Heroes in Hell

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Heroes in Hell
Heroes in Hell, the first book in the series

Heroes in Hell
The Gates of Hell
Rebels in Hell
Kings in Hell
Crusaders in Hell
Legions of Hell
Angels in Hell
Masters in Hell
The Little Helliad
War in Hell
Prophets in Hell
Explorers in Hell
Lawyers in Hell
Rogues in Hell
Bridge Over Hell
Dreamers in Hell
Poets in Hell
Doctors in Hell
Hell Bound
Pirates in Hell
Hell Hounds
Lovers in Hell
Hell Gate

Author Janet Morris, series editor
Cover artist David B. Mattingly (first book in series)
Country United States
Genre Novels and short stories
shared world fantasy
Bangsian fantasy
Publisher Baen Books, Kerlak Enterprises/Perseid Publishing, Perseid Press
Published1986–1989, 2011–2018

Heroes in Hell is a series of shared world fantasy books, within the genre Bangsian fantasy, created and edited by Janet Morris and written by her, Chris Morris, C. J. Cherryh and others. The first 12 books in the series were published by Baen Books between 1986 and 1989, and stories from the series include one Hugo Award winner and Nebula nominee ("Gilgamesh in the Outback" by Robert Silverberg from Rebels in Hell), as well as one other Nebula Award nominee. The series was resurrected in 2011 by Janet Morris with the thirteenth book and eighth anthology in the series, Lawyers in Hell, followed by six more anthologies and four novels between 2012 and 2019.



The shared world premise of Heroes in Hell (also called The Damned Saga) is that all the dead wind up together in Hell, where they pick up where they left off when still alive. [1] Robert W. Cape Jr., in Classical Traditions in Science Fiction (Oxford University Press), [2] wrote "...in the popular Heroes in Hell series, Julius Caesar intrigues in the underworld with Alexander the Great, Machiavelli, and other historical rulers. Death has not changed their natures, and their political and military machinations seem similar to those of rulers at the end of the Cold War." The Encyclopedia of Fantasy states "In the long series of shared world adventures begun with Heroes in Hell, Hell becomes an arena in which all the interesting people in history can come together to continue the relentless pursuit of their various ends." [3] Brian Stableford commented that the series "adapted the backcloth of Dantean fantasy as a stage for violent adventures with ironic echoes of infernal comedy". [4]


Science fiction and fantasy author Orson Scott Card compared the success of Heroes in Hell with other shared worlds like Thieves' World , Wild Cards and Liavek , and said that this "almost guarantees that shared worlds will be around for many years to come". [5] The webzine SF Site discussed the popularity of shared worlds in the 1980s and listed Heroes in Hell as a "significant example" of one of them. [6] Library Journal called Heroes in Hell "a garden of infernal delights." [7]

Miriam Van Scott reviews the first novel in the series within her book Encyclopedia of Hell . [8]

Author Janet Morris created a unique underworld saga in her 1984 book, Heroes in Hell, a witty novel that declares "Nobody who is anybody went to heaven." The collection of infernal vignettes features everyone from the legendary hero GILGAMESH to actor James Dean in the great below, with the likes of Caesar and Mao Zedong thrown in for color. Trapped in the abyss of fire, the villains continue vying for power and position in the underworld to the delight of SATAN, their new overseer. Heroes was published with a companion novel, Gates of Hell.

She later describes the entire series within the same book. [8]

Innovative and clever, the Damned Saga weaves myth, legend, fact, and fantasy into a fascinating tapestry of underworld lore. The Heroes series also testifies to the immense popularity hell enjoys even in this modern age of literature.

Books in the series

There are nine novels in the series and fourteen anthologies of short fiction. Janet Morris edited all twelve anthologies. Portions of Legions of Hell first appeared in stories published in Heroes in Hell, The Gates of Hell, Rebels in Hell, Kings in Hell and Crusaders in Hell.


  1. Card 1990, p. 125.
  2. Rogers, Brett M.; Stevens, Benjamin Eldon (2015). Classical Traditions in Science Fiction. Oxford University Press. p. 331. ISBN   9780199988419.
  3. Clute and Grant 1997, p. 461.
  4. Stableford 2005, p. 356.
  5. Card 1990, p. 126.
  6. Horton, Rich. "The Original Anthology Series in Science Fiction". SF Site . Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  7. Jackie Cassada, Library Journal, "Heroes in Hell", March 15, 1986, Volume 111, Issue 5, page 80
  8. 1 2 Van Scott 1998, p. 162.
  9. "1987 Locus Poll Award". Internet Speculative Fiction Database . Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  10. "Nebula Final Ballots from the 1980s". SFWA Nebula Awards. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
  11. Brian Thomsen (ed.), Novel Ideas – Fantasy, DAW Books, 2006, copyrights acknowledgments page
  12. "1987 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Archived from the original on May 7, 2011. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  13. "Nebula Nominees List". The Locus Index to SF Awards. Locus . Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  14. "1988 Chesley Awards". Locus . Retrieved 2011-07-13. David Mattingly received a nomination for a 1988 Chesley Award for his cover artwork of Heroes in Hell
  15. "2012 Darrell Awards Honored Works". Darrell Awards . Retrieved 2012-04-18.

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