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Gaskell, Jane

(1941-    ) UK author whose several books of genre interest include her first, Strange Evil (1957), written when she was fourteen; it features fairies from another world, claustrophobic conflicts in that world, and an aura of Gothic pubescence throughout. King's Daughter (1958) is set in ancient Atlantis, where a cache of even more ancient nerve gas is discovered; the book is remotely connected, through a shared character, with the Cija sequence of Atlantis tales – The Serpent (1963; vt 2vols The Serpent 1975 and The Dragon 1975), Atlan (1965), The City (1966) and Some Summer Lands (1977). The non-Atlantean Princess Cija is involved, via forced marriage, in complex conflicts between northern forces and the quasihuman dwellers of the Island state. As things fall apart, Sex and sorcery abound, and Mad Scientists lurk garishly, but the princess eventually reaches home again. In genre terms the series – sometimes uneasily, but at points with real panache – marries sf and the popular romance; it is full of vigorous and exuberant invention and occasionally overheated prose. The Shiny Narrow Grin (1964) is a comedy about Vampires. A Sweet Sweet Summer (1969) scathingly exposes an anarchic Near-Future England to the gaze of invading Extraterrestrials. In Sun Bubble (1990), the membrane protecting inner and outer life is threatened both mundanely and through the irruption of another world than ours.

The Jane Gaskell involved in a dispute over a link between the University of Toronto and Atlantis Systems International is a Canadian scholar and academic, and not the British author. [JC]

Jane Gaskell Lynch

born Grange-over-Sands, Lancashire: 7 July 1941





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Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls and Graham Sleight.
Accessed 12:01 pm on 27 May 2020.