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Stephen R. Donaldson

AKA Stephen Reeder Donaldson

Born: 13-May-1947
Birthplace: Cleveland, OH

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Author

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Author of the Thomas Covenant series

The author of eight New York Times bestsellers, Stephen R. Donaldson is best known as the author of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. With a level of world building sometimes compared to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, the series casts a modern-day leprosy patient in the role of unwilling hero plunged into a parallel world. The saga also holds the distinction of having been rejected by no less than 47 publishers before finally being accepted by Lester del Rey.

Donaldson was born in Cleveland in 1947, but from the age of three up until age sixteen he lived in India where his father, an orthopedic surgeon and medical missionary, worked with lepers. Naturally this period had a profound effect on the young Donaldson and he relates how he developed his awareness as a storyteller as a way to relate to his strange surroundings. His creation of the Thomas Covenant character also dates to this period, inspired by a speech given by his father, James R. Donaldson, on leprosy.

Donaldson returned to the U.S. in 1963 to attend college. After graduating from the College of Wooster, in Ohio, with a Bachelor's in English Literature, he served two years as a conscientious objector, doing hospital work in Akron in lieu of military service in Vietnam. In 1971 he graduated with an Master's in English from Kent State University. He entered a Ph.D program but dropped out to write, moving to New Jersey. His first novel Lord Foul's Bane appeared in 1977, launching the saga of Thomas Covenant and earning the British Fantasy Society's Best Novel of the Year.

Other works by Donaldson include his Mordant's Need saga, his science fictional Gap series, as well as some mystery novels originally published under the name Reed Stephens. These include The Man Who Killed His Brother (1984) and The Man Who Got Away. Among the many honors accorded Donaldson include the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (1979), two Balrog Awards for Best Novel (The Wounded Land, 1981; The One Tree, 1983), and the World Fantasy Award for Reave the Just and Other Tales (2000). In 1993 Donaldson was awarded an honorary Ph.D in Literature from the College of Wooster. He earned his black belt in Shotokan karate in 1994. He currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Father: James R. Donaldson (medical missionary)
Mother: Mary Ruth Reeder ( prosthetist)

    University: BA English Literature, The College of Wooster (1968)
    University: MA English Literature, Kent State University (1971)

Official Website:

Author of books:
Lord Foul's Bane (1977, novel)
The Illearth War (1977, novel)
The Power that Preserves (1977, novel)
The Wounded Land (1980, novel)
The Man Who Killed His Brother (1980, novel, as Reed Stephens)
Gilden-Fire (1981, novel)
The One Tree (1982, novel)
White Gold Wielder (1983, novel)
Daughter of Regals and Other Tales (1984, collection)
The Man Who Risked His Partner (1984, novel, as Reed Stephens)
The Mirror of Her Dreams (1986, novel)
A Man Rides Through (1987, novel)
The Man Who Tried to Get Away (1990, novel, as Reed Stephens)
The Real Story:The Gap into Conflict (1991, novel)
Forbidden Knowledge:The Gap into Vision (1991, novel)
A Dark and Hungry God:The Gap into Power (Arises, 1992:(novel)
Chaos and Order:The Gap into Madness (1994, novel)
Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Variations on the Fantasy Tradition (1995, non-fiction, with W A Senior)
This Day All Gods Die:The Gap into Ruin (1996, novel)
Reave the Just and Other Tales (1999, collection)
The Man Who Fought Alone (2001, novel)
The Runes of the Earth (2004, novel)

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