COOPER, Susan (Mary)
   UK writer, a graduate in English studies from Oxford, for some time a journalist; now resident in the USA. In her sf novel Mandrake (1964) the eponymous politician takes over a distressed NEAR FUTURE England and, in mystical league with the forces of Nature, begins the process of cleansing the Earth of Man, but is stopped just in time. Her juvenile FANTASY series, The Dark is Rising, is made up of Over Sea, Under Stone (1965), The Dark is Rising (1973 US), Greenwitch (1974 US), The Grey King (1975 US) and Silver on the Tree (1977 US). It is thought by many critics to be one of the most distinguished of the mythological fantasy series which, following the success of J.R.R. TOLKIEN's work, were published in a spate during the 1960s and 1970s. The hero of the series, Will Stanton, is at once a small boy and a vessel of ancient powers, and SC shows great skill in blending in him a perfectly natural, unsentimentalized, childish innocence and the sophistication of a mage. The series owed much to Anglo-Saxon and Celtic MYTHOLOGY, but also uses such sf tropes as ALTERNATE WORLDS, TIME PARADOXES and time stasis. The Grey King won the 1976 Newbery Award. Seaward (1983 US) once again utilizes Celtic material, this time in a dark hegira into the world of death.
   Other works: J.B. Priestley: Portrait of an Author (1970) and Stars in our Hands (1977 chap Canada), both nonfiction; Jethro and the Jumbie (1979 chap) and The Silver Cow (1983), both fantasies for young children; The Boggart(1993 US).See also: CHILDREN'S SF.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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