(1960- ) US writer whose first novel, Ariel (1983), is a fantasy set – unusually – in a version of our world which experienced a Crosshatch incursion from Faerie before the tale began, generating a Balkanized Landscape similar to that more often found in post-Holocaust sf. The eponymous Unicorn and his human Companion undergo various experiences together which culminate in a transfigured New York, after which Ariel's friend falls in love and loses both his Virginity and his ability to converse with unicorns.
SRB's second novel, The Architect of Sleep (1986), can easily be read as sf: the hero plunges through a fantasy Portal into an Alternate-World USA, described in the language of Rationalized Fantasy, occupied by sentient, human-sized raccoons whose leaders – known as Architects of Sleep – are capable of precognitive Dreams. Though engrossingly told, the tale ends with its plot strands only beginning to be knitted, leading to the disappointed assumption that a series may have been aborted; no further volumes had appeared by the end of 1995. His third novel, The Gnole (1991 UK) with Alan Aldridge, is an ambitiously illustrated ecological fable in which the planet is seen to be at risk. [JC]
Steven R Boyett