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Hoyle, Trevor

Entry updated 18 December 2023. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym of UK author Trevor Smith (1940-    ) who has also written at least one book as by Joseph Rance. Most unusually, Hoyle has been able to apply an erudite surrealism to works directed towards a mass market, though he had not, however, yet mastered this technique for his first novel, The Relatively Constant Copywriter (1972), a dourly joky Fabulation which he self-published. He remains best known for his Q series – Q: Seeking the Mythical Future (1977), Q: Through the Eye of Time (1977) and Q: The Gods Look Down (1977) – set in a variety of Parallel Worlds and detailing the work and crises of its overall protagonist, a Myth Technologist who, in the second volume, must cope with the re-creation, on an Alternate World, of an experimental Adolf Hitler whose existence threatens to leak into our own familiar Earth (see Hitler Wins). Hoyle's mature range was demonstrated by the publication in the same year, 1979, of Earth Cult (1979; vt This Sentient Earth 1979), an unremarkable sf adventure, and The Man Who Travelled on Motorways (1979), an intensely crafted hegira through the apocalyptic inscapes of a UK approaching the end. The Last Gasp (1983; rev 1990) is a salutary dreadful-warning tale about terminal Pollution, implying very clearly that humanity's behaviour could be described as lemming-like, though the survivors do manage to establish and inhabit a Space Habitat. Vail (1984), once again focusing on motorways, presents a Near-Future UK in Dystopian terms. K.I.D.S. (1987; vt Kids 1990) is a horror tale which climaxes in nuclear Holocaust. A later tale, Mirrorman (1999) returns to the vertiginous recursions of the Q series, as an assassin is required to kill the same victim in universe after universe. It may be that, in finding several audiences, Hoyle failed to find any one audience that properly recognizes him; but he retained faithful readers, who continued to look for his work. [JC]

Trevor Smith

born Rochdale, Lancashire: 25 February 1940




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