Buckell, Tobias S. 1979-
Buckell, Tobias S. 1979-
Born 1979, in Grenada; married; wife's name Emily. Education: Bluffton University, bachelor's degree, 1996.
Writer. Bluffton University, Bluffton, OH, Technology Center, manager, 1996-2006. Founder of SF Novelists Web site.
Writers of the Future Scholarship, 2002.
Crystal Rain (novel), Tor Books/Tom Doherty Associates (New York, NY), 2006
Contributor of short stories to magazines, anthologies, and web sites.
Tobias S. Buckell has mingled Caribbean and Aztec culture with science fiction in his first novel, Crystal Rain. Buckell, who grew up living on boats in various Caribbean locales, has set his novel on a peninsula called Nanagada, which has a culture resembling that of many Caribbean nations. But the peninsula's inhabitants are descended from people who came from another planet through a wormhole in space hundreds of years earlier. The book's action finds the largely peaceful Nanagadans under threat from the invading Aztecas, practitioners of human sacrifice who live on the other side of a mountain range and are ruled by an alien race. John deBrun, who can remember nothing of his life before he arrived on Nanagada as a shipwrecked castaway nearly thirty years before, must retrieve his memories in order to help the Nanagadans defend themselves.
Crystal Rain won praise from several critics for its unusual setting and for Buckell's storytelling abilities. The novel, commented Regina Schroeder in Booklist, portrays "a vividly imagined world," and its plot "unfolds at a breakneck pace." Jackie Cassada, writing in the Library Journal, described the story as "an original tale with distinctive characters and a fresh approach to worldbuilding." A Publishers Weekly reviewer thought that "Buckell handles his interlocking narratives well and his characters retain their humanity." T.M. Wagner, a contributor to the Web site SF Reviews.net, found some flaws in the novel but added: "What Buckell does right … he does breathtakingly right. Most effective is the evocation of place." Wagner also noted that the book has "wellrounded and involving characters" and "an efficient pace." Natalie Luhrs, in a review for Romantic Times, deemed Buckell's writing "simply superb" and summed up Crystal Rain as a "stellar debut novel."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2006, Regina Schroeder, review of Crystal Rain, p. 37.
Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, CA), February 5, 2006, Clay Kallam, review of Crystal Rain, p. F4.
Library Journal, January 1, 2006, Jackie Cassada, review of Crystal Rain, p. 104.
Publishers Weekly, January 2, 2006, review of Crystal Rain, p. 39.
Romantic Times, February, 2006, Natalie Luhrs, review of Crystal Rain.
Bluffton University Web site,http://www.bluffton.edu/ (April 18, 2006), brief biography and press release.
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (April 18, 2006), Hilary Williamson, review of Crystal Rain.
Crystal Rain Web site,http://www.crystal-rain.com (April 18, 2006).
GlobeandMail.com,http://www.theglobeandmail.com/ (March 10, 2006), Kelly McManus, "Cyborg Pirates and Schizophrenic Saviors."
SF Novelists,http://www.sfnovelists.com/ (April 18, 2006).
SF Reviews.net,http://www.sfreviews.net/ (April 18, 2006), T.M. Wagner, review of Crystal Rain.
Tobias S. Buckell Home Page, http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/wordpress (April 18, 2006).
Tobias S. Buckell Web log,http://www.blogger.com/ (April 18, 2006).
Vander World Web log,http://vanderworld.blogspot.com/ (February 22, 2006), Jeff VanderMeer, "Tobias Buckell Walks the Plank."