Linwood Vrooman Carter (June 9, 1930 - February 7, 1988) was an American author of science fiction and fantasy, as well as an editor and critic. He usually wrote as Lin Carter; known pseudonyms include H.P. Lowcraft (for an H.P. Lovecraft parody) and Grail Undwin.
Carter was influential as a critic of contemporary fantasy and a pioneering historian of the genre. His book reviews and surveys of the year's best fantasy fiction appeared regularly in Castle of Frankenstein, continuing after that magazine's 1975 demise in The Year's Best Fantasy Stories. His early studies of the works of Tolkien (Tolkien: A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings) and H.P. Lovecraft (Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos) were followed up by the wide-ranging Imaginary Worlds: The Art of Fantasy, a study tracing the emergence and development of modern fantasy from the late nineteenth century through the 1970s.
As an editor for Ballantine Books from 1969-1974, Carter brought several obscure yet important books of fantasy back into print under the Adult Fantasy line. He also helped new authors break into the field. Carter was a fantasy anthologist of note, editing a number of new anthologies of classic and contemporary fantasy for Ballantine and other publishers.
Together with Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA) he sponsored the Gandalf Award, an early fantasy equivalent to science fiction's Hugo Award, for the recognization of outstanding merit in authors and works of fantasy. It was given annually by the World Science Fiction Society from 1974 to 1980. Its primary purpose continues to be fulfilled by the initially rival World Fantasy Awards, first presented in 1975.
- 1969: Tolkien: A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings
- 1969: The Young Magicians (editor)
- 1973: Imaginary Worlds: The Art of Fantasy
- 1977: Middle Earth: The World of Tolkien Illustrated (with David Wenzel)