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Watt-Evans, Lawrence

Entry updated 23 December 2023. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of US author Lawrence Watt Evans (1954-    ), who began publishing sf in 1975 with "Paranoid Fantasy #1" for American Atheist as Evans, creating his current hyphenated surname in 1979 (at the request of Lester del Rey) to distinguish himself from another Lawrence Evans; he has also written stores as by Walter Vance Awsten and Ties as by Nathan Archer (see Checklist). He has constructed several scripts for Marvel Comics. He has been moderately prolific as a short story writer, and "Why I Left Harry's All-Night Hamburgers" (July 1987 Asimov's) won a 1988 Hugo. As a writer of fantasy and sf, his work has been varied from the start, ranging from the somewhat overblown high Fantasy of his first sequence – the Lords of Dûs series beginning with The Lure of the Basilisk (1980) and ending with The Spell of the Black Dagger (1994) to the more sustained (and at points lighthearted) Legends of Ethshar, beginning with The Misenchanted Sword (1985) and ending with The Unwelcome Warlock: A Legend of Ethshar (2012).

The genre-crossing War Surplus series – The Cyborg and the Sorcerers (1982) and The Wizard and the War Machine (1987), both assembled as The Cyborg and the Sorcerers/The Wizard and the War Machine (omni 2010 dos) – combines Sword and Sorcery, Military SF and some speculative content regarding its Cyborg protagonist. In recent decades he has focused more on horror and fantasy than sf, though early singleton sf novels like The Chromosomal Code (1984) and Denner's Wreck (1988) retain interest. The latter is perhaps his most sustained sf tale: on the planet Denner's Wreck two kinds of humans – primitive descendants of a crashed Starship and tourists posing as wilful gods – must come to some sort of mutual comprehension. Nightside City (1989) tends to submerge the Hard-SF challenge at its heart – to elucidate human actions on a slow-spin planet whose terminator is advancing fatally on the city of the title – in the palely conceived escapades of a female detective. One-Eyed Jack (2011), an urban fantasy, is typical of his later work. Though Watt-Evans's novels inhabit traditional venues, and their protagonists undergo traditional trials without much affecting the reader, his ingenuity is manifest. [JC]

see also: Asimov's Science Fiction.

Lawrence Watt-Evans

born Arlington, Massachusetts: 26 July 1954



Lords of Dûs

War Surplus

Legends of Ethshar

Carlisle Hsing

  • Nightside City (New York: Ballantine Books/Del Rey, 1989) [Carlisle Hsing: pb/David Schleinkofer]
  • Realms of Light (Takoma Park, Maryland: FoxAcre Press, 2010) [Carlisle Hsing: pb/]

Three Worlds

Star Trek


The Obsidian Chronicles

Annals of the Chosen

  • The Wizard Lord (New York: Tor, 2006) [Annals of the Chosen: hb/Raymond Swanland]
  • The Ninth Talisman (New York: Tor, 2007) [Annals of the Chosen: hb/Raymond Swanland]
  • The Summer Palace (New York: Tor, 2008) [Annals of the Chosen: hb/Raymond Swanland]

Fall of the Sorcerers

Tom Derringer

individual titles

collections and stories


works as editor


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