McQUAY, Mike
   Working name of US writer Michael Dennis McQuay (1949-), who began to publish sf with his first novel, Life-Keeper (1980), which very competently presents the kind of scenario MM has unrelentingly promulgated in book after book: a world governed by corrupt forces; a tough, anarchic, street-wise male protagonist whose powers - and virtue - are very exceptional indeed; and a plot which gives plenty of opportunities for arena-like conflicts between that protagonist and the corrupt forces he will ultimately defeat. The Mathew Swain sequence - Hot Time in Old Town (1981), When Trouble Beckons (1981), The Deadliest Show in Town (1982) andThe Odds are Murder (1983) - makes explicit the generic origins of this hero, who derives from the works of Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) and Chandler's direct successors. As the series develops, Swain fightscorruption first on Earth, then on the Moon and then on Earth again, always finding fit targets in the organizations which dominate society. Escape from New York * (1981), a film tie (ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK), ifanything intensifies the seamy clangour of the movie version. Jitterbug (1984) interestingly posits an Arab hegemony over a corruptly DYSTOPIAN22nd-century world. The Ramon and Morgan series - Pure Blood (1985) and Mother Earth (1985) - exploits similar venues without much innovation. MM's best novel to date is perhaps Memories (1987), in which the Weltschmerz inherent in the Chandler tradition is cleverly re-articulated in the story of a woman who arrives by a form of subjective TIME TRAVEL from a devastated future, and who embroils the psychiatrist hero in further travels backwards into a somewhat sentimentalized understanding on both their parts of the depth of their deracination from the real world. The Nexus (1989) likewise handles material of considerable complexity, inthis case a NEAR FUTURE tale of innocence exploited. It is difficult to be sure that MM's copious energy will eventually control his equally apparent sentimentality; but he remains, without doubt, one of the more interesting professionals in the field.
   Other works: My Science Project * (1985), a tie to MY SCIENCE PROJECT (1985); The M.I.A. Ransom (1986); Isaac Asimov's Robot City \#2: Suspicion * (1987); Puppetmaster (1991 UK; rev1991 US), associational thriller; State of Siege (1994), a near-future thriller.As Victor Appleton (house name): Tom Swift: Crater of Mystery * (1983); Tom Swift: Planet of Nightmares * (1984).As Jack Arnett: The Bookof Justice sequence of associational thrillers, those of some sf interest being \#1: Genocide Express (1989), \#2: Zaitech Sting (1990) and \#4: Panama Dead (1990).As Laura Lee Hope (house name): Bobbsey Twins: Haunted House *(1985).As Carolyn Keene (house name): Nancy Drew: Ghost Stories * (coll 1985).

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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