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Robinett, Stephen

Entry updated 15 March 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1941-2004) US author and lawyer who began publishing sf as Tak Hallus (apparently Persian for "pen name") with "Minitalent" in Analog for March 1969; most of his shorter work is assembled in Projections (coll 1979), where a sharp wit is allowed free and satirical play. Robinett's first novel, Mindwipe! (December 1969 Analog as by Tak Hallus; exp 1976) as by Steve Hahn, is unexceptional, but Stargate (June-August 1974 Analog as by Tak Hallus; 1976) intriguingly combines Hard SF and detective modes in the tale of two great corporations and their quarrel over the eponymous Matter Transmitter. Although the concept was far from new, having for example appeared in Robert A Heinlein's Tunnel in the Sky (1955), this novel was important in establishing the commercial Stargate (which can be variously defined as a Matter-Transmission aperture or as a discontinuity or as a Wormhole extension of a singularity – so long as the phenomenon allows profitable and instantaneous contact to be made between one part of the Universe and another) as an essential instrument of modern sf.

The Man Responsible (short version January 1977 Analog; exp 1978) again focuses on the relationship between crime and sf, the story dealing this time with a twenty-first-century world in which Computer projections (see Avatars) pass as human. The Jerry Jeeter series – Final Option (1990) and Unfinished Business (1990) – hovers at the edge of sf in its hyperbolic Satire on money markets gone mad; the second volume features a scheme to make gold out of mud. It is a matter of serious regret that Robinett, who had contracted Hodgkin's Disease as a young man, ceased publishing around 1990. [JC/DRL]

Stephen Allen Robinett

born Long Beach, California: 13 July 1941

died Corona Del Mar, California: 16 February 2004



Jerry Jeeter

  • Final Option (New York: Avon Books, 1990) [Jerry Jeeter: pb/Robert Crawford]
  • Unfinished Business (New York: Avon Books, 1990) [Jerry Jeeter: pb/Robert Crawford]

individual titles

  • Mindwipe! (Toronto, Ontario: Laser Books, 1976) as by Steve Hahn [short version December 1969 Analog as by Tak Hallus: pb/Kelly Freas]
  • Stargate (New York: St Martin's Press, 1976) [first appeared June-August 1974 Analog as by Tak Hallus: hb/Riva Danzig]
  • The Man Responsible (New York: Ace Books, 1978) [short version January 1977 Analog: pb/Vincent Di Fate]



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