Ballantine Adult Fantasy: Ernest Bramah
May03

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: Ernest Bramah

An English writer with a varied bibliography ranging from humor, to dystopian science fiction, to mystery tales of the blind detective Max Carrados, Ernest Bramah achieved literary success and is still best known for his tales of itinerant Chinese storyteller, Kai Lung. Bramah’s combination of understated humor, familiarity with East Asian culture and mythology, and most especially his inspired ‘translation’ of the...

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Ballantine Adult Fantasy: William Morris
Mar29

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: William Morris

One of the most significant figures in the cultural life of Victorian England, William Morris (1834-1896) was everything from a poet, translator, and writer of medievalist fantasy, to a political activist, printer, champion of building preservation, and a renowned innovator in textile manufacturing and interior design. When Lin Carter oversaw the Ballantine Adult Fantasy line (1969-74), he brought many of Morris’ out-of-print...

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Ballantine Adult Fantasy: E.R. Eddison
Feb18

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: E.R. Eddison

The success of The Lord of the Rings in paperback led to a fantasy boom in publishing — and in particular a boom at Ballantine. In the wake of Tolkien’s success, they turned to fellow English fantasist E.R. Eddison for more fiction in a similar vein, re-publishing both his landmark 1922 novel The Worm Ouroboros, but also the three books in his 1930s Zimiamvian Trilogy. All four of these books were published before the...

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Ballantine Adult Fantasy: The Lord of the Rings
Sep30

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: The Lord of the Rings

Strictly speaking, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings isn’t actually part of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, but it might be fair to say it’s the series’ very foundation. With a rather weird publishing history in the United States, Tolkien’s epic finally got an ‘authorized’ edition of three paperbacks from Ballantine in 1965, along with a reprint of The Hobbit. Already a hit, The Lord...

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Ballantine Adult Fantasy: William Hope Hodgson
Aug03

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: William Hope Hodgson

William Hope Hodgson, godfather to cosmic horror and ghost detectives alike, had two books reprinted in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy line, The Boats of the Glen Carrig and The Night Land. The Night Land was published in two volumes because of its length — more controversially it received heavy editing from series editor Lin Carter to render Hodgson’s deliberately difficult prose more accessible. Both covers from Robert...

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Ballantine Adult Fantasy: Lord Dunsany
Jul23

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: Lord Dunsany

Among the most reprinted authors in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy line was Lord Dunsany, the Anglo-Irish peer who was also a tremendously prolific short story writer and playwright. Dunsany’s sweeping elegies of imagined worlds were both reminiscent of classical myth and the dreaming aesthetic of the visionary fantasists and tellers of Weird Tales going back to Poe. Dunsany is cited as an influence by almost every major writer of...

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Ballantine Adult Fantasy: Fletcher Pratt’s The Blue Star
Jun08

Ballantine Adult Fantasy: Fletcher Pratt’s The Blue Star

Ballantine kicked off its Adult Fantasy line in 1969 with Fletcher Pratt’s The Blue Star. A fantasy set in a parallel Earth where witchcraft has replaced science resulting in a 20th century culture and society more reminiscent of the 18th. In Pratt’s world, hereditary psychic powers can only be held by one female member of a family at any given time, being passed from mother to daughter upon the latter’s coming of...

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Classic Covers: Ballantine Fantasy
May28

Classic Covers: Ballantine Fantasy

The decade of fantasy publishing kicked off by the runaway success of the The Lord of the Rings produced not only a flurry of reprints of classic fantasy, but also an entire crop of creative, iconic, and visionary cover designs. Ballantine Books launched its iconic Ballantine Adult Fantasy line on the strength of the fantasy boom, featuring cover art as wonderous as the contents of the books themselves. We’ve gathered together...

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Appendix N Archaeology: The Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
Apr18

Appendix N Archaeology: The Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series

Our Appendix N Archaeology and Adventures in Fiction series are meant to take a look at the writers and creators behind the genre(s) that helped to forge not only our favorite hobby but our lives. We invite you to explore the entirety of the series on our Adventures In Fiction home page. Appendix N Archaeology: The Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series by Michael Curtis More than a decade before Gary Gygax assembled his list of influential...

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