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Creator / Peter Dickinson

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Peter Dickinson (1927 – 2015) was a prolific Britishnote  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, Heartsease, 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 in 1986.

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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
  • Cosy Catastrophe: The Changes
  • Dug Too Deep: Annerton Pit
  • Emergency Transformation: Eva
  • 1 Million B.C.: 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.
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  • Split at Birth: The Lion Tamer's Daughter
  • Technophobia: The trilogy The Changes has British people suddenly becoming violently technophobic under what turns out to be a malevolent extra-terrestrial influence.
  • 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.

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