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Duffy, Maureen

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1933-    ) UK author several of whose books focus on London, including Capital (1975), a complex set of era-switching meditations – including a Neanderthal man's thoughts about the future – on the deep mythos of the city. The novel influenced (as he has acknowledged clearly) Michael Moorcock's Mother London (1988), and similar later works by Iain Sinclair and Peter Ackroyd. In general Duffy's novels tend to explore marginalized figures, many of them women viewed from a Feminist angle; typical is the protagonist of Gor Saga (1981) – televised as First Born in 1988 – who is the child of a gorilla mother fertilized by human semen (see Apes as Human), and who grows into articulate adulthood in an alienating UK. Scarborough Fear (1982) as by D M Cayer is a supernatural fiction. In Times Like These (2013), set in the Near Future up to about 2030, portrays an independent Scotland, a demoralized England, and a culture that has begun to lose its tolerance of "deviant" behaviour.

Duffy's nonfictional The Erotic World of Faery (1972) takes a Freudian view of the development of the topos of Faerie from medieval times to the present. The Passionate Shepherdess: Aphra Behn, 1640-89 (1977) is a useful study of Aphra Behn. [JC]

see also: Anthropology; Genetic Engineering; Women SF Writers.

Maureen Patricia Duffy

born Worthing, Sussex: 21 October 1933


  • Gor Saga (London: Eyre Methuen, 1981) [hb/]
  • Scarborough Fear (London: MacDonald and Company, 1982) as by D M Cayer [hb/]
  • Alchemy (London: Harper Perennial, 2004) [pb/]



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