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Gardner, Craig Shaw 1949- (Chris Blaine, Peter Garrison)

Gardner, Craig Shaw 1949- (Chris Blaine, Peter Garrison)

PERSONAL:

Born July 2, 1949, in Rochester, NY. Education: Attended Boston University.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Arlington, MA. Agent—Jennifer Jackson, The Donald Maass Literary Agency, 121 W. 27th St., Ste. 801, New York, NY 10001. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Science fiction and fantasy novelist.

MEMBER:

Horror Writers of America (president, 1990—).

WRITINGS:

"EBENEZUM" SERIES

A Malady of Magicks, Ace (New York, NY), 1986.

A Multitude of Monsters, Ace (New York, NY), 1986.

A Night in the Netherhells, Ace (New York, NY), 1987.

The Exploits of Ebenezum (includes all three novels), Nelson Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1987.

"WUNTVOR" SERIES

A Difficulty with Dwarves, Ace (New York, NY), 1987.

An Excess of Enchantment, Ace (New York, NY), 1988.

A Disagreement with Death, Ace (New York, NY), 1989.

The Wanderings of Wuntvor (includes all three novels), Nelson Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1989.

NOVELIZATIONS

The Lost Boys: A Novel, Berkley (New York, NY), 1987.

Wishbringer (novelization of a computer game), Avon (New York, NY), 1988.

Back to the Future, Part II: A Novel, Berkley (New York, NY), 1989.

Batman, Warner (New York, NY), 1989.

The Batman Murders, Warner (New York, NY), 1990.

Back to the Future, Part III: A Novel, Berkley (New York, NY), 1990.

Spider Man: Wanted Dead or Alive, illustrations by Bob Hall, Putnam's (New York, NY), 1998.

Leprechauns, Kensington Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Angel, Dark Mirror (New York, NY), 2004.

"CINEVERSE" SERIES

Slaves of the Volcano God, Ace (New York, NY), 1989.

Bride of the Slime Monster, Ace (New York, NY), 1990.

Revenge of the Fluffy Bunnies, Ace (New York, NY), 1990.

Cineverse Cycle (includes all three novels), Guild America (New York, NY), 1990.

"ARABIAN NIGHTS" SERIES

The Other Sinbad, Ace (New York, NY), 1991.

A Bad Day for Ali Baba, Ace (New York, NY), 1992.

The Last Arabian Night, Ace (New York, NY), 1993.

"DRAGON" SERIES

The Dragon Circle: Dragon Sleeping, Ace (New York, NY), 1994.

The Dragon Circle: Dragon Waking, Ace (New York, NY), 1995.

The Dragon Circle: Dragon Burning, Ace (New York, NY), 1996.

"CHANGELING" SERIES; AS PETER GARRISON

The Changeling War, Ace (New York, NY), 1999.

The Sorcerer's Gun, Ace (New York, NY), 1999.

The Magic Dead, Ace (New York, NY), 2000.

OTHER

A Little Purple Book of Peculiar Stories, Borderlands Press (Grantham, NH), 2004.

(As Chris Blaine) Dark Whispers: A Novel of the Abbadon Inn, Berkeley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 2005.

The Cyclon's Secret, Tor (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Craig Shaw Gardner has written several series of fantasy novels for young adults; some branch out from the genre into actual science fiction. Nearly all have won praise for moving beyond the serious gothic mood common to this area of young-adult fiction and instead boasting a heavy dose of humor. Gardner's first cycle of books was the "Ebenezum" series, which depicts the exploits of a luckless wizard (the title character) who becomes allergic to magic. Perpetually battling his archenemy, the demon and rhyme-master Guxx, Ebenezum's tales stretch through A Malady of Magicks, A Multitude of Monsters, and A Night in the Netherhells, all published in the mid-1980s; all three were collected and issued in 1987's The Exploits of Ebenezum.

Gardner followed up the cycle with a second, related series: the "Wuntvor" novels. Wuntvor is Ebenezum's apprentice, and in a battle to rescue his master's powers and save their land, which is now under the same dire curse from Guxx, Wuntvor must do battle with an array of foes. Assisting him is his love, a witch named Norei. Toxic fog and a cult who kills disbelievers through immersion in custard are only two of the situations Gardner makes his protagonists endure. The trio of Wuntvor novels, A Difficulty with Dwarves, An Excess of Enchantment, and A Disagreement with Death, were published in the late 1980s, issued again in collected form in The Wanderings of Wuntvor in 1989.

In 1989 Gardner began another series, this time focusing on the exploits of public-relations man Roger Gordon. In Slaves of the Volcano God, Bride of the Slime Monster, and Revenge of the Fluffy Bunnies, Gordon enters the Cineverse, a world that resembles bad Hollywood movies. The hero traverses back and forth with the help of a secret decoder ring and visits a variety of shlock film scenarios where beach-party denizens evolve into disco dancers and biker gangs run amok; meanwhile, Gordon's girlfriend is being held captive by a slime monster. All three works were published in a single volume in 1990's Cineverse Cycle.

In the early 1990s Gardner reworked the legendary Arabian Nights tales into fantasy humor. The Other Sinbad introduces a second Sinbad—not the mythic sailor, but a porter who narrates the epic tale revolving around an eighth journey not included in the original. In its sequel, A Bad Day for Ali Baba, readers again encounter heroes from the Arabian Nights tales, in this case the poor woodcutter Ali Baba. His bad day begins when he meets forty thieves, who take him along on a fantastical adventure. Ali Baba's brother, who has been sliced into six pieces but survives, accompanies them. In the third installment of the series, The Last Arabian Night, loose ends are tied up by Scheherazade, another character from the original Middle Eastern classic; her long-winded stories are designed to keep her husband from killing her.

In his fifth series, Gardner skewers middle-class suburbia by launching one such community into a strange netherworld after a particularly bad storm. Families are separated and teenagers learn new skills to do battle with the soldiers, wizards, and monsters who serve as their new local governors. One teenager, Nick, emerges as a hero in The Dragon Circle: Dragon Sleeping and its sequels, Dragon Waking and Dragon Burning. Throughout the series there looms a sleeping, malevolent dragon. Coveted jewels imbued with special powers are known as dragon's eyes and a tree-like figure named Oomgosh assists the more upstanding members of the transplanted society.

Gardner's "Changeling" series is written under the pseudonym of Peter Garrison. The first novel in this trilogy, The Changeling War, introduces parallel worlds: Castle, a land of constant warfare ruled over by the Pale Man, and Earth, where two adolescents must flee from danger at the hands of a would-be abductor. As the action progresses in the second installment, The Sorcerer's Gun, a pathway between Castle and Earth has been opened, threatening to bring Castle's violence to the world of human beings. Desperate to stop this development, the teenagers—who, it turns out, are changelings from Castle—invade the warring world to try to destroy the Pale Man. The story concludes with The Magic Dead, in which, after many struggles, the forces of good finally prevail. Library Journal contributor Jackie Cassada described The Changeling War as a book that, despite some awkward elements, provides appealing characters and a heroic story.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: An Illustrated A to Z, Granada Publishing (London, England), 1979.

Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers, 3rd edition, St. James Press, 1991.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1998, review of Spider Man: Wanted Dead or Alive, p. 1732.

Chronicle, June, 1988, review of A Malady of Magicks, p. 34; May, 1989, review of Wishbringer, p. 40; January, 1990, review of Slaves of the Volcano God, p. 43; July, 1990, review of Bride of the Slime Monster, p. 38; February, 1991, review of Revenge of the Fluffy Bunnies, p. 44; March, 1991, review of Bride of the Slime Monster, p. 30; March, 1992, review of The Other Sinbad, p. 20; October, 1992, review of A Bad Day for Ali Baba, p. 34; June, 1993, review of The Last Arabian Night, p. 32; February, 1995, review of The Dragon Circle: Dragon Sleeping, p. 7; June, 1997, review of The Dragon Circle: Dragon Waking, p. 44.

Fantasy Review, December, 1985, review of A Malady of Magicks, p. 17; November, 1986, review of A Multitude of Monsters, p. 28.

Kliatt, April, 1992, review of The Other Sinbad, p. 14; January, 1993, review of A Bad Day for Ali Baba, p. 16; July, 1993, review of The Last Arabian Night, p. 16.

Library Journal, May 15, 1994, Jackie Cassada, review of The Dragon Circle: Dragon Sleeping, p. 103; October 15, 1996, Susan Hamburger, review of The Dragon Circle: Dragon Burning, p. 93; April 15, 1999, Jackie Cassada, review of The Changeling War, p. 149.

Publishers Weekly, July 8, 1988, review of Wishbringer, p. 49; January 6, 1989, review of A Disagreement with Death, p. 98; April 4, 1994, review of The Dragon Circle: Dragon Sleeping, p. 62; September 25, 1995, review of The Dragon Circle: Dragon Waking, p. 48; September 30, 1996, review of The Dragon Circle: Dragon Burning, p. 66; April 27, 1998, review of Spider Man, p. 48; January 24, 2000, review of The Magic Dead, p. 297.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 1992, review of The Other Sinbad, p. 10.

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