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Montana, Ron

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

(1938-    ) US author whose published work in Fanzines included "We the People" in 1974 for Craig Strete's Red Planet Earth. His first sf novel, The Sign of the Thunderbird (1977), conveys its Post-Holocaust protagonists to the New Mexico of 1860, where their actions in espousing a free Indian Nation generate an Alternate-History vision of the USA. His second, The Cathedral Option (1978), a Near Future political thriller, is of less interest. Montana's engagement with Native American material ironically prefigured a controversy of the 1980s, in which he accused Strete of plagiarizing his draft of the manuscript published as Death in the Spirit House (1988) under Strete's name alone; Montana's version of the book was eventually republished, as part of an agreed settlement, as Face in the Snow (1992), under his name as sole author. The book itself remains difficult to evaluate, for the transformation of the protagonist from spoiled "evolué" Native American into the transcendent manifestation of the spirit of a symbolic mountain (see Transcendence) seems, perhaps, rather forced. [JC]

Ronald Anthony Montana

born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 18 May 1938

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