(1935- ) UK-born poet, musician, editor and author, in Australia from 1949, active as a poet from around 1962; Chairperson 1991-1994 of the Australia Council, a body responsible for government arts policy and funding. Several of his novels contain fantasy elements. In Just Relations (1982), for instance, the metaphorical Suspended Animation of the cast approaches the literal. The Yandilli Trilogy, comprising Captivity Captive (1988), The Second Bridegroom (1991) and The Grisly Wife (1993), retells the history of Australia in mythical terms, particularly the last of these, where male miracles are treated as literal truth by a commune of psychically imprisoned women (see Women in SF). The Island of the Mind (1996) is set in seventeenth century Europe, and revolves around a vast mysterious Island somewhere to the south.
His long, vivid, humorous, baroque sf novel, Kisses of the Enemy (1987), is set in the Near Future in an Australia which is now a republic. A campaign of cultural subversion unsettles a nation that has hitherto offered little resistance to its rape by foreign opportunists. The Day We Had Hitler Home (2000) is an Alternate History tale in which Hitler, temporarily blinded in World War One, migrates to Australia, but is smuggled back to Germany by a rich young woman, who soon pays for her involvement in the growth of the Nazi state. [PN/JC]
born Solihull, Warwickshire: 18 November 1935
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