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Roszak, Theodore

Entry updated 12 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

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(1933-2011) US historian – latterly professor emeritus of history at California State University – and author of several works of cultural criticism, most famously The Making of a Counter Culture (1969) and also including The Cult of Information (1986), which is highly sceptical about the contemporary boom in Information Theory. He began writing sf with Bugs (1981), in which a frightened child Telepath causes bugs to infiltrate Computer systems and thereafter to emerge – in literal, solid form – to eat people. A second novel, Dreamwatcher (1985), concerning Psi Powers, blends fantasy and sf, as does the remarkable Flicker (1991) which, in a manner evocative of Steve Erickson's blackly surreal version of film America in Days Between Stations (1985), describes Subliminal horrors inserted by a cult of Secret Masters into 1920s and 1930s films made by a mysterious forgotten German director – horrors which themselves reveal a Paranoia-fraught Secret History of the World to an increasingly obsessed film-lover in Los Angeles (see California). Flicker has gained a substantial cult following. The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein (1995) subversively retells the story of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus (1818; rev 1831) from the viewpoint of the hubristic Scientist's wife; this novel received a James Tiptree Jr Award. [JC/DRL]

Theodore Roszak

born Chicago, Illinois: 15 November 1933

died Berkeley, California: 5 July 2011

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