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Boston, Bruce

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1943-    ) US poet (see Poetry) and prose author whose early work tended to the surreal, but who began – with stories like "Break" for New Worlds 7 (anth 1974) edited by Hilary Bailey and Charles Platt – to invoke fantasy and sf themes. His early poetry – much of it not genre at all, and almost all of it couched in a classically lucid voice – can most easily be approached through Jackbird: Tales of Illusion & Identity (coll 1976 chap); it is included in The Bruce Boston Omnibus (packaged 1987), a boxed set of various early chapbooks. Later poetry appears in The Nightmare Collector (coll 1989 chap), Faces of the Beast (coll 1990 chap), Cybertexts (coll 1992 chap), the impressive Chronicles of the Mutant Rain Forest (coll 1992), this last volume with Robert Frazier, Accursed Wives (coll 1993 chap; exp vt as The Complete Accursed Wives 2000 chap), Specula: Selected Uncollected Poems (coll 1993 chap), Sensuous Debris: Selected Poems, 1970-1995 (coll 1995 chap) and Quanta: Award Winner Poems (coll 2001 chap).

Because his prose fictions tend to the densely surreal and to Fabulation, it is not easy to know when his work first began to merge with Fantasy and sf, though "Break" (noted above) may come close to being his first of genre interest. Stained Glass Rain (1993) is a full length Fabulation. Collections and prose works include She Comes When You're Leaving & Other Stories (coll 1982 chap), Skin Trades (coll 1988 chap), Hypertales & Metafictions (coll 1990 chap), Short Circuits (coll 1990 chap dos), Houses & Other Stories (coll 1991 chap), Night Eyes (coll 1993 chap), Bruce Boston: Short Stories, Volume 1 (coll 2003) and Bruce Boston: Short Stories, Volume 2 (coll 2003); the final two volumes conveniently assemble much earlier material. Independent tales include Der Flusternde Spiegel (1985 chap Germany; trans and rev as After Magic 1990 chap) and All the Clocks Are Melting (1991 chap). As part of a wide conspectus of his work, After Magic appears in Masque of Dreams: Tales of Illusion and Identity (coll 2001), where Boston's wide use of genre modes and models, expressed with fluent intensity and well-judged diction, tend to reveal a combined sense of belatedness and bodingness: of things not said (radical political views are sometimes implied but never adjured) or seen. Much of his work seems to be set in louring post-apocalyptic (see Post-Holocaust) venues which, though never quite described, can haunt the reader. However, The Guardener's Tale (2007) is more explicit than earlier work in its depiction of a Dystopian City state. He is a writer in the mainstream of the fantastic. [JC]

Bruce David Boston

born Chicago, Illinois: 16 July 1943




Mutant Rain Forest

individual titles

  • XXO (Berkeley, California: Maya, 1969) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/Bruce Boston]
  • Potted Poems (Berkeley, California: Maya, 1970) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/nonpictorial]
  • All the Clocks Are Melting (Berkeley, California: Velocities, 1984) [poetry: coll: chap: not the same as the 1991 story: pb/Andrew Joron]
  • Alchemical Texts (Mountain View, California: Ocean View, 1985) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/Bruce Boston]
  • Nuclear Futures (Berkeley, California: Velocities, 1987) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/Robert Frazier]
  • Time (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: Titan, 1988) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/Robert Frazier]
  • Musings (Troy, New York: Eldritch Emu, 1988) [poem: broadsheet: na/]
  • The Nightmare Collector (Rockford, Illinois: 2AM Publications, 1988) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/Gregorio Montejo]
  • Faces of the Beast (Mercer Island, Washington: Starmont House, 1990) [poetry: coll: chap: hb/Allen Koszowski]
  • Cybertexts (Beech Grove, Indiana: Talisman, 1991) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/t winter-damon]
  • Accursed Wives (Troy, North Carolina: Night Visions, 1993) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/Ree Young]
    • The Complete Accursed Wives (Georgetown, California: Talisman, 1991/Dark Regions, 2000) [poetry: coll: exp of the above, including five short stories: pb/Allen Koszowski]
  • Specula: Selected Uncollected Poems, 1968-1993 (Georgetown, California: Talisman, 1993) [coll: chap: pb/uncredited]
  • Sensuous Debris: Selected Poems, 1970-1995 (Concord, California: Dark Regions Press, 1995) [coll: chap: pb/Thomas Wiloch]
  • Conditions of Sentient Life (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Gothic, 1996) [coll: chap: pb/Marge Simon]
  • Cold Tomorrows (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Gothic, 1998) [coll: chap: pb/nonpictorial]
  • Confessions of a Body Thief (Georgetown, California: Talisman, 1998) [poem: broadsheet: na/]
  • The Lesions of Genetic Sin (Napa Valley, California: Miniature Sun, 2000) [poem: broadsheet: na/]
  • Pavane for a Cyber-Princess (Napa Valley, California: Miniature Sun, 2001) [chap: pb/Brandon Totman]
  • White Space (Brentwood, California: Dark Regions Press, 2001) [coll: chap: pb/Larry Whitney]
  • Quanta: Award Winner Poems (Napa Valley, California: Miniature Sun, 2001) [coll: chap: pb/Brandon Totman]
  • In Far Pale Clarity (Baltimore, Maryland: Quixsilver, 2002) [poem: broadsheet: na/]
  • Night Smoke (Napa Valley, California: Miniature Sun and Baltimore, Maryland: Quixsilver, 2002) with Marge Simon [coll: chap: pb/]
  • She Was There for Him the Last Time (Napa Valley, California: Miniature Sun, 2002) [chap: pb/Brandon Totman]
  • The Crow Is Dismantled in Flight (Napa Valley, California: Miniature Sun, 2003) [poem: broadsheet: na/]
  • Head Full of Strange (no place given: Cyber-Pulp, 2003) [coll: ebook: na/]
  • Pitchblende (Brentwood, California: Dark Regions Press, 2003) [coll: chap: contains The Lesions of Genetic Sin, Pavane for a Cyber-Princess, In Far Pale Clarity and She was There for Him the Last Time above: pb/Marge Simon]
  • Etiquette with Your Robot Wife (Miami, Florida: Talisman, 2005) [coll: chap: pb/Marge Simon]
  • Shades Fantastic (Clearwater, Florida: Gromagon Press, 2006) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/Marge Simon]
  • Night Smoke (Toronto, Ontario: Kelp Queen Press, 2007) with Marge Simon [poetry: coll: chap: pb/Marge Simon]
  • Dark Matters (Anaheim, California: Bad Moon Books, 2010) [poetry: coll: chap: illus/pb/Daniele Serra]
  • Dark Roads (Colusa, California: Dark Renaissance Books, 2013) [poetry: coll: chap: illus/pb/M Wayne Miller]
  • Artefacts (Trieste, Italy: Independent Legions, 2018) [poetry: coll: chap: pb/Wendy Saber Core]


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