The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Stephen R. Donaldson

Stephen Reeder Donaldson (born May 13, 1947) is an American fantasy and science fiction novelist. His works range from the conventional "space opera" style of science fiction to "sword and sorcery" fantasy.


Major Influences

Though often compared to J. R. R. Tolkien, Donaldson's stories are also strongly influenced by William Shakespeare, Mervyn Peake and the operas of Richard Wagner. The Thomas Covenant and Mordant's Need series also make use of the "alternate world" paradigm in a manner reminiscent of the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. A notable specific influence is Roger Zelazny's Amber series, which influenced Mordant's Need.

The Covenant Books

Main article: The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever

Donaldson's most celebrated character is Thomas Covenant, a cynical leprosy-sufferer, shunned and despised by society, who is destined to become the heroic saviour of an alternate Earth (or, perhaps, only of his own sanity?). Covenant struggles against the evil Lord Foul - "The Despiser" - who intends to break the physical universe to escape its bondage and wreak revenge upon his arch-enemy "The Creator".

The story of Covenant was told originally across two trilogies of novels published between 1977 and 1983. A third series, "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" began publication in 2004.

Other Works

Mordant's Need

  1. The Mirror of Her Dreams (1986)
  2. A Man Rides Through (1987)

The Gap Cycle (science fiction)

  1. The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story (1990)
  2. The Gap into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge (1991)
  3. The Gap into Power: A Dark and Hungry God Arises (1992)
  4. The Gap into Madness: Chaos and Order (1994)
  5. The Gap into Ruin: This Day All Gods Die (1996)

Short stories:

  • Gilden-Fire (1981) an incident which occurs during The Illearth War - actually written for that book but cut for narrative reasons as explained in the Author's Foreword'
  • Daughter of Regals or Daughter of Regals and Other Tales (1984)
  • Reave the Just (1998)
  • Epic Fantasy in the Modern World: A Few Observations (1986)

Novels published under the name of Reed Stephens:

  • The Man who Killed his Brother (1980)
  • The Man who Risked his Partner (1984)
  • The Man who Tried to Get Away (1990)
  • The Man Who Fought Alone (2001)
  • The Man Who Tried to Get Away (2004)

External links

Last updated: 05-07-2005 14:48:05
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04