Hickman at the 2006 Dragon Con
|Born||Tracy Raye Hickman|
(1955-11-26) November 26, 1955 (age 62)
Salt Lake City, Utah
|Occupation||Novelist, game designer|
|Spouse||Laura Curtis (1977–present)|
Tracy Raye Hickman (born November 26, 1955) is an American best-selling fantasy author who has written, or co-written dozens of novels. He is best known for his work as a writer on the Dragonlance novels with Margaret Weis. He is also known for authoring role playing games while working for TSR.
Tracy Hickman was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from Provo High School in 1974. His major interests were drama, music and Air Force JROTC. In 1975, Hickman began two years of service as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was posted to Hawaii for six months while awaiting visa approval, and then he went to Indonesia, where he served in Surabaya, Djakarta and the mountain city of Bandung until 1977.
Within four months of his return to the United States he married his high school sweetheart, Laura Curtis.Laura was the inspiration for Lauralanthalasa (Laurana) Kanan.
Hickman eventually attended Brigham Young University.
Hickman had many jobs before joining TSR in 1982, including working as a supermarket stockboy, a movie projectionist, a theater manager, a glass worker, a television assistant director and a drill press operator in a genealogy center.
Together, Tracy and Laura wrote the original versions of the modules Rahasia and Pharaoh, publishing them privately.Pharaoh was originally published by DayStar West Media in 1980.:15 In 1981, Tracy entered into a business arrangement to produce an arcade immersion game, but his associate disappeared, leaving the Hickmans with $30,000 in debts. Destitute and desperate, Tracy approached TSR with the modules Rahasia and Pharaoh, "literally so that I could buy shoes for my children". TSR bought the modules, but wanted to hire Tracy as well. Tracy recalls, "They said it would be easier to publish my adventures if I was part of the company. So, we made the move from Utah to Wisconsin. It was a terrifying experience. We had no money. My parents begged us not to venture into such foreign territory to pursue such a bizarre career. My father wrote that there was a secure job as a fry cook in Flagstaff (where my parents were living), and he pleaded with me to come take it."
When Tracy and Laura Hickman came to TSR, they brought Pharaoh with them. It was published as the first part of TSR's Desert of Desolation series (1982-1983).:15I6 Ravenloft (1983) was also written by Tracy and Laura Hickman.:15 Tracy Hickman also wrote two supplements for TSR's Gangbusters role-playing game.:12 Tracy and Laura Hickman's contributions to the D&D module portfolio are credited with initiating a fundamental shift in the RPG module design sensibilities, away from pure dungeon crawl and towards more "cerebral" adventures centered on intriguing plots.:54,335
As he was traveling from Utah to Wisconsin to join TSR, Hickman conceived the idea for a setting to make dragons fearsome once more. At TSR he found other creators who were interested in his project which was called "Project Overlord".:16Harold Johnson became the project's biggest promoter to upper management and convinced Hickman to expand his initial idea of a three-adventure trilogy.:16 Soon after, TSR management announced its intention to develop his series of dragon-based role-playing adventures. Hickman's proposal resulted in the Dragonlance Chronicles, which led to his association with Margaret Weis.Jean Black, the managing editor of TSR's book department, picked Hickman and Weis to write Dragons of Autumn Twilight and the rest of the Dragonlance Chronicles series.:16 This was the first project TSR had undertaken that would include adult novels as well as games, calendars, and other spin-off products. The original Dragonlance team was formed under Hickman's leadership. "Project Overlord" began as a novel and three modules, and beginning in 1984 grew into the first Dragonlance trilogy (by Weis and Hickman) and 15 companion modules. After Dragonlance Chronicles, Hickman and Weis wrote the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, which was published in 1986.:16 By 1987, the Dragonlance project had sold two million books and a half million adventure modules.
Hickman left TSR in 1987, having collaborated on over 30 novels with Weis. Together they also wrote the Darksword trilogy and The Death Gate Cycle, and collaborated on the Rose of the Prophet series (1988-1989).:351 Weis and Hickman returned to TSR to write new fiction, although TSR turned their intended trilogy into a single book, Dragons of Summer Flame published in 1995.:29 In spring 1996, Hickman's first two solo novels, Requiem of Stars and The Immortals, were published. Of The Immortals, a near-future cautionary tale about AIDS concentration camps in Utah, Hickman said: "I was absolutely driven to write that book. I was able to say many things that I felt strongly about and still do. It is perhaps my finest work."
For the Starshield Project, Hickman and Weis produced the Del Rey Books-published novels Sentinels (later retitled Mantle of Kendis-Dai) and Nightsword, and Hickman wrote a story for Dragon #250 called "Dedrak's Quest". Of this setting he said, "Starshield is a universe where a society of dragons can confront blaster-armed spacemen or wizards wielding magic staves with computer targeting", and that the Starshield Project "grew out of my desire to share the creation process with all our fans. Many of the ideas, worlds, and creations submitted by our citizens find their way into our novels. Everyone whose material is used gets credit and a chance to participate in profits from online sales of their adventures." According to Hickman, Starshield's ultimate purpose, and his biggest dream, was to finance a permanent colony on Mars by the year 2010: "Whether we make it to Mars may not be as important as that we honestly, courageously tried." Readers were able to freely download both the first novel in the series, and the Starshield roleplaying game from Hickman's website.
The Hickmans have been publishing game designs together for over twenty-five years including the popular and innovative Advanced Dungeons & DragonsRavenloft module in 1983. Says Hickman of the original module, and its 1986 sequel Ravenloft II: The House on Gryphon Hill, "I still believe the original Ravenloft modules were perhaps the best that ever had my name on them." They published their first joint novel, Mystic Warrior, in 2004. Tracy and Laura have been producing their DragonHearth podcast since December 2005.
In the late 1990s, Larry Elmore approached Weis and Hickman to pitch his fantasy world of Loerem. They agreed and produced the Sovereign Stone trilogy of books.:351 With encouragement from Peter Adkison, Wizards of the Coast published a new trilogy of Dragonlance novels by Weis and Hickman called War of Souls, beginning with Dragons of a Fallen Sun (2000).:283 Hickman announced in 2008 he would be starting two new fantasy series: one being the six-book Dragonships series, with his long-time writing partner Margaret Weis, and the other the three-book Drakis series with his wife, Laura.
In 1999 Pyramid magazine named Tracy Hickman one of The Millennium's Most Influential Persons "at least in the realm of adventure gaming." The magazine stated that Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis are "basically responsible for the entire gaming fiction genre." Hickman was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame in 2002, recognized in part for "one game line turned literary sensation: Dragonlance."
Tracy and Laura Hickman wrote the adventure Out in the Black (2006) for the Serenity Role Playing Game for Margaret Weis Productions.:353 Hickman wrote the screenplay for, produced, and edited the first science-fiction film shot in space, Apogee of Fear.
In 2009, Hickman released XDM: X-Treme Dungeon Mastery, a guide for DMs based on his years of experience in the trade. Written with his son Curtis Hickman and illustrated by online comic artist Howard Tayler, the book calls itself the "cure for the common game."
In 2010, Tracy and Laura Hickman launched a direct-to-internet serialized fantasy series, "Dragon's Bard" which introduced the concept of "novel as souvenir" where subscribers could download periodical ebook chapters as the book was written and then receive a copy of the physical book upon the completion of the subscription. Hickman called the concept "web like the Dickens" after its merging of 19th century literatureserial techniques with modern internet distribution. Eventide and the remaining two books of the series were subsequently contracted for general distribution by Shadow Mountain Publishing in 2012.
While primarily known for his work in epic fantasy, Tracy once wrote a Batman novel for DC Comics titled Wayne of Gotham (June 2012).
On March 15, 2013, Hickman joined Richard Garriott's team as lead story designer for Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues.Shroud of the Avatar is the "spiritual successor" to Richard Garriott's previous work in the Fantasy Role-playing genre, Ultima, specifically Ultima Online. Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is the first of a five-game series of full-length, stand-alone games. The estimated availability of episode one, Forsaken Virtues, is October 2014, with episodes two through five scheduled for subsequent yearly releases.
Tracy and Laura Hickman began teaching seminars and workshops on creative writing at the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference at Brigham Young University. In 2010, they began offering their writing course online at their Scribe's Forge website. Their course includes both online downloadable course materials as well as live video webinars with Tracy personally conducting the sessions.
Hickman married Laura Curtis in 1977, and together they have four children: Angel, Curtis, Tasha, and Jarod.
On his website Hickman states that he is a devout Mormon. Since 1998, the family has resided in South Jordan, Utah.
Tracy Hickman, Alan Tudyk and Laura Hickman at the Gencon OZ Convention
Tracy Hickman, Ron Glass and Laura Hickman at Gencon
Main article: Tracy Hickman bibliography
- Varney, Allen (August 1998). "Profiles: Tracy Hickman". Dragon #250. XIII (3): 120.
- ^ abcdefghijklmnWeis, Margaret (April 1987). "TSR Profiles". Dragon. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR, Inc. (#120): 91.
- ^ abcdefHickman, Tracy. "Hickman Official Website". Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- ^ abcdefghijkVarney, Allen (August 1998). "ProFiles: Tracy Hickman". Dragon. Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast (#250): 120.
- ^"Tracy Hickman". Archived from the original on February 24, 2009.
- ^ abcdefghijklmShannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- ^ abcHickman, Tracy (2007). "Battle Cry". In Lowder, James. Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 21–23. ISBN 978-1-932442-96-0.
- ^Appelcline, Shannon (2014). Designers & Dragons: The '70s. Silver Spring, MD: Evil Hat Productions. ISBN 978-1-61317-075-5.
- ^Phillips, Casey (February 19, 2010). "QandA with Larry Elmore", Chattanooga Times Free Press. Distributed through McClatchy-Tribune News Service, February 19, 2010.
- ^Varney, Allen (January 1998). "ProFiles: Margaret Weis". Dragon. Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast (#243): 120.
- ^ abHaring, Scott D. (December 24, 1999). "Second Sight: The Millennium's Best "Other" Game and The Millennium's Most Influential Person". Pyramid (online). Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- ^"Origins Award Winners (2001) and Hall of Fame Inductees". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on February 2, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
- ^"LTUE, Day 2". Tachyon City (Nathan Shumate). Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
- ^"XDM: X-Treme Dungeon Mastery, by Tracy & Curtis Hickman, illustrated by Howard Tayler". schlockmercenary.com.
- ^Dragon's Bard Website. (2010). Dragons Bard
- ^"Tracy Hickman, New York Times Best-selling author of Dragonlance and Deathgate series, joined the Shroud of the Avatar team as Lead Story Designer!". Portalarium, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
- ^"Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter". Portalarium, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
- ^"Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues". Portalarium, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
- ^"My Faith".
Dragonlance Series (with Margaret Weis)
Dragonlance Chronicles (TSR trilogy / 1984)
TSR premiere novel fantasy series about a world where knights on dragonback fight for domination of the world of Krynn. These series have currently sold over six million copies in the U.S. and Great Britain alone, twelve million copies world-wide. Translation rights include Japan, France, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Finland, Israel, and Portugal. Bestsellers, New York Times, Locus, Walden and B. Dalton lists, Publishers Weekly.
Dragons of Autumn Twilight
Dragons of Winter Night
Dragons of Spring Dawning
Dragonlance Legends (TSR trilogy: 1985)
Time of the Twins
War of the Twins
Test of the Twins
Dragonlance Tales I (TSR anthology Editor/Contributor: 1986-87)
Magic of Krynn
Kender, Gully Dwarves & Gnomes
Love and War
Dragonlance Tales II (TSR anthology Editor/contributor: 1992-94)
The Reign of Istar
The War of the Lance
Dragons of Krynn
Dragonlance: The Second Generation (TSR hardback collection)
Dragonlance: Dragons of Summer Flame (TSR hardback novel: 1995)
New York Times Best Seller. Long awaited sequel to the original Chronicles series.
Dragonlance: War of Souls (TSR / 2000)
Dragons of a Fallen Sun
Dragons of a Lost Star
Dragons of a Vanished Moon
Darksword Series (with Margaret Weis)
Darksword (Bantam / Trilogy: 1988)
A world where everyone has magic and technology is the forbidden art. Bestseller, New York Times, Locus, Walden and B. Dalton lists. Translation rights include Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Poland, Israel, Spain, Denmark, and Italy
Forging the Darksword
Doom of the Darksword
Triumph of the Darksword
Darksword Adventures (Bantam / Game Book: 1988)
Paperback, published in 1988, a new role playing game system designed by Hickman and Weis to work within the magical world of Thimhallan. Best-selling role playing game.
Legasy of the Darksword (Bantam / 1996)
Rose of the Prophet (Bantam / Trilogy with Margaret Weis)
|Arabesque tale of Djinni and morals struggling in a world of many gods. Paperback, published in 1989 by Bantam Books. Best Sellers, New York Times, Locus, Walden and B. Dalton lists. Translation rights include Great Britain, Italy, Israel, France, Germany.|
Will of the Wanderer
The Paladin of the Night
The Prophet of Akhran
Deathgate Cycle (Bantam / Seven Book Series with Margaret Weis)
|A seven-volume series dealing with seven separate worlds, published in hardcover and paperback, by Bantam Books, beginning in 1990. Selection of the Science Fiction Book Club of America and Doubleday Book Club. Foreign rights include Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Holland, Spain, Japan, Denmark, and France. Rights to a computer game have been sold to Legend, Inc.|
Dragonwing, Best seller: Locus, Walden, B. Dalton
Elven Star, Best seller: Locus, Walden, B. Dalton
Fire Sea, Best seller: NY Times, Locus, Walden, B. Dalton
Serpent Mage, Best seller: Locus, Walden, B. Dalton
Hand of Chaos, Best seller: Walden, B. Dalton
Into the Labyrinth, Best seller:Walden, B. Dalton
The Seventh Gate , Best seller: NY Times, Walden, B. Dalton
Starshield (Del Rey / 1996 with Margaret Weis)
|Novel series developed in conjunction with the Starshield Universe. A tale of a vast universe trying to reclaim its past glory and secure its future at the same time.|
(RETITLED: The Mantle of Kendis Dai)
Sovereign Stone (Eos / 2000 with Margaret Weis)
|Out of the rich material of the popular roleplaying game The Sovereign Stone, New York Times bestselling fantasists Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have fashioned something miraculous: a masterful epic of magic and adventure, filled with unforgettable, Tolkienesque characters and plot twists as harrowing and unpredictable as a roll of the dice.|
Well of Darkness
Guardians of the Lost
Journey into the Void
The Bronze Canticles (Warner / 2004 with Laura Hickman)
|This emotionally intense novel’s meticulously crafted magical system and likable characters evoke an atmosphere both timely and timeless. While lively action sequences and rich descriptive passages provide plenty of excitement, mature examinations of politics and individual responsibility lend philosophical weight and emotional poignancy.|
Mystic Quest (2005)
Mystic Empire (2006)
Songs of the Stellar Wind (Bantam / Trilogy)
The galaxy is invaded by the time-travelling fleet from a previous millennium. First printing in February of 1996. (UPDATE: Originally slated as a trilogy of books, the second two novels in this series were never produced.)
Requiem of Stars
The Immortals (ROC / novel)
A near Future cautionary tale about AIDS concentration camps in Utah. Second solo work to be published and the author’s favorite work.
Role Playing Projects
Darksword Adventures (Role Playing Game Rules Book / Bantam: 1988)
Indiana Jones Role Playing Game (TSR / Supplemental Design: 1984)
Dragonlance Role Playing Products (TSR / Role Playing Game Setting: 1985 – present)
Dragonlance Adventures (TSR / hardback RPG supplement)
Dragons of Despair (DL-1)
Dragons of Flame (DL-3)
Dragons of Desolation (DL-4) (w/ Michael Dobson)
Dragons of Krynn (DL-5) (w/ Michael Dobson)
Dragons of War (DL-8) (w/ Laura Hickman)
Dragons of Dreams (DL-10)
Dragons of Triumph (DL-13)
Other Role Playing Products (TSR / Role Playing Game Products: 1982-1986)
Rahasia (w/ Laura Hickman)
Ravenloft (I-6) (w/ Laura Hickman)
Pharaoh (I-3) (w/ Laura Hickman)
Oasis of the White Palm (I-4) (w/ Phil Meyers)
Lost Tomb of Martek (I-5)
The House on Griffon Hill (w/ Laura Hickman)
Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones & the Lost Nail
Death in Spades (Gangbusters Game)
Dragonlance: War of the Lance (TSR / Simulation Game w/ Douglas Niles)