Ardath Frances Hurst Mayhar (born Ardath Frances Hurst in 1930 in Timpson, Texas; d. February 1, 2012 (aged 81)) began her writing career as a poet when she was nineteen. She began writing science fiction in 1979 after returning with her family to Texas from Oregon. She was nominated for the Mark Twain Readers Award and had numerous nominations for awards in almost every fiction genre; she won many awards for poetry. In 2008 she was chosen by Science Fiction Writers of America as their Author Emeritus.
Mayhar wrote over 60 books ranging from science fiction to horror to young adult to historical to westerns; with some work under the pseudonyms Frank Cannon, Frances Hurst and John Killdeer.
Mayhar also owned and operated The View From Orbit Bookstore in Nacogdoches, Texas with her husband Joe until his death in the 1990s; she later sold the bookstore. Until her health prevented it, Mayhar's reputation was such that she still spoke regularly in the area, drawing large crowds whenever she taught and spoke.
In 1986, after Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis had originally been contracted by FASA to write a novel for the BattleTech universe, Ardath Mayhar's publisher arranged for their contract to be transferred to her when Hickman and Weis found a better deal elsewhere. Mayhar then received a boardgame package to provide her with details on the universe background. She also got the earlier 10-page Hickman/Weis storyboard but felt it would not work well as written. She then rewrote it, keeping only the basic idea—the substitution of a Successor Lord for a body double by his enemies. Her novel, The Sword and the Dagger, was the second novel to be published for BattleTech.
- BattleTech-related works by Ardath Mayhar