Farren, Mick 1943–
Farren, Mick 1943–
Born September 3, 1943, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England; married Joy Hebdich, 1967 (divorced, 1979); married Elizabeth Volck, 1979. Education: Attended St. Martin's School of Art.
Home—Los Angeles, CA. Agent—Abner Stein, 10 Roland Gardens, London SW7 3PH, England.
Writer, novelist, artist, musician, and screenwriter. Singer in musical group Deviants, 1967-69.
SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS
The Texts of Festival, Hart-Davis (London, England), 1973, Avon (New York, NY), 1975.
The Feelies, Big O, 1978, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1990.
The Song of Phaid the Gambler ("Phaid the Gambler" series), New English Library (London, England), 1981, published in two volumes as Phaid the Gambler, Ace (New York, NY), 1986, and Citizen Phaid, Ace (New York, NY), 1987.
Protectorate, New English Library, 1984, Ace (New York, NY), 1985.
Corpse, New English Library (London, England), 1986, published as Vickers, Ace (New York, NY), 1988.
Their Master's War, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1987.
The Long Orbit, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1988.
Exit Funtopia, Sphere (London, England), 1989.
The Armageddon Crazy, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1989.
Mars: The Red Planet, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1990.
Necrom, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1991.
"DNA COWBOYS" SERIES; SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS
The Quest of the DNA Cowboys, Mayflower (St. Albans, England), 1976.
The Synaptic Manhunt, Mayflower (St. Albans, England), 1976.
The Neural Atrocity, Mayflower (St. Albans, England), 1977.
The Last Stand of the DNA Cowboys, Sphere (New York, NY), 1989.
The DNA Cowboys Trilogy (contains The Quest of the DNA Cowboys, Manhunt, and The Neural Atrocity, Do-Not Press (London, England) 2003.
"NOSFERATU" SERIES; HORROR NOVELS
The Time of Feasting, Tor (New York, NY), 1996.
Darklost, Tor (New York, NY), 2000.
More than Mortal, Tor (New York, NY), 2001.
Underland, Tor (New York, NY), 2002.
The Tale of Willy's Rats, Mayflower (St. Albans, England), 1975.
Jim Morrison's Adventures in the Afterlife (fantasy fiction), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.
Kindling ("Flame of Evil" series), Tor (New York, NY), 2004.
Conflagration ("Flame of Evil" series), Tor (New York, NY), 2006.
Get on Down, Futura (London, England), 1976.
(With Peter Marchbank) Elvis in His Own Words, Omnibus Press (London, England), 1977.
(With Colin Cross and Paul Kendall) Encyclopedia of British Beat Groups and Solo Artists of the Sixties, Omnibus Press, 1980.
(With David Dalton) The Rolling Stones: In Their Own Words, Putnam (New York, NY), 1983.
Editor of It and Nasty Tales, both 1970-73; consulting editor, New Musical Express, 1975-77.
(With Edward Barker) Watch Out Kids, Open Gate Books (London, England), 1972.
(With George Snow) Rock 'n' Roll Circus: The Illustrated Rock Concert, Pierrot Publishing (London, England), 1978.
(With Roy Carr) Elvis Presley: The Complete Illustrated Record, Crown (New York, NY), 1982.
The Black Leather Jacket, Plexus (London, England), 1985, Abbeville (New York, NY), 1986.
(With Dirk Vellenga) Elvis and the Colonel, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1988.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to Elvis, Collector's Guide (Burlington, Ontario, Canada), 1994.
Conspiracies, Lies and Hidden Agendas (nonfiction), Renaissance Books (Los Angeles, CA), 1999.
Give the Anarchist a Cigarette (memoir), Jonathan Cape (London, England), 2001.
Gene Vincent: There's One in Every Town (biography), Do-Not Press (London, England), 2004.
Screenwriter of Black Leather Jacket, a documentary based on Farren's nonfiction book of the same title, and Fear in the Dark, a documentary on horror films, 1991. Writer for television series The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, including episodes "Edge of Darkness," "The Magnificent Kiwi," "Rogue Arm," "Scarecrow's Revenge," "Lord of the Sands," and "Tower of Combat."
Mick Farren is an eclectic writer whose publications include both science fiction novels and works on popular culture. Farren, a former lead vocalist with the pop band the Deviants, worked in editorial capacities for various music publications, including It and Nasty Tales, in the 1970s, the decade when he also began publishing science fiction.
Among Farren's most prominent works in the science fiction genre are The Quest of the DNA Cowboys, The Synaptic Manhunt, and The Neural Atrocity. This trio of mid-1970s publications concern the DNA Cowboys, marauders roaming an Earth in which human needs are ministered by a decidedly unstable computer that occasionally produces gaping holes in the very fabric of reality. In these novels the DNA Cowboys battle villains and overcome extraordinary catastrophes while attempting to determine the origins of various reality breakdowns. In 1989, Farren revived the DNA Cowboys in The Last Stand of the DNA Cowboys, wherein the heroes must combat a burgeoning squad of malcontents bent on occupying the gaps in reality.
Farren's other science fiction tales include The Feelies, a zany account in which corpses are transformed into historical figures; The Song of Phaid the Gambler (also published in two volumes as Phaid the Gambler and Citizen Phaid), which details the various exploits of an adventurer in the far future; and Necrom, the story of a dissipated rock singer who is transported into another dimension which includes a quasi-parallel Earth in which he discovers his resemblance to a notorious political assassin.
Farren has also produced several pop-culture publications, including three nonfiction books—Elvis Presley: The Complete Illustrated Record, Elvis and the Colonel, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to Elvis—devoted to the legendary rock ‘n’ roll performer whose career, spanning from the 1950s to the 1970s, included many film performances as well as concerts and popular recordings.
Farren continued to explore different genres in the 1990s. In 1996 he published The Time of Feasting, a gothic horror about modern-day vampires and the first of the four-part "Nosferatu" series, in which the space-faring Nephilim create a series of supernatural races on Earth. A Publishers Weekly critic called the work "an uncommonly brisk dark fantasy." The series continued with Darklost, which concerns an encounter between the Nosferatu and elements of H.P. Lovecraft's famous Cthulhu mythos. In the third volume, More than Mortal, Farren brings his vampires into contact with Taliesin, also known as Merlin, the powerful wizard from Arthurian legend. Disturbed in his tomb by archaeological excavations in England, Merlin reappears and threatens to upset the balance of supernatural power among the various paranormal races on earth. In the final book of the series, Underland, larger elements of the subterranean Cthulhu race are at work as government agents of the National Security Agency's Paranormal Warfare Facility seek Nosferatu Victor Renquist's help to challenge and claim the supernatural powers of the Cthulhu as their own. PWF director Walker Grael also reveals the astonishing fact that Nazis discovered an underground world beneath the arctic ice in 1947, and have been operating in flying saucers from that base ever since. Renquist is charged with leading a team of agents to the base, where he finds a race that worships Dhrakuh, the Serpent, an enormous central mind with connections to the Nephilim that birthed all of earth's paranormal races. A Kirkus Reviews critic called the novel "overburdened, but a daring mix of Jules Verne and the vampire genre." A reviewer in Publishers Weekly named it a "fiendishly inventive book."
In 1999 Farren published a nonfiction, A-Z guide on conspiracy theories called Conspiracies, Lies, and Hidden Agendas. Jim Morrison's Adventures in the Afterlife, also published in 1999, is a fantasy novel featuring "an all-star cast including Moses, Jesus Christ, Dylan Thomas, and Doc Holiday," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Gene Vincent: There's One in Every Town is a biography of early bad-boy rocker Vincent, which a Bookwatch reviewer called an "impressive biographical sketch."
Kindling is the first book of a futuristic science fantasy series set on an alternate Earth-like world in which the powerful Mosul Empire, allied with planetary Tauten and Marmeluke warlords and worshipers of gods Ignir and Aksura, drive to overtake and control the rest of the world. Defying the rapacious and destructive advance of the Mosul Empire is the quartet of paranormal beings called The Four, who can combine themselves and their abilities into a single powerful being capable of standing against the Mosul and their supernatural allies. The Four consists of Argo Weaver, a pugnacious country boy; Cordelia Blakeny, an aristocratic young woman with special talents; Raphael Vega, a conscripted Spanish soldier and hero sent out as cannon fodder against the Mosul; and Jessamine, concubine for a Tauten military leader. Together, they inhabit a world of constant warfare and suppressed magic, based in the kingdom of Albany, a stronghold of Earth resistance in Eastern America. Assisted by Yancy Slide, an Albany Ranger who is reputed to be a demon, the Four engage the Mosul's supernatural forces while the Albany Rangers drive back the physical invasion force. "Farren alternates scenes of action, sex, and brutality as the four follow separate trails to their inevitable union," noted a Kirkus Reviews critic, who called the novel "fast-moving, if sometimes incoherent." Library Journal reviewer Jackie Cassada remarked favorably on the novel's "fascinating characters and vivid descriptions."
Conflagration, Farren's second book about the Four, finds the characters victorious over the first invading wave of Mosul. However, they also discover that the Mosul queen, Jeakqual-Ahrach, has created a pair of twin beings with ferocious supernatural powers who are intended to battle the Four. Another Mosul attack is foiled, and the members of the Four accompany American Prime Minister Jack Kennedy on a diplomatic mission to England. As they work to convince the Norse Union to join them in the fight against the Mosul, the members of the Four face magical challenges in a raucous, carefree London atmosphere of sex, parties, drugs, and music. The kidnapping of a member of the four ups the stakes considerably, sending the three remaining members to Paris, where they must face the strength of the magical twins created by the Mosul queen. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the book "an edgy mixture of fantasy, erotica, and alternate history." The world's struggle against "a nearly unstoppable colonial force that Farren's fantastic alternate history portrays is altogether gripping," commented Regina Schroeder in Booklist.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Farren, Mick, Give the Anarchist a Cigarette, Jonathan Cape (London, England), 2001.
Watson, Noelle, and Paul E. Schellinger, editors, Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1991.
Booklist, August, 2004, Regina Schroeder, review of Kindling, p. 1912; May 15, 2006, Regina Schroeder, review of Conflagration, p. 37.
Bookwatch, January, 2005, review of Gene Vincent: There's One in Every Town.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2002, review of Underland, p. 1415; June 15, 2004, review of Kindling, p. 562; May 1, 2006, review of Conflagration, p. 442.
Library Journal, March 15, 2003, Michael Rogers, review of The DNA Cowboys Trilogy, p. 122; August, 2004, Jackie Cassada, review of Kindling, p. 73; June 15, 2006, Jackie Cassada, review of Conflagration, p. 62.
Publishers Weekly, March 20, 1978, review of Rock 'n' Roll Circus, p. 65; November 29, 1985, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of The Black Leather Jacket, p. 40; January 18, 1991, Penny Kaganoff, review of Necrom, p. 54; October 21, 1996, review of The Time of Feasting, p. 69; September 27, 1999, review of Jim Morrison's Adventures in the Afterlife, p. 70; July 9, 2001, review of More than Mortal, p. 51; October 28, 2002, review of Underland, p. 55; April 24, 2006, review of Conflagration, p. 43.
Spectator, October 6, 2001, Julie Burchill, review of Give the Anarchist a Cigarette, p. 67.
Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (February 6, 2007), filmography of Mick Farren.