(1945- ) US writer who published his first sf, "Dear Aunt Annie" with Fantastic in 1970. In the early and productive years of his career he published dozens of stories in sf magazines (none have been collected), writing as Wendell Stewart once; until his work as E E Smith (see below), he published all his books under his own name. His work was initially various though uneven. Both his first novel, The Eclipse of Dawn (1971), and his fourth and best solo effort, All Times Possible (1974), anatomize with pessimistic force the US political landscape and share an interest in the psychology and tactics of leadership. The sf elements in the first – mainly some intrusive Aliens – tend to jar, but the Parallel-Worlds structure of All Times Possible intensifies and darkens the picture of political realities at work through the second quarter of the twentieth century. Although a sometimes careless writing style and a tendency to prolixity mar these books, they are still significant contributions to the theme of Politics in sf. A Trace of Dreams (1972) is also a novel of some weight, but some other modestly exploratory works are comparatively commonplace: Inheritors of Earth (March 1951 Future Combined with Science Fiction Stories as "Incomplete Superman"; exp 1974), with Poul Anderson, stumblingly expands the latter's original story; Beyond the Resurrection (1973) and The Grayspace Beast (1976) lack the eloquence necessary to give full life to the concepts they present.
Eklund collaborated with Gregory Benford (whom see for details) on the series of stories which eventually became If the Stars Are Gods (fixup 1977), the title story of which, in its original form, won a 1974 Nebula for Best Novelette; it is his most sustained work (and one of Benford's finest as well). Find the Changeling (1980), also with Benford, less impressively recounts the hunt on a colony-world for a shape-changing Alien (> Shapeshifters). Subsequent novels show a lessening of energy. The Lord Tedric series of Space Operas with E E Smith is not remarkably successful, with Smith's awkwardness as a writer coming into the open in the absence of any big idea to transcend it. The first volume, Lord Tedric (March 1954 Universe; exp 1978), was expanded from an original story by Smith and was published as a collaboration, though Eklund was not credited in the UK edition; Space Pirates (1979) and Black Knight of the Iron Sphere (1979; vt The Black Knight of the Iron Sphere 1979), both entirely by Eklund, were published as collaborations in the USA and as by Smith alone in the UK; the final volume, Alien Realms (1980), appeared under the Smith name in both countries.
After The Garden of Winter (1980) Eklund fell silent for some years, but his return to the scene – with a juvenile, A Thunder on Neptune (1989) – was short-lived, being restricted to three novellas. [JC]
see also: Alternate History; Gods and Demons; Hitler Wins; Jupiter; Living Worlds; Outer Planets; Religion; Robots; Stars; Sun.
Gordon Stewart Eklund
born Seattle, Washington: 24 July 1945
- The Starless World (New York: Bantam Books, 1978) [tie: Star Trek: pb/Bob Larkin]
- Devil World (New York: Bantam Books, 1979) [tie: Star Trek: pb/]
- The Eclipse of Dawn (New York: Ace Books, 1971) [pb/Leo and Diane Dillon]
- A Trace of Dreams (New York: Ace Books, 1972) [pb/]
- Beyond the Resurrection (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1973) [hb/Margo Herr]
- All Times Possible (New York: DAW Books, 1974) [pb/Charles Gross]
- Inheritors of Earth (Radnor, Pennsylvania: Chilton Books, 1974) with Poul Anderson [hb/]
- Serving in Time (Toronto, Ontario: Laser Books, 1975) [pb/Kelly Freas]
- Falling toward Forever (Toronto, Ontario: Laser Books, 1975) [pb/Kelly Freas]
- Dance of the Apocalypse (Toronto, Ontario: Laser Books, 1976) [pb/Kelly Freas]
- The Grayspace Beast (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1976) [hb/Emanuel Schongut]
- If the Stars Are Gods (New York: Berkley Publishing, 1977) with Gregory Benford [hb/]
- Find the Changeling (New York: Dell Books, 1980) with Gregory Benford [pb/Ken W Kelly]
- The Garden of Winter (New York: Dell Books, 1980) [pb/Barclay Shaw]
- A Thunder on Neptune (New York: William Morrow, 1989) [hb/Bob Walters]
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