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Tate, Peter

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1940-    ) Welsh journalist and author who began publishing sf with "The Post-Mortem People" for New Worlds in 1966 (vt "Beyond the Weeds" in SF 12, anth 1968, ed Judith Merril); this was assembled with his other short fiction as Seagulls under Glass and Other Stories (coll 1975). His first novel, The Thinking Seat (1969), began a loose sequence of tales featuring the charismatic and guru-like Simeon, followed by Moon on an Iron Meadow (1974) and Faces in the Flames (1976). All demonstrate an interest in Politics, and Moon on an Iron Meadow in particular shows a deep concern about Biological weapons – it also manifests the extent to which Tate had been influenced by Ray Bradbury, the bulk of the story taking place in Bradbury's imaginary Green Town, Illinois.

Tate published three further novels. Gardens 1 2 3 4 5 (1971; vt Gardens One to Five 1971) is an allegorical Godgame whose protagonist passes through the successive gardens of the title and unwittingly disrupts the socio-political Thought Experiments enacted by their inhabitants; ultimately he is judged by the UN as a kind of universal scapegoat for crimes against humanity. Country Love and Poison Rain (1973), perhaps the first sf novel about the Welsh Nationalist movement, concerns the political repercussions of the discovery of a secret NATO cache of deadly nerve gas (see Poisons) in the Brecon Beacons. Greencomber (1979) is a surly and metaphor-choked tale of a battered Near-Future UK, rather reminiscent of the work of Keith Roberts but without that writer's shaping power. [MJE/DRL]

see also: Pollution; Zone.

Peter Tate

born Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales: 3 April 1940




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