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Monday 9 October 2000
amended Friday 13 October 2000

Keith Roberts, 1935 - 2000

British SF writer and illustrator Keith Roberts died Thursday, October 5 (or September 27, according to the London Times). He had been hospitalized with a chest infection. Funeral services are planned for Thursday, October 12.

Roberts was best known for Pavane (1968), a collection of linked stories set in an alternate world in which Elizabeth I was assassinated and 20th-century England, technologically backward, remains oppressed by the Catholic Church -- "moody, elegant, elegiac and thoroughly convincing" according to The Science Fiction Encyclopedia. It is often counted among SF's best novels, and was included in 1984 by Anthony Burgess as one of the 99 Best Novels in the English language.
1976 Berkley edition

Other well known works include the "Anita" series of fantasies, which began with the author's first published story in 1964; The Chalk Giants (1974); collection The Passing of the Dragons (1977), which includes a notable ''Hitler wins WWII'' story, "Weihnachtsabend"; Molly Zero (1980); Kaeti and Company (1986); and Kiteworld (1985). His last published work was ''Drek Yarman'', a short novel set in the Kiteworld universe, serialized in UK magazine Spectrum SF.

Roberts won four British Science Fiction Association Awards, including Best Novel for Gráinne (1987); Best Short Fiction for ‘‘Kitemaster’’ (1983, from the first issue of Interzone); Best Artwork for ‘‘The Clocktower Girl’’ (1987); and Best Short Fiction for ‘‘Kaeti and the Hangman’’ (1987).

A long piece by David Langford appears on Amazon UK; a remembrance by Jim Goddard in SFWA News; and a letter from F. Brett Cox.

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