L. E. Modesitt Jr.

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Leland Exton Modesitt, Jr.
L E Modesitt Jr at CONduit 2007.png
Modesitt at CONduit 16 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Born (1943-10-19) October 19, 1943 (age 71)
Denver, Colorado
Occupation consultant, writer, poet
Nationality US
Genre Fantasy, Science fiction

L. E. (Leland Exton) Modesitt, Jr. (/ˈmɒdɨsɪt/; born 19 October 1943) is an author of 56 science fiction and fantasy novels. He is best known for the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce.[1] In 2015 he stated that the then 18 novels in the Recluce series had sold nearly three million copies.[2]

In addition to his novels, Modesitt has published technical studies and articles, columns, poetry, and a number of science fiction stories. His first short story, "The Great American Economy", was published in 1973 in Analog Science Fiction and Science Fact. In 2008, he published his first collection of short stories, Viewpoints Critical: Selected Stories (Tor Books, 2008).

Early life[edit]

Modesitt was born in Denver, Colorado. He graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts and lived in Washington, D.C. for 20 years while working as a political writer.

He has worked as a Navy pilot, lifeguard, delivery boy, unpaid radio disc jockey, real estate agent, market research analyst, director of research for a political campaign, legislative assistant for a Congressman, Director of Legislation and Congressional Relations for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a consultant on environmental, regulatory, and communications issues, and a college lecturer and writer in residence.[3]

Approach to writing[edit]

Modesitt has stated, “When all the research, all the writing group support, all the cheerleading, and all the angst fade away, and they should, the bottom line is simple: As a writer, you first must entertain your readers. To keep them beyond a quick and final read, you have to do more than that, whether it’s to educate them, make them feel, anger them by challenging their preconceptions — or all of that and more. But if you don’t entertain first, none of what else you do matters, because they won’t stay around.”[4]

Recurring themes, technologies, and organizations[edit]

  • Ethical questions such as "What is more ethical? Standing by and letting a war that will kill millions or billions happen? Or killing thousands or millions in an effort to prevent that war?"
  • Earth is destroyed or nearly destroyed by ecological disaster
  • The I.S.S. spy service mentioned in many of his series
  • The Galactic Empire
  • The Galactic Empire is overthrown or thwarted by ecologists
  • Music has power
  • Flitters, aircraft that can hover and achieve low space orbit
  • Nanotechnology
  • Time travel
  • Immortality
  • Internalized information networks
  • Imbalance leads to destruction and is a perversion of nature
  • Gods are real but only because they have higher levels of technology
  • War is bad, but necessary
  • Truly thinking about what one is doing and what is happening around oneself is critical to success
  • Misuse of technology will lead to man's downfall
  • Mormons
  • Galactic War
  • Struggles between Chaos and Order
  • Shortening or slurring of the names of present day cities, countries and ethnic groups
  • Different spellings of common personal names
  • Many characters are university teachers and/or retired military personnel.
  • Although intangible power is possible, it still places strain on the tangible body.
  • Overheard conversations
  • Love of food
  • Frequently drops hints that many of his books (even those from apparently different series) are actually connected into the same universe.
    • Both The Ecolitan and Parafaith series have an armaments company known as Sasaki Industries.
    • Both The Ecolitan and Parafaith series as well as the short story Viewpoint Critical have a race called the Ursine.
    • Both the The Parafaith War and Fall of Angels feature future soldiers known as Seraphim.
    • Both the The Parafaith War and Fall of Angels feature an adversary known as "Rationalists".


Major series

Personal life[edit]

He met his current wife, Carol A. Modesitt, after moving to New Hampshire in 1989. Carol works as a professional opera singer[5] and now acts as a professor at Southern Utah University.[6] They relocated to Cedar City, Utah in 1993.

He has been married three times, and has six daughters and two sons.[7]


  1. ^ "L.E. Modesitt,Jr. - Summary Bibliography". ISFDB. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Modesitt, Jr., L. E. (2015-04-21). "Perspective on the Hugos". lemodesittjr.com. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  3. ^ Profile on Baen's Universe: L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
  4. ^ The 7 Question Interview with L. E. Modesitt, Jr.L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
  5. ^ Video Interview by Shae Dravenmore http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUOL4f1EYFE&feature=bf_play&list=FL6He9R3FimgQ&index=1
  6. ^ http://www.suu.edu/faculty/modesitt/
  7. ^ Modesitt, Jr., L. E. (April 22, 2011). "Feminist Propaganda?". Retrieved April 22, 2011. 

External links[edit]