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Voermans, Paul

Entry updated 25 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1960-    ) Australian author who began to publish work of genre interest with "The Broken Butterfly" in The View from the Edge: A Workshop of Science Fiction Stories (anth 1977) edited by George Turner. His first novel, And Disregards the Rest (1992), mixes sf and Magic Realism into a somewhat spatchcocked tale of Near-Future Australia, mixing together a metaphysical discourse about the consequences of a performance of William Shakespeare's The Tempest (performed circa 1611; 1623) (see Theatre) and a Changewar plot: the protagonist has been tasked, from an unlikely future in which Homo sapiens have thrived, to attempt to prevent an Alien visitation, which will terminally devastate human civilization (see Imperialism).

The Weird Colonial Boy (1993) is chiefly set in a Dystopian Alternate History in which the British Empire continues to rule an oppressed Australia, but is opposed by revolutionaries whose raids combine surreal horseplay and violence. Sharing at least one character and some allusions with this tale, The White Library (2020) (see Libraries) effectively all the same stands alone as an Alternate History version of Australia whose Jonbar Point is its "discovery" by Spanish rather than British exploiters. By 1983 Homo sapiens has already colonized both the Moon and Mars, one of the astronauts involved in the project being David Bowie. The protagonist, while working on network access to the central Cavendish (ie Melbourne) library she has been hired to sophisticate, creates a catalogue whose analogues to Matter Transmission are complexly unpacked. [JC]

Paul Voermans

born Traralgon, Victoria: 4 June 1960

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