Cherry Wilder (19302002) was a New Zealand-born author of science fiction and fantasy. Her novels include the Torin trilogy (science fiction), the Rulers of Hylor trilogy (fantasy), the Rhomary Land duology (science fiction), and the singleton novel Cruel Designs (horror). She also wrote numerous short stories, some of which share settings with and feature supporting characters from her novels.
The Rulers of Hylor trilogy:
- A Princess of the Chameln (1984)
- Yorath the Wolf (1984)
- The Summer's King (1986)
Rhomary Land books:
- Second Nature (1986)
- Signs of Life (1996)
Works by Cherry Wilder with their own pages include:
- Torin trilogy
Other works by Cherry Wilder provide examples of:
- Canon Welding: "The Dancing Floor", one of the last of Wilder's stories to be published, combines background elements from the Torin and Rhomary Land books, establishing them as part of the same future history.
- Cut Short: The Rhomary Land books may have been intended to be a trilogy (Signs of Life ends with a reminder that there's just about enough plot left over for one more novel), but if so the author died before completing it.
- Character Name Alias: A reclusive character in "The Dancing Floor" goes by the name "Ben Gunn", after the hermit in Treasure Island. The protagonist spends most of the story trying to figure out why the name seems familiar, at one point looking at metallurgy texts because she's remembered that it's connected to "flint" and "silver".
- First Contact: Second Nature has a subplot about establishing contact between human colonists and a native starfish alien.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Vail in Second Nature.
- Last of His Kind: Shamut in Second Nature.
- No Biochemical Barriers: The Rhomary Land books are a partial aversion. It's mentioned that the original arrivals on the planet struggled to find food that was nutritious to humans, and their descendants show the marks of lacking a nourishing diet (being smaller and so on), but they did manage to find some things they could eat, because otherwise there would be no story.
- One Last Job: The short story "Back of Beyond".
- Posthumous Collaboration: The Wanderer, intended to be the first volume of a sequel trilogy to The Rulers of Hylor, was completed by Katya Reimann and published a few years after Wilder's death.
- Psychic Powers: Some people in Rhomary Land have them.
- Simultaneous Arcs: The Rhomary Land novels are set in the aftermath of a disaster that forces a space passenger liner to be evacuated, with the lifeboats setting down in scattered locations on a nearby planet. Each novel covers roughly the same period of time, but focuses on a different location and group of survivors.
- Starfish Aliens: The Vail in Second Nature.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A theme in the Rhomary Land books and related short stories, particularly in Signs of Life, with regard to the android "auxiliary personnel".