18 October 1944 |
Coral Gables, Florida, United States
|Notable works||Deryni novels|
Katherine Irene Kurtz is an American fantasy writer, known for her sixteen historical fantasy novels in the Deryni series. She also wrote several occult alternate history novels in her Templar series, and urban fantasy novels in her Adept series.
Her 1970 debut novel, Deryni Rising, was influential for being one of the first fantasy novels written in a mode closer to historical fiction than to mythology or legend, as was common in the then-popular high fantasy works such as those by J. R. R. Tolkien. Writing in Strange Horizons, Kari Sperring calls Kurtz the "first writer of secondary-world historical fantasy", noting her close attention to the importance of faith in pre-modern societies and her portrayal of magic as a formal, ritual practice as opposed to the "picaresque and informal" way magic was depicted in other fantasy of the time.
Kurtz's works were popular in the 1970s until the early 1990s, but are no longer widely read except by her devoted fans.
This devoted fan base meets on Sunday evening in a chat room, #deryni_destinations, that can be accessed from the official site Rhemuth Castle. The members generally meet at 6PM EST, except for the first Sunday of the month, when they meet at 5PM to allow European followers to chat. Katherine Kurtz occasionally arrives at around 7PM EST to chat with her fans."
Kurtz was born October 18, 1944 in Coral Gables, Florida, where she also grew up. She graduated with a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Miami. She married Scott MacMillan in 1983 and has a son with him. Until 2007, they lived in Ireland, and since then again in the United States, in Virginia.
(with Deborah Turner Harris)
- Book I: The Adept (1991)
- Book II: The Lodge of the Lynx (1992)
- Book III: The Templar Treasure (1993)
- Book IV: Dagger Magic (1995)
- Book V: Death of an Adept (1996)
(with Deborah Turner Harris)
- Book I: The Temple And the Stone (1998)
- Book II: The Temple and the Crown (April 2001)
- Lammas Night (1983)
- The Legacy of Lehr (1986)
- Two Crowns for America (1996)
- Saint Patrick's Gargoyle (2001) (paperback January 2002)
A partial list of works Kurtz has edited or contributed to is as follows:
- Knights of the Blood (1993) (lightly edited by Katherine Kurtz, written by Scott MacMillan)
- Knights of the Blood: At Sword's Point (August 1994) (lightly edited by Katherine Kurtz, written by Scott MacMillan)
- Tales of the Knights Templar (1995) (edited by Katherine Kurtz, with a contributed story entitled Obligations)
- On Crusade: More Tales of the Knights Templar (1998) (edited by Katherine Kurtz, with a contributed story)
- Crusade of Fire: Mystical Tales of the Knights Templar (2002)(edited by Katherine Kurtz, with a contributed story)
In addition, she has contributed to a number of anthologies.
- Rhemuth Castle - The Official Site of Katherine Kurtz
- Katherine Kurtz at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Novel synopses, cover art, and reviews at FantasyLiterature.net
- Sperring, Kari (30 March 2015). "Matrilines: The Woman Who Made Fantasy: Katherine Kurtz". Strange Horizons. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- Kurtz, Katherine. "Biography". Retrieved 3 April 2015.