Storm Constantine, author of the Wraeththu Chronciles and a book publisher, has passed away at the age of 64. The news was announced Friday on Constantine’s Facebook page, which noted that the writer died after a long illness.
Constantine (who adopted her pen name as her legal name) was born in 1956 in Stafford, England, and began making up stories before she knew how to write. After art school, and time spent managing bands, she began her writing career with the beloved Wraeththu Chronicles. The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit was published in 1987, followed by The Bewitchments of Love and Hate and The Fulfillments of Fate and Desire. As her website explains, “Although characters in the Wraeththu novels inhabited a fantasy world, they were drawn from real people who were part of the alternative night-club/music scene of the mid-eighties.”
Explaining the concept of the Wraeththu in a 2016 interview, Constantine said:
Wraeththu are simply how the human race would be if I could design it myself: androgynous, beautiful (mostly), magical and housed in a more efficient vehicle of flesh and blood. Yet Wraeththu hara are not stainless; they are flawed. What makes them different from humanity—apart from their androgyny and improved physical/psychic being—is that they have a clean slate to start anew. Longevity helps them; humans, being frail creatures, become infirm and die just as they reach the threshold to real wisdom.
In the early 2000s, she started Immanion Press, which published new and reissued Wraeththu books alongside work by authors including Constantine’s friend Tanith Lee. After Lee’s death in 2015, the press began to reissue her out-of-print and previously unpublished writing. “Constantine was never less than wildly enthusiastic about all her books,” wrote David Barnett in a memorial piece in the Guardian. His novel Hinterland was published by Immanion in 2008.
Over the years, Constantine continued to write Wraeththu stories and novels, including the Wraeththu Histories and the Alba Sulh Sequence. She encouraged fanfiction set in the world, and Immanion published several anthologies of Wraeththu stories that included work by other authors. The sixth of these anthologies, co-edited with Wendy Darling, was just published in December.
Her extensive bibliography includes multiple grimoires, several books about Egyptian mythology, and Sekhem Heka, which details a system of magical and energy healing.
Constantine is survived by her husband. As the Facebook announcement noted, she was a very private person, and news of her passing may be a shock to many.