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Cook, Rick

Entry updated 17 January 2022. Tagged: Author.

Working name of US author James Richard Cook (1944-2022), who began publishing work of genre interest with "Mortality" for Analog in January 1987; he subsequently published several sf stories in this journal, and a very large number of nonfiction pieces on computer technology. As an author of fiction he is most noted for his fantasy, primarily for the Wizard sequence of Technofantasy-tinged tales – beginning with Wizard's Bane (1989) – which are set in a secondary world ideally arranged for its protagonist, Computer nerd Clyde Zumwalt, who has been transported into the venue, to use his skills to transform society and defeat foes; the echoes of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) must be deliberate, though there is no underlying sf argument to sustain them.

Limbo System (1989), about the inadvertent release of inimical Aliens from what may have been a Prison star, is sf; though Mall Purchase Night (1993), whose eponymous shopping centre is set on a divide between our world and Faerie, is a Walpurgis Night fantasy (as per title). [JC]

James Richard Cook

born 1944

died 13 January 2022

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series

Wiz Zumwalt/Wizard

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