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 secondary worlds with fictional geographies and world history, some of the typical features of fantasy fiction such as explicit use of magic are not present in his novels. His short stories, on the other hand, frequently deal with magic and the problems it brings for sorcerers. 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 (April 2015), serialised e-book, published in 2017 in three volumes
  • Savages. Subterranean Press. July 2015. Archived from the original on 18 February 2015.

Short fiction[edit]

  • Purple and Black. Subterranean Press. July 2009. Novella.
  • "Amor Vincit Omnia". Subterranean Online. Summer 2010. Archived from the original on 31 July 2013. Free short story online.
  • "A Rich Full Week". Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery. June 2010. Edited by Jonathan Strahan & Lou Anders.
  • Blue and Gold. Subterranean Press. December 2010. Novella.
  • "A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong". Subterranean Online. Winter 2011. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013. Free short story online. (Winner of 2012 World Fantasy Award for best novella)[3]
  • "A Room with a View". Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2. April 2011. Edited by William Schafer.
  • "Let Maps to Others". Subterranean Online. Summer 2012. Free short story online. (Winner of the 2013 World Fantasy Award for best novella)[3]
  • "One Little Room an Everywhere". Eclipse Online. October 2012.
  • "The Dragonslayer of Merebarton". Fearsome Journeys. May 2013. Edited by Jonathan Strahan.
  • "The Sun and I". Subterranean Online. Summer 2013. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Free short story online.
  • "Illuminated". Subterranean Online. Summer 2013. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Free short story online.
  • "The Things We Do For Love". Subterranean Online. Summer 2014.
  • "Heaven Thunders The Truth". Beneath Ceaseless Skies (157). October 2014.
  • "Safe House". Fearsome Magics. October 2014. edited by Jonathan Strahan
  • The Last Witness (2015) Novella
  • The Devil You Know (2016) Novella
  • Downfall of the Gods. Subterranean Press. April 2016. Novella.
  • Mightier than the Sword (2017) Novella
  • The Best Man Wins (2017) Novelette
  • "The Thought That Counts". Beneath Ceaseless Skies (250). April 2018. Novelette


  • Academic Exercises (2014)[4]
  • The Father Of Lies (2018)[5]


Short essays[edit]

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

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Jared Shurin (21 April 2015). "Interview: "Hello, My Name is K.J. Parker"". pornokitsch.com.
  2. ^ "The Two of Swords launches (and the real K. J. Parker stands up!)". orbitbooks.net. 21 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Awards". World Fantasy. Archived from the original on 27 October 2012.
  4. ^ "KJ Parker – Academic Exercises and Savages announced". Upcoming4.me. Archived from the original on 18 February 2015.
  5. ^ "KJ Parker – Announcing The Father of Lies by K. J. Parker". subterraneanpress.com.