(1959- ) Irish writer who has specialized in both Horror and fantasy since beginning to publish with The Song of the Children of Lir (1983 chap; vt The Children of Lir: An Irish Legend 1986 chap UK), a YA Celtic Fantasy in Twice-Told mode, a tale also recounted in Irish Folk and Fairy Tales (coll 1984 UK), a volume of retold traditional material. Along with Irish Folk and Fairy Tales #2 (coll 1984 UK) and #3 (coll 1984 UK), this collection was assembled as Irish Folk & Fairy Tales Omnibus (omni 1989 UK). MS's first sequence, the Tales from the Land of Erin – A Bright Enchantment (1985 UK), A Golden Dream (1985 UK) and A Silver Wish (1985 UK) – carries on in the same manner, as do The Last of the Fianna (1987 UK) and The Quest of the Sons (1988 UK). The Tales of the Bard – Magician's Law (1987 UK), Demon's Law (1988 UK) and Death's Law (1989 UK) – more daringly utilizes Folklore to enrich the story of the Quests of an Irish Bard, whose life follows a euhemerist course towards his eventual role as legend and embodiment of the old times before the New Religion threatened a universal Thinning.
MS's later work tends to horror, and includes Banshee (1990 UK), Image (1991 UK), Reflection (1992 UK), Imp (1993 UK), Gemini Game (1993 UK) and The Hallows (1995 UK). The last effectively marries genres, deploying horror tropes – a series of violent deaths decimates the Guardians responsible for the eponymous sacred artefacts from Ancient Britain – in a fantasy context. [JC]
other works: Navigator: The Voyage of Saint Brendan (1988 UK) with Gloria Gaghan; Wind Lord (1991).