Locus Online

NEWS : Obituaries


15 October 2008

Obituary: Barrington J. Bayley

UK science fiction writer Barrington J. Bayley, born 1937, died yesterday, October 14, 2008, at the age of 71, from complications following bowel cancer.

Bayley's first published story was "Combat's End" in Vargo Statten Science Fiction Magazine in 1954. In the 1960s he published regularly in New Worlds magazine and then various New Worlds anthologies, with notable stories including "All the King's Men" (1965), "The Ship of Disaster" (1965), and "The Four-Color Problem" (1971).

His idiosyncratic, complex, sometimes gloomy novels began with Star Virus (1964, US publication 1970) and included over a dozen novels published in the US by Ace and later DAW, among them Collision Course (aka Collision with Chronos, 1972), The Fall of Chronopolis (1974), The Soul of the Robot (1974), The Garments of Caean (1976), and The Zen Gun (1982).

Most recent works include novel The Sinners of Erspia (2002, Wildside Press) and short stories "The Multiplex Fixative" in Fantasy Annual 5 (2003) and "Party Smart Card" in Nature March 30, 2006.

John Clute in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993) noted Bayley's influence on writers such as M. John Harrison, and wrote

perhaps because BJB's style is sometimes laboured and his lack of cheerful endings is alien to the expectations of readers of conventional space opera, he has yet to receive due recognition for the hard-edged control he exercises over plots whose intricate dealings in time paradoxes and insistent metaphysical drive make them some of the most formidable works of their type.

Fan site Astounding Worlds of Barring Bayley includes this profile of his career, with a photo of the author, who is called the "zen master of modern space opera".

- -

» Wikipedia

© 2008 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.