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Richard Lee Byers

(1950- )
Richard Lee Byers is the author of over thirty fantasy and horror novels, including a number set in the Forgotten Realms universe. A resident of the Tampa Bay area, the setting for many of his horror stories, he spends much of his free time fencing and playing poker.

Unclean: Excellent sword and sorcery romp

Unclean by Richard Lee Byers

What happens when a young bard returns home to find the lover he left gone? What would you do if you saw your entire regiment slaughtered by the undead? If an undead lich made a grab for control of your country, even if that country is the notoriously self-serving Thay?

It is these questions that Richard Lee Byers’ attempts to answer in Unclean: The Haunted Lands. Byers continues to show his writing prowess in the shared world arena by tackling a difficult topic in the Forgotten Realms world: the undead. Traditionally seen as evil through and through, represented usually as vampires, zombies, skeletons, ghosts, and ghouls, Byers has developed their characters, added some new creatures, and moved beyond the hack/slash utility of the traditional monsters.

The story follows two characters. Braeris i... Read More

Cthuthlu Fhtagn!: Variety is the spice of the Elder Gods

Cthuthlu Fhtagn! edited by Ross Lockhart

Usually, I shy away from reviewing books whose name I can’t pronounce. Since this title is in the language of the Elder Gods, though, it’s probably better that I can’t pronounce it. Aklo, H.P. Lovecraft’s mystical language, was never meant for human voices to speak anyway, as editor Ross Lockhart explains in his introduction. Lockhart also informs us that the meaning of “Fhtagn” was given to him in a dream (presumably by the Old Ones) and it means “house.” Anyway, Cthuhlu Fhtagn! is the third Cthulhu-themed anthology Word Horde has done, and Lockhart is now getting mystical information while he sleeps… I’d keep an eye on him, if I were you.

Cthulhu Fhtagn!
has 19 stories. Many, but not all, do involve buildings; al... Read More

More speculative fiction by Richard Lee Byers

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsFright Line — (1989)

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Vampire’s Apprentice — (1992) Publisher: From acclaimed horror and fantasy writer Richard Lee Byers comes a reissue of a classic vampire tale. Awakening embalmed and buried in his own grave, David Brent claws his way to the surface to find himself transformed, a walking corpse abandoned by his mentor and tortured by relentless thirst. This is not what Carter, the charming vampire, promised before turning him. Where is Carter now, and who will teach David how to feed his insatiable hunger, use his new immortal powers, and stay out of harm’s way? Abandoned and betrayed, dead to everyone he’s ever loved, David loathes and fears his savage new existence, but his rage won’t let him perish. An inhabitant of the darkness, a bloodthirsty, night-stalking monster, David finds his own way, teaching himself the answers to the ancient mysteries he is now heir to . . . and when he finally masters his many powers, David goes looking for Carter.

DeadtimeDead Time — (1992) Publisher: Three weeks have passed since his sister Cheryl’s murder at the hands of a serial killer, and now Jack is getting his wish — to go back in time to warn Cheryl. Dark Fortune

Dark Fortune — (1993) Publisher: A trip to a curio shop, and a visit with a Tarot card-reading fortune teller, gives Reverend Carpenter the power to heal, but the power has deadly consequences.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsBlind God’s Bluff: A Billy Fox Novel — (2013) Publisher: Ante up for the game of a lifetime! Billy Fox, a small-time gambler on a losing streak, has more than enough problems on his hands, owing too much money to some very impatient people. But when he rescues a blinded stranger from a swarm of bloodthirsty fairies, Billy’s life gets a lot more complicated. . . . Seems the stranger is actually a powerful local god who is involved in a high-stakes Florida poker tournament against various supernatural challengers. And with his eyes currently missing, he needs somebody to take his place at the gaming table. Before Billy knows it, he finds himself playing against the likes of an ancient Egyptian mummy, an unbearably seductive succubus, a mechanical man, an insect queen, and a cannibalistic beast-man. And not just cards are in play; magic, bloodshed, and cheating are not only expected, they’re encouraged. Everybody, including a sexy satyr-girl with her own cards up her sleeve, thinks that Billy is in way over his head. But Billy is a born gambler and, when the chips are down, he might just change his luck for good! Blind God’s Bluff is an outrageously addictive urban fantasy that will keep you flipping pages until the very last hand.