Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.
(1932-2021) Scottish academic (lecturer in French at Edinburgh University), translator, philologist and author who began publishing work of genre interest with the Giftwish children's fantasy sequence: Giftwish (1978) and Catchfire (1981), both as Graham Martin. With The Soul Master (1984), as Martin, he moved sf-wards; though the godling-dominated land of Tethesta is described in terms of fantasy. There are Teleportation-like effects as the ruler's puppet soldiers – whose Identities have been subsumed into his – cannot exist in, and thus pass instantly across, the gaps in their master's Perception of the world. Time-Slip (1986) is a bleak sf Post-Holocaust sf tale set in nether Scotland several decades after World War Three had been triggered by the disarmament of Western Europe in 1998; the many-worlds interpretation of quantum Physics is used to justify a kind of Parallel-Worlds-based Religion, which Graham Satirizes. Also sf is The Dream Wall (1987), a dreadful-warning story of the UK under the Soviets in the twenty-second century, leavened by psychic Timeslip as 2007 characters dream of their future counterparts and vice-versa. Martin's strengths – a dogged insistence on what he clearly feels to be home truths – are fully on view in this narrative, as are certain weaknesses, mainly an abiding humourlessness which greys out any attempts at Satire or novelistic ambiguity.
The lighter Half a Glass of Moonshine (1988) is a study in Perception set in the then present (though chapter titles alternately reference Lewis Carroll and J R R Tolkien), and interestingly suggests that the human sensorium blocks off certain features of our environment for good Darwinian reasons (see Evolution). An Inquiry into the Purposes of Speculative Fiction – Fantasy and Truth (2003) is a nonfiction study. [JC/DRL]
Graham Dunstan Martin
born Leeds, West Yorkshire: 21 October 1932
died 27 March 2021
- Giftwish (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1978) as Graham Martin [Giftwish: hb/]
- Catchfire (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1981) as Graham Martin [Giftwish: hb/]
- The Soul Master (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1984) [hb/Pinpoint]
- Time-Slip (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1984) [hb/Peter Gudynas]
- The Dream Wall (London: Unwin Hyman, 1987) [hb/Peter Gudynas]
- Half a Glass of Moonshine (London: Unwin Hyman, 1988) [hb/Peter Gudynas]
- Shadows in the Cave: Mapping the Conscious Universe (London: Penguin Arkana, 1990) [nonfiction: hb/]
- An Inquiry into the Purposes of Speculative Fiction – Fantasy and Truth (Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2003) [nonfiction: hb/uncredited]
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