(1966- ) Canadian author now in the UK who was involved with the online Newszine SFcrowsnest from 1991 to 2000; he publishes nonfantastic work as by Stephen A Hunt. He began to publish work of genre interest with "The Strange Intervention of Sir WWW" in ProtoStellar #2 for 1991; his first novel, For the Crown & the Dragon (1993), set in an Alternate History version of the Napoleonic Wars, established an unpenetrating but attractive Equipoisal model for much of his subsequent work: worlds combining Magic and clockwork steam-driven Machines. The Jackelian World sequence beginning with The Court of the Air (2007) follows this model; pleasing alternative forms of Transportation and Technology are dramatized through an emphasis on Airships, Lost Worlds, advanced submarines, various Inventions and supposed Babbage engines with the power of electronic Computers. The sequence is ostensibly set in the near Far Future, after a new Ice Age has melted, though its general tonality is clearly meant to evoke a fantasticated late nineteenth century replete with period melodrama; the series stays safely short of twentieth-century topoi. Thus, for instance, the Invasion that shapes The Rise of the Iron Moon (2009) threatens the Kingdom of Jackals (ie England) from the north, not from the maelstrom of Europe itself. Jack Cloudie (2011), on the other hand, does invoke the Middle East, which is ruled by a Sultan Eternal. In various volumes, Vampires and ornate Aliens from space and Parallel Worlds are found.
The Far-Called sequence, beginning with In Dark Service (2014), combines Planetary Romance (with dynastic implications) and Steampunk, in a style whose fulminations may be a distancing device. [JC]
see also: Hive Minds; Ruins and Futurity.
born Canada: 1966
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