Search SFE    Search EoF

  Omit cross-reference entries  

Gear, Kathleen O'Neal

Entry updated 9 January 2023. Tagged: Author.

Icon made by Freepik from


(1954-    ) US author with extensive training in American prehistory; married to W Michael Gear from 1982. Her first sf, the Powers of Light trilogy – An Abyss of Light (1990), Treasure of Light (1991) and Redemption of Light (1991) – was published as by Kathleen M O'Neal. With an occasionally oppressive relentlessness about the moral and theological issues involved, it presents an intergalactic conflict between humans and the Alien Magistrates who have established a coercive "peace" in terms inescapably evocative of the Jewish experience during the twentieth century; moments of awkwardness failed to muffle the impressive intensity of the long tale. Her singletons are usually straightforward historicals set in the American West.

Writing now as Kathleen O'Neal Gear, she wrote the First North Americans Prehistoric SF sequence shaped as a proto-Western, beginning with People of the Wolf (1990) with W Michael Gear, whose fifteen volumes (as of 2008) cover much of the prehistory of North America. A second sequence with her husband, the Anasazi Mysteries – comprising The Visitant (1999) with W Michael Gear, The Summoning Angel (2000) with Gear and Bone Walker (2001) with Gear – are horror tales argued with touches of sf-like Anthropology. Her Black Falcon series of prehistoric tales, beginning with It Sleeps in Me (2005), are supernaturals with ghosts. Of more direct sf interest, The Rewilding Reports sequence beginning with The Ice Lion (2021) depicts a Homo sapiens struggle for survival in an ice age brought about through disastrously failed attempts to save the planet from Climate Change gone entirely out of control. At least one figure from a Stasis Field may awaken bringing wisdom from the deep past (see Time Abyss), or otherwise. There is some sense that the various archaic version of the basic human template are engaged, unknowingly, in a Godgame, perhaps one played redemptively, for our sakes.

Gear's solo singletons have been straightforward historicals set in the American West, though Dark Inheritance (2001) with W Michael Gear, deals with a Genetically Engineered bonobo, and Raising Abel (2002) with W Michael Gear also deals with Genetic Engineering – this time involving the breeding of a Neanderthal child – in a thriller context. [JC]

Kathleen Myrtle O'Neal Gear

born Tulare, California: 29 October 1954



Powers of Light

First North Americans

First North Americans: People of the Longhouse

First North Americans: Morning Star

First North Americans: North America's Forgotten Past

Anasazi Mysteries

  • The Visitant (New York: Tor/Forge, 1999) with W Michael Gear [Anasazi Mysteries: hb/]
  • The Summoning God (New York: Tor/Forge, 2000) with W Michael Gear [Anasazi Mysteries: hb/]
  • Bone Walker (New York: Tor/Forge, 2001) with W Michael Gear [Anasazi Mysteries: hb/]

Black Falcon

  • It Sleeps in Me (New York: Tor/Forge, 2005) [Black Falcon: hb/Vince Natale]
  • It Wakes in Me (New York: Tor/Forge, 2006) [Black Falcon: hb/Vince Natale]
  • It Dreams in Me (New York: Tor/Forge, 2007) [Black Falcon: hb/Vince Natale]


The Rewilding Reports

  • The Ice Lion (New York: DAW Books, 2021) [The Rewilding Reports: hb/Leo Nickolls]
  • The Ice Ghost (New York: DAW Books, 2022) [The Rewilding Reports: hb/Leo Nickolls]
  • The Ice Orphan (New York: DAW Books, 2022) [The Rewilding Reports: hb/Leo Nickolls]

individual titles


previous versions of this entry

This website uses cookies.  More information here. Accept Cookies