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Macdonald, James D

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1954-    ) US author who began publishing work of genre interest with "The Little Prune That Couldn't Talk" for Apanage #62 in 1980, but who has worked almost exclusively since in partnership with Debra Doyle – they were married in 1978 – and we make no estimate of seniority in this partnership, as it gives every evidence of being seamless. They began publishing in collaboration with "Bad Blood" in Werewolves (anth 1988) edited by Jane Yolen and Martin H Greenberg, which was expanded into a novel Bad Blood (1993), which with its sequel Hunter's Moon (1994), both with Debra Doyle, comprises a children's series about werewolves and Vampires. All Doyle's books have been written with Macdonald. Most of their work has been fantasy [see Checklist below], most of it for children or Young Adult markets, and much of it being Ties, such as their two titles in the Planet Builders sequence, Night of Ghosts and Lightning (1989) and Zero-Sum Games (1989), both as by Robyn Tallis; Horror High: Pep Rally (1991) as by Nicholas Adams; and their two titles in the fourth Tom Swift sequence (see also Tom Swift): Monster Machine (1991) and Aquatech Warriors (1991), both as by Victor Appleton. Robert Silverberg's Time Tours #3: Timecrime, Inc (1991) and Daniel M. Pinkwater's Melvinge of the Megaverse #2: Night of the Living Rat (1992) are also Ties.

Their first novel in their own right, Knight's Wyrd (1992), is fantasy; but the Mageworlds series – beginning with The Price of the Stars (1992), Starpilot's Grave (1993) and By Honor Betray'd (1994), and ending with A Working of Stars (2002) – moves into Space Opera with some flair, though not without recourse to undemanding fantasy outcomes when the going gets tough for the exile princess who becomes a space pilot and stirs up trouble, hither and yon, around the galaxy.

Macdonald has published one solo singleton, The Apocalypse Door (New York: Tor, 2002), a fantasy with criminous elements, in which an agent of the Knights Templar redivivus or never dead fights foes across contemporary America. [JC]

James Douglas Ignatius Macdonald

born White Plains, New York: 1954


non-tie series under their own names

Circle of Magic

"Circle of Magic" impostures

The following two items supposedly in the above series were published as by Doyle and Macdonald without their knowledge or permission but were not written by them; they received no payment. (Information from James D Macdonald.)


Bad Blood

individual titles

tied series under their own names

tied series under various pseudonyms

as by Nicholas Adams

  • Pep Rally (New York: Harper Paperback, 1991) with Debra Doyle, writing together as Nicholas Adams [tie: Horror High: pb/]
  • Blood Brothers (New York: Lions, 1994) with Debra Doyle, writing together as Nicholas Adams [tie: Nightmares: pb/Marco Ventura]
  • Vampire's Kiss (New York: Harper Paperbacks, 1994) with Debra Doyle, writing together as Nicholas Adams [pb/]

as by Victor Appleton

as by Robyn Tallis


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