Author of FarFetchedFiction. Rankin's works are best described as [[MindScrew completely insane.]] Mostly they have a plot of sorts, but beyond that anything can happen. He's particularly fond of NoFourthWall moments and [[ShootTheShaggyDog Shooting The Shaggy Dog]]. His writing style consists almost entirely of SophisticatedAsHell.

Although his books can be divided fairly firmly into series, most of them have {{Crossover}} characters, and {{Running Gag}}s that follow from one series to another, either because of a tradition, or an old charter or something, or else because of the transperambulation of pseudocosmic antimatter. If it wasn't for all the NegativeContinuity it might even count as CanonWelding.

One of the books, ''The Brightonomicon'', received a full cast audio dramatisation in 2008, starring some comedic celebrities such as [[LordOfTheRings Andy Serkis]] and [[Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy Mark Wing-Davey]]. It starred David Warner as Hugo Rune (the Cosmic Dick) and Rupert Degas as Rizla [[spoiler:aka Jim Pooley]].

The series include (more to be added):

'''The Brentford Trilogy''' - [[TrilogyCreep Nine volumes]] (three more than the galaxy's [[Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy second-largest trilogy]]), detailing the adventures of two layabouts named Jim Pooley and John O'Mally in an area of West London which comes under attack from supernatural forces more than you'd expect.
[[AC:The books are:]]
* ''The Antipope'' (1981)
* ''The Brentford Triangle'' (1982)
* ''East of Ealing'' (1984)
* ''The Sprouts of Wrath'' (1988)
* ''The Brentford Chainstore Massacre'' (1997)
* ''Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls'' (2000)
* ''Knees Up Mother Earth'' (2004)
* ''The Brightonomicon'' (2005)
* ''Retromancer'' (2009)
* ''The Educated Ape''

!!!The ''Brentford Trilogy'' contains examples of:
* Creator/AleisterCrowley: The Brightonomicon keeps scattering throwaway references.. "Do wotcha like is the whole of the law." "I am perplexed". And there is the suit of BOLESKINE tweed.
* [[AliensInCardiff Aliens in Brentford]]: Among other things.
* TheAntiChrist: In fact, several.
* BizarreAndImprobableGolfGame: Allotment Golf, and leading up to it, the antics which saw our heroes barred from every club in the county.
* CanineCompanion: Young Chips to Old Pete
* CityOfAdventure: Brentford
* CloneJesus: In ''Brentford Chainstore Massacre''. They're twins. One's evil.
* CrazyPrepared: It takes a ''lot'' to catch Professor Slocombe off guard. Among other things, he can ''see through his eyelids''.
* {{Crossover}}:''Knees Up Mother Earth'' is also the second book in the ''Witches of Chiswick'' trilogy
* FingerPokeOfDoom: Dimac, the world's most lethal martial art, which can maim or disfigure an opponent with the mere pressure of a fingertip.
* GenerationXerox: In ''Brentford Chainstore Massacre'' it turns out a long line of Omalleys and Pooleys have been assassinating each other over the Brentford Scrolls. The friendship between the current versions is a ScrewDestiny.
* GrumpyOldMan: Old Pete.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Mahatma Campbell. Fighting off ''[[Creator/HPLovecraft Cthulhu.]]'' ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome SINGLE-HANDEDLY.]]'']]
* HeterosexualLifePartners: John and Jim. The author claims that every man has a "bestest friend" whom they "love in a manly, mannish way".
* KillAndReplace: [[spoiler: Happens to the ''[[KillEmAll entire cast]]'' except for Jim in ''East of Ealing''. Fortunately, [[SnapBack everything is back to normal by the time the next book begins]].]]
* LazyBum: John and Jim.
* LiteralMetaphor: When Rune says that Danbury Collins' lectures are always a riot. One duly ensues.
* LocalHangout: The saloon bar of the Flying Swan.
* NothingExcitingEverHappensHere: When a ''zulu warrior'' goes up in smoke on the 7.15 bus, the public response is along the lines of "Meh, that was just SpontaneousCombustion. Could have happened anywhere."
* MadScientist: Norman. He creates a perpetual motion machine to power a robotic Norman...which gives him more time to work on building [[spoiler: a time machine]]. He has also [[spoiler: teleported the Great Pyramid of Giza to the Brentford football ground]] and calculated the location of the Great Pit. [[spoiler: It's in his kitchenette.]]
* UpdatedRerelease: ''The Sprouts of Wrath'' had a rewritten ending for the Corgi edition, due to the author not being happy with ending the book in a sad way.
* SelfInsertFic: The author has said in several interviews that he based Jim Pooley on himself and that Hugo Rune was based on his father (who incidentally knew Aleister Crowley). He also said that when he finished writing 'The Brightonomicon' he realized that he'd written a story about his father and himself having an adventure.
* SeriousBusiness: Celebrating the Millennium in 1997 and saving Brentford FC football grounds, among others.
* SherlockHolmes: Appears in ''East of Ealing''
* TheConstant: Professor Slocombe. It's implied that he has been the Comte De Saint Germain and Merlin, among others. He is present when [[spoiler:Norman travels back in time]] in ''East Of Ealing'' as well as SherlockHolmes recalling working with him more than a century ago in the same book.
* TontoTalk: Paul and Barry Geronimo.
* TookALevelInBadass: Archroy evolves from ChewToy to [[WalkTheEarth globetrotting]] Dimac master in ''The Antipope'', while Soap Distant, a demented [[HollowWorld Hollow Earther]] presumed dead in the same book, returns in later books as a valued ally.
'''The Armageddon Trilogy''' - This one is only three volumes, which starts off AfterTheEnd, and gets steadily weirder as Rex Mundi encounters [[ElvisHasLeftThePlanet Elvis and his talking Time Sprout, Barry]], leading to numerous misadventures.

[[AC:The books are:]]
* ''Armageddon: The Musical'' (1988)
* ''They Came and Ate Us (Armageddon II: The B Movie)'' (1991)
* ''The Suburban Book of the Dead (Armageddon III: The Remake)'' (1992)

!!!They contain examples of:
* AlternateHistory: ''The Suburban Book of the Dead'' is set partly in a timeline created by [[ElvisPresley Elvis]].
* BizarreAlienBiology: [[TwoWordsObviousTrope Two words]]: plant-based technology.
* ChurchOfHappyology: One of the three religious leaders/TV execs that run the world is Creator/LRonHubbard the 23rd, although he isn't a significant part of the plot.
* ComicBookFantasyCasting: Spoofed.
* DeusExMachina: Played for laughs.
* EncyclopediaExposita: I and III have two very different books called ''The Suburban Book of the Dead''. II introduces Hugo Rune and ''The Book of Ultimate Truths''.
** Played with somewhat, as excerpts from ''The Book of Ultimate Truth'' are accompanied by quotes from the work of Sir John Rimmer that try to discredit them, which ultimately leads to Hugo Rune complaining about it.
* ExpositionOfImmortality: During ''They Came and Ate Us,'' Johnathan points out that not only did he recognise Elvis, despite his wig and glasses, his aliases weren't exactly concealing, either. ''"Theodore Henry Edward King? T H E King? Mr No-ah Never?"''
* FridgeLogic: [[invoked]] At the end of the first book, Elvis ''points out'' that it doesn't make any sense.
* MeaningfulName: Rex Mundi, and his sister Gloria. Oh, and President Wormwood.
* MetafictionalTitle: ''The Suburban Book of the Dead: Armageddon III: The Remake'' is named after ''The Suburban Book of the Dead'', a religious tome within the book ... but which turns out not to be the same ''Suburban Book Of The Dead'' that appeared in ''Armageddon: The Musical''.
* MindScrew: While this applies to some degree to ''everything'' Rankin has written, ''Armageddon 2'' takes the cake, paints it pink, and wears it like a hat while running naked down the street to tell its aunt all about it.
* NoFourthWall: Most prominently in Book II. When one scene turns awry, Rex notes that they're probably going to rewrite it for the movie version.
** Also used at the beginning:
-->'''Rambo Bloodaxe:''' It's Rankin, [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs he's in the pub again and he's writing.]]
* PoliceCodeForEverything: Even a demon-possessed vehicle in a tow-away zone.
* PrivateDetective: Lazlo "Some Call Me Laz" Woodbine.
* PrivateEyeMonologue: In Lazlo's line of work having a decent monologue can mean the difference between sitting on the dock of the bay and a sing-song in Sing-Sing, if you know what I mean, and I'm sure that you do.
* RunningGag: The most prominent running gag involves people commenting on how bad the running gags are.
* ShoutOut: Not only is one of the characters an [[ThisIslandEarth 'Inter-rositor' operator]], but with a flash of FridgeBrilliance, faulty parts cannot be replaced. [[note]]That very warning was given in the construction notes for the original Interocitor.[[/note]]
* TextualCelebrityResemblance: A group of minor characters with NoFourthWall insist that, since Rankin never bothered to describe them, they can decide they all look like celebrities.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: [[ImAHumanitarian Rambo Bloodaxe and Deathblade Eric.]]
* TimeTravel
* TwistEnding: The second book has several, including O'Mally and Pooley complaining that none of their books had a silly ending like that.

'''The Cornelius Murphy Series''' - Three books that give us more details of the Guru's Guru, the Lad Himself, The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived, Mr Hugo Rune, as Cornelius Murphy (the Stuff of Epics) and his friend Tuppe try to find a copy of ''The Book of Ultimate Truths'' or Rune himself.

[[AC:The books are:]]
* ''The Book of Ultimate Truths'' (1993)
* ''Raiders of the Lost Car Park'' (1994)
* ''The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived'' (1995)

!!!They contain examples of:
* EncyclopediaExposita: ''The Book of Ultimate Truths'' again.
* ItRunsOnNonsensoleum: ''Raiders of the Lost Car Park''. The lands of TheFairFolk are normally inaccessible to humans because they're on the areas of a rectangular map that don't fit when you glue it onto a globe of the same scale. These can be accessed by playing the right combination of notes on an ocarina that has been 'reinvented' through the correct application of a power drill. There's more, but [[YouAreNotReady the world is not prepared]].
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler: Murphy is Rune's son]].
'''The Trilogy That Dare Not Speak Its Name [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Trilogy]]'''

[[AC:The books are:]]
* ''Sprout Mask Replica''
* ''The Dance of the Voodoo Handbag''
* ''Waiting for Godalming''

!!!They contain examples of
* HandsomeLech: Arguably [[spoiler: God]] in ''Waiting for Godalming''
* {{Cyberspace}}: The main Plotline of ''The Dance of the Voodoo Handbag''
* NoodleImplements: Blown to smithereens in ''Sprout Mask Replica''. Also several characters are described as dying in a freak incident involving "Object X and object Y".
* NoMedicationForMe: [[spoiler: Lazlo Woodbine]] it allows one of his many CrowningMomentsOfAwesome
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: [[invoked]] Averted; the author has said publicly that he wrote ''Dance of the Voodoo Handbag'' with a high drug consumption.
* WindsOfDestinyChange: The lead character of ''Sprout Mask Replica'' has the ability to change major things with his minor actions, although he really doesn't use it wisely.


[[AC:Other books:]]
* ''The Greatest Show Off Earth'' (1994)
* ''A Dog Called Demolition'' (1996)
* ''Nostradamus Ate my Hamster'' (1996)
* ''Apocalypso'' (1998)
* ''Snuff Fiction'' (1999)
* ''The Fandom of the Operator'' (2001)
* ''Web Site Story'' (2001)
* ''HollowChocolateBunniesOfTheApocalypse'' (2002)
* ''The Witches of Chiswick'' (2003)
* ''The Toyminator'' (2006)
* ''The Da-da-de-da-da Code'' (2007)
* ''Necrophenia'' (2008)
* ''The Japanese Devil Fish Girl and Other Unnatural Attractions'' (2010)
* ''The Mechanical Messiah and Other Marvels of the Modern Age'' (2011)

[[AC:Other works:]]
* ''Webcomic/RobertRankinsEmpires''

!Tropes used in all of his works:
* ComicSutra: "Taking tea with the parson"
* MindScrew
* PunBasedTitle: e.g. ''Raiders of the Lost Car Park'' and ''The Witches of Chiswick''.
* RetroUniverse: While technology reaches into standard futuristic fare, the citizens of Brentford still seem to live a quiet life, down to the fact that the local pub deals in pre-decimalisation money.
* RunningGag: It is a fact, well known to those who know it well, that the now legendary Rankin books contain several Running Gags. This is a tradition or an old charter, or something, and while we sure know our running gags, (because in our line of work, knowing your running gags can be the difference between Kicking a kitten and fleeing the furballs) we couldn't possibly list ''all'' of them here, due to transperambulation of pseudo-cosmic anti-matter.
** "[[BreakingTheFourthWall I hope that's not going to be a]] RunningGag. It's crap."
** "I think that RunningGag may have peaked a bit early. -Ed."
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: Many characters quoth things, without warning, and use old phrases.