Reed, Robert 1956-
Reed, Robert 1956-
PERSONAL: Born October 9, 1956, in Omaha, NE; son of Charles Henry (an insurance salesman) and Shirley (a homemaker; maiden name, Moore) Reed; married; wife's name Leslie; children: Jessie (daughter). Education: Nebraska Wesleyan University, B.S., 1978. Hobbies and other interests: "I love to run long distances. I read a fair amount of science fiction, but the bulk of my reading is outside that field. Fossil shells and bones are akin to magic in my mind."
ADDRESSES: Home and office—4840 Cleveland Ave., No. 12, Lincoln, NE 68504. Agent—Writer's House, 21 West 26th St., New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Writer. Mapes Industries, Lincoln, NE, utility man, 1978–87; freelance writer, 1987–.
MEMBER: Science Fiction Writers of America.
AWARDS, HONORS: L. Ron Hubbard Gold Award, 1986, for story "Mudpuppies"; Imaginaire Award, Romanétranger, 1995, for La Voie Terrestre; Hugo Award nomination for Best Short Story, 1999, for "Whiptail" nominated for Hugo Award for Best Novelette, 2004, for Hexagons.
The Leeshore, Donald I. Fine (New York, NY), 1987.
The Hormone Jungle, Donald I. Fine (New York, NY), 1988.
Black Milk, Donald I. Fine (New York, NY), 1989.
Down the Bright Way, Bantam Spectra (New York, NY), 1991.
The Remarkables, Bantam Spectra (New York, NY), 1992.
An Exaltation of Larks, Tor (New York, NY), 1995.
The Dragons of Springplace (short story collection), Golden Gryphon Press (Urbana, IL), 1999.
Marrow, Tor (New York, NY), 2000.
Sister Alice, Tor (New York, NY), 2003.
The Well of Stars, Tor (New York, NY), 2005.
The Cuckoo's Boys (short story collection), Golden Gryphon Press (Urbana, IL), 2005.
"VEIL OF STARS" SERIES
Beyond the Veil of Stars, Tor (New York, NY), 1994.
Beneath the Gated Sky, Tor (New York, NY), 1997.
Work represented in anthologies, including Writers of the Future, Volume II. Works published in the United Kingdom, Japan, and France.
SIDELIGHTS: Robert Reed is a prolific science fiction writer with more than a dozen novels or short story collections published over a fifteen year period. The novel The Well of Stars tells of the Great Ship, a gigantic spaceship that has a planet at its center. Badly damaged, the ship is on its way to the Ink Well, the name given to a burnt out nebula on which blob-like creatures named polyponds live. These creatures have telepathic powers and may actually form one larger entity. Although the polyponds initially seem to be friendly, the millions of inhabitants of the Great Ship soon learn that these strange creatures have their own agenda and that the Great Ship may end up forever lost inside a black hole. An MBR Bookwatch contributor wrote that the novel is "an action-packed science fiction thriller that never slows down" and added that "the story line is fast-paced." Writing in Publishers Weekly, a reviewer noted that the "literary SF novel works at all levels, from the big action sequences and mind-expanding concepts to the quiet, reflective moments." Writing in Kirkus Reviews, a reviewer commented that the novel is "hypercomplicated, dense with ideas and a plot that works itself into a fine old lather: amazing and satisfying both"
The Cuckoo's Boys is a collection of the author's shorter works and features a dozen science fiction stories that previously appeared in magazines. The title story is about a man who clones thousands of copies of himself, but the man soon has a growing concern over the fact that his clones might not be exactly like him. In the story "Night of Time," the roles of master and servant are not what they seem, and in "First Tuesday," everyone on the planet gets a visit from the president via a virtual projection. Regina Schroeder, writing in Booklist, commented that the "stories afford mysterious and occasionally creepy glimpses of futures." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that the collection shows the "author's ability to put a fresh spin on traditional SF themes." Jackie Cassada, writing in the Library Journal, concluded that Reed's stories "never fail to probe the limits of human nature."
Reed once told CA: "I'm a focused, solitary person. If I write well on a given day, life is a joy. If I write poorly, or if events keep me from my routine, God help my family and friends.
"I got started in science fiction because of two loves—literature and science. I felt I could have the best of both worlds in writing science fiction; and while it hasn't been easy work, the gratifications are quite definitely on the rise.
"I have an enormous respect for William Faulkner. His works are populated with telepaths, time travelers, and other 'inventions' of science fiction. But more importantly, his works are populated with flesh-and-blood people who cast shadows and who will continue to do so for the future generations."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2005, Regina Schroeder, review of The Cuckoo's Boys, p. 34.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of The Well of Stars, p. 267.
Library Journal, November 15, 2005, Jackie Cassada, review of The Cuckoo's Boys, p. 65.
MBR Bookwatch, April, 2005, review of The Well of Stars.
Publishers Weekly, March 28, 2005, review of The Well of Stars, p. 61; September 19, 2005, review of The Cuckoo's Boys, p. 48.
Internet Speculative Fiction Database, http://www.isfdb.org/ (February 27, 2006), information on author's awards and work.
Star Base Andromeda, http://www.starbaseandromeda.com/ (February 26, 2006), brief profile of author and work.