Patricia "Pat" Christine Hodgell (born March 16, 1951) is an American fantasy writer, artist and professor. She has won several awards for her works.
Hodgell holds a master's in English literature and a doctorate in 19th-century English literature, both earned at the University of Minnesota. She completed her Ph.D. and subsequent dissertation on Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe between the publication of her first two fantasy novels, God Stalk and Dark of the Moon. She is a graduate of the Clarion and the Milford Writer's Workshops. In academia, Hodgell produced an audio-cassette-based course on science fiction and fantasy for the University of Minnesota. She taught for many years in the English Department at University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, but retired in 2006 to pursue a full-time writing career. While at the University of Wisconsin, P. C. Hodgell divided her time between teaching and writing, with a strong emphasis on "anything that stirs the imagination". This included attending science fiction conventions, and hobbies such as collecting yarn, knitting, embroidering, and raising cats.
Over the years, P. C. Hodgell was published by several publishing houses. Two of her more recent publishers, Hypatia Press and Meisha Merlin went out of business, the latter in 2007, respectively, temporarily leaving her without a venue for future works. Her work was picked up by Baen in or shortly before 2010, who published the fifth "Jame" novel, Bound in Blood, and reissued the previous four books as a pair of omnibus editions, The God Stalker Chronicles and Seeker's Bane. Baen also released the novels as e-books.
P. C. Hodgell resides in a nineteenth-century wood-framed house which has been in her family for generations. Both her parents were professional artists.
The Kencyr books, beginning with God Stalk, focus on the three peoples of the Kencyrath, Highborn (leaders), Kendar (artisans and soldiers) and Arrin-Ken (cat-like judges). They were brought together by the Three-Faced God to oppose the threat of chaos called Perimal Darkling 30,000 years before the events of the books. For eons the Kencyrath have waged a long retreat, seemingly abandoned by their god, awaiting the birth of the promised Tyr-Ridan, the three who would lead the final battle against Perimal Darkling. Three thousand years have passed since the Kencyrath retreated to Rathillien after a devastating betrayal. Much diminished, they remain outsiders to the native powers of Rathillien.
Jame (Jamethiel), a Highborn woman, flees into Rathillien after years in the Shadows of the last world to fall, her memories incomplete. Gradually discovers that her twin brother Tori, now known as Torisen Black Lord, has regained their father's place as Highlord of the Kencyrath. She also suspects, from her connection to the destructive side of the Kencyr deity, that she may one of the Tyr-Ridan. Her brother and her cousin Kindrie, a healer, seem likely to be the other two, representing Creation and Preservation, respectively. The Kencyrath are by no means at peace, beset by the peoples and powers of Rathillien, riven by divisions between the three people and by the political discord between the nine major Houses of the Highborn.
Behind this story is another one, the betrayal of the Kencyrath by Gerridon Highlord three thousand years earlier on another world. He and his sister, Jamethiel Dream Weaver, almost destroyed the entire Kencyr host. From his house in the Shadows of the fallen world, Gerridon and his remaining adherents scheme to maintain their immortality, having played no small role in the decline of House Knorth, of which Jame, Tori and Kindrie are the last survivors. As Tori struggles to find his place as leader of their people, Jame struggles to find a place amongst them and unravels the dark secrets of their heritage she learns Gerridon has plans for her other than as one of the Tyr-Ridan. The three young Knorths are products of Gerridon's dealings to create a replacement for his fading sister, a new Dream Weaver to harvest more Kencyr souls to sustain him, for the Dream Weaver was Tori and Jame's mother, while Gerridon himself sired Kindrie.
Awards and honors
- 1987: Ph.D. in English Literature, University of Minnesota
- Minnesota Fantasy Award
- 2008: P. C. Hodgell
- Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards
- 1983: Finalist—God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell
- 1986: Finalist—Dark of the Moon by P. C. Hodgell
- Locus Award
- 1981: "Child of Darkness", Nominee for Best Short Story
- 1983: God Stalk, Nominee for Best First Novel
- 1986: Dark of the Moon, Nominee for Best Fantasy Novel
- Guest of Honor at Arcana 40 in 2010, a dark fantasy convention held in St. Paul, Minnesota
- Special Guest at Minicon 21 (1986), 24 (1989), and 25 (1990)
- Author Guest of Honor at Capricon 10 (1990)