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Toltz, Steve

Entry updated 16 May 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1972-    ) Australian author whose first novel, A Fraction of the Whole (2008), grazes against elements of the fantastic (see Fantastika), rather in the manner of the early Peter Carey; the protagonist's essentially fraud-based election as Prime Minister of Australia evokes sf tales set in the very Near Future. Quicksand (2015) is also told in a picaresque tone, though its plot is also more overdetermined than arguably tolerable in a tale of the picaresque.

Toltz's third novel, Here Goes Nothing (2022), reads initially as a Posthumous Fantasy (for this term and Afterlife see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below), for though its protagonist, murdered by a Mysterious Stranger, informs us immediately that he is dead, his moral progress is at least initially cental to the tale. The Afterlife he inhabits conveys a sense of the real world edged a few months or years into Disaster, with a savage new Pandemic ravaging the planet. His "life" here increasingly intolerable, he takes a Drug designed to transport him into other Dimensions, a Multiverse whose instantiations are worse than life on the original Earth. Here Goes Nothing, in which sf elements (see Equipoise) offer no hope, marks itself as a genuinely contemporary work. [JC]

Steve Toltz

born Sydney, New South Wales: 1972

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