Lain, Douglas 1970–
Lain, Douglas 1970–
PERSONAL: Born 1970; married; children: four.
CAREER: Writer. Seller of subscription tickets to the Portland Symphony.
Last Week's Apocalypse (short-story collection), illustrated by Gee Vaucher, Night Shade Books (Portland, OR), 2006
Contributor to anthology Science Fiction: The Best of the Year 2005, edited by Rich Horton. Contributor of fiction to magazines, including Century.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Thirty and Counting, a novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Douglas Lain is a writer whose short stories have been compared to those of science-fiction author Philip K. Dick. In an interview with the Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard, Lain stated that he considered himself a writer first, and a science-fiction writer second. "In general, and no matter what the specific story is, I always try to write about fantastic things from an ordinary person's point of view," he commented.
In 2006 Lain published the first collection of his short stories, Last Week's Apocalypse. The stories, which range from a Bible salesman's encounter with a holographic Jesus to the effects of an exchange of nuclear weapons between Pakistan and India, make full use of the "surrealist" possibilities found in science fiction, according to Booklist reviewer Ray Olson. The critic found these stories "disturbing and provocative," and noted that the various styles the author chose to employ are as unusual as some of the plots. For example, some of the stories are presented as interviews or numbered lists. A Publishers Weekly writer commented on the author's use of "metafictive devices" and stated that the book engenders an "atmosphere of uncertainty."
Reviewing Last Week's Apocalypse for Strange Horizons online, Matthew Cheney mused that it might be better to consider the book as a loosely structured novel rather than a story collection. He praised Lain as having "extraordinary skill with dialogue," and called him "a remarkable writer—he wrings as much from this material as is imaginable, and he does so with panache and power."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2006, Ray Olson, review of Last Week's Apocalypse, p. 37.
Publishers Weekly, December 19, 2005, review of Last Week's Apocalypse, p. 46.
Register-Guard (Eugene, OR), April 22, 2001, interview with Douglas Lain.
Douglas Lain's Home Page, http://www.douglaslain.com. (April 12, 2006).
Doug Lain Web Log, http://douglain.livejournal.com (April 12, 2006).
Strange Horizons, http://www.strangehorizons.com/ (February 20, 2006), Matthew Cheney, review of Last Week's Apocalypse.