(1964- ) US author, primarily of fantasy in his more recent career; he is of sf interest primarily for the Jack Potter/Signal sequence comprising Signal to Noise (1998) and A Signal Shattered (1999), stories whose inexpressive style consorts oddly with the gonzo plotting of the (possibly incomplete) epic. In a world combining the Ruined Earth (California has sunk) and Cyberpunk/Virtual Reality riffs, a cryptologist achieves First Contact with an Alien civilization bent on commerce based on disastrous Technology trades, which climaxes in the End of the World. The second volume carries the story, now a Space Opera, into interstellar space; the human survivors of volume one being sustained by just-in-time Inventions and Conceptual Breakthroughs. The Halo sequence of Ties to the Videogame Halo: Combat Evolved, begins with Halo: The Fall of Reach (2001).
Of his fantasies, Pawn's Dream (1995) and Dry Water (1997) are interesting Urban Fantasies (in the sense analysed in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy); the Gods Quintet sequence comprising Mortal Coils (2009) and All That Lives Must Die (2010), is a Young Adult story heavily invoking previous family romances where gods intermix noisily with their children, such as the Amber sequence by Roger Zelazny or the Chronicles of Chaos by John C Wright. [JC]
see also: Crimson Skies.
Eric S Nylund
born Los Angeles, California: 12 November 1964
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