Bill Fawcett (writer)

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William B. Fawcett (born May 13, 1947)[1] is an American editor, anthologist, game designer, book packager, fiction writer, and historian.


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.[2]


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.[3]: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).[3]: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).[3]: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.[3]:120, 167 Fawcett and Jordan Weisman designed the robot arena fighting game Combots (1983) for FASA.[3]:121

Fawcett produced the Crossroads books (1987–1988), a set of licensed gamebooks published by Tor.[3]:167 He edited the book The War Years 1: The Far Stars War (1990).[4] With David Drake, he co-edited The Fleet series (1988-1991), as well as its sequels, Battlestation, Book One (1992), and Battlestation, Book Two: Vanguard (1993).[5] 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).[3]: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.[6]


Fawcett and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro write mystery novels together under the pen name Quinn Fawcett.[7] 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.[7]

As writer[edit]

  • Cold Cash Warrior: Combat Command in the World of Robert Asprin's Cold Cash War (with Robert Asprin) (1989)[8]

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[6]
  • You Said What?[9]
  • How To Lose A Battle
  • You Did What? Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters (with Brian Thomsen) (2004)[10]

As editor[edit]

  • Crafter I (with Christopher Stasheff) (1991)[11]
  • Gods of War (1992)[11]
  • Battlestation (with David Drake) (1992)[12]
  • Battlestation II (with Christopher Stasheff) (1992)[11]
  • The Teams: An Oral History of the U.S. Navy SEALs with Kevin Dockery (1998)[13]
  • Making Contact: A Serious Handbook for Locating and Communicating With Extraterrestrials (1998)[14][15]
  • The Warmasters (2002)[16]
  • Masters of Fantasy (with Brian Thomsen) (2004)[10]
  • We Three Dragons: A Trio of Dragon Tales for the Holiday Season (2005)[17]
  • The Battle for Azeroth: Adventure, Alliance and Addiction in the 'World of Warcraft' (2006)[18]
  • Liftport: Opening Space to Everyone (2006)[19]
  • Nebula Awards Showcase 2010 (2010)[citation needed]
  • Mooney, J. E. & Bill Fawcett (eds.). Shadows of the New Sun : stories in honor of Gene Wolfe. Tor.


  1. ^ "Fawcett, Bill". Library of Congress Authorities ( Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  2. ^ Scalf, Abby (July 24, 1998). "Wauconda native creates fantasy worlds for readers". Daily Herald. Retrieved March 2, 2015. (Subscription required (help)).
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  4. ^ Ings, Simon (Summer 1991). "'The Far Stars War' edited by Bill Fawcett (Book Review)". Foundation: 105.
  5. ^ Westfahl, Gary (Summer 1994). "'Battlestation' edited by David Drake and Bill Fawcett (Book Review)". Foundation: 118.
  6. ^ a b Budasi, Teresa (March 2, 2008). "In praise of bathroom reading". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 4, 2015. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b Teri Smith and Jean Marie Ward (1998). "Author interview: "Bill Fawcett: Admitting to Influence". Crescent Blues. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  8. ^ "Asprin, Robert L(ynn) 1946-". Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. January 1, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2015. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  9. ^ Gillespie, Nick (December 14, 2007). "You Said What?". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  10. ^ a b "Thomsen, Brian M." Contemporary Authors. January 1, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2015. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  11. ^ 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)
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ 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)
  14. ^ Flaherty, Dolores; Flaherty, Roger (July 26, 1998). "Lonely explorers of isolated lives". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  15. ^ 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)
  16. ^ "Flint, Eric 1947–". Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. January 1, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  17. ^ "Ward, James M. 1951- (James Michael Ward, Jim Ward)". Contemporary Authors. January 1, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2015. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  18. ^ 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)
  19. ^ 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)

External links[edit]