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Sean Stewart

Sean Stewart(1965- )
Born in Lubbock, Texas, Sean Stewart moved to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1968. After stints in Houston, Texas, Vancouver, British Columbia, Irvine, California and Monterey, California, he now lives in Davis, California, with his wife and two daughters. He received an Honors degree in English from University of Alberta in 1987, following which he spent many years writing novels. He gradually moved from writing novels to interactive fiction, first as lead writer on the Web based Alternate Reality Game The Beast. Stewart served as a consultant on several computer games, and was on the management team of the 4orty2wo Entertainment experiential marketing and entertainment company, where he was lead writer for Haunted Apiary aka ilovebees and Last Call Poker. His newest novel Cathy’s Book seems to represent the melding of his two careers, as it crosses the alternate reality game format with a teen novel. In 2007, he and several 4orty2wo co-founders left that company to start Fourth Wall Studios.

Resurrection Man: A gem of literary fantasy

Resurrection Man by Sean Stewart

Not knowing who Sean Stewart was prior to reading Resurrection Man, it was more than a pleasant surprise to find such a well written book with poignant themes. Hiding on the margins of literature, Stewart’s novel tells the story of a Hungarian family living in the US and their attempts to come to terms with skeletons in the closet after WII, both personal and familial. But it is not the 1950’s America you know from history; magic in the form of charms and strange, unexplainable occurrences are a natural part of everyday life.

The opening lines of the novel find the protagonist Dante staring down at his own dead body. Thinking it an ill omen, he sets about solving the riddle. But Dante is not alone in unraveling the mystery. His mysterious adopted brother Jet hangs on the periphery, offering the most spiritual of advice, while his sister, Sarah, fights personal probl... Read More

Clouds End: Some of Stewart’s best writing

Clouds End by Sean Stewart

I love Sean Stewart, and I wish he hadn't given up on writing fantasy. His books are always a treat and pay back tenfold the effort put into them by the reader. Clouds End was Stewart's "pure fantasy" novel, in contrast to the mixed urban fantasy with science fictional elements type of story that characterizes the majority of his works. I have to admit that the first time I tried to read this book I didn't like it. I still think that Stewart wasn't fully successful in realizing what he was attempting, but Clouds End still has some of Stewart's best writing and character development, and a marvelous vision of a magical world.

Stewart has said that he wanted to write an epic fantasy in the mould of Tolkien, but from his own agnostic perspective as opposed to the religiously infused one of Tolkien. The world he creates i... Read More

The Night Watch: Primarily about human relationships

The Night Watch by Sean Stewart

Sean Stewart is one of those writers I used to buy sight unseen (before he unfortunately dropped out of writing novels and decided to devote his time to writing interactive online games). His books tend to be very character driven, something I personally like, and he has an individual writing style that manages to be “writerly” without getting bogged down in stylistic tricks.

The Night Watch is the story of a future earth in the year 2074 after an inundation of magic has flooded the world (this flood started soon after WWII in Stewart's timeline) and only pockets of human civilization are left in the sea of wild and magical frontiers (in this the story can be seen as a member of the same universe as Stewart’s Resurrection Man and Galveston). The novel concentrates on two societies, the Southside, which is a relatively technological and militaristic state located w... Read More

Galveston: May be Sean Stewart’s best novel

Galveston by Sean Stewart

This may be Sean Stewart's best novel, though it is not my favourite. Here we see Stewart displaying full mastery of his prose, his characterization, and his depiction of a fully realized magical world. Be warned though, neither the characters, nor the world presented, are always pleasant to behold.

We follow the story of Josh Cane, a young man with a chip on his shoulder due to the constrained circumstances of his life that are the result of his father's loss of a pivotal game of poker. Add to this the fact that Josh lives in a world after the occurrence of a magical apocalypse wherein everyone has to work hard to survive, not only due to their physical circumstances, but also due to the perilous proximity of the magical Otherworld, and you have the makings of a pretty downbeat story. Stewart himself has described this book as: "...your Basic "Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Everything, Girl becomes her Own Evil Twin, Boy... Read More

More speculative fiction by Sean Stewart

Sean Stewart Passion PlayPassion Play — (1992) Publisher: When great actor and Redemption government spokesperson Jonathan Mask is found electrocuted, police hire free-lance hunter and shapeshifter Diane Fletcher to track the killer.

Sean Stewart Mockingbird, Nobody's SonNobody’s Son — (1993) Young adult. Publisher: An award-winning novel tells the story of a peasant who is rewarded by the king for breaking an age-old curse on the kingdom, only to find that living happily ever after is not so simple. The magical tale of the unhappy things that happen to a hero after “happily ever after” — a Canadian Library Association Best Young Adult Novel.

Sean Stewart MockingbirdMockingbird — (1998) Publisher: Sean Stewart’s distinctive prose has been praised as “emotionally intense” by the New York Times. Now in Mockingbird, he combines haunting simplicity with eloquence in a tale of two sisters bound by their mother’s gift — a legacy of magic… When Toni Beauchamp’s mother died, she and her sister Candy thought it meant a new beginning, a life free of magic. But Elena Beauchamp had one last gift for her daughter — a sip from the Mockingbird Cordial. And the moment Toni held the drink to her lips, her life would never be the same….Sean Stewart Passion Play, Perfect Circle

Perfect Circle — (2004) aka Firecracker. Publisher: William “Dead” Kennedy is in trouble. He’s thirty-two, in love with his ex-wife, has lost his job, and he’s been dreaming about ghost roads again. Sometimes a guy is haunted for a really good reason.