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Barnwell, William

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1943-    ) US author whose most interesting foray into the sf/fantasy genre was his well-written Blessing Trilogy, consisting of The Blessing Papers (1980), Imram (1981) and The Sigma Curve (1981). Set in Eire (here called Imram), this complex quest through a Ruined-Earth world, where some sort of grand design by mysterious powers is operating, at first appears lively but conventional Science Fantasy. In fact, the intellectual structure of the work is both demanding and very eccentric: a Metaphysical allegory about free will and predestination. The Holocaust was deliberately brought about to short-circuit humanity's Devolution as the left and right hemispheres of the brain lost contact due to corrupting visual imagery replacing the purity of the spoken word. This may be the only apocalyptic fiction where Earth's "Falling" was directly, it appears, due to Television programming rather than Original Sin. The books read as if produced by a member of a Pseudoscience cult, though it is not clear which one. A later singleton, Book of the Romes (2001), edges into Changewar territory as two factions in pre-Civil War America attempt to promulgate differing futures. [PN]

William Curtis Barnwell

born Macon, Georgia: 11 February 1943

works (selected)


Blessing Trilogy

individual titles

  • Book of the Romes (no place given:, 2001) [no evidence found of previous publication, despite publisher's name: pb/]


previous versions of this entry

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