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Gordon, Stuart

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of Scottish teacher and author Richard Alexander Steuart Gordon (1947-2009), not to be confused with the director of supernatural horror films, Stuart Gordon, nor with Stuart Gordon (1924-    ), the author of Gordonstown: A New Design for America (1980). Gordon also wrote as Alex R Stuart and published his first sf story – "A Light in the Sky" for New Worlds in July 1965 – as Richard A Gordon. His first sf novel, Time Story (1972), describes a criminal's attempt to flee retribution via Time Travel. In his Eyes books – One-Eye (1973), Two-Eyes (1974) and Three-Eyes (1975), assembled as The Eyes Trilogy (omni 1978) – the Mutant One-Eye triggers the forces of chaos in an apocalyptic Ruined Earth venue a thousand years after a nuclear Holocaust, where humanity fights a losing battle against genetic decay; in increasingly elaborated prose (Gordon's main fault as a writer was an inadequate control over imagery) the trilogy proceeds to a complex self-confrontation of mankind. Smile on the Void: The Mythhistory of Ralph M'Botu Kitaj (1981) ponderously guys late-twentieth-century susceptibilities in the "biography" of an almost certainly fake Messiah.

Fire in the Abyss (1983), though terribly overcrowded, impressively plants the Elizabethan sailor Sir Humphrey Gilbert (1537-1583) via Time Travel into an apocalyptically dissolving 1983, where he is incarcerated by the American military, which has transported him from 1583 to gain from him the secrets of the past; he escapes with some similarly hijacked companions, aided by a Telepathy ring. The Watchers trilogy – Archon (1987), The Hidden World: The Second Book of the Watchers (1988) and The Mask: The Third Book of the Watchers (1988) – is another extremely complex time-travel fantasy, moving in the opposite direction, as twentieth-century personal traumas intersect, in medieval and Reformation France, with the cultural ills of the present and the Near Future. Gordon's language had baroque vigour and his plots were increasingly inventive, and it is unfortunate that he ceased publishing fiction around 1990; he lacked mainly a capacity to moderate and therefore give verisimilitude to the rush of notions. [JC]

Richard Alex Steuart Gordon

born Banff, Scotland: 18 May 1947

died Shanghai, China: 7 February 2009


as Stuart Gordon


Eyes Trilogy

  • One-Eye (New York: DAW Books, 1973) [Eyes Trilogy: pb/Tim Kirk]
  • Two-Eyes (New York: DAW Books, 1973) [Eyes Trilogy: pb/Peter Manesis]
  • Three-Eyes (New York: DAW Books, 1975) [Eyes Trilogy: pb/Michael Whelan]
    • The "Eyes" Trilogy (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1978) [omni of the above three: Eyes Trilogy: hb/]


individual titles

as Alex R Stuart

  • The Bikers (London: New English Library, 1971) as Alex R Stuart [pb/]
  • The Last Trip (London: New English Library, 1972) as Alex R Stuart [pb/]
  • The Outlaws (London: New English Library, 1972) as Alex R Stuart [pb/]
  • The Devil's Rider (London: New English Library, 1973) as Alex R Stuart [pb/]
  • The Bike from Hell (London: New English Library, 1973) as Alex R Stuart [pb/]

nonfiction (selected)


previous versions of this entry

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