Sheri S. Tepper

(1929 – 2016)

Sheri S. TepperBiographical Sketch

Sheri Stewart Tepper (born Sheri J. Stewart; Littleton, CO, USA, July 16, 1929 – October 22, 2016, Santa Fe, NM, USA) was an American author of science fiction, horror and mystery novels. The author of nearly forty novels, she was known to create complex characters, blending together science fiction, fantasy, ecological alarum, and feminist fable; thus making a name for herself as a feminist science fiction writer, often with an ecofeminist slant.

Tepper started out in the early 1960s writing childrens’ stories, but focused primarily on her then-day job at Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, where she worked from 1962 to 1986 and eventually became Executive Director. She released her first adult book, the novel King’s Blood Four, in 1982. It would become the first of the True Game books, followed by Necromancer Nine (also 1983) and Wizard’s Eleven (1984). A second and third True Game trilogy, featuring the characters Jinian and Mavin Manyshaped, respectively, as well as the books of the (separate) Marianne trilogy followed, along with her first standalone books, including The Revenants (1984) and After Long Silence (1987).

Tepper did not receive much critical attention until after retiring to become a full-time writer. She then published the novel The Awakeners (1987, originally released as two volumes: Northshore and Southshore), as well as, inter alia, The Gate to Women’s Country (1988), Grass (1989), Raising the Stones (1991), Beauty (1991, winner of the 1992 Locus Award for Best Fantasy), A Plague of Angels (1993), Sideshow (1992, completing the Arbai trilogy begun with Grass and Raising the Stones), Gibbon’s Decline and Fall (1996), The Family Tree (1997), Six Moon Dance (1998), Singer from the Sea (1999), The Visitor (2002) and The Margarets (2007).

In addition to her work as a writer, she operated a guest ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

She also wrote under several pseudonyms, including mysteries published under the names A.J. Orde, and B.J. Oliphant, and horror fiction published as E.E. Horlak. Her early work was published under the name Sheri S. Eberhart.

Read more about Sheri S. Tepper on Wikipedia.


Major Awards and Honors

Locus Awards (USA)
  • 1992: Best Fantasy Novel – “Beauty”



The True Game Trilogies
  • The Chronicles of Mavin Manyshaped (1985):
    • The Song of Mavin Manyshaped
    • The Flight of Mavin Manyshaped
    • The Search for Mavin Manyshaped
  • The True Game (1985):
    • King’s Blood Four (1983)
    • Necromancer’s Nine (1983)
    • Wizard’s Eleven (1984)
  • The End of the Game (1986):
    • Jinian Footseer (1985)
    • Dervish Daughter (1986)
    • Jinian Star-Eye (1986)
The Marianne Trilogy
  • Marianne, the Magus, and the Manticore (1985)
  • Marianne, the Madame, and the Momentary Gods (1988)
  • Marianne, the Matchbox, and the Malachite Mouse (1989)
The Arbai Trilogy
  • Grass (1989)
  • Raising the Stones (1990)
  • Sideshow (1992)
The Ettison Duo
  • Blood Heritage (1986)
  • The Bones (1987)
The Plague of Angels
  • A Plague of Angels (1993)
  • The Waters Rising (2010)
  • Fish Tails (2014)
    – Crossover into the True Game series.
Stand-Alone Novels
  • The Revenants (1984)
  • The Awakeners (1989)
    – Conceived as one single novel but initially published in two separate installments.

    • North Shore (1987)
    • South Shore (1987)
  • After Long Silence (1987)
    A/K/A: The Enigma Score
  • The Gate to Women’s Country 1988)
  • Beauty (1991)
  • Shadow’s End (1994)
  • Gibbon’s Decline & Fall (1996)
  • The Family Tree (1997)
  • Six Moon Dance (1998)
  • Singer from the Sea (1999)
  • The Fresco (2000)
  • The Visitor (2002)
  • The Companions (2003)
  • The Margarets (2007)
Novellas and Short Stories
  • The Gardener (1988)
    (AKA The Bone Yard)
    Collaboration with F. Paul Wilson and Ray Garton.
  • Someone Like You (1990)
    – In: Martin Greenberg’s The Further Adventures of the Joker (1990).
  • The “Crazy” Carol Stories:
    • The Gazebo
      – In: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1990
    • Raccoon Music
      – In: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1991
    • The Gourmet
      – In: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October/November 1991
Other Nonfiction
  • The People Know (1968)
    – Educational pamphlet for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood.
  • The Perils of Puberty (1974)
    – Educational pamphlet for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood.
  • The Problem with Puberty (1976)
    – Educational pamphlet for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood.
  • This Is You (1977)
    – Educational pamphlet for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood.
  • So Your Happily Ever After Isn’t (1977)
    – Educational pamphlet for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood.
  • The Great Orgasm Robbery (1977)
    – Educational pamphlet for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood.
  • So You Don’t Want To Be A Sex Object (1978)
    – Educational pamphlet for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood.
Writing as E. E. Horlak
  • Still Life (1987-1988)
Writing as B. J. Oliphant
The Shirley McClintock Mysteries
  • Dead in the Scrub (1990)
  • The Unexpected Corpse (1990)
  • Deservedly Dead (1992)
  • Death and the Delinquent (1993)
  • Death Served Up Cold (1994)
  • A Ceremonial Death (1996)
  • Here’s to the Newly Deads (1997)
Writing as A. J. Orde
The Jason Lynx Mysteries
  • A Little Neighborhood Murder (1989)
  • Death and the Dogwalker (1990)
  • Death for Old Time’s Sake (1992)
  • Looking for the Aardvark (1993
    A/K/A: Dead on Sunday
  • A Long Time Dead (1994)
  • A Death of Innocents (1996-1997)
Writing as Sheri S. Eberhart
  • Extraterrestrial Trilogue
    – In: Galaxy, December 1960 and August 1961
  • Lullaby, 1990
    – In: Galaxy, December 1963
  • Ballad of the Interstellar Merchants
    – In: Galaxy, December 1964
Essays and Articles
  • The People Know (1968)
  • The Perils of Puberty (1974)
  • The Problem with Puberty (1976)
  • This Is You (1977)
  • So Your Happily Ever After Isn’t (1977)
  • The Great Orgasm Robbery (1977)
  • So You Don’t Want To Be A Sex Object (1978)

A Selection of Quotes

King’s Blood Four

“I tell you, lad, that men will believe is one says, “The Gods say …” They will believe if one says, “I had a Vision …” They will believe if one says, “It was told me on a tablet of hidden gold …” But, if one says, “History teaches,” then they will not believe.”

Wizards Eleven

“He told us that nations of men fell into disorder, so nations of law were set up instead. He told us that nations of law then forgot justice and let the law become a Game, a Game in which the moves and the winning were more important than truth. He told us to seek justice rather than the Game.”

The Visitor

“Not many years before the Happening, one of your country’s largest religious bodies officially declared that their book was holier than their God, thus simultaneously and corporately breaking several commandments of their own religion, particularly the first one. Of course they liked the book better! It was full of magic and contradictions that they could quote to reinforce their bigoted and hateful opinions, as I well know, for I chose many parts of it from among the scrolls and epistles that were lying around in caves here and there. They’re correct that a god picked out the material; they just have the wrong god doing it.”

“Nothing limits intelligence more than ignorance; nothing fosters ignorance more than one’s own opinions; nothing strengthens opinions more than refusing to look at reality.”

“Mankind accepts good fortune as his due, but when bad occurs, he thinks it was aimed at him, done to him, a hex, a curse, a punishment by his deity for some transgression, as though his god were a petty storekeeper, counting up the day’s receipts.”

“I will raise up prophets to make conflicting pronouncements that inevitably will be garbled in transcription, resulting in mutually exclusive definitions of orthodoxy from which the open-minded will flee in dismay.”

A Plague of Angels

“As vocabulary is reduced , so are the number of feelings you can express, the number of events you can describe, the number of the things you can identify! Not only understanding is limited, but also experience. Man grows by language. Whenever he limits language he retrogresses!”

“We’ll tell him his mother waits for him in heaven, I suppose.”
“Is that a lie?”
“It’s what we tell fools and children.” She sighed. “Postulating a heaven gives man an out for having been unable to retain the paradise he was given here on earth.”


“The sidesaddle was designed to protect a maiden’s virginity, while risking the maiden’s neck. Rather much for rather little, I thought.”

The Fresco

“[T]he scripture worshippers put the writings ahead of God. Instead of interpreting God’s actions in nature, for example, they interpret nature in the light of the Scripture. Nature says the rock is billions of years old, but the book says different, so even though men wrote the book, and God made the rock and God gave us minds that have found ways to tell how old it is, we still choose to believe the Scripture.”

The Family Tree

“I think … girls have a hard time being interesting. It’s actually easier to be famous, or notorious, than it is to be interesting. In our world, girls climb very well until they hit puberty-sexual maturity-and then they begin to fall out of the tree. They start role-playing instead of thinking, flirting instead of learning. They start admiring how smart the boys are-or how athletic or how handsome-instead of concentrating on their own intelligence.”

The Gate to Women’s Country

“Men like to think well of themselves, and poets help them do it.”

Sheri S. Tepper: Speaking to the Universe (Locus Magazine, September 1998)

“I have always lived in a world in which I’m just a spot in history. My life is not the important point. I’m just part of the continuum, and that continuum, to me, is a marvelous thing. The history of life, and the history of the planet, should go on and on and on and on. I cannot conceive of anything in the universe that has more meaning than that.”

Find more quotes by Sheri S. Tepper on Wikiquote and Goodreads.