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(1944- ) US lawyer and author who began to publish work of genre interest with The Sword of Shannara (1977), a heavily Tolkien-influenced Fantasy (as Brooks has freely acknowledged) which inaugurated both the Ballantine/Del Rey Books imprint and the lengthy, bestselling Shannara sequence for which Brooks is best known; part of this has been adapted for Television as The Shannara Chronicles (2016-current). A second and arguably less successful fantasy series is Magic Kingdom of Landover, which begins with Magic Kingdom for Sale – Sold! (1986) and is intermittently humorous. Neither series appears in full in the selective Checklist below [but see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below].
Asides in the Shannara text, beginning with the first published book and increasingly manifest in later iterations, suggest that Brooks's fantasy realm is in fact the Post-Holocaust north-western United States, centuries after a trifecta of nuclear war, plague and magical invasion. The publication of his Armageddon's Children (2006), clearly connected the events of his Near Future Word and the Void series, in which our technological reality suffers a precipitous thinning, with the Shannara books, reframing the entire cycle as a romance of a Ruined Earth. Such a subtext is clear and present in the Television adaptation, which depicts the ruins of a Seattle recognizable to audiences, but simply part of the landscape to the characters, and hence rarely acknowledged in the novels (see Ruins and Futurity).
Brooks also wrote the sf Tie The Phantom Menace (1999), competently novelizing the film Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999); the choice of a high-selling fantasy author rather than one known for sf reflects the underlying fairytale quality of most of the Star Wars movies. Brooks received a World Fantasy Award for life achievement in 2017. [DRL/JonC]
born Sterling, Illinois: 8 January 1944
works (highly selected)
Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 18:52 pm on 25 September 2022.