Robert Joseph Shea (February 14, 1933 - March 10, 1994) was a novelist and former journalist best known as co-author with Robert Anton Wilson of the science fantasy trilogy Illuminatus!. It became a cult success and was later turned into a marathon-length stage show put on at the British National Theatre and elsewhere. In 1986 it won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award. Shea went on to write several action novels based in exotic historical settings.
Robert Anton Wilson (born Robert Edward Wilson, January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007), the American author of 33 influential books, became, at various times, a novelist, philosopher, essayist, editor, playwright, futurist, libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic. Recognized as an Episkopos, Pope, and a Saint of Discordianism by Discordians who care to label him as such, Wilson helped publicize the group/religion/melee through his writings, interviews, and strolls.
The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson first published in 1975. The trilogy is a satirical, postmodern, science fiction-influenced adventure story; a drug-, sex- and magic-laden trek through a number of conspiracy theories, both historical and imaginary, which hinge around the authors' version of the Illuminati. The narrative often switches between third and first person perspectives and jumps around in time. It is thematically dense, covering topics like counterculture, numerology and Discordianism.
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