John Whitbourn - Orion Publishing Group

John Whitbourn



John Whitbourn (1958- )
John Whitbourn is an archaeology graduate and has been a published author since 1987. His first book, A Dangerous Energy, won the BBC/Victor Gollancz Fantasy Novel Prize in 1991. Whitbourn's novels and short stories tend to focus on alternative histories set in a 'Catholic' universe. Key characteristics of his works are wry humour, the reality of magic and a sustained attempt to reflect on the interaction between religion and politics on a personal and social scale.
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Downs-Lord Dawn

John Whitbourn

Thomas Blades, a 17th century curate, discovers a magical door to another world - or rather to an alternative Earth. But here, humanity is not the top of the food chain, as Blades finds when the poor, burrow-dwelling humans he stumbles over are hunted and eaten by the Null - mighty, ravening beasts whose intelligence and killing ability makes them top predator.Returning to our own world for weapons, Blades vows to become humanity's saviour on his new earth and, over the years, builds an empire of which he becomes the first God-king. Power shifts between humanity and Null but as the humans grow in sophistication, so comes treachery, jealousy and murder - and God-king Blades will change much from the timid cleric who first happened upon his domain...

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Downs-Lord Day

John Whitbourn
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Downs-Lord Doomsday

John Whitbourn
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A Dangerous Energy

John Whitbourn

England, 1967: ruled by the power of the Catholic Church, as it has been since the failure of the Protestant Reformation. In this England there are steam trains, but no internal combustion engine; rifles but no electricity; heresy but no democracy.And in this England, magic works.England, 1967; young Tobias Oakley, out on an illicit nighttime expedition, meets an elven woman - and is chosen for initiation into the secrets of necromancy. Tobias has a powerful talent and his injudicious use of it brings him to the attention of the Church - whose Thaumaturgical Division soon recruits him.And so Tobias enters the Church, beginning his career amid the brothels and taverns of the teeming slums of the diocese of Southwark. From there his progress, if not steady - there is something about Tobias that arouses unease in his superiors - is generally upwards. As a curate, as a priest, as a soldier in the bloody war against heresy and finally as an eminent expert on diabolism, Tobias becomes a power in the English Catholic Church.And as he does so, he pursues his second career: as liar, drug smuggler, rakehell, mass murderer, betrayer, vicious libertine and consorter with demons. For the elf legacy that has shaped his life has robbed him of something vital. And when Tobias, in an effort finally to discover some meaning in life, embarks on a fantastic and perilous quest through supernatural realms he finds himself at the last confronting a savage irony.

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Popes and Phantoms

John Whitbourn
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To Build Jerusalem

John Whitbourn
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The Royal Changeling

John Whitbourn

Invading England after Charles II's death, the Duke of Monmouth comes face-to-face with an old friend - Theophilus Oglethorpe. Oglethorpe, in common with only a handful of others, knows Monmouth's background fully - not only that he is Charles's son, but also that he has elven blood, and has allied himself with evil powers in order to take England's crown. In fact, he is being used as a cat's paw by one far more steeped in evil than himself...King Arthur, who would return to rule Britain and the entire world. Through London, Glastonbury, Sedgemoor and many stranger places unearthly battles rage, and the elves forsake their millennia-long neutrality...