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Peter Dickinson

Peter Dickinson(1927- )
Peter Dickinson lives in Hampshire with his second wife, author Robin McKinley. His son is writer John Dickinson. He has written more than fifty novels for adults and young readers. He has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children’s Award twice, and his novel The Blue Hawk won The Guardian Award in 1975. Read excerpts at Peter Dickinson’s website.


The Weathermonger: Quick interesting YA

The Weathermonger by Peter Dickinson

Set in a vague idea of the future (or rather as the future may have looked to a writer in 1969) The Weathermonger opens with Geoffrey and Sally, two siblings left adrift on a rock in the sea by their community. Confused by a knock on the head, Geoffrey is informed by Sally that their uncle has been killed after being found working on a motorboat, and that the two of them have been left to be drowned when the tide comes in.

After "The Changes," England has regressed back into primitive times, in which any machine or piece of technology is met with fear and loathing. Those unaffected by this bizarre state of mind have escaped to France, and that's where Geoffrey and Sally manage to escape — only to be sent back by the French authorities on a mission to discover where exactly the machine phobia stems from. The majority of the story concerns Geoffrey and Sally's dangerou... Read More

The Flight of Dragons: Fires the imagination

The Flight of Dragons by Peter Dickinson

I loved this book as a kid, and not just because it had naughty boobie pictures that had nothing to do with the text. Dickinson takes the position that Dragons actually existed, then goes from there to ask questions like: why are they not in the fossil record? How could a creature that is generally depicted as huge and armoured supposedly fly? What’s the deal with the fire-breathing? Why are they often depicted as speaking and/or telepathic creatures? How come the accepted method of killing them is by a dude with a magic sword? The answers he comes up with were pretty convincing, at least to young me, and do a lot to fire the imagination.

Scattered throughout the text where Dickinson expounds on his theories are excerpts from stories about dragons (both ancient and modern) that serve to back-up, or at least explicate, some of his theories. After covering the basic elements of Dragon physiology Dickin... Read More

Fire: Five enjoyable stories by McKinley & Dickinson

Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley & Peter Dickinson

Let me start by saying I’ve never been much for short stories. It’s not that they can’t be well done, and I admit that it takes a huge talent to do them well, but I usually find myself frustrated and wanting more. Probably because I am used to reading full-length novels. That being said, I enjoyed reading Fire. There are five stories, two by Robin McKinley and three by Peter Dickinson. I’m a huge fan of McKinley, but this is the first time I’ve read anything by Dickinson.

Because they are short stories, it is hard to share much about them without giving away the wonder of reading them. In order then:

“Phoenix” — I liked th... Read More