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Wilber, Rick

Entry updated 1 January 2022. Tagged: Author, Editor.

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Working name of US academic and author Richard Arnold Wilber (1948-    ), who began to publish work of genre interest with "Horatio Hornblower and the Songs of Innocence" (in Chrysalis 6, anth 1980, ed Roy Torgeson), and many of whose short stories have been assembled as Where Garagiola Waits and Other Baseball Stories (coll 1999), To Leuchars (coll 2001) and Rambunctious: Nine Tales of Determination (coll 2020), this last volume containing some powerfully elegiac tales with autobiographical elements; the uncollected "Helmet" (December 1991 Aboriginal Science Fiction) interestingly invokes the bicameral-mind theories of Julian Jaynes. Much of this work deals in one mode or another with Baseball (Wilber wrote that theme entry for this Encyclopedia), more often than not in Fantasy terms, though Rum Point: A Baseball Novel (2010) only edges upon the fantastic.

Wilber's first novel, The Cold Road (2003), an exercise in Fantastika incorporating some slender sf elements, deals with a woman whose ability to experience the last moments of dead persons is presented Equipoisally as an obeah empowerment that seems measurable Alien Morning (2016), on the other hand, is an sf novel set in the Near Future; the protagonist, enabled through his skills in manipulating reality levels (see Media Landscape; Virtual Reality) in a Game-World context, is involved in First Contact with an Alien civilization apparently willing to share its high Technology, though misunderstandings and hidden motives and other conflicting alien civilizations make the visit increasingly resemble an Invasion. Wilber won a Sidewise Award for his story "Something Real" (April 2012 Asimov's). [JC]

Richard Arnold Wilber

born St Louis, Missouri: 4 September 1948




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