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Downing, Paula E

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

Working name of US attorney, municipal judge and author Paula Elaine Downing King (1951-2017), who wrote also as Paula King and under the pseudonyms P K McAllister and Diana Marcellas; she was formerly married to and divorced from T Jackson King. Downing began publishing work of genre interest with "Loni's Promise" for Discoveries in 1989. Her first novel, Mad Roy's Light (1990) as Paula King, is an sf adventure featuring a human woman who must come to terms with her life within an interstellar trade guild while at the same time striving to comprehend the Alien Li Fawn, who mercilessly use biological engineering (see Genetic Engineering) to modify other species for their own purposes. Her second novel, Rinn's Star (1990), plays something of a game of words with its title, as the Telepathic protagonist Rinn, who lives on an interesting planet and travels between the Stars, also sees her own personal star wax and wane erratically as she shoots from one culture to another, each having a different attitude towards her background and her gift. In Flare Star (1992) a colony planet (see Colonization of Other Worlds) is devastated when its sun flares; Fallway (1993) treated similar material; and A Whisper of Time (1994) set up a complex First Contact plot involving an Alien orphan who, brought up on Earth, has fantasies about Mayan ruins, which resemble her own deepest memories of some other place.

As P K McAllister, Downing published the Cloudships of Orion sequence of Space Operas, comprising Siduri's Net (1994), Maia's Veil (1995) and Orion's Dagger (1996); the narrative, which ends abruptly, features an itinerant family of gypsies who travel through the galaxy in their cloudship in search of raw resources to mine. Later editions appeared as by Paula E Downing and as by Paula Downing King. The Witch of Two Suns trilogy as by Diana Marcellas, opening with Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea (2001), is fantasy. [JC/DRL]

Paula Elaine Downing King

born Portland, Oregon: 8 December 1951

died Walla Walla, Washington: 17 December 2017



Cloudships of Orion

  • Siduri's Net (New York: Penguin/Roc, 1994) as by P K McAllister [Cloudships of Orion: pb/Donato Giancola]
  • Maia's Veil (New York: Penguin/Roc, 1995) as by P K McAllister [Cloudships of Orion: pb/Donato Giancola]
  • Orion's Dagger (New York: Penguin/Roc, 1996) as by P K McAllister [Cloudships of Orion: pb/Donato Giancola]

Witch of Two Suns

individual titles


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