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Swigart, Rob

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of US author and academic Eugene Robison Swigart (1941-    ), whose novels, from Little America (1977) on, have been Fabulations composed in a flamboyantly brisk gonzo style through which, like Kurt Vonnegut, comprise a series of deadpan riffs on the extremities of America. Though not making up a series, his first four novels – Little America (1977), A.K.A.: A Cosmic Fable (1978), The Time Trip (1979) and The Book of Revelations (1981) – convey a similar affect, and evoke similar sf tropes, from UFOs to sentient Computers, to convey a portrait of Near Future worlds in disarray. Perhaps more interestingly, the rather more measured Portal: A Dataspace Retrieval (1988) – based on his Hypertext game or "computer novel" Portal (1986) – offers a complex Future History of our planet over the next century, a period marked by speculations about Genetic Engineering, and the coming to reflective awareness of an AI named Homer. Eventually, as a returned astronaut searches through what seems to be a deserted Ruined Earth landscape for some sign of humanity, it becomes clear that Homo sapiens has left the building through the eponymous exit into a Transcendental state.

The less interesting Chazz Koenig sequence, comprising Vector (1986), Toxin (1989) and Venom (1991), are Technothrillers, told within mystery frames, in which the Earth is threatened by a Genetically Engineered disease, and other perils, including a deadly Poison whose ultimate range may be worldwide. [JC]

Eugene Robison Swigart

born Chicago, Illinois: 1 January 1941



Chazz Koenig

  • Vector (New York: Bluejay Books, 1986) [Chazz Koenig: hb/Bryn Barnard]
  • Toxin (New York: St Martin's Press, 1989) [Chazz Koenig: hb/Tom McEveny]
  • Venom (New York: St Martin's Press, 1991) [Chazz Koenig: hb/Tom McEveny]

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