The Custodians tells of a visitor to a French monastery, and of one specially built tiny room which is constructed precisely on the intersection of mysterious force fields, so that anyone who enters is able to foresee the future. Paradise Beach is the story of a wall-screen whose image of the sea attunes itself to the individual perceptions of the onlooker. Piper at the Gates of Dawn is set towards the end of the next millennium when the stories about the coming of the mysterious white bird of kinship become associated with the travels of an old story-teller and his young nephew, whose pipe seems to have a magical quality. Finally, The Hertford Manuscript tells of the remarkable discovery of a seventeenth-century book with some pages purporting to be the journals of a nineteenth-century time traveller.
Richard Cowper (1926 - 2002)
Born John Middleton Murry, Jnr, the son of writer John Middleton Murry, Richard Cowper was the pseudonym under which most of his science fiction was published (he wrote four novels under the name 'Colin Murry'). He served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, although he as lucky enough not to see combat. After the war, he read Anglo-Saxon and English at Oxford. His works were shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, British Fantasy and Locus Awards. He died in 2002, four weeks after the death of his wife.