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(The following are arranged according to category, not chronology)

Spirit Mirror: 1st novel in the Chia Black Dragon trilogy
spirit mirror - novel

First of the Chia Black Dragon series, Spirit Mirror is, compared to the other novels, the nearest to a conventional fantasy. That said, this dark fantasy set in Han dynasty China already possesses most of the elements that make up Stephen’s sub-genre which he dubbed ‘Chinese Gothic’.

Chia, a beautiful woman who possesses an immense lifespan from her non-human father (whom she murdered) is introduced as a lesbian, part-demon, sometime vampire! In this tale, Chia is lured by her unhinged and deadly brother into releasing beings from a mirror dimension in his attempt to corrupt the newly-laid roots of Buddhism in China.

Published 1988, Collins UK

Mortal Mask: 2nd novel in the Chia Black Dragon trilogy
Motal Mask

Chia truly comes into her own in the second novel of the series. Wearing gloriously anachronistic modern clothes and shades (of her own devising) she strolls insouciantly through second-century China, dispensing wisdom and wisecracks in equal measure. Mortal Mask is an ingenious reinvention of the classic ghost story, replete with sharp twists and turns of plot, an atmospheric meld of wonder and horror and a profound sense of enfolding mystery, like a waking dream.

Set in a seaside bay populated by drugged Taoist hermits and haunted villagers, Mortal Mask recounts Chia’s investigation into the possible resurrection of her malevolent brother and her eventual entrapment in the multidimensional house that her father built long ago. It is here that she learns of her real origins and the truth behind the mask. The Clute/Grant Encyclopedia of Fantasy acclaimed this novel as a "masterpiece".

Published 1991, Random House UK

Shadow Sisters: 3rd novel in the Chia Black Dragon trilogy
Shadow Sisters

In the third of the Chia series the setting switches from ghost story to flamboyant epic. The story begins in early seventh-century Rome with Chia making a wild bid to make herself pope, leading to inevitable disaster. She flees Rome for China, pursued by her erstwhile ‘disciples’, monks led by a religious fanatic self-named ‘Crucifer’ who has sworn to destroy ‘Chia, the female antichrist’ by means of the three things she fears most – a mirror, a brother and paradise. Chia, unaware that Crucifer is on her track, has already come to the attention of the tyrannical Emperor Yang Ti soon after her arrival in China. She finds herself dragged into Chinese politics and agrees to assassinate Yang Ti, who has in the meantime fallen under the thrall of the demonically possessed Crucifer, leading to a thunderous finale and a startling plot twist.

Published 1993, Random House UK

Managra: a Doctor Who novel
Managra - Dr Who novel

Managra, a Doctor Who novel (Tom Baker’s Doctor Who) has been variously reviewed as dark, violent, erudite – and wildly funny. The Doctor arrives in a future Europe (Europa) that is modelled on various periods of European history from the fifteenth to the early twentieth century. Europa is essentially a vast Hammer Horror theme park where vampires, werewolves, Swiss Gods (!) and cloned historical figures such as Byron (three of him!), Torquemada, Casanaova et al vie with each other in a world that hides a bizarre secret.

Published 1995, Virgin Publishing Ltd UK / London Bridge Mass Market USA

Life of the Virgin Mary

Life of the Virgin Mary - Novel

Although published as a biography, this is an historical novel, or even an historical fantasy. It created quite a stir in the media when it first appeared, compared by many to the furore created by Scorses’s Last Tempation of Christ which was released at the same time.

It tells the story of Mariam (Virgin Mary) from early childhood in Alexandria to her mysterious death in Ephesus, drawing heavily from the Nag Hammadi scrolls as well as the New Testament and Josephus. John the Baptist is portrayed as a fanatic at the head of an armed mob, Simon Magus an amiable hippie and Judas a fall-guy framed by a belligerent Peter. An enigmatic Lucifer is a powerful, lurking presence through the narrative and Jesus is a troubled, questioning Messiah whose link with John the Baptist leads to tragedy.

Published 1988, Lennard Publishing UK

Dreddlocked: a Judge Dredd novel
Dreddlocked - Judge Dredd novel

The first of Stephen’s Judge Dredd novels, Dreddlocked features the adventures of private eye Mister Cairo who takes on the Judge-ruled world of Mega-City One a hundred years in the future. For good reason, Cairo has sworn vengeance on Judge Dredd and, with the assistance of a renegade female Judge –who is a dab-hand at voodoo – and a monochrome James Cagney who has emerged from one of his movies – he both hunts and is hunted by Dredd from the pinnacles of the futuristic city down to the underworld of old New York.

A rich and powerful mixture of film noir and SF satire, crammed with quirky humour.

Publisher 1993, Virgin Publishing Ltd UK

Dredd Dominion: a Judge Dredd novel
Dredd Dominion - Judge Dredd novel

Dredd takes centre-stage in this story, and is faced with a formidable enemy – his own self from another timeline, known as Chief Judge Dread, ruler of a nightmare version of Mega-City One. Dredd enters the alternate timeline through a haunted café (where a pivotal confrontation occurred between Dredd and his clone-brother Rico two decades earlier) and finds himself in an unlikely alliance with anti-Judge rebels in their conflict with Dredd’s dark alter ego.

One of the many delights of this tale is Judge Caligula, whose antics are truly hilarious. But then, every chapter is packed with memorable characters, gothic horrors, wacky comedy and epic action on the grandest scale.

Published 1994, Virgin Publishing Ltd UK

The Heresy
Stephen has recently completed a contemporary Vatican mystery thriller that starts with the poisoning of Pope John Paul I and the subsequent execution of the Italian banker Roberto Calvi under Blackfriars Bridge in London, then jumps two decades forwards to the present in which Dominic Quinn, a young Irish-American becomes entangled in the long-term consequences of the pope’s murder and finds himself drawn deeper into mysteries that reach back to first-century Ephesus.
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