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Dennis L. McKiernan

Dennis L McKiernan(1932- )
Dennis L. McKiernan was born April 4, 1932, in Moberly, Missouri, where he lived until age eighteen, when he joined the U.S. Air Force and served four years spanning the Korean War. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri in 1958 and an M.S. in the same field from Duke University in 1964. He spent thirty-one years as one of the AT&T Bell Laboratories whiz kids in research and development before changing careers to be a full-time writer. Read excerpts from Dennis L. McKiernan’s novels, and answers to questions from readers, at his website.

City of Jade: A real snooze-fest

City of Jade by Dennis L. McKiernan

I hate to say it, because I have always liked the world of Mithgar, and most of the novels by Dennis L. McKiernan, but City of Jade is a real snooze-fest. Characters travel around, there are two battle scenes, and many characters nearly die, but are saved rather quickly. City of Jade lacks any real suspense. It's Lord of the Rings without the trip to Mordor, or George R.R. Martin without the political intrigue. If you don't have those, there pretty much is no story. And so it is for City of Jade.

This is a sad thing, because for people who like Tolkien replicates, Mithgar is a pretty cool world.... Read More

Once Upon a Winter’s Night: We don’t need this anymore

Once Upon a Winter’s Night by Dennis L. McKiernan

have a thing for retold fairy tales. There was a time when I had even more of a thing for retold fairy tales. I was obsessed. I combed bookstores for anything claiming to be a retelling of this or that. I was especially interested in treatments of the lesser-known tales, and one of those lesser-known tales was “East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon.”

When I learned of Once Upon a Winter’s Night, I was ecstatic. I hadn’t stumbled across any other retellings of “East o’ the Sun” and I bought this novel eagerly. I remember enjoying it at the time. It wasn’t incredibly deep, adding length but no new layers to the tale, but I thought it was sweet and fun for the most part. Yet it left a vague, unpleasant taste in my mouth that I couldn’t quite define at the time.

I can define it now. Sexism. Here are a few highlights:
... Read More

More books by Dennis L. Kiernan

Black Foxes — (1996-2014) Publisher: Caverns of Socrates — (1996) Publisher: They called themselves the Black Foxes, a group of adventure gamers who transformed into: a pathfinder, a master healer, a bard whose music works surprising magic, a syldari Shadowmaster able to bend the darkness itself, and the leader, himself a warrior extraordinaire. They were chose to help test Avery, an artificial intelligence designed to create a virtual reality universe so convincing that the Black Foxes would forget the outside world. But no one anticipated losing control of Avery. Now the only hope for the Black Foxes rests in carrying out a dangerous quest to defeat the Demonqueen and beat Avery at its own deadly game.

caverns of socratesfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsAt the Edge of the Forest — (2012) Publisher: Elizabeth Conway is missing, and someone is trying to kill Raven Cathleens Haven is a centuries-old dwelling at the edge of the forest known as Hunters Wood. To this retreat comes twenty-seven-year-old Raven Conway, bestselling author and Trustee of an enormous fortune. It has been three years since Raven has seen her younger sister, Elizabeth, who is afflicted with a baffling ailment that keeps her confined to the refuge and the fringes of the woodland beyond. But when Raven arrives she discovers her sister has vanished, as did their mother seven years past. Whether Elizabeth has been murdered or kidnapped, or has fled in fear, or has run away with a lover, Raven does not know, but she is determined to find the only sister she has. Yet even as Raven looks for her sister, killers come looking for Raven; someone wants her dead. Hired by the Trust to keep Raven alive, Nicholas Rogan — ex Army Ranger and the head of Blackledge Security — joins Raven in her search for Elizabeth and in untangling the mysteries revealed. A heart-pounding mystery that deepens at every turn — involving ancient legends, inexplicable kings’ grants, a secret Presidential Executive Order, a fortune with a shadowy past, and a search for answers to questions too long ignored. A Mystery, a Romance, a novel of the Paranormal, take heed, the reader is warned: as it is with any of bestselling author Dennis L. McKiernan’s stories, prepare to be surprised.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsStrange Reflections — (2013) Publisher: Naxianpheria is a Demon of a different sort, and Mages, or, that is, a limited number of Mages are her bane. Yet she has ways of coping with them in a world ignorant of science. In a house filled with light there dwells a dark terror, much to the dismay of the one who perhaps happens to be the last living relative of the former owner. Crossing a moor at night can be quite deadly, for should the Wild Hunt come riding by… well, best not be out, then. Far within the deep dark woods there sits a tower with no doors. Take care, should you stumble across it. There comes a time in every dead man’s repose when enough is quite enough. But there are ways of getting even. It is incumbent upon those casting spells simply to get them right, else the consequences, no matter how pleasurable, can be quite fatal. Those stories and more lie within this book, rather like pools of strange reflections. Dennis L. McKiernan has long enchanted fans and critics alike with his tales of Mithgar and Faery and his Caverns of Socrates. Yet McKiernan is also the author of a number of shorter stories, most of which appeared in various anthologies. This collection finally gathers them together in one place for your enjoyment.