Debra Doyle (1952-2020)

SF writer Debra Doyle, 67, died October 31 of a sudden cardiac event at home in Colebrook NH. She was best known for work written in collaboration with her husband, James D. Macdonald, including Mythopoeic Award winner Knight’s Wyrd (1992) and the Mageworlds space opera series.

Doyle was born November 30, 1952 in Florida, and grew up mostly in Texas. She married Macdonald in 1978. She was a frequent instructor at the Viable Paradise workshop for almost 20 years.

Doyle’s first work of genre interest was story “Bad Blood” (1988, with Macdonald). All her novels were written with Macdonald, beginning with Night of Ghosts and Lightning (1989, as by Robyn Tallis). School of Wizardry (1990) launched the Circle of Magic series and had sequels Tournament and Tower (1990), City by the Sea (1990), The Prince’s Players (1990), The Prisoners of Bell Castle (1990), and The High King’s Daughter (1990). The Mageworlds series began with The Price of Stars (1992) and continued with Starpilot’s Grave (1993), By Honor Betray’d (1994), The Gathering Flame (1995), The Long Hunt (1996), The Stars Asunder (1999), and A Working of Stars (2002). Their Bad Blood (1993) was followed by sequels Hunters’ Moon (1994) and Judgment Night (1995). Groogleman (1996) was a standalone. They wrote Civil War-era fantasy Land of Mist and Snow (2006) and Lincoln’s Sword (2010). They also wrote various works of tie-in fiction under their own names and assorted pseudonyms.

She is survived by her husband, their two daughters (author Katherine Crighton and Peregrine Macdonald, a staffer at Viable Paradise), and their two sons (Brendan Macdonald and Alexander Macdonald).

For more, see Doyle’s entry at the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.



One thought on “Debra Doyle (1952-2020)

  • November 4, 2020 at 7:06 am

    Such an underappreciated writer. I enjoyed her stories so very much, and consider myself very lucky that I got to exist in a world where she was an author.


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