(1953- ) UK writer, critic and former scientist, most of whose fiction is sf or sf-like. His contribution to The Necronomicon (anth 1978) ed George Hay (1922-1997) was a spoof account of deciphering the Cthulhu Mythos text which the book semi-seriously reconstructs (see Books). DL's collections of reviews, Critical Assembly (coll 1987 chap; rev 1992) and Critical Assembly II (coll 1992 chap) contain much humorous and acerbic discussion of Genre Fantasy, as do the reprinted essays and sf convention speeches in Let's Hear It for the Deaf Man (coll 1992 chap US; exp vt The Silence of the Langford 1996 US) ed Ben Yalow. He has written relatively little fantasy, though genre authors are lampooned in his Parody collection The Dragonhiker's Guide to Battlefield Covenant at Dune's Edge: Odyssey Two (coll 1988). His "The Arts of the Enemy" in Villains! * (anth 1992) ed Mary Gentle and Roz Kaveney is a wry reconsideration of Balance. In "Waiting for the Iron Age", in Tales of the Wandering Jew (anth 1991) ed Brian Stableford, DL injects Technofantasy into the Wandering Jew legend, and he deals similarly with themes from H P Lovecraft in Irrational Numbers (coll 1994 chap US). Several of his Horror stories were selected for the Year's Best Horror anthologies ed Karl Edward Wagner. He assisted informally with the SFE, and is a Contributing Editor to The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. [DRL]
other works: Earthdoom! (1987) with John Grant, a disaster-novel spoof, featuring Arthur and an anthropomorphic Death; The Unseen University Challenge * (1996), quizbook based on Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels.
David Rowland Langford