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A visionary whose writing broke through the boundaries of the science fiction genre, Philip K. Dick is regarded as a major figure of twentieth-century fiction. In 2007, he became the first science fiction writer to be included in the Library of America Series. Set in various dystopian futures, these stories explore such themes as time travel, artificial/alien intelligence, authority, knowledge and the use or control of it, memory, and the frighteningly malleable nature of what we call "reality."
"Reality questioned brilliantly!"
In Speaking in Tongues, Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author Neil Gaiman reads a selection of his own stories and poems, including "The Price", which he says "is more or less true. At least, the narrator...is pretty much me, the house is my house, the cats my cats, and the family is my family."
"Remarkable stories and performance!"
Included are these stories: "Even the Queen"; "At the Rialto"; "Death on the Nile"; "Why the World Didn't End Last Tuesday"; and "Close Encounter".
"Nice to hear the author"
Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? Ed Fletcher is a real estate agent with a normal life, until one day he leaves the house for work a few minutes later than he should have. He arrives at a terrifying, grey, ash world. Ed rushes home and tells his wife, Ruth, who goes back to the office with him. When they return, everything is normal. But he soon realizes people and objects have subtly changed. Panic-stricken, he runs to a public phone to warn the police, only to have the phone booth ascend heavenward with Fletcher inside....
"Any one but a Woman"
This is a collection of seven contemporary robot tales written by some of today's most acclaimed science fiction authors. A sentient war machine combs a beach for trinkets to create memorials for its fallen comrades in the Hugo Award-winning story, "Tideline", by Elizabeth Bear. In "Balancing Accounts", by James Cambias, a small-time independent robotic space tug is hired by a mysterious client for a voyage between two of Saturn's moons.
Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author Neil Gaiman reads stories and poems from his collection, Angels and Visitations, including "The Song of the Audience", about which Gaiman says, "I wish I knew when and where I'd written this. I found it one afternoon on the hard disk of my notebook computer. I'd suspect that it had been left there by pixies if it didn't read so much like something I'd written, and if the sentiments did not jibe so well with my own."
"It all began with my month's layoff between galactic service assignments. I reached Marsport for the ususla three-day stopover. Before landing, I received a spacegram from my wife, Hilda, saying she would stay and wait for me on Earth. So I called Flora and set a date. As I stepped out of the Video Booth, the first whiff of catastrophe nudged itself up to me. Rog Crinton said, 'Red Emergency Alert - come with me. Jack Hawk is dead. The galactic drug menace and his killer is on his way here.'"
"What a ripoff!"
A collection of stories written and read by Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author Neil Gaiman, including "A Writer’s Prayer", which he says, "was written shortly before I began American Gods. I knew the first two verses when I began it, and the conclusion was there when I reached it. This is why I love writing."
On the wall before him, in the dimness of the room, a great circular screen glowed opaquely, awaiting his touch: a doorway into time and space, a doorway to beauty and deadly peril and everything that made livable for him a life that had, perhaps, gone on too long. The shadows leaped backward into three-dimensional vividness that wavered for a moment and then sharpened into focus upon a desert landscape under a vivid crimson sky.
"A True Classic"
What is more idyllic than a small Midwestern agricultural town? Peaksville would sound like a scene right out of a Norman Rockwell painting, except little Anthony is a monster! What happens when a child is omnipotent, and with his mind he can execute his every desire and petulant whim? Tonight, there's a birthday party for Dan Hollis at Anthony's house. It's a party all the townspeople will remember...always!
Dr. Daniel Scott has invented a serum that enables the organism to adapt itself to overcome injuries and disease. He gets his chance to try his experimental drug on a dying tubercular patient named Kyra Zelas. Scott and his colleague Dr. Herman Bach are amazed when the girl recovers, but she soon begins to exhibit strange actions.
Enter the spell-binding worlds of best-selling author Robert Stanek and dream a new dream. The book contains two novellas, two short stories and a special feature exclusive.
"Sam, This is You" is a humorous look at Sam, a telephone lineman and inventor. Sam's invented a device to talk to himself back in time. Unfortunately, Sam's main interest is courting Rosie, and his love life is being sabotaged by his worst enemy - his future self. "The Other Now" is a poignant love story. When Jimmy Patterson loses his beloved wife, Jane, in a car accident, he believes he begins to get messages from her. Can their love be enough to reunite them?
"From the early days of AH"
Curiosity stirred as they inched forward. Then sharp wonder took over. They stood at the edge of a perfectly circular clear space in the hushed green glade. In the center of the sun-lit circle lay a low square dais of dazzling crystal. On the dais stood a low copper couch with strangely carved sides. And on the couch, wrapped in a robe of golden cloth, ornamented with black figures, lay the motionless figure of a man. They stood wide-eyed in fearful awe.
To save her newborn son, Dr. Helen Murray has to remain behind on an alien world. But is she alone? As her son, Robin, becomes older, he acts strangely and describes other people that Helen cannot see.
A spaceship crew from an advanced alien civilization notices that Earth faces imminent destruction as its sun begins to explode. With time rapidly ticking down, the crew desperately searches a now-desolate planet for any possible human survivors.
"Leaves one wanting more, in a good way!"
First published in 1938, golden age sf author Eando Binder's I, Robot, about the "confessions" of one Adam Link, a mechanical man, preceded, and according to Isaac Asimov inspired, the more famous later robot series. Later with Binder's permission Asimov "borrowed" the title for the first collection of his robot tales.
"The Golden Age"
Jude Plane is just a typical teenage boy: if you happen to live in a cloistered religious enclave on a giant space station, that is. Jude's faith forbids him from using advanced technology, but that resolve will be put to the test when his father sends him to work outside the enclave, unloading freight at the station's hub. There Jude will make friends stranger than any he's known, and find himself confronted by choices he couldn't have imagined just days earlier.
"I'm inclined to like this story very much."
Are vampires a bloodthirsty menace to mankind? Or simply misunderstood creatures struggling to survive? After hearing these six entertaining stories, you'll be able to decide for yourself. From the horrifying to the humorous, some of today's finest authors share stories about one of the oldest imagined evils, the vampire. From Tanith Lee's chilling story to Esther Friesner's comic tale of rival teens trying to best one another, these stories bring vampires to (un)life, in all their majesty and terror.
Castle Joiry had been taken. The heavy boots of invaders rang in the hallways, and the arching ceiling echoed back the clash of falling swords. Still struggling violently, Joiry's commander was brought before the conqueror. Standing tall, armor running red with blood, Jirel of Joiry refused to surrender her home and vowed to her enemy that his victory would cost him his life, and more. That very night, Joiry's lady crept by secret ways to the castle's deepest dungeon.
"written in 1934"