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Kingsnorth, Paul

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1972-    ) UK journalist and author, active from the early 1990s, much of whose nonfiction has dealt with the planetary environment, his earlier work focusing on Ecology as such, though the devouring issue of Climate Change clearly became of increasing concern. He is of sf interest for the Buccmaster trilogy comprising The Wake (2015), Beast (2017) and Alexandria (2020); the first volume, couched in a manufactured amalgam of Old English and easily readable late Middle English (see Linguistics), delineates life in a village in the Norfolk fens, a region haunted by an unseen Monster variously known as Catt; the second volume is contemporary; the third volume, set about a millennium hence, is of sf interest for the Ruined Earth world depicted, for retained memories of the Holocaust involving Climate Change that ended civilization in what seems to have been the twenty-first century, and for the transformed English used to tell parts of the tale, which is inevitably derived from the powerful example of Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker (1980). The figured intensity of the telling does something to redeem the recognizability (see Clichés) of much of what is recounted. A more traditional sf topos gradually dominates: Posthuman "stalkers", who are emissaries of a perhaps omnipresent AI, urge Transcendence upon the "normal" survivors. [JC]

Paul Kingsnorth

born Worcester, Worcestershire: 1972

works (selected)



  • The Wake (London: Unbound, 2014) [Buccmaster: pb/]
  • Beast (Saint Paul, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2017) [Buccmaster: pb/]
  • Alexandria (Saint Paul, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2020) [Buccmaster: pb/]


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