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Green, Joseph

Entry updated 10 July 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1931-    ) US author of sf and technical journalism who also worked for NASA, and who began publishing sf with "The Engineer" for New Worlds in February 1962. An Affair with Genius (coll 1969) assembles some of his better early work. Since 1989 he has also published short fiction in Analog, F&SF and other magazines as by Francis Marion Soty. Although many of his 70-plus stories to date (not all sf) have appeared in the USA – along with popular-science articles in Astounding that demonstrate the lucid gift of exposition visible also in his fiction – it was in the UK that he first established his name, and there that most of his books were first published. The Loafers of Refuge (stories April 1962-July 1963 New Worlds; fixup 1965), his first novel, chronicles the gradual coming together, to their mutual benefit, of colonizing humans and humanlike natives on the planet Refuge, mainly through the mediation of the protagonist (see Colonization of Other Worlds). Green's best novel is probably his second, Gold the Man (1971; vt The Mind Behind the Eye 1972), which deals very competently (though not in depth) with a variety of themes from Superman to Aliens and Intelligence. Gold is Homo sapiens born with about 4oz (120g) of extra association neocortex. As an adult he is asked to "operate" a brain-damaged giant invader from inside its head (see Great and Small). Returning, thus incorporated, to the alien's blandly Utopian home planet, he works out the reason for the imminent destruction of its sun: sentient sunspots. All ends well. Further novels include Conscience Interplanetary (stories April 1965-October 1971 var mags, fixup 1972), the uneven story of a Conscience whose job it is – in a a slightly uneasy replay of the protagonist's role in The Loafers of Refuge – to adjudicate as to the Intelligence of alien species before allowing human beings to exploit their planets.

In the twenty-first century, Green has published through his own firm a number of novels, beginning with Spies of Nyscandia (2017), and four volumes of stories, containing old and new stories, though Space to Move: Unfettered Stories of Imagination (coll 2021) contains only stories from 1975 and earlier. [JC]

see also: Communications; Matter Transmission.

Joseph Lee Green

born Compass Lake, Florida: 14 January 1931



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