Wurts, Janny

Tagged: Art | Author

(1953-    ) American artist and author, married since 1989 to artist Don Maitz. In 1975, she graduated from Hampshire College with a BA in creative writing and illustration, apt preparation for the two activities that would define her career. Her first published artworks were interior illustrations for naturalist Daniel P Mannix's novel The Wolves of Paris (1978), which led to other assignments to illustrate wildlife; she has also worked in advertising. In the early 1980s, she launched simultaneous careers in writing and illustrating sf with the publication of the Fantasy novel Sorcerer's Legacy (1982) and a number of book covers. While her first cover, for Philip José Farmer's collection Father to the Stars (coll 1981), featured a nondescript Spaceship, her cover for the August 1982 issue of Fantasy Book, showing a winged horse landing near a large tree, better reflected her interest in Fantasy. Yet she produced a nice cover for a 1983 edition of Norman Spinrad's Bug Jack Barron (1968), showing a man's face within a circular porthole, partially covered by another face on a television screen, and for books in Gary Gygax's Galactic Commando series, she painted some interesting images of insect-like creatures in space. However, as she devoted more time to her writing, Wurts painted fewer and fewer covers for other writers, though she continued to illustrate almost all of her own novels. In 1989, she married artist Don Maitz, and they have occasionally collaborated in producing artwork, such as their lush, colourful covers for the 2001 paperback editions of the three books in Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry series (1984-1986). Wurts also won a Chesley Award for the cover of her own Curse of the Mistwraith (1993), an intense portrait of a dark-haired man holding a lute next to his blonde half-brother.

Overall, Wurts has received more acclaim for her artwork than for her novels, which might be generally dismissed as rather standard-issue Heroic Fantasy, though Wurts reports that she strives to produce richly detailed prose that will have the same impact as her art in allowing readers to experience a fantasy world. Still, given her twin talents, it seems that the Graphic Novel would be the most natural outlet for her ambitions, instead of illustrated novels, though she has to date avoided the form; and as long as her novels continue to attract readers, Wurts seems unlikely to alter her current career path. [GW]

Janny Wurts

born Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania: 10 December 1953

died

works

series

Cycle of Fire

  • Stormwarden (New York: Ace Books, 1984) [Cycle of Fire: pb/Janny Wurts]
  • Keeper of the Keys (New York: Ace Books, 1988) [Cycle of Fire: pb/Janny Wurts]
  • Shadowfane (New York: Ace Books, 1988) [Cycle of Fire: pb/Janny Wurts]
    • Cycle of Firesfgateway.com (New York: HarperPrism, 1999) [omni of the above three titles: Cycle of Fire: pb/Janny Wurts]

Riftwar Universe/Kelewan Empire

  • Daughter of the Empire (New York: Doubleday, 1987) with Raymond E Feist [Riftwar Universe/Kelewan Empire: hb/Janny Wurts]
  • Servant of the Empire (New York: Doubleday Foundation, 1989) with Raymond E Feist [Riftwar Universe/Kelewan Empire: hb/Don Maitz]
  • Mistress of the Empire (New York: Doubleday Foundation, 1992) with Raymond E Feist [Riftwar Universe/Kelewan Empire: hb/Don Maitz]

The Wars of Light and Shadow

  • Curse of the Mistwraith (London: HarperCollins, 1993) [Wars of Light and Shadow: hb/Janny Wurts]
  • The Ships of Merior (London: HarperCollins, 1994) [Wars of Light and Shadow: hb/Janny Wurts]
  • Warhosts of Vastmark (London: HarperCollins, 1995) [Wars of Light and Shadow: hb/Janny Wurts]
    • The Ships of Merior (New York: HarperPrism, 1995) [omni of two above titles, though others regard this volume as the complete version of The Ships of Merior, classifying the prior two volumes as its first and second parts: Wars of Light and Shadow: hb/Janny Wurts]
  • Fugitive Prince (New York: HarperPrism, 1997) [Wars of Light and Shadow: hb/Janny Wurts]
  • Grand Conspiracy (London: Voyager/HarperCollins, 1999) [Wars of Light and Shadow: hb/Janny Wurts]
  • Peril's Gate (London: Voyager, 2001) [Wars of Light and Shadow: hb/Janny Wurts]
  • Traitor's Knot (London: Voyager, 2004) [Wars of Light and Shadow: hb/Janny Wurts]
  • Stormed Fortress (London: HarperVoyager, 2007) [Wars of Light and Shadow: pb/Janny Wurts]
  • Initiate's Trial (London: HarperVoyager, 2011) [Wars of Light and Shadow: hb/Janny Wurts]
  • Second Book of the Sword of the Cannon (London: HarperVoyager, 2011) [Wars of Light and Shadow: pb/Janny Wurts]

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