shapechange v.

to change shape, by an imagined natural capability, and adopt the form and sometimes abilities of an animal or other being

  • 1973 L. James Square Root of MC in New Writings in SF 22 133 page image Laurence James bibliography

    The moment my craft settled in the water I began to shape-change. I made my ship have the appearance of a small steam-launch, while I gave myself the body and speech of a black native of the coast of what was then one of the west African princedoms under English suzerainty.

  • 1985 T. Brooks Wishsong of Shannara xx. 211 page image Terry Brooks bibliography

    The Mwellrets’ climb back up the ladder of civilization had been more rapid, and it had been marked by a strange and frightening ability to shape-change [...] they had undergone a physical transformation that enabled them to alter body shape with the pliability of oiled clay!

  • 1989 C. Matthews Arthur and Sovereignty of Britain 306

    She appears as the mistress of her eight companion sisters; she is able to fly, to shapechange and to heal, as well as being a mistress of wisdom.

  • 1990 A. McCaffrey & J. L. Nye Death of Sleep (1992) 221 Anne McCaffrey Jody Lynn Nye bibliography

    Lunzie lay back, trying to involve herself in the ratiocinations of Toli Alopa, a Weft detective who could shapechange to follow a suspect without fear of being spotted.

  • 1990 M. Lackey Talisman in Oathblood 165

    We figure maybe she found some kind of witchy thing of theirs, what let her shape-change, too.

  • 1992 T. Huff Blood Trail xv. 277

    With her moonlight-silvered shape remaining so horribly just out of reach, Henry would have traded his immortal life for the ability to shapechange given to his kind by tradition. All else being equal, four legs were faster and more sure than two.

  • 1994 Interzone Oct. 62/2

    World War One had its points, for the fantasist. There were ghost spies; deserters who shapechangeed into ghouls who lurked in underground redoubts in hellish nomanslands between the lines and who ate soldiers; flying submarines and land ironclads [etc.]

  • 1994 Interzone Feb. 63/1

    Accompanying them is a Loki-like fox who occasionally shapechanges into a compact, joyous, elderly scamp of a man, a strikingly original conception, beautifully realized by Beagle.

Research requirements

antedating 1973

Earliest cite

Laurence James

Research History
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1992 reprint of Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lynn Nye's "The Death of Sleep". We would like to check the 1990 first edition.
Imran Ghory submitted a cite from a 1993 reprint of Terry Brooks' "The Wishsong of Shannara", which Jeff Wolfe confirmed in an earlier reprint from 1988, and subsequently Ben Osrowsky confirmed in the first edition of 1985.
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from an undated reprint of Laurell Hamilton's 1998 "Burnt Offerings".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1998 reprint of Mercedes Lackey's "The Talisman"; we would be interested in verifying the first publication of this story in "Sword And Sorceress VII", ed. Marion Zimmer Bradley (1990).
Douglas Winston submitted a 1992 cite from Tanya Huff's "Blood Trail". Douglas Winston submitted cites from Ken Goddard's 1999 "First Evidence".
Mark English submitted a 1989 cite from Caitlin Matthews' 'Arthur and the Sovereignty of Britain'.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 1973 cite from Laurence James.

Last modified 2021-11-01 21:18:05
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.