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Vance, Steve 1952-

VANCE, Steve 1952-

(Steve Edward Vance)

PERSONAL: Born July 13, 1952, in Brunswick, GA.

ADDRESSES: Home—Dalton, GA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Five Star Books, 295 Kennedy Memorial Dr., Waterville, ME 04901.

CAREER: Novelist and short-story writer.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

Planet of the Gawfs, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1978.

All the Shattered Worlds, Manor (New York, NY), 1979.

The Reality Weavers, Laura Books (Davenport, FL), 1979.

The Asgard Run, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1990.

The Prince of Darkness: A Shane King Mystery Thriller, Serenity (New Orleans, LA), 1996.

Pound for Pound, Royal Fireworks Press (Unionville, NY), 1999.

HORROR NOVELS

The Hybrid, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1981.

The Hyde Effect, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1986.

The Abyss, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1989.

Spook, Soho Press (New York, NY), 1990.

Shapes, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Identity, Five Star Books (Waterville, ME), 2001.

Walpurgis Nights, Silk Label Books (Unionville, NY), 2001.

OTHER

Contributor of short stories to periodicals, including Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Cicada, Cricket, Pedestal, Unearth, Chillers, Tesseract Science-Fiction Magazine, Dark Fantasy, Brutarian, Mind's Eye, Pulp, and Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Contributor of nonfiction to Fight Game and Boxing World.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Mad Science, a horror novel.

SIDELIGHTS: Steve Vance is a prolific novelist who has been writing full time since 1976. Despite publishing novels in several genres, he related in a Buried.com interview that he is most drawn to horror. "Horror fiction allows for the writer to literally go in any direction at any time," he commented, adding that "horror is perhaps the most basic emotion…. We all know that split second of realization when we're poised at the top of the first incline on the roller coaster." Examples of Vance's early works include The Hyde Effect, about a man who becomes a werewolf after being infected by a virus and terrorizes a high-tech science compound, and Planet of the Gawfs, a futuristic tale in which a growing population of human mutants are essentially abandoned on a distant planet and left to create a new society.

Vance's 1990 novel, Spook, tells the story of a young girl with devastating deformities who has been kept in near-solitary confinement by her mother and who is suspected of a series of grisly murders that beset a small Georgia town. The book garnered much critical praise, particularly for its inventive conclusion. As Publishers Weekly reviewer Sybil Steinberg remarked, "The resolution of this thriller's spellbinding plot actually exceeds its promise…. The surprise awaiting readers is nothing short of stunning." A contributor to the St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost, and Gothic Writers called Spook "evocative and absolutely marvelous," and "a powerful parable about just how cruel people can be, and just how horribly people can suffer because of others' cruelty."

Identity, published in 2001, is another product of Vance's vivid and seemingly inexhaustible imagination. In this tale, a serial killer once thought dead has been given a new physical identity by the CIA so that he can assume a new career as an assassin; a series of murders draws the paths of the transformed murderer, a federal agent, and a transient ex-con toward a startling conclusion. "Vance takes the standard psych-killer format and adds a frightening twist with the new-identity factor," wrote Wes Lukowsky in Booklist.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost, and Gothic Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2001, Wes Lukowsky, review of Identity, p. 1642.

Library Journal, October 15, 1990, Eric W. Johnson, review of Spook, p. 107.

New York Times Book Review, October 14, 1990, Bret Lott, review of Spook, p. 22.

Publishers Weekly, August 3, 1990, Sybil Steinberg, review of Spook, p. 64; June 25, 2001, review of The Hyde Effect, p. 54.

School Library Journal, January, 1991, Pam Spencer, review of Spook, p. 121; May, 2000, Alice Casey Smith, review of Pound for Pound, p. 177.

ONLINE

Buried.com, http://www.buried.com/ (November 19, 2001), interview with Vance.

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