Von Schlegell, Mark
Von Schlegell, Mark
PERSONAL: Male. Education: New York University, Ph.D.
CAREER: Teacher and art critic. Rambler, Los Angeles, CA, newsletter editor. Has worked variously as an editor, archivist, cartographer, security guard, librarian, and plumber's assistant.
Contributor of criticism to anthologies and periodicals.
SIDELIGHTS: A writer of science fiction and an editor for the Los Angeles art newsletter Rambler, Mark von Schlegell was heavily influenced by his doctoral studies in English and American literature, as well as his quirky imagination, when he wrote his first novel. Venusia takes place late in the twenty-third century, when Earth has been all but destroyed and the remaining human population relocates to the planet of Venus, where people are controlled by the government-mandated consumption of psychedelics. The course of the new colony's history changes when a character finds a book about Venusia's early, prefascist history.
Booklist contributor Carl Hays called Venusia an "absurdist blending of fantasy and cutting-edge sf that never fails to entertain." In a review for Library Journal, Jackie Cassada described the book as "a heady, kaleidoscopic trip into a dystopic future." Shaun Green, a reviewer for SFCrowsnest.com, acknowledged Venusia as "a novel to check out if you're interested in work that pushes boundaries, alters perception or enjoys suggesting new paradigms," adding that the book is "tremendously ambitious and is a breathtaking pulse of radicalism in a field that is all too often overly conservative." Writing for Maxim Online, Mike Errico called von Schlegell's novel "a psychedelic sampling of high and low literature that marks the best of the genre."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 2005, Carl Hays, review of Venusia, p. 38.
Library Journal, September 15, 2005, Jackie Cassada, review of Venusia, p. 59.
Mark von Schlegell Home Page, http://www.sff.net/people/schlegell (March 10, 2006).
Maxim Online, http://www.maximonline.com/ (March 12, 2006), Mike Errico, review of Venusia.
SFCrowsnest.com, http://www.sfcrowsnest.co.uk/ (November 1, 2005), Shaun Green, review of Venusia.