BUSBY, Francis Marion


BUSBY, Francis Marion
(1921-)
   US writer and long-time sf fan, co-editor with his wife Elinor Busby of the HUGO-winning FANZINECry, producing some of his early work as by Renfrew Pemberton. He began publishing sf stories with "A Gun for Grandfather" for Future Science Fiction in 1957, which appears in Getting Home (coll 1987). He did not write any novels until much later, after attending the CLARION SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS' WORKSHOP in 1972, at which point he went freelance as a writer. His books began with the SPACE-OPERA Demu series about a hijacked human, Barton, and his war against the ALIEN Demu: Cage a Man (1974) and The Proud Enemy (1975), both assembled with the book-length "End of the Line" plus "The Learning of Eeshta" (1973) as The Demu Trilogy (omni 1980). The first, superior, instalment is particularly effective in its depiction of Barton's imprisonment and eventual escape. FMB's second sequence, which has shifted tone and protagonists over the years, began with Rissa Kerguelen (1976) and The Long View (1976), which two were actually a single extremely long novel and were republished as such, reset and with minor revisions, as Rissa Kerguelen (1977; vt in 3 vols as Young Rissa [1984], Rissa and Tregare [1984] and the original second volume, The Long View [1984]). Ambitious, and featuring a rather diffuse character portrait of its female protagonist to justify its length, the Rissa Kerguelen story is, in essence, a stylistically awkward tale of bureaucratic oppression on Earth, flight to the stars, interstellar conflict and eventual revenge. The rhythm picks up somewhat but the portents of significance tend to fade in later volumes, which sooner or later connect with the earlier tale: Zelde M'Tana (1980), which is something of an offshoot, and the Bran Tregare novels, about Rissa's eventual husband: The Star Rebel (1984) and Rebel's Quest (1985), both assembled as The Rebel Dynasty, Volume I (omni 1987), and Alien Debt (1985) and Rebel's Seed (1986), both assembled as The Rebel Dynasty, Volume II (omni 1988).
   JC
   Other works: All These Earths (fixup 1978); The Breeds of Man (1988), about AIDS; Slow Freight (1991); If This is Winnetka, You Must be Judy (1974 in Universe 5 ed Terry CARR; 1992 chap); The Singularity Project (1993); Islands of Tomorrow (1994).
   See also: MEDICINE.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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