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Leyner, Mark

Entry updated 27 June 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1956-    ) US author who began to publish work of genre interest with "I Was an Infinitely Hot and Dense Dot" in Mississippi Review 1988, and whose spoofish, very mildly Satirical extravaganzas aroused in the 1990s a sense that he had gained some metafictional insight into the raree-show of America (see Absurdist SF; Fabulation), perhaps like Donald Barthelme, though less narratively inclined, or a discombobulated Thomas Pynchon; but there ultimately seemed a lack of sustained bite. His use of the SF Megatext – in the vaguely Near Future assemblages My Cousin, my Gastroenterologist (1990) and Et Tu, Babe (1992), that established his reputation – is casually extractive; the effect is of a sometimes alluring bricolage. A play, "Young Bergdorf Goodman Brown" in which Extraterrestrials invest a department store, appears in Tooth Imprints on a Corn Dog (coll 1995). Other works may drop sf gestures into the mix, though almost invisibly, and without implementing any engine of speculation. At the same time, however, Leyner is too scattershot and elated a shootist to be demoted to the class of Mainstream Writers of SF. [JC]

Mark Leyner

born Jersey City, New Jersey: 4 January 1956

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