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Nickle, David

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1964-    ) Canadian author who began publishing work of genre interest with "The Killing Way" (Spring 1992 On Spec); his Near Future first novel, The Claus Effect (fixup 1997) with Karl Schroeder, was published with a connected novelette, "The Toy Mill" (in Tesseracts4, anth 1992, ed Michael Skeet and Lorna Toolis); a diseased entity called Santa Claus [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] discovers that the way to generate apocalypse is to give human children (and the military) what they ask for. Underlying the gonzo narrative (see Equipoise) is a sense of evil reminiscent of Thomas M Disch's The M.D.: A Horror Story (1991), whose "Devil" figure also manifests as Santa (see Karl Schroeder for further comments). Similarly mixing sf and other genres (see especially Horror in SF), Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism (2011) describes another kind of fatal compact, in which an early twentieth-century conspiracy to save America through Eugenics engages too closely with the malice of the world, as embodied in subterranean creatures closely resembling those found in H P Lovecraft; part of the action takes place in a doomed wilderness Utopia. Rasputin's Bastards (2012) ambitiously traces the complex supernatural careers of members of a Soviet cadre whose function in the Cold War was to possess and destroy the minds of enemies of the USSR, and who a decade or so later threaten – if they can properly reassemble – to become Secret Masters of the disorganized planet.

Monstrous Affections (coll 2009) assembles about half of Nickle's early short fiction; Knife Fight and Other Struggles (coll 2014) presents mostly later work. [JC]

David Nickle

born Newmarket, Ontario: 1964




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