Robert Joseph Shea (February 14, 1933 - March 10, 1994) was an American 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.
Shea met Wilson in the late 1960s when they worked on Playboy magazine. They decided to collaborate on a novel. It would combine sex, drugs, religious cults and conspiracies, as well as anarchy. Their philosophical and political differences merely served to enrich their efforts. Objectivity was jettisoned, as indeed was subjectivity: no single point of view or version of reality was privileged: Illuminatus! was the three-volume consequence.
Illuminati, a card game from Steve Jackson Games, was inspired by the books. A trading card game, Illuminati: New World Order, and a role-playing game, GURPS Illuminati, followed...
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