Thursday, 15 March 2018

Bloody NEL:
Time and Timothy Grenville
by Terry Greenhough


Is it possible to imagine a book that would look more at home on my shelves than this one? Or, you know that uneasy sensation you get when you suddenly start to feel like a ‘target audience’?

Terry Greenhough (1944-2002) seemingly enjoyed a brief but productive literary career in the latter half of the 1970s, with five science fiction novels and a historical romance seeing print between ’75 and ’80, four of them within New English Library covers.

‘Time and Timothy Grenville’ (note the curious similarity to the author’s name) was the first of his SF efforts. I’ve not read it yet, but tells us that, “..typically of this writer [it] somewhat discursively exploits an uneasy, oppressive relation between the world at large and its protagonist in a story of complex Time Travel and Aliens, in which Earth itself proves to be at stake.”

By that as it may, I’m going to point to the echoes of both Alan Garner and Nigel Kneale in the back cover blurb, and single this one out as a potentially key exemplar of stone circle-sploitation - a phenomenon largely unique to the late 1970s that I’ll write an unconvincing monograph (or at least, a Found Objects post) about one day.

The SF Encyclopaedia page linked above also helpfully credits the cover art on this edition to prolific NEL SF artist Ray Feibush.

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