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McQuinn, Donald E

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1930-    ) US soldier and author whose first sf novel (his fifth overall), Warrior (1990), packs into its setting – a Ruined Earth America 500 years after the nation's nuclear destruction – almost every Cliché available to writers of barbarian-warrior novels: a variety of agon-based tribal societies; a woman-run church; a batch of twenty-first-century warriors freshly resurrected from Cryonic slumber and ready for a fight; an evil monarch bent on establishing an Empire; and in Gan Moondark, a protagonist who must wander from one enclave to another, gradually accumulating a passel of friends and adherents as he goes. But the book itself, despite its (well-handled) military moments, is in effect a Planetary Romance, and in its ample compass slowly and lovingly establishes an extremely complex portrait of a huge, densely populated, intensely variegated land centred on a fabulated Seattle. Several women characters have featured roles (though most of them are oppressed, but see Feminism); the sequels, Wanderer (1993) and Witch (1994), do not, perhaps, quite maintain that sense of the multifarious, and the sense that McQuinn might be one of the novelists to watch in the 1990s was not fully confirmed by the less innovative Captain Lannat Military SF sequence comprising With Full Honors (1996) and The Prisoner Within (1998); subsequently, McQuinn fell silent as a publishing author. [JC]

Donald Edgar McQuinn

born Winthrop, Massachusetts: 1930



Gan Moondark

  • Warrior (New York: Ballantine Books/Del Rey, 1990) [Gan Moondark: pb/Michael Herring]
  • Wanderer (New York: Ballantine Books/Del Rey, 1993) [Gan Moondark: pb/Michael Herring]
  • Witch (New York: Ballantine Books/Del Rey, 1994) [Gan Moondark: pb/Michael Herring]

Captain Lannat


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