Tobias, Michael

Tagged: Author

(1951-    ) US ecologist, filmmaker and author, identified with environmental concerns from the time of the publication of his first book, Dhaulagirideon (1973), a lightly fictionalized study of mountains and mountaineering which was followed by Deva (1982), a novel with the same focus; neither book was literally fantastic, though the rough-hewn Gaia-infused landscape-mysticism of both inspire expansions of thought. The implications of these two essays at discerning a sustainable world were expanded upon in After Eden – History, Ecology & Conscience (1984).

Of direct sf interest is Voice of the Planet (1990), whose protagonist, summoned by a message from Gaia transmitted through his Computer, makes a pilgrimage to a Tibetan monastery, where the voice of the planet, here embodied, guides him through a tour of the consequences of any further degradation (see Climate Change, Ecology, Pollution) of our home. The novel was made into a ten-episode Television mini-series, Voice of the Planet (1991), several episodes both written and directed by Tobias, and starring William Shatner. Fatal Exposure (1991), filmed as Countdown: The Sky's on Fire (1999) directed by Dan Lerner, in which a Scientist finds his warnings about the Sun believed when the ozone layer disappears and Mutant insects begin to attack folk; the original novel is less vivid. Though it deals with psychic phenomena and Arthur Conan Doyle's belief in the occult, Believe (1992) with Shatner does not reach into sf. [JC]

Michael Charles Tobias

born San Francisco, California: 27 June 1951

died

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