Gateway Essentials: Keith Roberts

As author and illustrator, Keith Roberts did more than most to define the look of UK science fiction magazines in the 1960s. In addition to his BFSA Award wins, he was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. He is perhaps best known for his seminal alternate history novel, Pavane, which is the best place to start, if you’re looking for an entry point, but his work covered a broad range of SF’s tropes and settings.


1588: Queen Elizabeth is felled by an assassin’s bullet. Within the week, the Spanish Armada had set sail, and its victory changed the course of history.

1968: England is still dominated by the Church of Rome. There are no telephones, no television, no nuclear power. As Catholicism and the Inquisition tighten their grip, rebellion is growing.

Pavane is the definitive alternate history – an engrossing alternate England that never was.

After you’ve finished Pavane, we recommend the Gateway Essentials as the next step in your guided tour of Keith Roberts’ fertile imagination:

You can find the rest of Keith Roberts’ work via his Author page on the Gateway website and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.