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Shea, Harold. Harold Shea was created by L. Sprague de Camp (Johnny Black) and Fletcher Pratt and appeared in five stories in Unknown, Beyond Fantasy and Fantasy Magazine from 1940 to 1954, beginning with “The Roaring Trumpet” (Unknown, May 1940).

Harold Shea is a young psychologist who with his mentor and friend Reed Chalmers discovers that the use of symbolic logic will allow themselves to travel into fictional worlds. Shea and Chalmers visit the world of Norse myth, Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queen, Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” and the Kalevala, among others. They pick up wives (Belphebe and Florimel), help fight evil, and generally have a grand time.

* I'm including the Harold Shea stories in the Best of the Category list because they are great fun. De Camp was a talented writer, and the Shea stories are a delightful melange of different mythologies. The lighthearted tone and 1940s voice of the stories make the stories so much better than if de Camp had written serious and seriously historical stories. Well worth searching out--recommended. 

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