Michael Scott Rohan

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Michael Scott Rohan (born 1951 in Edinburgh) is a Scottish fantasy and science fiction author and writer on opera.

He had a number of short stories published before his first books, the science fiction novel Run to the Stars and the non-fiction First Byte. He then collaborated with Allan J. Scott on the nonfiction The Hammer and The Cross (an account of Christianity arriving in Viking lands, not to be confused with Harry Harrison's similarly themed novel trilogy of the same name) and the fantasy novels The Ice King and A Spell of Empire.

Rohan is best known for the Ice Age-set trilogy The Winter of the World. He also wrote the Spiral novels, in which our world is the Hub, or Core, of a spiral of mythic and legendary versions of familiar cities, countries and continents.

In the "Author's Note" to The Lord of Middle Air, Rohan asserts that he and Walter Scott have a common ancestor in Michael Scot, who is a character in the novel.

According to his entry on the website of the Little, Brown Book Group,[1] "after many years in Oxford and Yorkshire (they moved to Leeds in 1984),[2] he and his American wife Deborah (Archives Conservator for Cambridgeshire)[2] now live (as of 1994)[2] in a small village near Cambridge, next to the pub".


Family Origins[edit]

His father was of French origin, born on Mauritius but educated in France and later studied at Edinburgh University. During the Second World War he joined the British Army. His mother came from the Borders.[2]

Early life[edit]

Rohan was born in 1951 in Edinburgh, in, apparently, the house next door to that of the famous author Robert Louis Stevenson. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and St Edmund Hall, Oxford University where, having initially gone up to read English, he studied Law. It was during his time as a student at Oxford that joined the Science Fiction group. Here he met the group's president, Allan Scott, who would later become his co-author on several books. He also met his future wife, Philadelphia native and Stanford post-graduate Deborah, through the group. The couple were to ultimately marry in 1977.[2]

Professional Life and Writing[edit]

He asserts that during his time studying, and after, he held various casual jobs, including "librarian, software technical writer, editor, translator, and shipping rare botanical specimens around the world". Achieving his Masters in 1973, Rohan left the legal field and went to work for an international publishing firm editing encyclopedias. This job he held for the next five years, until taking voluntary redundancy in 1978. It was at this point he began writing some of the works for which he is now best known - The Hammer and the Cross, and, Run to the Stars.[2]


Rohan "from an early age ... read voraciously, everything from Dan Dare to the Larousse Mythology, Conan Doyle, C S Lewis (Out of the Silent Planet, not Narnia), Tolkien and his older sister's copy of Lady Chatterley". He has interests in anthropology, history, archaeology (which has extended to participating in excavations), and palaeontology, but also cinema, hifi and home entertainment. He was for two years a columnist for the London Times, and also at one time "a music journalist, a columnist and reviewer for Music Magazine and Opera Now in its first two years", and a regular contributor to "Classic CD, International Opera Collector, and others, as well as creating and editing The Classical Video Guide (1994)".[2] He is still (May 2011) a contributor to opera publications.[3]

He enjoys classical music and cites amongst his favourite composers Richard Wagner (and rates himself an authority on opera), Mozart, Sibelius, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.[2]

He speaks French and German, plus a little Finnish and is trying to learn Russian.[2]

He briefly played guitar and sang in a folk-rock band.[2]

He and his wife enjoy archery "and share a strong interest in wildlife conservation", particularly singling out the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.[2]


The Winter of the World[edit]

  • The Anvil of Ice (1986)
  • The Forge in the Forest (1987)
  • The Hammer of the Sun (1988)
  • The Castle of the Winds (1998)
  • The Singer and the Sea (1999)
  • Shadow of the Seer (2001)

The Spiral[edit]

  • Chase the Morning (1990)
  • The Gates of Noon (1992)
  • Cloud Castles (1993)
  • Maxie's Demon (1997)

Other works[edit]

  • Run to the Stars (1982)
  • First Byte (1983)
  • The Lord of Middle Air (1994)

With Allan J. Scott[edit]

  • The Hammer and the Cross (1980) (nonfiction)
  • Fantastic People: Magical Races of Myth and Legend (1980)
  • The Ice King (1986)
  • A Spell of Empire (1992)

German Language works[edit]

  • Wolfsdämmerung - Pfortenwelt 01 (orig. Titel: Chase the Morning) (1996)
  • Der Herr der Dämmerung (orig. Titel: The Lord of Middle Air) (1998)
  • Gralsdämmerung (orig. Titel: Cloud Castles)



  1. ^ "Michael Scott Rohan profile on Little,Brown Book Group site". Little, Brown Book Group. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Who is Michael Scott Rohan, anyway?". Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Opera.co.uk". Opera. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 

External links[edit]