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Elaine Cunningham

Elaine CunninghamElaine Cunningham is an American fantasy and science fiction author, especially known for her contributions to the Dungeons & Dragons role playing game campaign setting of Forgotten Realms, including the realms of Evermeet, Halruaa, Ruathym and Waterdeep. Elaine Cunningham grew up in New York state and New England.[1] She earned a degree in music, taught Music and History for several years, and then went back to grad school. Elaine lives in New England with her husband, their two sons, and two eccentric Siamese cats.


The City of Splendors: Not WOTC’s usual fare

The City of Splendors by Ed Greenwood & Elaine Cunningham

The City of Splendors is very different from Wizards of the Coast's usual fare. In fact, it's even unusual for The Forgotten Realms, and that's saying something.

The story almost seems to have no main character, no central conflict, and no central motivation. It revolves around many characters who live their lives in Waterdeep, also known as the City of Splendors due to its astonishing beauty and variety. The interconnectedness of the central characters and the way that they interact with each other and the city that surrounds them (both the actual city and its citizens) is so cleverly written that the reader is never sure just what might happen next.

As with any sword and sorcery novel, there is the usual blood-letting, magic-hurling, rescuing damsels in distress ... Read More

Magazine Monday: Fantasy Magazine, Women Destroy Fantasy

Fantasy Magazine was folded into Lightspeed Magazine in 2012, but it came out of retirement in October 2014 for the Women Destroy Fantasy issue, one of the stretch goals of a Kickstarter for an all-women edition of Lightspeed. I was one of the contributors to the Kickstarter, and, as my review last week revealed, I greatly enjoyed the Women Destroy Horror issue of Nightmare Magazine that was another stretch goal of the same Kickstarter. I’m pleased to report that the fantasy issue is just as “destructive” and enjoyable.

Cat Rambo guest-edited the new fiction for this issue of Fantasy. Her editorial remarks on the difficulty of seeing the shape of a field when you’re smack in the middle of it. You can see fine details, but the overall structure, size a... Read More

More fantasy by Elaine Cunningham

Changeling — (2004) Publisher: Gwen “GiGi” Gelman, a ten year veteran of the Providence, Rhode Island vice squad, finds herself unemployed after being blamed for a routine bust that turned into a bloodbath. GiGi is used to being on her own, though, and with the help of a DA who owes her, she’s scraped together enough capital to start her own PI business, specializing in”family problems” — in particular runaways who have disappeared into Providence’s seamy underside. With a few custodian kidnapping cases under her belt, as well as a case against a Catholic school teacher/molester, Gigi is doing well for herself — until she takes on the case of a fourteen year old runaway who may or may not have been kidnapped. As Gigi investigates, she accidentally opens the door to her own mystical past. Now long-hidden family ties threaten her, and the secret of her identity unlocks a conspiracy that reveals the forces of darkness that play in the shadows… Forces that intend to be the masters of all mortal life.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviews

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Blood Red Harp (Everquest) — (2006) Publisher: He has the harp — now he needs a bard who can play it well enough to uncover its secrets. But Faydwer’s bards consider harps to be quaint folk instruments, unworthy of their attention. Elizerain grew up with a harp in her hands. A merry, fun-loving wood elf, she collects ballads like other adventures collect treasure. If these story-songs are entertaining, she doesn’t care if they’re accurate. That was before a necromancer’s curse gave her a choice: learn the true stories behind her ballads, or die screaming. One such ballad features her new red harp. Intent on her search, surrounded by deadly enemies and treacherous alliances, Elizerain doesn’t realize that the real danger may be the harp itself.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsJust Keep Weaving — (2012) Publisher: A collection of short stories by New York Times best-selling author Elaine Cunningham. This eclectic mix includes ghost stories, Arthurian tales, urban fantasy, flash fiction, and tales inspired by myth and folklore. In “Trophy Wife,” Lilith, first wife of Adam, practices law and revenge as a Los Angeles divorce attorney. A pirate in 18th century Newport, Rhode Island narrates the ironically named ghost story “Dead Men Tell No Tales.” When a former hit man is haunted by bad guys he turned into dead guys, he finds unexpected help from a suburban kitchen witch and a few hundred “Ravens.” A very young Lancelot travels to the fairy realm to begin his training as “Knight of the Lake.” In “She Who Is Becoming,” a Norse goddess follows Danish warships to Ireland, where she contends with the Morrigan, the Celtic goddess of battle, for the destiny of mankind.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews

A Single Thread — (2012) Publisher: Something is amiss in the Forest Kingdom. Magical wards protecting the lands of the elves have faltered. Mellindria, an opportunistic bard forced to spy for the elven Queen, becomes entangled in a story six hundred years in the making. A Kingdoms of Legend short story from New York Times bestselling author Elaine Cunningham!