Entry updated 7 August 2022. Tagged: Author.
(1978- ) US screenwriter and author whose earlier work, like his first novel Desert Places (2004), combined thriller and horror modes, though only with hints of the fantastic. He is perhaps best known for the Wayward Pines sequence comprising Pines (2012), Wayward (2013) and The Last Town (2014), made into the Television series Wayward Pines (2015-2016) produced by M Night Shyamalan. Wayward Pines seems initially to be a coercively maintained enclave (see Keep) under the rule of a mayor-like tyrant, a kind of Pocket Universe not dissimilar to that created (out of the SF Megatext) by Stephen King in Under the Dome (2009); but the story soon ramifies confusedly, as did Lost (2004-2010), and by the end of the second season had lost some of its central thrust. The main premise – that Wayward Pines's inhabitants have been variously awakened from Cryogenic suspension 2000 years hence, into a world ravaged by Zombie-like Mutants – soon became a pretext for arbitrary plot changes and spasms of violence.
Crouch is of perhaps stronger sf interest for Dark Matter (2016), a tale set explicitly in a Multiverse created through "quantum transubstantiation", each of the Parallel Worlds encountered in the tale being inhabited by different versions of the central protagonist, raising issues of Identity and primacy. Various Alternate History versions of the story of America dominate these parallel worlds: Near Future Dystopias; an America which has reverted to pastoral wilderness; a land dominated by neocon Economics, with huge gaps between the tax-exempt rich and the dispossessed poor; and so forth. [JC]
born Statesville, North Carolina: 1978
- Pines (Las Vegas, Nevada: Thomas and Mercer, 2012) [Wayward Pines: pb/]
- Wayward (Las Vegas, Nevada: Thomas and Mercer, 2013) [Wayward Pines: pb/]
- The Last Town (Las Vegas, Nevada: Thomas and Mercer, 2014) [Wayward Pines: pb/]
- Desert Places (New York: St Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books, 2004) [hb/]
- Eerie (Scotts Valley, California: CreateSpace, 2012) with Jordan Crouch [pb/Jeroen ten Berge]
- Dark Matter (New York: Crown Publishers, 2016) [hb/Christopher Brand]
- Recursion (New York: Crown Publishers, 2019) [hb/]
- Upgrade (London: Pan Macmillan, 2022) [hb/]
- A Little Orange Book of Obsessions (Benson, Maryland: Borderlands Press, 2020) [coll: in the publisher's Little Book series: hb/nonpictorial]
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