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Fast, Jonathan

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1948-    ) US composer and author, son of Howard Fast, who wrote music before coming to sf with "Decay" for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1975. His first novel, The Secrets of Synchronicity (1977; vt Prisoner of the Planets 1980), is a complex Space Opera which, unusually for the form, is a Satire that treats an expanding capitalism as both inherently repressive of true freedom and consciously oppressive through the artificial maintenance of scarcity. In Mortal Gods (1978) a similar enemy maintains control over a culture shaped by the possibilities of Genetic Engineering, though the tale is set – with the same effect of deliberate Equipoise between sf and other modes as found later in Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt (2002) – in a bardo where Shapeshifters act as gods. The Beast (1981) begins as medical sf, but segues into a Beauty and the Beast fantasy. The tone of Fast's writing, which is light but linguistically adventurous, and his plotting, which can be over-elaborate, tend to obscure the sharp insights underlying his work. [JC]

Jonathan David Fast

born New York: 13 April 1948



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