Starwater Strains: New Science Fiction Stories

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9780765312037: Starwater Strains: New Science Fiction Stories

Gene Wolfe follows his acclaimed all-fantasy short story collection, Innocents Aboard, with a volume devoted primarily to his science fiction. The twenty-five stories here amply demonstrate his range, excellence, and mastery of the form. A few tantalizing samples:
"Viewpoint" takes on the unreality of so-called "reality" TV and imagines such a show done truly for real, with real guns. "Empires of Foliage and Flower" is in the classic Book of the New Sun series. "Golden City Far." is about dreams, high school, and finding love, which Wolfe says "is about as good a recipe for a story as I've ever found." You're sure to agree.

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About the Author:

GENE WOLFE lives in Barrington, Illinois. He is the winner of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, as well as the Nebula Award (2), the World Fantasy Award (2), the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the Prix Apollo.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Unlike his previous all-fantasy short fiction collection InnocentsAboard (2004),Wolfe's seventh volume of stellar short stories, written mostly between 2000 and 2005, ranges from haunting horror and biting near-contemporary social commentary to high fantasy and far-future SF, all amply demonstrating his mastery of trademark ironic twists of plot and characterization. Two longer pieces frame the collection. In "Viewpoint," Wolfe postulates a "reality show for real," with "a real government clawing for the money," while "Golden City Far" blends adolescent dreams of love and magic with a talking dog and deeds perilous and poignant. Between them Wolfe includes such minor masterpieces as "Petting Zoo," recounting the memories of better days lived by a man and an aged tofu-eating dinosaur, one of Wolfe's favorite beasts. Wolfe's dead-on ear for dialect shines in little morsels of horror like "The Fat Magician" and the apocalyptic "Mute," both treating humanity's capacity for self-destruction. The wonderful shocker "Pulp Cover" provides an invaluable clue to both this outstanding collection and Wolfe's creativity, that tiny, inevitable wrench when dream gives way to reality, reality to nightmare, and we understand, "It isn't really like that at all."
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