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Jimenez, Simon

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1989-    ) US author whose first novel, The Vanished Birds (2020), though it does not significantly develop the SF Megatext, gives intimate and prolonged life to a moderately complex tale set in a universe evocative of the Baroque Space Operas of authors like Dan Simmons as well as the coherent ongoing narrative focus of the work of such authors as C J Cherryh. The planet Earth has long been uninhabitable due to Ecological deterioration, uncontrollable exploitation of diminishing resources, and Climate Change in general. The main protagonist, captain of a Spaceship on long-term hire to the galaxy-spanning Umbrai corporation, tours colony planets (see Colonization of Other Worlds; Imperialism; Slavery) to extract high-end products grown essentially by slaves; on one of them she encounters a mute child who had fallen mysteriously from the sky; the tale is primarily structured around his discovery of a capacity to "jaunt" from star system to star system, the homage to Alfred Bester's Tiger! Tiger! (1956) being explicit (see Teleportation). This capacity, whose evolution has been anticipated by Umbrai's head scientist (she is soon betrayed), will of course revolutionize the shape of empire and commerce; the boy is duly translated into an "Acquisition", and husked deathwards through overuse. In the end a kind of tranquillity of lives remembered softens the underlying portrait of a galaxy whose exploitation by the unseen owners of Umbrai is a given: but there is no trickle-down of the Conceptual Breakthrough implicit in the implications, for Matter Transmission in general, opened by the discovery of the boy's gift. [JC]

Simon Jimenez

born America: 1989

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