Michael Scott Rohan (1951-2018)

Writer Michael Scott Rohan, 67, died August 12, 2018 in an Edinburgh, Scotland hospital.

His debut novel was Run to the Stars (1983), but he was best known for the Winter of the World fantasy series that began with The Anvil of Ice (1986) and continued with The Forge in the Forest (1987), The Hammer of the Sun (1988), The Castle of the Winds (1998), The Singer and the Sea (1999), and Shadow of the Seer (2001); the first three collectively won the Crawford Award.

His first story, “The Planetoid in the Case: A Matter of Unnatural Law” appeared in the Oxford SF Group’s magazine SFinx (1973); he began publishing stories professionally in 1977. The Spiral series of science fantasies started with Chase the Morning (1990) and included The Gates of Noon (1992), Cloud Castles (1993), and Maxie’s Demon (1997). He also wrote standalone historical fantasy The Lord of Middle Air (1994).

With Allan Scott he wrote novels The Ice King (1983; as Burial Rites, 1987) and Spell of Empire: The Horns of Tartarus (1992). They also collaborated on non-fiction, including The Hammer and the Cross (1980) and Fantastic People (1980).

Rohan was born January 22, 1951 in Edinburgh. He attended Oxford University, where he studied law, graduating with a masters in 1973. At university he joined the Oxford SF Group and met his future wife Deborah, an American post-graduate student, married 1977. During college he worked variously as an editor, librarian, technical writer for software, and translator, and after graduating spent five years editing encyclopedias before going freelance. After living in Oxford and Yorkshire, Rohan began splitting his time between Cambridge and Edinburgh.

Rohan mostly gave up fiction writing in 2000 after being diagnosed with an incurable illness, but continued to write non-fiction (including columns on classical music for various magazines) and to travel extensively.

For more, see his entry in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

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