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d'Arch Smith, Timothy

Entry updated 22 April 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1936-    ) UK bibliographer, antiquarian bookseller, and author, whose wit and scholarly predilections – Montague Summers (see Bibliographies), Aleister Crowley, rock 'n' roll, and cricket (see Games and Sports) – inform his contribution to the genre. Alembic (1992) is a work of Hard SF that joins alchemy, rock 'n' roll (see Music), sex magic (see Magic), and a sharp Satire of the workings of British government departments. In the basement laboratories and drab offices of ALEMBIC, antiquarian Thomas Graves reads early science and advises his colleagues on experimental alchemy. When not engaged in making the elixir of life, Graves and the departmental "cooks" spend their time drinking and chasing women. He meets up with a school friend, Nicholas Sparks, the depraved megastar front man for Celestial Praylin, a rock band with a cult following along the lines of Led Zeppelin. The parties at Sparks's country house thrust Graves into a climate of excess and Paranoia; his work entangles him in conspiracies and the dark ambitions of those in power. [HW]

Timothy d'Arch Smith

born Farnborough, Hampshire: 15 October 1936

works (selected)



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