Bill Fawcett (writer)

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William Fawcett is an American editor, anthologist, game designer, book packager, author, and historian.

Fawcett is married to Jody Lynn Nye.


Bill Fawcett was one of the players in early Dungeons & Dragons games being played in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas, using photocopied prototypes of the rules handed out by Gary Gygax.[1]:166 Darwin Bromley brought Fawcett on as a partner in Mayfair Games soon after the company was formed in 1980, and together they designed the game Empire Builder (1980).[1]:166 As a veteran role-playing gamer, Fawcett decided to get Mayfair into the RPG field, and the company kicked off its Role Aids game line with Beastmaker Mountain (1982).[1]:166 As a result of their connections with Mayfair, FASA was able to get a license to publish adventures (1982–1984) for Chaosium's Thieves' World role-playing game thanks to Fawcett's friendships with Robert Asprin and Lynn Abbey.[1]:120, 167 Fawcett and Jordan Weisman designed the robot arena fighting game Combots (1983) for FASA.[1]:121

Fawcett produced the Crossroads books (1987–1988), a set of licensed gamebooks published by Tor.[1]:167 He edited the book The War Years 1: The Far Stars War (1990).[2] With David Drake, he co-edited Battlestation, Book One (1992), and Battlestation, Book Two: Vanguard (1993).[3] As a book packager, Fawcett arranged a deal between Wizards of the Coast and HarperCollins to publish novels set in Magic's multiverse of Dominia; the first of these was Arena (1994).[1]:278

His 2008 book, Oval Office Oddities, was described as "Chock-full of information—trivia, anecdotes, charts, illustrations, etc." focusing on the lives of American presidents and their wives.[4]


Fawcett and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro write mystery novels together under the pen name Quinn Fawcett.[5] Fawcett was also a field historian for the Navy SEAL museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, and has co-authored work on the US Navy Seals in Vietnam.[5]

As writer[edit]

  • Cold Cash Warrior: Combat Command in the World of Robert Asprin's Cold Cash War (with Robert Asprin) (1989)[6]

Mistakes in History series[edit]

  • Trust Me, I Know What I'm Doing
  • 100 Mistakes That Changed History
  • Men At War
  • It Seemed Like A Good Idea
  • How To Lose A War At Sea
  • Doomed To Repeat
  • How To Lose WWII
  • How To Lose The Civil War
  • Hunters And Shooters
  • How To Lose A War
  • It Looked Good On Paper
  • Oval Office Oddities: An Irreverent Collection of Presidential Facts, Follies and Foibles[4]
  • You Said What?[7]
  • How To Lose A Battle
  • You Did What? Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters (with Brian Thomsen) (2004)[8]

As editor[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Fawcett and fellow science fiction writer Jody Lynn Nye were married in 1987. They met at a science fiction convention in 1985. At that time, Fawcett owned a gaming company in Niles, Illinois, and Nye began to work as a freelance writer for the company.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 
  2. ^ Ings, Simon (Summer 1991). "'The Far Stars War' edited by Bill Fawcett (Book Review)". Foundation: 105. 
  3. ^ Westfahl, Gary (Summer 1994). "'Battlestation' edited by David Drake and Bill Fawcett (Book Review)". Foundation: 118. 
  4. ^ a b Budasi, Teresa (March 2, 2008). "In praise of bathroom reading". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 4, 2015.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  5. ^ a b Teri Smith and Jean Marie Ward (1998). "Author interview: "Bill Fawcett: Admitting to Influence". Crescent Blues. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Asprin, Robert L(ynn) 1946-". Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. January 1, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2015.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  7. ^ Gillespie, Nick (December 14, 2007). "You Said What?". 
  8. ^ a b "Thomsen, Brian M.". Contemporary Authors. January 1, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2015.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  9. ^ a b c "Kurtz, Katherine 1944- (Katherine Irene Kurtz)". Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. January 1, 2008. Retrieved February 22, 2015.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  10. ^ Green, Roland J. (July 5, 1992). "John Varley's Wacky Future Lunar Society". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 22, 2015.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  11. ^ Douchette, John-Henry (May 3, 1998). "Inside the Nacy SEALs War Stories by Sea, Air and Land". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk, VA. Retrieved December 7, 2014.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  12. ^ Flaherty, Dolores; Flaherty, Roger (July 26, 1998). "Lonely explorers of isolated lives". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ Shenfeld, Hilary (September 22, 1997). "Making Contact: Most Scientists Agree That Humans Will Discover Life on Other Planets Someday, but What If That Life Finds You First? A Wauconda Man's Book Tells You What to Do". Daily Herald. Arlington Heights, IL. Retrieved March 2, 2015.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  14. ^ "Flint, Eric 1947–". Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. January 1, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Ward, James M. 1951- (James Michael Ward, Jim Ward)". Contemporary Authors. January 1, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2015.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  16. ^ Kelly, Marguerite (November 30, 2007). "Time to Pull the Plug on Son's Gaming Habit". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 7, 2014.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  17. ^ Esser, Doug (July 9, 2006). "Take a hike, go on a date, explore space—Northwest style". The Columbian. Vancouver, WA. Retrieved December 7, 2014.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  18. ^ Scalf, Abby (July 24, 1998). "Wauconda native creates fantasy worlds for readers". Daily Herald. Retrieved March 2, 2015. (Subscription required (help)). 

External links[edit]