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Joyce, Graham

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1954-2014) UK author and from 1996 also a reader in and teacher of creative writing at Nottingham Trent University, Nottinghamshire. He began to publish work of genre interest with Dreamside (1991), in which four university students involved in an experimental study of lucid dreaming develop a shared hallucination or alternate reality known as Dreamside, which they reject after bad experiences but which returns to haunt them in later life; the effect is one of Horror in SF. Subsequent novels initially turned towards supernatural fantasy themes, such as witchcraft and Reincarnation in Dark Sister (1993); still later narratives often became only borderline-fantastic or edged towards a tone of Magic Realism (see also Equipoise). Several won British Fantasy Awards; The Facts of Life (2002) tied for the World Fantasy Award as best novel. The demons (see Gods and Demons) perceived by the protagonist of Memoirs of a Master Forger (2008; vt How to Make Friends with Demons 2009 as Graham Joyce) as by William Heaney may or may not be metaphorical; The Silent Land (2011) precipitates its skiing protagonists via an avalanche accident into a perceived otherworld which for one of them is a temporary Afterlife; Some Kind of Fairy Tale (2012) revisits the fantasy trope of a person snatched away to Faerie whose much later return causes family consternation. [For Afterlife and Faerie see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below.]

Further ventures into sf proper were for the Young Adult audience. The Web: Spiderbite (1997) is a contribution to the Cyberspace/Virtual Reality Shared World of The Web. In the comic Three Ways to Snog an Alien (2008), a teenager's hopes for a relationship with the new girl at school are complicated by fears that she may be an Alien planning to suck out his brains. Although both these tales are fun, Joyce is most valued by readers and critics for his mature and often unclassifiable fantastic, near-fantastic and mainstream work. He died at the height of his considerable powers as a writer.

Shorter tales are assembled in three collections, notably 25 Years in the Word Mines: The Best Short Fiction of Graham Joyce (coll 2014). [DRL]

see also: The Edge; Novacon; The Web.

Graham William Joyce

born Keresley, Warwickshire: 22 October 1954

died Leicester, Leicestershire: 9 September 2014


collections and stories


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