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Gallagher, Stephen

Entry updated 25 March 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1954-    ) UK scriptwriter and author who signed some of his early work Steve Gallagher. He first came to prominence with sf scripts, notably his Radio series The Last Rose of Summer (1977), which he adapted as his first novel, The Last Rose of Summer (1978; rev vt Dying of Paradise 1983 as by Stephen Couper) and its sequel, Hunter's Moon (1980), which he novelized as The Ice Belt (1983) as by Stephen Couper, both set in a Dystopian Britain; and episodes for Doctor Who, two of which he novelized: Doctor Who and Warriors' Gate (1982) and Doctor Who – Terminus (1983), both as by John Lydecker. He also wrote at least two non-fantastic Ties as by Lisa Todd.

In the 1980s Gallagher began to establish a reputation as one of the UK's most successful Horror writers, though his earlier books have strong sf overtones. Chimera (1982) is a variation on the Frankenstein myth in which the Monster is a hybrid apeman (see Apes as Human) created by a government research project in DNA manipulation (see Genetic Engineering); it was serialized on UK television in 1991. Valley of Lights (1987) features a Monster capable of controlling human minds, and Oktober (1988) is about an experimental Drug that allows the protagonist to control other people's nightmares. While often lacking originality of ideas, Gallagher's work is marked by strong characterization, gruff verisimilitude, good plotting and extensive background detail, particularly when police-procedural material is being presented. After about 1990, his work is almost exclusively horror, much of it not supernatural. [AC/PR/JC]

Stephen Gallagher

born Salford, Lancashire: 13 October 1954

works (selected)


Last Rose of Summer

  • The Last Rose of Summer (London: Corgi Books, 1978) [novelizing his Radio script: Last Rose of Summer: pb/]
    • Dying of Paradise (London: Sphere Books, 1982) as by Stephen Couper [rev vt of the above: Last Rose of Summer: pb/]
  • The Ice Belt (London: Sphere Books, 1983) as by Stephen Couper [novelizing his Radio script: Last Rose of Summer: pb/]

Doctor Who

individual titles

collections and stories


previous versions of this entry

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