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Mason, Zachary

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1974-    ) US computer scientist and author whose first novel, The Lost Books of the Odyssey (2007; rev 2010), though it may be read simplistically as a literary fantasia on Homer's Odyssey, successfully invokes the telling literalism of Fantastika in its rewriting of various episodes of the original in more or less Alternate World terms. Some of the transforms euhemerize the original [for Euhemerism see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], though the mathematization of Daedalus's Labyrinth [for Daedalus and Euhemerism see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] radically reconfigures the tonus of the real. Moments of aspirational spoofing are less successful, and hint at a dis-ease typical of the Mainstream Writer of SF.

Mason's second novel Void Star (2017) is of direct sf interest in its portrayal mostly of a Near Future California half-drowned through the effects of Climate Change, with New York being referred to as Venice, and its clear understanding that – after the responsibility for designed improved versions has been delegated to AI-run self-programming ComputersHomo sapiens will not understand AIs in this new world. The plot of the tale marries the Technothriller to Cyberpunk, much of the narrative being conducted in Virtual Reality worlds the protagonists can no longer safely distinguish from reality in their faltering search for Transcendence and its helpmeet Immortality. [JC]

Zachary Mason

born California: 26 February 1974



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