Bear, Elizabeth

Tagged: Author

Working name of Sarah Bear Elizabeth Wishnevsky (1971-    ), US writer who began publishing work of genre interest with "e e 'doc' cummings" for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in March 2003, and who has released at least fifty stories since; she won the 2005 John W Campbell Award for best new writer, and the Hugo award for "Shoggoths in Bloom" (March 2008 Asimov's). She is best known for her sharp-tongued, noirish Jenny Casey sequence of Military SF/police procedural sf (> Crime and Punishment) tales comprising Hammered (2004), Scardown (2005) and Worldwired (2005), set in a grim late twenty-first-century urban world. Her protagonist is an ex-military special operative, so geared up with hardware that she could be defined as a Cyborg; the America in which she works as a private enforcer is dominated by a fundamentalist Christian government (> Religion), whose actions are realistically depicted by Bear as exceedingly unpleasant, though the eventual appearance of the twentieth-century physicist Richard Feynman, Uploaded into an AI, lightens the tone for a bit. By the end of the final volume, the action has moved, via Canada, into space, where it may be humanity will survive. Carnival (2006), though it features similarly tough-minded, slangy, sharply likeable protagonists, is set in a more expansive, interstellar Space Opera venue.

She has since concentrated mainly on series, mostly fantasy, like the New Amsterdam sequence beginning with New Amsterdam (coll of linked stories 2007), or the Eternal Sky sequence beginning with Bone and Jewel Creatures (coll 2010). Also taking off from a New York setting, the Promethean Age Saga comprising Blood and Iron (2006) and Whiskey and Water (2007), along with its pendant, the Stratford Man Duology comprising Ink and Steel (2008) and Hell and Earth (2008), along with the more ambitious One-Eyed Jack (2014), which is set in an icon-choked Los Angeles (> California). Also fantasy is the Companion to Wolves sequence comprising Companion to Wolves (2007) with Sarah Monette and The Tempering of Men (2011) with Sara Monette.

The Edda of Burdens sequence, comprising All the Windwracked Stars (2008), By the Mountain Bound (2009) and The Sea Thy Mistress (2011), interestingly combines sf and fantasy: the sequences set in the deep past are mythological fantasy, while the sequences set in the Far Future, in a desolate Dying Earth venue (see also Ruined Earth), are Science Fantasy that unpacks ambiguously towards an sf explanation for the fate of the world. Marginally more sf-like, the Jacob's Ladder sequence, comprising Dust (2008), Chill (2010) and Grail (2011), subtends its fantasy-like Far Future setting – a wrecked Starship in orbit around a mysterious Star – with sf-like explanations: the exorbitant crew of "angels" are in fact Avatars of the ship AI, though the action within the ship itself has all the lineaments of fantasy. When she is not so engaged in unpacking her long intricately reliable plots in her brisk competent narrative voice, Bear's ruthless use of Equipoisal shock effects sometimes generates a sense of a hard mind at work, attempting to tell it as it is.

Bear is one of several editors of the Audiozine SF Squeecast, which in 2012 was the first winner of the newly introduced Hugo category Best Fancast. Her collection Shoggoths in Bloom (coll 2012) won a Locus Award. [JC]

see also: Strange Horizons.

Sarah Bear Elizabeth Wishnevsky

born Hartford, Connecticut: 22 September 1971

died

works

series

Jenny Casey

  • Hammered (New York: Bantam Spectra, 2004) [Jenny Casey: pb/Paul Youll]
  • Scardown (New York: Bantam Spectra, 2005) [Jenny Casey: pb/Paul Youll]
  • Worldwired (New York: Bantam Spectra, 2005) [Jenny Casey: pb/Paul Youll]
  • Carnival (New York: Bantam Spectra, 2006) [pb/Steve Stone]

The Promethean Age Saga

Companion to Wolves

New Amsterdam

  • New Amsterdam (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2007) [coll of linked stories: New Amsterdam: hb/Patrick Arrasmith]
  • Almost True (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2007) [story: chap: New Amsterdam: pb/]
  • Seven for a Secret (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2009) [novella: New Amsterdam: hb/Jean-Sebastian Rossbach]
  • The Tricks of London (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2009) [novelette: chap: New Amsterdam: hb/Patrick Arrasmith]
  • The White City (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2010) [novella: New Amsterdam: hb/Patrick Arrasmith]
  • Twilight (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2011) [novelette: chap: New Amsterdam: pb/]
  • Underground (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2012) [novelette: chap: New Amsterdam: pb/]
  • ad eternum (Burton, Michigan: Subterranean Press, 2012) [novelette: chap: New Amsterdam: hb/Patrick Arrasmith]

Edda of Burdens

Jacob's Ladder

  • Dust (New York: Bantam Spectra, 2008) [Jacob's Ladder: pb/Paul Youll]
  • Chill (New York: Bantam Spectra, 2010) [Jacob's Ladder: pb/Philip Lee Harvey]
  • Grail (New York: Bantam Spectra, 2011) [Jacob's Ladder: pb/Carl Galian]

Eternal Sky

individual titles

  • Carnival (New York: Bantam Spectra, 2006) [pb/Steve Stone]
  • Undertow (New York: Bantam Spectra, 2007) [pb/Cliff Nielsen]

collections and stories

links

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