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Christopher Priest

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Titles to Look Out For:
1977. A Dream of Wessex
1979. Infinite Summer

Christopher Priest at Amazon:

Priest, Christopher. 'A Dream of Wessex', published in 1978 by The Science Fiction Book Club, hbk, 1978. Sorry, not in stock, but click image to access prebuilt search on Amazon!
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  • A Dream of Wessex [top]
    First published in hardback in 1977 by Faber & Faber
    Reprinted in 1978 by The Science Fiction Book Club in hardback

Story: This novel about the future finds Jula Stretton escaping from a bitter lacerating affair with Paul Mason; she starts to work with the Wessex Foundation, an industrially funded electronic think-tank. In this, her preoccupations with her own past life are replaced by involvement with the future of Britain, and its role in the world. The work absorbs her; and Wessex, an imagined world of the future, becomes a surrogate reality, an expression of the psychological strengths she has lacked in her own life. But Mason, drawn to Julia by inner needs of his own, is determined to follow her, and several years later Julia has to confront him again

Try also the Christopher Priest Omnibus:


1977, Faber & Faber, hbk

1987, Sphere, pbk

Priest, Christopher. 'Infinite Summer',published in 1979 by the Science Fiction Book Club, hbk, 208pp.Very good condition copy, well looked-after, published by the Science Fiction Book Club in 1979, 208 pages, with dustjacket (slightly tanned in places - browning effect from ageing). Overall a nice, well looked-after copy. Price:£4.75, not including p&p, which is Amazon's standard charge (currently £2.75 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1979, The Science Fiction Book Club
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  • Infinite Summer [top]
    First published in hardback in 1979 by Faber & Faber
    Republished in 1979 by The Science Fiction Book Club, hardcover, 208 pages.

Stories: Contains 5 short stories: Palely Loitering is the story of adolescent infatuation, unrequited in childhood, but revisited in adulthood. It too is a summery story, written soon after the author returned from a long and very happy stay in Melbourne, Australia. The story was an attempt for the author to think himself back into a European sensibility.

In 'The Negation', the innocent is a young would-be poet, who meets the one author who has had a profound and lasting influence on his ideas.

There are also two uncompromising sexual fables: 'Whores' and 'The Watched'. 'Whores' sees a convalescent soldier go on an hallucinatory quest for sexual satisfaction, while the 'The Watched' examines the uncanny and mutually dependent relationship between voyeur and victim. The author calls the 'Whores' and 'The Watched' the prologue and the epilogue to his novel 'A Dream of Wessex', but only in the sense that the writing of them happened to precede and succeed the book in close order. 'Whores' is a Christmassy story, written to the accompaniment of thoughts about cards the author felt he should be sending and the presents he should be wrapping, but 'there the resemblance to seasonal good cheer ends, as you will discover, and in retrospect, I think I must have eaten too much plum duff.' [Priest, Christopher, 'An Infinite Summer, p. 10, Science Fiction Book Club HB, 1979]

The title story: An Infinite Summer is set in the summer of Edwardian England with two young people falling in love and becoming trapped in that moment. It was written in 1974, in the middle of the author researching his space romance 'The Space Machine'. The research he carried out for that novel in Richmond led him to the idea that layers of time exist and that places do not change as much as people


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