Lawrence Watt-Evans

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Lawrence Watt-Evans (born 1954) is one of the pseudonyms of American science fiction and fantasy author Lawrence Watt Evans (another pseudonym, used primarily for science fiction, is Nathan Archer). Born in Arlington, Massachusetts, as the fourth of six children, he made his first attempts at professional writing when he was eight.

After graduating from Bedford High School in Bedford, Massachusetts, he attended Princeton University but left without a degree. By the rules of Princeton, he could not re-apply for a year, during which he began to seriously try to sell his writing, but sold nothing significant until The Lure of the Basilisk in 1979 (published 1980), whereupon he began writing full-time. Despite having sold a short story and several articles under his real name, he initially submitted his first novel under a pseudonym; it was the editor of that novel, Lester del Rey, who first demanded he use his real name and then added the hyphen to create the name Lawrence Watt-Evans. Evans had insisted on including his middle name to avoid confusion with a contemporary non-fiction writer also named Lawrence Evans, and del Rey had then added the hyphen "to make it more distinctive".

Watt-Evans was president of the Horror Writers Association from 1994 to 1996, and has also served as Eastern Regional Director and treasurer of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. From 1995 to 1997, he was half of a partnership known as Malicious Press (with screenwriter Terry Rossio), which published Deathrealm magazine, edited by Stephen Mark Rainey and he was the managing editor of the webzine Helix SF for its entire run of ten quarterly issues.

In April 2005, Watt-Evans announced that the first draft of his latest Ethshar novel, The Spriggan Mirror, would be made available online as a serial, using a modified version of the Street Performer Protocol. The draft has since been finished and was previously available in its entirety on one of Watt-Evans' websites.[1] However, a revised version has now been published commercially in both electronic and paper editions, so the free version has been removed. He has since completed several online serials, all using that same method: The Vondish Ambassador in 2007, Realms of Light started November 2008 (his only non-Ethshar serial, a sequel to Nightside City), The Final Calling started in June 2010 (later published as The Unwelcome Warlock). In April–July 2012 he did a fifth serial, The Sorcerer's Widow.

In June 2013 Watt-Evans began a crowd-funding campaign for his unpublished science fiction novel Vika's Avenger, a story unrelated to his previous works, and in July he started a sixth Ethshar Serial, Ishta's Companion.



The Lords of Dûs series[edit]

The Worlds of Shadow series[edit]

The Obsidian Chronicles[edit]

The main chactacter of this series is Arlian, on a perilous mission to destroy all dragons.

The Legends of Ethshar series[edit]

Ethshar is a constructed world which was first developed by Watt-Evans for use in role-playing games,[2] and in which he later set a number of novels and short stories. These usually stand alone and don't need to be read in a particular order, and the scope of the stories tends to be personal rather than cosmic.

He loosely modeled the political and economic aspects of the world on the Roman Empire of about the 2nd century AD.[3] Ethshar is the common name of three large cities in the major civilization of this world: Ethshar of the Spices, Ethshar of the Sands, and Ethshar of the Rocks, making up a political entity called the Hegemony of the Three Ethshars.[3] To the southeast of the Hegemony is where the original "Old Ethshar" once was. The former Ethshar, which became embroiled in a generations-long war with the Northern Empire, broke up into more than two hundred statelets collectively called the Small Kingdoms before the end of the "Great War.".[3][4] Besides humans, this world has other intelligent races, including dragons. The inhabitants don't have a special name for their world, simply calling it "The World" - and this world does not seem to be on a planet, but is rather the end-cap of a cylinder surrounded by what seems to be a noxious yellow gas.

A notable feature of Ethshar - in contrast to some other fantasy worlds - is that there are many distinct different varieties of magic, each with its own laws. Some, like the telekinesis exhibited by Ethshar's warlocks, seem to owe more influence to science fiction than fantasy. Some forms of magic, in particular wizardry, are powerful enough to create other universes.

The first six Ethshar novels were published by Ballantine's Del Rey imprint, all of them being accepted and nominally edited by Lester Del Rey. The seventh and eighth were published by Tor Books, but disappointing sales led Tor to ask Watt-Evans to concentrate on his non-Ethshar material, which generated much better sales. After writing several non-Ethshar fantasy novels for Tor, Watt-Evans began experimentally serializing the ninth Ethshar novel, The Spriggan Mirror, on his website under a modified form of the Street Performer Protocol. That novel was published in trade paperback, along with the following, The Vondish Ambassador. LWE has moved on to a third Ethshar serial The Final Calling.[5] The Ethshar short stories were first published in various anthologies; later six of them were included as bonus material in Wildside Press's reprints of the Del Rey Ethshar novels.

Ethshar Novels[edit]
Ethshar Short stories[edit]

The Annals of the Chosen trilogy[edit]

The Fall of the Sorcerers series[edit]

In the Walasian Empire, Sorcerers are the aristocracy. They are granted a lot of social power, prestige and wealth, and in return are expected to use their magical abilities for the common good. The system had worked well enough for hundreds of years, and the people in general considered themselves better governed than neighbors with a more conventional aristocracy - but things are starting to change. While magical ability is mostly hereditary, a child of commoners found to have a magical ability is taken into the aristocracy and might attain the highest positions, while a magically-deficient child of magical parents is restricted to more humble positions. An example of the latter kind is the protagonist, Anrel Murau, whose wizard parents were killed when a spell they worked went wrong, and who is content to be declared a non-magical person and live out his life as a simple clerk. However, when a powerful sorcerer kills Murau's best friend and engages in black magic and human sacrifice, Murau is drawn into a dangerous confrontation, and discovers himself to be an unmatched master in a new kind of magic - that of the orator stirring up the masses. Soon he is caught up in a series of escalating revolutionary events, with increasing popular discontent leading to the title's Fall of the Sorcerers - but a revolution can turn out to be very dangerous also to those who stirred it up. From the outset, it is evident that all this is in fact a fantasy analogue of The French Revolution.

Other fantasy novels[edit]

Science fiction[edit]

The War Surplus series[edit]

Star Trek novels[edit]

Carlisle Hsing[edit]

The Carlisle Hsing books are hard-boiled detective mysteries set in a future interstellar civilization dominated by immensely powerful corporations, with the elites being of clearly East Asian - and specifically, Japanese - origin. Nightside City - hometown of the tough female private detective protagonist - is a city devoted to casinos and gambling, which had been shrouded in perpetual night to the inhabitants' content, but is now doomed as the slow rotation of the planet would within a few decades bring it into the Dayside, into the devastating glare and deadly radiation of the nearby sun, making human life there impossible. For inhabitants of Nightside City, "Sunrise" means an impending apocalypse which they must try to escape. But while the city still lives, Carlisle Hsing must earn an uncertain living in a constant fight with crooks, con-men, corrupt business executives and computer programs whose cunning is equal - sometimes superior - to that of humans.

  • Nightside City (1989)
  • Realms of Light (2010)

Other science fiction novels[edit]


Short stories[edit]

He has written more than a hundred short stories, including "Why I Left Harry's All-Night Hamburgers", which won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1988.


Anthologies edited[edit]

Literary Criticism[edit]


  1. ^ "Watt-Evans's next novel published under Street Performer Protocol". Boing Boing. 2005-05-11. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  2. ^ "Frequently-Asked Questions". Ethshar. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  3. ^ a b c "An Introduction to Ethshar". 2000-04-08. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  4. ^ "Some Background Information". Ethshar. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  5. ^ "The Final Calling". Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  6. ^ "The Spriggan Mirror - Issue Two". 2006-08-17. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  7. ^ "The Vondish Ambassador". Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  8. ^ "The Final Calling". Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  9. ^ Lawrence Watt-Evans (2008-11-24). "The God in Red". Ethshar. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 

External links[edit]