K. W. (Kevin Wayne) Jeter (1950) is an American author of Speculative Fiction and Horror, known for coining the term Steampunk, way back in the 1980s. He was part of a group of authors (including Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock) who were associated with, and partly mentored by, legendary SF author Philip K. Dick. As a result, he ended up being tapped to write three novels which were sequels to the movie Blade Runner (which was an adaptation of a novel by Dick).
His best known original novels are probably the Cyberpunk-ish Dr. Adder, the seminal Steampunk novel Infernal Devices, and the Kim Oh thrillers. He has also written several novels set in the Star Trek and Star Wars universes.
He has also written for comic books, most notably the DC Comics series Mister E.
Selected works by K. W. Jeter:
- Morlock Night (1979, a sequel to H. G. Wells' The Time Machine)
- Dr. Adder (1984)
- Infernal Devices (1987)
- Farewell Horizontal (1989)
- Bloodletter (1993, a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel)
- Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human (1995)
- The Mandalorian Armor (1998, a Star Wars novel)
- Noir (1998)
- The Kim Oh series (started in 2011)
- Death's Apprentice (2012, with Gareth Jefferson Jones)
- Fiendish Schemes (2013, stand-alone sequel to Infernal Devices)
- Grim Expectations (2017, sequel to Fiendish Schemes)
Tropes in his works:
- All Women Are Lustful: The classic Steampunk novel Infernal Devices, has two prominent female characters. Both seem to barely think of anything other than boning the hero, a veddy proper Victorian Gentleman who would never dream of engaging in illicit sex. In fact, he's horrified at the very notion of horny women, all while being completely unable to escape them. Thankfully one of them is able to get it on with a clockwork automaton of the hero.
- Author Tract: Noir is set in a Dystopian Cyberpunk Crapsack World. The main character is a "Copyright Cop" who spends most of the book discussing how people who infringe copyrights should be dismembered and tortured because, in the Information Age setting of the book, copyright violation is worse than all other crimes. Jeter's personal website indicates that he's against copyright violations himself.
- Deep Sleep: In Morlock Night, the narrator, when he wakes, finds that Dr. Ambrose and Miss Tafe have waited for him. He apologizes, but he had never had such a deep sleep.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: Played all the way to its most horrible conclusion, in Noir, which tells of a world in which (besides other implications of a society where free market capitalism holds absolute sway) there are police forces that hunt down copyright pirates, one memorable punishment for said pirates is having their spine & brain extracted from their bodies, then transformed into high-fidelity audio cables, in which the pirate/victim still lives, being tortured by every note/sound that passes through, essentially, their nerve system.
- The Future Is Noir: The aptly titled novel NOIR, where a guy named McNihil is a retired PI and had his eyes surgically altered to see the world in shades of grey, like noir films of the 30s.
- Star Scraper: The Cylinder from Farewell Horizontal. A specific size isn't given, but most of humanity lives inside (or on) it, and most of the habitable area is well above the cloud layer.
- Useless Protagonist: There may very well be no more useless a protagonist than George Dower of Infernal Devices. His very existence is what kicks the plot in motion, as his father, a Legacy Character that George himself barely knew, was apparently a mad genius who devised all manner of clockwork wonders, many of which are highly sought after by numerous parties. His father now dead, George has inherited his watch shop, despite being no good at mending watches, and because of this, he becomes the target of, among others, the crazed remnants of Cromwell's "Godly Army", a strange race of fish-like creatures, a prostitution ring, a pair of thieves, a mysterious dark-skinned man, an elderly mad scientist who literally wants to destroy the world, and multiple lascivious women. All while doing absolutely nothing except what he can to preserve his life. Rarely does he show any pluck, and at no point does he morph into a noble hero. He never does anything to help anyone else, except very reluctantly, and usually because he hopes it will help to save him, as well. He is, from beginning to end, The Millstone.