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Kerr, Katharine

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1944-    ) US author, best known for her substantial contributions to modern fantasy in the various segments of the Deverry Cycle [see Checklist; see also her entry in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy]; though her sf is of less inherent interest, the Polar City sequence comprising Polar City Blues (1990) and Polar City Nightmare (2000) with Kate Daniel, competently marries Planetary Romance and the police procedural on a desert world populated by a wide ethnic mix of humans, and boxed in by two conflicting interstellar empires; the first volume is told in a creole combining white and Black English and Spanish (see Linguistics). The main characters, good and ill, have Psi Powers, which allies the tale with Kerr's shaman-dominated fantasies; but there is a genuine hard-edged sf-like feel, and consequentiality, to the sequence. The relatively light Nola O'Grady sequence beginning with Licensed to Ensorcell (2011) is Urban Fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] set in a Parallel World.

Resurrection (1992) is a novella set in a Near-Future (or perhaps Alternate History) San Francisco (see California), where a brain-damaged protagonist, after suffering lengthy rehabilitation after a near-fatal crash, must sort out her distressed perception that something is profoundly awry. The tale is included in Freeze Frames (coll of linked stories 1995). Snare: A Novel of the Far Future (2003) complexly depicts interracial and inter-species conflicts and resolutions on a Planetary Romance planet whose Far Future exorbitances are all founded in the relative hardness of sf explanations. At its best, Kerr's work – like C J Cherryh's – is probingly multifaceted, unexpectedly realistic, and argued. [JC]

Katharine Nancy Brahtin Kerr

born Cleveland, Ohio: 3 October 1944



Deverry Cycle: Kingdom of Deverry

Deverry Cycle: The Westlands

Deverry Cycle: The Dragon Mage

  • The Red Wyvern (London: HarperCollins/Voyager, 1997) [Deverry Cycle: The Dragon Mage: pb/Geoff Taylor]
  • The Black Raven (London: HarperCollins/Voyager, 1998) [Deverry Cycle: The Dragon Mage: pb/Geoff Taylor]
  • The Fire Dragon (London: HarperCollins/Voyager, 2000) [Deverry Cycle: The Dragon Mage: hb/Geoff Taylor]

Deverry Cycle: The Silver Wyrm

  • The Gold Falcon (London: HarperCollins/Voyager, 2006) [Deverry Cycle: The Silver Wyrm: hb/Geoff Taylor]
  • The Spirit Stone (New York: DAW Books, 2007) [Deverry Cycle: The Silver Wyrm: hb/Jody A Lee]
  • The Shadow Isle (New York: DAW Books, 2008) [Deverry Cycle: The Silver Wyrm: hb/Jody A Lee]
  • The Silver Mage (New York: DAW Books, 2009) [Deverry Cycle: The Silver Wyrm: hb/Jody A Lee]

Polar City

Nola O'Grady

Sorcerer's Luck

The Justice War

  • Sword of Fire (New York: DAW Books, 2020) [The Justice War: hb/]

individual titles

works as editor


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