(1951- ) US author who began publishing sf with "The Sky's an Oyster; The Stars are Pearls" for Perry Rhodan #66 in March 1975, and who quickly established himself as a versatile and adaptable novelist, though his practice of working in collaboration has tended to muffle any sense that he has, in his own right, either a distinctive style or concerns which could be thought of as personal. His first novel, The Seeker (1976) with Chris Lampton, is in a sense, therefore, typical, for there is nothing in particular to remember about this competent sf adventure featuring a fugitive Alien on Earth and a chase. Forbidden World (fixup 1978) with Ted White is, in the same way, efficiently anonymous; and the Dragonstar sequence – Day of the Dragonstar (1983), Night of the Dragonstar (1985) and Dragonstar Destiny (1989), all with Thomas F Monteleone – explores with impersonal ingenuity a giant artificial-world-cum-Zoo in space full of escaped menaces and a hidden agenda or two. The most memorable of his collaborations are Tin Woodman (1979) with Dennis R Bailey – a complex adventure involving a Telepathic human (one of the Mutants described by normals as Tin Woodmen), a sentient Starship, and a convincingly psychopathic villain; The Selkie (1982) with Charles Sheffield, a fantasy; and The Judas Cross (1994) with Charles Sheffield, a World War Two horror/fantasy.
Much the same impression of a genial but impersonal skilfulness is generated by some of Bischoff's solo fiction, too, although Nightworld (1979) interestingly combines elements of Recursive SF – in the shape of an ancient Android who replicates the physique and personality of H G Wells – and Science Fantasy as the protagonist, "Wells" and a girl who must grow up combine forces to brave the Computer-generated Vampires of the forgotten colony planet of Styx; but the sequel, The Vampires of Nightworld (1981), merely exploits the already-established venue. The Diplomatic Touch (2001) is an engaging Space Opera spoof with Sex in it. With Ted White he edited the last four issues of Stardate, 1985-1986.
Set on a Starship with a cosmic troubleshooting mission, the Star Fall books – Star Fall: A Space Fantasy (1980) and Star Spring: A Space Operetta (1982) – show an uneasy lightness of tone, though the Virtual-Reality-like shuffling of pulp venues at its heart is enjoyable. The Star Hounds sequence – The Infinite Battle (1985), Galactic Warriors (1985) and The Macrocosmic Conflict (1986) – drifts dangerously close to the routine. On the other hand the UFO Conspiracy sequence – Abduction: The UFO Conspiracy (1990), Deception (1991) and Revelation (1991) – is a gripping excursion into camp Paranoia; Companionable and chameleon, Bischoff continues to seem to be a jack-of-all-trades who is entirely capable of speaking in his own voice. [JC]
see also: Monsters; Stardate; UFOs.
David Frederick Bischoff
born Washington, District of Columbia: 15 December 1951
The Checklist below is broken into independent works and Ties.
- The Seeker (Toronto, Ontario: Laser Books, 1976) with Chris Lampton [pb/Kelly Freas]
- The Phantom of the Opera: A New Version (New York: Scholastic, 1976) [pb/Eric Blumrich]
- Forbidden World (New York: Popular Library, 1978) with Ted White [pb/Carlos Ochagavia]
- Tin Woodman (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1979) with Dennis R Bailey [hb/Gary Monteferante]
- The Selkie (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co, 1982) with Charles Sheffield [hb/Sonja Lamut and Nenad Jakesevi]
- Mandala (New York: Berkley Books, 1983) [exp of "The Warmth of Stars" from Chrysalis 10 (anth 1983) edited by Roy Torgeson: pb/Attila Hejja]
- The Crunch Bunch (New York: Avon Books, 1985) [pb/Victoria Poyser]
- A Personal Demon (New York: New American Library/Signet Books, 1985) with Rich Brown (1942- ) and Linda Richardson (1944- ) [fixup of collaborations published in Fantastic 1976-1978 as by Michael F X Milhaus: pb/Tom Hallman]
- Some Kind of Wonderful (New York: Bantam Books, 1987) [pb/]
- The Judas Cross (New York: Warner Aspect, 1994) with Charles Sheffield [pb/Don Brautigam]
- Philip K Dick High (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Wildside Press, 2000) [pb/]
- J R R Tolkien University (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Wildside Press, 2000) [pb/]
- The Diplomatic Touch (Scarborough, Maine: Foggy Windows Books, 2001) [pb/Pelaez]
- The H P Lovecraft Institute (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Wildside Press, 2002) [hb/]
- The Tawdry Yellow Brick Road (Waterville, Maine: Five Star, 2004) [hb/]
works as editor
- Quest (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Raintree Editions, 1977) [anth: chap: hb/]
- Strange Encounters (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Raintree Editions, 1977) [anth: chap: hb/]
Single contributions to Shared Worlds or other extended Ties are not listed under series.
Bill, the Galactic Hero
- WarGames: A Novel (New York: Dell Books, 1983) [tie to the film: Wargames: pb/]
- Time Machine #2: Search for Dinosaurs (New York: Bantam, 1984) [tie: Time Machine: pb/William Stout]
- The Manhattan Project (New York: Avon Books, 1986) [tie to the film: pb/]
- The Blob: A Novel (New York: Bantam Books, 1988) [tie to the remake of The Blob: pb/]
- Gremlins 2: The New Batch (New York: Avon Books, 1990) [tie to the film: pb/]
- Daniel M. Pinkwater's Melvinge of the Megaverse #1: Night of the Living Shark! (New York: Ace Books, 1991) [tie: see Daniel M Pinkwater: pb/Steve Fastner and Rick Larson]
- Aliens: Genocide (New York: Bantam Books, 1994) [tie to the Alien universe: pb/David Dorman]
- Aliens v. Predator #2: Hunter's Planet (New York: Bantam, 1994) with Steve Perry [tie to the film AVP Alien vs Predator: pb/John Bolton]
- seaQuest DSV: The Ancient (New York: Ace Books, 1994) [tie to seaQuest DSV: seaQuest DSV: pb/Danilo Ducak]
- The Crow: Quoth the Crow (New York: HarperPrism, 1998) [tie: The Crow: pb/Cliff Nielsen]
- Farscape: Ship of Ghosts (London: Boxtree, 2001) with Martha Bayless [tie to Farscape: Farscape: pb/]
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