers of the Hidden Ways beginning with Keepers of the Hidden Ways: The Fire Duke (1995) and ending with Keepers of the Hidden Ways: Book Three: The Crimson Sky (1990); and the Mordred's Heirs sequence comprising Paladins (2004) and Paladins II: Knight Moves (2006), set in an Alternate History where Mordred won [for details of all fantasy series see Checklist]. Of sf interest is the Thousand Worlds sequence comprising Ties of Blood and Silver (1984), Emile and the Dutchman (fixup 1986), Not for Glory (fixup 1988) and Hero (1990), set in several millennia hence in a human-settled galaxy, where mercantile Libertarians profit ad libitum; the premise of the series is that each planet was settled by citizens of a distinct nation, and retains national characteristics. Not for Glory and Hero focus on the Jewish planet of Metzada, from which tough mercenaries (who rather resemble Gordon R Dickson's Dorsai) issue forth into combat. The stereotyping of Israelis, French, Germans and Dutch (and others) seems light-hearted; and the gestural libertarianism that underlies the premise also arguably governed Rosenberg's own twenty-first century campaign against gun control in America.

He should not be confused with the born-again Christian writer Joel C Rosenberg (1967-    ). [JC]

Joel Rosenberg

born Winnipeg, Manitoba: 1 May 1954

died Minneapolis, Minnesota: 2 June 2011



Guardians of the Flame


Keepers of the Hidden Ways

Thousand Worlds

  • Ties of Blood and Silver (New York: New American Library/Signet Books, 1984) [Thousand Worlds: pb/Vincent Di Fate]
  • Emile and the Dutchman (New York: New American Library/Signet Books, 1984) [fixup: Thousand Worlds: pb/Vincente Segrelles]
  • Not for Glory (New York: New American Library, 1988) [fixup: Thousand Worlds: pb/Leonard Telesca]
  • Hero (New York: Penguin Books/Roc, 1990) [Thousand Worlds: pb/Steve Huston]

Mordred's Heirs

individual titles


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