Peter Dickinson is a prolific British*
author, who is known both for his crime fiction and for his books for younger readers, of which many are SF.
His works include the Changes trilogy — The Weathermonger
, and The Devil's Children
— in which a mysterious supernatural force causes modern England to revert to medieval levels of society and technology, and The Flight of Dragons
, a mock-scholarly work which claimed that dragons really existed, and flew and breathed fire by means of large amounts of hydrogen generated as a metabolic by-product. The Changes trilogy was adapted loosely for television in 1975, and The Flight of Dragons
even more loosely into an animated film
He was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in 2009.
Peter Dickinson's works provide examples of:
- Alternate History: King and Joker and Skeleton-in-Waiting, set in a history where Edward VII's eldest son lived to become king.
- Anti-Magic: In The Ropemaker
- Big Badass Bird of Prey: In The Blue Hawk
- Cosy Catastrophe: The Changes
- Dug Too Deep: Annerton Pit
- Emergency Transformation: Eva
- One Million BC: Bone From a Dry Sea is partly set four million years ago in a culture based on the aquatic ape hypothesis, and partly Meanwhile, in the Future following the archaeologist who's digging up its remains.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The Flight of Dragons
- Prequel: The Changes trilogy was written in reverse order — first The Weathermonger, set at the end of the Changes, then Heartsease, set in their midst, then The Devil's Children, set at their beginning.
- Split at Birth: The Lion Tamer's Daughter
- When She Smiles: In one of the stories in the collection Water: Tales of the Elemental Spirits, the main character is described as one of these ("Her face lit up with kindness and humor and intelligence.") The same phrase, in an non-ironic echo, is used to describe her Love Interest.