Patricia A. McKillip (1948-2022)

Patricia McKillip, 2011
Patricia McKillip, 2011 (by Liza Groen Trombi)

Author Patricia A. McKillip, 74, died May 6, 2022. She was best known for her fantasy novels for children and young adults, including the Riddle-Master trilogy.

Patricia Anne McKillip was born February 29, 1948 in Salem OR. She attended the College of Notre Dame, Belmont, and San Jose State University in California, receiving a BA in 1971 and an MA in English in 1972.

Her first publications were short children’s books The Throme of the Erril of Sherill and The House on Parchment Street (both 1973). Her first longer novel, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (1974), won a World Fantasy Award.

Other SF/fantasy novels include the Riddle-Master trilogy: The Riddle-Master of Hed (1976), Heir of Sea and Fire (1977), and Locus Award winner and Hugo and World Fantasy Award finalist Harpist in the Wind (1979); duology Moon-Flash (1984) and The Moon and the Face (1985); adult SF Fool’s Run (1987); The Changeling Sea (1991); duology The Sorceress and the Cygnet (1991) and The Cygnet and the Firebird (1993); The Book of Atrix Wolf (1995); Nebula Award finalist Winter Rose (1996); Song for the Basilisk (1998); Nebula Award nominee The Tower at Stony Wood (2000); World Fantasy and Mythopoeic Award winner Ombria in Shadow (2002); In the Forests of Serre (2003); Alphabet of Thorn (2004); World Fantasy Award finalist Od Magic (2005); Mythopoeic Award winner Solstice Wood (2006); The Bell at Sealey Head (2008); The Bards of Bone Plain (2010); and Mythopoeic Award winner Kingfisher (2016).

Other books include non-SF children’s book The Night Gift (1976); adult contemporary novel Stepping from the Shadows (1982); shared-world novel Brian Froud’s Faerielands: Something Rich and Strange (1994), a Mythopoeic Award winner; and collections The Throme of the Erril of Sherill (1984), Harrowing the Dragon (2005), Wonders of the Invisible World (2012), and Endeavour Award winner Dreams of Distant Shores (2016).

McKillip received a World Fantasy life achievement award in 2008. She lived in Oregon with husband David Lunde, who survives her.

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

[5/10/22 Edited to correct dates.]

4 thoughts on “Patricia A. McKillip (1948-2022)

  • May 10, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    Where did you get this death date? It’s not accurate. Patricia was alive in March 2022.

    • May 10, 2022 at 3:52 pm

      Thank you! Fixed.

  • May 14, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    There is no one like her today – recent authors seem to focus more on the darker side of fantasy, while Patricia always left me feeling uplifted & sometimes elegaic (in the positive sense of that word). We’ve lost another master.

  • November 13, 2022 at 11:32 am

    Iam heartbroken to have about Patricia McKillip’s death this past May. I was an instant fan when I read The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. Then she created the world of The Riddle Master of Hed and I was captivated and still recall my joy when I was able to purchase the final book in the trilogy The Harpist in the Wind. The shapeshifting magic and yet very believe able characters was masterful storytelling.

    Thank you Ms McKillip for many hours of enchantment and dreaming.


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