Christopher Priest

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Books

Agent: Robert Kirby
Assistant: Kate Walsh

Books

Christopher Priest was born in Cheshire, England. He began writing soon after leaving school and has been a full-time freelance writer since 1968.

He has published twelve novels, three short story collections and a number of other books, including critical works, biographies, novelizations and children's non-fiction.

His novel The Separation won both the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the BSFA Award. In 1996 Priest won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel The Prestige. He has been nominated four times for the Hugo award. He has won several awards abroad, including the Kurd Lasswitz Award (Germany), the Eurocon Award (Yugoslavia), the Ditmar Award (Australia), and Le Grand Prix de L'Imaginaire (France). In 2001 he was awarded the Prix Utopia (France) for lifetime achievement.

His novel The Prestige was adapted to film and released by Warner Bros in 2006 to great critical success with two Oscar nominations, and was directed by Christopher Nolan.

He has written drama for radio (BBC Radio 4) and television (Thames TV and HTV). Two of his novels are under contract for film adaptation. He is currently writing a stage adaptation of The Prestige, for Shaftesbury Productions.

As a journalist he has written features and reviews for The Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the New Statesman, the Scotsman, the Washington Post and many different magazines.

He lives in Hastings, England, with his twin adult children, Elizabeth and Simon.

He is currently working on his forthcoming novel, THE GRADUAL for Orion, which is due to be published in 2016.

Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes
2013

Gollancz

A photographer returns to a near-future Britain after the death of his wife in a terrorist incident in Afghanistan. And finds that the IRGB has, itself, been suffering terrorist attacks. But no-one knows quite what is happening or how. Just that there are similarities between what killed the photographer's wife and what happened in West London. Soon he is drawn into a hall of mirrors at the heart of government.

In the First World War a magician is asked to travel to the frontline to help a naval aerial reconnaissance unit hide its planes from the German guns. On the way to France he meets a certain H.G. Wells.

In the Second World War on the airfields of Bomber Commands there is also an obsession with camouflage, with misdirection. With deceit.

And in a garden, an old man raises a conch shell to his ear and initiates the first Adjacency.

2011

Gollancz

A tale of murder, artistic rivalry and literary trickery; a chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you. The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters. The Islanders serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands, an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator. It shows Christopher Priest at the height of his powers and illustrates why he has remained one of the country's most prized novelists.

2009

Gollancz

In a world at war, the Dream Archipelago is a neutral zone, and therefore an alluring prospect to the young men on both sides of the conflict. In this interlinked collection of short stories and novellas, Christopher Priest explores war, relationships and forms of reality. Each tale is a truimph of quiet, steady craftsmanship, a model of ingenious design and subtle implication, and as a group they further enrich each other by interlocking cleverly, symmetrically and sometimes sinisterly.

2007

Gollancz

THE SEPARATION is the story of twin brothers, rowers in the 1936 Olympics (where they met Hess, Hitler's deputy); one joins the RAF, and captains a Wellington; he is shot down after a bombing raid on Hamburg and becomes Churchill's aide-de-camp; his twin brother, a pacifist, works with the Red Cross, rescuing bombing victims in London. But this is not a straightforward story of the Second World War: this is an alternate history: the two brothers - both called J.L. Sawyer - live their lives in alternate versions of reality.

2006

Gollancz

Peter Sinclair is tormented by bereavement and failure. In an attempt to conjure some meaning from his life, he embarks on an autobiography, but he finds himself writing the story of another man in another, imagined, world, whose insidious attraction draws him even further in . . . THE AFFIRMATION is at once an original thriller and a haunting study of schizophrenia; it has a compulsive, dream-like quality.

2005

Gollancz

Richard Grey, suffering from amnesia after a car-bomb explosion, is visited by a girl who seems to have been his lover. His attempts to recall the forgotten period produce an odyssey through France and conflicting accounts of what happened.

2005

Gollancz

Two 19th century stage illusionists, the aristocratic Rupert Angier and the working-class Alfred Borden, engage in a bitter and deadly feud; the effects are still being felt by their respective families a hundred years later. Working in the gaslight-and-velvet world of Victorian music halls, they prowl edgily in the background of each other's shadowy life, driven to the extremes by a deadly combination of obsessive secrecy and insatiable curiosity.

2005

Gollancz

British-born Teresa Simons returns to England after the death of her husband, an FBI agent, who was killed by an out-of-control gunman while on assignment in Texas. A shocking coincidence has drawn her to the run-down south coast town of Bulverton, where a gunman's massacre has haunting similarities to the murders in Texas. Desperate to unravel the mystery, Teresa turns to the virtual reality world of Extreme Experience, ExEx, now commercially available since she trained on it in the US.

1978

Macmillan

One of Chris Priest's earliest novels (first published in 1972). In its day Fugue was thought of as a modern version of the familiar 'British catastrophe' science fiction novel, but subsequent world events have given the story a sinister topicality. Tragic refugees escaping political and military upheaval at home are now all too frequently seeking asylum elsewhere. In Fugue, survivors of a terrible African war flee their blighted continent, and look for refuge in the countries of the West.

1979

Macmillan