Steve Erickson, a novelist, was born on April 20, 1950.
Erickson's novels could be considered post-apocalyptic magic realism. He has a fascination with the American Dream, though his books could not be considered patriotic. Many of them focus on Los Angeles, where Erickson resides. His books are united by several overarching themes and metaphors, and they tend to utilize a fluid sense of time and space. He makes particular use of the past, favoring abstractions of historical characters such as Adolf Hitler and Thomas Jefferson. Unfortunately, despite his well-conceived and cerebral concepts, he has difficulty painting female characters and tends to create idealized beings based on a few stock archetypes (the hard-boiled woman, the ethereal, tortured drifter. However, Erickson also recycles character names from novel to novel, so it's not inconcievable that his women are similar because they're actually rooted in recurring seeds.
In addition to several magazine articles, he also wrote a non-fiction book (American Nomad, 1997) about the 1996 US presidential campaign which many people consider gonzo journalism.
Erickson graduated from UCLA with a degree in film. He currently teaches at CalArts and is the editor of the literary journal Black Clock.