DAVIES, L(eslie) P(urnell)

DAVIES, L(eslie) P(urnell)
   UK writer who has worked also as a pharmacist and as a painter; he now lives in the Canary Isles. His consistently borderline sf often permits a delusional-frame interpretation of the events it depicts, so that frequently it is difficult to distinguish among the genres he utilizes, which include horror, fantasy, suspense thriller and sf. Along with John BLACKBURN and John LYMINGTON, both of whose writing his sometimes resembles, LPD has in a sense founded a new generic amalgam: tales whose slippage among various genres is in itself a characteristic point of narrative interest, with the reader kept constantly in suspense about the generic nature of any climaxes or explanations to be presented.LPD began publishing sf with "The Wall of Time" for London Mystery Magazine in 1960, and published fiction under a number of pseudonyms, including Leo Barne, Robert Blake, Richard Bridgeman, Morgan Evans, Ian Jefferson, Lawrence Peters, Thomas Phillips, G.K. Thomas, Leslie Vardre and Rowland Welch.His first novel, The Paper Dolls (1964), televised in 1968, sets a mystery involving telepathy and murder in the depths of the English countryside, a venue he uses frequently. Man out of Nowhere (1965; vt Who is Lewis Pinder? 1966 US) and The Artificial Man (1965) can both be read as delusional-frame tales; the latter, about a NEAR FUTURE secret agent immured in a "fake" English village while his unconscious is probed, was made into the film Project X (1968), not to be confused with PROJECT X (1987). LPD's subsequent novels have been, as to genre, variously marketed, but they share an ambivalence in the way they can be read, an occasional glibness of effect, and narrative skill.
   Other works: Psychogeist (1966); The Lampton Dreamers (1966); Tell it to the Dead (1966 as by Leslie Vardre in UK; vt The Reluctant Medium 1967 US); Twilight Journey (1967); The Nameless Ones (1967 as by Leslie Vardre in UK; vt A Grave Matter 1968 US); The Alien (1968; vt The Groundstar Conspiracy 1972), filmed as The Groundstar Conspiracy (1972); Stranger to Town (1969); Dimension A (1969); Genesis Two (1969); The White Room (1969); The Shadow Before (1970); Give Me Back Myself (1971); What Did I Do Tomorrow? (1972); Assignment Abacus (1975); Possession (1976); The Land of Leys (1979 US).
   See also: PSYCHOLOGY.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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