Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Works of Jack L. Chalker (Classic Science Fiction Book Series)

In my opinion, one of the most overlooked and under rated Science Fiction writers of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s was Jack L. Chalker. Jack passed away in 2005 after a two-year illness. He was 60 years old and I can’t help but feel that his body of work was cut much too short and that we are missing so many wonderfully creative stories because of his passing. I have been a long-time fan and would like to take a moment to rate the works of his that I’ve read. What I really enjoyed about Jack’s work is that most of his stories contained a long-term vision. Not a single 300 page story but massive, rolling three or four sometimes even five book epics that were fertile and rich in character, with creative worlds, and unique story-lines. His stories are always entertaining and highly creative and you’ll see by my ratings below that not one of his books rates lower than four stars which should tell you how much I value his work.

If you’re in the mood for some wonderful Science Fiction reading and have somehow disregarded this author I suggest you search out any of his novels. It wouldn’t surprise me to find that many of his books are now out of print but if I were you I’d head out to my favorite used book store and browse the shelves. It’ll be worth the quest. I promise. He is, by far, one of the very best Science Fiction authors that deserved to win both the Hugo and the Nebula Award but never did.

The Saga of the Well World Series


1. Midnight at the Well of Souls, Del Rey, 1977 (ISBN 0-7434-3522-2) 5 stars (one of my all time favorites)

2. Exiles at the Well of Souls, Del Rey, 1978 (ISBN 0-7434-3603-2) 5 stars

3. Quest for the Well of Souls, Del Rey, 1978 (ISBN 0-7434-7153-9) 5 stars

4. The Return of Nathan Brazil, Del Rey, 1980 (ISBN 0-345-28367-8) 4 ½ stars

5. Twilight at the Well of Souls, Del Rey, 1980 (ISBN 0-345-28368-6) 4 ½ stars

6. The Sea is Full of Stars, December, 1999 (ISBN 0-345-39486-0) 4 ½ stars

7. Ghost of the Well of Souls, 2000 (ISBN 0-345-39485-2) 4 ½ stars

The Watchers at the Well Series


1. Echoes of the Well of Souls, Del Rey, trade paperback, May, 1993 (ISBN 0-345-38686-8) 4 ½ stars

2. Shadow of the Well of Souls, Del Rey Feb. 1994 (ISBN 0-345-36202-0) 4 ½ stars

3. Gods of the Well of Souls, Del Rey, 1994 (ISBN 0-345-38850-X) 4 ½ stars

The Four Lords of the Diamond Series


1. Lilith: A Snake in the Grass, Del Rey, 1981 (ISBN 0-345-29369-X) 4 stars

2. Cerberus: A Wolf in the Fold, Del Rey, 1982 (ISBN 0-345-31122-1) 4 stars

3. Charon: A Dragon at the Gate, Del Rey, 1982 (ISBN 0-345-29370-3) 4 stars

4. Medusa: A Tiger by the Tail, Del Rey, 1983 (ISBN 0-345-29372-X) 4 stars

The Four Lords of the Diamond, The Science Fiction Book Club (omnibus edition), 1983

The Dancing Gods Series


1. The River of Dancing Gods, Del Rey, 1984 (ISBN 0-345-30892-1) 4 stars

2. Demons of the Dancing Gods, Del Rey, 1984 (ISBN 0-345-30893-X) 4 stars

3. Vengeance of the Dancing Gods, Del Rey, July, 1985 (ISBN 0-345-31549-9) 4 stars

4. Songs of the Dancing Gods, Del Rey, August, 1990 (ISBN 0-345-34799-4) 4 stars

5. Horrors of the Dancing Gods, 1994 (ISBN 0-345-37692-7) 4 stars

The Dancing Gods: Part One, Del Rey, November, 1995 (ISBN 0-345-40246-4)

The Dancing Gods II, Del Rey, September, 1996 (ISBN 0-345-40771-7)

The Soul Rider Series


1. Spirits of Flux and Anchor, Tor Books, 1984 (ISBN 0-8125-3320-8) 4 stars

2. Empires of Flux and Anchor, Tor Books, 1984 (ISBN 0-8125-3329-1) 4 stars

3. Masters of Flux and Anchor, Tor Books, January, 1985 (ISBN 0-8125-3281-3) 4 stars

4. The Birth of Flux and Anchor, Tor Books, 1985 (ISBN 0-8125-2292-3) 4 stars

5. Children of Flux and Anchor, Tor Books, September, 1986 (ISBN 0-8125-2340-7) 4 stars

The Rings of the Master Series


1. Lords of the Middle Dark Del Rey Books, May, 1986 (ISBN 0-345-32560-5) 4 stars

2. Pirates of the Thunder, Del Rey Books, March, 1987 (ISBN 0-345-32561-3) 4 stars

3. Warriors of the Storm, Del Rey Books, August, 1987 (ISBN 0-345-32562-1) 4 stars

4. Masks of the Martyrs, Del Rey, February, 1988 (ISBN 0-345-34309-3) 4 stars

The G.O.D. Inc Series


1. The Labyrinth of Dreams. Tor Books, March, 1987 (ISBN 0-8125-3306-2) 4 stars

2. The Shadow Dancers, Tor Books, July, 1987 (ISBN 0-812-53308-9) 4 stars

3. The Maze in the Mirror, Tor Books, January, 1989 (ISBN 0-8125-2069-6) 4 stars

The Changewinds Series


1. When the Changewinds Blow, Ace - Putnams, September, 1987 4 stars

2. Riders of the Winds, Ace Books, May, 1988 4 stars

3. War of the Maelstrom, Ace - Putnams, October, 1988 (ISBN 0-441-10268-9) 4 stars

The Quintara Marathon Series


1. The Demons at Rainbow Bridge, Ace-Putnam's, hardcover, September, 1989 (ISBN 0-441-69992-8) 4 stars

2. The Run to Chaos Keep, Ace - Putnams, May, 1991 (ISBN 0-441-69348-2) 4 stars

3. The Ninety Trillion Fausts (a.k.a. 90 Trillion Fausts), Ace - Putnams, October 1991 (ISBN 0-441-58103-X) 4 stars

The Wonderland Gambit Series


1. The Cybernetic Walrus, Del Rey, trade pb in November, 1995 4 stars

2. The March Hare Network, 1996 4 stars

3. The Hot-Wired Dodo, Del Rey, Feb. 1997 4 stars

The Three Kings Series


1. Balshazzar's Serpent, Baen Books 1999 4 stars

2. Melchior's Fire, Baen Books, 2001. 4 stars

3. Kaspar's Box, 2003 4 stars

Stand-alone Novels

A Jungle of Stars, Ballantine, Del Rey, 1976 (ISBN 0-345-28960-9) 4 ½ stars

The Web of the Chozen, Del Rey, 1978 (ISBN 0-345-27376-1) 5 stars

And the Devil Will Drag You Under, Del Rey, 1979 (ISBN 0-345-30504-3) 5 stars

A War of Shadows, Ace: An Analog Book, 1979 4 ½ stars

Dancers in the Afterglow, Del Rey, 1979, 1982 (ISBN 0-345-30493-4) 5 stars

The Devil's Voyage, Doubleday, 1980 4 stars

The Identity Matrix, Timescape: Pocket Books, 1982 (ISBN 0-671-65547-7) 4 stars

Downtiming the Night Side, Tor Books, May, 1985 (ISBN 0-8125-3288-0) 4 ½ stars

The Messiah Choice, St. Martins - Blue Jay, May, 1985 4 stars

The Red Tape War (with Mike Resnick and George Alec Effinger). Tor hardcover, April, 1991 (not read)

Priam's Lens, Del Rey 1997 (ISBN 0-345-40294-4) 4 stars

The Moreau Factor, Del Rey Feb., 2000 4 stars

Chameleon (partially completed at time of death) (not read)

Collections and Anthologies

Dance Band on the Titanic, Del Rey Books, July, 1988 (short stories) 4 stars

Hotel Andromeda [edited by], Ace, 1994 (ISBN 0-441-00010-X) (not read)

Additional Reading:

Jack L. Chalker Wikipedia Entry

NNDB Jack L. Chalker Site

Fantastic Fiction Jack L. Chalker Page

Baen Books Jack L. Chalker Page

Darrell K. Sweet (Artist) Site


Anonymous said...

Today, I went to the beachfront with my children.

I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and
said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear and
screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic
but I had to tell someone!

my webpage; acoustic guitar chord

JeffTerry said...

We own a VRBO on the Oregon coast. Last Summer, one of our guests stole about 35 Jack Chalker books from the library room. I am heart Broken. I sincerely hope that the next time Nathan recreates the universe, he gives special consideration to this thief.
It will cost me about $300 to recover my prized collection...I am half way there...