Gear, W Michael

Tagged: Author

(1955-    ) US author with extensive training in American archaeology; married to Kathleen O'Neal Gear from 1982 He began publishing sf with the competent Spider sequence – The Warriors of Spider (1988), The Way of Spider (1989) and The Web of Spider (1989), plus The Artifact (1990), which serves as a prequel – about the conflict between a newly discovered lost-colony offshoot of humanity and the reactionary Directorate which attempts to control human space. The former, who are of Native American stock and worship a god called Spider, are sexually and culturally irresistible to the women who first discover them, but fortunately Gear has too many complex interstellar irons in the fire to allow sentimental romancing to dominate the proceedings. The Forbidden Borders sequence – Requiem for the Conqueror (1991), Relic of Empire (1992) and Countermeasures (1993) – about an Earth prevented by a Gravity barrier from reaching more than a few nearby star systems; the cultural version of Arrested Development consequential upon discovery of this barrier is intriguingly examined, though the sequence soon escapes into Space Opera.

Of his singletons, Starstrike (1990) expresses – as he would in Forbidden Borders as well as much of the work in collaboration with his wife – a moderately dark sense of the consequences of our primate heritage, as an Alien force makes forbidden First Contact with the human race, selecting a batch of warriors to fight one of their battles for them, and thus perhaps awaken their own long-forgotten savagery. Dark Inheritance (2001) with Kathleen O'Neal Gear deals with a Genetically Engineered bonobo, and Raising Abel (2002) with Kathleen O'Neal Gear also deals with Genetic Engineering – this time involving the breeding of a Neanderthal child – in a thriller context.

Because of its carefully plausible venue, the First North Americans sequence – all written with Kathleen O'Neal Gear, beginning with People of the Wolf (1990) – contains little fantasy or sf beyond occasional reference to true visions derived from proper shamanistic practice; but of course the Prehistoric SF subgenre is always likely, as our knowledge of the past gains definition, to be transformed into fictionalized history. The Athena Factor (2005) is a Cloning thriller. [JC]

William Michael Gear

born Colorado Springs, Colorado: 20 May 1955

died

works

series

Spider

People of the Wolf

People of the Wolf: People of the Longhouse

People of the Wolf: North America's Forgotten Past

Forbidden Borders

Anasazi Mysteries

  • The Visitant (New York: Tor/Forge, 1999) with Kathleen O'Neal Gear [Anasazi Mysteries: hb/]
  • The Summoning God (New York: Tor/Forge, 2000) with Kathleen O'Neal Gear [Anasazi Mysteries: hb/]
  • Bone Walker (New York: Tor/Forge, 2001) with Kathleen O'Neal Gear [Anasazi Mysteries: hb/]

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