Peirce, Hayford

Tagged: Author

(1942-    ) US writer, in Tahiti for the most active decades of his career, who also writes crime thrillers; he began publishing sf with "Unlimited Warfare" for Analog in November 1974 and established a name for lightly written tales whose backgrounds were unusually well conceived. "Mail Supremacy" (March 1975 Analog) begins a series of tales – much later assembled as Chap Foey Rider: Capitalist to the Stars (coll 2001) about an Anglo-Chinese businessman who brings Earth into the Galactic Postal Union. Further appearances in the same magazine (where he published over two dozen stories) include three 1990s collaborations with David M Alexander, the first being "Best of Breed" (mid-December 1994 Analog).

The MacNair of MacNair sequence – comprising Ben Bova's Discoveries: Napoleon Disentimed (1987; exp 1989) and Ein Paradies mit Tücken (trans Norbert Stöbe from English MS 1998; original English version as The Burr in the Garden of Eden 2001) – attractively expands upon what might be called the Alternate-History hijinks tale: cast into a 1992 ruled by the French Empire, a confidence trickster named Sir Kevin Dean de Courtney MacNair of MacNair, after Time Travel takes him back to the time of Napoleon, attempts to upset the applecart along with coming up with a Yankee Invention or two. The sequel multiplies the conundrums implied in the first, with Time Machines creating havoc in two jostling Alternate Worlds.

Ben Bova Presents The Thirteenth Majestral (1989; vt Dinosaur Park 1994) – Peirce's titles, stripped of the surtitles, are notably inventive – is a Time-Travel tale set in the Far Future and disregardful of the pretensions of established Religion; this novel pays homage to the ornate style of Jack Vance. Ben Bova Presents Phylum Monsters (1989) deals amusedly with Genetic Engineering. Sam Ferron: Time Scanner (coll of linked stories 2001) describes a Near Future government's morally ambivalent use of a Time Viewer, ostensibly to solve old crimes (see Crime and Punishment); Jonathan White: Stockbroker in Orbit (coll of linked stories 2001) engagingly locates the eponymous money manipulator in the Asteroid belt. [JC]

Hayford Peirce

born Bangor, Maine: 7 January 1942

died

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The MacNair of MacNair

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