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Smith, Kristine

(?   -    ) US author whose career under this name (she also writes supernatural thrillers as by Alex Gordon) has been almost entirely devoted to the Jani Killian series – comprising Code of Conduct (1999), Rules of Conflict (2000), Law of Survival (2001), all three assembled as The Rules of Survival (omni 2008), Contact Imminent (2003) and Endgame (2008), both assembled as Endgame (omni 2008) – set in a Space Opera universe, though the individual stories vary widely, from the noir thriller to Military SF. Eighteen years before the series proper begins its protagonist, Jani Killian, has become involved (and almost mortally wounded) in a conflict between two factions on the Alien planet her military expedition was supposed to monitor on behalf of the expansionist human Commonwealth, which seems aspiring to become a Galactic Empire. Medically transformed by the alien idomeni into something like a weaponized Cyborg, something like a hybrid, Killian has lived undercover ever since, as her augments decay. Though tinged with some romantic complications, the series increasingly focuses on the growing conflict between the two confrontational species, and on Thalassa, a multi-species enclave; Killian, wearing various faces and guises, gradually lifts her sights, and her companions', to the attainment of something like peace. The series, whose exuberant intricacies do not resolve with the final volume to date, seems open-ended. Smith won the John W Campbell Award for best new sf writer in 2001. [JC]

Kristine Smith

born Buffalo, New York

works (selected)


Jani Killian


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 01:35 am on 20 August 2022.