Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author.
(1970- ) US journalist, improv-comedian, editor and author; active from the early 1990s. His Satirical journalism, which has appeared in McSweeney's, New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair and elsewhere, takes a gonzo attitude to modern American culture, both literary and Political, as demonstrated in his first collection, The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature (first appeared 2000 McSweeney's; coll 2002), which includes fictional takes as well.
Pollack is of sf interest for two novels. Repeat (2015) is a Time-Loop tale whose protagonist returns to childhood each time he reaches forty, with all his memories intact; resemblances to Groundhog Day (1993) directed by Harold Ramis are inevitable, with the protagonist careening through various frustrated lives, eventually coming to believe that he may save himself through properly loving the woman of his dreams. The Satire here – which in the film focused on the protagonist as played by Bill Murray – more sharply addresses a modern world that in which it may be impossible to live well. In the distant Near Future of Keep Mars Weird (2015), America has achieved a fragile Utopian glow, but this tranquillizing peace incites the protagonists of the tale to go to Mars, a cruel but more inspiriting Dystopia whose owners falsely declare the world to be libertarian. [JC]
born Memphis, Tennessee: 1 March 1970
- Repeat (Seattle, Washington: Lake Union Publishing, 2015) [pb/]
- Keep Mars Weird (Seattle, Washington: 47North, 2015) [ebook: na/David Palumbo]
collections and stories
- The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature (New York: McSweeney's Books, 2002) [coll: first appeared 2000 McSweeney's: hb/uncredited]
previous versions of this entry