Palmer, Stephen

Tagged: Author

(1962-    ) UK musician and author whose first sf novel, Memory Seed (1996), depicts the remnants of Homo sapiens, now restricted to a Keep-like decaying City after profound Climate Change, due mainly to over-exploitation of the planet, has turned the outside world into wilderness overrun with Genetically Engineered flora and fauna. His second novel, Glass (1997), which is independent of the first though set in the same city of Cray, depicts a plague that transforms everything it touches into something like glass. The consort of AIs that govern the city are so concerned about the plague that they ignore a strange astronomical phenomenon: the sudden appearance of a mirror in orbit, suggesting that the inhabitants of the city are being subjected to an experiment: that Cyberspace perhaps encompasses them. A circumambient information network also operates in Muezzinland (2002), set in a distant Near Future Earth where, after the breakdown of traditional First World hegemony over the mauled planet, Africa has become dominant. The hi-tech pursuit of her daughters by the nearly all-powerful Empress of Ghana towards the mysterious Muezzinland conflates family romance and planetary dominion: leaving again a sense that these human protagonists are being operated within a Virtual Reality surround that they cannot control. Flowercrash (2002), set in a very much more distant future, describes a Britain sustained by an intertwining quasi-sentient network of profoundly deeply rooted flowers (see Biology) that has evolved after the savageries of inflicted Climate Change; the plot, involving Cyborgs and conflicted humans, leads once again to Paranoia: to a sense of imprisonment. Again set in a mutated Britain, Hallucinating (2004) deals with an Invasion of Aliens, who may be illusory. Urbis Morpheos (2010) is set again on an Earth devastated by the failure of humanity to understand the Ecological implications of the twenty-first century exploitation of remaining resources, though the tale takes place in the Far Future, where a semi-sentient natural system is opposed to a high-tech, machine-driven rump. Palmer's unwavering focus on planetary issues in an epoch of crisis clearly lost him many readers; his continuing efforts to convey his message are all the more welcome. [JC]

Stephen Palmer

born Harpenden, Hertfordshire: 1962



  • Memory Seed (London: Orbit, 1996) [pb/uncredited]
  • Glass (London: Orbit, 1997) [pb/uncredited]
  • Muezzinland (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Wildside Press/Cosmos Books, 2002) [pb/]
  • Flowercrash (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Wildside Press/Cosmos Books, 2002) [pb/]
  • Hallucinating (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Wildside Press/Cosmos Books, 2004) [pb/]
  • Urbis Morpheos (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2010) [hb/Steven Palmer]
  • Hairy London (Wivenhoe, Essex: Infinity Plus, 2014) [pb/Stephen Palmer]
  • Beautiful Intelligence (Scotts Valley, California: CreateSpace, 2015) [pb/]


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