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JANET ELLEN MORRIS


Janet Morris(U.S.A., 5/25/1946- )

Wife of Chris Morris.

From MLCS (http://www.mlcsmith.com/places/weaponscon/janet_morris_bio.html)
I can't remember a damn thing worth mentioning before I started writing in '76. Those were the SISISTRA series days, and it came as a shock to me that no one read SF had ever gotten laid or even considered the possibility. Of course I was still reading the scandalized letters and reviews, but before I went to my first convention and saw the folks. Then I understood. Obviously, I'd made a mistake. These were literati (sic); sexual politics wasn't their strong suit.

I avoided the horde of rabid feminists who wanted to string me up and the lesbians that wanted to...well, you know...and I decided that I'd write something different for these folks. I did a convention where they said they wanted to be challenged. Like a fool, I believed them. I also noticed that the SF types had a slavish devotion to and blinding awe of people with strong scientific backgrounds. Shit, I can write that stuff, I told myself. I was elected to the New York Academy of Sciences in 1980; I was a card-carrying member of AAAS.

So I wrote the Dream Dancer series, which acquired the dubious distinction of having all three volumes, published six months apart, on the LOCUS best seller list at the same time. It had a nice post-Athenian computerized democracy, lots of spacetime physics, a strong spacetime manifold. In 1979, it looked at the feasibility of particle-beam technology and predicted (by eight years) the proposal of sponge space as the most likely spacetime topology, and I thought, Gee, all that time working on philosophical problems of space and time is finally going to amount to something. It did, but not what I thought. The books were so different from SILISTRA that the group that liked one series couldn't relate to the other. And I hadn't counted on the intimidation factor. A woman wasn't supposed to be able to write that sort of thing. Worse people began comparing me to Gene Wolfe, and even though I sold the damned thing in England and Germany and I forget where-the-hell-else (I've got titles in French and Italian as well), I got tagged as writing "rigorously intellectual" "baroque" novels by a bunch of reviewers who didn't know science when they saw it. But then, neither did my editor at the house that bought the books, who thought they were fantasy.

So I got the hell out of the genre and did I, The sun, the biography of Suppiluliumasss, King of Hatti from 1380-1340 b. c., give or take, with some help from Cal Watkins at Harvard. It was satisfying as all get-out but a book like that doesn't make much money, being interesting only to Near East specialists and military historians or biblical scholars.

It was about then, at a convention, that I met Bob Asprin and began writing the mercenary Tempus and his Sacred Band for Thieves' World. I eventually did three novels about those characters, the Beynd group. I was looking for a wider audience and I got one, but not the one I'd expected: I ran head-first into the war-gaming subculture, when what I was really trying to do was remind people who didn't already know it that war hurts, dead is forever, but politics isn't something to leave to the other guy.

It was also about then I turned to Chris Morris and said, Let's write some mainstreamish stuff together. We did some political thrillers under pseudonyms, and two titles for Baen Books. I also wrote a high-tech SF/thriller hybrid with Dave Drake, Active measures, for Baen, and one for Berkeley called Kill Ratio, which ought to be out any time now.

Then, having justified my hard edge by writing with men, the published world allowed me to do Warlord! for Pocket, which is due out in September--all by myself, no male collaborator needed, thank you very much. Warlord is about Sino-American relations on the Moon and leans heavily on hardware.

But then, so do I every now and again. Somebody in my weight class has to, when that somebody attracts as much unwanted attention as I do. So I usually have an odds-evener on me, and I drive a fast car, if flight is the best response. But I've also got a short fuse, especially when people decide they just have to put a hand on me. So the carry permit came years ago; I don't think about it much; it's a part of me.

What I carry depends on where and why. I've got some special stuff, like a Walther TPH; two custom .45's, and usually am trying something new. Right now that's the Glock 17, but I probably won't keep it. Plastic guns make me nervous. The equipment has to fit the job you want to do with it, and the Glock's not better at anything than my Commander or my Detonics Mk VI, it's just lighter. Being a lightweight myself, I can tell you that that's not always an advantage. As for the 9mm advantages-- ammo availability in NATO and Third World countries, and number of rounds per magazine: a)I'm not offshore right now and b) I'm not expecting to be overrun by a hostile horde anytime soon; in non-police social situations, if you can't solve the problem with six to eight rounds of 230 grain nyclad interspersed with Glasers, you're flat not going to solve it.

Being unexpected, which I also am, can be a distinct advantage, however. Keep your hands to yourself and buy me a cup of coffee, and I'll tell you about the time I waltzed a Colt CS gun right through a security check and into a closed Senate hearing on terrorism....



Bibliography: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/authors/Janet_Morris.htm
Bibliography: http://www.booksnbytes.com/authors/morris_janet.html
Bibliography: http://www.scifan.com/writers/mm/MorrisJanet.asp


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Last Revised: November 2005.