WILSON, Robert Charles


WILSON, Robert Charles
(1953-)
   US-born writer, in Canada from 1962, who began to publish sf with "Equinocturne" for ASF in 1974, though he did not make a significant impact on the field until the 1980s, when he began to publish his polished and inventive novels. His first, A Hidden Place (1986), prefigures much of his work in positing an emotion-drenched binary between the mundane world and an ALTERNATE WORLD, in this case the latter being the realm of Faery, though presented in an sf idiom; as in his later work, a protagonist embedded in everyday reality must come to terms with - and perhaps take ethically acceptable advantage of - the fragile opening to a better place that seems to be on offer. The "other place" in Memory Wire (1987) is a kind of LOST WORLD temporally removed from a CYBERPUNK 21st century; the protagonists make contact with it through "oneiroliths" or dream stones. In Gypsies (1989 US) an entire family of Earth children live in variousstates of pathological denial of their capacity to walk through the walls of this world into a variety of parallel existences (PARALLEL WORLDS); out of one of these, which is profoundly DYSTOPIAN, comes the Grey Man who haunts the family in his attempts to lure the children "back" to the dreadful world in which he claims they belong. But they escape him, ending in a pastoral world much like a realm of the Pacific Rim in which it does not rain much. The Divide (1990 US) locates the binary within the skull of a character who contains 2 utterly distinct selves; the book slips into melodrama - it is perhaps RCW's weakest novel - and its split-brain conundra are solved by a blow to the head. In A Bridge of Years (1991 US) the divide lies between the present and 1961, which are connected through TIME TRAVEL and a plot which deals, in familiar terms, with a long-rangingtime-war between vying reality-lines. The persistency of RCW's basic concerns allows him, on occasion, to slide into routine formulations; but, throughout, he expresses with vigour and imagination the great Canadian theme (for the sense of being on the lonely side of a binary has sparked much of the best Canadian sf) of geographical alienation. In The Harvest (1993), his most ambitious novel to date, an alien group intelligenceoffers humanity gifts of immortality, undying curiosity and wisdom; most accept, for a variety of reasons presented by RCW with the kind of informed sympathy found in writers of the 1990s - but not generally in more optimistic decades - for actions of this sort. Mysterium (1994) returns poignantly to the theme of alienation, describing in considerable detail what happens to the residents of a small town when it is translated into a parallel world.RCW should not be confused with the author of The Crooked Tree (1980), Robert C(harles) Wilson (1951-).
   JC
   See also: CANADA; SUPERMAN.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Robert Charles Wilson — Wilson was born in the United States in California, but grew up near Toronto, Ontario. Apart from another short period in the early 1970s spent in Whittier, CA, he has lived most of his life in Canada, and in 2007 he became a Canadian citizen. He …   Wikipedia

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  • Charles Anderson Wickliffe — (* 8. Juni 1788 in Springfield, Kentucky; † 31. Oktober 1869 in Ilchester, Maryland) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker und Gouverneur von Kentucky sowie Postminister der USA. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Frühe Jahre 2 Politischer Aufstieg …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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