Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Spencer, William Browning

(1946-    ) US writer who began publishing fantasy with his first novel, Maybe I'll Call Anna (1990). Résumé With Monsters (1995) and Zod Wallop (1995) are both built around fictional Books. The first is a Supernatural Fiction of sorts, though the representatives of the Cthulhu Mythos re-created by its protagonist in his imaginary book, «The Despicable Quest», flicker into "life" only near tale's end, when he masters his internal demons and finds love. The second, though couched as sf about reality-shifting drugs, works throughout as fantasy. The eponymous imaginary Children's Fantasy exists in two versions, one astonishingly grim, the other rewritten so that there remains some hope for its cast. This is fortunate, as the imaginary «Zod Wallop» texts dictate their conflicting Stories into the real world, where a number of protagonists and Companions jostle for lebensraum and search for the proper ending. This ending takes place in a hotel transfigured into a fantasy Edifice, through the orifices of which an unravelling knot of Transformations brings about a happy outcome. The tales assembled in The Return of Count Electric and Other Stories (coll 1993) are surreal and intensely amusing, but almost never stray beyond the real world. [JC]

William Browning Spencer

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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.