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Randall, Florence Engel

Entry updated 12 July 2021. Tagged: Author.

(1917-1997) US author who began to publish work of genre interest with "One Long Ribbon" in Fantastic for July 1962; her five novels, beginning with the nonfantastic Hedgerow (1967), were composed for the Young Adult market. They include fantasies like A Place of Sapphires (1969), The Almost Year (1971), and Haldane Station (1973), in all of which Gothic manifestations of the supernatural are linked to the coming of age of young protagonists.

Randall is of sf interest for A Watcher in the Woods (1976; vt The Watcher in the Woods 1980), where a similar Gothic ambience is given torque through the discovery that the visitant haunting the old house where an adolescent girl is growing up is in fact an Alien child caught in a Time Distortion trap, in which decades in the real world hardly seem to pass for it. A portal opens in time; both the girl and the alien depart our world. The tale was filmed as The Watcher in the Woods (1980) directed by John Hough for Disney; the sf elements are turned into supernatural horror. [JC]

Florence Engel Randall

born New York: 18 October 1917

died Great Neck, New York: 4 September 1997

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