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The Colin Greenland Archive

Colin Greenland is a leading British writer and critic of science fiction and fantasy. Born in Dover in 1954, he wrote his first fantastic story aged just five and continued to write throughout his childhood. As a student at Pembroke College, Oxford, Greenland produced more stories but his first book was a work of criticism based on his PhD thesis entitled The Entropy Exhibition : Michael Moorcock and the UK 'New Wave'. Influenced by Moorcock, Brian Aldiss and J.G. Ballard, the main subjects of his thesis, Greenland published his own first novel, a fantasy titled Daybreak on a Different Mountain (1984). Moving from Oxford to London, Greenland became Arts Council Writer in Residence at North East London Polytechnic, although by his own admission his work in that period was 'arty and obscure.' Greenland revised his style, publishing two more fantasy novels, The Hour of the Thin Ox (1987) and Other Voices (1988), which display a quiet narrative style and a realistic, rather than mythical, basis. Greenland's next novel, Take Back Plenty (1990), signified a switch to science fiction with an intelligent and entertaining space opera. Amongst other stories and critical pieces, Greenland has since published Harm's Way (1993); two novels that complete the Tabitha Jute trilogy: Seasons of Plenty (1995) and Mother of Plenty (1998); and Finding Helen (2003). His novels, which are typically strong on characterisation, have gained such accolades as the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Science Fiction Award. In addition to writing, Greenland served on the editorial committee of Interzone, taught extra-murally at Birkbeck College, London and was for many years closely involved with the Science Fiction Foundation.

The Colin Greenland Archive is on deposit with the Science Fiction Foundation Collection at The University of Liverpool Library. The Archive spans the period 1972-1998 and comprises annotated manuscripts, typescripts and proofs of his published works and related correspondence. There are also sections of unpublished works and non-fiction, as well as a set of recorded interviews by Greenland with a number of prominent authors, such as Michael Moorcock, Brian Aldiss and Ray Bradbury. In addition, there are large amounts of material relating to Greenland's involvement with the Science Fiction Foundation, Birkbeck College and Interzone.

Finding Aid

The archive is fully listed and an online Finding Aid including further biographical information is available for browsing or searching.


All material in the Colin Greenland Archive is available to researchers for consultation in the the University of Liverpool Library's Special Collections and Archives Reading Room by prior arrangement. Please read Using the Collections if you are considering visiting us.


Reproduction and Licensing rules are available upon request.

Related material

Some promotional items and material relating to Greenland's involvement with the Science Fiction Foundation is contained in our Offprints Collection. Also, search our SF Catalogue for Colin Greenland's published works and related critical material. The Infinity Plus profile of Colin Greenland contains a bibliography of his work.

Holograph Notes for Take Back Plenty [Ref: CG 1/2/1]

A card enclosed with the typescript of Mother of Plenty [Ref: CG 1/2/3]

Part of a letter from Arthur C. Clarke congratulating Greenland on winning the Clarke Award for Take Back Plenty in 1991 [Ref: CG 3/1/3/4]

More notes for Take Back Plenty [Ref: CG 1/2/1]