Weis, Margaret 1948–

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WEIS, Margaret 1948–

(Margaret Baldwin, Margaret Edith Weiss)

PERSONAL:

Born March 16, 1948, in Independence, MO; daughter of George Edward (an engineer) and Frances Irene Weis; married Robert William Baldwin, August 22, 1970 (divorced, 1982); married Donald Bayne Stewart Perrin (an author), May 5, 1996; children: (first marriage) David William, Elizabeth Lynn. Education: University of Missouri, B.A., 1970. Politics: Independent. Religion: "No formal."

ADDRESSES:

Home and Office—P.O. Box 1106, Williams Bay, WI 53191. Agent—The Lazear Agency, Inc., 800 Washington Avenue N, Ste. 660, Minneapolis, MN 55401. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and editor. Herald Publishing House, Independence, MO, advertising director, 1972-81, director of Independence Press trade division, 1981-83; TSR Hobbies, Inc., Lake Geneva, WI, editor of juvenile romances and other special product lines, 1983-86; freelance writer, 1987—Sovereign Press, owner; Sovereign Stone RPG and Dragonlance D20 RPG products, publisher. Former president and owner of Mag Force 7, Inc. (producer of trading card games); coowner/operator, Game Guild.

MEMBER:

Great Alkali Plainsmen (Kansas City, MO).

WRITINGS:

Fortune-telling (nonfiction), Messner (New York, NY), 1984.

My First Book of Robots (nonfiction), F. Watts (New York, NY), 1984.

My First Book of Computer Graphics (nonfiction), F. Watts (New York, NY), 1984.

The Endless Catacombs (fantasy), illustrated by Jeff Easley, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1984.

(With Janet Pack) Lost Childhood: Children of World War II (nonfiction), Messner (New York, NY), 1986.

(With Tracy Hickman) Dragonlance Adventures (game source book), TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1987.

(With Tracy Hickman) The Second Generation, poetry by Michael Williams, illustrated by Ned Dameron, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1994.

Dragonlance Saga: The Second Generation, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1995.

(With husband, Don Perrin) The Doom Brigade, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1996.

(With Tracy Hickman) Star Shield Sentinels, Del Rey (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Tracy Hickman) Legacy of the Darksword, Bantam (New York, NY), 1997.

The Soul Forge, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1997.

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman Present Treasures of Fantasy, HarperPrism (New York, NY), 1997.

(With son, David Baldwin) Margaret Weis' Testament of the Dragon, HarperPrism (New York, NY), 1997.

The Art of Dragonlance, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1998.

(With Tracy Hickman) Realms of Dragons: The Worlds of Weis and Hickman, HarperPrism (New York, NY), 1999.

Heroes and Fools: Tales of the Fifth Age, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1999.

(With Don Perrin) Brothers in Arms: The Raistlin Chronicles, Random House (New York, NY), 1999.

(With Tracy Hickman) More Leaves of the Inn of the Fallen Home, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1999.

(With Tracy Hickman) Dragons of a Lost Star, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2001.

(With Tracy Hickman) The Nightmare Lands, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2003.

(With Tracy Hickman) A Rumor of Dragons, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2003.

(With Tracy Hickman) To the Gates of Palanthas, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2003.

(With Tracy Hickman) Night of Dragons, cover artGlen Angus, interior art Vinod Rams, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2003.

Amber and the Ashes, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2004.

(With Tracy Hickman) A Dawn of Dragons, art by Glen Angus, interior art by Vinod Rams, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2004.

(With Tracy Hickman) Hope's Flame, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2004.

Amber and Ashes, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2005.

(With Tracy Hickman) Annotated Legends, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2005.

Amber and Iron, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2006.

(With Tracy Hickman) Dragons of the Dwarven Depths, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2006.

Also coauthor of Dragonlance Core System, Wizards of the Coast, 2003, and Dragonlance Age of Mortals rule-book, Sovereign Press, 2003.

"dragonlance chronicles"; with tracy hickman; poetry by michael williams

Dragons of Autumn Twilight, illustrated by Denis Beauvais, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1984, reprinted, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2003.

Dragons of Winter Night, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1984, reprinted, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2003.

Dragons of Spring Dawning, illustrated by Jeffrey Butler, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1984, reprinted, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2003.

Dragons of Summer Flame, illustrated by Larry Elmore, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1995.

Annotated Chronicles, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1999.

Dragons of Summer Flame, art by Larry Elmore, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2002.

"dragonlance legends" fantasy novels; with tracy hickman; poetry by michael williams

Time of the Twins, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1985, reprinted with interior art by Valerie Valusek, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2004.

War of the Twins, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1985, reprinted with cover art by Matt Stawicki, interior art by Valerie Valusek, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2004.

Test of the Twins, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1985.

The Second Generation, illustrations by Ned Dameron, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2001.

Test of the Twins, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2004.

"darksword trilogy"; with tracy hickman

Forging the Darksword, Bantam (New York, NY), 1988.

Doom of the Darksword, Bantam (New York, NY), 1988.

Triumph of the Darksword, Bantam (New York, NY), 1988.

"the rose of the prophet trilogy"; with tracy hickman

The Will of the Wanderer, Bantam (New York, NY), 1989.

The Paladin of the Night, Bantam (New York, NY), 1989.

The Prophet of Akran, Bantam (New York, NY), 1989.

"star of the guardian" science fiction series

The Lost King, Bantam (New York, NY), 1990.

King's Test, Bantam (New York, NY), 1990.

King's Sacrifice, Bantam (New York, NY), 1991.

Ghost Legion, Bantam (New York, NY), 1993.

"death's gate cycle" fantasy series; with tracy hickman

Dragon Wing, Bantam (New York, NY), 1990.

Elven Star, Bantam (New York, NY), 1990.

Fire Sea, Bantam (New York, NY), 1990.

Serpent Mage, Bantam (New York, NY), 1990.

The Hand of Chaos, Bantam (New York, NY), 1990.

Into the Labyrinth, Bantam (New York, NY), 1993.

The Seventh Gate, Bantam (New York, NY), 1994.

"mag force 7" series

Knights of the Black Earth, ROC, 1995.

Robot Blues, ROC, 1997.

Hung Out, ROC, 1998.

"starshield books"; with tracy hickman

The Mantle of Kendis-Dai, Del Rey (New York, NY), 1997.

Nightsword, Del Rey (New York, NY), 1997.

"sovereign stone" triad; with tracy hickman

Well of Darkness, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Guardians of the Lost, Eos (New York, NY), 2001.

Journey into the Void, Eos/HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

"war of souls" trilogy; with tracy hickman

Dragons of a Fallen Star, TSR (Renton, WA), 1999.

Dragons of a Lost Star, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, Wa), 2002.

Dragons of a Vanished Moon, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, Wa), 2002.

"dragonvald" trilogy

Mistress of Dragons, Tor (New York, NY), 2003.

The Dragon's Son, Tor (New York, NY), 2004.

Master of Dragons, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2005.

nonfiction; under pseudonym margaret baldwin

The Boy Who Saved the Children (remedial reader for young adults; based on autobiography Growing up in the Holocaust by Ben Edelbaum), Messner (New York, NY), 1981.

(With Pat O'Brien) Wanted! Frank and Jesse James: The Real Story (young adult biography), Messner (New York, NY), 1981.

Kisses of Death: A Great Escape Story of World War II (remedial reader for young adults), illustrated by Norma Welliver, Messner (New York, NY), 1983.

My First Book: Thanksgiving (juvenile), F. Watts (New York, NY), 1983.

editor

The Art of the Dungeons and Dragons Fantasy Game, TSR, 1985.

(With Tracy Hickman) Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home: The Complete Krynn Source Book, TSR, 1987.

(With Tracy Hickman) Love and War, TSR, 1987.

A Dragon Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic, Warner (New York, NY), 1994.

(And author of introduction) Fantastic Alice, Ace Books (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Tracy Hickman) The History of Dragonlance: Being the Notes, Journals, and Memorabilia of Krynn, compiled by Maryls Heeszel, TSR, 1995.

A Magic Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic, Warner (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Tracy Hickman) The Best of Tales, TSR, 2000.

(With Tracy Hickman) More Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2000.

(With Tracy Hickman) The Best of Tales, Volume Two, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2002.

A Quest Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Tracy Hickman) The Players of Gilean: Tales from the World of Krynn, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2003.

The Search for Power: Dragons of the War of Souls, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2004.

other

Also author of foreword to The Soulforge, TSR (Lake Geneva, WI), 1998, and Masters of Dragonlance Art. Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), c. 2002.

Contributor to The Dragonlance Saga by Roy Thomas (includes adaptations of Dragons of Autumn Twilight and Dragons of Winter Night), illustrated by Thomas Yeates with Mark Johnson, TSR, 1987. Also author of Lasers, F. Watts; author, with Gary Pack, of Computer Graphics and Robots and Robotics, both F. Watts. Author of graphic novels A Fable of the Serra Angel, Acclaim Comics, and (with David Baldwin) Testament of the Dragon, Teckno Books.

Creator of trading card games, including Star of the Guardians and Wing Commander. Weis's books have been translated into many languages, including French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Czech, Rumanian, Hebrew, Danish, and Finnish.

ADAPTATIONS:

Several novels have been made into audiobooks, including Elven Star, Bantam Audio, 1991; and Mistress of Dragons, Audio Renaissance. 2003.

SIDELIGHTS:

Margaret Weis was once admonished by a college poetry instructor to avoid certain themes at all costs: Love ("with a capital-L"), truth, beauty, death and the Vietnam War. So Weis, a former art student, turned to science fiction, creating, among other books, the "Dragonlance" series. Sixteen million copies later, Weis became known as one of the most prolific and popular modern genre writers, as well as a leader in the role-play game industry. (She once worked as an editor at TSR, the company that produced the famed "Dungeons and Dragons" game.)

Her "Dragonlance," in fact, is equally popular, both as a book series and in its spinoff life in art books, trading cards, and role-playing games. The series revolves around the kingdom of Krynn, setting for an epic conflict between the people of Ansalon and a race of cruel, powerful dragons that has seized control of the civilization.

Typical of the series is Dragons of a Fallen Star (volume one in the "War of Souls" trilogy), by Weis and longtime writing partner, Tracy Hickman. Series returning characters include Knights of Neraka; elves of Qualinesti and the Silvanestri dragons, including Malys and Beryl. The book made the bestseller lists, prompting Publishers Weekly reporter Daisy Maryles to note that the series "is one of the best known and loved brands in fantasy fiction, [and] often a young reader's first exposure" to the genre. Dragons of a Vanished Moon concludes the "War of Souls" trilogy. In this tale, the Dark Queen is trying to take over the world of Krynn but conceals her intent by doing good deeds, such as healing the sick. The primary obstacle in her way is the owner of the Deice of Time Journeying. Meanwhile, various forces, from the Solamnic Knights to the elves of Qualinest and Silvanost, set out to battle the Dark Queen. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the novel "another admirable addition to the history, lore and ways of Krynn."

Not every book by Weis is set in the long ago and far away. In Dark Heart (written with Weis's son, David Baldwin), the action is set in the present, albeit predated by centuries of Ansalon history. Justin Sterling—Justinian, Lord Sterling in a former Incarnation—is haunted by his fate as an immortal, enslaved in perpetuity to the Dragon of ancient times, sentenced to do the Dragon's bidding as a killer. Justin meets another loner, Chicago detective Sandra McCormick, who is investigating mysterious killings tied to Justin, and he falls in love with the woman assigned to capture him. The book is darker and more contemporary than its companion volumes.

The "Death Gate" books, which Weis also wrote with Hickman, perhaps represent Weis's most complex works. The premise of the series is that two godlike races, the Sartan and the Patryns, have, through mutual enmity, caused the world to divide into four distinctive worlds separated by a magical labyrinth. The first four books in the series, Dragon Wing, Elven Star, Fire Sea, and Serpent Mage, describe the four different worlds. Evil serpents have come to threaten the existence of all four realms; by the last installment, The Seventh Gate, it becomes clear that the only way to defeat this threat is for the Sartan and Patryns to set aside their differences and combine their magic against a common enemy. In his Booklist review of the final volume, Roland Green noted that Weis and Hickman have demonstrated "complete mastery of the art of turning classic fantasy elements into equally classic well-told tales." A critic in Voice of Youth Advocates added that in the six previous books the coauthors had been "creating unique worlds, characters to believe in, and giving them dire circumstances to work through." With the seventh volume, the critic continued, "the message is what the reader wanted the characters to embrace all along. They all but say, 'there is that of God in all of us.'"

During the late 1990s Weis wrote another series, "Mag Force 7," which is set in a "Star Wars"-type universe. Following Knights of the Black Earth (1995) and Robot Blues (1996), Weis and her husband, Don Perrin, produced Hung Out (1998). The latter book finds intergalactic mercenaries leading a revolution on a planet of pacifists, "only to find themselves deprived of their leader" and mired in a high-level power struggle, according to a Library Journal review by Jackie Cassada, who praised the authors' "snappy dialogue and [splashes] of humor."

A more recent series that the author has collaborated on with Hickman is the "Sovereign Stone" triad, which includes Well of Darkness, Guardians of the Lost, and Journey into the Void. The story tells of the evil Prince Dagnarus, who uses the power of the Void to hunt the powerful Sovereign Stone. The stone has been split into four parts, each capable of bestowing a specific power on its possessor but only if they know how to tap into it. The story includes a broad cast of characters, from corpses called Vrykyls with magical powers to dwarfs, elves, and humans. Roland Green, writing in Booklist, noted the authors' talent for "character development and skill at designing the saga's races," adding that "this trilogy is becoming their best work." In the final volume, Journey into the Void, Dagnarus has brought the Vrykrls back to life and summoned monsters from another world to reunite the Sovereign Stone and consolidate his final bid to take over his world. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that "it's a testament to Weis and Hickman's storytelling skills that you can enjoy this book without having read the previous volumes." Library Journal contributor Jackie Cassada noted the book's "strong storytelling and unique world-building elements." A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that "this trilogy rises above the rest by giving its characters, human and otherwise, a spirited dignity."

In the first book of the "Dravonvald" trilogy, Mistress of Dragons, Weis presents a tale featuring the Parliament of Dragons, which is made up of twelve different dragon groups. While humans fear the dragons, their code prevents them from interfering in human affairs in any manner. However, a renegade dragon takes over Seth. Draconas, who takes on human form, is sent to stop him. Sally Estes, writing in Booklist, commented: "Weis has brilliantly conceived a world viable for both dragons and humans." A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted the novel's "bang-up climax." In a review for Kliatt, Ginger Armstrong wrote: "Weis excels at building a world in which dragons seem so alien and yet at the same time so human."

In the second book of the "Dravonvald" trilogy, The Dragon's Son, the story revolves around twin brothers, who are the offspring of a dragon and a human. The brothers are brought up by different humans, one in court and the other by someone seeking vengeance for her mother's death—she gives him the name Ven for "Vengeance." Referring to the tale as "exciting," Booklist contributor Salle Estes also noted: "The novel moves inexorably to a cataclysmic conclusion."

Master of Dragons is the concluding volume of the "Dravonvald" trilogy and features two renegade dragons intent on taking over the world. The twins, Ven, whose physical appearance reflects he is part dragon, and his entirely human-looking brother Marcus, meet and team up to battle the outlaw dragons with the help of Draconas, who has remained in his human form. In her review for Booklist, Sally Estes called this final volume "compelling" and noted that Weis brings the various plot elements together to conclude "in a satisfactory manner."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

Booklist, September 1, 1990, review of The Lost King, p. 32; November 1, 1993, Roland Green, review of Into the Labyrinth, p. 505; August, 1994, Roland Green, review of The Seventh Gate, p. 2030; April 15, 1995, Roland Green, review of The Knights of the Black Earth, p. 1484; September 15, 2001, Roland Green, review of Guardians of the Lost, p. 201; April 15, 2003, Sally Estes, review of Mistress of Dragons, p. 1459; July, 2004, Sally Estes, review of The Dragon's Son, p. 1830; October 15, 2005, Sally Estes, review of Master of Dragons, p. 38.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 1993, review of The Hand of Chaos, p. 30; October 1, 1993, review of Into the Labyrinth, p. 1234; June 15, 1994, review ofThe Seventh Gate, p. 812; March 15, 1995, review of The Knights of the Black Earth, p. 530; August 15, 2001, review of Guardians of the Lost, p. 1176; May 1, 2003, review of Mistress of Dragons, p. 650; June 1, 2003, review of Journey into the Void, p. 784; August 1, 2005, review of Master of Dragons, p. 821.

Kliatt, November, 2004, Ginger Armstrong, review of Mistress of Dragons, p. 26.

Library Journal, February 15, 1993, Jackie Cassada, review of The Hand of Chaos, p. 196; April 15, 1995, Jackie Cassada, review of The Knights of the Black Earth, p. 119; August, 1998, review of Hung Out, p. 140; April 15, 2003, Jackie Cassada, review of Journey into the Void, p. 129; July, 2004, Jackie Cassada, review of The Dragon's Son, p. 75.

Publishers Weekly, October 18, 1993, review of Into the Labyrinth, p. 67; January 17, 1994, review of Dragonlance Saga: The Second Generation, p. 420; July 25, 1994, review of The Seventh Gate, p. 38; April 24, 1995, review of The Knights of the Black Earth, p. 64; November 6, 1995, review of Fantastic Alice, p. 88; April 3, 2000, Daisy Maryles, "A Fantasy Comes True," p. 24; May 13, 2002, review of Dragons of a Vanished Moon, p. 56; June 2, 2003, review of Journey into the Void, p. 38.

Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 1993, review of The Hand of Chaos, p. 315; February, 1995, review of The Seventh Gate, p. 352.

online

Margaret Weis Home Page,http://www.margaretweis.com (June 1, 2006).

Tracy Hickman Home Page,http://www.trhickman.com/ (June 27, 2006).