(1947- ) US software engineering manager and author who began to publish sf with "Early Winter" in Fantastic for July 1979. His first novel, Scapescope (1984) – which is Hard SF like all his work – uses his work experience at the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex to extrapolate on the nature of a defense complex in that location two centuries hence. Memory Blank (1986) places a classic sf protagonist – a hero with Amnesia – on an L-5 Space Habitat (see Lagrange Point). Death Tolls (1987) is a detective mystery set on a terraformed Mars (see also Terraforming), and Deep Quarry (1989), set on a planet far from the solar system (to which Stith had previously restricted himself), pits a private eye against various mysteries in a hard-boiled style. More impressive than any of these is Redshift Rendezvous (1990), set on a Faster-than-Light starship travelling through a version of Hyperspace in which the speed of light is so low (22mph [35kph]) that Relativity effects are visible in everyday situations. Within this intriguingly presented environment, a murder mystery, a hijack and other events occur; but the appeal of the novel lies in the playing-out of the concept – or Thought Experiment – at its heart. Manhattan Transfer (1993), in which an alien force matter-transmits the island heart of New York elsewhere for reasons unknown, Reunion on Neverend (1994), a crime thriller, and Reckoning Infinity (1997), about the discover in space of an Alien artefact, continued to demonstrate considerable storytelling energy. But then he stopped. [JC]
see also: Imaginary Science.
John Edward Stith
born Boulder, Colorado: 30 July 1947
- All for Naught (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Wildside Press, 2005) [coll: pb/]
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