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Heller, Peter

Entry updated 27 December 2021. Tagged: Author.

(1959-    ) US journalist and author whose first four books are nonfiction adventures mostly dealing with expeditions to various extremities of the planet; his first novel, The Dog Stars (2012), is set in a Near Future America devastated by a flu-based Pandemic and finished off by an auto-immune disorder. The protagonist, who is a pilot, lies low near Denver with a Survivalist buddy who has a habit of killing intruders, until he picks up a radio message, which he traces in his Cessna. En route to a shoot-out with some even more savage survivalists, the tale – in which Heller takes sensitive advantage of his rural Colorado setting – suggests that the world may give solace to those placed to survive the kind of planetary Disaster here rather uneasily depicted. A certain dis-ease with this initiating premise marks Heller as a Mainstream Writer of SF, and unwise comparisons of this tale to Cormac McCarthy's The Road (2006) only underline his disinclination to see the dark side of the end of civilization. [JC]

Peter Heller

born New York: 13 February 1959

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