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Slattery, Brian Francis

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1975-    ) US author, editor, and musician, whose early short fiction, beginning with "The Things that Get You" in Glimmer for Spring 2002, often partakes (if faintly) of the fantastic, which he began to explore more deeply with Spaceman Blues: A Love Song (2007), an exuberant fantasy – some of whose elements, such as Aliens and Underground environments, belong rather to sf – that reflects his abiding interest in Music and alternate, often multicultural societies (sometimes resembling countercultural Wainscot Societies), which are dramatized with humour and considerable sympathy. Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America (2008) is a Near Future tale (with some Fantasy elements) set in New York, involving Climate Change, economic collapse, political balkanization, a spoof Superhero, and resurgent Slavery. Despite the darkness of its subject matter, the novel's profusion of invention and droll tone shows a marked affinity with Spaceman Blues. The two novels, each of them sophisticatedly Equipoisal, share thematic elements (including playful treatments of Airships and Secret Masters) on a small and large scale; their picaresque plots, ranging easily over numerous extravagant venues, and succession of colourful minor characters recall (perhaps surprisingly) the novels of R A Lafferty.

Lost Everything (2012) is considerably more sombre, sending its protagonist on a Big River journey across a devastated Post-Holocaust upstate New York landscape following a series of catastrophes similar to those in Liberation. More restrained in its style than Slattery's earlier novels, it is identifiably sf (his earlier works, spilling from one genre into another, resist categorization as other than examples of Fantastika) and arguably his most successful to date. It won the Philip K Dick Award. He wrote the libretto for the sf opera Red Giant (2014). [GF]

see also: Magic Realism; Politics.

Brian Francis Slattery

born Ithaca, New York: 6 February 1975



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