Adele Gardner

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Adele's poetry book Dreaming of Days in Astophel (byline Lyn C. A. Gardner) is available signed from the author. Please include "Dreaming of Days in Astophel" in the subject line.

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Honors and Reviews


(c) Copyright to photographs on this page (except publication covers) owned by Adele Gardner; her creation and/or from her collection. Menu portraits by Daniel Michael Hegarty Sr. (left) and Adele Gardner (right). Harpsichord shots by Anne Haynes.


Mystery Weekly Magazine, Nov. 2018

“Bonnie Parker Sings the Blues” by Adele Gardner: In a parallel world, Bonnie & Clyde didn't die in a hail of bullets; they became jazz musicians. But the Bonnie who died in our reality is still greedy to be reunited with Clyde, and she fights to steal the living Clyde from Bonnie the jazz singer.

I go by Adele Gardner in tribute to my namesake, Del Gardner. Earlier works may have appeared under variations of my full name (Carolyn Adele Gardner), my previous nickname (Lyn), or my SCA name (Deirdre Ní Fionnula).

Honors, Awards, and Achievements

Fiction Honors
  • "The Angel of the House," honorable mention, The Writing Show 2009 Halloween Short Story Contest.

  • "The Angles of Midnight," honorable mention, The Writing Show 2009 Halloween Short Story Contest.

  • "The Anniversary," honorable mention, Purgatory's Pets Contest, Tales from the Moonlit Path, Iss. 8, October 2007.

  • "Bonnie Parker Sings the Blues" chosen as cover story for Mystery Weekly Magazine, Nov. 2018.

  • "Early Frost," second place, Kaleidoscope annual fiction contest, 1998-99.

  • "The Exit," fifth place, Kaleidoscope annual fiction contest, 1998-99.

  • “In Our Boxes,” honorable mention, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, 12th ed., 1999. Also selected for Best of the Rest 2.

  • "Roland Unsung," first place, Kaleidoscope annual fiction contest, 1998-99.

  • "Search for the Light, or, The Day the Dark Set In," school winner, Radcliff Junior High School (Kentucky), The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) Young Authors Program, 1984.

  • "Silver as the Night," seventh place, Whispering Spirits 2008 Flash Fiction Contest, July, 2008.

  • "Speak Not Her Name," Honorable Mention, 1st Quarter of the Writers of the Future Contest, 2010.

  • "Things Not to Forget," fifth place, Whispering Spirits Ezine, 2005 Flash Fiction Contest.

  • “Triptych,” honorable mention, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, 15th ed., 2002.

  • "The Wolf in Me," finalist, The Déjà Vu Horror Story Contest, Lycanthrope theme, 2007, Dark Recesses Press.

Poetry Honors

Photography and Art Honors
  • Tea wih My Tree, Honorable Mention at the Annual Student Juried Art Exhibition & Film Festival, Visual Arts Gallery, Templin Hall, Thomas Nelson Community College, Hampton, VA (Juror: Diana L. Blanchard Gross), Mar. 28-Apr. 21, 2016.

  • Roman Centurion selected for the Virginia Artists 2015 Juried Exhibition, The Charles H. Taylor Arts Center, Hampton, VA (Juror, Teresa Annas), Aug. 22-Oct. 11, 2015.

Editing Honors
  • VLA Presidential Citation for work on Virginia Libraries, Sept. 2011.

  • B.A., English literature, Christopher Newport University (CNU), Newport News, VA, May 1993. GPA: 4.0. President's Academic Award for Excellence for top graduate of class.

  • M.A., English literature. Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va., May 1996. Emphasis in Creative Writing and Victorian Literature. GPA: 3.95. Thesis: An "Earthly Paradise": William Morris's Later Prose Romances.

Nonfiction Honors

Library Science Honors
  • Outstanding Library Staff award from Virginia Public Library Directors Association, Apr. 2013.

  • M.S., library and information studies, Florida State University (FSU), Tallahassee, FL, May 2003. GPA: 4.0.

  • Scholarship from Virginia Library Association, 1999-2000.
Music Honors
  • B.A. included music minor in performance (harpsichord), with solo Senior Recital, Christopher Newport University (CNU), Newport News, VA, May 1993. GPA: 4.0. President's Academic Award for Excellence for top graduate of class.

  • Titled Bard of the Barony of Marinus (SCA Kingdom of Atlantia), 1992-93, through winning the Eistedffod Competition at the Baronial Birthday celebration--a competition that included my performance of one of my original songs and one medieval ballad set to my original music.



Fiction Reviews

Fiction--"The Witches' Bridge" by Adele Gardner

Michael Pederson reviews Virginia Is for Mysteries, Volume II: An Anthology of Mysteries Set in and Around Virginia, by Sisters in Crime, Virginia Chapter, Koehler Books, 2016, in the Customer Reviews section at, Jan. 31, 2016.

As a life-long resident of Virginia I never hesitate to sing the praises of my home state, we have a little something for everyone: beaches, mountains, swamps, bays and estuaries, rolling hills and green valleys, and lots and lots of history. Virginia is for Mysteries, Volume II takes good advantage of all of this. The collection’s nineteen stories take us from southwestern Virginia to Richmond, down to Norfolk and the beach, across the Chesapeake Bay to Cape Charles, and out to the mountains. There is a noticeable lack of stories set in Northern Virginia but many Virginians will smugly tell you that NoVa isn’t really part of Virginia.

As with many anthologies, not all of the stories here are winners; there are a few where the plot simply fails to come together or the characters rely to heavily on coincidence or the entire affair ends with a whimper. However, they do all share a healthy respect for their setting and play nicely with the anthology’s theme.

For me, the book’s highlights include: "The Witches’ Bridge," by Adele Gardner. The author mixes mystery with urban fantasy to sketch out a tale of friendship gone wrong. Setting the tale in Busch Gardens during the park’s Halloween celebration helps to create a spooky ambiance for a story of death and betrayal.

Fiction--"Kelmscott Manor: In the Attics" by Lyn C. A. Gardner

Matthew Baugh reviews Best Tales of the Apocalypse, Edited by D. L. Snell and Bobbie Metevier, Permuted Press, 2013, ISBN-13: 9781618680785 in the Customer Reviews section.

I have a lot of fondness for short story anthologies, and this is one of the best anthologies I've read this year. The stories are unified by the theme of the world ending, often in bizarre and unexpected ways. [...] "Kelmscott Manor: In the Attics" is part historical novel and part dystopian future story. It begins with the life of 19th century artist and writer, William Morris and asks what kind of a future this compassionate and idealistic Socialist could have fathered if he'd lived longer and captured the world with his vision. With a little help from H.G. Wells' time machine, we get a glimpse of how even the noblest of visions can go horribly wrong. Though the story is epic in scope, Lyn C.A. Gardner's elegant prose makes it a personal and very poignant story. [...] It's a strong group of stories nicely strung together, with a good blend of comedy, tragedy, absurdity and humanity. If the world was coming to an end, it's one I'd want in my bomb shelter.

Fiction--"The Mysterious Barricades" by Lyn C. A. Gardner

Facebook profile of Daily Science Fiction, posted Feb. 24, 2011: 2/25/2011 Weekend Story: "The Mysterious Barricades" by Lyn C.A. Gardner.
Gregg Chamberlain: (Feb. 25, 2011) One of the highest compliments I can pay to this story is that it would have fitted well inside an issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine during its late 1950s-early 1960s Golden Age period.
Nancy Schmidt-Chenier: (May 4, 2011) You have given me a new appreciation for the harpsichord (and a healthy level of caution).

Diabolical Plots: From Inspiration to Ink, May 31, 2011--"Daily Science Fiction: February Review," written by Frank Dutkiewicz
An old family harpsichord returns in “The Mysterious Barricades” by Lyn C. A. Gardner (debut 2/25). The musical instrument has been in Lucy’s family for years. Believed to be lost in a fire that killed her mother years ago, it has been returned to her, partially restored. The harpsichord has a history of dividing her family, and now it has ended up with her just as the love of her life, Adrienne, is leaving for a job in Paris. Now old memories are reborn to mingle with a present that is crumbling around her.

“The Mysterious Barricades” is a weird ghost story. Lucy is a woman who suffers from separation anxiety. She can’t handle Adrienne out of her life. The harpsichord is the anchor to her past. Family ghosts haunt it. They replay old events in her life and help her reassemble the old musical machine. The flashbacks that play before her eyes remind her of the effect it had as its very presence drove a wedge between her parents and grandparents. The strange events all lead to an odd climax, and strange ending.

It was a weird trip following this story. Lucy's story may be more of one person’s mental breakdown than it was about ghosts.

Fiction--"The Mustache" by Lyn C. A. Gardner

"Lois Tilton Reviews Short Fiction: Early July 2010," Locus Online, Retro Spec: Tales of Fantasy and Nostalgia, Sept 2010. Review posted July 7, 2010.
“The Mustache” by Lyn C. A. Gardner

Julia and James are folk singers, hippies who come to visit their more conventional relatives on the farm. James’s overgrown mustache causes consternation when it grows jealous of Julia.

“I hate kissing you!” the mustache wailed. “He never thinks of me anymore! He never grooms me, just lets me grow wild! I was meant to be a handlebar, not a walrus!”

A “what were they smoking?” moment, just as one would expect of hippies.

Fiction--"The Adventure of the Hidden Lane" by Lyn C. A. Gardner

Brit Mandelo,, "Queering SFF: Literary Play and the Great Detective," reviews A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes, ed. Joseph R. G. DeMarco, Lethe Press, 2011, including "The Adventure of the Hidden Lane" by Lyn C. A. Gardner.

It's a neat project featuring predominantly early-to-mid-career writers, ... some of whom are more familiar to speculative fiction readers--Rajan Khanna, Lyn C. A. Gardner, Michael G. Cornelius, and Elka Cloke, for example. ... "The Adventure of the Hidden Lane" by Lyn C. A. Gardner--Gardner takes another angle on Holmes's identity in her story; he's asexual, by choice in this scenario, or so it seems from the dialogue. I was surprised not to see more exploration of this possibility in the collection, as it's one of the biggest scholarly suppositions about Holmes--that his relationship to Watson was intensely emotional, but that he himself was asexual and therefore there was no physical relationship (hence Watson's wives). It's a melancholy story, ending on a sharp note, and for that I enjoyed it. I'm not always looking for happy endings. The mystery in the tale is serviceable if not remarkably easy to figure out from nearly the first moment, but the real climax is the last page and the conversation between Holmes and Watson that marks, as Watson says, "In the very moment I recognized our golden age, I knew that it was over." It's quite the strong blow to the reader. ... I'm glad that Lethe Press published the book and that editor DeMarco put it together; it's a good read and a worthwhile project. For fans of queering classic literature and/or fans of exploring the possibilities of the relationship between Holmes and Watson, it's certainly something to pick up.

Fiction--"Fine Flying Things" by C. A. Gardner

Fred Patten, Anthro #6: Reviews by Fred Patten, 2006

Twisted Cat Tales is a cat anthology ... edited by Esther Schrader with a delightful cover by husband Jack Schrader (a feline parody of Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream). ... The first and last stories in the anthology are probably the best and most memorable, and neither are anthropomorphic: "Fine Flying Things," by C. A. Gardner, a laid-back comedy in which all cats lose their gravity and slowly float up into the sky; and "The Last Lion," by Fox Cutter, a bittersweet tale of the fate of the last lion in the world.

Fiction--"The Likeness of Her Lord" by C. A. Gardner

Larry Mendelsberg, Journal of the Oxford Arthurian Society, 2002.

Legends of the Pendragon. Attention lovers of original stories about The Matter of Britain: Jim Lowder has put together another anthology of Arthurian short stories and this one is better than his last. ... Entries by established writers are numerous and, as one would expect, often spellbinding. Among these are an absorbing retelling of the tale of Vortigern and Hengist with Rowenna at the center of the maelstrom, authored by Nancy Varian Berberick; a very clever and unique alternative to Arthur's parentage by C. A. Gardner; and a story by Cherith Baldry that captures the true spirit of this volume, the foreshadowing of the fall of Camelot, in this case reflected in events of the early lives of Arthur and Kay. ... This volume containing twenty original short stories is an exciting new edition to the body of Arthurian fiction that keeps the legend fresh and alive.

Fiction--"Three Queens Weeping" by C. A. Gardner

Morgan Dhu, "One Brief Shining Moment," Bibliogramma, June 17, 2007.

The Doom of Camelot. For some authors the doom of Camelot lies in multiple weaknesses and flaws, woven together with the light and hope. ("Three Queens Weeping" by C. A. Gardner, "Surrendering the Blade" by Marcie Lynn Tentchoff, "Avillion" by Verlyn Flieger).

Poetry Reviews

Poetry--"Grip" by Adele Gardner, Blue Collar Review: Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature, Vol. 21, Iss. 2, Winter 2017-18.

A review of the issue by P M F Johnson on June 12, 2018 includes the following:

"I like Adele Gardner’s “Grip,” a story-poem about a construction worker, working high steel. “I never got to thank him, this man perched / on the end of a girder.” It tells a story of loss, despair, and support, with the danger of such work constantly looming. “High steel work isn’t for everyone.” Though the poem is long, to give away more I feel is to give away too much. It’s a good read, worth looking up."

Poetry--"Threads of Gold" by Adele Gardner, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Q37, August 2018.

Charles Payseur, "Quick Sips: Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #37," August 2018.

This poem revisits the myth of Ariadne and the labyrinth, shifting the focus away from the men of the story and squarely onto the woman, the girl, the daughter who has been kept as prize but not prized. To me, this poem is all about her experience, her role in the story much more active now, disassembling the fine chains that her father put on her in the form of the golden clothing she was made to wear. Fashioning from that a weapon, though not a traditional one. I like that the poem builds up such a draining and desolate vision of this situation as seen from Ariadne’s perspective. She must sit there and witness the parade of people who are fed to the labyrinth because they’ve come seeking here. It’s nothing that she asked for, and yet she is unable to get any distance from these deaths, from this grisly ritual. So instead of running away entirely she seeks to reclaim her agency and her life, crafting for herself first an escape, then negotiating her way to a truer freedom, ending the tyranny of her father and the practice that has dominated her life for so long. It’s not the most perfect of solutions, as with nothing all she can negotiate with are the chains that she was bound with and her body. But given the situation it’s a way for her to own at least the situation and her own actions, and hold to the knowledge that, having escaped one captivity, she might be able to escape more in the future. And I like that no one else in the piece gets named aside from Ariadne. While in other version this is about men and the possession of women, here it’s been turned, so that hers is the most important voice—the only voice, really. And it makes for a fascinating read. A great poem that for me is about myth, survival, and escape!

Poetry Book--Dreaming of Days in Astophel by Lyn C. A. Gardner

From the publisher's original page: "Gardner's collection of fantasy and science fiction takes you to the ends of the universe, real and imagined, and back again."

From the review by J. L. Comeau (formerly available at The Tomb of Dark Delights.)

This lush collection of fantasy/sf poems is reminiscent of the Golden Age of Elizabeth I and the glory, caprice, decadence and folklore surrounding the era. You'll find Avalon, Camelot, vengeful queens, wizards, witches, mermaids, heroes and doomed beauties. Castles loom and ghost ships sail across the dim horizons. A young peasant boy hefts a toy sword, yearning for a knighthood that will insure his death. Written in luxuriant language, Ms. Gardner takes the reader on journeys to landscapes that are recognizable yet fantastic, deftly enmeshing lore and legend in tapestries of wordcraft. Beautiful full color cover art by artist/author Marge Simon.

Poetry--"Diana's Justice" by Adele Gardner

Swords and Sorcery: A Blog reviews Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Issue 16, April 1, 2013, including "Diana's Justice" by Adele Gardner:

"Diana's Justice" by Adele Gardner is the first of three poems this issue. A warrior, though maiden no more, dedicated to the Diana the Huntress awaits her erstwhile lover in a forest glade. It's a sad story of misplaced trust, anger and bittersweet revenge.

Poetry--"The Witch Girl" by Lyn C. A. Gardner

C. S. E. Cooney reviews Goblin Fruit Autumn 2011 issue, including "The Witch Girl" by Lyn C. A. Gardner, in Black Gate: Adventures in Fantasy Literature, October 20, 2011.

I’ve never read a Lyn C. A. Gardner poem before! "Witch Girl"--"She’s more than wolf-bred." I love her! I love this poem. Oh, it’s like a whole story, cooked down for the marrow. Oh, YUMMY!

Stephanie Piña on Goblin Fruit's Facebook page, Posted October 23, 2011
I'm haunted by the poem "The Witch Girl" by Lyn C.A. Gardner. "leaving me here, like the witch girl, to simmer and stew
the poison that teaches me to be glad you're gone." Strong. I love it.

Poetry--"The Dispossessed" by Lyn C. A. Gardner

In "Stepping Up to the Plate," Part 9, Hooks & Books: An Exploration of Yarn and Literature, April 16, 2009, Joshua Gage reviews The 2009 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Poetry of 2008, Ed. Drew Morse, Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, 2009 (ISBN 7770056462)--and in particular, here, reviews "The Dispossessed" by Lyn C. A. Gardner.

This is a very interesting poem, and one that carries a lot of weight, packing stanza by stanza another horror to the point that the reader is on the verge of shuddering by the end of the poem. A lot of the images are really working here--"And that shadow stretching out behind each one—/Brothers whose hearts soon fail,/Sisters who succumb to disease"--and carry a lot of power. At times, there are no images, but the psychological coldness of the statements--"Failed bodies, not human at all,/Never were, never will be—/In order to continue,/We must insist the courts define those dross./They are abortions, allowed, just fit for study."--simply adds to the horror of the speaker's psychology, and the world view they are promoting. There is a lot happening in this piece, and some powerful statements on human rights, cloning, women's rights, the nature of life, scientific ethics, etc. This is a really haunting piece, and one working on many levels. "The Dispossessed" certainly will be one to consider for Rhysling voting.

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