Patricia Anne McKillip (born February 29, 1948) is an American writer known for her unusual and sometimes surreal, dream-like fantasy works. Her breakout novel was 1974's World Fantasy Award-winning The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, a fairy-tale-like story of a beautiful sorceress on a remote mountaintop. She followed that up with the very popular Riddle Master Trilogy, a High Fantasy about a farmer-prince who has three stars on his forehead, and a prophecy calling nameless shapeshifters out of the sea.
She won another World Fantasy Award for Ombria in Shadow and Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards for Something Rich and Strange and Solstice Wood. Her other works include The Sorceress and the Cygnet, and its sequel The Cygnet and the Firebird, as well as The Changeling Sea, The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Winter Rose, Song for the Basilisk, The Tower at Stony Wood, In the Forests of Serre, Alphabet of Thorn, Od Magic, Solstice Wood, and The Bell at Sealey Head. She has also written one Science Fiction novel, Fool's Run.
She was given a special Lifetime Achievement World Fantasy Award in 2008.
Works with a page on this wiki:
- The Bell at Sealey Head
- The Book of Atrix Wolfe
- The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
- The Riddle Master Trilogy
Tropes found in other works include:
- Anxiety Dreams: Discussed in "The Kelpie": Wilding suggests that Emma is sleeping poorly because of these; a future of matrimony and children will give her little chance to paint.
- Arcadia: Mentioned in "The Kelpie": healthy living in the countryside is cited to explain Emma's height.
- Children Are Innocent: In "Wonders of the Invisible World", Cotton Mather cites this.
- Cool Gate:
- In The Sorceress and the Cygnet, the doors in the house of Nyx Ro rarely lead where you would expect.
- In Alphabet of Thorn, Kane creates a time gate to allow Axis to invade the future.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Rois Melior, the heroine of Winter Rose.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: In "The Kelpie", Emma and Ned, discussing how to know each other better, confide their middle names to each other.
- The Fair Folk: The fairies in Winter Rose are pretty scary; this is discussed and subverted in the sequel Solstice Wood, however.
- Gibberish of Love: In "The Kelpie", Wilding insults women's ability to paint to Emma. Later, he begs her pardon and explains that he was so struck by her looks that he could have said any number of idiocies; she must let him paint her.
- Imaginary Friend: In her contemporary novel Stepping from the Shadows the narrator's "ugly sister" turns out to be her alternate personality. And this was published at least a decade before Fight Club.
- King in the Mountain: In Alphabet of Thorn, the Dreaming King will wake to save the kingdom. In the book, he wakes only enough to give the current queen a cryptic warning.
- Knight Errant: In "The Kelpie", Nice Guy Ned is suggested for this in a painting; he wishes he could be evil for once, and is asked if he can settle for triumphant.
- Love at First Sight: In "The Kelpie", Ned is embarrassed to do it, but admits to Emma at their first meeting that he's never felt about anyone as about her, and she admits the same. They discuss getting to know each other better.
- The Marvelous Deer: Was a shapeshifting woman in Solstice Wood
- Rousseau Was Right: A common feature of many of her novels, with The Tower at Stoney Wood as a particularly strong example.
- Selkies and Wereseals: In The Tower at Stony Wood, a character is revealed to be of selkie origin when she regains her former shape by donning the seal suit she has made.
- Shapeshifting Lover: A deer-woman was the mother of a character in Solstice Wood.
- Tarot Troubles: In "The Fortune-Teller", Merle uses the stolen cards to fake a fortune. It does not sound like a conventional deck, but then Merle is faking all her knowledge with deliberate purpose to reassure.
- Textile Work Is Feminine:
- In "Oak Hill" Elaine is the sewer. Even Maris borrows a needle from her to do some.
- In Solstice Wood, the Fiber Guild is all female. Iris explains it's a sewing circle, really. They actually work textile magic to contain the Fair Folk.
- Twice-Told Tale: In "Out of the Woods", the heroine plays a minor role in Sleeping Beauty and spots both Merlin and Nimue, and the Lady of Shalott, from King Arthur.
- Unable to Support a Wife: Inverted in "The Kelpie". Ned confesses to being rich, which is what makes Emma wonder that he's not married.