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Jo Clayton (February 15, 1939 – February 13, 1998) was an American Speculative Fiction author. Born and raised with her parents and two sisters in Modesto, California, she graduated from the University of Southern California in 1963. After that, she took on a job as a teacher in Bell, California. In 1969, she converted to Catholicism and moved to Louisiana to join the Sisters of Mount Carmel, a religious order in New Orleans. She left the order three years later. While in New Orleans, she painted people's pets in addition to writing. In the late nineties, after developing multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow), she was confined to a hospital, but this didn't stop her from writing a novel and a half. She succumbed to her disease in 1998, but not without leaving thirty-five novels and multiple short stories behind her.

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    Works 
Her work, classified by series, is listed as as follows.

  • The Diadem Saga
    • Diadem from the Stars
    • Lamarchos
    • Irsud
    • Maeve
    • Star Hunters
    • The Nowhere Hunt
    • Ghosthunt
    • The Snares of Ibex
    • Quester's Endgame

  • Shadith's Quest
    • Shadowplay
    • Shadowspeer
    • Shadowkill

  • The Shadowsong Trilogy
    • Fire in the Sky
    • The Burning Ground
    • Crystal Heat

  • The Skeen Trilogy
    • Skeen's Leap
    • Skeen's Return
    • Skeen's Search

  • The Duel of Sorcery Trilogy
    • Moongather
    • Moonscatter
    • Changer's Moon

  • The Dancers Trilogy
    • Dancer's Rise
    • Serpent Waltz
    • Dance Down the Stars

  • Soul Drinker
    • Drinker of Souls
    • Blue Magic
    • A Gathering of Stones

  • Wild Magic
    • Wild Magic
    • Wildfire
    • The Magic Wars

  • The Drums of Chaos
    • Drum Warning
    • Drum Calls
    • Drum into Silence

She also wrote two standalone novels, A Bait of Dreams and Shadow of the Warmaster.


Works by Jo Clayton with their own pages:

Other works by Jo Clayton contain examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: The eponymous Diadem from the Diadem Saga was specifically built to enact this as a revenge. It can not be taken off once put on, and it gradually absorbs and traps the wearer's mind, which remains completely conscious long after the wearer's physical death. It was created by an ex-lover of Harksari, who (impatiently) killed her and threw her body into a volcano. She had to wait until the planet itself was rubble and a passing asteroid miner put on the diadem before she could sense anything outside of herself or make contact with another person again. Shadith, on the other hand, only had to lie around as crumbling bones for a few hundred years; but all three of the Diadem's victims were looking at an eternity in a glass case in a museum until Events Transpired.
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  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: In Irsud, Aleytys was sold to a insect-like species to be used as the host for their next queen, which would consume her as time passed; Aleytys' abilities made her particularly good fodder.
  • Wizards from Outer Space:
    • The Soul Drinker trilogy had wizards, gods, and space ships.
    • In Skeen's Leap and its sequels, hard-boiled interstellar treasure-hunter Skeen, stranded on a backwater planet, discovers an Portal Door to a world that fairly approximates the Standard Fantasy Setting. It doesn't seem to make much difference in her life; she goes from being chased by saayungka to being chased by werewolves without much intermission.

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