Wilson, F Paul

Tagged: Author

(1946-    ) US physician and author who began publishing sf with "The Cleaning Machine" for Startling Mystery Stories in March 1971, and who has written some mostly associational work as by Colin Andrews. His early career was much influenced by John W Campbell Jr, in whose Analog he published several of his best 1970s stories, including the early versions of tales which reached book form as the first volumes of the LaNague Federation series – Healer (December 1972 Analog as "Pard"; exp 1976), which was elected to the Prometheus Award Hall of Fame in 1990; Wheels Within Wheels: A Novel of the LaNague Federation (September 1971 Analog; exp 1978), which won the first Prometheus Award; and An Enemy of the State (1980), which expands upon the early life of the contrarian culture Hero who frees Earth for better things, as normally understood in works of(see Libertarian SF); all three titles were assembled as The LaNague Chronicle (omni 1992). Later titles – like Le Tery (early version in Binary Star No 2, anth 1979, edited anonymously, as "The Tery"; trans Philippe Sabathé from English novel manuscript 1980; English version 1990 as The Tery) or Dydeetown World (fixup 1989), an sf thriller set in a darkened New York – fitted loosely into the series universe. The overall sequence engagingly deployed Wilson's knowledgeability, the deft clarity of his writing, and his unabashed and comfortable use of pulp concepts – like the protagonist Steven Dalt, an Immortal psychiatric healer who repeatedly saves the solar system from enemies internal and external, and who founds the beneficent Confederation itself – to express what might be called philosophical perspectives on the world: the influence of Albert Camus (1913-1960) upon the creation of Dalt has been adduced.

After this first series, Wilson began to mix genres with absorbing skill and occasional episodes of dissimulation, so that it is difficult to fix any label, including sf, to his copious work from the 1980s on, though an underlying Horror in SF element stiffens the spine of some of his more sensational efforts. The Adversary sequence begins with his most successful title, The Keep (1981), an impressive horror tale set in World War Two in the Transylvanian Alps, where a Nazi garrison is being slowly destroyed by Vampires indigenous to the eponymous lodging; it was filmed as The Keep (1983). After The Tomb (1984) (see below), the sequence continues with the less assured Reborn (1990), which reveals some lack of commercial facility during those moments when the buried Evil from the first book is unconvincingly shown to be living-dead; but Reprisal (1991) more successfully broadens the compass of the conflict between humans and a dark nemesis, a broadening which also marks Nightworld (1992).

The long-running Repairman Jack sequence is linked to the Adversary world through elements of a shared secret history of the world that (variously) address an underlying malice that governs the course of things, usually in supernatural terms with clear reference to religious doctrines of good and evil (see Religion), though Wilson deliberately makes no sharp distinction between the two, as far as mortals on this planet are concerned: for the universe does not focus on Homo sapiens. The sequence begins with The Tomb (1984); Repairman Jack – initially drawn as a rampageous freelance detective with constantly expressed troglodytic opinions who lives off the grid in accordance with Libertarian principles – finds that two cases, involving missing humans and missing jewels, are tied to the machinations of an ancient sect; even this early in the sequence, Wilson was laying down clear hints that Jack was entering very deep waters, and that he may find that he has been recruited to one side (or another) in preparation for what may be the End of the World. The sequence, much of which namechecks sf topoi from a considerable distance, continued with Legacies (1998) as by Colin Andrews (a name soon eschewed for the series) and several further volumes, coming to a possible stop with The Dark at the End: A Repairman Jack Novel (2011). More recently, Wilson has calved off two series set earlier in Jack's earlier life, the Young Repairman Jack sequence beginning with Secret Histories (2008; vt Jack: Secret Histories 2008) and the Early Repairman Jack sequence beginning with Cold City (2011; vt Cold City (Repairman Jack: Early Years Trilogy) 2012).

The SimGen sequence – comprising a series of novellas beginning with La Causa (2000), all assembled as Sims (omni 2004) – is sf featuring a lawyer who unionizes the eponymous half-human half-ape (see Apes as Human) species, created through Genetic Engineering, who have been used to do menial jobs in an America increasing adverse to admitting settlers from abroad. Though his later work has increasingly focused on horror, some – like The Select (1994) and Mirage (1996) with Matthew J Costello, both of which are medical sf (see Medicine), and Masque (1998), also with Costello, which features a Clone operative who thieves for criminals – are relatively unambitious sf tales. Wilson's greatest strength lies in the fruitful interbreeding of genres (see Equipoise), and through the quality of his work, and its volume, has become an increasingly significant figure. [JC]

see also: Parasitism and Symbiosis.

Francis Paul Wilson

born Jersey City, New Jersey: 17 May 1946

died

works

series

LaNague Federation

  • Healer (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1976) [first version appeared December 1972 Analog as "Pard": LaNague Federation: hb/Margo Herr]
  • Wheels Within Wheels: A Novel of the LaNague Federation (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1976) [first version appeared September 1971 Analog: LaNague Federation: hb/David Wilhelmson]
  • An Enemy of the State (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1980) [LaNague Federation: hb/Roger Zimmerman]
    • An Enemy of the State (Lancaster, PA: Stealth Press 2001) [exp of the above as coll: two stories added: LaNague Federation: hb/Marc Radle]
  • Le Tery (Paris: Presses de la Cité, 1980) [French trans by Philippe Sabathé of original novella: first appeared in Binary Star No 2 (anth 1979) edited anonymously, as "The Tery": LaNague Federation: pb/]
    • The Tery (New York: Baen Books, 1990) [exp of the above: LaNague Federation: pb/Larry Elmore]
  • Dydeetown World (New York: Baen Books, 1989) [LaNague Federation: hb/Gary Ruddell]

Adversary

  • The Keep (New York: William Morrow, 1981) [Adversary: hb/Cheryl Asherman]
  • The Touch (New York: Putnam, 1986) [Adversary: hb/]
  • Reborn (Arlington Heights, Illinois: Dark Harvest, 1990) [Adversary: hb/Stephen Gervais]
  • Reprisal (Arlington Heights, Illinois: Dark Harvest, 1990) [Adversary: hb/John Lakey and Laura Lakey]
  • Nightworld (London: New English Library, 1992) [Adversary: hb/]

Repairman Jack

  • The Tomb (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Whispers Press, 1984) [Repairman Jack: also Adversary: hb/Kevin Eugene Johnson]
    • Rakoshi (Baltimore, Maryland: Borderlands Press, 2004) [vt of the above: Adversary: hb/Caniglia]
  • The Long Way Home (Arlington Heights, Illinois: Dark Harvest, 1992) [story: chap: Repairman Jack: pb/]
  • Legacies (London: Headline, 1998) as by Colin Andrews [Repairman Jack: hb/Chris Moore]
  • Conspiracies (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 1999) [Repairman Jack: hb/Harry O Morris]
  • All the Rage (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2000) [Repairman Jack: hb/Harry O Morris]
  • Hosts (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2001) [Repairman Jack: hb/Harry O Morris]
  • The Haunted Air (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2002) [Repairman Jack: hb/Harry O Morris]
  • Gateways (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2003) [Repairman Jack: hb/]
  • Crisscross (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2004) [Repairman Jack: hb/]
  • Infernal (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2005) [Repairman Jack: hb/]
  • The Last Rakosh: A Repairman Jack Tale (Woodstock, Georgia: Overlook Connection Press, 2005) [novella: chap: first appeared in World Fantasy Convention 1990 (anth 1990) edited by Robert Weinberg: Repairman Jack: hb/Rick Sardinha]
  • Harbingers (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2006) [Repairman Jack: hb/Harry O Morris]
  • Bloodline (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2007) [Repairman Jack: hb/]
  • By the Sword (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2008) [Repairman Jack: hb/]
  • Ground Zero (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2009) [Repairman Jack: hb/]
  • Fatal Error (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2008) [Repairman Jack: hb/]
  • The Dark at the End: A Repairman Jack Novel (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2011) [Repairman Jack: hb/]

Young Repairman Jack

  • Secret Histories (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2008) [Young Repairman Jack: hb/]
    • Jack: Secret Histories (New York: Tor Teen, 2008) [vt of the above: Young Repairman Jack: hb/Drive Communications]
  • Secret Circles (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2010) [Young Repairman Jack: hb/]
  • Secret Vengeance (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2010) [Young Repairman Jack: hb/Harry O Morris]

Early Repairman Jack

  • Cold City (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2011) [Early Repairman Jack: hb/Harry O Morris]
  • Dark City (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2013) [Early Repairman Jack: hb/]
  • Fear City (Springfield, Pennsylvania: Gauntlet Press, 2014) [Early Repairman Jack: hb/]

SimGen

  • La Causa (Baltimore, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2000) [novella: SimGen: hb/Phil Parks]
  • The Portero Method (Baltimore, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2001) [novella: SimGen: hb/Phil Parks]
  • Meerm (Baltimore, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2002) [novella: SimGen: hb/Phil Parks]
    • Sims (New York: Forge, 2004) [omni of the above three plus Zero and Thy Brother's Keeper below: SimGen: hb/Drive Communications]
  • Zero (Baltimore, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2005) [novella: SimGen: hb/Phil Parks]
  • Thy Brother's Keeper (Baltimore, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2010) [first appeared in Sims above: SimGen: hb/Jill Bauman]

Nocturnia Chronicles

individual titles

collections and stories

  • Soft and Others (New York: Tor, 1989) [coll: hb/Joe Bergeron]
  • Ad Statum Perspicuum (Eugene, Oregon: Pulphouse Publishing, 1990) [coll: in the publisher's Author's Choice Monthly series: hb/George Barr]
  • Midnight Mass (Eugene, Oregon: Pulphouse Publishing/Axolotl, 1990) [novella: chap: hb/Donna Gordon]
  • Pelts (Rount Top, New York: Footsteps Press, 1990) [story: pb/Jill Bauman]
  • Buckets (Eugene, Oregon: Pulphouse Publishing, 1991) [story: chap: pb/Doug Herring]
  • The Barrens (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Wildside Press, 1992) [novella: chap: first appeared in Lovecraft's Legacy (anth 1990) edited by Martin H Greenberg and Robert Weinberg: hb/]
  • The Christmas Thingy (Baltimore, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2000) [story: chap: illus/pb/Alan M Clark]
  • Aftershock & Others: 19 Oddities (New York: Forge, 2009) [coll: hb/Drive Communications]

works as editor

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