(1957- ) US author who began publishing sf in November 1982 with "Much Ado About Nothing" for Analog, the journal which published a high proportion of the twenty-five or so stories he wrote in the 1980s, many of which appear in Love Songs of a Mad Scientist: The Collected Stories of Jerry Oltion Volume One (coll 1993). He has remained a prolific short-story writer, but no second volume has appeared; With Stars in their Eyes (coll 2003) with Adam-Troy Castro contains only three stories by each author plus a collaboration, though the twenty stories assembled in Twenty Questions (coll 2004) are a good sampling, mostly from his mature career. Perhaps the most important tale not assembled is "Abandon in Place" (December 1996 F&SF), which won a Nebula for best novella.
Oltion's first novel, Frame of Reference (1987), is a Pocket-Universe tale whose human protagonists discover, while growing up and falling in love, that the starship they live in is actually a simulacrum hidden Underground and that the Aliens on the surface of the Earth deserve a strict comeuppance, which they soon get. Oltion then published two Isaac Asimov's Robot City: Robots and Aliens Ties [see Checklist below] before beginning his most interesting work – the Cheap Hyperdrive sequence comprising Abandon in Place (much shorter version December 1996 F&SF; 2000), The Getaway Special (2001) and Anywhere But Here (2005), three Space Opera adventures connected by the introduction of a cheap, downloadable hyperdrive (see Faster Than Light); a touch of Satire is introduced through the security-obsessed American government's attempts to ban so uncontrollable a form of Transportation. [JC]
see also: Buck Rogers XXVC; Seiun Award.
Jerry Brian Oltion
born Sheridon, Wyoming: 22 September 1957
Isaac Asimov's Robot City: Robots and Aliens
collections and stories
- Professionalism (Eugene, Oregon: Pulphouse Publishing, 1991) [nonfiction: chap: in the publisher's Pulphouse Writer's Chapbook series: pb/nonpictorial]
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