Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author, Music.
Working name of UK musician and author Steven Patrick Morrissey (1959- ), whose role as lead singer of The Smiths (1982-1987) and as a solo performer has attracted a sizeable and devoted following. Morrissey's sole venture into sf is "Fantastic Bird", a self-described "throwaway outtake" from Your Arsenal (1992). The song is a jaunty rockabilly number in which the singer's love interest sets out on the titular Spaceship in a failed attempt to become "the first stand-up comedian in space". It remained unreleased until 2009, when it was featured as a bonus track on the reissue of the 1995 album Southpaw Grammar.
Perhaps more interesting in borderline sf terms are Morrissey's numerous dalliances with supernatural themes (see Supernatural Creatures), beginning with the very early Smiths song "Suffer Little Children", on The Smiths (1984), in which the infamous child murderer Myra Hindley (1942-2002) is tormented by the ghosts of her victims buried on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester. Supernatural references occur also in "Rubber Ring", compiled on The World Won't Listen (1987), which samples a recording by Latvian parapsychologist Konstantīns Raudive (1909-1974) purportedly of a dead person's voice intoning "You are sleeping! You do not want to believe!"; and "A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours", on Strangeways Here We Come (1987), narrated by "the ghost of Troubled Joe". In the 1989 solo single "Ouija Board, Ouija Board", on Bona Drag (1990), the singer's attempt to contact a deceased lover by way of the titular device results in the message "push off".
None of the above, however, was adequate preparation for Morrissey's first novel List of the Lost (2015), a full-fledged supernatural fiction in which a relay team is cursed by a demon (see Gods and Demons) in the woods during a race. The slim novel is punctuated by idiosyncratic turns of phrase and drew almost universal disdain and derision from critics (a sex scene featuring reference to a "bulbous salutation" garnered the novel the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction "award"). [RFl]
Steven Patrick Morrissey
born Davyhulme, Greater Manchester, England: 22 May 1959
- The Smiths (Rough Trade, 1984)
- The World Won't Listen (Rough Trade, 1987)
- Strangeways Here We Come (Rough Trade, 1987)
- Bona Drag (HMV, 1990)
- Your Arsenal (HMV, 1992)
- Southpaw Grammar (RCA, 1995)
- List of the Lost (London: Penguin Books, 2015) [pb/]
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