Raymond E. Feist

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Raymond E. Feist
Raymond Elias Feist 20080316 Salon du livre 1.jpg
Raymond Elias Feist at Salon du livre 2008 (Paris, France)
Born 1945
Los Angeles
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Period 1982–present
Genre Fantasy
Notable works Magician
Spouse Kathlyn Starbuck
Relatives Felix E. Feist

Raymond Elias Feist (born Raymond E. Gonzales III, 1945) is an American author who primarily writes fantasy fiction. He is best known for The Riftwar Cycle series of novels and short stories. His books have been translated into multiple languages and have sold over 15 million copies.[1]


Raymond E. Gonzales III was born in 1945 in Los Angeles, and was raised in Southern California. When his mother remarried, he took the surname of his adoptive stepfather, Felix E. Feist.[2] He graduated with a B.A. in Communication Arts with Honors in 1977 from the University of California at San Diego. During that year Feist had some ideas for a novel about a boy who would be a magician. He wrote the novel two years later, and it was published in 1982 by Doubleday. Feist currently lives with his children in San Diego, where he collects fine wine, DVDs, and books on a variety of topics of personal interest: wine, biographies, history, and especially the history of American professional football.[3]


The Riftwar Cycle

The majority of Feist's works are part of The Riftwar Cycle, and feature the worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan.[4] Human magicians and other creatures on the two planets are able to create rifts through dimensionless space that can connect planets in different solar systems. The novels and short stories of The Riftwar Universe record the adventures of various people on these worlds.

Midkemia was originally created as an alternative to the Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) role-playing game. When Feist studied at the University of California, San Diego, he and his friends created a new role-playing game based on their own original world of Midkemia. They called themselves the Thursday Nighters, because they played the Midkemia role-playing game every Thursday evening. After some time, when the group changed and began meeting on Fridays, they became known as the Friday Nighters. The original group have since formed a company called Midkemia Press, which has continued publishing campaigns set in Midkemia.[5]

Feist acknowledges that the Tekumel setting from M. A. R. Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne was the source for much of Kelewan. The original D&D campaign which he based his books on had an invasion of the Midkemia world by Tekumel. As a result, much of the background of Kelewan – the Tsurani Empire, the lack of metals and horses, the Cho'ja, the pantheons of 20 major and 20 minor gods – comes from Tekumel. Feist claims to have been unaware of this origin when he wrote Magician.[6][7]

Other works

Feist has published three non-Riftwar novels, the first of which, Faerie Tale, is a dark fantasy set in the state of New York. He has also published several short stories in various anthologies.



  1. "Raymond E Feist biography, bibliography, interviews and book reviews". www.fantasybookreview.co.uk. Retrieved June 14, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Biography: In the Beginning". Crydee.com. Retrieved January 23, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Biography". Crydee.com. Retrieved June 14, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Writer: Raymond E. Feist (1945 – , United States)". www.scifan.com. Retrieved June 14, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Claire E. White (March 1, 2000). "A Conversation With Raymond Feist". WritersWrite.com. Retrieved June 14, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Shannon Appelcline (February 5, 2012). "Designers & Dragons: The Column #13: Midkemia Press, 1979–1983". RPG.net. Retrieved July 21, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Arthur B (July 6, 2007). "The Reading Canary On: The Riftwar Saga". FerretBrain.com. Retrieved July 21, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links