Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Kearney, Paul

(1967-    ) Northern Irish writer, now resident in Denmark. His first novel, The Way to Babylon (1992), features an ex-soldier turned fantasy author who, following the death of his wife, faces writer's block. He eventually finds himself drawn by a stranger into the Alternate Reality of his own Fantasyland; now, though, the Land is poisoned. Healing the land enables him to return to our world and start healing himself. The general feeling is of Allegory.

Both of PK's next two novels follow the same basic pattern. In A Different Kingdom (1993) the protagonist ventures into an Otherworld to find his long-lost cousin. He never does find her, but in the Quest he grows to manhood as a warrior. When he returns to our world no time has passed (> Time in Faerie). In Riding the Unicorn (1994) an unpleasant prison officer is drawn into a primitive world and is forced to take part in a damaging war. Injuries inflicted on him in the fantasy world are just as real as in this world; only by pushing himself close to death can he resolve the conflicts he faces in both worlds.

By contrast, Hawkwood's Voyage (1995) – beginning the Monarchies of God sequence – is set entirely within its Secondary World, a curious amalgam of elements from our own history. The novel promises an inventive fantasy adventure in succeeding volumes. [PK]

Paul Kearney

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.