Severn, David

Tagged: Author

Pseudonym of UK author David Storr Unwin (1918-2010), a member of the Unwin publishing family; most of his work was for older children, beginning with Rick Afire! (1942), the first of several nonfantastic titles – the rick here in question being in fact a mundane hayrick – in the Crusoe sequence, which was followed by the Warners series, similarly nonfantastic, perhaps so designed to comfort readers living through World War Two and its aftermath. Severn's later fantasy and sf tales, on the other hand, are considerably more taxing. Most of them are Timeslip dramas. Dream Gold (1949) features two boys whose shared dreams (see ESP) provide the engine that sends them back 300 years to a time of piracy and adventure; one of them is killed there. Drumbeats! (1953) carries its protagonists back to 1935 Africa, where their adventures generate a dangerous conflagration in the present. The Future Took Us (1957) shifts its cast three millennia into the future, where a rule-bound Dystopia is run according to maxims extracted from an ancient Mathematics text (see Memes); one of the protagonists refuses to return home. Foxy-Boy (1959) deals with a feral child raised by foxes and hunted by men for sport. The ghost in The Girl in the Grove (1974) serves as a kind of Time Viewer through whom the protagonist learns a saving lesson about the savage past of his family. The Wishing Bone (1977) is a Three Wishes fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. Severn's two adult novels, written under his real name, were unsuccessful. [JC]

David Storr Unwin

born London: 3 December 1918

died London: 11 February 2010

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