Fred Saberhagen

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Not to be confused with Bret Saberhagen.
Fred Saberhagen
Fred Saberhagen 2.JPG
Born (1930-05-18)May 18, 1930
Chicago, Illinois
Died June 29, 2007(2007-06-29) (aged 77)
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Period 1964–2005
Genres Fantasy, Horror, Science fiction
Notable work(s)

The Berserker series

The Book of Swords series

www.berserker.com

Fred Thomas Saberhagen (May 18, 1930 – June 29, 2007[1][2]) was an American science fiction and fantasy author most famous for his Berserker series of science fiction short stories and S.F. novels.

Saberhagen also wrote a series of vampire novels in which the vampires (including the famous Dracula) are the protagonists, and a series of post-apocalyptic mytho-magical novels beginning with his popular Empire of the East and continuing through a long series of Swords and Lost Swords novels. Saberhagen died of cancer, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.[3]

Biography[edit]

Saberhagen was born in and grew up in the area of Chicago, Illinois. Saberhagen served as an enlisted man in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War while he was in his early twenties.[4] Back in civilian life, Saberhagen worked as an electronics technician for the Motorola Corporation from 1958 to 1962, when he was around 30 years old.[4]

It was while he was working for Motorola that Saberhagen started writing fiction seriously at the age of about 30.[5] His first sale was to Galaxy Magazine, which published his short story "Volume PAA-PYX" in 1961.[6] "Fortress Ship", his first "Berserker" short shory, was published in 1963. Then, in 1964, Saberhagen saw the publication of his first novel, The Golden People.

From 1967 to 1973, he worked as an editor for the Chemistry articles in the Encyclopædia Britannica as well as writing its article on science fiction.[4] He then quit and took up writing full-time. In 1975, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

He married fellow writer Joan Spicci in 1968. They had two sons and a daughter. On June 29, 2007, Saberhagen died of prostate cancer in Albuquerque.[6]

In his adult years Fred Saberhagen was a practicing Catholic; indications of his faith appear from time-to-time in his writing quite evidently to an alert & sympathetic reader.

Published works[edit]

Dracula sequence[edit]

Saberhagen's Dracula novels are based on the premise that vampires are morally equal to normal humans: they have the power to do good or evil, it is their choice. The first in the series, The Dracula Tape, is the story of Bram Stoker's Dracula told from Dracula's point of view. Saberhagen depicts Dracula as the historical figure Vlad Ţepeş, who as voivode of Wallachia was known as Drakulya, who in Saberhagen's stories became a vampire after being murdered. The character said it was "by a transcendent act of will" that he refused to die but in reality it's apparent that even he is uncertain how he really became a vampire. Most vampires in the series are created when a human drinks the blood of another vampire which he claims he never did. In this version, Dracula survives the best efforts of Harker, Van Helsing and company, who are portrayed largely as bungling fools, Van Helsing in particular as a fraud and heretic. Dracula was violent and ill-tempered but nonetheless is bound by his own sense of honor and is loyal to his loved ones. Dracula, in his mortal life, fought the encroach of the Ottoman Turkish Empire into Europe. ("There is not an ounce of soil here which has not been enriched by the blood of patriots.") In later novels, Dracula interacts with other literary characters including Sherlock Holmes. This series was often listed in Ace promotional materials as "The New Dracula". His success with this series was such that he was hired to write the novelization of the 1992 movie Bram Stoker's Dracula.

  1. The Dracula Tape (Warner June 1975) / (Ace Jan. 1980)
  2. The Holmes-Dracula File (Ace Nov. 1978). Allegedly[citation needed] this was not Saberhagen's choice of title, as it gives away what was intended to be a surprise plot point.
  3. An Old Friend of the Family (Ace June 1979)
  4. Thorn (Ace Sep. 1980); text restored and/or revised: (Tor Feb. 1990)
  5. Dominion (Tor June 1982)
    • "From the Tree of Time" (short story) Sorcerer's Apprentice #14 1982
  1. A Matter of Taste (Tor July 1990)
  2. A Question of Time (Tor May 1992)
  3. Seance for a Vampire (Tor June 1994); republished as The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Seance for a Vampire (Titan Books, June 2010)
  4. A Sharpness on the Neck (Tor Oct. 1996)
    • "Box Number Fifty" (short story). Dracula in London, ed. P. N. Elrod, Ace Nov. 2001
  1. A Coldness In the Blood (Tor Oct. 2002)

Volumes 3 & 4 were reprinted in omnibus version Vlad Tapes, (Baen July 2000)

Ardneh sequence[edit]

Empire of the East series[edit]

  1. The Broken Lands, (Ace 1968)
  2. The Black Mountains, (Ace 1971)
  3. Changeling Earth, (DAW Feb. 1973); revised as Ardneh's World for 1979 printing, see below
  4. Ardneh's Sword, (Tor May 2006)

Volumes 1, 2 & 3 were later published in a heavily-revised omnibus form as Empire of the East, (Ace Oct. 1979)

Books of Swords[edit]

Main article: Books of the Swords
  1. The First Book of Swords, (Tor March 1983)
  2. The Second Book of Swords, (Tor Nov. 1983)
  3. The Third Book of Swords, (Tor Aug. 1984)

The 3 volumes were reprinted in omnibus version The Complete Book of Swords, (SFBC/Nelson Doubleday Jan. 1985), and later as The First Swords, (Tor Feb. 1999)

Books of Lost Swords[edit]

  1. Woundhealer's Story: The First Book of Lost Swords, (Tor Oct. 1986)
  2. Sightblinder's Story: The Second Book of Lost Swords, (Tor Nov. 1987)
  3. Stonecutter's Story: The Third Book of Lost Swords, (Tor May 1988)
  4. Farslayer's Story: The Fourth Book of Lost Swords, (Tor July 1989)
  5. Coinspinner's Story: The Fifth Book of Lost Swords, (Tor Dec. 1989)
  6. Mindsword's Story: The Sixth Book of Lost Swords, (Tor Dec. 1990)
  7. Wayfinder's Story: The Seventh Book of Lost Swords, (Tor June 1992)
  8. Shieldbreaker's Story: The Last Book of Swords, (Tor Feb. 1994)

Volumes 1, 2 & 3 were reprinted in omnibus version The Lost Swords: The First Triad, (SFBC/Nelson Doubleday Sep. 1988); Volumes 4, 5 & 6 were reprinted in omnibus version The Lost Swords: The Second Triad, (Tor/SFBC May 1991); Volumes 7 & 8 were reprinted in omnibus version The Lost Swords: Endgame, (SFBC/GuildAmerica Books June 1994)

Original Swords anthology[edit]

  • An Armory of Swords, (Tor June 1995), an original anthology of Swords tales edited by Saberhagen:
  1. "Blind Man's Blade," Fred Saberhagen, (nv) *
  2. "Woundhealer," Walter Jon Williams, (nv) *
  3. "Fealty," Gene Bostwick, (nv) *
  4. "Dragon Debt," Robert E. Vardeman, (nv) *
  5. "The Sword of Aren-Nath," Thomas Saberhagen, (nv) *
  6. "Glad Yule," Pati Nagle, (na) *
  7. "Luck of the Draw," Michael A. Stackpole, (nv) *
  8. "Stealth and the Lady," Sage Walker, (nv) *

Berserker series[edit]

The Berserker stories tell about an ongoing war between humanity and the Berserkers. Saberhagen's Berserkers are self-replicating war machines programmed with one main objective: Destroy all life. After destroying both their creators and the opposing side in a long-ago galactic war, the self-replicating Berserkers have continued to wipe out all forms of life that they encounter in the Milky Way, which leads to the cooperation and coordination of most of the sentient races in major attempts to defeat them. Humankind, although relatively new to the galactic scene, is a major player because of its aggressive nature. The series spans a large range of both time and space, and so has less plot continuity than Saberhagen's other series.

  1. Berserker, (Ballantine Jan. 1967) / (Ace Sep. 1978) (short fiction collection)
  2. Brother Assassin, (Ballantine Jan. 1969) / as Brother Berserker, (Macdonald Feb. 1969) / (Ace Dec. 1978); (available online) as a Baen Free Sample from the Berserker Man omnibus; book version of the following linked novellas:
    • "Stone Man," (na) Worlds of Tomorrow May 1967
    • "The Winged Helmet," (na) If Aug. 1967
    • "Brother Berserker," (na) If Nov. 1967
  3. Berserker's Planet, (n) If May/June 1974 (+1) / (DAW April 1975) / (Ace May 1980)
  4. Berserker Man, (Ace April 1979)
  5. The Ultimate Enemy, (Ace Sep. 1979) (short fiction collection)
    • The Berserker Wars, (Tor Dec. 1981) (short fiction collection; only 2 original/uncollected stories); (available online) as a Baen Free Sample from Berserker Death omnibus
  1. Berserker Base, (Tor March 1985); Mosaic Berserker novel with several guest authors contributing original stories; Saberhagen wrote the overarching story in segments between them, using the Niven story as the novel's fulcrum point:
  2. The Berserker Throne, (Fireside/Simon & Schuster May 1985); (available online) from the Baen Free Library
  3. Berserker: Blue Death, (Tor Nov. 1985)
    • The Berserker Attack, (Tor/OtherWorlds Club 1987) (short fiction collection; no original/uncollected stories)
    • Berserker Lies, (Tor Sep. 1991) (short fiction collection; one original story)
  1. Berserker Kill, (Tor Oct. 1993)
  2. Berserker Fury, (Tor Aug. 1997)
  3. Shiva in Steel, (Tor Sep. 1998)
    • Berserkers: The Beginning, (Baen July 1998) (omnibus of Volumes 1 & 5 above)
  1. Berserker's Star, (Tor June 2003)
  2. Berserker Prime, (Tor Jan. 2004)
    • Berserker Man: Mega Book, (Baen Oct. 2004) (omnibus of Volumes 2, 3, 4 & 7 above)
    • Berserker Death: Mega Book, (Baen Feb. 2005) (omnibus of Volumes 8, 9 & The Berserker Wars, above)
  1. Rogue Berserker, (Baen Jan. 2005)

Books of the Gods[edit]

  1. The Face of Apollo, (Tor April 1998)
  2. Ariadne's Web, (Tor Jan. 2000)
  3. The Arms of Hercules, (Tor Nov. 2000)
  4. God of the Golden Fleece, (Tor Aug. 2001)
  5. Gods of Fire and Thunder, (Tor Aug. 2002)

Volumes 1, 2 & 3 were reprinted in omnibus version The Books of the Gods, Part One, (SFBC Dec. 2000); Volumes 4 & 5 were reprinted in omnibus version The Books of the Gods, Part Two, (SFBC Oct. 2002)

Boris Brazil[edit]

    • "Planeteer," (nv) Galaxy April 1961
  1. The Golden People, (Ace Double 1964) / revised & expanded: (Baen Sep. 1984)
  2. The Water of Thought, (Ace Double 1965) / text restored and/or revised: (Tor May 1981)

Pilgrim, the Flying Dutchman of Time[edit]

  1. Pyramids, (Baen Jan. 1987)
  2. After the Fact, (Baen March 1988)

Both novels were reprinted in omnibus version Pilgrim, (Baen Dec. 1997)

Non-series novels[edit]

  • Love Conquers All, (n) Galaxy Nov. 1974 (+2) / (Ace Jan. 1979)
  • Specimens, (Popular Library Jan. 1976) / (Ace March 1981)
  • The Veils of Azlaroc, (Ace Oct. 1978); revised and expanded from the following:
    • "To Mark the Year on Azlaroc," (ss) Science Fiction Discoveries, ed. Carol & Frederick Pohl, Bantam 1976
  • The Mask of the Sun, (Ace Feb. 1979); reprinted in the Saberhagen memorial anthology Golden Reflections, see below
  • Octagon, (Ace July 1981)
  • Coils (with Roger Zelazny), (Wallaby/Simon & Schuster May 1982) / (SFBC July 1982) / (Tor Nov. 1982)
  • A Century of Progress, (Tor Sep. 1983)
  • The Frankenstein Papers, (Baen Feb. 1986)
  • The White Bull, (Baen Dec. 1988); revised & expanded from the following:
    • "The White Bull," (nv) Fantastic Nov. 1976
  • The Black Throne (with Roger Zelazny), (Baen Oct. 1990)
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula (with James V. Hart), (Signet/New American Library Nov. 1992); Novelization of the Francis Ford Coppola film.
  • Merlin's Bones, (Tor April 1995)
  • Dancing Bears, (Tor Jan. 1996)
  • The Arrival (Earth Final Conflict), (Ebury Nov. 1999) / (Tor Dec. 1999)

Non-series collections[edit]

  1. The Book of Saberhagen, (DAW Jan. 1975)
    • "The Long Way Home," (ss) Galaxy June 1961; Read online
    • "Planeteer," (nv) Galaxy April 1961
    • "Volume PAA-PYX," (ss) Galaxy Feb. 1961; Read online
    • "Seven Doors to Mental Education," (ss) If May 1961
    • "Deep Space," (ss) *
    • "Peer Pressure and How to Deal With It," (ss) If June 1967 {aka "Berserker’s Prey"}
    • "Starsong," (ss) If Jan. 1968; Read online
    • "Calendars," (ss) Galaxy Jan. 1974
    • "Young Girl at an Open Half-door," (ss) F&SF Nov. 1968
    • "WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO TO PROVE IM HUMAN STOP," (ss) Analog Oct. 1974 {aka "Inhuman Error"}
  2. Earth Descended, (Tor Oct. 1981)
    • "Young Girl at an Open Half-door," (ss) F&SF Nov. 1968
    • "Adventure of the Metal Murderer," (ss) Omni Jan. 1980 {aka "Metal Murderer"}; Read online
    • "Earthshade," (nv) The Magic May Return, ed. Larry Niven, Ace 1981
    • "The White Bull," (nv) Fantastic Nov. 1976
    • "Calendars," (ss) Galaxy Jan. 1974
    • "Wilderness," (ss) Amazing Sept. 1976
    • "Patron of the Arts," (ss) If Aug. 1965
    • "To Mark the Year on Azlaroc," (ss) Science Fiction Discoveries, ed. Carol & Frederick Pohl, Bantam 1976 {later expanded into The Veils of Azlaroc, see above}
    • "Victory," (nv) F&SF June 1979
    • "Birthdays," (na) Galaxy March 1976
    • "Recessional," (ss) Destinies Fall 1980
    • "Where Thy Treasure Is," (ss) Destinies Vol. 3 #2 1981
  3. Saberhagen: My Best, (Baen May 1987)
    • "The Graphic of Dorian Gray," (ss) New Destinies Vol. 1, Baen 1987
    • "Birthdays," (na) Galaxy March 1976
    • "The Long Way Home," (ss) Galaxy June 1961; Read online
    • "Smasher," (nv) F&SF Aug. 1978
    • "The White Bull," (nv) Fantastic Nov. 1976
    • "Wilderness," (ss) Amazing Sept. 1976
    • "The Peacemaker," (ss) If Aug. 1964 {aka "The Life Hater"}
    • "Victory," (nv) F&SF June 1979
    • "Goodlife," (nv) Worlds of Tomorrow Dec. 1963
    • "Young Girl at an Open Half-door," (ss) F&SF Nov. 1968
    • "Adventure of the Metal Murderer," (ss) Omni Jan. 1980 {aka "Metal Murderer"}; Read online
    • "From the Tree of Time," (ss) Sorcerer’s Apprentice #14 1982
    • "Inhuman Error,"(ss) Analog Oct. 1974 {aka "WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO TO PROVE IM HUMAN STOP"}
    • "Martha," (vi) Amazing Dec. 1976
    • "Intermission," (vi) Fifty Extremely SF* Stories, ed. Michael Bastraw, Niekas 1982
    • Earthshade, (nv) The Magic May Return, ed. Larry Niven, Ace 1981
    • Recessional, (ss) Destinies Fall 1980
  4. Of Berserkers, Swords & Vampires, (Baen June 2009)
    • Introduction, Joan Saberhagen, (in) *; Read online
    • "The Long Way Home," (ss) Galaxy June 1961; Read online
    • "Volume PAA-PYX," (ss) Galaxy Feb. 1961; Read online
    • "To Mark the Year on Azlaroc," (ss) Science Fiction Discoveries, ed. Carol & Frederick Pohl, Bantam 1976; {later expanded into The Veils of Azlaroc, see above}
    • "Martha," (vi) Amazing Dec. 1976
    • "Planeteer," (nv) Galaxy April 1961
    • "Blind Man's Blade," (nv) An Armory of Swords, ed. Fred Saberhagen, Tor 1995
    • "Stone Place," (nv) If March 1965
    • "The Bad Machines," (nv) The Williamson Effect, ed. Roger Zelazny, Tor 1996
    • "The White Bull," (nv) Fantastic Nov. 1976
    • The Dracula Tape, (excerpt) Warner 1975
    • "Box Number Fifty," (ss) Dracula in London, ed. P. N. Elrod, Ace 2001
    • "A Drop of Something Special in the Blood," (ss) Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy, ed. Andrew M. Greeley, Tor 2004

Non-series anthologies[edit]

  • A Spadeful of Spacetime, (Ace Feb. 1981)
  • Pawn to Infinity (with Joan Saberhagen), (Ace June 1982)
  • Machines That Kill (with Martin H. Greenberg), (Ace Dec. 1984)

Fred Saberhagen Memorial anthology[edit]

  • Golden Reflections, (Baen Feb. 2011); an original anthology of short fiction set (more-or-less) in the world of Saberhagen's novel The Mask of the Sun, edited by Robert E. Vardeman & Joan Saberhagen:
  1. Golden Reflections in the Maelstrom, Robert E. Vardeman, (in) *; Read online
  2. Golden Reflections Origins, Joan Saberhagen, (in) *; Read online
  3. The Mask of the Sun, Fred Saberhagen, (n) Ace Feb. 1979
  4. "The Fate Line," Walter Jon Williams, (nv) *
  5. "Wax, Clay, Gold," Daniel Abraham, (nv) *
  6. "The Conquistador's Hat," John Maddox Roberts, (ss) *
  7. "Eyewear," Harry Turtledove, (nv) *
  8. "Like the Rain," Jane Lindskold, (nv) *
  9. "Remember," Dean Wesley Smith, (nv) *
  10. "Washington's Rebellion," David Weber, (na) *

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Locus Online". 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-07-02. "SF and fantasy writer Fred Saberhagen, born 1930, died June 29, 2007, at the age of 77." 
  2. ^ "New Mexico Author Dies". KOAT-TV. 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-07-03. "Noted Albuquerque author Fred Saberhagen has died." 
  3. ^ Associated Press (2007-07-04). "Science fiction, fantasy writer dead at 77". Las Cruces Sun-News. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  4. ^ a b c "Fred Saberhagen (obituary)". The Independent. 6 September 2007. 
  5. ^ "Fred Saberhagen: Pushing Humanity's Envelope (interview)". Retrieved October 21, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Michael Carlson (20 July 2007). "Obituary: Fred Saberhagen". The Guardian. 

External links[edit]