(1955- ) UK writer. SG first came to attention with the Hawk & Fisher series of Detective/Thriller Fantasies – Hawk & Fisher (1990 US; vt No Haven for the Guilty 1990 UK), Winner Takes All (1991 US; vt Devil Take the Hindmost 1991 UK), The God Killer (1991 US), Wolf in the Fold (1991 US; vt Vengeance for a Lonely Man 1992 UK), Guards Against Dishonor (1991 US) and The Bones of Haven (1992 US; vt Two Kings in Haven 1992 UK). Set in an interestingly depraved City, Haven, these involve a Duo of lovers in which the woman is the tougher and more ruthless.
Blue Moon Rising (1991) deals expansively with the Quest of a young prince for the means to defeat the Demon hordes that threaten his father's kingdom. The lightheartedness of some of the tone – particularly of the banter between him, a princess and a sarcastic Unicorn – does not very well fit the extreme emotional bleakness of a war in which his father's castle rapidly becomes a Last Redoubt and in which betrayal is the order of the day. This is a prevailing fault of SG: too often he flips between attemptedly smart-aleck schoolboy humour and lasciviously described, quite astonishingly sadistic personal violence, as if inflicting and witnessing torturous death were somehow jolly good fun. Blood and Honour (1992; vt Blood and Honor 1993 US) is more unified in tone; its Brave Little Tailor hero is prevailed upon to impersonate a lost prince and becomes worthy of rule in the process. Down Among the Dead Men (1993) is set in an abandoned castle where a group of soldiers is picked off in circumstances that combine detection and Horror tropes.
Shadows Fall (1994) is SG's most ambitious fantasy to date. Set in a Polder to which legends, including some Toons, go to retire and ultimately fade away, it deals with a Serial Killer, with an incursion of mundane religious crusaders and, ultimately, with the manipulations of the Devil. It combines, with mixed success, tropes from Instauration Fantasy and horror.
SG is often an interesting writer, but his overt self-assurance is not always justified. [RK]
other works: Mistworld (1992), Ghostworld (1993 US) and Hellworld (1993 US) all space opera; their sequel Deathstalker (1995), first of a tetralogy using the same background and some of the same characters, followed by Deathstalker Rebellion (1996); Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves * (1991), movie tie; Dark Mirror, Dark Dreams (1994), fantasy.
Simon R Green