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Edric, Robert

Entry updated 31 October 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym of UK author Gary Edric Armitage (1956-    ), who began his career as G E Armitage with a nonfantastic novel, A Season of Peace (1985), continuing for two decades during which at least fifteen more novels, all but the first as Robert Edric, were released. They are all nonfantastic, though The Broken Lands (1992), about the fatal Arctic expedition headed by Sir John Franklin (1786-1847), pushes to the edge of Fantastika in its depiction of the survival of some crew members into 1848, when they are discovered by Eskimos (now properly Inuit) in a Slingshot Ending. The Song Cycle, beginning with Cradle Song (2003), a detective sequence set in Hull, is though complexly intense also nonfantastic [series is not listed below].

Edric's first outright fantasy is a novella, The Mermaids (2007). Supernatural events are hinted at, though not precisely confirmed, in The London Satyr (2011), set in 1890s London and featuring appearances by Bram Stoker; similarly, hints of genuine possession in The Devil's Beat (2012) are unconfirmed by a deliberately inconclusive narrative, a similar indeterminacy shaping the portrayal of Aleister Crowley's search for Immortality in The Monster's Lament (2013) as World War Two comes to an end in London [for Crowley see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. The Wrack Line (2016 chap) is a ghost story set by the North Sea, climaxing in scenes of vastation in which the world itself is a primary source of terror.

Of direct sf interest is Salvage (2010), a bleak tale set a century hence in Northern England, where the ceasing of the Gulf Stream and other Disasters due to Climate Change (and climate-change denial on the part of the Developmental Ministry) have had particularly savage consequences. In this corrupt Dystopia, where power (see Politics) has devolved to local rulers after the pattern suggested by H G Wells in The Shape of Things to Come (1933) – filmed as Things to Come (1936) – there seems little hope for recovery. In the end, after a disastrous Pollution event, snow begins to fall, shutting down the North. [JC]

Gary Edric Armitage

born Sheffield, South Yorkshire: 14 April 1956

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