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Sparhawk, Bud

Working name of US author John C Sparhawk (1937-    ), who began to publish work of genre interest with "The Tomkins Battery Case" in Analog for August 1976, his best known short work being the Sam Boone sequence of tales beginning with "Sam Boone and the Thermal Couple" (October 1995 Analog), about a helterskelter but competent human who deals with visiting Aliens from various parts of the galaxy and their complicated crises. These relatively unusual examples of Humour in sf, showing the influence of Keith Laumer's not dissimilar Retief sequence, were assembled as Sam Boone: Front to Back (coll 2003; exp vt The Complete Sam Boone 2011 ebook). Variously sorted, much of his other short fiction has also been collected, the first of these titles being Dancing with Dragons (coll 2001); later work is assembled in Non-Parallel Universes (coll 2017).

Sparhawk's two novels are also of sf interest. In Vixen (2008), a fundamentalist sect (see Religion), anxious to colonize a new planet, travels in Suspended Animation via a slower-than-light starship (see Relativity) to a seemingly uninhabited world, where its world-view is conclusively challenged (see Conceptual Breakthrough; First Contact). As the action becomes more violent, Military SF topoi begin to take hold. The loosely coordinated stories worked into Distant Seas (fixup 2016) deal variously with the sport of sailing as attempted on Mars and Jupiter. [JC]

John C Sparhawk

born Baltimore, Maryland: 11 August 1937



Shardies War

individual titles

collections and stories


Sam Boone

Short Stories

individual titles (selected)


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 05:37 am on 24 May 2022.