Back to entry: hobb_robin | Show links black

Hobb, Robin

Pseudonym of US author Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden (1952-    ), who published all her work before 1995 under the working name Megan Lindholm, almost everything that she wrote under this name being fantasy; as Hobb she has written nothing else besides fantasy. After some early children's fiction, she began to publish work of genre interest as Megan Lindholm with "Bones for Dulath" in Amazons! (anth 1979) edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson. The characters from this tale featured in her first novel, Harpy's Flight (1984), itself the first volume of the Windsingers fantasy sequence, whose further instalments are The Windsingers (1984) and The Limbreth Gate (1984), all three volumes being assembled as The Windsingers (omni 1985); plus Luck of the Wheels (1989). The Wizard of the Pigeons (1986) as Lindholm is an Urban Fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], the protagonist being a Vietnam vet living on the street in contemporary Seattle. The Reindeer People sequence comprising The Reindeer People (1988) and Wolf's Brother (1988) is Prehistoric SF, though with relatively little speculative content. In her considerable oeuvre, very few titles are of direct sf interest, with the exception of Alien Earth (1992), mostly set on an Alien-controlled but sentient Starship carrying a small crew and a large cargo of humans in Suspended Animation, all this aeons after the duplicitous alien Arthroplana had persuaded us that Homo sapiens had no future on Earth. The five viewpoint characters, two alien, include the human Captain (or rather, nominal captain) of this great "beastship" whose name is Evangeline. The universe changes around them, not favourably for the remnants of humanity, who have a long history of factional argument despite some emerging dedication of the race to a mandatory Ecological soundness. An eventual mission back to Earth opens for chastened humanity a narrow passage to a more viable future.

Most of the novels as by Robin Hobb comprise parts of the long-running and ambitious Realms of the Elderlings sequence of dynastic fantasies whose main character, the officially appointed royal assassin FitzChivalry Farseer introduced in The Farseer I: Assassin's Apprentice (1995), initially bore some resemblance to Severian, the similarly appointed torturer/executioner protagonist of Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun – especially in the first volumes, which are couched in the form of a painfully confessional memoir written and presented as a manuscript for future perusal. Later volumes have streamlined their presentation from this complex donnée, and focus on a wide and vividly presented cast, ending after sixteen volumes with Assassin's Fate (2017). Within the overall sequence, the Liveship Traders tales feature sentient oceangoing ships somewhat reminiscent of Evangeline the Beastship from Alien Earth (see above).

In 2021 Hobb – as Megan Lindholm – received the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement. [JC]

Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden

born Oakland, California: 5 March 1952




Reindeer People

Realms of the Elderlings: The Farseer

Realms of the Elderlings: Liveship Traders

Realms of the Elderlings: The Tawny Man

Realms of the Elderlings: Rain Wild Chronicles

Realms of the Elderlings: Fitz and the Fool

Realms of the Elderlings: individual titles

Soldier's Son

individual titles

collections and stories

see also: Worldcon.


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 02:53 am on 25 January 2022.