Search SFE    Search EoF

  Omit cross-reference entries  

Smith, Wilbur

Entry updated 7 August 2023. Tagged: Author.

(1933-2021) South African accountant and author born in Northern Rhodesia [now Zambia], mostly in South Africa from early adulthood; most of his works, which are normally divided into long series, are nonfantastic historical and contemporary dramas set mostly in South Africa. One series, the Ancient Egyptian sequence beginning with River God (1993), incorporates some fantasy elements into its primary setting, which is circa 1700 BC (see Ancient Egypt in SF); in The Seventh Scroll (1995), set in contemporary times, evidence confirming the first volume is discovered; Warlock (2001) and The Quest (2007) follows Taita, the central protagonist of the sequence, a castrated magus with Magic powers which confer something like Immortality upon him, and who regains his virility in due course; Desert God (2014) carries the action to Minoan Crete, just in time for the great Disaster, an event which does not overwhelm Taita's supernatural invulnerability.

Of more direct sf interest is The Sunbird (1972), a Lost Race novel set in Africa; the contemporary cast, after discovering the ancient Phoenician city of Opet deep Underground, finds itself re-enacting ancient passions and politics (see Race in SF); the ending, which can be read as foretelling the subsequent history of Africa, can be seen as tragic. [JC]

Wilbur Addison Smith

born Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia [now Kabwe, Zambia]: 9 January 1933

died Cape Town, South Africa: 13 November 2021


series (selected)

Ancient Egyptian

  • River God (London: Macmillan, 1993) [Ancient Egyptian: hb/Alan Dingman]
  • The Seventh Scroll (London: Macmillan, 1995) [Ancient Egyptian: hb/Syd Brak]
  • Warlock (London: Macmillan, 2001) [Ancient Egyptian: hb/Syd Brak]
  • The Quest (London: Macmillan, 2007) [Ancient Egyptian: hb/]
  • Desert God (London: HarperCollins, 2014) [Ancient Egyptian: hb/]
  • Pharaoh (London: HarperCollins, 2016) [Ancient Egyptian: hb/]

individual titles (selected)


previous versions of this entry

This website uses cookies.  More information here. Accept Cookies