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Redgrove, Peter

Entry updated 19 May 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1932-2003) UK poet and author, married to Penelope Shuttle. His first work of sf interest was "Mr Waterman" for Paris Review #29 in 1963, although he contributed occasionally to New Worlds, including a fantasy poem later published as The God-Trap (1966 chap). His first novel, In the Country of the Skin (1973), is a metaphysical fantasy; he remains of sf interest mainly for his later novels, two of which – The Terrors of Dr Treviles: A Romance (1974), which involves some metaphysical Dream Hacking, and The Glass Cottage: A Nautical Romance (1976) – were written in collaboration with Shuttle. Both are Fabulations whose venues are rendered unstable through hyperbolic imagery and their authors' taste for holy witchcraft and other transcendental transgressions of the natural order. The God of Glass: A Morality: Time: A Few Years into the Future (1979) is a tale of the Near Future in which a new prophet diseases the world with his message. The Sleep of the Great Hypnotist: The Life and Death and Life After Death of a Great Magician (1979) introduces a device which cures ills but also Hypnotizes its inventor's daughter into bringing him back to life after death. The Beekeepers sequence – The Beekeepers (1980) and The Facilitators, or Mister Hole-in-the-Day (1982) – is set in an ominous insane asylum where strange experiments are being conducted (see Zoo), and marries occult imagery and murk-choked scientism in a complex narrative involving an ambiguous penetration of Bedlam. Primarily a poet, Redgrove writes novels whose plots ride upon deep swells of language-driven meditation, although the tales assembled in The One Who Set Out to Study Fear (coll 1989) – perhaps because they are derived from the Brothers Grimm – display a more forthright story-telling gift. [JC]

Peter William Redgrove

born Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey: 2 January 1932

died Falmouth, Cornwall: 16 June 2003

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