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Creator / Glen Cook

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Glen Cook is a contemporary American science fiction and fantasy author. His most notable works are the Dread Empire, The Black Company, and Garrett, P.I. series.

  • The Black Company
    • The Books of the North
      • The Black Company (1984)
      • Shadows Linger (1984)
      • The White Rose (1985)
    • The Books of the South
      • Shadow Games (1989)
      • Dreams of Steel (1990)
      • The Silver Spike (1989, side story)
    • The Books of the Glittering Stone
      • Bleak Seasons (1996)
      • She Is the Darkness (1997)
      • Water Sleeps (1999)
      • Soldiers Live (2000)
    • Not yet published
      • A Pitiless Rain
      • Port of Shadows
  • Garrett, P.I.
    • Sweet Silver Blues (1987)
    • Bitter Gold Hearts (1988)
    • Cold Copper Tears (1988)
    • Old Tin Sorrows (1989)
    • Dread Brass Shadows (1990)
    • Red Iron Nights (1991)
    • Deadly Quicksilver Lies (1994)
    • Petty Pewter Gods (1995)
    • Faded Steel Heat (1999)
    • Angry Lead Skies (2002)
    • Whispering Nickel Idols (2005)
    • Cruel Zinc Melodies (2008)
    • Gilded Latten Bones (2010)
    • Wicked Bronze Ambition (2013)
  • Dread Empire
  • Instrumentalities of the Night
  • Starfishers
  • Darkwar
  • Standalone novels and short stories

Works by Glen Cook with their own trope pages:

Other works by Glen Cook contain examples of:

  • Acrofatic: In the Dread Empire books, Mocker is noted for being very fat — and one of the deadliest swordsmen alive. His comrade Bragi Ragnarson, described as a giant of a man, flinches when Mocker threatens him.
  • Battle Cry: Averted by the legions of Dread Empire: "The soldiers of Shinsan fought, and died, without a word or cry. Their silence had unnerved men more experienced than Torfin." They're not under any kind of enchantment, or with tongues cut out; they're just that disciplined.
  • Becoming the Mask: In the series Instrumentalities of the Night, protagonist Else Tage is sent on a mission to spy on the west for the kingdom of Dreangor. Pushed along by the fact that the Evil Chancellor responsible for sending him on the mission is trying to have him killed, he starts questioning his loyalty. This process is clearly indicated by the fact that after spending the first book referring to him as Else, the narration switches to calling him by the pseudonym he's using.
  • Cultured Badass: The novella "Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted with Defeat" mentions that all the soldiers of the Dread Empire, Shinsan, are required to be literate in at least two languages. The main character, a former senior NCO, remarks that to become a soldier in his country (he's not telling the locals he's from the Dread Empire) requires an education comparable to that of a priest elsewhere. The NCO is literate in six languages, prides himself on his cooking, shows that he's a skilled engineer, and is able to stitch up wounds as well.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In The Instrumentalities of the Night, the main character, "too ignorant to know he can never prevail over such a thing," discovers that even the most powerful gods are vulnerable to a mix of iron and silver hurled — this is the key point — by the newly developed gunpowder weapons. After a while, he's got troops trained to do it almost routinely.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Instrumentalities of the Night series takes place in 12th- or 13th-century Europe and the Middle East, except with the names (and some aspects of the religions) changed — and magic works. Most of the action takes place in Firaldria (Italy), the End of Connec (Languedoc), and the Grail (Holy Roman) Empire. The main character is a Sha-lug (Mamluk) from Dreanger (Egypt) sent to infiltrate the Chaldarean (Roman Catholic) Church and learn if they're planning another crusade against Al-Prama (Islam).
  • Fetus Terrible: The Dread Empire books have the Unborn, a creature created from the (yes, unborn) fetus of a pregnant woman who was murdered. Played with in that while the thing is immensely creepy to everyone around it, it's not really evil and is actually essential as one of the few beings capable of reliably using magic when all magical energy starts becoming unreliable.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Glen Cook wrote three short stories about a crew of pirates under a Flying Dutchman sort of curse. They realize in the second story that any of them who do something genuinely good can escape their eternal wandering, and the ship's captain sacrifices himself to destroy an even worse evil — leaving the narrator as the new captain, wondering what he did wrong that he wasn't freed as well.
  • Hyperlink Story: The Starfishers trilogy.
  • Jerkass Gods: The first chapter of Surrender to the Will of the Night has one survivor of a scouting party return to report to the god that sent the party out—although the survivor had been driven mad by his experiences. "His god rewarded him as gods do. It devoured him."
  • The Man Behind the Man: In Dread Empire, the dread empire Shinsan is controlled by its emperor who wins the succession struggle halfway through the series, O Shing. But he is really being controlled by a cabal of sorcerer-generals, the Tervola, who are actually being controlled by a conspiracy of nine individuals at the highest places in society from across the globe/continent, who are actually being controlled by an immortal demigod (the Star Rider), who is being controlled by an ill defined higher, extra-dimensional power.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Played with in the Dread Empire series. Varthlokkur is an immortal wizard who is able to use his magic to find the woman he will love. He waits millennia for her to be born, getting married once or twice for fun along the way. His son from one of these marriages ends up winning her heart first. It's okay, though; Varthlokkur can ensure that she lives forever and his son doesn't.
  • My Grandson, Myself: Ferris Renfrow in The Instrumentalities of the Night takes the form of the "old" Ferris Renfrow's son over and over, though nobody remembers him being young.
  • Saved by Canon: In the prequels of Dread Empire, much of the suspense is derived from the conflict between Haroun bin Yousif and El Murid, and especially whether one of them will get to kill the other. Given that they both are alive in the original cycle of books, there really is only one answer. Character background and development is still very well executed, however.
  • Silent Running: In Passage at Arms, which is basically a Sci-Fi retelling of Das Boot. Cook even invents a special spaceship type for this, a so-called "climber", that "climbs" into the higher levels of hyperspace inaccessible to other types of ships.
  • Silver Bullet: In the Instrumentalities of the Night series, in order to combat gods (or "Instrumentalities of the night" if you are into that One-True-God thing) the Papacy of Brothe manufactures iron bullets with a silver jacket. Making thousands of pure silver rounds is expensive, and unnecessary; so long the instrumentality is struck with a fast-moving silver object, he'll go down fine.
  • Stealth in Space: Passage at Arms (heavily inspired by Das Boot by Lothar-Günther Buchheim) describes a single mission of an invisible ship. In the backstory humans have discovered during battles that overloading FTL engines sent ships to somewhere weird, radically different from relativistic space and known hyperspace. This led to creation of "climbers", medium-sized starships that can hide in this newly-discovered "climbing space" leaving only a "pseudo-Hawking black hole" several millimeters wide. The only way to detect the climber is to notice disappearing stars. The major problem is heat buildup, since the ship cannot dump heat while hidden. Hitting "pseudo-Hawking" with nuclear weapons is considered wasteful, because most of the energy misses the target; microwave emitters, on the other hand, are much cheaper and prolonged, therefore do more damage over time. Another enemy tactic was putting the ship engine over "pseudo-Hawking", but humans learned that quick maneuvering inside an engine can destroy the enemy ship. The primary danger is that while in climber space the ship cannot release the heat buildup from any of their systems.
  • Sub Story: Passage at Arms is a sub story in space.
  • Villain Protagonist: A lot of characters skirt this, but Marika of the Darkwar trilogy is a largely straight example. While her goals are pragmatic and may even be considered benevolent, her methods are anything but, and in the end she herself wonders, how she managed to turn from a rebel and dissenter among the tyrannical, ruthless and uncompromising silth witches into a symbol of everything silth.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: In the Instrumentalities of the Night series, a major character frequently complains about his name, but his friend the main character is certain it's an alias.
    "I always wished I had one of them names like Dirk or Steele or Rock. Pinkus Ghort. My momma ought to be spanked. What the hell kind of name is Pinkus Ghort?"
    "You tell me," Hecht had responded. "You made it up."
    "You want to know the sick, sad truth, my friend? I didn't. It really is the one my momma hung on me. Though nobody never believes me when I tell them."
    Hecht remained firmly established in that class. He was sure that Pinkus Ghort would be wanted in more than one principality farther north, under other names.