26 March 1953
|Notable works||Bryant & May Mysteries|
Christopher Fowler (born 26 March 1953) is an English thriller writer. He is the award-winning author of more than forty novels and short-story collections, including the Bryant & May mysteries, which record the adventures of two Golden Age detectives in modern-day London. The recipient of the 2015 Dagger In The Library, his other works include screenplays, video games, graphic novels, audio and stage plays. He writes a weekly column in The Independent on Sunday called 'Invisible Ink'. He was born in Greenwich, London. He lives in King's Cross, London and Barcelona.
Bryant and May Mysteries
Fowler is the author of the Bryant and May mysteries, in which the two detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May, are members of the fictional Peculiar Crimes Unit, based on a unit his father worked in during WWII. The series comprises: Full Dark House, The Water Room, Seventy-Seven Clocks, Ten Second Staircase, White Corridor, The Victoria Vanishes, Bryant & May On the Loose, Bryant & May Off the Rails and Bryant & May and the Memory of Blood, Bryant & May and the Invisible Code, Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart, Bryant & May and the Burning Man, Bryant & May: London's Glory with further volumes to follow. Bryant and May, as well as other characters from this series, also appear in Fowler's Rune, Darkest Day, and Soho Black, although these books are not considered part of the series.
The Bryant and May series is set primarily in London, with stories taking place in various years between World War 2 and the present. While there is a progressive narrative, each of the cases stand alone as separate stories. The exceptions are: Full Dark House, an origin story which focuses on John May's reminiscence of the team's first case together during the Blitz, Seventy Seven Clocks, framed as Arthur Bryant's retelling of a case from 1973, and On The Loose and Off The Rails, which continue characters and events across two books.
Fowler weaves many factual layers of London's history and society throughout the series. Most of the locations are recognisable London landmarks such as St Paul's Cathedral, The Tate Gallery and various theatres. A major feature of The Water Room is the networks of tunnels and underground rivers underneath the city. London can be considered a separate character in the novels
There are many references to other literary works throughout the series. Seventy-Seven Clocks contains references to Gilbert and Sullivan throughout the narrative, while The Victoria Vanishes has similarities with The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin. Other puzzles, paradoxes and jokes are tucked into the narratives, rewarding regular readers.
Other novels and short stories
His book Rune is an update to a modern setting of the M. R. James story Casting the Runes. It also features Bryant, May, and several characters from that series.
His story "The Master Builder" was filmed as Through the Eyes of a Killer, starring Richard Dean Anderson, Marg Helgenberger and Tippi Hedren. His tenth short story collection, Old Devil Moon, won the Edge Hill Audience Prize 2008. His short story 'Left Hand Drive' was made into a film that won Best British Short. His stories 'On Edge' and 'The Most Boring Woman In The World' were both filmed. His novella Breathe won the British Fantasy Society Award for best novella in 2005.
Put into different temporal settings, some elements of his original 2008 story “Arkangel” from Exotic Gothic 2 reappear in his 2012 frame-novel Hell Train (a book called “must read now!” by SciFiNow), including the Polish town of Chelmsk, and the physical descriptions of its white gold-rivetted damnation train Arkangel, the mysterious conductor and stationmaster, and the town’s yokels.
His memoir of a lonely 1960s childhood, Paperboy, won the inaugural Green Carnation prize, which celebrates fiction and memoirs written by gay men. A sequel, 'Film Freak', charted his travels through the British film industry. His collection ‘Red Gloves’ consisted of 25 new stories marking a quarter-century in print, two graphic novels and a Hammer horror radio play. He also wrote a Sherlock Holmes audio drama for BBC 7 entitled The Lady Downstairs and the War Of The Worlds videogame with Sir Patrick Stewart, for Paramount.
Novels and collections
|How to Impersonate Famous People||1984||ISBN 0-7043-3463-1|
|The Ultimate Party Book||1985||ISBN 0-04-793087-X|
|City Jitters||1986||ISBN 0-7221-3704-4|
|More City Jitters||1988||ISBN 0-4402-0146-2|
|The Bureau of Lost Souls (US: More City Jitters)||1989||ISBN 0-7126-2459-7|
|Red Bride||1992||ISBN 0-356-20805-2|
|Sharper Knives||1992||ISBN 0-7515-0152-2|
|Darkest Day||1993||ISBN 0-316-90534-8|
|Flesh Wounds||1995||ISBN 0-7515-1431-4|
|Menz Insana (graphic novel)||1997||ISBN 1-56389-300-2|
|Soho Black||1998||ISBN 0-7515-2559-6|
|Personal Demons||1998||ISBN 1-85242-597-0|
|The Devil in Me||2004||ISBN 1-85242-768-X|
|Full Dark House||B&M 1||2004||ISBN 0-553-81552-0|
|The Water Room||B&M 2||2004||ISBN 0-385-60554-4|
|Seventy-Seven Clocks||B&M 3||2005||ISBN 0-385-60885-3|
|Ten Second Staircase||B&M 4||2006||ISBN 0-385-60886-1|
|Old Devil Moon||2007||ISBN 978-1-85242-925-6|
|White Corridor||B&M 5||2007||ISBN 978-0-385-61067-4|
|The Victoria Vanishes||B&M 6||2008||ISBN 978-0-385-61068-1|
|Paperboy (autobiography)||2009||ISBN 978-0-385-61557-0|
|Bryant & May On The Loose||B&M 7||2009||ISBN 978-0-385-61465-8|
|Bryant & May Off the Rails||B&M 8||2010||ISBN 978-0-553-80720-2|
|Bryant and May and the Memory of Blood||B&M 9||2011||ISBN 978-0-85752-049-4|
|Hell Train||2012||ISBN 978-1-907992-44-5|
|Bryant & May and the Invisible Code||B&M 10||2012||ISBN 978-0857520500|
|Film Freak (autobiography)||2013||ISBN 978-0857521606|
Forgotten Authors series
Fowler writes a periodic column for The Independent titled 'Invisible Ink'. In this series, he looks at a wide range of writers whose works, once popular, have now fallen out of the public eye.
- Through the Eyes of a Killer at the Internet Movie Database
- "The British Fantasy Awards".
- Morton, Sophi (2012). "HELL TRAIN: The ride of your life... or death". SciFiNow (62): 86.
- Fowler, Christopher (2008). "Arkangel." Exotic Gothic 2. Ed. Danel Olson. Ashcroft, British Columbia: Ash-Tree Press. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-55310-109-3. Cite error: Invalid
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- Fowler, Christopher (2012). "Chapter 3: Arrival". Hell Train. Oxford, UK: Solaris Books/Rebellion Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907992-44-5.
- ""Bryant & May: Death Or Glory?", the author's blog, 24 August 2008".
- ""Bryant & May Return in Two-Book Deal", the author's blog, 18 March 2009".
- Christopher Fowler's web site
- BBC Sherlock Holmes site There is a short story The Lady Downstairs written by Fowler which can be read or heard.
- Story behind Plastic - Online essay written by Fowler
- The story behind The Bleeding Heart - Online essay written by Fowler
- Christopher Fowler at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database