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Rowe, Christopher

Entry updated 25 September 2023. Tagged: Author, Editor.

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(1969-    ) US author, who began to publish work of genre interest with "Kin to Crows" in Realms of Fantasy for June 1998, assembled with other early work in Bittersweet Creek and Other Stories (coll 2003 chap). Most of his early work has been fantasy, including the Supernormal Sleuthing Service sequence beginning with The Lost Legacy (2017) with Gwenda Bond, who is his wife and who has herself specialized in Young Adult fantasy; the series, designed for the younger rim of the Young Adult market, follows the adventures of its young protagonists in a world full of Monsters, some amiable, others villainous. With Bond he also co-edited the little magazine Say ... (which see).

Rowe is of sf interest primarily for the work assembled in Telling the Map: Stories (coll 2017), including his best-known tale, "The Voluntary State" (May 2004 Sci Fiction) and a new novella, "The Border State", the two together comprising a bravura immersion in a distant Near Future Tennessee, an autonomous state struggling against Nanoware-irradiated semi-sentient creatures and weaponized artefacts (including a Mecha-inside Robot killing machine) whose interactions with humans, under the central control of a defective AI, formerly the state governor, are at points uncannily harmonious. The eventual overthrow of the AI, Athena Parthenos, is narrated more conventionally, and "The Border State", set later, is altogether more relaxed, the bicycle race at its heart comprising a relatively leisurely tour through parts of balkanized America, the narrative tone cleanly reminiscent of Edgar Pangborn, though These Prisoning Hills (2022), another novella set in the same world, evokes almost subliminally the darker palette of Cordwainer Smith through the search for a Weapon used in the earlier wars, and now lost.

Rowe should not be confused with the classical scholar Christopher Rowe (1942-    ). [JC]

Christopher Rowe

born Columbia, Kentucky: 25 December 1969



Supernormal Sleuthing Service

  • The Lost Legacy (New York: HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2017) with Gwenda Bond [Supernormal Sleuthing Service: hb/Glenn Thomas]
  • The Sphinx's Secret (New York: HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2018) with Gwenda Bond [Supernormal Sleuthing Service: hb/Glenn Thomas]

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