Karl Edward Wagner (pronounced ‘WAG-nuh’, not ‘VARG-nuh’) was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. He earned a degree in history from Kenyon College in 1967 and a degree in psychiatry from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Despite this training, Wagner disliked the medical profession and abandoned it upon establishing himself as a writer; his disillusionment with the medical profession can be seen in the stories ‘The Fourth Seal’ and ‘Into Whose Hands’.
As well as being a multi-award winning author, Wagner was a highly successful editor and publisher of horror, science fiction and heroic fantasy, creating a definitive three-volume set of Robert E. Howard‘s Conan the Barbarian fiction, and editing the long-running and genre-defining Year’s Best Horror and Fantasy series.
Wagner is perhaps best known for his creation of the long-running series of stories featuring Kane, the Mystic Swordsman, and it is these classics of sword-and-sorcery that we have selected as Wagner’s Gateway Essentials: