- LANIER, Sterling E(dmund)
- (1927-)US editor and writer. SEL did 6 years' graduate work at the School of Anthropology and Archeology at the University of Pennsylvania before working as an editor, mainly for Chilton Books for periods during 1961-7; he persuaded the firm to publish Frank HERBERT's DUNE (fixup1965). He subsequently turned freelance, working as as a sculptor and jeweller and as a writer.His first published story was "Join our Gang?" for ASF in 1961, but the majority of his short work belongs to the Brigadier Ffellowes series published in FSF. Like Lord DUNSANY's Jorkensstories or Arthur C. CLARKE's Tales from the White Hart (coll 1957), the Ffellowes tales are examples of the CLUB STORY, as narrated by theeponymous brigadier; they mostly involve the irruption of mythical creatures into the real world. They are assembled in The Peculiar Exploits of Brigadier Ffellowes (coll 1972) and The Curious Quest of Brigadier Ffellowes (coll 1986). SEL's first novel was a good children's fantasy,The War for the Lot (1969), about a young boy telepathically selected to defend a tract of wilderness from city rats. His second remains his most important: Hiero's Journey (1973) - and its sequel, The Unforsaken Hiero (1983), both being assembled as Hiero Desteen (omni 1984) - is a long andinventive quest tale set in a teeming post- HOLOCAUST world 5000 years after an atomic war. Radiation dangers and recidivist mutant SCIENTISTS still haunt this venue, threatening Hiero, who treks down from Canada searching for a mythical COMPUTER which might help reconstruct things. In the second volume, which returns to the plot of The War for the Lot, Hiero telepathically marshals some animal allies and fights off an invasion of the Unclean Masters. Not precisely innovative, the sequence succeeds through its author's fluent and ingeniously varied cast of characters. A later singleton, Menace under Marswood (1983), tamely repeats some of the same material on a terraformed MARS.JC/MJE
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.