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Dowling, Terry

Working name of Australian lecturer in English, television performer, songwriter and author Terence William Dowling (1947-    ). One of the most interesting new voices in 1990s Australian local sf, Dowling has gleaned international praise as well. His master's thesis was, unusually for Australia, about sf – its topic was J G Ballard and the Surrealists. "The Man Who Walks Away behind the Eyes" (May/June 1982 Omega Science Digest), a Ditmar Award winner, inaugurated an sf career that has so far been devoted almost exclusively to short fiction; his work was at first too obviously indebted to Cordwainer Smith and Jack Vance, but later developed an individual voice. Dowling's idiosyncratic but vivid between-the-lines style is perhaps best displayed in his Tom Tyson stories, many of which are collected in Rynosseros (coll of linked stories 1990), Blue Tyson (coll of linked stories 1992), Twilight Beach (coll of linked stories 1993) and Rynemonn: Leopard Dreaming (coll of linked stories 2007): the first volume won Ditmar Awards. Though many characters are featured, the sequence tells centrally of Tom Tyson, captain of the sandship Rynosseros, in which he roams the strange, high-tech Ab'o societies of a future Australia's outback, occasionally undergoing mystical epiphanies. Dowling won another Ditmar Award for Wormwood (coll of linked stories 1991), which powerfully evokes the trauma and transformation occasioned by Alien conquest.

Much of his later work is Fantasy, including his only novel, the effective Clowns at Midnight (2010). With Richard Delap and Gil Lamont (1947-    ) he edited The Essential Ellison (coll 1987) by Harlan Ellison and with Van Ikin he put together Mortal Fire: Best Australian SF (anth 1993), which presents the sf of his native land as evolving its own characteristic themes and timbre. [PN]

Terence William Dowling

born Sydney, New South Wales: 21 March 1947



Tom Tyson

individual titles

collections and stories

works as editor


The Early Jack Vance

individual collections

anthologies as editor


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 23:46 pm on 17 July 2024.