(1942- ) US writer who began to write work of genre interest with "Superflare" for F&SF in 1980 as by Coleman Brax; he lives with Clare Bell, and most of his sf (see SFE) is with her, jointly as Clare Coleman. He began writing fantasy with the Kyala sequence – Masters of Glass (1985) and The Fisherman's Curse (1987) – set in a medieval-style Fantasyland and featuring a Pariah Elite of Wizards who manufacture glass beads that are the exact hue of various animal species' eyes, allowing the animals to be communicated with and controlled. Iskiir (1986) is an Arabian Fantasy; the eponymous hero develops a Talent to save the unspecified venue from an incursion of vast stone monoliths, which threaten to thin (see Thinning) the world into a desert.
Of more interest is Spirits of Cavern and Hearth (1988), set in a land occupied by two peoples, the nomadic Chirudak and the urbanized Hakhan. The former have an edgy but vital relationship, through trances, with the Elder Gods, who maintain a remote suzerainty; the Hakhan, by contrast, treat any contact with the "mythical" gods as a sign that the victim has been "god-striken" and must be exiled. The protagonist, a Hakhan physician, is afflicted by a disease which makes him young again but also makes visible to him the Wainscot spirits. [JC]
Malcolm Coleman Easton