Esther Friesner (also known as Esther M. Friesner) is a fantasy author best known for her humorous works, though she spans the Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness
. Friesner was named Outstanding New Fantasy Writer by Romantic Times in 1986. She won the Skylark Award in 1994. She has been nominated a number of times for the Hugo Award
and Nebula Award
, winning the Nebula Award
for Best Short Story in 1995 and 1996 for, respectively, "Death and the Librarian" and "A Birth Day". She has also edited a large number of anthologies, perhaps most famously the Chicks in Chainmail
She lives in Connecticut with her husband, two children, two rambunctious cats, and a fluctuating population of hamsters.
Her website can be found here
Her books include:
- Chronicles of the Twelve Kingdoms
- Mustapha and His Wise Dog, 1985
- Spells of Mortal Weaving, 1986
- The Witchwood Cradle, 1987
- The Water King's Laughter, 1989
- Demons Trilogy
- Here Be Demons, 1988
- Demon Blues, 1989
- Hooray For Hellywood, 1990
- New York by Knight Trilogy
- New York by Knight, 1986
- Elf Defense, 1988
- Sphynxes Wild, 1989
- Gnome Man's Land Trilogy
- Gnome Man's Land, 1991
- Harpy High, 1991
- Unicorn U, 1992
- Majyk Trilogy
- Majyk by Accident, 1993
- Majyk by Hook Or Crook, 1994
- Majyk by Design, 1995
- Becca of Wiserways
- The Psalms Of Herod, 1996
- The Sword Of Mary, 1996
The Historical Fiction
series Princesses of Myth note
- Nobody's Princess, 2007
- Nobody's Prize, 2008
- Sphinx's Princess, 2009
- Sphinx's Queen, 2010
- Spirit's Princess, 2012
- Spirit's Chosen, 2013
- Deception's Princess, 2014
- Deception's Pawn, due 2015
- Harlot's Ruse, 1986
- The Silver Mountain, 1986
- Druid's Blood, 1988
- Yesterday We Saw Mermaids, 1992
- Split Heirs (with Lawrence Watt-Evans), 1993
- Wishing Season, 1993
- The Sherwood Game, 1995
- Child of the Eagle, 1996
- Playing with Fire, 1997
- E.Godz (with Robert Asprin), 2003
- Temping Fate, 2006
- Threads and Flames, 2010
Short Story Collections
- It's Been Fun
- Up The Wall & Other Tales of King Arthur and His Knights
- Death and the Librarian and Other Stories
- Alien Pregnant by Elvis!
- Chicks in Chainmail
- Chicks in Chainmail
- Did You Say Chicks?!
- Chicks 'n Chained Males
- The Chick is in the Mail
- Turn the Other Chick
- Witch Way to the Mall
- Strip Maul
- Blood Muse
- Fangs for the Mammaries
Tropes applying to her work include:
- Action Girl - Chicks in Chainmail series, several characters in the Majyk series, Becca eventually becomes this in The Sword of Mary
- After the End - Implied to be the setting of the Becca of Wiserways books.
- Alternate Universe - several examples.
- Chainmail Bikini - parodied in the Chicks in Chainmail series
- Christopher Columbus - Yesterday We Saw Mermaids
- Corrupt Corporate Executive - in The Sherwood Game.
- Deconstruction - a number of her Chicks in Chainmail stories deconstruct the genre comically. Split Heirs deconstructs The Prince and the Pauper stories. All Genie tropes in Wishing Season.
- Even Evil Has Standards - A man offered his four year old daughter to the dragon in New York By Knight, which proved to be a bad idea. This dragon was far more traditional about its sacrifices.
- Forbidden Zone - Becca of Wiserways series.
- Freeing The Genie - in Wishing Season
- Gay Bar Reveal - in Demon Blues.
- Good Old Ways - Becca of Wiserways.
- Hidden Backup Prince
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold - Megan, the protagonist of Harlot's Ruse.
- Jackass Genie - in Wishing Season
- Magic Ampersand - the game "Palaces & Puppies" is mentioned in Majyk by Hook or Crook
- Magick - parodied with "Majyk", and later in the series "Magique"
- No Celebrities Were Harmed - Curio, from the Majyk series, is a parody of Fabio.
- The Nudifier - the dragon from New York By Knight causes an intended victim's clothes to vanish in order for her to be properly presented as an offering.
- Our Angels Are Different - The Demon Trilogy.
- Our Demons Are Different - The Demon Trilogy.
- Pun-Based Title - later books in the Chicks in Chainmail series, including Chicks 'n Chained Males, The Chick Is In The Mail and Turn The Other Chick. New York by Knight, Elf Defense Hooray for Hellywood, Split Heirs
- Robin Hood - The Sherwood Game is about a Cyberspace game featuring the Robin Hood characters; it gets complicated when Instant A.I., Just Add Water kicks in. (Though things don't get really bad until the Corrupt Corporate Executive shows up.)
- Sex Bot - The Robin Hood program in The Sherwood Game gets downloaded into a pleasure android.
- Shout-Out - The village idiots in the Majyk trilogy are named Lorrenz, Wot, and Evvon, the title characters of Death and the Librarian were inspired by some Discworld figurines she had on her desk (though the story has nothing to do with Discworld.
- Sinister Minister - played for comedy in Hooray for Hellywood, televangelist "Sometime" Joseph Lee is in fact the demon Raleel.
- Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: from the very funny, pun-laden Majyk series to the post-apocalyptic Crapsack World of Becca of Wiserways.
- Sterility Plague - In Becca of Wiserways, some sort of unspecified Depopulation Bomb in the past has made it so that women only get their periods once per year.
- Sweet Polly Oliver - a few, often overlapping with Action Girl.
- Talking Animal- A magically-talking cat in both the Majyk series and Wishing Season
- Teenage Wasteland - Becca of Wiserways encounters one.
- The Magic Goes Away - Yesterday We Saw Mermaids
- Urban Fantasy - The New York By Knight trilogy, Demon Trilogy and Gnome Man's Land Trilogy, The Sherwood Game
- Whatevermancy - at conventions she offers demonstrations of Cheeblemancy, the art of divination by asking a stuffed hamster.