Clive Barker (born 5 October 1952) is an English author, film director and visual artist best known for his work in both fantasy and horror fiction.
Barker came to prominence in the mid-1980s with a series of short stories which established him as a leading young horror writer. He has since written many novels and other works, and his fiction has been adapted into motion pictures, notably the Hellraiser series.
Clive Barker was born in Liverpool, England, the son of Joan Rubie (née Revill), a painter and school welfare officer, and Leonard Barker, a personnel director for an industrial relations firm. Educated at Dovedale Primary School and Quarry Bank High School, he studied English and Philosophy at Liverpool University and his picture now hangs in the entrance hallway to the Philosophy Department. Barker lives in Los Angeles, California.
In 2003, Clive Barker received The Davidson/Valentini Award at the 15th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. This award is presented "to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individual who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for any of those communities". While Barker is critical of organized religion, he has stated that he is a believer in both God and the afterlife, and that the Bible influences his work.
Clive Barker had said, "I want to be remembered as an imaginer, someone who used his imagination as a way to journey beyond the limits of self, beyond the limits of flesh and blood, beyond the limits of even perhaps life itself, in order to discover some sense of order in what appears to be a disordered universe. I'm using my imagination to find meaning, both for myself and, I hope, for my readers."
Fans have noticed of late that Barker's voice has become gravelly and coarse. He says in a December 2008 online interview (published March 2009) that this is due to polyps in his throat which were so severe that a doctor told him he was taking in ten percent of the air he was supposed to have been getting. He has had two surgeries to remove them and believes his resultant voice is an improvement over how it was prior to the surgeries. He said he did not have cancer and has given up cigars.
Barker is one of the leading authors of contemporary horror/fantasy, writing in the horror genre early in his career, mostly in the form of short stories (collected in Books of Blood 1 - 6), and the Faustian novel The Damnation Game (1985). Later he moved towards modern-day fantasy and urban fantasy with horror elements in Weaveworld (1987), The Great and Secret Show (1989), the world-spanning Imajica (1991) and Sacrament (1996), bringing in the deeper, richer concepts of reality, the nature of the mind and dreams, and the power of words and memories. His most recent novel is Mister B. Gone (2007).
Barker has been openly homosexual since the early 1990s, first mentioning his dating life to US audiences in the pages of The Advocate magazine. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with his partner, photographer David Armstrong, and Armstrong's daughter from a previous relationship, Nicole. His household also includes a great many pets, including dogs, fish, and a bird named Malingo.
- Revelations - The Official Clive Barker Website - Includes a full bibliography, filmography, artwork, links and frequently updated news.
- The Beautiful Moment - The Official Clive Barker Website for All Ages - Official site celebrating the work of Clive Barker for younger readers - features Abarat and The Thief of Always.
- Bert Green Fine Art - Art Gallery in Los Angeles exhibiting Clive Barker artwork.
- Fifth Dominion- Clive Barker Fans - Web Community based fan forum for Clive Barker
- Lost Souls - The Clive Barker Lost Souls Fansite
- Clive Barker Imaginer - The Clive Barker Art Archive, paintings, drawings, photography and conceptual work.
- Catalogue essay for Barker's first art exhibit
- Clive Barker at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Clive Barker at ComicBookDB.com
- Clive Barker's Book of Blood Red Band trailer at F;'EARnet.com