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Gross, Philip

Entry updated 31 January 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1952-    ) UK poet – whose first collection, Familiars (coll 1983 chap), was well received – and author, mostly for Young Adult audiences, beginning with The Song of Gail and Fludd (1991), a surreal rite of passage tale whose two protagonists, questing aimlessly from venue to venue as though traversing an endless Archipelago, encounter exemplary fantasy and sf modes of life, including one Feminist Utopia; in the end, they seem to understand that life is a performance, that it is the song they sing. With the possible exception of The Air Mines of Mistila (1988 chap) with Sylvia Kantaris (1936-    ), a suite of poems in which the literal mining of air leads to meditations on the self-destructive impulses inherent in Western civilization, Gross's other work at length has been less taxing, though generically various. Of specific sf interest are Plex (1994), whose young protagonists encounter a man capable of duplicating matter (see Matter Duplication), and Psylicon Beach (1998), which treats a Virtual Reality playground for adolescents as hugely and intoxicatingly dangerous.

Short poems of sf interest have appeared intermittently in various collections (see Poetry), including several evocations of the grammar of Ruins and Futurity in The Ice Factory (coll 1984 chap); the Hubble telescope in the title poem of Deep Field (coll 2011 chap) is envisioned as a fisherman staring into the depths of space. [JC]

Philip Gross

born Delabole, Cornwall: 27 February 1952

works (selected)

  • The Song of Gail and Fludd (London: Faber and Faber, 1991) [hb/Alan Baker]
  • Plex (London: Scholastic Press, 1994) [hb/David Wyatt]
  • The Wind Gate (London: Scholastic Press, 1995) [hb/David Wyatt]
  • Transformer (London: Scholastic Press, 1996) [hb/]
  • Psylicon Beach (London: Scholastic Press, 1998) [hb/Black Sheep]
  • Facetaker (London: Scholastic Press, 1999) [hb/]
  • Going for Stone (Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 2002) [hb/BCADjalamy]
  • The Lastling (Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 2003) [hb/D Roberts]
  • Marginaliens (Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 2003) [hb/Stephen Hanson]

collections and stories (highly selected)

  • The Ice Factory (London: Faber and Faber, 1984) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/Pentagram]
  • The Air Mines of Mistila (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books, 1988) with Sylvia Kantaris [coll of linked poems: chap: illus/pb/Kim Lewis]
  • Deep Field (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books, 2011) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/Hubble Ultra Deep Field photo]

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