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Stith, John E

(1947-    ) US software engineering manager and author who began to publish sf with "Early Winter" in Fantastic for July 1979. His first novel, Scapescope (1984) – which is Hard SF like all his work – uses his work experience at the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex to extrapolate on the nature of a defense complex in that location two centuries hence. Memory Blank (1986) places a classic sf protagonist – a hero with Amnesia – on an L-5 Space Habitat (see Lagrange Point). Death Tolls (1987) is a detective mystery set on a terraformed Mars (see also Terraforming), and Deep Quarry (1989), set on a planet far from the solar system (to which Stith had previously restricted himself), pits a private eye against various mysteries in a hard-boiled style. More impressive than any of these is Redshift Rendezvous (1990), set on a Faster-than-Light starship travelling through a version of Hyperspace in which the speed of light is so low (22mph [35kph]) that Relativity effects are visible in everyday situations. Within this intriguingly presented environment, a murder mystery, a hijack and other events occur; but the appeal of the novel lies in the playing-out of the concept – or Thought Experiment – at its heart. Manhattan Transfer (1993), in which an alien force matter-transmits the island heart of New York elsewhere for reasons unknown, Reunion on Neverend (1994), a crime thriller, and Reckoning Infinity (1997), about the discovery in space of an Alien artefact, continued to demonstrate considerable storytelling energy. But after 2000 he was silent for many years, returning in 2020 with a number of Flash Fiction stories for the "Futures" department of Nature and the Time Gate novel Tiny Time Machine (2021). [JC]

see also: Imaginary Science.

John Edward Stith

born Boulder, Colorado: 30 July 1947




Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 21:56 pm on 6 July 2022.