(1949- ) US writer whose work has been mostly sf, beginning with his first novel, Freaks' Amour (1979). Funny Papers (1985), however, creates a kind of Commedia dell'Arte vision of New York, and the Chronicles of the King's Tramp sequence – Walker of Worlds (1990), The End-of-Everything Man (1991) and The Last Human (1992) – is a full and uninhibited fantasy. The first volume rather hectically conveys the eponymous walker, fittingly named Jack, and his Seven-Samurai group of Companions through a Portal into what seems to be a Secondary World (called Lostwithal), where much conflict is necessary to save King Sad Agel's throne and for the moment to prevent a collapse of the walls between worlds (Lostwithal and all the other worlds in the series relate to one another as aspects of an underlying Reality), a collapse which would generate universal Chaos. The second volume sees a buildup of violence, and the destruction of the Epicene reality introduced earlier, and further exposition of a rigorous school of Magic. The third volume is set in an underlying meta-reality called the Undermoment which, acting as entrepot and focus for peoples displaying various Talents and for Landscapes out of varying universes, can be perceived as a vast portal-riddled Edifice. A further volume would not come as a surprise, and would almost certainly increase the pleasure. [JC]
other works (sf): U.S.S.A. Book 1 * (1987); Joe Gosh (1988); Sunburn Lake (coll 1988); Neuromancer: The Graphic Novel: Volume 1 * (graph 1989) illus Bruce Jensen; Pixie Meat (coll 1990).
Tom de Haven