K. J. Parker

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K. J. Parker is the pseudonym under which the British author Tom Holt has published fantasy fiction. Parker's identity as Holt was kept secret for 17 years, until April 2015.[1][2]

While Parker's stories take place in alternate universes with invented geographies and histories, some of the typical features of fantasy fiction such as explicit use of magic are not present. The stories tend to have tragic themes with characters whose actions are unintentionally, ultimately self-destructive. Other major themes in the books are politics, technology (especially disruptive innovation), and either or both of the former as a means to power.



The Fencer trilogy[edit]

The Fencer trilogy follows Bardas Loredan, a fencer-at-law.

  • Colours in the Steel (1998)
  • The Belly of the Bow (1999)
  • The Proof House (2000)

The Scavenger trilogy[edit]

The Scavenger trilogy is about a man, or possibly god, who wakes up on a battlefield with amnesia and discovers that he is being hunted by enemies he no longer remembers.

  • Shadow (2001)
  • Pattern (2002)
  • Memory (2003)

The Engineer trilogy[edit]

The Engineer trilogy features an engineer, Ziani Vaatzes, who is forced into exile from his home city and plots an elaborate revenge.

  • Devices and Desires (2005)
  • Evil for Evil (2006)
  • The Escapement (2007)

Other novels[edit]

  • The Company (2008)
  • The Folding Knife (2010)
  • The Hammer (2011)
  • Sharps (2012)
  • The Two of Swords, serialized novel (April 2015)
  • Savages (July 2015)[3]

Short fiction[edit]

  • "Purple and Black" (July 2009, novella published by Subterranean Press)
  • "Amor Vincit Omnia" (Summer 2010, Subterranean Online)
  • "A Rich Full Week" (June 2010, first published in Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders)
  • Blue and Gold (Dec 2010, novella published by Subterranean Press)
  • A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong (Winter 2011, Subterranean Online) (winner of 2012 World Fantasy Award for best novella)[4]
  • "A Room with a View"(April 2011, first published in Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2, edited by William Schafer)
  • "Let Maps to Others" (Summer 2012, Subterranean Online) (winner of the 2013 World Fantasy Award for best novella)[4]
  • "One Little Room an Everywhere" (October 2012, Eclipse Online)
  • The Dragonslayer of Merebarton (May 2013, first published in Fearsome Journeys, edited by Jonathan Strahan)
  • "The Sun and I" (Summer 2013, Subterranean Online)
  • "'Illuminated" (Summer 2013, Subterranean Online)
  • "The Things We Do For Love" (Summer 2014, Subterranean Online)
  • "Heaven Thunders The Truth" (October 2014, Beneath Ceaseless Skies #157)
  • "Safe House (October 2014, first published in Fearsome Magics, edited by Jonathan Strahan)
  • The Last Witness (2015)


  • Academic Exercises (2014)[5]


Short essays[edit]

  • "On Sieges" (Summer 2009, Subterranean Online)
  • "Cutting Edge Technology: The Life and Sad Times of the Western Sword" (Fall 2011, Subterranean Online)
  • "Rich Men’s Skins: A Social History of Armour" (Summer 2013, Subterranean Online)

External links[edit]