ANTHONY, Patricia
(1947-)
   US teacher and writer who began publishing sf with "Blood Brothers" for Aboriginal in 1987. Her first published-though 4th completed-novel, COLD ALLIES (1993), aroused considerable interest for its fast and sophisticated plotting; its hard-nosed liberal take on the moral quagmires that complicate human actions during the NEAR FUTURE Lebensraum war, between the Old West and the seemingly ascendent land-hungry Moslem world, that serves as its setting and ostensible subject; and for its subtly ambiguous presentation of the eponymous ALIENS, who may be feeders on the sufferings of other species, who may simply be tourists, or who may be potential friends in need for a human race near the end of its-and its planet's-tether. As friends in need, PA's cold allies fit with remarkable neatness into any analysis of late-century sf as evolving from the triumphalism of "First SF" into a sobered set of ruminations on the human race's needto marry out: to seek help wherever we can find help. Perhaps even more impressive is Brother Termite (1993), which also uses alien visitors as complex mirrors in whose behaviour-genetic exigencies have forced them into a ruthlessly manipulative treatment of humans as expendable "partners", rather like women-it is possible to draw conclusions about human actions. The story itself-which involves some glancing satire on contemporary life and politics, and on human obsession with UFOs and other True-Believer diseases of the psyche-is both complex and neat. Conscience of the Beagle (1993) - 3rd published but first written-is a less impressive tale set on a planet inhabited by fundementalist Christians and infested by terrorism; but Happy Policeman (1994) continues impressively PA's scrutiny of human beings and human cultures through the alien mirror. In this case, an ALTERNATE WORLD reality is created for a small Texas town, and within this enclave aliens study us, for a while. PA has almost instantly become a writer who speaks to our current state.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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