Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wynne Whiteford: The Specialist (1990)

The Specialist, a novel by Wynne Whiteford (1990)

Paperback original (New York: Ace Books, 1990), 246 p., $3.95. Cover art by Angus McKie. Here's the blurb from the back cover:

Conspiracy on the Red Planet! Lance Garrith, star reporter for the Solar News, came to Mars for the scoop of a lifetime: evidence of a visitor from beyond the stars. But a Martian colony can be a dangerous place. Lance is watched, followed ... and nearly killed. Something on Mars doesn’t want to be found. Something not quite human ...

Nominated in 1991 for the Ditmar Award for the best Australian science fiction, fantasy, or horror novel, The Specialist is dedicated to “Paul Collins – friend and indefatigable publisher of science fiction in Australia during the lean years.”

A detailed description and brief analysis of the book is included in the chapter about Whiteford in Strange Constellations: a History of Australian Science Fiction, by Russell Blackford (1999).

To the best of our knowledge, the 1990 Ace paperback is the only edition of The Specialist which has appeared in the United States. Whiteford penned another Mars novel, Lake of the Sun (1989), also published in the United States as a paperback by Ace.

A “great lion of the Australian sf scene,” Wynne Whiteford died on September 30, 2002. His death was reported by The Infinite Matrix.

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