Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
McCaughrean, Geraldine

(1951-    ) UK editor and writer, initially for children, more recently for wider audiences. Her adaptations of Taproot Texts – including versions of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and El Cid and The Odyssey (1993 chap) – have been well received. In A Pack of Lies: Twelve Stories in One (coll of linked stories 1988), a mysterious figure – apparently materialized from a volume of Wisden's Cricketing Year but in reality (perhaps) a divine being – comes to work in an antique shop, where he tells prospective customers a Story which forces them either to buy or (if they are unworthy) not to buy various items on sale. The stories themselves, neatly and compactly told, are likewise mostly fantasy. Two novels for adults – The Maypole (1989) and Fires' Astonishment (1990) – work as fantasias based on traditional English ballads (> Song): "Little Musgrove and Lady Barnard" for the first, which is associational, and "The Laily Worm and the Machrel of the Sea" for the latter; in a Land-of-Fable 11th-century England, a stepmother Metamorphoses her husband's son into a Dragon, who spends much of the novel moping over his condition. A Revisionist sharpness permeates GM's work in general. She is, in the end, and not entirely to the benefit of her craft, a no-nonsense writer. [JC]

Geraldine McCaughrean

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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.