Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.
(1968- ) Scottish editor and author who began to publish work of genre interest with "Angelique's Lament" in Territories: The Slipstream Journal for 1993. Much of his earlier short fiction has been assembled as The Ephemera (coll 2006), most of this work comprising what might be called Fantastika rather than fantasy, as a constant transgressing of traditional genre boundaries is evident throughout. At least two of the tales assembled are sf: "Amber Rain" (July 2002 The Third Alternative), a melancholy tale involving an enigmatic Alien and "The Euonymist" (Fall 2005 Electric Velocipede), whose protagonist returns from Space Opera realms to deal with his Scottish family.
Williamson's first novel, The Moon King (2014), set in a City on a mysterious Island, Equipoisally jostles fantasy world-building topoi and hints that the water world described is an sf-arguable Moon-oriented Alternate Cosmos. There is a very clear sense that becoming king within the inexorable cycles of the Moon is as dangerous as any assumption of monarchy timed to the seasons; at the same time that one of the protagonists finds himself being addressed as King, the world as a whole slides into crisis as a Dystopian industrial revolution begins to crush old dispensations.
Nova Scotia: New Scottish Speculative Fiction (anth 2005) with Andrew J Wilson is an Original Anthology, perhaps unfortunately titled for some Canadians, which assembles a very wide range of authors, from Edwin Morgan to Hannu Rajaniemi, in a persuasive showcasing of work that may derive from a region but which cannot be dismissed as regional. [JC]
Neil James Williamson
born Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Scotland: 1968
- The Moon King (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: NewCon Press, 2014) [hb/Andy Bigwood]
- The Memoirist (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: NewCon Press, 2017) [chap: in the publisher's NewCon Press Novellas series: hb/Chris Moore]
- Queen of Clouds (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: NewCon Press, 2022) [hb/Reggie Oliver]
- The Ephemera (Norwich, Norfolk: Elastic Press, 2006) [coll: pb/Gregor Scharff]
- Secret Language (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: NewCon Press, 2016) [coll: hb/Andy Bigwood]
works as editor
- Nova Scotia: New Scottish Speculative Fiction (Edinburgh, Scotland: Crescent Books, 2005) with Andrew J Wilson [anth: pb/uncredited]
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