Anderson, Kevin J

Tagged: Author

(1962-    ) US technical writer and author, married to Rebecca Moesta; he began publishing sf with "Luck of the Draw" in Space and Time (Winter 1982/1983 #63), and gradually became a prolific contributor of short fiction and articles to various sf journals, over 100 items having been published by 1992. His first novel, Resurrection, Inc. (1988; vt Resurrection, Inc: Tenth Anniversary Edition 1999), combines elements of the usual sf near-future Dystopia with elements of the horror novel, reanimated bodies serving a corrupt society as a worker-class. There followed the Gamearth trilogy – Gamearth (1989), Gameplay (1989) and Game's End (1990) – which treats with some verve a Game-World crisis involved the coming to life of game-bound personas who (or which) refuse to be cancelled. More interestingly, Lifeline (1990) with Doug Beason sets up and solves a technically complex sequence of problems in space after a nuclear Holocaust (the result of a USSR-US Cold War contretemps of the sort which, unluckily for the authors, had in the months before publication abruptly become much less likely) has stripped four habitats of all Earth support; the Filipino station boasts a Genetic-Engineering genius who can feed everyone, a US station has the eponymous monofilament, and so on. Some of the protagonists carrying on the quadripartite storyline are of interest in their own right. If one puts aside the whiplashes of Earth's realtime history, the book stands as a fine example of Hard SF and a gripping portrayal of the complexities of near space. The Trinity Paradox (1991), also with Beason, treats the now-standard sf Time-Paradox tale with overdue seriousness, suggesting that untoward moral consequences attend the sudden capacity of its protagonist – who has undergone an accidental Timeslip back to Los Alamos in 1943 – to stop nuclear testing in its tracks.

After the beginning of the 1990s, Anderson's career bifurcated. While continuing to generate standalone novels, solo or with others, he began as well to participate in Shared-World enterprises, notably Star Wars, contributing at least 30 titles [see Checklist below] to its various sub-universes, but also Star Trek and X-Files and others. Though it is sometimes difficult to detect a personal note in such enterprises, Anderson's contributions are marked by vigour and good sense. Some of his non-tie collaborations are of interest: for the Dune sequels and prequels, see Brian Herbert; Slan Hunter (December 2006-April 2007 Jim Baen's Universe; 2007) completes A E van Vogt's partial draft of a sequel to his Slan (September-December 1940 Astounding; 1946; rev 1951).

His own work remains various. Climbing Olympus (1994) is an adventure set on a Mars whose surgically-altered inhabitants are estranged by the Terraforming of the planet. A tale like Blindfold (1995) may depend too heavily on its conspiracy thriller roots to convey much of a coherent grasp of the structure of the Telepathy-dominated colony planet which serves as its venue, but the stories assembled in Dogged Persistence (2001), which mix Ties and autonomous works, demonstrate the clean force of his writing at its best. Anderson's clearly long-held interest in The War of the Worlds (April-December 1897 Pearson's; 1898) by H G Wells has generated a theme anthology, War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches (anth 1996), assembling a set of stories directly derived from Wells's narrative; and, with Rebecca Moesta under the joint pseudonym Gabriel Mesta, The Martian War: A Thrilling Eyewitness Account of the Recent Invasion As Reported by Mr. H.G. Wells (2005; vt The Martian War 2012 as by Anderson solo), which continues in the same vein. On a vaster, more broad-gauge scale, the Saga of Seven Suns – a Space Opera sequence comprising The Saga of Seven Suns: Book 1: Hidden Empire (2002), #2: A Forest of Stars (2003), #3: Horizon Storms (2004), #4: Scattered Suns (2005), #5: Of Fire and Night (2006), #6: Metal Swarm (2007) and #7: Ashes of Worlds (2007) – pits human civilizations and their allies against enemies whose motives are obscure; the venue is a Spiral Arm of our galaxy; the action is unfailingly constant. The Hellhole sequence, comprising Hellhole (2011) and Hellhole: Awakening (2013), both with Brian Herbert, is also broad-gauge space opera. Anderson may be an author whose ambitions seem more extensive than intensive; but the glad energy of many of his enterprises is quite possibly reward enough. [JC]

see also: Medicine; Nuclear Energy; Reincarnation; Telekinesis.

Kevin James Anderson

born Oregon, Wisconsin: 27 March 1962

died

works

series

Gamearth Trilogy

  • Gamearth (New York: New American Library, 1989) [Gamearth Trilogy: pb/Dean W Morrissey]
  • Gameplay (New York: New American Library, 1989) [Gamearth Trilogy: pb/Dean W Morrissey]
  • Game's End (New York: New American Library, 1990) [Gamearth Trilogy: pb/Dean W Morrissey]

Afterimage

  • Afterimage (New York: Penguin Books, 1992) with Kristine Kathryn Rusch [pb/Richard Hescox]
    • Afterimage/Aftershock (Stone Mountain, Georgia: Meisha Merlin Publishing, 1998) with Kristine Kathryn Rusch [expansion of above plus the book-length "Aftershock": pb/Kevin Murphy]

Craig Kreident, Special Agent

Dune series

Dune: Prelude to Dune

Dune: Legends of Dune

Dune: Frank Herbert's Original Dune Chronicles

Dune: Origins Trilogy

Saga of Seven Suns

Crystal Doors

Terra Incognita

Hellhole Trilogy

individual titles

ties

Star Wars ties

Star Wars: Jedi Academy

Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights

Star Wars

Star Wars ties as editor

other ties

series

X-Files

Titan A.E.

individual titles

works as editor

series

Blood Lite

  • Blood Lite (New York: Pocket Books, 2008) [anth: Blood Lite: pb/Lisa Desimini]
  • Blood Lite 2: Overbite (New York: Simon and Schuster/Gallery, 2010) [anth: Blood Lite: pb/]

individual titles

nonfiction

nonfiction works as editor

links

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