Constantine, Storm

Tagged: Author

(1956-    ) UK author whose name, initially a pseudonym, is now her legal name for all purposes. Her most successful work to date is probably the Wraeththu trilogy which began her career: The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit (1987), The Bewitchments of Love and Hate (1988) and The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire (1989), all three assembled as Wraeththu (omni 1993). The sequence follows the rise of a hermaphroditic race from men (not, at least initially, from women), who take possession of a Ruined Earth devastated by War and Pollution. The books focus on the question of whether the Wraeththu, mystically aware and symbolically balanced between male and female yet frequently fascinated by violence and destruction, will prove to be any better than the humans they replace. A second series, the Wraethlu Histories, comprising The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure (2003), The Shades of Time and Memory (2004) and The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence (2005), offers a more complex and sophisticated interpretation of the themes and events of the previous trilogy. The narrative of the first book is contemporaneous with that of the earlier volumes, but concentrates on characters whose fates were previously left unexplored, while the latter two novels extend the plot beyond its original resolution. In a combination of family saga and secret history, a new generation of the hermaphrodite race discovers its past and its advantages, which include Psi Powers and other enablements. The Hienama (2005) is also connected to the Wraeththu universe.

The Monstrous Regiment (dated 1989 but 1990), one of two Corinna Trogarden tales, is set on a colony world where Feminism has gone disastrously wrong and the psychotic ruler – the Dominatrix – plans to confine all men to compounds and milk them for semen to produce children. The sequel, Aleph (1991), is less inflamed. In Hermetech (1991) a woman saves an ecologically damaged Earth by means of a sexual coupling, the energies from which are technologically redirected into the planet's "consciousness" (see Gaia). Much recent work is fantasy, though in such works as The Grigori Trilogy the mysticism and ambiguously angelic figures of the Wraeththu novels reappear within a framework based on ritual magic rather than Science Fantasy. Silverheart (2000), written with Michael Moorcock, is an interesting curiosity, a Tie to a Steampunk and Sorcery Computer Role Playing Game designed by Moorcock which was never released, but which provided the authors with the basis of the novel. The result is, however, more conventional than might be hoped.

Constantine's novels, which are not really set within an sf framework, give equal weight to the underlying assumptions of science and modern pagan magick. They are all fundamentally concerned with Sex and Gender (especially androgyny), approached through the realities and potentials of both the male and female experience. This technique is very considerably sophisticated in Calenture (1994), whose immortal protagonist (see Immortality) traces – in his imagination, and ultimately in truth – two characters he has in a sense created as they trek through a world of Cities whose wild divergences offer considerable scope for loose but invigorating Satire. Her writing continues to be vigorous, erotic, highly visual, aesthetically informed by a late punk/Goth sensibility, occasionally somewhat crudely executed, and linguistically shaped by an unusual fusion of intensely contemporary slang and ritualistic "High Style".

Her UK Small Press, Immanion Press, has published new and reissued work by Constantine herself; other Immanion authors include Tanith Lee, Michael Moorcock and Brian Stableford. [NT/JC]

see also: Cyberpunk; ESP; Games Workshop; Interzone; New Worlds; Telepathy.

Storm Constantine

born 12 October 1956





Wraeththu Histories

Wraeththu Universe

  • Grimoire Dehara (Stafford, Staffordshire: Immanion Press, 2005) [Wraeththu Universe: pb/]

Corinna Trogarden

  • The Monstrous Regiment (London: Orbit, 1990) [dated 1989 but published 1990: Corinna Trogarden: pb/]
  • Aleph (London: Orbit, 1991) [Corinna Trogarden: pb/]

The Grigori Trilogy

Magravandias Chronicles

  • The Thorn Boy (North Perth, Western Australia: Eidolon Press, 1999) [Magravandias Chronicles: pb/Rick Berry]
  • Sea Dragon Heir (London: Victor Gollancz, 1999) [Magravandias Chronicles: hb/Anne Sudworth]
  • Crown of Silence (London: Victor Gollancz, 2000) [Magravandias Chronicles: hb/Anne Sudworth]
  • The Way of Light (London: Gollancz, 2001) [Magravandias Chronicles: hb/Anne Sudworth]

individual titles

collections and stories


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