ZINDELL, David
(1952-)
   US writer with a degree in mathematics who began publishing sf with "The Dreamer's Sleep" for Fantasy Book in 1984, though his career properly began when he won the WRITERS OF THE FUTURE CONTEST with "Shanidar" (1985). His 1st novel was the long and remarkable Neverness(1988), an extremely ambitious example of the tale of cosmogony (a tale - usually containing some plot mixture of SPACE OPERA and PLANETARY ROMANCE- whose protagonist's life leads to an encounter with questions about the origins, the ontological nature and the end of the Galaxy or Universe). The young protagonist has all the necessary complexity and drivenness tooccupy centre-stage "cosmogony opera"; indeed, as he recollects his cruel and ornate life at a distance of some years, Mallory Ringess may for some readers too much resemble the Severian of Gene WOLFE's The Book of the New Sun (1980-83), though he does eventually establish his own chillyselfhood. The planet in which the city of Neverness nestles is drawn with a long-breathed relish reminiscent of Wolfe's own model, Jack VANCE; the growth to manhood of Ringess in this environment is expressed with cold ornateness, an assiduous attention to character and a sense of immanent significance. As space-pilot in the Order of Mystic Mathematicians and Other Seekers of the Ineffable Flame, Ringess eventually becomes involvedin a search for the Elder Eddas which bear messages of import about reality; encounters an entity whose brain is composed of moon-sized ganglia; betrays, comes to understand, and saves himself; and penetrates the eons-deep secrets of the nature of things. The author of Neverness is romantic, ambitious, and skilled.Full understanding of DZ's immense second novel - whose first 2 instalments may or may not constitute the entire story - awaits its full publication. The first volume, The Broken God (1993 UK), carries on the overall project outlined in Neverness, primarilythrough the viewpoint of Ringess's son. The recomplications and innovations of the tale are consistent with those adumbrated in the earlier book, which serves as a kind of prelude. A second volume, The Wild (1995 UK), is projected.
   JC

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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