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Encyclopedia > Harold Shea (fictional series)
"The Roaring Trumpet" in Unknown, May 1940

The "Harold Shea" Stories is a name given to a series of five fantasy stories by the collaborative team of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt and to its later continuation by de Camp alone, Christopher Stasheff, Holly Lisle, John Maddox Roberts, Roland J. Green, Frieda A. Murray, and Tom Wham. De Camp and Stasheff collectively oversaw the continuations. The series is also known as the "Enchanter" series, the "Incomplete Enchanter series" after the first collection of them, or the "Complete Enchanter" series. Image File history File links The_Roaring_Trumpet. ... Image File history File links The_Roaring_Trumpet. ... Sinister Barrier by Eric Frank Russell Unknown (also known as Unknown Worlds) was a pulp fantasy magazine, edited by John W. Campbell, that was published from 1939 to 1943. ... Fantasy is a genre of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. ... L. Sprague de Camp from the cover of Time and Chance: an Autobiography, Donald M. Grant, 1996 Lyon Sprague de Camp, (November 27, 1907, New York City – November 6, 2000, Plano, Texas) was an American science fiction and fantasy author. ... Murray Fletcher Pratt (1897–1956) was a science fiction and fantasy writer; he was also well-known as a writer on naval history and on the American Civil War. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Holly Lisle (1960- ) is an American writer of fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal romantic suspense novels. ... John Maddox Roberts John Maddox Roberts born in Ohio, is an author who has written many science fiction and fantasy novels such as SPQR and Hannibals Children. ... Roland J. Grenn is a Chicago native and science-fiction and fantasy writer and editor. ... Frieda A. Murray is a fantasy writer whose works are generally written in collaboration with Roland J. Green. ... Tom Wham is a designer of board games. ...


In the original stories psychologist Harold Shea and his colleagues Reed Chalmers, Walter Bayard, and Vaclav Polacek (Votsy), travel to various parallel worlds where ancient myths and legends are reality. In the course of their travels other characters are added to the main cast, notably Belphebe and Florimel, who become the wives of Shea and Chalmers, and Pete Brodsky, a policeman who is accidentally swept up into the chaos. In the later continuations the most notable addition to the cast is Voglinda, the young daughter of Shea and Belphebe. Parallel universe or alternate reality in science fiction and fantasy is a self-contained separate reality coexisting with our own. ...

Contents

The original series

The protagonists utilize a system of symbolic logic to project themselves into the worlds they visit, but it is an inexact science, and they miss their target realities as often as they hit them. For example, in the first story, "The Roaring Trumpet," Shea intends to visit the world of Irish Mythology, and instead ends up in Norse mythology. Most of the worlds visited have systems of physics different from ours, usually magical, which the heroes devote a considerable amount of effort to learning and applying. Much humor is drawn both from the culture shock of their encounters and from the reality that they usually don't understand the local systems well enough to be able to predict the actual effects of the spells they attempt. The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity, but much of it was preserved, shorn of its religious meanings, in medieval Irish literature, which represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branches of Celtic mythology. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology comprises the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ...


Much of the series' attraction stems from the interaction of the psychologists' logical, rationalistic viewpoints with the wildly counterintuitive physics of the worlds they visit. Their attitudes provide something of a decontructionist look at the basic rationales of these worlds, hitherto unexamined either by their inhabitants or even their original creators. Essentially, they allow the reader to view these worlds from a fresh viewpoint. The "worlds" so examined include not only the Norse world of "The Roaring Trumpet," but those of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene in "The Mathematics of Magic," Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (with a brief stop in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Kubla Khan) in "The Castle of Iron," the Kalevala in "The Wall of Serpents," and finally (at last), Irish mythology in "The Green Magician." Edmund Spenser Edmund Spenser (c. ... Una and the Lion by Briton Rivière The Faerie Queene is an English epic poem by Edmund Spenser, published first in three books in 1590, and later in six books in 1596. ... Ludovico Ariosto (September 8, 1474 – July 6, 1533) was an Italian poet, author of the epic poem Orlando furioso (1516), Orlando Enraged. He was born at Reggio, in Emilia. ... Ruggiero Rescuing Angelica by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. ... Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet, 1795 Samuel Taylor Coleridge (October 21, 1772 – July 25, 1834) (pronounced ) was an English poet, critic, and philosopher who was, along with his friend William Wordsworth, one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England and one of the Lake Poets. ... Kubla Khan, whose complete title is Kubla Khan, or a Vision in a Dream. ... The Kalevala is an epic poem which Elias Lönnrot compiled from Finnish folk lore in the 19th century. ...


With "The Green Magician" the original collaboration ended, Pratt's early death precluding any additional entries. A final planned story set in the world of Persian mythology was never written, nor was a projected response to L. Ron Hubbard's misuse of their hero in his novella The Case of the Friendly Corpse (1941). (De Camp would finally address the latter issue in "Sir Harold and the Gnome King.") The beliefs and practices of the culturally and linguistically related group of ancient peoples who inhabited the Iranian Plateau and its borderlands, as well as areas of Central Asia from the Black Sea to Khotan (modern Ho-tien, China), form Persian mythology. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the lead section of this article may need to be expanded. ...


The second series

De Camp was reluctant to continue the series on his own, feeling that the collaboration with Pratt had a flavor impossible for either of them to duplicate alone. When he finally did revive the series in company with younger authors nearly forty years later this impression was seemingly borne out; while not without interest, his own solo contributions to the second series exhibit a wryer, more cynical view of the worlds toured, and the protagonists' problematic use of magic is abandoned. His interest appears to have shifted to debunking the less credible aspects of the universes visited, rather than taking these as a given and extrapolating how the from them the fantasy worlds' physical laws, as in the previous sequence. On the other hand, some of the new authors made credible efforts to duplicate de Camp and Pratt's original achievement, exploring fresh venues where their heroes once again have to learn the world's fundamental magical rules from the ground up. These younger authors arguably do a better job of capturing the exuberance and verve of the first series. Holly Lisle ("Knight and the Enemy"), John Maddox Roberts ("Arms and the Enchanter") and Tom Wham ("Harold Shakespeare") are particularly adept at recreating the original formula.


The impulse for the continuation appears to have been de Camp's desire to tie up the main loose end from the original series, in which Walter Bayard had been left stranded in the world of Irish myth, and to resolve the unaddressed complication introduced by Hubbard. Both of these goals were accomplished in "Sir Harold and the Gnome King" (1990). When the decision was made to continue the series further the story was revised slightly to reconcile it with the other new stories, but the fit is somewhat awkward.


Once the loose ends are resolved, most of the action in the second sequence involves Shea and Chalmers' quest across several universes to rescue Florimel, who has been kidnapped by the malevolent enchanter Malambroso. After Florimel is finally recovered a similar effort must be made to recover Shea and Belphebe's daughter Voglinda, likewise seized by the unrepentant Malambroso. A final tale sends Shea and Belephebe on an unrelated adventure precipitated by the foolishness of Shea's colleague Polacek.


Milieus encountered in the second series include the worlds of Irish myth and the Orlando Furioso (again) in "Professor Harold and the Trustees," L. Ron Hubbard's setting from The Case of the Friendly Corpse and L. Frank Baum's land of Oz in "Sir Harold and the Gnome King," the world of Taoist legend in "Sir Harold and the Monkey King," the romantic fantasies of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote (with the unique twist of its being Quixote's version of reality rather than Cervantes') in "Knight and the Enemy," Virgil's Graeco-Roman epic the Aeneid in "Arms and the Enchanter," the old Russian Tale of Igor's Campaign in "Enchanter Kiev," Bhavabhuti's Baital Pachisi (or "Vikram and the Vampire"), a proto-Arabian Nights collection of Indian tales, in "Sir Harold and the Hindu King," Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom in "Sir Harold of Zodanga," and William Shakespeare's The Tempest in "Harold Shakespeare." Lyman Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 – May 6, 1919) was an American author, and the creator with illustrator W. W. Denslow of one of the most popular books ever written in American childrens literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses of the words tao and dao, see Dao (disambiguation). ... Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (September 29, 1547 – April 23, 1616), was a Spanish novelist, poet and playwright. ... (now usually spelled by Spanish-speakers; is an archaic spelling) (IPA: ) or (The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha) is a novel by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. ... A sculpture of Virgil, probably from the 1st century AD. For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ... The Aeneid (IPA English pronunciation: ; in Latin Aeneis, pronounced — the title is Greek in form: genitive case Aeneidos): is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC (between 29 and 19 BC) that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy where he... The Tale of Igors Campaign (Old East Slavic: Слово о плъку Игоревѣ, Slovo o pălku Igorevě; Modern Russian: Слово о полку Игореве, Slovo o polku Igoreve) is an anonymous masterpiece of East Slavic literature written in Old East Slavic language and tentatively dated by the end of 12th century. ... Bhavabhuti, a 7th century scholar of India, is noted for his drams and poetry, written in Sanskrit. ... Baital Pachisi or Vetala Panchvimshati (Twenty five tales of Baital) is a legend from India. ... Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryar. ... Edgar Rice Burroughs Edgar Rice Burroughs (September 1, 1875 – March 19, 1950) was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan, although he also produced works in many genres. ... In 1911, Edgar Rice Burroughs, now best known as the creator of the character Tarzan, began his writing career with A Princess of Mars, a rousing tale of pulp adventure on the planet Barsoom or Mars. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


There exists one additional contribution to the series; "Return to Xanadu" by Lawrence Watt-Evans, which revisits the world of Kubla Khan and transfers a minor character appearing therein to that of The Arabian Nights by the agency of an unnamed magician who appears to be intended to represent L. Sprague de Camp himself. "Return to Xanadu" was first published in The Enchanter Completed: A Tribute Anthology for L. Sprague de Camp edited by Harry Turtledove and published by Baen Books in 2005. Lawrence Watt-Evans (born 1954) is the pseudonym of American fantasy author Lawrence Watt Evans. ... Kubla Khan, whose complete title is Kubla Khan, or a Vision in a Dream. ... Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryar. ... L. Sprague de Camp from the cover of Time and Chance: an Autobiography, Donald M. Grant, 1996 Lyon Sprague de Camp, (November 27, 1907, New York City – November 6, 2000, Plano, Texas) was an American science fiction and fantasy author. ... Harry Turtledove at Worldcon 2005 in Glasgow Harry Norman Turtledove (born June 14, 1949), is a historian and prolific novelist who has written historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction works. ... Baen Books logo Baen Books is an American publishing company established in 1983 by SF publishing industry long-timer Jim Baen (1943-2006). ...


Publication

The original publication of the first three Pratt and DeCamp collaborations ("Roaring Trumpet," "Mathematics of Magic," and The Castle of Iron) was in Unknown Magazine during its brief run. The remaining two appeared in Beyond Fantasy Magazine and Fantasy Magazine a few years later. Sir Harold and the Gnome King first appeared as a chapbook, and afterwards (slightly revised) with the remainder of the later continuations in regular trade books. Sinister Barrier by Eric Frank Russell Unknown (also known as Unknown Worlds) was a pulp fantasy magazine, edited by John W. Campbell, that was published from 1939 to 1943. ...


Bibliography

The original stories

  1. "The Roaring Trumpet" (May 1940) (L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt)
  2. "The Mathematics of Magic" (Aug. 1940) (L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt)
  3. "The Castle of Iron" (Apr. 1941, expanded to novel-length as The Castle of Iron, 1950) (L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt)
  4. "The Wall of Serpents" (1953) (L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt)
  5. "The Green Magician" (1954) (L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt)

The later stories

  1. "Sir Harold and the Gnome King" (1990) (L. Sprague de Camp)
  2. "Professor Harold and the Trustees" (1992) (Christopher Stasheff)
  3. "Sir Harold and the Monkey King" (1992) (Christopher Stasheff)
  4. "Knight and the Enemy" (1992) (Holly Lisle, from an outline by L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff)
  5. "Arms and the Enchanter" (1992) (John Maddox Roberts, from an outline by L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff)
  6. "Enchanter Kiev" (1995) (Roland J. Green & Frieda A. Murray)
  7. "Sir Harold and the Hindu King" (1995) (Christopher Stasheff)
  8. "Sir Harold of Zodanga" (1995) (L. Sprague de Camp)
  9. "Harold Shakespeare" (1995) (Tom Wham)
  10. "Return to Xanadu" (2005) (Lawrence Watt-Evans)

Collected editions

  1. The Incomplete Enchanter (1941) (L. Sprague DeCamp and Fletcher Pratt), includes: "The Roaring Trumpet" and "The Mathematics of Magic"
  2. The Castle of Iron (1950) (L. Sprague DeCamp and Fletcher Pratt), a novel-length expansion of the original story
  3. Wall of Serpents (1960) (L. Sprague DeCamp and Fletcher Pratt), includes: "The Wall of Serpents" and "The Green Magician"
  4. The Enchanter Reborn (1992) (L. Sprague DeCamp and Christopher Stasheff), includes: "Professor Harold and the Trustees," "Sir Harold and the Gnome King," "Sir Harold and the Monkey King," "Knight and the Enemy," and "Arms and the Enchanter"
  5. The Exotic Enchanter (1995) (L. Sprague DeCamp and Christopher Stasheff), includes: "Enchanter Kiev," "Sir Harold and the Hindu King," "Sir Harold of Zodanga," and "Harold Shakespeare"

The Incomplete Enchanter and The Castle of Iron have also been issued together as The Compleat Enchanter (1975); Wall of Serpents has also been issued under the title The Enchanter Completed (1980); all three volumes of the original series have also been issued together as The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989). The original tales and de Camp's additions from the 1990s will be released in 2007 as The Mathematics of Magic. The Roaring Trumpet in Unknown, May 1940 Harold Shea was a name given to a series of stories by L. Sprague deCamp, Fletcher Pratt, and in some cases Christopher Stasheff. ... The Castle of Iron by Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague de Camp, Gnome Press, 1950 The Castle of Iron is a fantasy novel written by science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, the second volume in their Harold Shea series. ... The Roaring Trumpet in Unknown, May 1940 Harold Shea was a name given to a series of stories by L. Sprague deCamp, Fletcher Pratt, and in some cases Christopher Stasheff. ... The Enchanter Reborn, edited by L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff, Baen Books, 1992 The Enchanter Reborn is an anthology of five fantasy short stories edited by science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff, the first volume in their continuation of the classic Harold... The Exotic Enchanter, edited by L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff, Baen Books, 1995 The Enchanter Reborn is an anthology of four fantasy short stories edited by science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Christopher Stasheff, the second volume in their continuation of the classic Harold... The Roaring Trumpet in Unknown, May 1940 Harold Shea was a name given to a series of stories by L. Sprague deCamp, Fletcher Pratt, and in some cases Christopher Stasheff. ... The Castle of Iron by Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague de Camp, Gnome Press, 1950 The Castle of Iron is a fantasy novel written by science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, the second volume in their Harold Shea series. ... The Compleat Enchanter by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, Nelson Doubleday, 1975 The Compleat Enchanter: The Magical Misadventures of Harold Shea is an omnibus collection of three classic fantasy stories by science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, gathering material previously published in... The Roaring Trumpet in Unknown, May 1940 Harold Shea was a name given to a series of stories by L. Sprague deCamp, Fletcher Pratt, and in some cases Christopher Stasheff. ... The Enchanter Completed is a title that has been given to two separate books relating to the fiction of science fiction and fantasy writer L. Sprague de Camp: A 1980 edition of the collection previously titled Wall of Serpents A 2005 festschrift honoring de Camp edited by Harry Turtledove whose... The Complete Compleat Enchanter by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, Baen Books, 1989 The Complete Compleat Enchanter is an omnibus collection of five classic fantasy stories by science fiction and fantasy authors L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, gathering material previously published in three volumes as The...


 
 

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