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Hutchinson, David

(1960-    ) UK author who published four volumes of stories by the age of twenty-one – Thumbprints (coll 1978), which is mostly fantasy, Fools' Gold (coll 1979), Torn Air (coll 1980) and The Paradise Equation (coll 1981), all as David Hutchinson – and then moved into journalism. The deftness and quiet humaneness of his work was better than precocious, though the deracinatedness of the worlds depicted in the later stories may have derived in part from the author's apparent isolation from normal publishing channels.

After a decade of nonfiction, Hutchinson returned to the field as Dave Hutchinson, assembling later work in As the Crow Flies (coll 2004); tales like "The Pavement Artist" (here published in English for the first time) use sf devices to represent, far more fully than in his early work, a sense of the world as inherently and tragically not a platform for Transcendence. His first novel, The Villages (2001), is Fantasy; The Push (2009 chap), an sf tale set in the Human Space sector of the home galaxy, describes the inception of Faster Than Light travel and some consequent complications (see Colonization of Other Worlds) when expanding humanity settles on a planet full of Alien life; Acadie (2017 chap) conveys a similar sense of a galaxy humans may inhabit, though in this case complicated by an Earth-mounted crusade against any colony containing Genetically Engineered persons.

The first volume of the Fractured Europe sequence, Europe in Autumn (2014), an sf thriller involving espionage, takes place in a highly fragmented and still fragmenting Near-Future Europe, one of whose sovereign mini-nations is a transcontinental railway line (see Transportation); over the course of the central plot – which seems to reflect some aspects of Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 (1966) – the protagonist becomes involved in the Paranoia-inducing Les Coureurs des Bois, a mysterious postal service which also delivers humans across innumerable borders. The immediate sequels are Europe at Midnight (2015) and Europe in Winter (2016); the latter won the BSFA Award as best novel. Europe at Dawn (2018), complexly set some time earlier, ironically evokes Ruritanian visions of the romance of Europe through the nom de plume of its protagonist, Rupert of Hentzau (see Anthony Hope); the ongoing balkanization of the old civilization is conveyed with resigned melancholy. Cold Water (2022), a complex political thriller, engages a new set of characters in the same tangled mosaic. [JC/DRL]

David Christopher Hutchinson

born Sheffield: 19 December 1960



Fractured Europe

individual titles

collections and stories

works as editor


Strange Pleasures

individual titles


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 16:05 pm on 30 March 2023.