Tracy Hickman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tracy Raye Hickman
Tracy Hickman DragonCon 2006.jpg
Tracy Hickman at Dragon Con 2006.
Born (1955-11-26) November 26, 1955 (age 58)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Occupation Novelist, game designer
Nationality United States
Period 1984–
Genres Fantasy fiction
Spouse(s) Laura Curtis (1977–)

www.trhickman.com

Tracy Raye Hickman (born November 26, 1955)[1] is a best-selling fantasy author, best known for his work as a writer on the Dragonlance novels. He is also known for authoring role playing games while working for TSR.

Early life[edit]

Tracy Hickman was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah.[1] He graduated from Provo High School in 1974, where his major interests were drama, music and Air Force JROTC.[2] In 1975, Hickman began two years of service as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[3] He was initially posted in Hawaii for six months while awaiting visa approval, after which he moved to Indonesia.[4] There, he served as a missionary in Surabaya, Djakarta and the mountain city of Bandung, before leaving in 1977.[2]

Within four months of his return to the United States he married his high school sweetheart, Laura Curtis.[1][2][3] Laura was the inspiration for Lauranlanthalasa (Laurana) Kanan.[1]

Hickman eventually attended Brigham Young University.[1]

Career[edit]

Hickman had many jobs before joining TSR in 1982, including working as a supermarket stockboy, a movie projectionist, a theater manager, a glass worker, a television assistant director and a drill press operator in a genealogy center.[2]

TSR[edit]

Together, Tracy and Laura wrote the original versions of the modules Rahasia and Pharaoh, publishing them privately.[1] Pharaoh was originally published by DayStar West Media in 1980.[5]:15 In 1981, Tracy entered into a business arrangement to produce an arcade immersion game,[2] but his associate disappeared, leaving the Hickmans with $30,000 in debts.[1] Destitute and desperate, Tracy approached TSR with the modules Rahasia and Pharaoh, "literally so that I could buy shoes for my children".[1] TSR bought the modules, but wanted to hire Tracy as well. Tracy recalls, "They said it would be easier to publish my adventures if I was part of the company. So, we made the move from Utah to Wisconsin. It was a terrifying experience. We had no money. My parents begged us not to venture into such foreign territory to pursue such a bizarre career. My father wrote that there was a secure job as a fry cook in Flagstaff (where my parents were living), and he pleaded with me to come take it."[1]

When Tracy and Laura Hickman came to TSR, they brought Pharaoh with them, which was published as the first part of TSR's Desert of Desolation series (1982-1983).[5]:15 I6 Ravenloft (1983) was also written by Tracy and Laura Hickman.[5]:15 Tracy Hickman also wrote two supplements for TSR's Gangbusters role-playing game.[5]:12

Dragonlance[edit]

Tracy Hickman had also conceived of an idea for a setting to make dragons fearsome once more as he was traveling across the country from Utah to Wisconsin to join TSR. Once there, he found other creators who were interested in his project, which was called "Project Overlord".[5]:16 Harold Johnson became the project's biggest proponent to upper management and convinced Hickman to expand from his initial idea of a three-adventure trilogy.[5]:16 Soon after, the management announced its intention to develop his series of dragons based role-playing adventures.[1] Hickman's proposal resulted in the Dragonlance Chronicles, which led to his association with Margaret Weis.[1] Jean Black, the managing editor of TSR's book department, picked Hickman and Weis to write Dragons of Autumn Twilight and the rest of the Dragonlance Chronicles series.[5]:16 This was the first project TSR had undertaken that would include adult novels as well as games, calendars and other spin-off products.[1] The original Dragonlance team was formed under Hickman's leadership.[1][6] "Project Overlord" began as a novel and three modules, and beginning in 1984 grew into the first Dragonlance trilogy (by Weis and Hickman) and 15 companion modules.[3] After Dragonlance Chronicles, Hickman and Weis wrote the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, which was published in 1986.[5]:16 By 1987, the Dragonlance project had sold two million books and a half million adventure modules.[1]

Hickman left TSR in 1987, having collaborated on over 30 novels with Weis.[3] Together they also wrote the Darksword trilogy and The Death Gate Cycle,[7] and collaborated on the Rose of the Prophet series (1988-1989).[5]:351 Weis and Hickman returned to TSR to write new fiction, although TSR turned their intended trilogy into a single book, Dragons of Summer Flame (1995).[5]:29 In 1996, Hickman was the sole author of Requiem of Stars and The Immortals.[3] Of The Immortals, a near-future cautionary tale about AIDS concentration camps in Utah, Hickman said: "I was absolutely driven to write that book. I was able to say many things that I felt strongly about and still do. It is perhaps my finest work."[3]

For the Starshield Project, Hickman and Weis produced the Del Rey Books-published novels Sentinels (later retitled Mantle of Kendis-Dai) and Nightsword, and Hickman wrote a story for Dragon #250 called "Dedrak's Quest". Of this setting he said, "Starshield is a universe where a society of dragons can confront blaster-armed spacemen or wizards wielding magic staves with computer targeting", and that the Starshield Project "grew out of my desire to share the creation process with all our fans. Many of the ideas, worlds, and creations submitted by our citizens find their way into our novels. Everyone whose material is used gets credit and a chance to participate in profits from online sales of their adventures."[3] According to Hickman, Starshield's ultimate purpose, and his biggest dream, was to finance a permanent colony on Mars by the year 2010: "Whether we make it to Mars may not be as important as that we honestly, courageously tried."[3] Readers were able to freely download both the first novel in the series, and the Starshield roleplaying game from Hickman's website.[3]

Tracy Hickman (left) and Margaret Weis at Gen Con Indy 2008.

The Hickmans have been publishing game designs together for over twenty-five years including the popular and innovative Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Ravenloft module in 1983.[citation needed] Says Hickman of the original module, and its 1986 sequel Ravenloft II: The House on Gryphon Hill, "I still believe the original Ravenloft modules were perhaps the best that ever had my name on them."[3] They published their first joint novel, Mystic Warrior, in 2004. Tracy and Laura have been producing their DragonHearth podcast since December 2005.

In the late 1990s, Larry Elmore approached Weis and Hickman to pitch his fantasy world of Loerem, which they agreed to write about in the Sovereign Stone trilogy of books.[5]:351 With encouragement from Peter Adkison, Wizards of the Coast published a new trilogy of Dragonlance novels by Weis and Hickman called War of Souls, beginning with Dragons of a Fallen Sun (2000).[5]:283 Hickman announced in 2008 he would be starting two new fantasy series: one being the six-book Dragonships series, with his long-time writing partner Margaret Weis, and the other the three-book Drakis series with his wife, Laura.

In 1999 Pyramid magazine named Tracy Hickman as one of The Millennium's Most Influential Persons "at least in the realm of adventure gaming."[8] The magazine stated that Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis are "basically responsible for the entire gaming fiction genre."[8] Hickman was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame in 2002, recognized in part for "one game line turned literary sensation: Dragonlance."[9]

Tracy and Laura Hickman wrote the adventure Out in the Black (2006) for the Serenity Role Playing Game for Margaret Weis Productions.[5]:353 Hickman wrote the screenplay for, produced and edited the first science-fiction film shot in space, Apogee of Fear.[10]

In 2009, Hickman released XDM: X-Treme Dungeon Mastery, a guide for DMs based on his years of experience in the trade. Written with his son Curtis Hickman and illustrated by online comic artist Howard Tayler, the book calls itself the "cure for the common game."[11]

In 2010, Tracy and Laura Hickman launched a direct to internet serialized fantasy series, "Dragon's Bard"[12] which introduced the concept of "novel as souvenir" where subscribers would download periodical ebook chapters as the book was written and then receive a copy of the physical book upon the completion of the subscription. Hickman called the concept "web like the Dickens" after its merging of 19th century literature serial techniques with modern internet distribution. Eventide and the remaining two books of the series were subsequently contracted for general distribution by Shadow Mountain Publishing in 2012.

While primarily known for his work in epic fantasy, Tracy once wrote a Batman novel for DC Comics titled Wayne of Gotham (June 2012).

On March 15, 2013,[13] Hickman joined Richard Garriott's team as lead story designer for Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues.[14] Shroud of the Avatar[15] is the "spiritual successor" to Richard Garriott's previous work in the Fantasy Role-playing genre, Ultima, specifically Ultima Online. Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is the first of a five game series of full-length, stand-alone games. Estimated availability of episode one, Forsaken Virtues, is October 2014, with episodes two through five scheduled for subsequent yearly releases.

Teaching[edit]

Tracy and Laura Hickman began teaching seminars and workshops on creative writing at the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference at Brigham Young University. In 2010, they began offering their writing course online at their Scribe's Forge website. Their course includes both online download course materials as well as live video webinars with Tracy personally conducting the sessions.

Personal life[edit]

He married Laura Curtis in 1977, and together they have four children, Angel, Curtis, Tasha, and Jarod.[2]

On his website, Hickman states that he remains a Mormon and, since 1998, the family reside in South Jordan, Utah.[3]

Appearances[edit]

Felicia Day & Tracy Hickman at Gencon 2010
Tracy Hickman, Alan Tudyk and Laura Hickman at the Gencon OZ Convention
Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman and Nathan Fillion at Gencon SoCal
Tracy Hickman, Ron Glass and Laura Hickman at Gencon

Bibliography[edit]

Dragonlance[edit]

Main article: Dragonlance

Darksword[edit]

Main article: Darksword
  1. Forging the Darksword 1 (1987)
  2. Doom of the Darksword 1 (1988)
  3. Triumph of the Darksword 1 (1988)
  4. Legacy of the Darksword 1 (1997)

Rose of the Prophet[edit]

Main article: Rose of the Prophet
  1. The Will of the Wanderer 1 (1988)
  2. Paladin of the Night 1 (1989)
  3. The Prophet of Akhran 1 (1989)

Death Gate Cycle[edit]

Main article: Death Gate Cycle
  1. Dragon Wing 1 (1990)
  2. Elven Star 1 (1991)
  3. Fire Sea 1 (1992)
  4. Serpent Mage 1 (1993)
  5. The Hand of Chaos 1 (1993)
  6. Into the Labyrinth 1 (1994)
  7. The Seventh Gate 1 (1995)

Songs of the Stellar Wind[edit]

  1. Requiem of the Stars (1996)

Starshield[edit]

Main article: Starshield
  1. Starshield: Sentinels 1 (1996)
  2. Nightsword 1 (1998)

StarCraft[edit]

Main article: StarCraft
  1. StarCraft: Speed Of Darkness 7 (2002)

Sovereign Stone[edit]

Main article: Sovereign Stone
  1. Well of Darkness 1 (2000)
  2. Guardians of the Lost 1 (2001)
  3. Journey into the Void 1 (2003)

Bronze Canticles[edit]

Main article: Bronze Canticles
  1. Mystic Warrior 2 (2004)
  2. Mystic Quest 2 (2005)
  3. Mystic Empire 2 (2006)

Dragonships of Vindras[edit]

Main article: Dragonships
  1. Bones of the Dragon 1 (2009)
  2. Secret of the Dragon 1 (March 2010)
  3. Rage of the Dragon 1 (April 2012)[citation needed]
  4. Dragonships 4 (working title) 1 (TBA)
  5. Dragonships 5 (working title) 1 (TBA)
  6. Dragonships 6 (working title) 1 (TBA)

The Annals of Drakis[edit]

  1. Song of the Dragon 2 (Jul 2010)
  2. Citadels of the Lost 2 (Jul 2011)
  3. Blood of the Emperor 2 (Jul 2012)

Dragon's Bard[edit]

  1. Eventide 2 (Dec 2010 / June 2012)
  2. Blackshore 2 (May 2012 / TBD)
  3. Mordale 2 (2013)

The Nightbirds[edit]

  1. Unwept: Book One (2014)

Other novels[edit]

  1. The Immortals (1996)
  2. Starcraft: Speed of Darkness (2002)
  3. Fireborn: Embers of Atlantis (2011)
  4. Wayne of Gotham (June 2012)

1 (co-author Margaret Weis)
2 (co-author Laura Hickman)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Weis, Margaret (April 1987). "TSR Profiles". Dragon (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR, Inc.) (#120): 91. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hickman, Tracy. "Hickman Official Website". Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Varney, Allen (August 1998). "ProFiles: Tracy Hickman". Dragon (Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast) (#250): 120. 
  4. ^ "Tracy Hickman". Archived from the original on February 24, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 
  6. ^ Phillips, Casey (February 19, 2010). "QandA with Larry Elmore", Chattanooga Times Free Press. Distributed through McClatchy-Tribune News Service, February 19, 2010.
  7. ^ Varney, Allen (January 1998). "ProFiles: Margaret Weis". Dragon (Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast) (#243): 120. 
  8. ^ a b Haring, Scott D. (December 24, 1999). "Second Sight: The Millennium's Best "Other" Game and The Millennium's Most Influential Person". Pyramid (online). Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  9. ^ "Origins Award Winners (2001) and Hall of Fame Inductees". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on February 2, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  10. ^ "LTUE, Day 2.". Tachyon City (Nathan Shumate). Retrieved 2009-02-20. [dead link]
  11. ^ http://store.schlockmercenary.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=B-XDM
  12. ^ Dragon's Bard Website. (2010). Dragons Bard
  13. ^ "Tracy Hickman, New York Times Best-selling author of Dragonlance and Deathgate series, joins the Shroud of the Avatar team as Lead Story Designer!". Portalarium, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  14. ^ "Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter". Portalarium, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  15. ^ "Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues". Portalarium, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  16. ^ "Origins Award Winners (2000)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on April 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  • Varney, Allen (August 1998). "Profiles: Tracy Hickman". Dragon #250 XIII (3): 120. 

External links[edit]