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  • Gateway

Fiction, Science fiction

An SF Gateway eBook: bringing the classics to the future.

The modern mind usually associates witchcraft with the middle ages. We think of witches as Shakespeare depicted them in Macbeth. We see them as secret, black and midnight hags, doing a deed without a name. We close our eyes and immediately the vision of a cauldron filled with foul ingredients appears before us; here are the fenny snake, adder's fork, wool of bat, scale of dragon and tooth of wolf.

But this does not go far enough back. There was witchcraft in the world long before medieval times. The Witch of Endor who practiced her strange arts in the reign of King Saul is familiar to all students of the Old Testament. The writings of Homer abound with references to witchcraft and sorcery. The very earliest human societies had witch doctors, medicine men, shamans and priests of the black art.

Perhaps so ancient and widespread a cult has some basis in fact. There are powers beyond science. Ancient occult laws will still hold good. It is not wise to cross the path of a being whose age is measured in centuries and whose dark powers can alter the stars in their courses.

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Leo Brett

Robert Lionel Fanthorpe (1935- )

Lionel Fanthorpe was born in Dereham, Norfolk, in 1935. He sold his first story in 1952 and has since written nearly 200 novels and collections of shorts under a variety of pseudonyms. He has worked as a dental technician, factory machinist, farmworker and lorry driver. He has also been a journalist, a lecturer for Cambridge University Board of Extra-Mural Studies and an Industrial Training Manager. He trained as a teacher at Keswick College of Education and took an Open University degree. His main hobbies are Power Lifting and Judo at which he has a Brown Belt awarded by Brian Jacks.

Patricia Fanthorpe (1938- )

Patricia Fanthorpe was born in Beetley, Norfolk, in 1938, and married Lionel in 1957. They have two daughters, Stephanie Dawn (1964) and Fiona Mary (1966). Her own favourite writer is Edgar Rice Burroughs. Her first literary ventures were the co-authorship of various textbooks on metrication, office management, and a payroll guide.

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