Thursday, May 27, 2010

Greg Egan - Russell Blackford

A Companion to Science Fiction

Published Online: 26 Nov 2007

Editor(s): David Seed

Print ISBN: 9781405112185 Online ISBN: 9780470997055

"In 1983, Australian author Greg Egan (1961–) commenced his career as a science fiction writer with the publication of his first short story, “Artifact.” Through the 1 980s, he produced a body of work – one novel, and a total of eight short stories – that showed talent and literary promise, combining exceptionally lucid, deceptively simple prose with bizarre storylines that frequently crossed into metafiction or surrealism. This work gained him reprints in major Year’s Best anthologies in the fantasy and horror fields. However, he gave the impression of being only a marginal SF writer whose strongest interests were in cinema, horror, and experimental forms of narrative. He appeared likely to have a respectable, but relatively modest, career in the SF genre.
Then, at the start of the 1 990s, that changed completely. He altered the subject matter of his work, pursued new thematic concerns, and adapted his flexible and essentially sound literary style to new purposes. From this time on, Egan’s work presents extraordinary situations with relentless verisimilitude; its realism of narrative technique places it within the main SF tradition.
This changed approach opened commercial markets, and Egan’s published writing became far more prolific. Such was the intellectual intensity and scientific rigor of the stories and novels that he produced in the 1 990s, and the sense it created of a writer positioned at the genre’s cutting edge, that Damien Broderick was able write with some plausibility that Egan had become “perhaps the most important SF writer in the world” (Broderick 1998: 50)."

5 out of 5

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