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Hawke, Simon 1951–

Hawke, Simon 1951–

(S.L. Hunter, J.D. Masters, Nicholas V. Yermakov, Nicholas Valentin Yermakov)

PERSONAL: Born September 30, 1951, in New York, NY; son of Valentin M. (a pathologist) and Helga E. (a United Nations verbatim reporter; maiden name, Hartewelt) Yermakov; married; children: one stepson. Education: Hofstra University, B.A., 1974; Western New Mexico University, M.A., 1994. Hobbies and other interests: History, motorcycles, horses, pistol marksmanship, physical fitness, martial arts.

ADDRESSES: Home—Greensboro, NC. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Tor Books, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Worked variously as a rock musician, radio announcer, radio production engineer, journalist, motorcycle salesman, bookstore clerk, actor, bartender, dishwasher, factory worker, armed guard, construction worker, and tobacconist; full-time writer. Instructor in writing and related subjects at Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ, 1995–98, Elon College, Elon, NC, 1998, and at North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro, NC, 1999; Guilford Technical Community College, Jamestown, NC, instructor, 1998–. Guest faculty member at Milford Professional Writers Conference, Telluride and Glenwood Springs, CO, 1979, 1980, and 1981, Colorado Mountain College, Glenwood Springs, 1980, Western New Mexico University, Silver City, 1994, and at University of Arizona, 1994.

MEMBER: Science Fiction Writers of America, Authors Guild, Poets & Writers, Inc.

AWARDS, HONORS: Colorado Writer of the Year, 1992.

WRITINGS:

AS NICHOLAS V. YERMAKOV; NOVELS

Journey from Flesh, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1981.

Fall into Darkness, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1982.

(With Glen A. Larson) Battlestar Galactica, Number 6: The Living Legend, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1982.

Clique, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1982.

(With GlenA. Larson) Battlestar Galactica, Number 7: War of the Gods, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1982.

Work represented in anthologies, including The Year's Best Fantasy, DAW, 1981; The Berkley Showcase, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1981; and Proteus: Voices for the '80s, Ace Books, 1981. Contributor of short stories to magazines, including Galaxy, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Heavy Metal; contributor of articles and book reviews to magazines, including National Review, Space Review, and Rocky Mountain News.

AS NICHOLAS V. YERMAKOV; "BOOMERANG" TRILOGY

Last Communion, Signet Books (New York, NY), 1981.

Epiphany, Signet Books (New York, NY), 1982.

Jehad, Signet Books (New York, NY), 1984.

"TIME WARS" SERIES

The Ivanhoe Gambit, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1984.

The Timekeeper Conspiracy, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1984.

The Pimpernel Plot, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1984.

The Zenda Vendetta, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1985.

The Nautilus Sanction, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1985.

The Khyber Connection, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1986.

The Argonaut Affair, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1987.

The Dracula Caper, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1988.

The Lilliput Legion, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1989.

The Hellfire Rebellion, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1990.

The Cleopatra Crisis, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1990.

The Six-Gun Solution, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1991.

AS SIMON HAWKE; "WIZARD" SERIES

The Wizard of Fourth Street, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1987.

The Wizard of Whitechapel, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1988.

The Wizard of Sunset Strip, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1989.

The Wizard of Rue Morgue, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1990.

The Samurai Wizard, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1991.

The Wizard of Santa Fe, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1991.

The Wizard of Lovecraft's Café Warner Books (New York, NY), 1993.

The Wizard of Camelot, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1993.

The Last Wizard, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1997.

"TRIBE OF ONE" SERIES

Dark Sun: The Outcast, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1993.

Dark Sun: The Nomad, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1994.

Dark Sun: The Seeker, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1994.

Dark Sun: The Broken Blade, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1995.

"BIRTHRIGHT" SERIES

The Iron Throne, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1995.

War, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1996.

"SHAKESPEARE AND THE SMYTHE" SERIES

A Mystery of Errors, Forge (New York, NY), 2000.

The Slaying of the Shrew, Forge (New York, NY), 2001.

Much Ado about Murder, Forge (New York, NY), 2002.

The Merchant of Vengeance, Forge (New York, NY), 2003.

AS SIMON HAWKE; TELEVISION AND FILM NOVELIZATIONS

Friday the 13th, New American Library (New York, NY), 1987.

Psychodrome, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1987.

Psychodrome, Number 2: The Shapechanger Scenario, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1988.

Friday the 13th, Part II, New American Library (New York, NY), 1988.

Friday the 13th, Part III, New American Library (New York, NY), 1988.

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th, Part VI, New American Library (New York, NY), 1988.

Predator 2, Jove Books (New York, NY), 1990.

Batman: To Stalk a Specter, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, Number 26: The Romulan Prize, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1993.

Star Trek, Number 69: The Patrian Transgression, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1994.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, Number 34: Blaze of Glory, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1995.

NOVELS

Sons of Glory, Jove Books (New York, NY), 1992.

The Reluctant Sorcerer, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1992.

The Nine Lives of Catseye Gomez, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Call to Battle (sequel to Sons of Glory), Jove Books (New York, NY), 1993.

The Inadequate Adept (sequel to The Reluctant Sorcerer), Warner Books (New York, NY), 1993.

The Whims of Creation, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1995.

The Ambivalent Magician, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1996.

UNDER PSEUDONYM J.D. MASTERS; NOVELS

Steele, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1989.

Cold Steele, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1989.

Killer Steele, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1990.

Jagged Steele, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1990.

Renegade Steele, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1990.

Target Steele, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1990.

UNDER PSEUDONYM S.L. HUNTER

Fugitive Steele, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1991.

Molten Steele, Berkley Publishing (New York, NY), 1991.

SIDELIGHTS: Simon Hawke, who was born Nicholas V. Yermakov, published under both names and various pseudonyms before taking Simon Hawke as his legal name. Most of his work is science fiction and fantasy, including the popular "Time Wars" and "Wizard" series, and the occasional film or television series tie-in. He also has ventured into straight historical fiction, writing about the American Civil War in Sons of Glory and about Shakespeare's time in A Mystery of Errors. However, Hawke's earlier novels, published under his birth name, "are of unusually high quality and are less inclined to be restatements of one another," remarked a contributor to the St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers.

Those works include the Boomerang trilogy, consisting of the novels Last Communion, Epiphany, and Jehad, which deal with an alien world called Boomerang. Boomerang's inhabitants, the Shades, are able to absorb the personalities of dying humans, and humans are quick to try to exploit the Shades in hopes of achieving immortality. Fall into Darkness, a freestanding early novel, "draws heavily on Russian folklore, transplanted to a human colony world now pretty much isolated from the rest of humankind," the St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers essayist related. "It's primarily a swashbuckling pirate story, but an excellent one."

Hawke's interest in history led to the "Time Wars" series, which focuses on time travel. Characters who would change historical events to suit their own purposes clash with a band of time travelers trying to thwart them and another group from an alternate Earth, who seek to control this Earth's time stream. "Although they are to a certain degree formulaic, individual volumes do stand out, particularly The Argonaut Affair, The Hellfire Rebellion, The Dracula Caper, and the concluding volume [The Six-Gun Solution], which draws together all the different threads into one neat conclusion," commented the St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers essayist, who also called the series "extremely well researched."

The "Wizard" series has elements of both science fiction and fantasy. In the twenty-second century, natural resources have run out and technology is powerless in the resulting crises. Merlin—of Arthurian legends fame—is released from the spell that has held him captive for centuries and replaces technology with magic. By the following century, when most of the books are set, modern machinery runs on magic; vehicles, for instance, are moved by operators chanting spells. The series' primary character is one of Merlin's former students, Wydrune. He and his allies—an erstwhile burglar named Kira and King Arthur's once-evil son, Mordred—use magical powers, gained from runestones, to fight sinister forces. The series takes them to a variety of settings—New York City, Los Angeles, New Mexico, England, France, Japan—and includes large doses of humor along with the action. The Samurai Wizard, which takes place in Japan, is "the strongest entry in the series," in the opinion of the St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers contributor.

In the "Shakespeare and Smythe" series, Hawke again draws from history for his inspiration. The first novel in the series, A Mystery of Errors, is a crime novel set in the time of William Shakespeare. It finds the young playwright, not yet having achieved fame, befriending a naive aspiring actor, Symington Smythe II. The two try to build their theatrical careers by starting at low-level jobs with a drama troupe. Meanwhile, Smythe attempts to aid a young woman rebelling against an arranged marriage, and Shakespeare, because of a case of mistaken identity, runs afoul of killers-for-hire. Booklist reviewer David Pitt thought Hawke showed "an eye for detail and character" in the novel and combined history and fiction "in an altogether delightful manner." A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the novel "a good-natured romp for audiences who wish they'd made a sequel to Shakespeare in Love." A Publishers Weekly critic remarked that the novel is "in the ebullient spirit" of that film, adding that Shakespeare "might take future, and welcome, bows in his new guise as sleuth." Pitt concluded, similarly, that "this has the makings of an excellent series."

Hawke has followed A Mystery of Errors with several more titles featuring Shakespeare and Smythe, including The Slaying of the Shrew, Much Ado about Murder, and The Merchant of Vengeance. (Astute readers will notice that all of these titles are parodies of the titles of actual Shakespearean plays.) In the first title, Shakespeare and Smythe are preparing to perform at a lavish wedding when Smythe overhears two men plotting to kill the bride and make off with her family's fortune. Despite Shakespeare and Smythe's best efforts, the woman does indeed die on her wedding day, although the cause of death appears to be suicide rather than murder. Shakespeare and Smythe, however, are suspicious, and they set out to find the true cause of the bride's demise. "Avid Shakespeareans will chortle as they identify elements of this plot that will later find their way into the esteemed works of the great playwright," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor. "Hawke … dearly loves tweaking Shakespeare's hallmarks—the mistaken identity, the death pacts, the love triangles and quadrangles—and his insouciance is catching," a Kirkus Reviews critic explained. Booklist contributor David Pitt also praised the work, noting that Hawke's "blending of real and historical events is seamless, and his skill as a storyteller is evident."

Hawke once commented: "I prefer to avoid publicity and the literary social scene. Posturing as an artist strikes me as ridiculously pretentious and I don't have time for that kind of nonsense. To me, writing is a craft. I make my living telling stories, period. The greatest compliment I was ever paid was when a reviewer compared me to Raphael Sabatini. I see myself as having the soul of a swashbuckler and the disposition of a wandering minstrel. I think my writing reflects that attitude. Simon Hawke is my professional persona. He's a westerner who prefers to dress in jeans, boots, and Stetsons; he's a lot more laid back than I am, no one ever finds his name difficult to remember or pronounce, and he never takes himself too seriously. Nick Yermakov, on the other hand, is an intense, hyper, streetwise kid from New York who lives life at two hundred miles per hour. I'm not ever sure which of us is which. It's a slightly schizophrenic existence, but it's never boring. Harlan Ellison once said that 'reading is the drinking of strange wine.' If you enjoy the drink and want a refill, I feel that I've done my job."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.

St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 1, 2000, David Pitt, review of A Mystery of Errors, p. 521; November 15, 2001, David Pitt, review of The Slaying of the Shrew, p. 556; November 15, 2003, David Pitt, review of The Merchant of Vengeance, p. 585.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2000, review of A Mystery of Errors, p. 1459; October 15, 2001, review of The Slaying of the Shrew, p. 1456; November 1, 2002, review of Much Ado about Murder, p. 1571; October 15, 2003, review of The Merchant of Vengeance, p. 1254.

Kliatt, May, 2004, Janet Julian, review of Much Ado about Murder, p. 18.

Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1983, Don Strachan, review of Epiphany, p. 8.

Publishers Weekly, March 16, 1992, review of The Reluctant Sorcerer, p. 74; March 23, 1992, review of Sons of Glory, p. 65; November 15, 1993, review of Dark Sun: The Outcast, p. 75; October 16, 2000, review of A Mystery of Errors, p. 52; November 5, 2001, review of The Slaying of the Shrew, p. 44; December 1, 2003, review of The Merchant of Vengeance, p. 44.

School Library Journal, April, 2002, Irene F. Moose, review of The Slaying of the Shrew, p. 185.

ONLINE

AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (February 15, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of Much Ado about Murder.

January Magazine, http://www.janmag.com/ (February 15, 2006), Karen G. Anderson, "Kill Me, Kate."

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