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Scott, Melissa

Entry updated 25 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1960-    ) US author who began publishing sf with her first novel, The Game Beyond (1984), a Space Opera of some resonance which uses analogies with the Roman Empire – familiar since the early Foundation stories (1951-1953) of Isaac Asimov – with considerable skill (see History in SF). In 1986 she won the John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer, at least in part for Five-Twelfths of Heaven (1986), first volume of the Silence Leigh sequence which continued with Silence in Solitude (1986) and The Empress of Earth (1987), all three assembled as The Roads of Heaven (omni 1988). As with her first novel, these adventures of aspiring space-pilot Silence Leigh capably marshal echoes of Earth – in this case alchemy and astrological symbols – to enrich Space-Opera routines, including several close calls with various enemies, a patch of Slavery and an ongoing quarrel with an inimical Galactic Empire. The main weakness lies in Scott's attempts to enfilade Feminist arguments into a traditionally conceived venue without seeming to think their implications through in that context; the main strengths, perhaps, lie in the power of the main characters' longing to find old Earth and in the ironies attendant upon their eventual success. The Astreiant sequence with Lisa A Barnett [see Checklist] is fantasy.

The Kindly Ones (1987), whose title and plot evoke Aeschylus's Oresteia trilogy (458 BCE), specifically its third play, Eumenides, in an interstellar setting, competently depicts a cruelly rigid society in a solar system of some interest. Mighty Good Road (1990) sets a hired scavenger ship on a planet where the dominant Alien species is extraordinarily vicious. The Dreamships sequence, comprising Dreamships (1992), Burning Bright (1993) and Dreaming Metal (1997), sets an AI on a Faster-than-Light ship, very competently examining the nature of a sentience slaved to travel the stars; in the sequels, taxing experiences are undergone on an alien planet dominated by a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game; the planet Burning Bright is colourfully evoked. Trouble and Her Friends (1994), though it breaks no new ground, does very competently traverse Cyberpunk territory, and the eponymous Trouble is an attractive protagonist; The Jazz (2000), though not a sequel, examines through twenty-first century lenses a Cyberpunk world where the theft of an experiment Computer program leads to a well-executed chase across Near Future America. Shadow Man (1995) is set in a world where Taboos and legal coercions govern interrelations amongst the five Sexes existing on the planet Hara (see Gender) just at a point when Faster Than Light concourse will once more be possible across the human galaxy. Scott has been relatively inactive since about 2000, regrettable because of her strong narrative impulse, and because she has brought to the tale of Virtual Reality a saving energy. She has, however, contributed some Ties to the Stargate: Atlantis (2004-2009) Television series of Military SF adventures governed by the eponymous Stargates, beginning with Homecoming (2010) with Jo Graham; and Lost Things (2012) with Jo Graham, which is not a tie, may begin a series of fantasies set in a modestly Steampunk 1920s, where gods and goddesses are discovered beneath Lake Nemi.

With Don Sakers, Scott launched the vast episodic Space Opera The Rule of Five in ebook magazine format, beginning with The Rule of Five Quarterly #1 (Autumn 2016); each issue contains multiple chapters, the most recent issue being #14 (Spring 2020) by Sakers alone; early episodes are assembled in ebook and paperback form, the latter as Five Planes (2018) [see Checklist below]. [JC]

Melissa Scott

born Little Rock, Arkansas: 7 August 1960

works

series

Silence Leigh

Astreiant

Dreamships

Star Trek

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek: Voyager

Stargate

Stargate: Atlantis

  • Homecoming (Decatur, Georgia: Fandemonium Books, 2010) with Jo Graham [tie to the series: Stargate: Atlantis: pb/Lindsay Allen]
  • Allegiance (Decatur, Georgia: Fandemonium Books, 2011) with Amy Griswold [tie to the series: Stargate: Atlantis: pb/]
  • Secrets (Decatur, Georgia: Fandemonium Books, 2012) with Jo Graham [tie to the series: Stargate: Atlantis: pb/]
  • Inheritors (Decatur, Georgia: Fandemonium Books, 2013) with Jo Graham and Amy Griswold [tie to the series: Stargate: Atlantis: pb/]
  • Pride of the Genii (Decatur, Georgia: Fandemonium Books, 2018) [tie to the series: Stargate: Atlantis: pb/]

Stargate: SG-1

Order of the Air

  • Lost Things (Holyoke, Massachusetts: Crossroad Press, 2012) with Jo Graham [Order of the Air: hb/Bob Eggleton and David Niall Wilson]
  • Steel Blues (Holyoke, Massachusetts: Crossroad Press, 2013) with Jo Graham [Order of the Air: hb/Bob Eggleton]
  • Silver Bullet (Holyoke, Massachusetts: Crossroad Press, 2014) with Jo Graham [Order of the Air: hb/]
  • Wind Raker (Holyoke, Massachusetts: Crossroad Press, 2014) with Jo Graham [Order of the Air: hb/]
  • Oath Bound (Holyoke, Massachusetts: Crossroad Press, 2016) with Jo Graham [Order of the Air: hb/]

Ned Mathey and Julian Lynes

The Rule of Five

  • The Rule of Five: Year One (Linthicum, Maryland: Speed-of-C Productions, 2017) with Don Sakers [ebook: chapters #1-#12, first published in The Rule of Five Quarterly: na/]
  • The Rule of Five: Year Two (Linthicum, Maryland: Speed-of-C Productions, 2018) with Don Sakers [ebook: chapters #13-#24, first published in The Rule of Five Quarterly: na/]
    • Five Planes (Linthicum, Maryland: Speed-of-C Productions, 2018) with Don Sakers [combines the above two: chapters #1-#24, first published in The Rule of Five Quarterly: pb/]

individual titles

nonfiction

works as editor

links

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