January 2, 1963 |
|Occupation||Novelist, Editor, Film Critic|
|Period||1987 to the Present|
|Genre||Dark fantasy, Horror|
|Notable works||Prince of Lies
Knight of the Black Rose
Hobby Games: The 100 Best
|Notable awards||Origins Award: 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009 Best Fiction; 2008 Best Non-fiction
ENnie Award: 2008 Best Regalia
James Daniel Lowder (born January 2, 1963 in Quincy, Massachusetts) is an American author and editor, working frequently within the fantasy, dark fantasy, and horror genres, and on critical works exploring popular culture.
Early life and education
Lowder graduated from Whitman-Hanson Regional High School in 1981 and was inducted into the high school's hall of fame in 1991. In 1985 he graduated from Marquette University with an honors BA in English and History, and he graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 1999, with a Masters in Literary Studies.
His earliest novels were part of the Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft shared universe book lines, but beginning in the late 1990s he turned his attention more often to creator-owned projects. His novels include Prince of Lies, The Ring of Winter, and Spectre of the Black Rose (the latter with Voronica Whitney-Robinson), and his short fiction has appeared in such anthologies such as Shadows Over Baker Street, Truth Until Paradox, and Historical Hauntings. Some of his short stories have been cited in the honorable mention list of the annual Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. He was an Origins Award finalist in the Best Short Fiction category for his 2003 novella, "The Night Chicago Died", a story that featured the debut of his mystery man character, The Corpse. His novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
As an editor, Lowder directed several best-selling book lines for TSR, Inc. in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including the Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and Dark Sun. In 1999, Peter Corless brought Lowder in to oversee the Pendragon fiction line for Green Knight Publishing; Lowder continued to reprint older Athurian works and also produced the original short story collections The Doom of Camelot (2000) and Legends of the Pendragon (2002) and the original novel Exiled from Camelot (2001).:357 He served as executive editor for Green Knight Publishing's line of Arthurian fiction — the Pendragon fiction series — and as a consulting editor for CDS Books on their City of Heroes novels. Lowder has edited more than a dozen anthologies, with subjects ranging from King Arthur to superheroes to zombies. He has won several Origins Awards and an ENnie Award, and been shortlisted for an International Horror Guild Award for these projects. Though some of these anthologies have been published in connection with role-playing game product lines, they often contain only creator-copyrighted stories. This makes them unusual, as game publishers frequently insist on work for hire contracts for such projects. Lowder edited a set of zombie anthologies based on the All Flesh Must Be Eaten game, beginning with The Book of All Flesh (2001); these were the first fiction books from Eden Studios.:341 His final short story collection for the series was The Book of Final Flesh (2003).:343 Lowder edited a 2003 anthology of short stories based on the Silver Age Sentinels game from Guardians of Order.:337 He also worked on Astounding Hero Tales (2007) for Hero Games and Worlds of their Own (2008) for Paizo Publishing.:358 Lowder produced Hobby Games: The 100 Best (2007) and Family Games: The 100 Best (2010) for Green Ronin Publishing.:377
In May, 2017, Chaosium appointed Lowder executive editor of their fiction line. Chaosium President Rick Meints commented on the hire: “James embodies that magic combination of wisdom and enthusiasm. Knowing his craft inside and out, he brings his advocacy and integrity to the table at every turn. Having him relaunch our fiction line is a ‘the stars are right’ moment.” Lowder had previously served as a consultant for Chaosium, helping the company and freelancers resolve payment and contract problems with past fiction projects.
Lowder also works in comic books. He has penned scripts for several companies, including Image, DC, Devil's Due, and Desperado. A Ravenloft comic by Lowder was in the works before DC decided to end its relationship with TSR.:21 His short work "Lost Loves", from the Moonstone Monsters: Demons anthology, was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award in 2004 for Best Illustrated Narrative. He contributed as a writer and consulting editor to the Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons comic book series, published by Devil's Due. He became the editor for the monthly series Hack/Slash with issue #25 and continued with the series when it moved from Devil's Due to Image. His pulp hero serial "The Corpse: Orphans of the Air" ran as an occasional back-up in Hack/Slash, starting in 2011.
Lowder's critical essays and film and book reviews have appeared in such publications as Amazing Stories and Polyhedron, the latter of which featured his long-running video review column "Into the Dark" from 1991 to 1994. He has written support material for various role-playing games, including Dungeons & Dragons and Call of Cthulhu.
In the media
Beginning in 2010, Lowder contributed to an annual "Games to Gift" holiday segment for the show "Lake Effect" on WUWM, Milwaukee Public Radio. He appeared as himself in episode 302 ("Man Beasts") on the television series Weird or What?, discussing the history of werewolf lore and the Beast of Bray Road. Lowder also served as a puppeteer for the low budget zombie puppet musical Misfit Heights (2012).
- Crusade (TSR, 1991)
- Knight of the Black Rose (TSR, 1991)
- The Ring of Winter (TSR, 1992)
- Prince of Lies (TSR, 1993)
- Name Your Nightmare (Random House Sprinter, 1995); written as J.D. Lowder.
- Spectre of the Black Rose (Wizards of the Coast, 1999); with Voronica Whitney-Robinson.
- "The Family Business" (in Realms of Valor, TSR, 1993)
- "The Rigor of the Game" (in Tales of Ravenloft, TSR, 1994)
- "Laughter in the Flames" (in Realms of Infamy, TSR, 1994)
- "Make 'Em Laugh" (in Truth Until Paradox, White Wolf Publishing, 1995)
- "Persistence of Vision" (in City of Darkness: Unseen, White Wolf Publishing, 1995)
- "Truth in Advertising" (in The Splendour Falls, White Wolf Publishing, 1995)
- "The Price of Freedom" (in Troll Magazine #1, December 1997)
- "The Club Rules" (in Realms of Mystery, TSR, 1998)
- "The Hollow Man" (in Shadis #52, October 1998)
- "Heresies and Superstitions" (in The Leading Edge #39, March 2000)
- "Pretender of the Faith" (in Historical Hauntings, DAW, 2001)
- "The Unquiet Dreams of Cingris the Stout" (in Gaming Frontiers #2, March 2002)
- "The Night Chicago Died" (in Pulp Zombies, Eden Studios, 2003)
- "The Weeping Masks" (in Shadows Over Baker Street, Del Rey, 2003)
- "She Dwelleth in the Cold of the Moon" (in The Repentant, DAW, 2003)
- "Fanboy" (in Path of the Bold, Guardians of Order, 2004)
- "Bandits in the Paths of Fame" (in Dragon #336, October 2005)
- "Beneath the Skin" (in Heroes in Training, DAW, 2007)
- "The Paper Shield" (in Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction, FtB, 2014)
- "King of the Frozen Men" (in Sojourn 2: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction, FtB, 2014)
- "Morning in America" (in Delta Green: Extraordinary Renditions, Arc Dream Publishing, 2015)
- "The Shadow and the Eye" (in Ghost in the Cogs, Broken Eye, 2015)
- "Orphans of the Air" (in Peel Back the Skin, Grey Matter Press, 2016)
- "The Crooked Smile Killers" (in Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place, Ragnarok, 2016)
- "The Treachery of Bright Yesterdays" (in Tales of the Lost Citadel, Lost Citadel, 2016)
Comic Book Scripts
- "Duel of Hearts" (in TSR Worlds Annual #1, DC Comics, September 1990)
- "Art for Art's Sake" (in First Night Program, city of Boston, December 1996)
- "Traitor's Gate" (in Mythography #2 & #3, Bardic Press, February and April 1997)
- "Passion Play" (in Vampire: The Masquerade: Blood and Shadows, Moonstone, November 2003)
- "Lost Loves" (in Moonstone Monsters: Demons, Moonstone, August 2004)
- "The Man Who Collected Gods" (in Negative Burn #16, Desperado, December 2007)
- "The Rigor of the Game" (in Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons #3, Devil's Due, July 2008)
- "The Corpse: Orphans of the Air" (ongoing serial, begins in Hack/Slash #6, Image, July 2011)
- "Night Funeral in Eminence" (in Hack/Slash, volume 9: Torture Prone, Image, September 2011)
- "The Case of the Killer and the Questing King" (in Hack/Slash #18, Image, October 2012)
Anthologies (as editor)
- Realms of Valor (TSR, 1993)
- Realms of Infamy (TSR, 1994)
- The Doom of Camelot (Green Knight Publishing, 2000)
- The Book of All Flesh (Eden Studios, 2001)
- Legends of the Pendragon (Green Knight Publishing, 2002)
- The Book of More Flesh (Eden Studios, 2002)
- The Book of Final Flesh (Eden Studios, 2003)
- Path of the Just (Guardians of Order, 2003)
- Path of the Bold (Guardians of Order, 2004)
- Astounding Hero Tales (Hero Games, 2007)
- Hobby Games: The 100 Best (Green Ronin Publishing, 2007)
- Worlds of Their Own (Paizo Publishing, 2008)
- The Best of All Flesh (Elder Signs Press, 2009)
- Family Games: The 100 Best (Green Ronin Publishing, 2010)
- Curse of the Full Moon: A Werewolf Anthology (Ulysses Press, 2010)
- Triumph of The Walking Dead: Robert Kirkman's Zombie Epic on Page and Screen (BenBella Books, 2011)
- Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons (BenBella Books, 2012)
- Madness on the Orient Express (Chaosium, 2014)
- The Munchkin Book (BenBella Books, 2016)
Awards and honors
- 2001 The Doom of Camelot, Origins Award nominee, Best Long-Form Fiction
- 2003 The Book of More Flesh, International Horror Guild Award nominee, Best Anthology; Origins Award nominee, Best Long-Form Fiction
- 2004 The Book of Final Flesh, Origins Award winner, Best Long Fiction
- 2004 "The Night Chicago Died", Origins Award nominee, Best Short Fiction
- 2005 Path of the Bold, Origins Award winner, Best Fiction
- 2005 "Lost Loves", Bram Stoker Award nominee, Illustrated Narrative
- 2008 Astounding Hero Tales, Origins Award winner, Fiction Publication of the Year; ENnie Award honorable mention, Best Regalia
- 2008 Hobby Games: The 100 Best, Origins Award winner, Non-Fiction Publication of the Year; ENnie Award winner, silver, Best Regalia
- 2009 Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, Vol. 2, Origins Award winner, Best Fiction; ENnie Award nominee, Best Regalia
- 2010 The Best of All Flesh, Origins Award nominee, Best Book; ENnie Award honorable mention, Best Regalia
- 2011 Family Games: The 100 Best, Origins Award nominee, Best Game-Related Publication
- 2017 Industry Insider/Featured Presenter, Gen Con 50
- 2017 Pulp Cthulhu, Gold ENnie Award winner, Best Supplement
- "Writing Your Own Destiny". Hanson Town Crier. 2008-10-31. Archived from the original on 2011-09-12. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- "The Screaming Tower". jameslowder.com. 2010-01-01. Archived from the original on 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
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- "James Lowder". Archived from the original on February 24, 2009.
- "James Lowder". Retrieved 2017-05-05.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- Appelcline, Shannon (2006-10-03). "A Brief History of Game #5: Green Knight Publishing". RPGnet. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- Tupper, Peter (2004-02-04). "Writing for Role-Playing Games". writersweekly.com. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- O'Brien, Michael (2017-05-05). "Chaosium appoints James Lowder as new Executive Editor of Fiction". Chaosium. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
- O'Brien, Michael (26 August 2015). "chaosium-appoints-james-lowder-as-new-consulting-editor-for-fiction". Chaosium press release. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
- "James Lowder". Comicvine. 2014-04-08. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
- "New 'Dungeons & Dragons' Series From Devil's Due Getting Lowder". geeksofdoom.com. 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- "HACK/SLASH Moves to Image, Leaves Devil's Due Behind". newsarama.com. 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- "James Lowder". BoardGameGeek. 2010-10-30. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
- "James Lowder". WUWM. 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2014-12-19.
- "James Lowder (II)". IMDb. 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2014-12-19.
- "IHG Award Recipients". International Horror Guild. Archived from the original on 2014-09-05. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- "Origins Award Winners (2003)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on February 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- "Origins Award Winners (2004)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2008-06-03. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- "Past Stoker Nominees and Winners". Horror Writers of America. Archived from the original on 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2017-05-09.
- "Origins Awards 2008 winners announced". OgreCave. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "The 2007 ENnie Awards". ENWorld. Archived from the original on 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "The 2008 ENnie Awards". ENWorld. Archived from the original on 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "Origins Awards 2009". Critical Hits. Archived from the original on 2010-03-28. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "The 2009 ENnie Awards". ENWorld. Archived from the original on 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "List of Origins Awards Nominees". GAMA.org. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
- "The 2010 ENnie Awards". ENWorld. Archived from the original on 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- "The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Announces 37th Annual Origins Awards Nominees". GAMA.org. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
- "Industry Insider Featured Presenters for Gen Con 50". Gen Con. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
- "Ennie Award Winners". SF Site. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
- Worlds of Their Own Interview at Flames Rising (June 2008)
- Interview at Flames Rising, a Horror & Dark Fantasy website (Oct 2006)
- Interview at Candlekeep, a Forgotten Realms fansite
- Interview at Fraternity of Shadows, a Ravenloft fansite
- "Publication List at Pen & Paper RPG website". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
- James Lowder at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database