Evans, Christopher [2]

Tagged: Author

(1951-    ) Welsh-born UK chemist, teacher and writer who has published sf and fantasy novels under his own name and as Christopher Carpenter, Nathan Elliott, Robert Knight and John Lyon, and some non-genre fiction as by Evan Christie and Alwyn Davies. His first publications, released more or less simultaneously, were the rather bad Plasmid: A Novelization (1980) as by Robert Knight, a Tie to an untraceable (and perhaps unmade) movie, and the impressive Capella's Golden Eyes (1980), an extremely English version of the Conceptual-Breakthrough tale, set on a colony planet inhabited also by reclusive Aliens. The sense of Englishness in the tale is generated through the mundane detailing of life on Gaia, through the protagonist's lack of any real access to the roots of power or change, and through the co-opting of any benefits derived from conceptual breakthrough by a plot in which Gaia's first masters are simply replaced by a Chinese management team from Earth. The Insider (1981), set in a Near-Future UK, depicts the plight of an Alien symbiont (see Parasitism and Symbiosis) forced to transform its new human host into an "alienated" outcast from society. In Limbo (1985) further intensifies Evans's characteristic insistence on the isolation of human beings in a world they can neither comprehend nor control, an insistence not significantly modified by the more intensive use of local colour and expansive plotting in Chimeras (coll of linked stories 1992), about an artist's complex and ambiguous relationship to the eponymous new art form (see Arts). Aztec Century (1993) is an Alternate History tale set in a late twentieth century dominated by an Aztec empire; the tale is perhaps unduly constrained by Evans's choice of narrator, a British princess whose befuddled and destructive intrusiveness serves at times to conceal the genuine attractions of the world she fails to grasp. His next novel, Mortal Remains; Or, Heirs of the Noösphere (1995), is an exuberant, slightly over-complicated Space Opera set in a densely crowded solar system, known by the innumerable humans who inhabit as the Noöspace, and who deem its quasi-sentient multifariousness to be a fairly exact analogue of the AI-dominated noösphere into which dead intelligences are elected. Earth itself is inhabited by relicts of those humans who, long before, chose to adapt themselves (see Genetic Engineering) to the abundance of the worlds, rather than transforming reality to befit unmodified stock. Omega (2008) conflates some of the exuberance of the previous novel with a return to the topos that has shaped his work as a whole: the displaced protagonist. In this case, the displacement is savagely literal: the protagonist is abruptly transferred after suffering a traumatic accident into an Alternate World, where by a process of Identity Transfer that slowly evolves into Identity Exchange he occupies the body of his Doppelganger; in the new world – where World War Two has never ended, London has been transformed into a patchwork of armoured Keeps, and Britain has allied with Germany (see Hitler Wins) in a war against Russia that employs world-polluting new Weapons – he recognizes aspects of a Television documentary on World War Two he has made. The seemingly effortless and engaging power of this work reinforces a sense that Evans has – almost secretly, because he publishes relatively infrequently – become a central figure in British sf.

With Robert P Holdstock, Evans edited Other Edens, a strong anthology series beginning with Other Edens (anth 1987). At around the same time, he responded to the controversy surrounding the extensive presence of organizations linked to Scientology at the 1987 World Science Fiction Convention (held in Brighton, UK) by editing Conspiracy Theories (anth 1987 chap), in which a variety of views were expressed, most of them critical of that presence – John Clute's contribution argued, over and above particular issues and problems under discussion, that it was inappropriate for any organization at all to attempt to be seen as sponsors of this ecumenical event.

Most recently Evans has published Future Perfect (2014) with Roy Kettle, a conspiracy thriller with links to sf and Fandom, in which seeming Precognition in a bygone sf author's work converts his stories into sought-after McGuffins; among the pursuers is a church founded by another sf author, bearing some resemblance to Scientology. [JC]

Christopher D Evans

born Tredegar, South Wales: 1951

died

works

series

Hood Army Trilogy

  • Earth Invaded (London: Grafton, 1986) as by Nathan Elliott [Hood Army Trilogy: hb/Alan Craddock]
  • Slaveworld (London: Grafton, 1986) as by Nathan Elliott [Hood Army Trilogy: hb/Alan Craddock]
  • The Liberators (London: Grafton, 1986) as by Nathan Elliott [Hood Army Trilogy: hb/Alan Craddock]

Star Pirates

  • Kidnap in Space (London: Dragon, 1987) as by Nathan Elliott [Star Pirates: pb/uncredited]
  • Plague Moon (London: Dragon, 1987) as by Nathan Elliott [Star Pirates: pb/uncredited]
  • Treasure Planet (London: Dragon, 1987) as by Nathan Elliott [Star Pirates: pb/uncredited]

individual titles

nonfiction

works as editor

series

Other Edens

individual titles

  • Conspiracy Theories (London: privately, 1987) [nonfiction: anth: chap: (but large format, 45,000+ words): pb/nonpictorial]

links

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