Working name of US writer and editor Gerald Neal Williamson (1932- ). An extremely prolific author who has published over 150 stories, JNW rode the wave of the 1980s Horror boom, his published output cresting and breaking virtually in synch with the market as a whole. Among his novels displaying a strong fantasy inclination are Playmates (1982), in which a child's Invisible Companions are revealed to be Irish Demons whose attacks are preceded by a banshee's wail, and The Dentist (1983), in which the title character's quest for Immortality hinges upon a magical Talisman. A variety of Ghosts are at the heart of Horror House (1981), Ghost Mansion (1981) and its sequel Horror Mansion (1982), Ghost (1984), The Longest Night (1985), Dead to the World (1988), and Shadows of Death (1989). An immortal female Vampire is the evil protagonist of the Lamia Zacharius series – Death-Coach (1981), Death-Angel (1981), Death-School (1982), and Death-Doctor (1982) – and vampires also figure in Bloodlines (1994). Evil cults are the gist of The Black School (1989), Hell Storm (1991), and The Monastery (1992). Talents are key in the Martin Ruben series, concerning a parapsychologist – The Ritual (1979), Premonition (1981) and Brotherkind (1982) – and The Evil One (1982) and Babel's Children (1984). [BM]
other works: The Houngan (1980; vt Profits, 1984); The Banished (1981); Queen of Hell (1981); The Tulpa (1981); Extraterrestrial (1982) as Julian Shock; The Offspring (1984); Wards of Armageddon (1986) with John Maclay, sf; Evil Offspring (1987); Noonspell (1987); The Night Seasons (1991); The Naked Flesh of Feeling (coll 1991 chap); The Book of Webster's (1993); Don't Take Away the Light (1993); The Fifth Season (coll 1994 chap).
as editor: The Masques anthologies, being Masques (anth 1984), II (anth 1987), III (anth 1989; vt Fleshcreepers 1990 UK); IV (anth 1991), the first 2 volumes being showcased in The Best of Masques (anth 1988).
Nonfiction: The New Devil's Dictionary: Creepy Cliches and Sinister Synonyms (coll 1985); How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction (anth 1987).
Gerald Neal Williamson