(1967- ) Canadian author whose early work was Fantasy, but who has more recently published some sf work. The complex ongoing fantasy enterprise – which, under the overall title of The Second Apocalypse, comprises two series, the Prince of Nothing sequence beginning with The Darkness That Comes Before (2003) and the Aspect-Emperor sequence beginning with The Judging Eye (2008) – ambitiously sets various families and Hero figures at one another's throats in an extremely detailed fantasy world; there are some tonal resemblances to George R R Martin's Game of Thrones, though Bakker's metaphysics are more ambitious.
He is of sf interest for Neuropath (2008), a thriller whose serial-killer protagonist is a Mad Scientist neurosurgeon who – by way of advancing his philosophical thesis that consciousness is an illusion generated by the internal wiring that controls our behaviour – conducts grotesque neurological experiments on his victims. Some die; some are terribly changed, such as a female porn star rewired to derive orgasmic pleasure rather than pain from self-mutilation. The bleak argument about human consciousness and the precariousness of Identity is reminiscent of that in Peter Watts's Blindsight (2006). Bakker's non-genre philosophical novel Light, Time, and Gravity, prematurely listed on various websites as published in 2011, was serialized on his blog in May-June 2012 [see under links below]. [JC/DRL]
Richard Scott Bakker
born Simcoe, Ontario: 2 February 1967
The Second Apocalypse: The Prince of Nothing
The Second Apocalypse: The Aspect-Emperor
- Neuropath (London: Orion, 2008) [hb/Edward Bettison]
Previous versions of this entry