(1950- ) US poet and author whose infrequent sf stories began with "The Character Assassin" in Other Worlds #1 (anth 1979) edited by Roy Torgeson. In his first novel, Tintagel (1981), a virus transports its victims, by actualizing their response to Music, into fantasy worlds into which the protagonist, who is immune to the emotional effects of music, must enter in order to rescue them. Duende Meadow (1985) depicts the Post-Holocaust return of North Americans from Underground Keeps to the surface of the world, where they find Russian farmers, who had also survived underground; one party of Americans wants to make piece, though a military faction wants to start the next War. On the Rim of the Mandala (1987) is a Space Opera which, rather congestedly, aspires to a sensitive depiction of longevity while attempting simultaneously to convey a Sense of Wonder set of venues (see Macrostructures); Cook's sense that humans are latecoming hitchhikers of Alien technologies, expressed here and in the similar The Engines of Dawn (1999) is salutary, but not perhaps well-designed to maximize his readership. [JC]
see also: Evolution.
Paul Harlin Cook
born Tucson, Arizona: 12 November 1950
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