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Bailey, Hilary

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Editor.

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(1936-2017) UK editor and author, married to Michael Moorcock 1962-1978, who during the earlier part of her career wrote about 15 sf and fantasy stories, including "The Fall of Frenchy Steiner" (July/August 1964 New Worlds), a Hitler Wins tale whose Jonbar Point is the German decision – based on Steiner's prescience – not to invade Russia in 1941, and "Everything Blowing Up: An Adventure of Una Persson, Heroine of Time and Space" (in Interfaces, anth 1980, ed Ursula K Le Guin and Virginia Kidd); plus one story, "In Reason's Ear" (June 1965 Science Fantasy) as by Pippin Graham; she was also the uncredited co-author with Moorcock of The Black Corridor (1969), and may or may not have been its primary author. After Moorcock's New Worlds died as a magazine but was reincarnated as the occasional anthology series New Worlds Quarterly, she joined Charles Platt as co-editor of New Worlds 7 (anth 1974; vt New Worlds #6 1975), continuing as solo editor until the series stopped with New Worlds 10 (anth 1976).

Most of Bailey's subsequent work as a novelist was mainstream fiction with occasional sf elements, as in All the Days of My Life (1984), her almost successful bid for the bestseller market, which is essentially an updated Moll Flanders (by Daniel Defoe [1722]) that begins in 1941 and ends in 1996. Another example is A Stranger to Herself (1989), which is set in what was then the very Near Future of 1991. Frankenstein's Bride (1995) rewrites Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus (1818) by having the eponymous Baron (this time around) keep his word and manufacture a bride for his Monster: the title is misleading (see Frankenstein Monster). The Autobiography of the Queen (2007) with Emma Tennant (Bailey uncredited) provides a moderately scabrous re-vision of her long reign prior to her abdication and her happy life in St Lucia. Fifty-First State (2008) is a Near Future political thriller whose protagonist narrates from a 2017 viewpoint the military takeover of Britain by America with the connivance of the Conservative Party. Several of Bailey's other novels – including Hannie Richards; Or The Intrepid Adventures of a Restless Wife (1985), Cassandra: Princess of Troy (1993), The Strange Adventures of Charlotte Holmes: Sister of the More Famous Sherlock (1994), Miles and Flora: A Sequel to Henry James' The Turn of the Screw (1997) and Hitler's Girls (2013 ebook) with Emma Tennant, about a revanchist search for Hitler's missing daughter – contain fantastic elements (see also Sequels by Other Hands). The last named, in common with her work in general, combines bleak Satire and a sharp humorousness.

The essays assembled in Did We Meet On Grub Street?: A Publishing Miscellany (anth 2014) edited with Emma Tennant provide useful background information on conditions for writers in the late twentieth century. [JC/PN]

see also: Suspended Animation.

Hilary Denham Bailey

born Bromley, Kent [ie London]: 19 September 1936

died London: 11 January 2017

works (selected)

works as editor


New Worlds: New Worlds Quarterly

works as editor: nonfiction


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