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Reilly, Matthew

(1974-    ) Australian author, resident for some years in the USA, most of his work being thrillers in which secret histories of the world are treated in a manner Equipoisal between sf and the occult. His first novel, Contest (1996; rev 2003), is a Godgame tale: with others, the protagonist is Teleported into a maze-like Library by Aliens who tell him they must kill each other, while avoiding the Karanadon, which is a Monster, and that the last to survive must make his way out of the library alone; the action is constant. Most of Reilly's subsequent career has been devoted to two moderately similar series. The Scarecrow sequence begins with Ice Station (1998), where a picked volunteer team of Seven Samurai [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], confronted with a metal artefact whose origins are Time-Abyss-deep under the Arctic, follows the orders of Shane Schofield, known as Scarecrow. Later volumes focus on his own adventures, during the course of which he and his team save the world more than once. In the Jack West Jr sequence, beginning with Seven Ancient Wonders (2005; vt Seven Deadly Wonders 2006) and projected to end with volume seven, an ancient artefact is broken up in 323 BCE, the seven fragments being embedded in what would become the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; but in this case a picked team – under the leadership of Captain Jack West Jr – finds that the time has come to rebuild the artefact, against all odds, in order to stave off the End of the World. The Young Adult protagonists of The Secret Runners of New York (2019; vt The Secret Runners 2020) find themselves complicatedly engaged in Time Travel incursions into vast Underground domains under New York, with the Statue of Liberty emblematically transfigured, as planetary Disaster threatens, and the underclasses of America revolt. In all Reilly's books, governments fail to understand the forces of evil; but Heroes do. [JC]

Matthew John Reilly

born Sydney, New South Wales: 2 July 1974



Jack West Jr


individual titles


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 11:35 am on 3 December 2023.