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The Blue Star

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Book Details

Title:The Blue Star
Pratt, Fletcher   
(3 of 8 for author by title)
Double Jeopardy
The Battles that Changed History
Published:   1952
Publisher:Twayne Publishers, Inc.
Tags:fantasy, fiction, witchcraft

The source book for this project was a 3-story anthology titled "Witches Three".

The novel is set in a parallel world in which the existence of psychic powers has permitted the development of witchcraft into a science; in contrast, the physical sciences have languished, resulting in a modern culture reminiscent of our eighteenth century. Witchcraft is hereditary but the ability to use it can be held by only one member of a family line at a time, being passed from mother to daughter at the daughter's loss of virginity. The daughter's lover then gains possession of her magical talisman, a jewel known as a "blue star", which enables him to read the mind of anyone he looks in the eye. The catch is that he retains access to this power only so long as he keeps faith with his witch lover.—Wikipedia. [Suggest a different description.]

Pages:549 Info

Author Bio for Pratt, Fletcher

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Murray Fletcher Pratt (25 April 1897—10 June 1956) was a science fiction and fantasy writer; he was also well-known as a writer on naval history and on the American Civil War.

Pratt attended Hobart College for one year. During the 1920s he worked for the Buffalo Courier-Express and on a Staten Island newspaper. In the late 1920s he began selling stories to pulp magazines. When a fire gutted his apartment in the 1930s, he used the insurance money to study at the Sorbonne for a year. After that he began writing histories.

Wargamers know Pratt as the inventor of a set of rules for civilian naval wargaming before the Second World War. This was known as the "Naval War Game" and was based on a wargame developed by Fred T. Jane involving dozens of tiny wooden ships, built on a scale of one inch to 50 feet. These were spread over the floor of Pratt's apartment and their manoeuvres were calculated via a complex mathematical formula. Noted author and artist Jack Coggins was a frequent participant in Pratt's Navy Game. Sprague de Camp met him through his wargaming group.

Pratt is best known for his fantasy collaborations with de Camp, the most famous of which is the humorous Harold Shea series, was eventually published in full as The Complete Compleat Enchanter. His solo fantasy novels Well of the Unicorn and The Blue Star are also highly regarded.

Pratt wrote in a markedly identifiable prose style, reminiscent of the style of Bernard DeVoto. One of his books is dedicated "To Benny DeVoto, who taught me to write."


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