Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.
(1965- ) Scots author who began publishing work of genre interest with "Mother Love" for Skeleton Crew in March 1991, and whose first novel, Angel Stations (2004), neatly follows the pattern of the "new Space Opera", the kind of baroquely expansive tale which exfoliated in the late twentieth century and whose most comprehensive example may be Dan Simmons's Hyperion Cantos (omni 1990). Angel Stations is set chronologically in the midst of a galaxy-wide Future War conducted by Aliens whose planetary artefacts – and the Wormholes that connect them – somewhat overwhelm the human race as it begins to explore a ruinously complex universe; after the Simmons model, several story strands – each of which represents a focused, Meme-like rendering of the overall world – interact. Gibson's second novel, Against Gravity (2005), traces the consequences of experiments inflicted upon a rebel in a Near Future right-wing America; the Nanotechnologies applied to the protagonist, in order to make him into a fighting machine, render him a kind of Posthuman, and the tale swerves profitably towards Transcendence. In the distant Near Future which provides the central setting of Final Days (2011), interstellar exploration has been crippled by the loss of a primitive Wormhole network; but the discovery (or ambivalent bestowal) of a much more sophisticated Alien network leads through time to a vision of the End of the World, and some heartfelt action sequences.
The Shoal sequence, comprising Stealing Light (2007), Nova War (2009), Empire of Light (2011) and Marauder (2013), returns to the general galactic ambit of Angel Stations, as a human expedition stumbles across an ancient Faster Than Light drive (cached aeons previously by a Forerunner species) during its attempts to combat a dominant Alien race which monopolizes current FTL technologies. It soon becomes clear that more than one Galactic Empire, and more than one advanced Technology, are vying for overall control; the action throughout is pleasingly energized and succinct. The final volume, set several centuries later in the same universe, is more intimate in its range, though it remains interstellar. Gibson is an adept at operating the latterday sf toolkit, and his imagination moves towards large outcomes, though action sometimes blunts the thought content of his work: he may well have begun a dominating career.
Gibson also runs and sometimes self-publishes through [see Checklist below] the Small Press Brain in a Jar Books. [JC]
Gary M Gibson
born Glasgow, Scotland: 1965
- Stealing Light (London: Macmillan/Tor UK, 2007) [Shoal: hb/Lee Gibbons]
- Nova War (London: Macmillan/Tor UK, 2009) [Shoal: hb/Lee Gibbons]
- Empire of Light (London: Macmillan/Tor UK, 2011) [Shoal: hb/Lee Gibbons]
- Marauder (London: Tor, 2013) [standalone title within series universe: Shoal: hb/Steve Stone]
- Final Days (London: Macmillan/Tor UK, 2011) [Final Days: hb/Steve Stone]
- The Thousand Emperors (London: Macmillan/Tor UK, 2012) [Final Days: hb/Steve Stone]
- Extinction Game (London: Macmillan/Tor UK, 2014) [Apocalypse: hb/Steve Stone]
- Survival Game (London: Macmillan/Tor UK, 2016) [Apocalypse: hb/Steve Stone]
- Doomsday Game (Glasgow, Scotland: Brain in a Jar Books, 2012) [Apocalypse: pb/Ben Baldwin]
- Angel Stations (London: Macmillan/Tor UK, 2004) [pb/Steve Rawlings]
- Against Gravity (London: Macmillan/Tor UK, 2005) [pb/Steve Rawlings]
- Ghost Frequencies (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: NewCon Press, 2018) [novella: in the publisher's NewCon Novellas series: hb/Ben Baldwin]
- Devil's Road (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: NewCon Press, 2018) [hb/J Caleb Design]
- Echogenesis (Glasgow, Scotland: Brain in a Jar Books, 2021) [coll: pb/Bukovero]
collections and stories
- Scienceville and Other Lost Worlds (Glasgow, Scotland: Brain in a Jar Books, 2018) [coll: pb/Gary Gibson/Shutterstock]
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