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Steven Spruill

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Steven Gregory Spruill (born April 20, 1946) is an author of horror, science fiction, and thriller novels, best known for his "hemophage" novels: Rulers of Darkness, Daughter of Darkness, and Lords of Light.[1] He has also written under the names Steve Harriman and Steve Lyon.

Early life and education[edit]

He was raised in Battle Creek, Michigan and lives in Virginia.[2] He and his wife, Nancy Lyon, married in 1969.[1]

Spruill attended Andrews University, where he earned a bachelor of arts in 1968, and Catholic University of America, where he earned a master of arts in 1979 and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1981.[1][3]

Career[edit]

Spruill began his career as a novelist with science fiction, and transitioned to contemporary thrillers in 1991 with the novel Painkiller.[1]

Spruill told Contemporary Authors, "As a novelist I'd like to do in another way what I attempt to do as a psychotherapist: to free a person for a few hours from the unhappier side of his life and turn him on to the constructive power of his mind".[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Spruill's works have been met with mixed critical reception.

Before I Wake (1991) was reviewed by Kirkus Reviews as, "Slick and readable, but despite all the menace, there's not a real chill anywhere. Readers are likely to find themselves counting coincidences when they should have been too scared to notice".[4] However, Publishers Weekly wrote that Before I Wake was a "first-rate suspense novel".[5]

A Kirkus Reviews review of My Soul To Take (1995) said, "Spruill disappoints in his take-that/no- take-that plotting, less reminiscent of Dean Koontz than of Wile E. Coyote".[6] Publishers Weekly wrote, "An intriguing concept--a microchip inserted in the brain to cure blindness that also allows certain recipients to see the future--falls short of its potential in this poorly paced, digressive thriller".[7]

About Rulers of Darkness (1998), Publishers Weekly said, "By adding a noir-crime spin to his medical-horror formula, Spruill manages to grab hold of, and ride reasonably high on, the cape-tails of Anne Rice and the current vampire craze".[8] Kirkus Reviews wrote, "Terrific plotting—fresh indeed—and the hospital background shines in a seemingly unresolvable love story".[9] Its sequel, Daughter of Darkness (1999), Kirkus Reviews wrote as having "less energy and richly layered excitement than before, but still notable in its field".[10] Publishers Weekly noted some strengths of the Spruill in its review of Daughter of Darkness, including "his credible rendering of supernatural beings as members of a dysfunctional family with conflicting ideas about how to manage their problems shows a delightfully oddball sense of topicality, yet he is never less than sympathetic and balanced in his portrayal".[11]

Nightkill (1997), published under the name Steve Lyon, was called "sure-fire" entertainment by Publishers Weekly.[12]

Selected works[edit]


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As Steven Spruill[edit]

  • Keepers of the Gate (Doubleday, 1977)
  • Binary Star, No. 4 (1980)
  • Hellstone (Playboy, 1980)
  • Painkiller (St. Martin's, 1991)
  • Before I Wake (St. Martin's, 1991)[4][5]
  • The Genesis Shield (Tor, 1993)
  • My Soul to Take (St. Martin's, 1995)[6][7]

Elias Kane series[edit]

  • The Psychopath Plague (Doubleday, 1978)
  • The Imperator Plot (Doubleday, 1983)
  • The Paradox Planet (Doubleday, 1988)

Rulers of Darkness series[edit]

  • Rulers of Darkness (St. Martin's, 1998)[9][8]
  • Daughter of Darkness (St. Martin's, 1999)[10][11]
  • Lords of Light (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., 1999)

As Steve Lyon[edit]

  • Nightkill (with F. Paul Wilson) (Forge, 1997)[12]
  • The Gift Moves (Houghton Mifflin, 2004)[13]

As Steve Harriman[edit]

  • Sleeper (Berkley, 2003)
  • Absorbing Spongebob: Ten Ways to Squeeze More Happiness Out of Life (Berkley, 2005)
  • Ice Men: A Novel of the Korean War (2009)

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 MacDonald, Meg. "Steven Gregory Spruill." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2008. Gale Literature Resource Center. Accessed 19 July 2020.
  2. Aistars, Zinta. "Between the Lines: The Forgotten War". www.wmuk.org. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  3. "About Me". Retrieved 2 October 2014. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. 4.0 4.1 BEFORE I WAKE | Kirkus Reviews. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Before I Wake". www.publishersweekly.com. Retrieved 2020-07-19. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. 6.0 6.1 MY SOUL TO TAKE | Kirkus Reviews. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Fiction Book Review: My Soul to Take by Steven Spruill". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2020-07-19. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Rulers of Darkness". www.publishersweekly.com. Retrieved 2020-07-19. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  9. 9.0 9.1 RULERS OF DARKNESS | Kirkus Reviews. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS | Kirkus Reviews. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Daughter of Darkness". www.publishersweekly.com. Retrieved 2020-07-19. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Fiction Book Review: Nightkill by F. Paul Wilson". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2020-07-19. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  13. "Children's Book Review: THE GIFT MOVES by Steve Lyon". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2020-07-19. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

Further reading[edit]

  • St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers. (Detroit: James Press, 1996).
  • Booklist, February 1, 1994, p. 995.
  • Library Journal, January 1994, p. 165.
  • Library Journal, July 1995, p. 124.

External links[edit]


This article "Steven Spruill" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Steven Spruill. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.


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