Philip Purser-Hallard

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Philip Purser-Hallard (born 1971 as Philip Hallard) is an author and scholar whose interests in science fiction and religion have been expressed both in fiction and non-fiction.[1]

Purser-Hallard received his doctorate in English literature at Oxford University, during which time he was President and Society Poet of the Douglas Adams Society, and a founder member of a student comedy troupe called Cruel and Unusual Punishment.[2][3] His DPhil thesis, entitled 'The Relationship Between Creator and Creature in Science Fiction', examines how British and American science fiction of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries examine the relationship between humanity and a putative creating deity through stories about the creation of sentient individuals by scientists, working from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein through to recent authors like Bruce Sterling, William Gibson and Dan Simmons.[4][5] He also has interests in eschatological science fiction, as seen in his first novel, Of the City of the Saved....

Purser-Hallard has given three talks at the liberal Christian Greenbelt festival, all on the intersections of science fiction and religious themes: "Science Fiction as the Bible" and "The Bible as Science Fiction]" (2004), and "The Spirituality of Doctor Who" (2005).[6] Between 2006 and 2009 he wrote a regular column on science fiction and faith for Surefish, the ISP and webzine arm of Christian Aid. He publishes regular 140-character microfictions on Twitter, under the username trapphic.

Much of his published fiction up to 2013 was set in shared universes with origins in Doctor Who licensed fiction. His brother Nick Hallard, an artist, provided endpieces for the More Tales of the City collection and unofficial illustrations for Purser-Hallard's Of the City of the Saved... web pages.


As Editor[edit]

  • Iris Wildthyme of Mars (due from Obverse Books in 2014), an Iris Wildthyme anthology set on Mars.
  • Tales of the Great Detectives (due from Obverse Books in 2014), a City of the Saved anthology featuring multiple Sherlock Holmeses.
  • More Tales of the City (Obverse Books 2013), the second City of the Saved anthology.
  • Tales of the City (Obverse Books 2012), the first City of the Saved anthology.



Short fiction[edit]


  • The Drugs Did Work, an article on Philip K. Dick, in The Guardian (12 August 2006).
  • "Cybernetic godhead": the relationship between creator and creature in the science fiction of William Gibson, in the journal ManuScript (1999).
  • A Momentary Stay Against Confusion, an interview with Dan Simmons (2003).

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "About the Author" in Purser-Hallard, Peculiar Lives p134. Telos Publishing 2005.
  2. ^ DougSoc webpages from 1997, now stored at the Internet Archive.
  3. ^ "People" on the Cruel and Unusual Punishment webpage.
  4. ^ "Afterword" and "About the Author" in Peculiar Lives pp132-34.
  5. ^ Abstract on Purser-Hallard's website.
  6. ^ Short biography at the Greenbelt website.