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Grant, Charles L

(1942-2006) US author who restricted himself since the late 1970s almost exclusively to horror and fantasy fiction [see highly selected Checklist below], mainly under his own name (sometimes in the form C L Grant), though he wrote books as by Felicia Andrews, Steven Charles, Simon Lake, Lionel Fenn (see below) and Geoffrey Marsh. He began publishing work of genre interest with "The House of Evil" for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in December 1968; of this early work, "A Crowd of Shadows" (June 1976 F&SF) and "A Glow of Candles, a Unicorn's Eye" (in Graven Images, anth 1977, ed Edward L Ferman & Barry N Malzberg) both won Nebulas and are, respectively, his best short story and best novelette. From the mid-1970s, he began to concentrated on longer work with the release of his first novels, the Parric Family series of Post-Holocaust tales: The Shadow of Alpha (1976), Ascension (1977) and Legion (1979). Set in a balkanized America ravaged by a PlagueWind and beset with petty dictators and crazed Androids, all three novels – they form part of a much longer, uncompleted sequence – are told in a somewhat heated style possibly derived from the example of Samuel R Delany, and perhaps more suitably applied, as Grant has seemingly decided, to other genres.

Further novels containing sf elements include The Ravens of the Moon (1979), and – at a broad stretch – his work as by Lionel Fenn, specifically the Kent Montana sequence of comic sf novels beginning with Kent Montana and the Really Ugly Thing from Mars (1990), which invokes Hollywood icons (see California) through the adventures of a failed actor; two further series as by Lionel Fenn are of some comic interest: the Quest for the White Duck sequence beginning with Blood River Down (1986); and the Diego series, featuring a gunslinger who travels through time (see Time Travel), beginning with Once Upon a Time in the East (1993). The Private School sequence as by Stephen Charles, beginning with Private School #1: Nightmare Session (1986), comprises a set of Young Adult novels set at a school infiltrated by Aliens. But the precepts of horror fiction soon became dominant in his voluminous output. Of his horror, the best-known titles fit into the Oxrun Station sequence, which is listed below. He also edited two notable series – Shadows and two of the Night Visions anthologies, also listed – and a useful manual, Writing and Selling Science Fiction (anth 1976). [JC]

Charles Lewis Grant

born Hackettstown, New Jersey: 12 September 1942

died Newton, New Jersey: 15 September 2006


sf as Charles L Grant

sf as by Steven Charles

Private School

sf (and fantasy) as by Lionel Fenn

Quest for the White Duck

Kent Montana


Oxrun Station

Fantasy and horror titles outside this series are not listed.

works as editor


Night Visions


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 22:34 pm on 28 May 2022.