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Meaney, John

Entry updated 19 November 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1957-    ) UK author who began to publish work of genre interest with "Spring Rain" for Interzone in July 1992, and who publishes Near Future thrillers as by Thomas Blackthorne; his first novel, To Hold Infinity (1998), describes a world dominated by Cyborgs whose brains are enhanced by Computer-augments but who are otherwise all-too-human. Meaney came to wide notice with the Nulapeiron Sequence – comprising Paradox (November 1994 Interzone as "Parallax Transform"; much exp 2000), Context (2002) and Resolution (2005) – set Underground in a moderately distant future where rigid class divisions are maintained by technofixes and the claims of the ruling class to inhabit the past, present and future simultaneously, creating a stranglehold over reality and a monopoly on Predictions. The series protagonist, who has access to a fractal-universe portal in the shape of an "info-crystal", upsets the apple cart; later volumes introduce plagues, Aliens, and the threat (or promise) of Transcendence. The recent Ragnarok sequence, beginning with Absorption (2010), continues and expands upon the first sequence, focusing more on the time-and-space conquering Pilots in their city called Labyrinth, echoing to some degree the manifold-of-space penetrating Order of Pilots in their city called Nevermore in David Zindell's Nevermore (1989). Very much more happens, however, than a single line of synopsis can hint at: including a euhemerist vision of eighth-century Norway, whose gods (for a little while) seem only men; and an absorbing sequence set in Europe between the Wars; Hive Minds threaten to absorb all.

Meaney's second sequence, Bone Song, comprising Bone Song (2007) and Dark Blood (2008; vt Black Blood 2009), is a gonzo quasi-Urban Fantasy whose intricate noir plot – which involves Zombies (described in terms which allow them to be thought of as Androids), and life-transforming, life-destroying art and artists (the latter dead), all within a multiplexly rationalized sf frame – makes the sequence definable as sf, and as "traditional" Urban Fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], and as Urban Fantasy in the sense it is now generally understood: as a species of paranormal romance. A love of complicatedness marks all of Meaney's work to date, along with a capacity to knit heterogeneous material (see Equipoise) together; there is no predicting his next steps. [JC]

John Meaney

born London: 1957



Nulapeiron Sequence

  • Paradox (London: Bantam Press, 2000) [Nulapeiron Sequence: hb/Jim Burns]
  • Context (London: Bantam Press, 2002) [Nulapeiron Sequence: hb/Jim Burns]
  • Resolution (London: Bantam Press, 2005) [Nulapeiron Sequence: hb/Jim Burns]

Bone Song

  • Bone Song (London: Gollancz, 2007) [Bone Song: hb/keevildesign]
  • Dark Blood (London: Gollancz, 2008) [Bone Song: hb/]
    • Black Blood (New York: Bantam, 2009) [vt of the above: Bone Song: hb/Steve Stone]
  • Trisopolis Requiem (no place given: Nulapeiron Press, 2018) [Bone Song: pb/]


individual titles

  • To Hold Infinity (London: Bantam UK, 1998) [pb/Jim Burns]
  • Edge (London: Angry Robot, 2010) as by Thomas Blackthorne [pb/Spring London]
  • Point (London: Angry Robot, 2010) as by Thomas Blackthorne [pb/Spring London]

collections and stories


previous versions of this entry

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