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Phillips, Holly

(1969-    ) Canadian author who began to publish work of genre interest with "No Such Thing As an Ex-Con" for On Spec in Summer 2000; much of her early work, not including this story, was assembled as In the Palace of Repose (coll 2005), most of the contents being best read as fantasy; a later collection, At the Edge of Waking (coll 2012), is fantasy. "The Other Grace", however, neatly Equipoises two explanations for the protagonist's Amnesia: the amnesia is genuine; or (as she thinks) she is an Alien creature born into a female body. Similar in its balancing of generic readings, her first novel, The Burning Girl (2006), features another damaged young woman, again suffering from amnesia after her release from hospital with a mysterious fever: which may simply register illness, or be the sign that she has been transformed by Aliens into a Weapon. A friendly alien, from another species, complicates the picture. Phillips's second novel, The Engine's Child (2008) may in fact suffer from over-complication. The tale, again founded in Equipoisal shifts of hue and perspective, is set on a refuge Island on a water planet far from the home world of the realistically jumbled array of exiles awaiting return or rebirth, in either sf or fantasy terms, or both simultaneously. The protagonist, a streetwise Antihero figure, shares none of the somewhat passive-aggressive helplessness of her predecessors, and may mark a significant change for Phillips. [JC]

Holly Phillips

born Nelson, British Columbia: 25 December 1969



works as editor


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 18:10 pm on 19 May 2022.