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Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Heroes in Hell Shared Universe
As some of you already know, Heroes in Hell is a series of shared world fantasy books, within the genre Bangsian fantasy, created and edited by Janet Morris and written by her, Chris Morris, C. J. Cherryh and others. The first 12 books in the series were published by Baen Books between 1986 and 1989, and stories from the series include Hugo Award winners and Nebula nominees.
The series was resurrected in 2011 by Janet Morris with the thirteenth book and eighth anthology in the series, Lawyers in Hell, followed by five more anthologies and two novels between 2012 and 2015.

What’s the background?

The shared world premise of Heroes in Hell (also called The Damned Saga) is that all the dead wind up together in Hell, where they pick up where they left off when still alive. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy states "In the long series of shared world adventures begun with Heroes in Hell, Hell becomes an arena in which all the interesting and most despicable people in history can come together to continue the relentless pursuit of their various ends. As you can imagine, this sets the scene for limitless violent adventures, involving tales of morality, poignant consequences and frequent echoes of infernal comedy.

How does the concept work?

Very simply – and this will be a greatly simplified version – there are rules to follow. Various characters belong to certain authors who use them in their own stories regularly. I can refer to and even involve those other people in my own series (The Undertaker is a good example) but if I do, I can’t permanently alter his persona, style, nor do anything to him involving his longterm disposition. Place names are often set, and expect to see an antithesis on famous landmarks and locations. The Hexcalibur Hotel, for example, is a renowned institution in New Hell. Every hotel contains a Dante – as opposed to a bible – and there are many ingenious little ways in which an infernal slant is incorporated into various storylines. Well known institutions like the Fiendish Bureau of Investigation can be found too. Do you begin to see the converse parallel? Hell is a lot like the world the condemned soul left behind, but there’s enough of a difference through these subtle references to remind them (and the reader) that this is a menacing reality they now inhabit. However, that ominous undertone is often delivered with a tinge of dark humor.

So, accepting these constraints, an author nevertheless gets a great degree of freedom to develop their own storyline – and this as much of a challenge as it is great fun because each contributor has their own distinctive style. If you’re already connoisseur of the anthologies, (See list at the end of this article) you’ll know what I’m talking about.

In Hell Bound, my own character, Daemon Grim – the Reaper – is involved in the pursuit of a whole host of other individuals I devised, along with those who have been established for a long time. But how to juggle the developing plot so it fits with the overall theme?

Aha – you’ll need to see for yourself, and note what others have already recognized about this latest addition to an ever expanding playground in which you can lose yourself for hours.

And never forget

In hell, everyone can hear you scream.


Heroes in Hell Universe.

Heroes in Hell                                                                                                          The Gates of Hell
Rebels in Hell                                                                                                           Kings in Hell
Crusaders in Hell                                                                                                     Legions of Hell
Angels in Hell                                                                                                          Masters in Hell
The Little Helliad                                                                                                    War in Hell
Prophets in Hell                                                                                                      Explorers in Hell

And exclusively from Perseid Press
Lawyers in Hell
Rogues in Hell
Bridge Over Hell
Dreamers in Hell
Poets in Hell
Doctors in Hell
Hell Bound

Press the Perseid Press Link to find out more about the Heroes in Hell Universe.

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