Elizabeth Bear is the pen name of Sarah Bear Elizabeth Wishnevsky (born September 22, 1971), an American author of Speculative Fiction who burst on the scene in 2005 with her science fiction novel Hammered (start of the Jenny Casey trilogy), which earned her a John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She has gone on to publish over twenty novels, and a wide variety of short stories.
In addition to several awards for her writing, she is also an active SF fan, and her podcast, SF Squeecast, has won the Hugo Award for Best Fancast. Twice.
Works with a page on this wiki:
- Boojumverse (assorted shorts, with Sarah Monette)
- Jacob's Ladder Trilogy (Dust, Chill, and Grail)
- New Amsterdam Books series
- The Promethean Age series
Selected other works:
- The Jenny Casey trilogy (all 2005)
- Carnival (2006)
- Undertow (2007)
- The Iskryne series (with Sarah Monette):
- A Companion to Wolves (2007)
- The Tempering of Men (2011)
- An Apprentice to Elves (2015)
- The Edda of Burdens series:
- All the Windwracked Stars (2008)
- By the Mountain Bound (2009)
- The Sea thy Mistress (2011)
- Shoggoths In Bloom (collection, 2012)
- Karen Memory (2015)
Tropes in her other works:
- Alien Non-Interference Clause: Undertow has an inversion: If a planet is inhabited, humans can only colonize it if the natives are pre-space. As you might expect, this sometimes results in a situation similar to what happened in most European colonies. But that's not even the best part. The book's major twist is that the natives of the world the book takes place on voluntarily gave up space travel and reverted to a pre-technological state. Which according to a literal interpretation of the Alien Non-Interference Clause, means the current colony is illegal.
- All Trolls Are Different: In A Companion To Wolves, trolls fit into the "big ogrish" type physically. They can also move through rock and earth as easily as humans do through water and have a hivelike setup with a queen as the only fertile female, sterile female worker/soldiers and males whose only function is to impregnate the queen.
- Bond Creatures: The authors did a brilliant and weirdly hilarious Darker and Edgier spin on some of the less charming implications of the Pern series in A Companion to Wolves, which is pretty much Pern WITH GAY VIKINGS and giant sentient wolves replacing dragons.
- Brain Uploading: The Jenny Casey series contain a sentient AI with the memory and behavioral patterns of physicist Richard Feynman. Despite thinking of himself as "Dick" or "Richard", he's very clear on being a different person than the original Feynman. He also takes considerable advantage of the increased processor power he finds, duplicating himself many times and eventually becoming a sort of guardian to the entire Earth.
- Consummate Liar: Michelangelo Kusanagi-Jones from Carnival has this ability; it causes tension with his lover, who is a Living Lie Detector.
- Dug Too Deep: Miners uncover a dragon in the story "Orm the Beautiful".
- Dung Fu: In the short story "The Heart's Filthy Lesson", a female explorer on Venus is attacked by a tiger-like creature that chases her up a tree. Lacking other options, she unseals her powered-suit and urinates on the creature to drive it off.
- Genre Deconstruction: With A Companion To Wolves, the authors do this to all bonded companion animal stories, especially Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern.
- Great Big Library of Everything: The Library in the story "In Libres". It's way Bigger on the Inside (readers are advised to bring several days' worth of food supplies), the bookshelves form a mobile labirynth, and it is said to contain every book ever written.
- Happiness in Slavery: "Shoggoths in Bloom", a Lovecraft Lite novelette. In 1938 an African-American college professor investigates the shoggoth populating reefs off the coasts of Maine. Rather than suffering a horrible death, the shoggoth contact the professor telepathically—after the decline of the Old Ones they find themselves without a master, and so offer their service to him. This puts the professor in a quandary—the shoggoth would make the perfect weapon against the rising tide of fascism in Europe, but is he morally right to enslave them again? In the end he tells the shoggoth they must learn to be free, and leaves to France to enlist in the army.
- Human Popsicle: Undertow had galactic society that used Schrodinger's Uncertainty Principle to teleport goods and information instantly between planets. However, living creatures like humans that went through the process wound up dead on the other side due to collapsing the wave function. As such, transporting people from planet to planet requires slower-than-light ships and cryonics.
- Living Lie Detector: Vincent Katherinessen from Carnival. His lover is a Consummate Liar.
- Manly Gay: Nearly all the wolfcarls in A Companion To Wolves and its sequel The Tempering Of Men. Those who aren't are Bi the Way.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Edda of Burdens series: as of book one, All The Windwracked Stars, we have a post-apocalyptic steampunk valkyrie historian, a two-headed immortal flying cyborg warhorse, magico-genetically spliced catgirl police officers with the souls of dead angels, reincarnated rentboys with superstrength, and a few completely casual mentions of battle shoggoths.
- Our Dragons Are Different: In A Companion to Wolves and its sequel The Tempering of Men wyverns have wings but they're vestigial. They also don't breathe fire and can be trained by trolls.
- Population Control: Carnival has an AI that determines the maximum stable population of Earth and selects people to be killed whenever it is exceeded.
- Signature Scent: In A Companion To Wolves, each wolf's true name is a unique scent.
- Unobtainium: Tanglestone from Undertow was only found on the planet named Greene's World, and allowed instant data and material transportation across many light years from the colonies to Earth.
- Valkyries: The walcyrya of the Edda of Burdens trilogy subvert the trope by having both male and female members. And of course, this being an Elizabeth Bear production there is a healthy dose of same sex relationships.
- Villainous Valour: In All The Windwracked Stars: "... The heroic old woman in her frayed brown sweater, indomitable, uncowed before the armored witch on her iron beast of Hel." Guess which one's the hero.