(1944-2006) US lawyer, antique dealer and author who began to publish work of genre interest with the first volume of the Nick Seafort series Midshipman's Hope (1994), which depicts the life and adventures of a young cadet on a spaceship whose rituals are extremely like that of a planet-bound – indeed, more specifically, an early nineteenth-century – navy: specifically the navy in which C S Forester's Horatio Hornblower serves, as Feintuch openly acknowledged (see Hornblower in Space). Fortunately and interestingly, Seafort resembles Hornblower in more than his occupation. He is a moody, over-sensitive, extremely intelligent officer who much prefers the use of intellect – particularly as applied to the adroit manipulation of bad law in galactic space – to the use of force. Nevertheless there is considerable action (including repeated skirmishes with hostile Aliens) in the series, which continued with Challenger's Hope (1995), this being assembled with the first volume as Seafort's Hope (omni 1995); later volumes included Prisoner's Hope (1995) and Fisherman's Hope (1996), both assembled as Seafort's Challenge (omni 1996); plus three volumes set a generation later in the continuing epic, Voices of Hope (1996), Patriarch's Hope (1999) and Children of Hope (2001). The later volumes show to advantage Feintuch's other main influence – it is an influence which can pervade a work without its author or readers being aware of it – who was Robert A Heinlein, in particular the domestic verisimilitude of life in a space navy. Later volumes are also more reflective than the early instalments, and Seafort's rise to almost dictatorial powers is accompanied by a maturation of his concerns.
A second series, the King Rodrigo books, comprising The Still (1997) and The King (2002), is fantasy. [JC]
born Yonkers, New York: 21 July 1944
died Mason, Michigan: 16 March 2006
- The Still (New York: Warner Aspect, 1997) [King Rodrigo: pb/Keith Birdsong]
- The King (New York: Ace Books, 1997) [King Rodrigo: hb/Christian McGrath]
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