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Means, David

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1961-    ) US author, best known from his first fiction, which he began to publish in 1991, as an author of short stories, not normally fantastic – his work in shorter forms has evoked expectable but merited comparisons with Alice Munro and Flannery O'Connor. He is of sf interest for his first novel, Hystopia (2016), which presents an Alternate History version of modern American history whose Jonbar Point is the survival of John F Kennedy through a third term of office, a period characterized by a culturally toxic, interminable continuation of the war in Viet Nam. A government-controlled medical industry has been established to deal with the traumas of returning servicemen, primarily through a technique known as "enfolding", through which (ominously temporary) Memory Edits are used to sidetrack from consciousness the experience of committing soldierly atrocities in Asia. It may be felt that a thematic abstractedness (see Mainstream Writers of SF) somewhat thins the effect of this tale. [JC]

David Means

born Kalamazoo, Michigan: 17 October 1961

works (highly selected)

  • Hystopia (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016) [hb/]

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