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Pierce, Thomas

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

(?   -    ) US author who began to publish work of specific sf interest with "This Is an Alert" in The New Yorker for 30 March 2015, which is set in the very Near Future, though some earlier stories are disruptively fantastic. The tales assembled in Hall of Small Mammals (coll 2015) implement a wide range of techniques associated with Fabulation in general; deadpan Equipoisal joinings are common throughout (see Fantastika). Pierce's first novel, The Afterlives (2018), could be understood as a Posthumous Fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], but reductively. The play of equipoise in this complex tale is more fruitfully understood in terms of Virtual Reality and/or AI-driven intrusions: when the protagonist, searching for meaning in a dizzyingly multiplex world after five minutes legally dead, encounters holograms of famous men and women, courtesy of the Church of Search, he does not so much sort out levels of reality as experience them, for they may be flickers of the Multiverse, which may be accessible through true death (or not). Though he is clearly more interested in the foregrounding of the stories he tells, Pierce's work conveys much of the clear-sighted wit of a writer like George Saunders. [JC]

Thomas Pierce

born South Carolina


collections and stories


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