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Whates, Ian

Entry updated 26 February 2024. Tagged: Author, Editor.

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(1959-    ) UK anthologist, publisher and author who began publishing work of genre interest with "Flesh and Metal" as by I G Whates in Dream Magazine for March 1987; much of his best short fiction has been assembled as The Gift of Joy (coll 2009) and Growing Pains (coll 2013). The City of a Hundred Rows sequence, beginning with City of Dreams & Nightmare (2010), is Urban Fantasy set in a City so intricately tiered into a mountain that it could be thought of as an Edifice [for City in a fantasy context, and for Edifice and Urban Fantasy see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. The adventures of the protagonist in the first volume, as he ascends the city tiers from Underground darkness, and tumbles down again, usefully map the edificial complexities of his world, in which elements of Magic intermix with Steampunk machinery; his excursions into the outer world in later volumes complexify the plot without much intensifying the strong vision of the Hundred Rows where all humanity, in this far distant era, cohabits. The Noise sequence comprising The Noise Within (2010) and The Noise Revealed (2011) is a Space Opera whose first volume revolves around the mystery of the eponymous AI-inhabited Starship which, decades after its disappearance from Earth space, has apparently turned to piracy; the protagonist, who has discovered the Alien civilization that has inspired the ship, is soon killed and in volume two influences the remaining action after being uploaded into the Virtual Reality world. The Dark Angels sequence beginning with Pelquin's Comet (2015) is an even more exuberant Space Opera, adding Forerunners and at least one Pocket Universe to the happily exploited generic mix. The underlying dialogue between flesh and "Virtuality" is conducted hastily. In his work to date, Whates has demonstrated a genuine and comfortable competence with the genres of the fantastic, though without showing much interest in testing the limits of this competence.

He has also released a number of Anthologies, beginning with Time Pieces: Eight Stories of Speculation and Imagination (anth 2006), most of them released through NewCon Press (see Small Presses and Limited Editions), which he founded in 2006. One of the more interesting is the Original Anthology 2001: An Odyssey in Words (anth 2018) edited with Tom Hunter, whose contributors – all of whom had been nominated for or won the Arthur C Clarke Award – have composed stories based on Arthur C Clarke's work, each tale restricted to exactly 2001 words to honour the fiftieth anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) directed by Stanley Kubrick. In general these NewCon Press anthologies, most of them restricted to original material, have become an important conduit for British sf (in particular) in the new century. [JC]

see also: British Science Fiction Association.

Ian George Whates

born Essex: 26 September 1959



City of a Hundred Rows


Dark Angels

The Human Legion

  • Human Empire (no place given: Human Legion Publications, 2015) with Tim C Taylor [The Human Legion: pb/]
  • War Against the White Knights (Scotts Valley, California: CreateSpace, 2016) with Tim C Taylor [The Human Legion: pb/]

individual titles

collections and stories

works as editor


Solaris Rising


individual titles as editor


previous versions of this entry

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