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He had forgotten his real name, so they called him "Spingarn" after the last role he had played. He was the man the directors of the Frames regarded as their major headache - for he was guilty of two unforgivable arrogances. He had programmed himself into every one of the vast world-staged dramas he had directed - and he had reactivated the forbidden Frames of the pre-human planet of Talisker.
In those days of an overcrowded colonized cosmos, a thousand years from now, the Frames were the major means of diversion. Historical re-creations and fictional dramas played out with planets as stages and while populations as actors - the Frame directors and their robot assistants had become the masters of all life.
They could not destroy Spingarn, THE PROBABILITY MAN, but they could sentence him to undo the damage he had done. So he was sent to the mad Frames of Talisker to unravel the secret of their origin a billion years before the universe
Brian Ball (1932 - )
Brian Neville Ball was born on June 19, 1932, in Cheshire, England. Much of his substantial body of novels - sci ence fiction, supernatural, detective thrillers and children's fic tion, beginning in the early 1960s and continuing to date - was produced whilst Ball simultaneously pursued an academic career as a Lecturer in English at Doncaster College of Education, and whilst he was Visiting Professor to the University of British Co lombia, Vancouver.
Like many of his British contemporaries, Ball began by writ ing science fiction short stories for New Worlds and Science Fan tasy, but very quickly made the transition to full-length SF novels, beginning with Sundog in 1965. His early SF novels, whilst action-packed adventure stories, were also rich in metaphysical specula tion, qualities that quickly brought him international recognition, His series of children's books, ranging from nursery to teenage titles, were equally successful.
Of his adult science fiction novels, of special note was his trilogy about an ancient Galactic Federation, Timepiece (1968), Timepivot (1970), and Planet Probability (1973). By 1971 he had begun to diversify into supernatural novels with considerable suc cess, and in 1974 his first detective novel, Death of Low Handicap Man, was published to wide acclaim. It was followed by several crime thrillers.
In 2004 Ball resumed writing fantasy short stories, and was commissioned to write a new Space 1999 novel, Survival (2005), explaining the mysterious disappearance of Professor Victor Bergman from the last series of the Gerry Anderson TV series (for which Ball had earlier authored The Space Guardians in 1975).
In recent years, all of Ball's detective and supernatural novels have been reprinted, along with new novels in both genres, with Gollancz's SF Gateway featuring his earlier science fiction novels.