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Meluch, R M

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1956-    ) US author whose first novel, Sovereign (1979), shows a competent grasp of the conventions and venues of sf adventure while at the same time refracting traditional material through an unusually complex protagonist, who is the precarious culmination of a Genetic Engineering programme haunted by the continuing image of his first enemy: his own father. There are, perhaps, too many additional enemies for plausibility – as the protagonist defeats them all, whether on Earth, on his own planet Arana, or in space – but the relative inwardness of the tale is convincing throughout. The Wind series – Wind Dancers (1981) and Wind Child (1982) – comes close to sentimentality in its depiction of a Shapeshifters species oppressed by an evil corporation intent on exploiting their planet. Jerusalem Fire (1985) more bracingly depicts a Planetary Romance Arab culture with roots deep in Earth's history, but War Birds (1989) again veers towards sentiment. Chicago Red (1990), which returns to Meluch's somewhat high-blown but energetically conceived best, is a tale of a USA which has reverted to eighteenth-century models of kingship, with revolution inevitable against the Kingdom of America (see History in SF), with the eponymous leader in rousing fettle; and The Queen's Squadron (1992) opposes – in the foregrounded manner which has become a stylistic feature of her work – free mortals and their immortal oppressors (see Immortality).

After a period during which she published rarely, and only in shorter forms, Meluch began a new series, the Tour of the Merrimack sequence of Military SF adventures set in farflung Space Opera venues, beginning with The Myriad (2005). [JC]

Rebecca M Meluch

born Ohio: 24 October 1956

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Wind Dancers

Tour of the Merrimack

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