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Schwartz, David J

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1970-    ) US author who began publishing work of genre interest with "Thieves' Justice" in Dragon Magazine for February 1994, and who specialized in shorter fiction for several years. His first novel, Superpowers (2008), moved him suddenly into greater prominence with its accurate deconstruction of (and homage to) the American Superheroes genre, though it clearly inhabits a post-Watchmen world, like other recent dark tales including It's Superman! (2005) by Tom De Haven, From the Notebooks of Dr Brain (2007) by Minister Faust and The Violent Century (2013) by Lavie Tidhar, among others. Schwartz's tale, however, is clearly more Young Adult than the others through its over-close attention to the interactions and family dilemmas of a number of university students who find, on awakening one morning after drinking a strange beer, that they have all mysteriously been given super powers on traditional lines: strength; speed; flight; Invisibility; Telepathy. In a deliberate exposure of his complex intent, Schwartz makes it clear that his cast immediately researches various superhero Comics in order to survive and, perhaps, flourish in their new role. The perhaps undue clarity of their course may weaken the effect of the tale; but the world the superheroes inhabit – the destruction of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 occurs on their watch – demonstrates to them that they will not automatically thrive in the twenty-first century, despite their good will.

The Sun Inside (2008 chap) is a Hollow Earth tale set in Edgar Rice Burroughs's Pellucidar; but as with Superpowers the pleasures of genre nostalgia are undermined: in this case, the Black protagonist, in love with a female descendant of the racist hero of Burroughs's series, finds himself repelled by her inverse sexism (see Feminism; Women in SF). Gooseberry Bluff Community College of Magic (February 2012 Kindle Serial; 2013) is primarily fantasy, though it Equipoisally invokes Alternate History tropes as weaponized demons wage war against each other in World War Two. [JC]

David John Schwartz

born St Paul, Minnesota: 22 September 1970


collections and stories

  • The Sun Inside (Ohio: Rabid Transit Press, 2008) [novella: chap: in the publisher's Electrum Novella series: pb/]


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