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(1939- ) UK poet and author whose work in general navigates the water margins of Fantastika; though sf elements cannot be said to dominate, his narratives are in fact complexly polyvalent [for a somewhat different take on his work, see his entry in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. Clarke's first novel, Sunday Whiteman (1987), examines dilemmas of Imperialism through the fantasy-tinged experiences of a white do-gooder in a troubled independent African country. The Chymical Wedding (1989) features a complex Timeslip between nineteenth-century and contemporary figures, plus an elaborate presentation of an alchemical quest for the epiphanic marriage of true understanding or Transmutation evoked by the title (see also Johann Valentin Andreae; Frances A Yates). The female magus of Alice's Masque (1994) seems to be imposing an arduous Godgame upon the frustrated middle-aged male, her former lover, who has landed on her doorstep in remote Cornwall; a ritualized remoteness casts a formal chill upon proceedings, especially at moments which obscurely replay a cruel Year-King sacrifice. Parzival and the Stone from Heaven: A Holy Grail Romance Retold for our Time (2001) is an effective rendering of this tale from the Matter of Britain [for Arthur, Grail, Matter and Perceval again see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below].
The War at Troy/Troy Quartet sequence beginning with The War at Troy (2004) focuses heavily on human participants, though the gods can be felt throughout. Green Man Dreaming: Reflections on Imagination, Myth and Memory (coll 2018) is nonfiction. [JC]
born Halifax, West Yorkshire: 14 August 1939
The War at Troy/Troy Quartet
works as editor
Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 17:10 pm on 13 August 2022.