BISSON, Terry (Ballantine)

BISSON, Terry (Ballantine)
   US author who has also worked as a New York publishing copy-writer. His first novel, Wyrldmaker (1981), is a too-rapidly told but intermittently dazzling GENERATION STARSHIP tale told in the guise of an heroic fantasy. With his second, Talking Man (1986), he comes into his full powers as a novelist whose narrative voice is urgently and lucidly that of a teller of tales. The figure at the heart of Talking Man - who does not talk - seems at the story's beginning to be nothing more than a bemusedly eccentric rural Kentuckian with a knack for repairing motors; as the novel develops into a quest west and then north across a USA more and more radically transformed the further the search proceeds, the talking man takes on qualities of Trickster and Redeemer, and eventually seems to contain the world's reality in his hands. The tale closes back home, but home is now an American South changed magically into a clement UTOPIA. In FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN (1988), which is in no ostensible sense a sequel, this same utopia proves to be an ALTERNATE WORLD born from a different course of US history. The enslaved Blacks of the Southern states had successfully revolted during the course of the Civil War, founded an independent Southern country, and by the late 20th century have established an unracist, beneficent, courteous, livable comity. Those parts of the tale set during this period are perhaps less convincing - and certainly less moving - than the central passages of the book, which represent the reminiscences of one of the Black revolutionaries; his descriptions of the successful campaign to free his people intensely invokes the haunted heartlands of the Civil War upriver from Washington, though subtly and upliftingly transformed.TB's fourth novel, Voyage to the Red Planet (1990), complicatedly combines spoof and elegy. In the 21st century the USA has declined severely, and the Mary Poppins, an umbrella-shaped spaceship once destined to take humanity to Mars, is in a mothball orbit. But an entrepreneur decides that a good film could be made of an actual trip to Mars, using the original ageing crew; and this is done. The portrait of a spineless, privatized USA is scathing; but the ship and the voyage - both described with considerable versimilitude - evoke a powerful sense of genuine but wasted opportunity, while generating at the same time a sense that humanity's dream of travelling outwards was not yet, perhaps, over. TB wrote no stories during the 1980s, but beginning in 1990 became a significant author of short fiction, with work like "Bears Discover Fire" (1990), which won a NEBULA, a HUGO and a THEODORE STURGEON MEMORIAL AWARD. The tale once again elegizes the land, the loss of the dream of America; it is also very funny. TB's short work is assembled as Bears Discover Fire (coll 1993). Fluent and moral and wry, TB has become one of the writers whose sf speaks to the world.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Terry Bisson — Terry Ballantine Bisson (born February 12, 1942, Owensboro, Kentucky) is an American science fiction and fantasy author best known for his short stories, including Bears Discover Fire (1990), which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards.A… …   Wikipedia

  • Биссон, Терри — Терри Биссон Terry Bisson …   Википедия

  • Prix Locus — Les prix Locus sont décernés chaque année, depuis 1971, par les lecteurs du magazine américain mensuel de science fiction Locus lors de la Westercons qui se déroule le quatrième week end de juillet. Sommaire 1 Les catégories 2 La formule de vote… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Prix Nebula — Le Prix Nebula 2004 pour le roman court The Green Leopard Plague par Walter Jon Williams Le prix Nebula (Nebula Award) est décerné, chaque année, par la Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America à l œuvre de science fiction ou de fantasy… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Drake equation — This article is about Frank Drake s equation. For the Tub Ring music album, see Drake Equation (album). The Drake equation (sometimes called the Green Bank equation or the Green Bank Formula) is an equation used to estimate the number of… …   Wikipedia

  • Hugo Award — Prix Hugo Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hugo. Cet article fait partie de la série …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hugo Awards — Prix Hugo Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hugo. Cet article fait partie de la série …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hugo awards — Prix Hugo Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hugo. Cet article fait partie de la série …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Prix Hugo — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hugo. Le prix Hugo (Hugo Award), dont le titre original est Science Fiction Achievement Award, est décerné chaque année aux meilleurs récits de science fiction ou de fantasy de langue anglaise publiés l année… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Anexo:Convención Mundial de Fantasía — La Convención Mundial de Fantasía (World Fantasy Convention) es una convención anual de profesionales que agrupa escritores, coleccionistas, artistas y otras personas interesadas en el género fantástico. En ella se da prioridad a la literatura y… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Postscripts — is a quarterly British [ [ Contact PS Publishing] , page retrieved 19 November 2006.] magazine of science fiction, fantasy, horror and crime fiction, first published in June 2004… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.