Stephen R. Donaldson

Stephen Reeder Donaldson is an American fantasy, science fiction and mystery novelist, most famous for The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, his ten-novel fantasy series. His work is characterized by psychological complexity, conceptual abstractness, moral bleakness, the use of an arcane vocabulary, has attracted critical praise for its "imagination, vivid characterizations, fast pace", he earned his bachelor's degree from The College of Wooster and a Master's degree from Kent State University. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Donaldson spent part of his youth in India, where his father, a medical missionary, worked with lepers. Donaldson attended, he was attending Kent State University as a graduate student at the time of the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970. Though he was not on campus at the time of the shootings, his apartment was one and a half blocks away, he was forced to live under martial law for three days afterwards. Donaldson does not like to discuss the incident. Donaldson is a fan of opera, has said that he "love that direct expression of passionate emotion in beautiful sound".

In 1994, he gained a black belt in Shotokan karate. Donaldson is part of the generation of fantasy authors which came to prominence in the 1970s and early 1980s. Like that of many of his peers, his writing is influenced by the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. However, Donaldson's stories show a wide range of other influences, including Mervyn Peake, C. S. Lewis, Robert E. Howard, the operas of Richard Wagner. Donaldson is a great fan of Roger Zelazny's Amber novels, which were a direct inspiration for his own Mordant's Need series. In the Gradual Interview section of his website, Donaldson mentions his extensive study of Joseph Conrad, Henry James and William Faulkner to further develop his narrative style. In "Creative Cognition, Conceptual Combination, the Creative Writing of Stephen R. Donaldson," Thomas Ward quotes Donaldson's note in The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story: "... a fair number of my best stories arise, not from one idea, but from two." Donaldson has said, "two inert elements combine to produce something of frightening potency."

For the Thomas Covenant books, when he put unbelief and leprosy together, "... my brain took fire." Donaldson's most celebrated series is The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, which centers on a cynical leper, shunned by society, destined to become the heroic savior of another world. Covenant struggles against the tyrannical Lord Foul, who intends to break the physical universe in order to escape his bondage and wreak revenge upon his arch enemy, The Creator; the Chronicles were published as two trilogies of novels between 1977 and 1983. According to his current publisher, Putnam's. A third series, The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, began publication in 2004 with the novel The Runes of the Earth. With the second book of that series, Fatal Revenant, Donaldson again attained bestseller status when the book reached number 12 on the New York Times Bestseller List in October 2007. Lord Foul's Bane The Illearth War The Power That Preserves The Wounded Land The One Tree White Gold Wielder The Runes of the Earth Fatal Revenant Against All Things Ending The Last Dark A science fiction epic set in a future where humans have pushed far out into space in the attempt to replace depleted resources, The Gap Cycle follows two concurrent story arcs.

The first concerns an ensign in the United Mining Companies Police, Morn Hyland, attempting to stay alive after being captured by a marauder named Angus Thermopyle. The second follows the Byzantine political maneuvering of the head of the UMCP, Warden Dios, as he attempts to thwart the machinations of his boss, Holt Fasner, the CEO of United Mining Companies and the most powerful man in human space; each of the epics takes place against the backdrop of a threat to human survival itself from an alien species called the Amnion who use genetic mutation as a way to assimilate and overcome. Trade in raw materials is carried out with the Amnion in exchange for technology, by both the UMC and illegals; some illegals trade in Amnion territorial space, referred to as "forbidden space", out of bounds to the UMCP by treaty. Donaldson wrote the series in part to be a reworking of Wagner's Ring Cycle; the "Gap" of the title refers to the faster-than-light drives used by the space vessels in order to cross great distances, an instantaneous occurrence similar to the notion of "folding" space.

The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story The Gap into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge The Gap into Power: A Dark and Hungry God Arises The Gap into Madness: Chaos and Order The Gap into Ruin: This Day All Gods Die The 2008 reprinting of the series combines The Real Story and Forbidden Knowledge into a single volume. According to Donaldson's website, this was done at his request. Donaldson has stated that, when he was younger, he wrote two fan-fiction novellas: one based on Marvel Comics' Thor, the other based on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness; these have never been published. As Donaldson grew older, he discovered that the sensation that he was "making it all up" himself was necessary for his imagination to work well, he now regards these early novellas as failed experiments in the process of discovering himself as a writer. He feels the same way about a play he wrote, whose performance at Kent State University convinced him that he was "not cut out to be a playwright"; the Mirror of Her Dreams A Man Rides Through The Man Who is a series of mystery novels


Synnergist is a 1996 DOS point and click adventure game, developed by Vicarious Visions and published by 21st Century Entertainment. It is notable for being Vicarious Visions' first video game, was made by the company's founders during high school; the graphic backgrounds for Synnergist were produced by Pomono Productions. The game "features digitized actors and full motion video." The game had a Europe-only release. Csoon explained the development: Five years went into the making of Synnergist, a DOS only game and has VGA graphics. Most of the backgrounds in the game were hand painted to give a gothic and futuristic look and feel to the game; some 3D effects are found within the game for certain animations. When speaking with other characters, a digitized video of the person speaking will appear providing a more distinguish image of the character; the music score that accompanies the game provides for the futuristic and mysterious feel of the game. There are two difficulty levels for playing the game, Novice.

The default mode is Challenging. During the first half of Chapter one you can press the F1 key to switch between difficulty levels; the Novice mode will provide you with extra tips when viewing an object or trying a specific action on what you should do next. Mobygames explains "In Synnergist the player takes the role of Tim Machin, an ambitious young journalist forced by cruel circumstances to work for a trashy tabloid newspaper. Set in the year 2010, the game puts the player on the streets of New Arhus—a city of extremes, crammed with both cutting edge technology and the decaying remnants of a once proud past. Soon, Tim finds himself on the trail of a sinister force that appears to be connected to the crime and killing"; the storyline to Synnergist is much deeper than what it first appears - some hidden Easter Eggs in the game reveal secret to the game's plot, including what "Synnergist" means. They included new video sequences and puzzles; when the game was released, Vicarious Visions offered a prize to the first five people to discover these hidden Easter Eggs.

Csoon explained the gameplay: Controls for Synnergist are done with the left and right mouse buttons. Using the mouse you will point to. Looking at objects involves a left click, to use an object you right click it; as your cursor moves overtop of the different items that you can click on or use, the name of the object will appear at the bottom of the screen. Your inventory appears at the top of the screen as small icons for each object along with another for saving and loading games. One other icon in the upper left hand corner represents the subway, your mode of transportation within the game; the subway only appears when you are close to a subway stop, but these are available all throughout the game making travelling from place to place much simpler. When you speak to others in the game and their video appears, you'll hear them speak as the text appears along the bottom of the screen. You never hear your own voice except in the introduction or when you are thinking to yourself; when answering back to others, various sentences will be available at the bottom of the screen for you to select.

Coming Soon Magazine gave the game 81 out of 100, Tap-Repeatedly/Four Fat Chicks gave 4 Stars, PC Player gave 73 out of 100, PC Games gave 68 out of 100, High Score gave 2 out of 5, Power Play gave 40 out of 100, PC Player gave 2 Stars. Csoon wrote "Synnergist maintains a good story line throughout the game, keeping the player's interest high in wanting to solve the mystery... Some of the puzzles can be a little difficult to figure out, once you are stuck, the game can be slow." The site gave the game a rating of 81%. In another positive review, Four Fat Chicks wrote "Here is a game that has an interesting plot with many twists and turns, nice graphics, unobtrusive sound and music, easy interface, a good number of varied locations to explore. Synnergist has a similar mood and style to Noctropolis, with a little Gabriel Knight–type understated tension thrown in... It's a shame that Vicarious Visions didn't follow up Synnergist with any other adventure games."In a contemporary review, Petra Tsimberov of Hardcore Gaming 101 found the game interesting for being a notable example of outsider art, drawing attention to how much of its development cycle was spent while Vicarious Visions founders Karthik and Guha Bala were still in high school.

She noted "Wherever it fails, it’s a shame, but to-be expected. But where it gets things right, it’s all the more enthralling." The review went on to criticize the game's technical shortcomings but praised the game's ability to immerse and captivate the player through its painted backgrounds and atmosphere - "Objectively the whole game is rather forgettable, but if you approach it with the same dream-oriented excitement the Bala brothers had back in 1991, it may just stick around for longer."

Edmund Duggan (playwright)

Edmund Duggan was an Irish-born actor and playwright who worked in Australia. He is best known for writing a number of plays with Bert Bailey including The Squatter's Daughter and On Our Selection, his solo career was less successful than Bailey's. His sister Eugenie was known as "The Queen of Melodrama" and married noted theatre producer William Anderson, for whom Duggan worked as an actor and stage manager. Between 1892 and 1895 Duggan and South's "Her Majesty's Dramatic Company", toured New South Wales with La Tosca, All for Gold, Greta, his Natural Robbery Under Arms. Receiving good notices. Duggan's wife died two years before he was survived by two daughters; the Democrat – writer For the Term of his Natural Life – writer Lady Audley's Secret The Squatter's Daughter, or, The Land of the Wattle – wrote with Bert Bailey as'Albert Edmunds' The Southern Cross – writer The Man from Outback – wrote with Bert Bailey as'Albert Edmunds' My Mate, or a Bush Love Story – writer On Our Selection – wrote with Bert Bailey as'Albert Edmunds' The Native Born – wrote with Bert Bailey as'Albert Edmunds' On Our Selection – produced The Rudd Family by Steele Rudd – produced, acted Edmund Duggan biography at Australian Dictionary of Biography Edmund Duggan Australian theatre credits at AusStage Edmund Duggan at AustLit Papers of Edmund Duggan at National Library of Australia Complete copy of The Southern Cross at National Archives of Australia