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Creator / Bruce Coville

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Bruce Farrington Coville (born May 16, 1950) is an American author of the baby boomer generation known for his Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Children's Literature. He tends to write in the Speculative Fiction genre, occasionally dipping into horror, although generally of the kid-friendly variety.

Compare R. L. Stine and K. A. Applegate.

His official website is here.

His over 100 works include:

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    Series by Bruce Coville: 

Bruce Coville's Chamber of Horrors

Four standalone horror stories originally published in the teen horror series Dark Forces and Twilight: Where Darkness Begins, they were reprinted in 1996 as a single series.

  • Amulet of Doom (1985 in Twilight: Where Darkness Begins series; reprinted 1996)
  • Spirits and Spells (1986 in Twilight: Where Darkness Begins series; reprinted 1996)
  • Eyes of the Tarot (1983 in Dark Forces series; reprinted 1996)
  • Waiting Spirit (1984 in Dark Forces series; reprinted 1996)

The A.I. Gang

Five genius kids — Rachel and Roger Phillips, Ray "Gamma Ray" Gammand, Tripton "Trip" Duncan Delmar Davis, and Wendy "Wonderchild" Wendell III — have been dragged off to a remote island so their scientist parents can work on the ultimate computer project: creating a machine that can truly think. Upon discovering this, the kids decide to beat their parents at their own game. Joined by Hap Swenson, whose father runs the island's motor pool, they soon discover the project and its scientists are being targeted by multiple organizations, each with their own goals. Note 

  • Operation Sherlock (1986, revised 1995)
  • The Cutlass Clue (1986; by Jim Lawrence)
  • Robot Trouble (1986, revised 1995)
  • Forever Begins Tomorrow (1986, revised 1995).

Nina Tanleven

Nina "Nine" Tanleven and her friend Chris Gurley find themselves solving a series of mysteries involving ghosts and hauntings when they discover a ghost in a theater in their hometown of Syracuse, New York.

  • The Ghost in the Third Row (1987)
  • The Ghost Wore Gray (1988)
  • The Ghost Let Go (1995, short storynote )
  • The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed (1990)

Camp Haunted Hills

When Stuart Glassman discovers his favorite movie director has opened a summer camp for kids who want to learn how to make movies, he immediately signs up. Little does he expect that by summer's end, he'll have been kidnapped by a sasquatch, chased by a mummy, and menaced by a room full of monsters.

  • How I Survived My Summer Vacation (1988)
  • Some of My Best Friends Are Monsters (1989)
  • The Dinosaur that Followed Me Home (1990)

Magic Shop

When young preteens stumble into S.H. Elives' magic shop, each winds up taking home a special item that will change their lives forever.note 

  • The Monster's Ring (1989; revised 2002)
  • Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher (1990)
  • Jennifer Murdley's Toad (1993)
  • Watch Out! (1996, short story)
  • The Metamorphosis of Justin Jones (1997; short story)
  • The Skull Of Truth (1999)
  • Juliet Dove Queen Of Love (2003)
  • The Mask of Eamonn Tiyado (2008; short story)

My Teacher Is an Alien

A series that starts out about We Need to Get Proof, but halfway through, turns into a series about Humanity on Trial.

  • My Teacher Is An Alien (1990)
  • My Teacher Fried My Brains (1991)
  • My Teacher Glows In The Dark (1991)
  • My Teacher Flunked The Planet (1992)

Space Brat

Blork is the biggest brat on the planet Splat. But one day, he and his pet Poodnoobie Lunk wind up embroiled in an adventure that will change his outlook on life for the better.

  • Space Brat (1992)
  • Space Brat 2: Blork's Evil Twin (1993)
  • Space Brat 3: The Wrath of Squat (1994)
  • Space Brat 4: Planet of the Dips (1995)
  • Space Brat 5: The Saber-Toothed Poodnoobie (1997)

Goblins duology

William has lived in Toad-in-a-Cage Castle his entire life. But one night, he discovers the strange secret in the north tower, leading him into a dangerous quest to rescue a friend from the land of the goblins. Book 2 continues the story from the point of view of William's friend Fauna, and reveals both their origins, as well as that of the enormous stone toad that gave the castle its name.note 

  • Goblins in the Castle (1992)
  • Goblins on the Prowl (2015)

Rod Allbright Alien Adventures

Rod Allbright believes he's a relatively normal sixth-grader… until a tiny spaceship and its occupants crashes through his window and enlist his aid in arresting an intergalactic criminal, who must be stopped before he completes a plan that will lead to the destruction of the entire universe.

  • Aliens Ate My Homework (1993)
  • I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X (1994)
  • The Search for Snout/Aliens Stole My Dad (1995)
  • Aliens Stole My Body (1998)

The Unicorn Chronicles

Young Cara finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure when she enters the magical land of Luster, home of the unicorns and other beings, and encounters the Hunters seeking to destroy them.note  A revised and reissued edition was released in 2018-2022.

  • Original version:
    • Book I: Into the Land of the Unicorns (1994)
    • Book II: Song of the Wanderer (1999)
    • Book III: Dark Whispers (2008)
    • Book IV: The Last Hunt (2010)

  • Revised version:
    • Book I: Into the Land of the Unicorns (2018)
    • Book II: Song of the Wanderer (2019)
    • Book III: Enter the Whisperer (2020)
    • Book IV: Secret of the Delvers (2021)
    • Book V: The Invasion of Luster (2022)
    • Book VI: The Wounded Tree (2022)
    • Book VII: The Gathered Glory (2022)

Shakespeare retellings

Adaptations of the classic Shakespeare plays, incorporating essential lines from each of them into a prose style.

  • The Tempest (1996)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (1996)
  • Macbeth (1997)
  • Romeo and Juliet (1999)
  • Twelfth Night (2003)
  • Hamlet (2004)
  • The Winter's Tale (2007)

I Was a Sixth Grade Alien (My Best Friend Is an Alien in some countries)

Earth has made contact with another world, and its ambassador insists that his son, Pleskit Meenom, be treated like a normal Earth kid. That means enrolling him in sixth grade, where he and his new best friend Tim Tompkins get into all kinds of wild adventures.

  1. I Was a Sixth Grade Alien (1999)
  2. The Attack of the Two-Inch Teacher (1999)
  3. I Lost My Grandfather's Brain (1999)
  4. Peanut Butter Lover Boy (2000)
  5. Zombies of the Science Fair (2000)
  6. Don't Fry My Veeblax! (2000)
  7. Too Many Aliens (2000)
  8. Snatched From Earth (2000)
  9. There's an Alien in My Backpack (2000)
  10. The Revolt of the Miniature Mutants (2001)
  11. There's an Alien in My Underwear (2001)
  12. Farewell to Earth (2001)
  • Disaster on Geembol Seven (1999-2000)note 

Moongobble and Me

A young boy named Edward finds himself having adventures with the wizard Moongobble.

  • The Dragon of Doom (2003)
  • The Weeping Werewolf (2004)
  • The Evil Elves (2004)
  • The Mischief Monster (2007)
  • The Naughty Nork (2009)

Amber Brown

A revival of the series begun by Paula Danziger, co-written by Coville and Elizabeth Levy after Danziger's death.

  • Amber Brown is Tickled Pink (2012)
  • Amber Brown Is on the Move (2013)
  • Amber Brown Horses Around (2014)

The Enchanted Files

A humor/fantasy series where the events of each book are told through diary entries and other documents.

  • Diary of a Mad Brownie/Cursed (2015)
  • Diary of a Runaway Griffin/Hatched (2016)
  • Diary of a Terrible Troll/Trolled (2017)

    Standalones by Bruce Coville: 
  • Space Station Ice-3 (1987 as Murder in Orbit; reissued in 1996)note 
  • Monster of the Year (1990)
  • The Dragonslayers (1994)note 
  • Fortune's Journey (1994) — a historical fiction story, set in 1853.
  • The World's Worst Fairy Godmother (1996)
  • Armageddon Summer (1998; collaboration with Jane Yolen)
  • The Monsters of Morley Manor (2001)note 
  • Thor's Wedding Day (2005)note 
  • Always October (2012) — his 100th book published.note 
  • The Thief of Worlds (2021)

    Picture books by Bruce Coville: 
  • The Foolish Giant (1978) — Coville's very first book to be published. note 
  • Sarah's Unicorn (1985)
  • Sarah and the Dragon (1987) (sequel to Sarah's Unicorn)
  • My Grandfather's House (1996)
  • The Lapsnatcher (1997)
  • The Prince of Butterflies (2002)
  • Hans Brinker (2007, retelling)

    Anthologies by Bruce Coville: 

Bruce Coville's Book of...

Themed anthologies with introductions and an opening story by Bruce Coville, and occasionally one or two more of his snuck in among the other entries. Books 7-11 include the five-part story The Monsters of Morley Manor, which would be expanded and revised into the book of the same name.

  • Bruce Coville's Book of Monsters (1993)
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Aliens (1994)
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Ghosts (1995)
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Nightmares (1995)
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Spine Tinglers (1996)
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Magic (1996)
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Monsters II (1996)
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Aliens II (1996)
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Ghosts II (1997)
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Nightmares II (1997)
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Spine Tinglers II (1997)
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Magic II (1997)

Bruce Coville's...

Themed anthologies. Unlike his previous "Book of…" series, these do not usually include any stories by Coville himself, and he does not count them in his formal list of books.

  • Bruce Coville's Shapeshifters (1999)Contents 
  • Bruce Coville's Alien Visitors (1999)Contents 
  • Bruce Coville's Strange Worlds (2000)Contents 
  • Bruce Coville's UFOs (2000)Contents 


Anthology series containing a mix of previously published and brand new stories exclusively by Coville. Each contains nine stories and an essay; the series also collects five of Coville's introductory stories from the Bruce Coville's Book of... series (excluding My Little Brother is a Monster, Wizard's Boy and the five portions of The Monsters of Morley Manor).

  • Oddly Enough (1994)Contents 
  • Odder Than Ever (1999)Contents 
  • Odds Are Good (2006; omnibus of the first two books)
  • Oddest of All (2008)Contents 

Other anthologies

  • The Unicorn Treasury (1988)Contents 
  • Herds of Thunder, Manes of Gold (1989)Contents 
  • A Glory of Unicorns (1998)Contents 
  • Half Human (2001)Contents 
  • The One Right Thing (2008)note Contents 
  • Bruce Coville's Book of Fear (2012; e-book only release)Contents 

    Other books by Bruce Coville: 

  • Prehistoric People (1990, nonfiction)
  • The Dungeon #2: The Dark Abyss (1989) — Coville's contribution to a fantasy series organized by Philip José Farmer and written by multiple authors.
  • Planet Builders #1: Mountain of Stolen Dreams (as Robyn Tallis) — part of a ten-book, six-author series.
  • Planet Builders #6: Night of Two New Moons (as Robyn Tallis)
  • Planet Builders #10: Fire in the Sky (as Robyn Tallis)

Works by Bruce Coville with their own pages include:

General works by Bruce Coville contain examples of:

  • Creator Thumbprint:
    • Quite a few works involve miniaturized individuals. Aside from the Rod Allbright Alien Adventures series with its two-inch aliens and The Monsters of Morley Manor with its five inch title characters, characters are shrunk to two inches in an installment of the I Was A Sixth Grade Alien series.
    • Coville's hometown of Syracuse, New York is a recurring setting in his works, including Nina Tanleven, I Was a Sixth Grade Alien and Monster of the Year, and Rod Allbright's hometown is based on it (book 4 mentions that Rod and Coville "live in the same area".
    • Humans Through Alien Eyes, with aliens offering their often-critical opinions on modern human society and culture.
  • Development Hell: Coville has a number of books he'd LIKE to write, including further installments in The Unicorn Chronicles, the Magic Shop series, the Nina Tanleven series and others. Unfortunately, publishers don't seem interested, leaving these plans unfulfilled for now. The truly curious can find references to many of these works and others in his replies on the guestbook of his official website.
  • The 'Verse: The Foolish Giant, The Dragonslayers, the Goblins duology, the Magic Shop series, The Unicorn Chronicles and a handful of short stories all take place in the same multiverse. Specific links include:
    • The wizard Bellenmore and his apprentice Aaron link multiple series: they appear in person in Coville's short story Wizard's Boy (from Bruce Coville's Book of Magic), and are mentioned in Goblins on the Prowl, Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher and The Unicorn Chronicles. All three stories talk about how Bellenmore had sent the majority of Earth's dragons away from their birth world for their own safety, and the latter two feature dragons who were directly affected by Bellenmore's actions.
    • Goblins on the Prowl describes the events of The Foolish Giant as happening in its past, and references characters from The Dragonslayers.
    • The short story The Boy With Silver Eyes features the title character visiting Nilbog (from the Goblins duology) and meeting a Guardian of Memory (from The Unicorn Chronicles).

Other specific works contain examples of:

  • Face–Heel Turn: The plot of Sarah's Unicorn is kicked off by one of these. Sarah's aunt Mag had a spell backfire on her that turned her heart to stone and made her mean, treating Sarah cruelly and making her fetch nasty things from the forest. Eventually, the unicorn Oakheart breaks the spell with his healing magic, letting Mag become good again.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • In the short story "My Little Brother Is a Monster", Jason Burger and his mom adopt Dum Pling / Little Dumpling as a part of their family, but do not share blood with him. When it was expanded into the full novel Always October, Jason was replaced with Jacob Doolittle, whose grandfather Arthur was married twice; his first wife, Tia LaMontagne (alias Teelamun) had two children, Meer Askanza (the mother of Little Dumpling) and Mazrak. After she disappeared and Arthur remarried, his second wife bore him a son, Jacob's father. This makes Little Dumpling into Jacob's paternal cousin by blood (and by extension his mother into Jacob's aunt), and Mazrak into both Jacob and Little Dumpling's uncle.
    • In the original short story, only one member of the Council of Poets — Keegel Farzym — was related to Dum Pling. In Always October, another of them is his maternal grandmother Teelamun.