Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

Legendary seal-people of Scottish Folktale, also called silkies or the roane (Gaelic, "seal"). All large species of seal are supposedly selkies, capable of Shapeshifting to their true forms as Fairies or humans, often by casting off their seal-skins (>>> Skinned); they may interbreed with humans, producing chimerical offspring with webbed hands and feet. Examples of such human/seal shapeshifters appear in Larry Niven's "The Lion in His Attic" (1982), whose "lion" is a sealion, Susan Cooper's Seaward (1983) and Gordon R Dickson's The Dragon Knight (1990). [DRL]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.