Crowther, Peter

Tagged: Author | Editor

(1949-    ) UK publisher, editor, anthologist and author who began to publish work of genre interest with "The Antique Restorer" in Science Fiction Monthly for September 1975. Most of the short stories he has since published are either horror or fantasy, and have been assembled in several collections, including Lonesome Roads (coll 1999), The Longest Single Note and Other Strange Compositions (coll 1999), Songs of Leaving (coll 2004), which contains several sf tales, and Jewels in the Dust (coll 2013). Of his novels, Escardy Gap (1996) with James Lovegrove is of some interest for its atmospheric depiction of a small town whose inhabitants suffer under the commands of a Godgame gone out of control, everything coming to a head in a riotous Carnival [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. The implications of a Horror in SF underpinning in this tale are made explicit in the Forever Twilight sequence – comprising Darkness, Darkness (2002) and Windows to the Soul (2003), both titles recast as Darkness Falling (omni 2011) as the beginning of a much longer projected sequence under the same over-title – set in a world mysteriously denuded and almost totally depopulated by an unexplained Holocaust or Disaster in the form of a blinding light. Some survivors in this Ruined Earth remain more or less human, though Psi Powers are in evidence; a second set of survivors (or returnees) have been transformed into infectious amalgams of Zombie and Alien. Much of the tale is set in a beleaguered small town, perhaps too strongly evocative of Stephen King's frequent use of similar small towns as microcosms torn by dissension and vulnerable to the malice of the world.

Crowther is of importance as an anthologist specializing in Original Anthologies, including the strong Narrow Houses sequence comprising Narrow Houses (anth 1992), Touch Wood (anth 1993) and Blue Motel (anth 1994); some of his anthologies, like Forbidden Planets (anth 2006), assemble sf stories. He has more recently become best known as the founder and publisher of PS Publishing in 1998, which he continues to run. The initial focus of the firm on individually published novellas, of which a large number have been issued, proved extremely successful: almost certainly in part because the novella is arguably the ideal length for the various modes involved. Authors of novellas in this sequence include Stephen Baxter, Terry Bisson, Eric Brown, Richard Calder, Jack Dann, Paul Di Filippo, Terry Dowling, Robert Edric, Mary Gentle, Peter F Hamilton, Elizabeth Hand, David Herter, Rhys Hughes, Alex Irvine, Paul J McAuley, Ian McDonald, Ian R MacLeod, Ken MacLeod, China Miéville, Michael Moorcock, Kim Newman, Paul Park, Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Adam Roberts, Geoff Ryman, Lucius Shepard, Lavie Tidhar, Lisa Tuttle, Jeff VanderMeer, Robert Charles Wilson, along with a number of authors associated exclusively with fantasy or horror. The series as a whole is a central contribution to the literature of contemporary Fantastika. Many of them have been assembled into omnibus volumes in the Foursight sequence (see Checklist below). Other titles from PS are more in the normal line of genre publishing.

With Nick Gevers, Crowther edited PS Publishing's magazine/Anthology Postscripts from 2004 until issue #30/31, after which point Gevers has been sole editor. [JC]

Peter Crowther

born Leeds, West Yorkshire: 4 July 1949

died

works

series

Forever Twilight

  • Darkness, Darkness (Baltimore, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2002) [Forever Twilight: hb/Alan M Clark]
  • Windows to the Soul (Baltimore, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2003) [Forever Twilight: hb/Vincent Chong]
    • Darkness Falling (London: Angry Robot, 2011) [omni: full rewrite of the above two: Forever Twilight: pb/Vincent Chong]

individual titles

  • Escardy Gap (New York: Tor, 1996) with James Lovegrove [hb/Mark Elliot]
  • By Wizard Oak (Northborough, Massachusetts: Earthling Publications, 2011) [in the publisher's Earthling Halloween Series: hb/Glenn Chadborne]

collections and stories

works as editor

series

Narrow Houses

Foursight

  • Foursight (London: Gollancz, 2000) [omni: assembling four novellas from the PS Publishing list: Foursight: hb/Crush]
  • Futures (London: Gollancz, 2001) [omni: assembling four novellas from the PS Publishing list: Foursight: hb/Blacksheep]
  • Infinities (London: Gollancz, 2002) [omni: assembling four novellas from the PS Publishing list: Foursight: hb/Blacksheep]
  • Cities (London: Gollancz, 2003) [omni: assembling four novellas from the PS Publishing list: Foursight: hb/Blacksheep]
  • Fourbodings (London: Gollancz, 2005) [omni: assembling four novellas from the PS Publishing list: Foursight: hb/Les Edwards as Edward Miller]

Postscripts

Anthology sequence continuing its numbering from the SF Magazine incarnation of Postscripts. Post-2013 titles are edited by Nick Gevers solo.

individual titles

links

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