Segriff, Larry 1960-
Segriff, Larry 1960-
Born July 14, 1960, in Cedar Rapids, IA; son of Raymond Eugene (in insurance) and Lorna Clarice (a secretary) Segriff; married Marlys Ann Brunsting, September 9, 1982; children: Megan Elizabeth, Caitlin Erin. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Attended University of Iowa. Hobbies and other interests: Fencing (former competitor), volunteer soccer coach.
Office—Tekno-Books, P.O. Box 8296, Green Bay, WI 54308.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers of America.
Spacer Dreams (science fiction), Baen Books (Riverdale, NY), 1995.
(With William R. Forstchen) The Four Magics (fantasy), Baen Books (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Steve Perry) Tom Clancy's Net Force: Changing of the Guard, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Steve Perry) Tom Clancy's Net Force: State of War, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Wizardspawn, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2003.
Nightmare Logic, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2004.
(With Steve Perry) Springboard, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Work represented in anthologies.
(With Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg) The Fine Art of Murder: The Mystery Reader's Indispensable Companion, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1993.
(With Martin H. Greenberg) Future Net (science fiction), DAW (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg) An Anthology of Angels, Glorya Hale Books (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg) Murder Most Irish, Barnes & Noble Books (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg) Cat Crimes for the Holidays, Donald I. Fine (New York, NY), 1997.
(With Martin H. Greenberg) First Contact, New American Library (New York, NY), 1997.
(With Martin H. Greenberg) Battle Magic, DAW (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg) Cat Crimes through Time, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Martin H. Greenberg) Spell Fantastic, DAW (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Martin H. Greenberg) Far Frontiers, DAW (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Martin H. Greenberg) Guardsmen of Tomorrow, DAW (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Martin H. Greenberg) Past Imperfect, DAW (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Martin H. Greenberg) Silicon Dreams, DAW (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg) Murder Most Feline: Cunning Tales of Cats and Crime, Cumberland House (Nashville, TN), 2001.
(With Martin H. Greenberg) Future Wars, DAW (New York, NY), 2003.
Larry Segriff has worked in many genres as both a writer and editor. Some of his best-known books are those anthologies he has edited collaboratively, including a series that features crime stories involving cats. They include Cat Crimes for the Holidays and Murder Most Feline: Cunning Tales of Cats and Crime. Writing about Cat Crimes for the Holidays, a Publishers Weekly critic stated that "there is much to purr over in this litter." The collection, which presents nineteen new stories, includes a cat crime puzzle for nearly every holiday of the year, including Valentine's Day, Veteran's Day, and even Boxing Day. Its sequel, Cat Crimes through Time, includes settings in a castle in twelfth-century Scotland, a nineteenth-century Canadian fur-trapping settlement, and a court in ancient Egypt. Varying greatly in tone and style, the stories bring together both veteran and emerging new suspense writers. The third volume in the series, Murder Most Feline, contains seventeen tales of the courtroom in which cats help to solve mysteries.
In Past Imperfect Segriff and coeditor Martin H. Greenburg collected twelve stories that center on time travel. Harriet Klausner wrote in Best Reviews that "each entry is fun … very good and entertaining." A Publishers Weekly reviewer stated that "newcomers to the genre will find many stories engaging." The characters include many sorts of heroes, including a family in search of their grandfather, a man able to change his future by confronting his past, and a professor who invents a time-travel machine. Travel though time is a major theme in the collection, but it is used as a springboard to treat "broader topics about people, morality, and our place in the universe," observed Thomas S. Downey in a Kliatt review. The collection Silicon Dreams includes various stories designed to appeal to fans of science fiction. Robots are featured in two of the stories and were described as the "shining stars" of this "excellent" collection, according to Kliatt reviewer Sherry S. Hoy.
In his novel Wizardspawn, Segriff tells the story of Jeffrey Connor, a writer who finds his life turned upside down when his identity is hijacked and his wife and child are spirited away. In his desperate search to find the most essential elements of his life, Jeffrey consults first with a detective, then a hypnotist, and ultimately enters a magical realm. Jackie Cassada, reviewing the book for Library Journal, noted the many twists in the plot, and called some of the decisions made by the main character "startling." Cassada also wrote favorably of Segriff's novel Nightmare Logic, which shows the main character turning to magic to defend himself from a false murder charge, in a "fast-paced" story.
Segriff once told CA: "I think that, to make a broad and sweeping generalization, there are two main types of writers: storytellers and stylists. Storytellers are motivated mostly by the sense of the story, by the desire to create some wonderful place, people it with interesting characters, and then share that place with others. Stylists, on the other hand, are in love with the beauty of language, motivated by the desire to work with words. I am primarily a storyteller and, while I find great beauty in words, my primary motivation is the desire to tell a story.
"I suspect that many writers come to our craft after many years of reading for pleasure. Certainly that was the route I took. As a result, my voice, my style, my entire approach to storytelling has been shaped by the authors I've read. In addition, I studied many different authors in an attempt to learn how they handled scene construction and character development, or how they structured and paced a novel, as opposed to a short story. Of them all, Roger Zelazny has been my greatest influence. He combined style with storytelling in a way that I doubt will ever be duplicated, and every story I write is touched by the memories of his work.
"There are two halves to the writing process: the external, or physical, element and the internal, philosophical part. I write in the morning, before heading out to my day job. I used to be more of a spurt writer: writing in great bursts, but sporadically. That has changed. With maturity has come discipline. Now, when I am on deadline, I try to write a minimum of a thousand words per day. These must be new words, not a rewriting of a previous day's output.
"My internal approach has changed as well, evolving as I have grown and developed. Writing is still, and will always be, a calling, but it is more than that, too. It is a business, and writing requires the same degree of professionalism as any other occupation. I think that is one of the reasons it takes so long for most writers to break in. It is not enough to learn to write well; it is also important to learn to write commercially—to understand and recognize market trends and to learn the concept of audience and how to write for one. Like many authors, I started out an artiste and became a craftsman.
"What inspires me to write on the subjects I choose? That's a tough question. I work in many areas and genres—science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and horror— each of which is vastly different from the others, and each of which brings its own combination of inspiration and desire. In all honesty, though, I consider myself a fantasist first and a science fiction/mystery/horror writer second. I have always been drawn to the concept of empowerment: my teenage dreams were all about the ninety-eight-pound weakling suddenly developing psychic or magical powers and saving the beautiful girl. It is this concept—not the teenage fantasies—that underlies much of my work, and that inspires me to find the stories I write."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2001, Regina Schroeder, review of Past Imperfect, p. 58.
Kliatt, March, 2002, Thomas S. Downey, review of Past Imperfect, p. 23, and Sherry S. Hoy, review of Silicon Dreams, p. 23.
Library Journal, June 15, 2003, Jackie Cassada, review of Wizardspawn, p. 106; April 15, 2004, Jackie Cassada, review of Nightmare Logic, p. 129.
Publishers Weekly, October 27, 1997, review of Cat Crimes for the Holidays, p. 56; November 16, 1998, review of Cat Crimes through Time, p. 58; September 10, 2001, review of Past Imperfect, p. 67.
Science Fiction Chronicle, April, 1998, review of Alien Dreams, p. 50.
Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 1998, review of Alien Dreams, p. 117.
Best Reviews,http:// www.thebestreviews.com/ (September 8, 2001), Harriet Klausner, review of Past Imperfect.