(1932-1998) Canadian teacher and writer whose first novel, The Wabeno Feast (1973), can be read as sf, but which benefits as well from a fantasy understanding. The Wabeno himself is a Shaman who represents a heart of darkness for the 18th-century white man who encounters him beyond the circle of a civilization which is already fatally Thinning the world; in the other two narrative strands – one set in the present, the other in the near future – the wilderness gradually comes to represent the last breath of the ruined planet. WD's next novel, Dragonslayer * (1981) – novelizing Dragonslayer (1981) – is an efficient expansion upon the original. After an sf trilogy, WD published a second movie tie, Willow * (1988), which competently translates Willow (1988).
"The Old Soul" (in Once Upon a Time: A Treasury of Modern Fairy Tales anth 1985 ed Lester del Rey and Risa Kessler) – in which the Forest, which is "Life", and the City, which is Thinning the world, come into conflict – is typical of WD's longer work in its ease of access but also its proneness, perhaps augmented by the Fairytale format, to sentimentality. WD has not recently been active as an author of commercial fiction. [JC]