Have You Overlooked – Ardath Mayhar?

One of the things that I can say that may not be generally known about this author, was that Ardath was a friend of Andre Norton’s, and Andre admired her writing.

Ardath (Frances Hurst) Mayhar was born in February 1930 and died February 2012, three weeks short of her 82nd birthday. She started writing SF in 1979 and also for many years (with her husband Joe) owned and operated a Texas bookstore (The View From Orbit). She wrote a solid number of SF books as well as horror, young adult, historical and westerns; and with some work under pseudonyms Frank Cannon, Frances Hurst, and John Killdeer.

I own the two Tyrnos books, (as well as Golden Dreams: A Fuzzy Oddessy.) The Tynros books while ostensibly SF were what Andre always called Science fantasy. That is, while there are very minor SF elements if those were removed the work would stand simply as a fantasy story. That sort of book often being written to gain publisher acceptance because they wanted and bought SF and so long as the author could point to some SF element, the work was acceptable – and accepted. Both Runes of the Lyre, and Soul-Singer of Tyrnos are excellent fantasy, they are, as books from the early ’80s usually were, some 60-65,000 words, but that only makes them more readable in my opinion. They have none of the padding that became more prevalent with publisher demand in the 90s for longer work. The author has a strong sense of people and place and all of her work that I have read has been of excellent quality and I recommend it, the Tyrnos duo in particular.

Ardath Mayhar Fiction Series and books – partial list only

Battletech Universe


The Sword and the Dagger (1987)

Exiles of Damaria

1 Riddles & Dreams (2003)

The Exiles of Damaria (2009) Terro-Human

Golden Dream: A Fuzzy Odyssey (1982)

Lost Tribes

1 People of the Mesa (1992)

Tales of the Triple Moons

1 How the Gods Wove in Kyrannon (1979)

2 The Seekers of Shar-Nuhn (1980)

3 Warlock’s Gift (1982)

4 Lords of the Triple Moons (1983)


1 Soul-Singer of Tyrnos (1981)

2 Runes of the Lyre (1982)


Khi to Freedom (1983)

Exile on Vlahil (1984)

The Saga of Grittel Sundotha (1985)

Towers of the Earth (1985)

Makra Choria (1987)

The Wall (1987)

Two Moons and the Black Tower (1988)

A Place of Silver Silence (1988)

Hunters of the Plains (1995)

Witchfire (2007) with Ron Fortier

The Tulpa: A Novel of Fantasy (2009)

The Door in the Hill: A Tale of the Turnipins (2009)

A Planet Called Heaven: A Science Fiction Novel (2009)

Messengers in White (2009)

A Road of Stars: A Fantasy of Life, Death, Love, and Art (2009)

The Fugitives: A Tale of Prehistoric Times (2009)

Closely Knit in Scarlatt: A Novel of Suspense (2009)

The Clarrington Heritage: A Gothic Tale of Terror (2009)

Shock Treatment: An Account of Granary’s War: A Science Fiction Novel (2009

Ardath also wrote some very fine poetry over the years between 1952 and her death.

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