Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.
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
- 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]
- Little America (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin, 1977) [hb/Charles Shields]
- A.K.A.: A Cosmic Fable (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin, 1978) [hb/Charles Shields]
- The Time Trip (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin, 1979) [hb/Charles Shields]
- The Book of Revelations (New York: E P Dutton, 1981) [hb/Terry Fehr]
- Portal: A Dataspace Retrieval (New York: St Martin's Press, 1988) [hb/Jean-Francois Podevin]
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