Frost, Gregory 1951-
Frost, Gregory 1951-
Born May 31, 1951, in Des Moines, IA; son of Dee Lloyd (a lawyer and banker) and Curtis Rosemary Frost; married Mara L. Johnson, December 6, 1980 (divorced, August, 1985); remarried, wife's name Barbara. Education: Attended Drake University, 1969-72, and Michigan State University, 1975; University of Iowa, B.L.A., 1977. Politics: Independent/progressive. Religion: "Nondenominational." Hobbies and other interests: Aikido, cycling, birding, yoga.
Agent—Shana Cohen, Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency. E-mail—[email protected]
Science fiction and fantasy writer. Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, fiction workshop director. Actor in the films The Laughing Dead and Twilight of the Dogs. Also worked as word processor, secretary, legal secretary, bookstore salesperson, drapery hanger, bookkeeper, book and record reviewer, graphic designer, technical writer, and illustrator.
International Thriller Writers, Science Fiction Writers of America.
Lyrec (novel), Ace Books (New York, NY), 1984.
Tain (novel; first volume of the "Tales of Cu Chulainn"; also see below), Ace Books (New York, NY), 1986.
Remscela (novel; second volume of the "Tales of Cu Chulainn"; also see below), Berkley (New York, NY), 1988.
The Pure Cold Light (novel), Avon Books (New York, NY), 1993.
Crimson Spear: The Blood of Cu Chulainn (reprint of Tain and Remscela in one volume), Cascade Mountain Publishing, 1998.
Fitcher's Brides (part of "The Fairy Tale" series created by Terri Windling), Tor (New York, NY), 2002.
Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Stories, illustrated by Jason Van Hollander, Golden Gryphon Press (Urbana, IL), 2005.
Shadowbridge (novel), Del Rey (New York, NY), 2008.
Lord Tophet: A Shadowbridge Novel, Del Rey/Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Also author of the novelette "Madonna of the Maquiladora." Work represented in anthologies, including Snow White, Blood Red, Morrow, 1993; Intersections: The Sycamore Hill Anthology, Tor Books, 1996; Mojo: Conjure Stories, Warner Books, 2003; Swan Sister, Simon & Schuster, 2003; and The Faery Reel, Viking, 2004. Contributor of stories and articles to magazines, including Asimov's, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Weird Tales, and Realms of Fantasy.
Gregory Frost is the author of science-fiction, fantasy, and horror novels and short stories, including the critically acclaimed historical thriller Fitcher's Brides and the multi-award-nominated short story "Madonna of the Maquiladora." Frost's first novel-length work, Lyrec, is the story of two interdimensional beings hunting for one of their kind with the power to destroy the world. They descend upon a medieval world. Good battles evil in this novel to protect civilization from total destruction.
Frost's next novel, Tain, is the first in a two-volume collection involving the tales of Cu Chulainn, a character from Irish mythology. Tain, along with the second volume, Remscela, were combined into a single volume, titled Crimson Spear: The Blood of Cu Chulainn. Tain and Remscela are Frost's translation and telling of the "Táin Bó Cúalnge" (The Cattle-Raid of Cooley) saga. The books combine theology, history, and mythology to recount the Celtic tale.
In The Pure Cold Light, Frost presents readers with Thomasina Lyell, a journalist who uncovers a secret about mega-corporations' quest to take over the world. Frost's next novel, Fitcher's Brides, is perhaps his most critically acclaimed. Fitcher's Brides is part of author Terri Windling's "Fairy Tale" series and retells the Bluebeard fairy tale. In the original legend, women are wary of marrying the wealthy Bluebeard because his wives seem to disappear. When he finally marries a young girl, he warns her not to open a secret closet with a special key while he is gone away. Curiosity gets the best of the young girl and she peeks into the room, only to discover the bodies of Bluebeard's murdered wives.
In Frost's retelling, Reverend Elias Fitcher convinces people that the world will end in 1843, and that he alone can lead them to heaven if they join his utopian community Harbinger. Among Fitcher's believers are the parents of Vernelia, Amy, and Katherine (Kate) Charter. The charismatic Fitcher takes Vern as his first bride, followed by Amy, and each in turn vanishes within Harbinger. When Fitcher finally weds Kate, she knows it is up to her to expose Fitcher as the monster he really is. Paula Luedtke, writing in Booklist, dubbed Frost's tale a "superb retelling of Bluebeard," and noted the book was "well-researched and extremely well-written." Jackie Cassada, writing in the Library Journal, offered a similar opinion, writing that Frost "blends dark fantasy and social commentary in an intriguing tale." A Publishers Weekly contributor called Fitcher's Brides "a fresh and highly readable spin on the classic Bluebeard tale."
In Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Stories, Frost presents science-fiction and fantasy stories featuring such oddities as a dark secret that lives in a watch owned by Jack the Ripper, and a road that magically connects an ancient European castle to the American South in the 1920s. Comprised of fourteen short stories, the collection features such pieces as "Madonna of the Maquiladora," which tells of a giant corporation that manipulates society via religion. In "The Sunken Museum," Frost portrays a fictional account of the days leading up to Edgar Allan Poe's death. The story "Collecting the Dust" features a young child who struggles to thrive in an unhappy family. Other stories, such as "Touring Jesusworld" satirize religion, featuring a theme park devoted to none other than Jesus H. Christ. The book also features illustrations by Jason Van Hollander. Critics adored the collection, noting its powerful range of topics and themes. For instance, a Bookwatch reviewer called Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Stories "a dazzling compilation" that features a "dizzying journey through fractured time and space." A Publishers Weekly contributor was also impressed, remarking upon Frost's "mastery of the short story" and adding that the collection "will surely rank as one of the best fantasy collections of the year." Yet another positive review was given by Regina Schroeder, writing in Booklist, who commented that "Frost's stories are funny and tragic, thoughtful observations on human phenomena" resulting in a book that is "very well worth reading."
Turning his hand to a new science-fiction/fantasy series, Frost published both Shadowbridge and Lord Tophet: A Shadowbridge Novel in 2008. In the former novel, Frost introduces Leodora, an orphan whose father, Bardsham, was a world-renowned shadow puppeteer. Because she is an orphan, Leodora lives with her abusive uncle, Gousier. Their alcoholic neighbor, Soter, has inherited Bardsham's shadow puppets, though he soon discovers that Leodora is as talented a puppeteer as her father was. When Gousier plans to marry Leodora to a man she does not love, she runs away with Soter, traveling and giving puppet shows. In a side plot, an evil nun named Mother Kestrel attempts to sacrifice a boy named Diverus to the gods in the hope that they will grant her favors. Instead, unbeknownst to the nun, the gods gift Diverus with enlightenment. The frustrated nun sells Diverus into slavery, and his path soon crosses with Leodara's. Together, the two perform magical puppet shows that are touched by the power of the gods. Although some critics found the plot to be too far-fetched, others felt that Shadowbridge presents a satisfying and entertaining tale. For instance, a Kirkus Reviews contributor remarked upon the novel's "meandering stories within stories" and the "rich but nearly indecipherable backdrop," but a Publishers Weekly contributor felt that "Frost brings the charm of an ancient storyteller and the wit of a contemporary tale-spinner."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Reginald, Robert, Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, 1975-1991, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1992.
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July, 1995, review of The Pure Cold Light, p. 303.
Booklist, December 15, 2002, Paula Luedtke, review of Fitcher's Brides, p. 740; May 1, 2005, Regina Schroeder, review of Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Stories, p. 1576; January 1, 2008, Regina Schroeder, review of Shadowbridge, p. 51.
Bookwatch, September 1, 2005, review of Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Stories.
Book World, February 23, 1986, review of Tain, p. 12; June 26, 1988, review of Remscela, p. 12.
Fantasy Review, April, 1986, review of Tain, p. 22.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2005, review of Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Stories, p. 391; October 1, 2007, review of Shadowbridge.
Kliatt, spring, 1986, review of Tain, p. 22.
Library Journal, April 15, 1993, Jackie Cassada, review of The Pure Cold Light, p. 130; December, 2002, Jackie Cassada, review of Fitcher's Brides, p. 184; November 15, 2007, Jackie Cassada, review of Shadowbridge, p. 52.
Locus, June, 1993, review of The Pure Cold Light, p. 53.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February, 1994, John Kessel, review of The Pure Cold Light, p. 39.
Publishers Weekly, November 18, 2002, review of Fitcher's Brides, p. 46; May 16, 2005, review of Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Stories, p. 45; October 22, 2007, review of Shadowbridge, p. 40; May 26, 2008, review of Lord Tophet: A Shadowbridge Novel, p. 42.
Science Fiction Chronicle, July, 1993, review of The Pure Cold Light, p. 30.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 1994, review of The Pure Cold Light, p. 37.
Best Reviews,http://www.thebestreviews.com/ (November 25, 2002), Harriet Klausner, review of Fitcher's Brides.
Gregory Frost Home Page,http://www.gregoryfrost.com (September 4, 2008).