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Richard Cowper

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Biography

Richard Cowper (1926 - 2002)
Born John Middleton Murry, Jnr, the son of writer John Middleton Murry, Richard Cowper was the pseudonym under which most of his science fiction was published (he wrote four novels under the name 'Colin Murry'). He served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, although he as lucky enough not to see combat. After the war, he read Anglo-Saxon and English at Oxford. His works were shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, British Fantasy and Locus Awards. He died in 2002, four weeks after the death of his wife.

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Essential reading

Wondering where to start with Richard Cowper?  Gateway recommends beginning with the Gateway Essentials: title specially chosen to highlight the best work of our many authors . . .


GATEWAY ESSENTIALS

The Twilight of Briareus (1974)

twilight_of_briareus_the_140px     The year is 1983. 132 light years away, the star Briareus Delta explodes, emitting monstrous doses of radiation. THe event provokes only mild interest from planet Earth, but suddenly, appalling tornadoes and storms ravage the cities and countryside, leaving death and desolation in their wake. Then mankind realises another terrifying side-effect - every adult in the world has been rendered infertile. Schoolteacher Calvin Johnson discovers he is one of the select few to have acquired strange psychic powers. Termed 'Zetas', these people experience mental flashes of the future - a future of freezing isolation, snow-swept landscapes and bleak, ice-bound cities. A second ice-age is imminent as man faces the ultimate horror . . . extinction.

The White Bird of Kinship 

Book 1: The Road to Corlay (1978)
Book 2: A Dream of Kinship (1981)
Book 3: A Tapestry of Time (1982)

road_to_corlay_the_140px     On the Eve of the Fourth Millennium a slowly-building civilization, struggling out of the rubble of the Drowning, was crushed beneath the sceptre of a powerful and repressive Church. But on the Eve of the Fourth Millennium the sound of a magical pipe was heard, and the air was filled with songs of freedom and enlightenment. And on the Eve of the Fourth Millennium the Boy appeared, bringing the gift of sacrilege, a harbinger of the future, heralding the arrival of the White Bird of Dawning. It is the coming of a New Age. A glorious future bearing the presents of the past!
dream_of_kinship_a_140px     They came to destroy. The treacherous Falcons, uniformed in the black leather tunics of the fanatic Secular Arm, descended on Corlay to burn and kill. Commanded by Lord Constant, ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, they were determined to crush the religious heresy of Kinship. But a new dream rose from the ashes. When four Kinsmen escaped the carnage of their beloved land, each helped to fulfill the miracle that had been foretold: the coming of the Child of the Bride of Time.
tapestry_of_time_a_140px    

The first coming was the Man; The second was Fire to burn Him;
The third was water to drown the Fire; The fourth is the Bird of Dawning.

Twenty years have passed since the martyrdom of the Boy-piper at York, twenty years in which his legacy, the movement of Kinship, has challenged the tyranny of the Church Militant in Britain's seven island kingdoms. A terrible path lies before him, one that transcends his own world. As he travels it, Tom must come to understand the true nature of the wild White Bird, of The Bride of Time and her Child, and of the Song the Star Born sang.

 

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