On Books and Webpages
My copy of A Silverlock Companion arrived in October 1998! I'd already been at work on this site for about two months. Fred Lerner's book helped me to expand it -- without outright cribbing from him (or at least not without giving him credit.) But there are elements here on the website that aren't in Fred Lerner's book, and there is much in his slim book that is not on here (like The Inside Scoop on John Myers Myers by Himself, and seven of his verses never published elsewhere.)
You can get your own copy of A Silverlock Companion by writing directly to the publisher and being very patient.
A Silverlock Companion:
The Life and Works of John Myers Myers
edited by Fred Lerner
Niekas Publications, 1988
email order from <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There are advantages to a book: you can carry it around with you, and you can read it with a flashlight even if the electricity goes out. There are different advantages to a webpage: you can tie an entire library together with hyperlinks, so that I can not only describe Manon to you, I can give you the book to read for yourself (with the invaluable help of The Gutenberg Project). Any time I get new information or inspiration, I can post an update without extensive negotiations with a publisher. And best of all, once I have an ISP and you have an ISP, we can read each other basically for free.
But the Best of All Possible Worlds, for me, includes both books and webpages; both reading and writing; and live-action roleplaying (also known as Daily Life and Relationships) to boot. I hope you enjoy this website, and others I link you to; I also hope you look up the books in print mentioned here, including Silverlock and A Silverlock Companion; and I hope we meet someday to discuss books and sing songs (with or without Guinness.)
|I am an Amazon.com Associate. A percentage of whatevert you buy at Amazon.com following a link from this page goes to the Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project.|
Other books by John Myers Myers:
Listed by first publication date.
The Harp & the Blade, 1941
The adventures of an Irish bard under a Pictish curse in post-Charlemagne France. The book was strongly recommended to me by Sam Paik and others; when I finally got hold of a copy, I was delighted to recognize it. I don't know why I hadn't identified the author with the John Myers Myers who wrote Silverlock, but as soon as I came to the bard's first tirade on his enemies I knew I'd read the book before. It was well worth re-reading. It is not as flashy as Silverlock, and it doesn't have the fantasy elements popular today, but it is a satisfying adventure with a lot of humor and good poetry.
Out on Any Limb, 1942
A picaresque novel set in Queen Bess's England.
The Wild Yazoo, 1947
Jerry Pournelle, in his intro to the 1984 paperback edition of Silverlock, mentions reading The Wild Yazoo "and a good half-dozen others of Myers' work." I have finally tracked down The Wild Yazoo, which turns out to be a fiction novel of the American West.
Silverlock, The Wild Yazoo, Out on Any Limb and The Harp and the Blade, although they have widely different settings, share strong similarities: the protagonist is a young man who is not doing well in his home setting, who either goes forth or is flung forth to explore new lands; he finds an older mentor, who is at times manipulative, though not necessarily to his harm (in the long run); there are songs, a strong love of language for its own sake, and a reveling in old books read; although there is a plot, its development is not stressed to the detriment of an enjoyable ramble.
The Alamo, 1948
Nonfiction. Anyone reading The Death of Bowie Gizzardsbane would expect Myers to have done research on the Alamo.
Doc Holliday, 1955
Dead Warrior, 1956
The rise and fall of a town.
I, Jack Swilling, 1961
One of the few fiction books ever published with an index.
Maverick Zone, 1961
Myers' only published book of poetry.
The Deaths of the Bravos, 1962
Pirates, Pawnee and Mountain Man: The Saga of Hugh Glass, 1963
Building a State in Apache Land, 1963
Written by Charles D. Poston; Myers did preface, notes and bibliography.
San Francisco's Reign of Terror, 1966
Print in a Wild Land, 1967
The Border Wardens, 1971
I have a review posted at the Amazon site.
Manuscript believed lost for quite some time.
A Brief Biography of John Myers Myers
The following information was gathered from
James M. Crane's entry in A Silverlock Companion.
Born: January 11, 1906 in Northport, Long Island
Travels: Across United States & Europe, including writing for the New York World and the San Antonio News, attempting to farm a swampy island in South Carolina, floating down the Danube on a raft named Phoebe, and serving in the Second Armored Division during World War II as both an enlisted man and an officer.
Family: Married to Charlotte Shanahan; two daughters, Celia and Anne Caldwell.
Last known location: Tempe, Arizona, since 1948
The Songs of Silverlock
The one thing that has gotten most people hooked on Silverlock is the songs. Many heard the songs before they read the book, as they have been circulated at will (and often at anyone else handy) around science fiction conventions in That Which Is Called Filk Singing. (For a more thorough intro to filk singing, see the Interfilk site.)
But as far as I know, none of the songs from Silverlock that have been put to music have been published with the author's permission. -- which is an obstacle to my publishing them here. I am trying to get hold of the author / and or his estate / and or publisher to see what can be worked out. If anyone else has information on songs permitted for public display, please email me.
More Silverlock pages:
Samuel Seung-Jo Paik has an excellent and extensive study of Silverlock, with detailed bibliography. He has also provided the full text of several public domain works cited, with HTML tags so that you can go straight to the reference. His thoroughness keeps me from getting lazy.
Short reviews of Silverlock and The Moon's Fire-Eating Daughter at Andrew Arensburger's Books site -- and many other good book recommendations, too.
Drink Deep ... and if you've ever been tempted to try the Making for yourself, check out the Commonwealth writing project planned by the lesser Kudus. Greg Crowe has a very pretty Silverlock page too -- but watch out for the spoilers!
An Ayn Rand character in Atlas Shrugged said that the best repayment you could give to a creative artist was to go create something yourself. All of us who have created tribute pages to John Myers Myers are attempting to do that -- but Guy Teague has actually written a story in the manner of Silverlock. You can read it online: Sea Change.
Interested in Folklore?
Also check out Anitra's Sea Chantey Page.
Expand your folklore library at the Folklore Bookstore
or at Rainy Day Press, Oregon history and folklore from Mike Helm.
Search Amazon.com for other items of interest:
The Lucky W Amulet Archive is a folkloric resource that contains hundreds of interlinked pages describing and illustrating amulets, talismans, and lucky charms from around the world and all eras.
email me if you have any more suggested links. Make me create a new webpage. G'on, make me!
Fairy Tales, Folk Tales and Mythology
site is owned by Anitra Freeman