Stephen Reeder Donaldson (born May 13, 1947) is an American fantasy and science fiction novelist. He is the author of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series, The Gap Sequence, The Man Who series, the Mordant's Need series, and the upcoming The Great God's War trilogy.

Donaldson was born in the United States in 1947 and spent a large portion of his youth in India where his father (a doctor) worked with lepers. He returned to the United States in 1963 and eventually completed an M.A. in English Literature.

He published his first book Lord Foul's Bane in 1977. This was the first volume in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever trilogy, which has received critical acclaim from critics as well as readers.


Born in 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio, Stephen R. Donaldson lived in India (where his father was a medical missionary, working with many of the groups of lepers there) until 1963. He graduated from the College of Wooster (Ohio) in 1968, served two years as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, doing hospital work in Akron, then attended Kent State University, where he received his M.A. in English in 1971.

After dropping out of his Ph.D. program and moving to New Jersey in order to write fiction, Donaldson made his publishing debut with the first "Covenant" trilogy in 1977. That enabled him to move to a healthier climate. He now lives in New Mexico.

The novels for which he is best known have received a number of awards. However, the achievements of which he is most proud are the ones that seemed the most unlikely. In 1993 he received a Doctor of Literature degree from the College of Wooster, and in 1994 he gained a black belt in Shotokan karate from Sensei Mike Heister and Anshin Personal Defense.

After completing the five-book, seven-year Gap sequence of science fiction novels, Donaldson spent quite some time "on vacation." However, he has now returned to work. His most recent book prior to The Man Who Fought Alone was a second collection of short fiction, Reave the Just and Other Tales. He has also finished what may be his most ambitious literary work, a masterpiece trilogy "The Last Chronicled of Thomas Covenant". He has also recently released two novellas and is due to release the 1st of a new trilogy entitled "The Old God's War" in late Summer 2017.


TitleInstituteEstablished atYearNotes
M.A. in English literatureKent State UniversityKent, Ohio1971
LittD (honorary)The College of WoosterWooster, Ohio1993
LittD (honorary)The University of St. AndrewsScotland2009Read the "laureation" address here


TitleEmployerEstablished atYearNotes
Assistant DispatcherAkron City HospitalAkron, Ohio1968-1970alternative service, conscientious objector
Teaching FellowKent State University1971
Acquisitions EditorTapp-Gentz AssociatesWest Chester, PA1973
Associate InstructorGhost Ranch Writers WorkshopsGhost Ranch, N.M.1973-1975

Published worksEdit

TitlePublisherDate PublishedNotes
Lord Foul's BaneHolt1977
The Illearth WarHolt1977
The Power that PreservesHolt1977
"The Lady in White," The Year's Finest Fantasy 2, ed. Terry CarrBerkley1979
The Wounded LandDel Rey/Ballantine1980
The Man Who Killed His Brother (as Reed Stephens)Ballantine/Tor1980/2002as Stephen R. Donaldson by Tor
Cinderella vs The Publishing BusinessWooster Alumni Magazine1981
The One TreeDel Rey/Ballantine1982
"Mythological Beast," Unicorns!, ed. Jack Dann and Gardner DozoisAce1982
White Gold WielderDel Rey/Ballantine1983
Daughter of RegalsDonald M. Grant1984
Daughter of Regals and Other TalesDel Rey/Ballantine1984
The Man Who Risked His Partner (as Reed Stephens)Ballantine/Tor1984/2003as Stephen R. Donaldson by Tor
"What Makes Us Human," The 1985 Annual World's Best SF, ed. Donald A. WollheimDAW1985
"Elegy" ed. Katherine Harper and Warren Hedges #3The Wooster ReviewSpring 1985
"Animal Lover," Tin Stars, ed. Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. WaughSignet/NAL1986
"Epic Fantasy in the Modern World: A Few ObservationsKent State University Libraries1986
Mordant's Need: The Mirror of Her DreamsDel Rey/Ballantine1986
"The Books That Made a Difference," American Bookseller, ed. Ginger CurwenBooksellers Publishing, Inc.June 1987
Mordant's Need: A Man Rides ThroughDel Rey/Ballantine1987
"Unworthy of the Angel," A Very Large Array, ed. Melinda M. SnodgrassUniversity of New Mexico Press1987
"The Djinn Who Watches Over the Accursed," Arabesques 2, ed. Susan ShwartzAvon1989
The Man Who Tried to Get Away (as Reed Stephens)Ballantine/Tor1990/2004as Stephen R. Donaldson by Tor
The Gap into Conflict: The Real StoryBantam/Spectra1991
The Gap into Vision: Forbidden KnowledgeBantam/Spectra1991
"The Conqueror Worm," I Shudder at Your Touch, ed. Michele SlungROC/NAL1991
The Gap into Power: A Dark and Hungry God ArisesBantam/Spectra1992
"Reave the Just," After the King, ed. Martin H. GreenbergTor1992
"The Live Poets Society," ed. Fielding and WhiteheadThinker Review, Volume No. IISummer 1992
"The Woman Who Loved Pigs," Full Spectrum 4, ed. Aronica, Stout, and MitchellBantam/Spectra1993
Strange Dreams (editor)Bantam/Spectra1993
The Gap into Madness: Chaos and OrderBantam/Spectra1994
"The Kings of Tarshish Shall Bring Gifts," The Book of Kings, ed. Gilliam and GreenbergROC1995
The Gap into Ruin: This Day All Gods DieBantam/Spectra1996
Reave the Just and Other TalesBantam/Spectra1999
The Man Who Fought AloneTor2001
"The Aging Student of the Martial Arts", ed. John Cheetham, #79Shotokan Karate Magazine2004
The Runes of the EarthPutnam (US), Orion (UK)October 2004
Fatal RevenantPutnam (US)/Orion (UK)October 9, 2007/October 18, 2007
Against All Things EndingPutnam (US)/Orion (UK)October 19, 2010
"The Best of Stephen R. Donaldson"Subterranean Press2011
The Last DarkPutnam (US)/Orion (UK) Fall 2013


  • British Fantasy Society Award for Best Novel ("The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant"), 1979
  • John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, 1979
  • Balrog Fantasy Award for Best Novel (The Wounded Land), 1981
  • Balrog Fantasy Award for Best Novel (The One Tree), 1983
  • Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Novel (The One Tree), 1983
  • Balrog Fantasy Award for Best Collection (Daughter of Regals and Other Tales), 1985
  • Science Fiction Book Club Award for Best Book of the Year (The Mirror of Her Dreams), 1988
  • Science Fiction Book Club Award for Best Book of the Year (A Man Rides Through), 1989
  • The College of Wooster Distinguished Alumni Award, 1989
  • Julia Verlanger Award (France) for The Mirror of Her Dreams, 1990
  • WIN/WIN Popular Fiction Readers Choice Award for Favorite Fantasy Author, 1991
  • Atlanta Fantasy Fair Award for Outstanding Achievement, 1992
  • LittD (honorary), The College of Wooster, 1993
  • Shodan, Anshin Personal Defense, 1994
  • President's Award, The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, 1997
  • Nidan, Anshin Personal Defense, 2000
  • World Fantasy Award for Reave the Just and Other Tales, 2000
  • Sandan, New Mexico Shotokan, 2003
  • LittD (honorary), The University of St. Andrews, Scotland, 2009 (Click here to read the "laureation" address.)


  • American Contract Bridge League
  • International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts
  • Contributing Editor, The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
  • Anshin Personal Defense
  • Anshin Budo Kai
  • Life-Dance Kajukembo
  • NM Shotokan Karate

External LinksEdit