Monday, March 24, 2014

Lucius Shepard (1943-2014)

Lucius Shepard has an odd connection with British story papers as he was a youthful contributor to Collins' For Boys and Girls, later renamed Collins Young Elizabethan. Shepard's story 'Pasture for a Horse' was the winner of the Overseas Prize for the paper's short story contest in 1953. By the time the story appeared the following year, Shepard had already been a growing star in the paper for around 14 months.

His final tally was four short stories and four non-fiction pieces: "We Meet a Native" (June 1952), "Camp Greenville" (January 1953), "Fidgets" (September 1953), "Florida Island" (October 1953), "A Journey to Cuba" (May 1954), "Pasture for a Horse" (August 1954), "Losing and Finding Fidgets" (September 1954) and "The House in the Woods" (January 1955).

Shepard later claimed that he was born in 1947, and that these youthful contributions were actually the work of his father. However official US records – and his appearance in a 1945 Florida census! – make it clear that Lucius Taylor Shepard was born in 1943. The son of William and Lucia Shepard, he was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, but raised in Daytona Beach, Florida, where he attended Seabreeze High School, Daytona Beach.

When compiling the listing below, I was surprised to discover that Shepard was one of a number of leading SF authors (John Varley being another) whose work dries up as far as British publishers are concerned. The last of his collections to appear was in 1997 and the last three books listed – against my usual policy of only showing paperback covers – were from specialist publisher PS Publishing. Perhaps his preference for short stories works up to novella length worked against him in a publishing climate that favours novels over shorter works.

Green Eyes
Chatto & Windus 0701-13055-5, 275pp, £3.95. Cover by Donald Macpherson
Grafton/Panther 0586-07104-0, 1987, 332pp, £3.50. Cover by Gino D'Achille
Orion 0752-81613-6, 1998, 275pp, £5.99.

The Jaguar Hunter
Paladin 0576-08719-2, 1988, 429pp, £5.95. Cover by Liz Wright

Life During Wartime
Paladin 0586-08797-4, 1989, 384pp.
Orion 0752-81614-4, 1998, 448pp.
Gollancz 0575-07734-4 [SF Masterworks 66], 2006, 418pp, £6.99. Cover by Dominic Harman

Legend 0712-62169-5, 1990, 160pp.

The Golden
Millennium 1857-98110-3, 1993, 216pp.

The Ends of the Earth
Millennium 1857-98125-1, 1994, 484pp, £8.99. Cover by Chris Moore *
Millennium 1857-98169-3, 1994, 484pp, £5.99. Cover by Chris Moore *
    * Same cover earlier used on Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise (Pan, 1980)

Barnacle Bill the Spacer and Other Stories
Orion 1857-98500-1, 1997, 256pp.
Millennium 0752-81609-8, 1998, 304pp.

PS Publishing, 2003. h/c. Cover by Edward Miller

Dagger Key and Other Stories
PS Publishing 978-1904-61973-4, 2007. h/c. Cover by J. K. Potter

Viator Plus
PS Publishing 978-1848-63035-2, 2009. h/c. Cover by Jim Burns

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