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Wood, N Lee

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1955-    ) US author, married to Norman Spinrad (1990-2005); she began to publish work of genre interest with "Molly Haskowin" in Sworn Allies (anth 1995) edited by David Drake and Bill Fawcett. Her first novel, Looking for the Mahdi (1996), is a Near Future thriller which en passant interrogates Gender roles – its female protagonist must pretend to be a man in Moslem countries – in a tale involving an AI that claims to be a precursor of the Messiah. Faraday's Orphans (1997) is set in a rather more distant future, sending its protagonists on a quest across a Ruined Earth America a century or so after tumultuous Climate Change has driven most survivors into claustrophobic Keeps. Bloodrights (1999) moves further afield, its botanist protagonist finding himself abandoned on a planet run on matriarchal lines (see Gender; Women in SF), with only women capable of piloting ships through the Wormholes that tie the galaxy together; it is a culture he finds almost impossible to decipher, and his path towards the climax of the tale, when he establishes a men's rights movement, is tortuous. Master of None (2004) is fantasy, set in a world oppressed by Religion. Her novels, though individually of interest, may vary too much for her to have established a safe reader base.

The Inspector Keen Dunliffe sequence of detective thrillers beginning with Kingdom of Lies (2005) as Lee Wood is nonfantastic; the scrutiny in that first volume of the furore surrounding the early twenty-first century outbreak of hoof and mouth disease in Britain is sharp and revelatory. [JC]

see also: Romania.

Nancy Lee Wood

born Hartford, Connecticut: 15 November 1955



Inspector Keen Dunliffe

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