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Wilson, Angus

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1913-1991) UK author who published some early supernatural horror, like "Totentanz" (May 1949 Horizon), assembled with other tales including "Raspberry Jam" in The Wrong Set (coll 1949), but who remains best known for satirical non-fantastic anatomies of modern middle-class England like Anglo-Saxon Attitudes (1956) and The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot (1958). His one sf tale, The Old Men at the Zoo (1961), applies techniques typical of Mainstream Writers of SF to a Zoo setting, Regents Park Zoo (see London) in a Near-Future Britain threatened internally by loss of nerve and by neofascism, and externally by a federated Europe; after the inevitable bombing and Invasion, England is dotted with concentration camps, though a successful rebellion "frees" the debased land. Wilson's tragedic exposure in this novel of the interaction between constraint and freedom, garden and wilderness is variously addressed in The Wild Garden; Or, Speaking of Writing (1963), a nonfiction meditation on the writer in the world.

Wilson was an early supporter of the hardcover Publishing of Genre SF in the UK, and edited the anthology that assembled the best stories entered for the Observer sf prize in 1954, A.D. 2500 (anth 1955). The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling (1977), nonfiction, analyses Kipling in terms which elucidate the haunting power of that author's genre work. Wilson was knighted in 1980. [JC]

see also: History of SF.

Sir Angus Frank Johnstone Wilson

born Bexhill, Sussex: 11 August 1913

died Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk: 31 May 1991

works (highly selected)



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