Karl Edward Wagner (December 12, 1945 – October 14, 1994) was an American editor and an author of fantasy and horror. He began his writing career with several novels and stories featuring his mystical warrior Kane, a powerful anti-hero in the world of heroic fantasy who wielded intellect along with swords and magic. The novels and story collections did well due not only to the originality of the tales and the quality of the writing, but also likely due to covers by the immortal Frank Frazetta.
He was well represented in many prominent magazines of his era. His tales appeared in Fantasy and Science Fiction, Whispers, and Weird Tales, to name just a few. Wagner also wrote many horror stories, which were collected in In a Lonely Place, published by Warner in 1983 and Why Not You And I? published by TOR in 1987. During that time, he edited a three-book series of anthologies called Echoes of Valor for TOR. Throughout the 1980s and into the mid 1990s, Wagner also edited DAW’s popular annual anthology series The Year’s Best Horror Stories.
He was not only a scholar of history and psychiatry in his years on Earth, but a great fan of pulp fiction. His company Carcosa Press published a few fine volumes of work by E. Hoffman Price, Manly Wade Wellman, and Hugh B. Cave. He also edited several volumes of works by Robert E. Howard for Berkley, and even wrote novels in Howard’s worlds, including those of Conan and Bran Mak Morn.
In his lifetime, Wagner won the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, and was posthumously inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame in 2013 in Knoxville, where he was born and raised. He died at his home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina of heart and liver failure due to alcoholism.
To browse the list of his titles currently available in print and eBook editions, click here.
These cover scans are from the library of author Christopher Fulbright.