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Boyle, T Coraghessan

Entry updated 10 June 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1948-    ) US author who sometimes signs his more recent work as T C Boyle; very much better known for his non-fantastic fiction – novels like World's End (1987) or The Road to Wellville (1993) – than for his relatively rare (and recent) sf. Several stories to be found in After the Plague: Stories (coll 2001) are of sf interest, including the Post-Holocaust title story, which is set after a devastating Pandemic, and other Near Future tales; later examples include "Are We Not Men?" (7 November 2016 The New Yorker), about Genetic Engineering and designer babies. Several of the tales assembled in I Walk Between the Raindrops: Stories (coll 2022) are of sf interest, most vividly perhaps "Asleep at the Wheel" (11 February 2019 New Yorker), which portrays a deadly marriage between an AI-controlled Media Landscape and the SDCs (Self Driving Cars) that so devastatingly nonsensicate America's worshipful obsession with the automobile and how to park it (see Transportation).

Of Boyle's twenty or so novels, A Friend of the Earth (2000) is set in a 2025 Southern California devastated by Climate Change, and follows the late years of an entrepreneur turned Ecology activist, who finds himself safeguarding a small but emblematic Zoo in a precarious Keep. The Terranauts (2016) is set in an experimental late twentieth century biosphere (again see Keep) whose inhabitants attempt to survive self-sufficiently under conditions described with a near-fantastic intensity that seems almost literally predictive. In Talk to Me (2021), a successful attempt to teach a chimpanzee to talk (see Apes as Human; Linguistics) backfires, though only in a sense, when the two males and the human male's female partner begin to cohabit (see Sex). The protagonists in the ravaged very-Near-Future world depicted in Blue Skies (2023) respond exorbitantly to the crisis of the planet as conditions worsen daily, though a billionaire promises a magic solution. [JC]

see also: Mainstream Writers of SF.

Thomas Coraghessan Boyle

born Peekskill, New York: 2 December 1948

works (highly selected)



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