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Martin, Graham Dunstan

(1932-    ) Scottish teacher, translator and author who began publishing work of genre interest with the Giftwish children's fantasy sequence: Giftwish (1978) and Catchfire (1981), both as Graham Martin. With The Soul Master (1984), as Martin, he moved sf-wards; though the godling-dominated land of Tethesta is described in terms of fantasy. There are Teleportation-like effects as the ruler's puppet soldiers – whose Identities have been subsumed into his – cannot exist in, and thus pass instantly across, the gaps in their master's Perception of the world. Time-Slip (1986) is a bleak sf Post-Holocaust sf tale set in nether Scotland several decades after World War Three had been triggered by the disarmament of Western Europe in 1998; the many-worlds interpretation of quantum Physics is used to justify a kind of Parallel-Worlds-based Religion, which Graham Satirizes. Also sf is The Dream Wall (1987), a dreadful-warning story of the UK under the Soviets in the twenty-second century, leavened by psychic Timeslip as 2007 characters dream of their future counterparts and vice-versa. Martin's strengths – a dogged insistence on what he clearly feels to be home truths – are fully on view in this narrative, as are certain weaknesses, mainly an abiding humourlessness which greys out any attempts at Satire or novelistic ambiguity. The lighter Half a Glass of Moonshine (1988) is a study in Perception set in the then present (though chapter titles alternately reference Lewis Carroll and J R R Tolkien), and interestingly suggests that the human sensorium blocks off certain features of our environment for good Darwinian reasons (see Evolution). An Inquiry into the Purposes of Speculative Fiction – Fantasy and Truth (2003) is a nonfiction study. [JC/DRL]

Graham Dunstan Martin

born Leeds, West Yorkshire: 21 October 1932




individual titles

nonfiction (selected)


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 11:57 am on 20 May 2022.