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Rich, Nathaniel

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1980-    ) US author who began to publish work of genre interest with "Hermie" in I'm With the Bears (anth 2011) edited by Mark Martin. His first novel, The Mayor's Tongue (2008), a surreal fantasy involving intersecting quests in search of gnostically elusive figures, has been likened to the early work of Thomas Pynchon. His first sf novel, Odds Against Tomorrow (2013), is a Near Future tale set in New York after a great Disaster – the destruction of Seattle by earthquake – has alarmed the insurance companies of America. In the short period before an enormous hurricane floods New York, the protagonist's expertise at couching Predictions of the doom facing America turns him into a darling of FutureWorld, which advises corporations on how to avoid insurance claims. As Climate Change and other planetary crises continue to darken the world, he becomes a hermit, a guru, almost a Messiah. There is a sense that Rich is to a degree reinventing the wheel in a tale whose implications will be familiar to sf readers, and for Futures Studies overall; but this is alleviated by the intensity of his discovery of things to come. [JC]

Nathaniel Rich

born New York: 5 March 1980




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