Featured Author – F. Paul Wilson

He’s written medical thrillers, collaborations, horror stories and hardboiled supernatural thrillers. This last is mostly what I’ve read: the Repairman Jack series. I also, long ago, read one of his LaNague series, which I seem to remember as a blueprint for violent social revolution. It struck me as too preachy.

This is not a fault with Repairman Jack. The series is very popular, so I expect you’ve heard of it. I find it to be compelling, largely because of the characters. Jack’s no-nonsense, hard logic approach to violence and self-defense cut right through the whole debate about such matters as gun control, inner city violence, drug legalization and various other issues. They’re where Jack lives and he gives an opinion about them all eventually.

The writing is sometimes a little choppy, although fortunately it doesn’t suffer from Zelazny syndrome, quite (ie, putting a new sentence on every line, sometimes only a partial sentence, for paragraphs at a stretch, for overemphasis). It certainly has grab, that elusive quality of holding your attention, and it moves the story on quite quickly. It isn’t deep intellectual stuff, but it’s hardly escape fiction–it’s putting the headlines right there in your face. Which makes it very unusual for me to read; I generally read fantasies that, if they are true to life at all, are true to historical, emotional and sociological life, not today’s current events. So it has something that’s capable of grabbing me, far from a typical reader of such fare.

I think Robert Heinlein would have loved this series.


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