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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

  Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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Clive Barker

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Standard Disclaimer:

This is a brief discussion of Clive Barker and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Barker.

This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Barker: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)

I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Barker tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Barker worthy; in sum, to help you rank Clive Barker (and the works by Barker listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.

A Few Words About Clive Barker

Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the “Other Resources” section below will lead you to some information about the “Notable Books” listed farther down this page.

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Other Clive Barker Resources

Clive Barker Resources on the Web

The logical jumping-off place is Revelations: The Official Clive Barker Resource, though Barker also has a Facebook page. The official site has a page listing most or all Barker interviews available on the web.

There are some other Barker-focussed sites: one is The Clive Barker Archive, which “collates Clive’s works in all media, including his working notes, papers and sketches for hundreds of projects – both published and unpublished – dating from the mid-1960’s to the present day.”; another is Lost Souls, a “fannish site featuring news about the author and his work”. There is also a rather gushy Barker appreciation at the Nightmare Magazine web site.

Though there is a ton of Barker material besides what the sites above link, the vast majority of it seems to be about games (notably “Jericho”) derived from Barker, or Barker-derived movies (or Barker’s paintings, another topic altogether); there is very little in the way of critical analysis of the fiction. Possibly the best available is the Barker entry at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction web site. For a sampler of some one-off critiques, here are a couple of reviews of Barker books, both from The New York Times: Coldheart Canyon [archived copy], and The Great and Secret Show [archived copy]. For more, as always Google Is Your Friend.

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Clive Barker Resources in Print

There are quite a few; here are some.

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Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by Clive Barker ***

(For more possible titles by this author, see the “Unrated Books by Rated Authors” page.)
(This list omits his “pure horror” tales, which are outside our field.)

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