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Geston, Mark S

Entry updated 19 December 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1946-    ) US attorney and author whose remarkable first novel Lords of the Starship (1967) was published while he was still a student at Kenyon College. This work, which establishes the dark mood of all his fiction and, like its immediate successors – each of which is a study in cultural and technological Decadence set in a weary, war-torn Far-Future Earth – describes a depressive centuries-long attempt to construct an enormous Spaceship, whose completion would transform the fortunes of everyone involved and mark a phase of rebirth. The project is, however, a shambles and a sham, and the novel closes in Entropy and despair. Out of the Mouth of the Dragon (1969) conveys the same mood, introducing prosthetic weaponry that turns many of his characters into virtual Cyborgs as they attempt to fight off Posthuman returnees from the stars, without making anyone any more capable of transforming ancient ways, ancient obsessions; indeed they are, variously, deranged. Cultures, Weapons, ideas and their embodiments in doom-ridden characters and decaying cities also permeate his third novel, The Day Star (1972), a Far Future tale also haunted by relics of the dilapidated deep past (see Time Abyss), and his fourth, The Siege of Wonder (1976), in which all the themes of his previous books are wrapped up in the perversion and death of a magical unicorn at the hands of scientists attempting to rationalize Magic.

Geston then fell silent for nearly twenty years: Mirror to the Sky (1992) – a rare sf examination of the Arts, in which certain paintings crafted by visiting Aliens enforce Basilisk-like their vision on human viewers – was a welcome but brief return to a writing career clearly subordinate to his professional work as an attorney. [JC]

see also: Mythology.

Mark Symington Geston

born Atlantic City, New Jersey: 20 June 1946



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