Alan Garner, OBE (born 17 October 1934) is an English novelist who is best known for his work in children's fantasy and his retellings of traditional British folk tales. His work is firmly rooted in the landscape, history and folklore of his native county of Cheshire, North West England, being set in the region and making use of the native Cheshire dialect.
He received a lifetime-achievement World Fantasy Award
Tropes in his works:
- Afraid of Doctors: In the two fantasy novels set in rural Cheshire, especially in The Moon of Gomrath, the old farmer's wife has a strong rural English fear of doctors, displaying great reluctance at having Susan being seen by the medical profession during her coma (brought on by her being possessed by an old Celtic spirit of evil).
- Gainax Ending: The Owl Service ends with a young girl who had been possessed by an incredible supernatural force converting that force from anger - "owls" to peace - "flowers". However, everything else about the characters' relationships (which have been totally wrecked) is left unresolved.
- The Ghost: Margaret, the mother of Alison in The Owl Service. Many of the events pan out as the characters try desperately to keep her happy, but she never appears in the book. Similarly occurs in the TV series, to the extent that you see parts of her clothing and even hear her play piano in the same room, but never actually hear or see her.
- Ley Line: In The Moon of Gomrath, the young hero has to follow a ley line in specific circumstances to find a magical plant.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: In The Owl Service, Gwyn has just found proof that Huw, the mad gardener, killed his mother's lover Bertram and accuses Huw of killing his father. Huw then reveals that he is Gwyn's father.
- Meanwhile, in the Future: Thursbitch uses this trope with some crossover between times in a small hamlet in England.
- Possession Burnout: In The Moon of Gomrath, an ancient Celtic demonic entity, the Brollochan, is released form its prison cell by human interference. The Brollochan is an entity that lives vicariously through the senses of people and animals it serially possesses - but no host can contain it for long without burning from the inside and crumbling to death.
- Public Domain Artifact: The Four Treasures of Ireland show up in Elidor.
- Translation Convention: Red Shift is split between three time periods in the same part of northern England - the then current 1970s, the mid-1600s, and early Roman Britain in the first century AD. The first two groups are left untranslated, the present day characters obviously speaking modern English, and the 17th century ones speaking a more-or-less accurate dialect of early modern English. However, the Roman characters - a squad of low-ranking soldiers - are translated into a slang-heavy form of modern English reminiscent of Vietnam-era US military slang.
- Unicorn: In Elidor the four children are instructed to track down the unicorn Findhorn.
- The Wild Hunt: In The Moon of Gomrath; Colin and Susan accidentally summon the Wild Hunt.