I'm a book collecter. I collect books that I'm mostly obsessed with. And a British writer by the name of L.P. Davies is one of my obsessions right now.
Very few facts were known of Leslie Purnell Davies. Mostly culled from dust jacket bios of him. No other critical essays were written of him and his works with the exception of S.T. Joshi's chapter in his book, The Evolution of The Weird Tale.
He was born in Crewe, Cheshire, England. He was gift shop owner, pharmacist, a driver for the medics of RAF, a painter, and a successful writer. He moved to North Wales, then on to one of Canary islands.
Only three of his books have been adapted for film: Tv film The Paper Dolls was made for a short lived British television series Journey Into the Unknown/Journey to Darkness. Project X directed by William Castle was based on "The Artificial Man." "The Alien" was adapted for film titled "The Groundstar Conspiracy." It starred Michael Sarrazin and George Peppard. You can check this info at Internet Movie Database aka IMDb.
His books were categorized or marketed as one or a combo of three: science fiction, mystery/suspense, horror. Very little of his stuff were fantasy. Most of them have one or three unifying factors: Things are not always what they seem reality-wise. In other words, what exactly is the truth or dream? Your memory is not as reliable as you thought. And of course, the third factor is how do you know for certain that you are "you" and not somebody else?
So when an amnesiac/protagonist tries to find out a few things about themselves and his environment, you can always be sure someone out there had other ideas, and will go out of their way to run an interference. Classic examples are: The Artificial Man, The Alien, Who Is Lewis Pinder?, Give Me Back Myself.
Others would try to figure ways to fix reality, sometimes at a whim. Examples are: Twilight Journey, Genesis Two, Psychogeist, The Paper Dolls, Dimension A.
Davies' work can be compared to another writer by the name of Philip K. Dick. However, PKD takes these themes to very logical and haluccinogenic extremes. Davies would be a bit mild in comparison, though they're slightly kafkaesque in a way. Still, wouldn't you feel a bit uneasy if you didn't know where you really fit in with the scheme of things as they are now?
You might want to check this guy out if you can. All of his books were out of print right now. Although I've read some info at a blog somewhere that someone's bringing them back in print. Hope so. I'd like to know when. So far, not seen anything happening.
Two items that are worth mentioning: The short stories he wrote were not collected into a book for some reason or another. And the last book he wrote, The Morning Walk, is hardly anywhere to be found. Spotted one on Amazon, yeah, but it's currently unavailable.
So, here are the titles, not necessarily in chronological order:
The Paper Dolls
The Artificial Man
Who Is Lewis Pinder?
What Did I Do Tomorrow?
Give Me Back Myself
Adventure Holidays Ltd.
Stranger In Town
The Land of Leys
The Shadow Before
The White Room
The Reluctant Medium
The Lampton Dreamers
A Grave Matter
The Morning Walk