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Shaara, Michael

Entry updated 12 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

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(1928-1988) US author who began publishing sf with "All the Way Back" for Astounding in July 1952, the first of twenty-one stories he released in the 1950s, followed by a gap of more than two decades before he returned briefly to the form. Soldier Boy (coll 1982) assembles tales from both periods of his sf work, in which a slightly distanced diction is at times absorbingly applied to straightforward genre plots involving strange planets and Aliens, a seemingly standard mixture of ingredients subtly enriched with quick revelatory ironies about the human condition. For a few years Shaara seemed to be one of the heirs apparent to the sf pantheon, but his energies were directed elsewhere; his Civil War novel, The Killer Angels (1974), won a Pulitzer Prize. Bad health for the last fifteen years of his life hampered his work, but in the early 1980s he returned to sf for a short while with The Herald (1981; vt The Noah Conspiracy 1994), a novel set in a Near-Future America, where a Scientist has developed a plague as the first part of a master plan to kill off most of humanity in preparation for his creation (see Mad Scientist) of a race of Supermen. [JC]

Michael Joseph Shaara Jr

born Jersey City, New Jersey: 23 June 1928

died Tallahassee, Florida: 5 May 1988


collections and stories

  • Soldier Boy (New York: Pocket Books, 1982) [coll: pb/Boris Vallejo]
  • Conquest Over Time (no place given: Project Gutenberg, 2010) [story: ebook: first appeared November 1956 Fantastic Universe: na/]
  • Wainer (no place given: Project Gutenberg, 2010) [story: ebook: first appeared April 1954 Galaxy: na/]
  • The Book (no place given: Project Gutenberg, 2010) [story: ebook: first appeared November 1953 Galaxy: na/]


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