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Barley, Michael

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1939-    ) UK-born architect and author, in Canada from 1948, whose first novel, Jackal Bird (1995), complexly analyses the political, scientific and personal implications for a colony planet called Isurus of a long Terraforming programme; although the first wave of human expansion through the galaxy had foundered on the lack of a Faster Than Light drive, the compulsion to create a world congenial to humans has continued to shape life on Isurus for generations, as dramatized through the interlocking stories of four children, who grow into controlling roles, through crises and revelations, in the drama of change. The novel, told by one confessional narrator in the form of three interconnected tales, may have been consciously influenced by the work of Gene Wolfe. His second novel, Northline (2006), is set in the Dystopian Near Future America of 2056, where a tentacular corporation controls all Transportation (and waste disposal) throughout North America, creating toxic wildernesses out of what was once Canada. [JC]

Michael Barley

born Rochford, Essex: 1939


  • Jackal Bird (Edmonton, Alberta: Tesseract Books, 1995) [hb/Mitchell Stuart]
  • Northline (Toronto, Ontario: Imago Press/Indigo Phoenix, 2006) [pb/]


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