Bischoff, David F

Tagged: Author

(1951-2018) US author who began publishing sf with "The Sky's an Oyster; The Stars are Pearls" for Perry Rhodan #66 in March 1975, and who quickly established himself as a versatile and adaptable novelist, though his practice of working in collaboration tended unfairly to muffle any sense that he had, in his own right, either a distinctive style or concerns which could be thought of as personal. His first novel, The Seeker (1976) with Chris Lampton, is in this sense typical, for there is nothing in particular to remember about this competent sf adventure featuring a fugitive Alien on Earth and a chase. Forbidden World (fixup 1978) with Ted White is, in the same way, efficiently anonymous; and the Dragonstar sequence – Day of the Dragonstar (1983), Night of the Dragonstar (1985) and Dragonstar Destiny (1989), all with Thomas F Monteleone – explores with impersonal ingenuity a giant artificial-world-cum-Zoo in space full of escaped menaces and a hidden agenda or two. More memorable, however, are Tin Woodman (1979) with Dennis R Bailey, which is a complex adventure involving a Telepathic human (one of the Mutants described by normals as Tin Woodmen), a sentient Starship, and a convincingly psychopathic villain; The Selkie (1982) with Charles Sheffield, a fantasy; and The Judas Cross (1994) with Charles Sheffield, a World War Two horror/fantasy (see Horror in SF).

Much the same impression of a slightly impersonal but in fact genial competence with the SF Megatext is likewise generated by some of Bischoff's solo fiction, although Nightworld (1979) interestingly combines elements of Recursive SF and Science Fantasy as an ancient Android called Wells – who replicates the physique and personality of H G Wells – must combine forces with a girl (who for her own part must grow up) in order successfully to confront the Computer-generated Vampires of the forgotten colony planet of Styx; but the sequel, The Vampires of Nightworld (1981), merely exploits the already-established venue. The protagonist of Philip K Dick High (2000) awakens into the knowledge that he is enclosed in a coercive Keep, and that he may be a Computer simulation in a laboratory whose research goals he must attempt to discover. The Diplomatic Touch (2001) is an engaging Space Opera spoof with Sex in it. With Ted White he edited the last four issues of Stardate magazine, 1985-1986.

Set on a Starship with a cosmic troubleshooting mission, the Star Fall books – Star Fall: A Space Fantasy (1980) and Star Spring: A Space Operetta (1982) – show an uneasy lightness of tone, though the Virtual-Reality-like shuffling of pulp venues at its heart is enjoyable. The Star Hounds sequence – beginning with The Infinite Battle (1985), Galactic Warriors (1985) and The Macrocosmic Conflict (1986) [see also Checklist below] – drifts dangerously close to the routine. On the other hand the UFO Conspiracy sequence – Abduction: The UFO Conspiracy (1990), Deception (1991) and Revelation (1991) – is a gripping excursion into camp Paranoia. Companionable and chameleon, Bischoff was a jack-of-all-trades who was entirely capable, when the occasion took him, of speaking in his own voice. [JC]

see also: Monsters; Stardate; UFOs.

David Frederick Bischoff

born Washington, District of Columbia: 15 December 1951

died Eugene, Oregon: 19 March 2018

works

The Checklist below is broken into independent works and Ties.

non-ties

series

Nightworld

Star Fall

Dragonstar

Star Hounds

UFO Conspiracy

  • Abduction: The UFO Conspiracy (New York: Warner Books, 1990) [UFO Conspiracy: pb/Don Puckey]
  • Deception (New York: Warner Books, 1991) [UFO Conspiracy: pb/uncredited]
  • Revelation (New York: Warner Books, 1991) [UFO Conspiracy: pb/uncredited]

individual titles

collections and stories

ties

series

Single contributions to Shared Worlds or other extended Ties are not listed under series.

Gaming Magi

Bill, the Galactic Hero

Mutants Amok

Dr. Dimension

Star Trek

Space Precinct

individual titles

works as editor

  • Quest (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Raintree Editions, 1977) [anth: chap: hb/]
  • Strange Encounters (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Raintree Editions, 1977) [anth: chap: hb/]

links

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