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Pfeil, Fred

Entry updated 12 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of US academic and author John Frederick Pfeil (1949-2005), whose sf novel, Goodman 2020 (1986), portrays in a superbly suffocating present tense the Dystopian corporate USA of 2020 CE, where all power has fallen into the hands of priest-like businessmen. The most powerful of these hires Goodman in the role of "professional friend", to give him moments of human society, but Goodman eventually kills him, escapes into the barrios (and the narrative dynamism of the more normal past tense) and settles down to prepare for a wholesome change. The politics of the book may seem naive, but the execution is compelling. Some of the stories assembled in Shine On and Other Stories (coll 1987) and What They Tell You to Forget: A Novella and Stories (coll 1996) give off an ironized Equipoisal allure, though few are directly fantastic.

The essays assembled in Another Tale to Tell: Politics and Narration in Postmodern Culture (coll 1990) and White Guys: Studies in Post-Modern Domination and Difference (coll 1995) offer some formal contexts (see Postmodernism and SF) for Pfeil's sf work. [JC]

John Frederick Pfeil

born Port Allegany, Pennsylvania: 21 September 1949

died Hartford, Connecticut: 29 November 2005




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