J. Kathleen Cheney Collection

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Reference code

TxAM-CRS C000166

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J. Kathleen Cheney Collection


  • 2002-2021 (Creation)


12.00 Boxes

Name of creator


Biographical history

Jeannette Kathleen Cheney was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1964. She matriculated at a number of different institutions, including Texas Tech University, Abilene Christian University, the University of Texas-El Paso, Lubbock Christian University, and El Paso Community College. Cheney is a former teacher and has taught mathematics (ranging from 7th grade to Calculus) in both Putnam City, TX and Lubbock, TX, with a brief stint as a Gifted and Talented Specialist.

In 2005 Cheney decided to pursue writing as a full-time endeavor. Since then her short fiction has been published in Jim Baen's Universe, Writers of the Future, and Fantasy Magazine, among others, and her novella "Iron Shoes", the first in her Hawk's Folly Farm series, was a 2010 Nebula Award Finalist.  Her first novel, The Golden City was released by Penguin in 2013. Set in an alternate Portugal marked by magic and a civilization of selkies and other oceanic folk, the book was nominated for the "Best First Novel" Award by Locus Magazine. The book's sequel, The Seat of Magic came out in 2014, and the final novel in the trilogy, The Shores of Spain, was released in 2015. The trilogy is supplemented by two 2016 novellas: The Seer's Choice and After The War . An online story available to Cheney's Patreon supporters, "The Truth Undiscovered" has been serialized, as has the nautical story "O Submarino*.

In 2016 she released a new fantasy work, Dreaming Death. The story of the Palace of Dreams world continues in Cheney's online serial for her Patreon supporters, "In Dreaming Bound" and several additional works. Her fantasy trilogy series "The Horn" was published in full in 2017. Yet another fantasy series from Cheney, The King's Daughter, has had 4 volumes published between 2018-2020: The Amiestrin Gambit, The Passing of Pawns, The Black Queen, and Knight and Nightrider, along with a 2019 story collection, On Common Ground. An additional series of fantasy short fiction, Kseniya Illyevna, has been published by Cheney from 2008-2017.

Cheney twice attended the Summer Writer’s Workshop at the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas under the tutelage of James Gunn. She has noted C. J. Cherryh, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Georgette Heyer among the writers who influenced her most–as well as Ansen Dibell, whose ghostly fingerprints can be seen all over her work.

Cheney is nothing if not versatile in her story telling, but weaving through her work is a common thread, that of the improbable heroine. From worlds set in humanity’s distant post-apocalyptic future to alternate worlds of today or of the near past, her heroines include a siren who with help from a gentleman of the city must stop a regicidal plot, the neglected daughter of an absent king coming to terms with her shapeshifting ancestors, a blind teenager who dreams of others’ deaths and who uses her gift of touch to find their killers, and the widow of a trainer who with a most unusual horse must save her farm and way of life. All use their unusual gifts and talents to overcome obstacles and find their place in the world.

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Scope and content

This collection includes manuscripts and related materials from El Paso-born fantasy author Jeannette Kathleen Cheney. Materials include assorted drafts, proofs, and edits for the novels in her Golden City trilogy (2013-2015, as well as for her 2016 fantasy novel Dreaming Death as well as some of her more recent work.

Also included are CDs containing electronic files related to the writing, revisions, and development of the Golden City series and of Dreaming Death, as well as assorted digital files for Cheney's work.

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Items are generally arranged chronologically by the date of publication for Cheney's individual works.

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  • English

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Finding aids

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Boxes 5 - 7 acquired from Cheney in February 2015.

Box 8 acquired from Cheney in September 2015.

Box 9 acquired from Cheney in June 2016 as 2016_0107. Folders 6-7 acquired from Cheney in February 2016, as 2016_0034.

Boxes 10-12 acquired from Cheney in August 2018.

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Archivist's note

Finding Aid Authors: Jeremy Brett.

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Cushing Library. All rights reserved.

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