SHINER, Lewis (Gordon)


SHINER, Lewis (Gordon)
(1950-)
   US writer who began publishing sf with "Tinker's Damn" for Galileo in 1977, and who wrote a substantial number of tales before beginning to assemble them in Nine Hard Questions about the Nature of the Universe (coll 1990) and The Edges of Things (coll 1991). His work inshort form has been various, tending at its best to a clear-edged intensity which gives his venues, whether or not sf, a glow of seriousness; at its less impressive, in earlier stories, there is a sense of overindustrious journeyman plundering of recent sf writers for models. But increasingly an engaged and sophisticated mind can be seen extractinghard kernels of import out of those models. LS's first novel, Frontera (1984), in which a team is sent to MARS by a large corporation toinvestigate an abandoned colony, ostensibly obeys the sf-adventure rules governing tales of that sort, but insinuates throughout a bleaker, denser view of humanity's life in space. Deserted Cities of the Heart (1988), set in a MAGIC-REALIST Mexico, features a complexity of plots, involving imagined TIME TRAVEL back to the age of the Mayas, heated sexual and political intertwinings, and moments of not entirely convinced transcendence; but the style of the tale is shining and faceted, and its various protagonists are vividly realized. Slam (1990), a non-sf tale about a reformed tax-evader paroled from prison (or "slam"), competently and copiously evokes a sense of Texas not dissimilar to that imparted by fellow Texans like Neal BARRETT Jr and Howard WALDROP; the ambitious Glimpses (1993) is fantasy. It is sf's loss that LS's career seems to bemoving swiftly away from the genre.
   JC
   Other works: Twilight Time (1984 IASFM; 1991 chap); When the Music's Over (anth 1991).
   See also: CYBERPUNK; GOTHIC SF; MUSIC; WILD CARDS.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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