(1948- ) UK writer of YA fantasy and horror who began publishing work of genre interest with Out of the Ordinary (1988), a Contemporary Fantasy in which a young protagonist finds herself involved in an Otherworld whose Crosshatches with her suburban environment only she can detect. Night Maze (1989), powerfully told, is about the Wrongness of Alchemy when it becomes a life-denying search for "higher" Elements. The Alpha Box (1991) invokes a 1980s fantasy cliché – the rock band (> Music) which is linked to dark forces – but does so with wit and sympathy. In Naming the Dark (1992) a drab modern town turns out to coat Atlantis (>>> Time Abyss), and the lads who realize this come face-to-face with the Matter of Britain. Swan Sister (1992) evokes Folktales as a young child is drawn further and further into an otherworldly rapport with the swans whose habitat has been destroyed, half-unwittingly, by her father. Eventually she goes with the swans.
Each of AD's tales is challenging, suspenseful, wise, and – in the best tradition of fantasy literature when written seriously – subversive. [JC]
other works: The Witch Rose (1990), for younger children; The Afterdark Princess (1990), for younger children; Demon-Spawn (1991); the Tilly Beany sequence for younger children, being The Real Tilly Beany (1993) and Tilly Beany and the Best Friend Machine (1993); Ugly Mug (1994).