Seventeen of writer Michael Bishop's favorite stories were handpicked from his previously uncollected works to create this compelling collection, providing an excellent overview of a career that includes award-winning science fiction, horror, fantasy, satire, space opera, and mystery. In "A Tapestry of Little Murders, " a murderer attempts to escape along a literal road to self-destruction. A medical missionary, tortured by government thugs, reveals her dying wish in "With a Little Help from Her Friends." In "The Procedure, " an operation to remove a tumorous growth will hopefully excise from the patient's mind and body all tendencies toward faith and superstition. From futuristic mystery and Vietnam-era dark fantasy to theological speculation on Christ's death, a variety of lyrical voices speak through these haunting stories. An essay by the author divulges the genesis of each story.
A thrilling showcase of science fiction stories spanning a 30-year careerSeventeen of writer Michael Bishop's favorite stories were handpicked from his previously uncollected works to create this compelling collection, providing an excellent overview of a career that includes award-winning science fiction, horror, fantasy, satire, space opera, and mystery. In "A Tapestry of Little Murders, " a murderer attempts to escape along a literal road to self-destruction. A medical missionary, tortured by government thugs, reveals her dying wish in "With a Little Help from Her Friends." In "The Procedure, " an operation to remove a tumorous growth will hopefully excise from the patient's mind and body all tendencies toward faith and superstition. From futuristic mystery and Vietnam-era dark fantasy to theological speculation on Christ's death, a variety of lyrical voices speak through these haunting stories. An essay by the author divulges the genesis of each story.
For seventeen-year-old Danny Boles, a 5' 5" shortstop out of Tenkiller, Oklahoma, the summer of 1943 would be a season to remember. The country's at war, and professional baseball needs able-bodied men. Danny's headed for Highbridge, Georgia - home of the Goober Pride peanut butter factory and the Highbridge Hellbenders, a Class C farm club in the Chattahoochee Valley League. He's a scrappy player with one minor quirk: a violent encounter on the train to Georgia has rendered him mute, his vocal cords tied up in knots. Danny's idiosyncrasy, however, is nothing compared to that of his new Hellbender roommate, an erudite seven-foot giant by the name of Jumbo Hank Clerval. With his yellow eyes, strangely scarred face, and sausage-sized fingers, Hanks seems to have been put together in a meat-packing plant. But he plays a mean first base and can hit the ball a mile. With the Hellbenders in a pennant race as hot as the relentless Georgia sun, the eloquent Clerval forms a special kinship with the speechless kid from Oklahoma. Danny soon realizes that Hank is not an ordinary man but something more complex . . . more mysterious than he'd imagined.
In the domed city of Atlanta, after the breakup of the United States, a young writer named Julian Cawthorn is in trouble. Because he insulted the daughter of a public official, Cawthorn is out of work, and virtually unemployable. He begs a temporary job on the city newspaper and finds himself assigned to cover the first public appearance of the aliens Cygnusians, travelers from outer space who have been living in seclusion in Atlanta while visiting Earth. A Christian revivalist dictatorship rules Atlanta; church services are as much social as they are religious events. When one of the aliens chooses to appear at a church service, Julian watches as the first alien from space stands up and is "saved". The alien's voluntary salvation is taken as a sign that the state religion is indeed the one true religion, and minority groups, previously tolerated, are attacked by gangs, leaving Atlanta in turmoil. The service is a turning point in Julian's life. He is hired by Fiona Bitler, hostess to and protector of the aliens; at her invitation he goes to work in the secret alien enclave. In this environment Julian comes to know the fascinating aliens. He is mystified by the aliens' interest in his personal life and cannot understand how they have acquired so many oddly human characteristics in their brief period on Earth.
Blue Kansas Sky spans the past and future with a collection of the author's four short novels, including a coming-of-age tale set in Kansas in the late 1950s, an apartheid story from 1980s South Africa, and a twenty-first century spaceship adventure.
It seemed like a good idea; even a noble experiment. But the outcome was sheer hell. When the Balduin brothers escaped from the tedium of the human hive of Atlanta, Georgia, they had a mission. They were to voyage to the planet Trope, contact a tribe there known as the Ouemartsee, and transport it to Glaparca for a useful purpose. But suddenly the Balduin brothers discovered that they were in the slave trade, and that the Ouemartsee had made one of them a God . . .
Twelve thousand years in the future, mankind has survived two enigmatic, civilisation-destroying setbacks. Now a third holocaust is anticipated by the people of the island refuge of Ongladred. They fear destruction from invading barbarians of the Angromain Archipelagoes, the reappearance of a semi-mythical sea creature and the devious intervention of the neo-human Parfects. The imminent disaster is very much the concern of Ingram Marley, a government spy sent to keep surveillance over Stonelore - a secluded haven and the centre of free thought on Ongladred - and Gabriel Elk, Stonelore's master and resident genius. While panic and fear rage outside, deep inside Stonelore the mysteries of life are pursued - reanimation of the dead, the invention of powerful laser weapons and the secrets of 'old earth' knowledge. Amidst harrowing dangers of sea battles and land invasions, beneath the shattered moons, Ingram Marley's world is about to change beyond his wildest imaginings.
For Mary Stevenson Crye, a beautiful young housewife, life had been wonderful. Loving husband, two delightful children, meaningful existence in a small Southern community. Then it all fell apart: with the sudden, unexpected death of her husband, Stevie must struggle to earn a living as a free-lance writer. When her typewriter - the sole economic support for her surviving family - breaks down, Stevie begins to receive demonic messages through the machine, the prelude to a living nightmare of satanic emissaries, ghouls from beyond the grave, and the revelation of an unrequited curse over the Crye household. For Mary Stevenson Crye, the nightmare is about to begin . . .
One Winter in Eden contains the following tales: "One Winter in Eden" "Seasons of Belief" "Cold War Orphans" "The Yukio Mishima Cultural Association of Kudzu Valley, Georgia" "Out of the Mouths of Olympus" "Patriots" "Collaborating" "Within the Walls of Tyre" "The Monkey's Bride" "Vernalfest Morning" "Saving Face" "The Quickening"
The second book in the Urban Nucleus series, containing the following: Prelude: The Domes (1978) If a Flower Could Eclipse (1970) Interlude: The Testimony of Leland Turner (1979) Old Folks at Home (1978) Interlude: The City Takes Care of Its Own (1979) The Windows in Dante's Hell (1973) Interlude: Volplaning Heroes (1979) The Samurai and the Willows (1976) Interlude: First Councilor Lesser (1979) Allegiances (1975) Interlude: The Cradle Begins to Rock (1979) At the Dixie-Apple with the Shoofly-Pie Kid (1977) Interlude: The Fall of Saganella Lesser (1979) Death Rehearsals (1979)
Imagine a living specimen of a multimillion-year-old hominid species, Homo habilis, encountering the contemporary world. Told in the first-person narrative of Paul Loyd, divorced owner of a small town restaurant, Ancient of Days tells the story of a habiline man found wandering in a Georgia pecan orchard, a living descendant of a habiline tribe, brought from Africa via Haiti as a slave. Paul's ex-wife, RuthClaire, takes in the living fossil, appropriately naming him Adam, and as an artist she discovers Adam's mute but vibrant artistic sensibility, falls in love with him, and marries him - much to Paul's confusion and dismay. And then the story begins to widen out onto a broader canvas, as Adam first faces persecution by small town Georgia Klansmen, then, surviving that, moves with RuthClaire to Atlanta and encounters the whole spectrum of American culture, from art critics and media spectacles to evangelists and punk clubs. Throughout the peregrinations and travails of Adam, however, runs a rich and developing strain of self-conscious spiritual, intellectual, and artistic growth, interwoven with Adam's genuine anguish over the problematic nature of his true humanity. In the end, the central characters come together on the Haitian island of Montarez in the aftermath of crisis, and in a moment of illumination and revelation meet the mysterious and extraordinary origins of Adam and his race in human prehistory.