This list of works by American science fiction and fantasy author Lawrence Watt-Evans.
The Lords of Dûs series
The Worlds of Shadow series
The Obsidian Chronicles
The main chactacter of this series is Arlian, on a perilous mission to destroy all dragons.
The Legends of Ethshar series
Ethshar is a constructed world which was first developed by Watt-Evans for use in role-playing games, and in which he later set a number of novels and short stories. These usually stand alone and don't need to be read in a particular order, and the scope of the stories tends to be personal rather than cosmic.
He loosely modeled the political and economic aspects of the world on the Roman Empire of about the 2nd century AD. Ethshar is the common name of three large cities in the major civilization of this world: Ethshar of the Spices, Ethshar of the Sands, and Ethshar of the Rocks, making up a political entity called the Hegemony of the Three Ethshars. To the southeast of the Hegemony is where the original "Old Ethshar" once was. The former Ethshar, which became embroiled in a generations-long war with the Northern Empire, broke up into more than two hundred statelets collectively called the Small Kingdoms before the end of the "Great War.". Besides humans, this world has other intelligent races, including dragons. The inhabitants don't have a special name for their world, simply calling it "The World" - and this world does not seem to be on a planet, but is rather the end-cap of a cylinder surrounded by what seems to be a noxious yellow gas.
A notable feature of Ethshar - in contrast to some other fantasy worlds - is that there are many distinct different varieties of magic, each with its own laws. Some, like the telekinesis exhibited by Ethshar's warlocks, seem to owe more influence to science fiction than fantasy. Some forms of magic, in particular wizardry, are powerful enough to create other universes.
The first six Ethshar novels were published by Ballantine's Del Rey imprint, all of them being accepted and nominally edited by Lester Del Rey. The seventh and eighth were published by Tor Books, but disappointing sales led Tor to ask Watt-Evans to concentrate on his non-Ethshar material, which generated much better sales. After writing several non-Ethshar fantasy novels for Tor, Watt-Evans began experimentally serializing the ninth Ethshar novel, The Spriggan Mirror, on his website under a modified form of the Street Performer Protocol. That novel was published in trade paperback, along with the following, The Vondish Ambassador. LWE has moved on to a third Ethshar serial The Final Calling. The Ethshar short stories were first published in various anthologies; later six of them were included as bonus material in Wildside Press's reprints of the Del Rey Ethshar novels.
Ethshar Short Stories
The Annals of the Chosen trilogy
The Fall of the Sorcerers series
In the Walasian Empire, sorcerers are the aristocracy. They are granted a lot of social power, prestige and wealth, and in return are expected to use their magical abilities for the common good. The system had worked well enough for hundreds of years, and the people in general considered themselves better governed than neighbors with a more conventional aristocracy - but things are starting to change: the economy is in trouble, there is more and more discontent, in the cities people gather and listen to speeches, some of which might be seditious... This is the world into which the protagonist, a young man Anrel Murau, has grown up. His background is a bit unusual. In this society. magical ability is the key to success. While such ability is mostly hereditary, a child of commoners found to have a magical ability is taken into the aristocracy and might attain the highest positions, while a magically-deficient child of magical parents - which is unusual but does sometimes happen - is restricted to more humble positions. Anrel Murau is an example of the latter kind. His wizard parents were killed when a spell they worked went wrong. Deeply traumatized by being so orphaned, he thoroughly detests magic and is happy to be declared a non-magical person and live out his life as a simple clerk. However, when a powerful sorcerer kills Murau's best friend and engages in black magic and human sacrifice, Murau is drawn into a dangerous confrontation, and discovers himself to be an unmatched master in a new kind of magic - that of the orator stirring up the masses. Soon he is caught up in a series of escalating revolutionary events, with increasing popular discontent leading to the title's Fall of the Sorcerers - but a revolution can turn out to be very dangerous also to those who stirred it up. From the outset, it is evident that all this is in fact a fantasy analogue of The French Revolution.
Other fantasy novels
The War Surplus series
Star Trek novels
The Carlisle Hsing books are hard-boiled detective mysteries set in a future interstellar civilization dominated by immensely powerful corporations, with the elites being of clearly East Asian - and specifically, Japanese - origin. Nightside City - hometown of the tough female private detective protagonist - is a city devoted to casinos and gambling, which had been shrouded in perpetual night to the inhabitants' content, but is now doomed as the slow rotation of the planet would within a few decades bring it into the Dayside, into the devastating glare and deadly radiation of the nearby sun, making human life there impossible. For inhabitants of Nightside City, "Sunrise" means an impending apocalypse which they must try to escape. But while the city still lives, Carlisle Hsing must earn an uncertain living in a constant fight with crooks, con-men, corrupt business executives and computer programs whose cunning is equal - sometimes superior - to that of humans.
- Nightside City (1989)
- Realms of Light (2010)
Other science fiction novels
He has written more than a hundred short stories, including "Why I Left Harry's All-Night Hamburgers", which won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1988.
Welcome to Ethshar!
I assume that if you've found this page you probably already know something about Ethshar, but just in case you don't: "Ethshar" is the name of an imaginary land that's the setting for an open-ended series of fantasy stories by Lawrence Watt-Evans.
Which is to say, me.
This is one portion of the Misenchanted Page, my somewhat tangled and over-ambitious personal and business website. Like many websites, it may have bits that are under construction and partly out of date.
I do have An Introduction to Ethshar, which gives a quick overview of the setting, and pages about all the Ethshar novels, both published and planned.
There is now an Ethshar Wiki. Serious Ethshar fans should give it a look and maybe contribute. No, I didn't start it or write any of it, though I've made some corrections.
I sell a few Ethshar-related tchotchkes in my Cafe Press store.
What's What with Ethshar Today:
There are, as of right now, fourteen published Ethshar novels and eleven short pieces. All the short Ethshar stories to date have now been collected in a single volume, Tales of Ethshar, published by Wildside Press. In addition to the eleven stories, one of which had never before been published in this form, there's introductory material. "The Warlock's Refuge," which was incorporated into The Unwelcome Warlock, is included, as is my 2011 April Fool's joke, Chapter 1 of The Unwanted Wardrobe.
Thirteen of the fourteen published Ethshar novels are in print from Wildside Press in trade paperback and as e-books. Mass-market paperbacks, not so much.
Tor still owns the rights to Night of Madness. They have a trade paperback edition in print, and an ebook.
What Dreams May Come: The Future of Ethshar
Yes, it has a future. I just don't know exactly what it is. The serial format seems to have run its course -- the last one was not a success. I'm still writing anyway, and will probably be staying with Wildside Press for at least another book or two.
I had hoped to maybe relaunch the series from a major publisher as YA ("young adult"), aimed at teenagers, but that doesn't seem to have worked out.
One thing about e-books -- the pressures that force paper books toward certain sizes aren't there. E-books can be any length. This means I can be pretty flexible. Wildside Press is fine with short books, too.
I'm also thinking about printing up maps -- maybe as posters, maybe in an atlas or guidebook of some sort. That's all still vague, though.
If you're wondering about that map in the logo at the top of the page -- well, that's a portion of the original map of Ethshar that I drew more than forty years ago, long before I knew that I would ever actually write stories set there. There are several much more detailed maps that I worked up later and used for reference while creating the stories, but I thought that one would be appropriate here for its historic value.
I invite comment on this site, either by e-mail, or on my Facebook page, or on one of my blogs: The Mind Control Lasers Lied to Me and The Serial Box -- what am I doing right? What am I doing wrong? What would you like to see?
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to have more for you soon.
-- Lawrence Watt-Evans
The World of Ethshar, the Misenchanted Page,
and all contents herein are copyright by Lawrence Watt Evans.
All rights reserved.
Click here to return to the top of the page
That's it; here's your list of handy exits:
The World of Ethshar | The Misenchanted Page | E-mail me
An Introduction to Ethshar | Frequently-Asked Questions About Ethshar | The Ethshar Novels