(1947- ) US author who began to publish work of genre interest with "Best Seller" for Fresh Ink in 1991, a tale assembled with other early work as Bestseller: Wired, Analog, and Digital Writings (coll 1999). The Phil D'Amato sequence of sf detective thrillers comprises The Silk Code (1999), which won a Locus Award for First Novel, The Consciousness Plague (2002) and The Pixel Eye (2003); in these novels the sf element sometimes drowns out any presumed Equipoise between that genre and criminal forensics. The first tale, for instance, engages D'Amato in a search for clues to a War fought 30,000 years ago (see Prehistoric SF; Immortality) and still continuing, that involves Weapons governed by malign Genetic Engineering (see Biology); Aliens, and hypotheses about the Evolution of Homo sapiens upon whose discovery depends, it may be, our survival as a species. The Consciousness Plague, on the other hand, is a relatively restrained tale involving memory loss, a plague of short-term Amnesia; and The Pixel Eye focuses on Near Future surveillance issues in New York, where all the D'Amato stories are set.
Borrowed Tides (2001) is a naively-couched Hard SF tale about the launching of the first Spaceship designed to reach the stars, via a shortcut derived from Native American lore. The Plot to Save Socrates (2006) is a Time Travel tale concerning a not entirely well-advised plot to save Socrates, presumably from himself; Time Paradoxes and Time Loops relentlessly proliferate. The sequel is Unburning Alexandria (2013). Levinson's nonfiction texts are exuberant but controlled; there is, perhaps, to date, an insufficiency of the latter ingredient in his fiction, though the unexpectedness of some of his plot turns and revelations is invigorating. [JC]
Dr Paul Levinson
born New York: 25 March 1947
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