Open main menu

Mark W. Tiedemann

Mark Tiedemann, 2011

Mark W. Tiedemann (born 1954 in St. Louis, Missouri) is an American science fiction and detective fiction author. He has written novels set in Isaac Asimov's Robot universe, and within his own original universe, known as the Secantis Sequence.[1]

In spring 2005 he was named president of the Missouri Center for the Book,[2] which is the Missouri state adjunct program to the Library of Congress Center for the Book.[3]


Born to Henry and Donna Tiedemann,[4] Mark W. Tiedemann grew up an only child. He wrote several short stories, a few of which he submitted to major SF magazines of the day such as Galaxy, Worlds of If, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, though none were accepted for publication.[5]

Upon entering high school, he discovered photography, which became his primary career.[5] Writing still attracted his interest though, and in 1978 he completed a novel, Random Factor, though it was never published. He then wrote several more novels. In 1980, he met his future partner, Donna, who encouraged him to pursue his passion for writing. He met with limited success, with three short stories published before 1988, in small press magazines, the most notable of which was Reveleven, published by Scott Edelman in Edelman's magazine Last Wave in 1986. Tiedemann then applied to and was accepted by the Clarion SF Writers Workshop[6] In the summer of 1988, he attended Clarion with instructors Tim Powers, Lisa Goldstein, Samuel R. Delany, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kate Wilhelm, and Damon Knight. That workshop produced writers such as Kelley Eskridge, Nicola Griffith, and Peg Kerr, and within a year, Tiedemann began selling short stories. His first major sale was Targets, sold to Gardner Dozois, editor of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Several more quickly followed.

His next novel, Compass Reach, was shortlisted for the Philip K. Dick Award. This first in his Secantis Sequence, the novel approaches an interstellar empire from the perspective of the underclass, the main characters being so-called Freeriders---essentially hobos who stow away on translight ships and maintain a loose but widespread community. The novel deals with questions of class, material wealth, identity boundaries, and control, in the face of an expanding human presence that must deal with truly alien species. The novel ends with the principle polity, the Pan Humana, descending into civil war. The next novel in the series, Metal of Night, deals with that civil war, but from the standpoint of the victims and deals with issues of costs and consequence. The third Secantis novel, Peace and Memory, takes place some 80 years after the civil war and considers questions of self-determination, identity, and the parameters of appropriate political growth.

These three novels, plus a number of short stories, are constructed in such a way as to offer multiple possibilities for future stories, none of which share common characters, only a common background. Meisha Merlin Publishing published the novels.

Another novel, Remains, from BenBella Publishing, is separate from his Secantis universe. Remains is more of a "planetary romance", the action taking place within the confines of the Solar System. The novel was shortlisted for the James Tiptree Jr. Award in 2006.



  • Extensions (chapbook) (1999)
  • Realtime (2001)
  • Of Stars And Shadows (2004)
  • Remains (2005)
  • Diva (chapbook) (2005)
The Secantis Sequence
  • Compass Reach (2001)
  • Metal of Night (2002)
  • Peace & Memory (2003)
  • Other Ways:Three Tales From The Secant (chapbook) (2005)
Isaac Asimov's Robots[7]
Terminator 2
  • Terminator 2: Hour of the Wolf (2004)[8]

Short fictionEdit

Title Year First published Reprinted/collected Notes
Life on the artificial heart 1992 Tiedemann, Mark W. (1992). "Life on the artificial heart". In Haber, Karen & Robert Silverberg (eds.). Universe 2. Bantam Spectra. pp. 1–22.
Politics 2000 Tiedemann, Mark W. (Sep 2000). "Politics". F&SF. 99 (3): 54–74.


  1. ^ Tiedemann, Mark W. (October 19, 2008). "Ordinary world and underworld collide". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  2. ^ "Board Members". Missouri Center for the Book. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
  3. ^ Henderson, Jane (November 13, 2005). "Author Q&A: Mark W. Tiedemann". St. Louis Post Dispatch. p. F9.
  4. ^ Tiedemann, Chimera
  5. ^ a b Gifford, Russell (2004). "Interview: Time, Space and Mark Tiedemann". Vision: A Resource for Writers. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ This trilogy is set in the chronology of Isaac Asimov's Robot series, between the novels The Robots of Dawn and Robots and Empire.
  8. ^ A sequel to the New John Connor Chronicles trilogy by Russell Blackford. It is unrelated to the trilogy by S. M. Stirling or novels by Aaron Allston.
  9. ^ Short stories unless otherwise noted.

External linksEdit