Wall of Serpents

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Wall of Serpents
Wall of Serpents.jpg
First edition of Wall of Serpents
Author L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
Cover artist Ed Emshwiller
Country United States
Language English
Series Harold Shea
Genre Fantasy
Publisher Avalon Books
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback)
Pages 223
Preceded by The Castle of Iron
Followed by The Enchanter Reborn

Wall of Serpents is a collection of two fantasy short stories by American science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, the third volume in their Harold Shea series. The pieces were originally published in the magazines Fantasy Fiction and Beyond Fantasy Fiction in the issues for June, 1953 and October, 1954. The collection was first published in hardcover by Avalon Books in 1960, with a new edition from Phantasia Press in 1978. The first paperback edition was published by Dell Books in 1979. A 1980 edition published by Sphere Books was retitled The Enchanter Compleated. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.[1][2]

The book has also been combined with the earlier books in the series in the omnibus edition The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989), and with the earlier books and later stories in the omnibus edition The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (2007). It has also been published in Italian and German.

The Harold Shea stories are parallel world tales in which universes where magic works coexist with our own, and in which those based on the mythologies, legends, and literary fantasies of our world and can be reached by aligning one's mind to them by a system of symbolic logic. In the stories collected as Wall of Serpents, the authors' protagonist Harold Shea visits two such worlds, those of Finnish and Irish mythology.



Floyd C. Gale of Galaxy Science Fiction rated Wall of Serpents 4.5 stars out of five, stating that "de Camp and Pratt were far and away the finest team of fantasy collaborators ... their stories are always chuckle-filled delights".[3]


  1. ^ Orion Publishing Group's L. Sprague de Camp webpage
  2. ^ Amazon.com entry for e-book edition
  3. ^ Gale, Floyd C. (December 1961). "Galaxy's 5 Star Shelf". Galaxy Science Fiction. pp. 144–147. 


  • Laughlin, Charlotte; Daniel J. H. Levack (1983). De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood/Miller. pp. 103–104. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Castle of Iron
Harold Shea Series
Wall of Serpents
Succeeded by
The Enchanter Reborn