Buckner, M. M.
Buckner, M. M.
PERSONAL: Male. Education: Memphis State University, B.A.; attended Harvard University; Boston University, M.A. Hobbies and other interests: Environmental activism, kayaking, biking, scuba diving, hiking, and snow skiing.
ADDRESSES: Home—Nashville, TN. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Penguin Putnam, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.
CAREER: Novelist. Former vice president of marketing for a financial firm.
AWARDS, HONORS: Southeastern Science Fiction Achievement Award for best novel, 2004, for Hyperthought.
"GREENHOUSE EARTH" SERIES
Hyperthought, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Neurolink, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Ensign Literary Review, member of editorial board.
WORK IN PROGRESS: War Surfing.
SIDELIGHTS: M. M. Buckner appeared on the science-fiction scene in 2003 with her debut novel, Hyperthought. The novel was the first in Buckner's he "Greenhouse Earth" series, which takes place in a not-so-distant future in which Earth has been greatly impacted by global warming. Hyperthought revolves around the activities of Jolie Sauvage, a tour guide to the wealthy owners of the dot.com businesses that now rule the earth, while Neurolink, tells the story of Dominic Jedes, the cloned son of one of the ruling elite, who has a neural profile of his father piggybacked into his own brain.
Buckner's novels garnered praise from several critics, including Booklist contributor Regina Schroeder, who described the debut novel as "one successful adventure story" and a "neatly packaged allegory." On SciFiDimensions.com John C. Snider praised both novels, dubbing Hyperthought "a hip, fast-moving action adventure with a cyberpunk feel," and Neurolink "cyberpunk with an old-fashioned social conscience." "A nicely constructed, mildly satirical dystopian future" were the terms Chronicle reviewer Don D'Ammassa used to describe Neurolink. A number of reviewers have pointed to the cyberpunk style of Buckner's novels, and although the author does not see herself in the dark world of cyberpunk, she has acknowledged similarities. "I generally call my work 'post-cyberpunk' because neither my vision nor my writing style is as dark as those of the cyberpunk masters," she wrote at SciFiDimensions.com. "Like them, I extrapolate a near future from present trends, so it's not surprising that our outlooks are similar."
On SciFiDimensions.com Buckner also reflected on her aspirations and writing career: "Writing has always been my dream. But it took a while to arrange my life to have enough time to write novels." By the 1990s she was able to focus on her writing instead of her business career. She makes extensive working notes that include maps, histories, timelines, sketches of economic and social structures, and descriptions of religions and musical styles of her fictional world and its characters. She does not overwhelm her novels with such information, however, preferring instead to include only the telling details that lend verisimilitude to her future world and its action-packed plots. "I began sending material to Ace [publishers] in the late 1990s," she recalled, "and by an immense piece of good fortune, one of the editors noticed and liked my work. Even though he rejected the first two novels I sent, he encouraged me to keep trying."
Readers are the fortunate beneficiaries of Buckner's talent and perseverance. In 2004 they acknowledged her success with the Southeastern Science-Fiction Achievement Award for best novel for Hyperthought. With a growing list of novels and an appreciative readership, Buckner joined renowned speculative writer Andre Norton as the best-known science fiction writer in Tennessee.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2003, Regina Schroeder, review of Hyperthought, p. 860.
Chronicle, November, 2004, Don D'Ammassa, review of Neurolink, p. 46.
Entertainment Weekly, September 10, 2004, Noah Robischon, review of Neurolink, p. 167.
M. M. Buckner Home Page, http://www.mmbuckner.com (December 13, 2004).