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McKinley, Robin

Entry updated 1 December 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1952-    ) US-born author, in UK for many years, married to Peter Dickinson from 1992 until his death, with whom she has written the Elementals fantasy sequence. For most of her early career she concentrated on fantasy, beginning with what may remain her most famous single tale, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (1978), an early and influential Revisionist Fantasy [for that entry, for Robin McKinley's fantasy work before 1997, and for Twice-Told see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. During this period she also published a well-conceived Anthology, Imaginary Lands (anth 1985), which won a World Fantasy Award.

More recently, McKinley's use of genres has become more complex. The tone of Sunshine (2003), a Vampire tale set in a world where the Voodoo Wars have taken place some time back, is sf-like. Of direct sf interest is the Young Adult Dragonhaven (2007), in which a national park has been established in America to protect dragon-like creatures found in China and Madagascar, all of them rare, including the biggest and most spectacular, draco australiensis, a marsupial dragon extinct in the wild. The young protagonist's relationship with a baby dragon – the only survivor of a poacher's raid – comes close to depicting First Contact, and is comparable in its minutely observed intensity to works by Karen Joy Fowler like Sarah Canary (1991) or We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013). Set in a high-tech world where Magic exists (though those capable of it have had their DNA tweaked to prevent their passing it on), Shadows (2013) Equipoisally mixes fantasy and sf. The clash between the two is not seen as easily resolvable.

McKinley was named as the 2023 recipient of SFWA's Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master award (see SFWA Grand Master Award). [PN/JC]

see also: Eastercon.

Jennifer Carolyn Robin McKinley

born Warren, Ohio: 17 November 1952





  • The Blue Sword (New York: William Morrow/Greenwillow Books, 1982) [Damar: hb/David McCall Johnston]
  • The Hero and the Crown (New York: William Morrow/Greenwillow Books, 1984) [Damar: hb/David McCall Johnston]
  • The Stone Fey (New York: Harcourt Books, 1998) [chap: Damar: illus/hb/John Clapp]

individual titles

  • The Outlaws of Sherwood (New York: William Morrow/Greenwillow Books, 1988) [hb/Alan Lee]
  • Deerskin (New York: Ace Books, 1993) [hb/Dawn Wilson]
  • Sunshine (New York: Berkley Books, 2003) [hb/Masao Mukai]
  • Dragonhaven (New York: G P Putnam's Sons, 2007) [hb/Pamelina Hovnatanian]
  • Chalice (New York: G P Putnam's Sons, 2008) [hb/Cory Ench and Catska Ench]
  • Pegasus (New York: G P Putnam's Sons, 2010) [hb/Elisaberta Sinopoli]
  • Shadows (New York: Penguin Books/Nancy Paulsen Books, 2013) [hb/]

collections and stories



individual titles

works as editor


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