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Hough, Jason M

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(?1972-    ) US Videogame designer and author of the Dire Earth Cycle – comprising The Darwin Elevator (2013), The Exodus Towers (2013) and The Plague Forge (2013) (for full titles see Checklist) – set in a Near Future Earth devastated by a Pandemic seemingly introduced by the Aliens (known as Builders) who have constructed an immune zone around a Space Elevator anchored in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. The rest of the planet is inhabited by "subhuman" Zombie-like creatures, victims of the pandemic. The protagonist and his team, who are immune, scavenge the planet in order to keep Darwin supplied. The relationship between humans and aliens unpacks complexly, giving a sense that the sequence may have only properly begun around volume three. A second series, however – the Dire Earth Duo comprising Injection Burn (2017) and Escape Velocity (2017) – shifts the action into interstellar Space Opera venues, with an emphasis on action. Perhaps more interestingly, Hough's only singleton to date, Zero World (coll 2014), which begins as a Technothriller with a technologically-augmented hero, shifts significantly into complex Space Opera involving a lost Starship and at least one parallel universe (see Parallel Worlds); a prequel novella for the Dire Wolf Cycle is added to the main novel, but is otherwise unconnected. Hough remains an invigorating writer, even in his simpler tales; a harsh complexity marks his work to date. [JC]

Jason M Hough

born Illinois: ?1972



The Dire Earth Cycle

The Dire Earth Duo

individual titles

  • Zero World (New York: Del Rey, 2015) [coll: also containing "The Dire Earth" from the Dire Earth sequence above: hb/David G Stevenson]



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