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Newland, Courttia

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

(1973-    ) UK editor, musician, screenwriter and author, active from before 2000; most of whose work, beginning with his first novel The Scholar: A West-Side Story (1997), has been nonfantastic, though several of the stories assembled as Music for the Off-Key: Twelve Macabre Short Stories (coll 2006) and Cosmogramma (coll 2021) ingeniously engage in the turns of Fantastika. He is best known for his writing collaboration with Steve McQueen (1969-    ) on some episodes of the nonfantastic Small Axe (2020 five parts).

Newland is sf interest for his seventh novel, A River Called Time (2021), which is set in an Alternate History version of Near Future London, the Jonbar Point seeming to be the good-luck initiation of creative intercourse between ancient Egypt and Europeans, leading to significantly more complex world, though not necessarily a better one. Magic, mostly benign, seems to flourish in the multiplex culture of London, here called Dinium (after the Roman Londinium), though the city is structured along traditional Dystopian lines, with elites sequestered in an armoured Keep known as the Ark, and everyone else in squalid slums. The world itself – long after the South won the Civil War, and Hitler World War Two (see Hitler Wins) – is a threatened planet, though without Slavery; hints of Multiverse-like alternatives, including the "real" world of 2021. [JC]

Courttia Newland

born London: 25 August 1973

works (highly selected)

collections and stories

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