(1963- ) US author who began publishing sf with "For the Killed Astronauts" for Asimov's in December 1990, and who has been fairly prolific in the 1990s. His first novel, Warpath (June 1991 Asimov's as "Candle"; exp 1993), was admired for its ambitious scope, though it is overloaded with material, and slides (at points uncontrolledly) from sf to Magic Realism to myth (mostly based on Native American material) and outright fantasy. The premise is romantic: centuries past, Mississippi Native Americans have learned to convey their canoes on interstellar voyages, and have settled the planet Candle; the inevitable arrival of technology-dominated human civilizations provides ironies and engines the plot. His second novel, Earthling (August 1996 Asimov's as "The Robot's Twilight Companion"; fixup 1997), provides a long perspective – typical of the fixup form – on the planet Earth itself, as a sentient Robot gazes from a distance – miles Underground, in fact, in the company of creatures who may be Gaia animate – at the continuing antics of the human species.
These two novels only hinted at the sustained exuberance of the incomplete Metaplanetary sequence – comprising Metaplanetary (2001) and Superluminal (2004) a Space Opera set a millennium hence in a solar system whose planets are interconnected by a "spiderweb" of kilometre-thick strands, and in which grist – a term as useful as David Marusek's "paste" for Nanotech-dense substances which are used for anything from building autonomic houses to growing AIs – provides a sense of almost overwhelming dream-like instantaneousness of far-distant plot-events. Inevitably, the Political shenanigans of the first volume segue into interplanetary Future War; full resolution awaits a final volume. [JC]
born Tuscaloosa, Alabama: 25 November 1963
- Devil's Bargain (New York: Pocket Books, 2013) [tie: pb/Alan Dingman]
- Savage Trade (New York: Pocket Books, 2015) [tie: pb/Doug Drexler]
works as editor
- Star Destroyer (New York: Baen, 2018) with Christopher Ruocchio [anth: pb/Kurt Miller]
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