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Book by Alexander Irvine
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An agent provocateur of escapist surrealism, Irvine (A Scattering of Jades) showcases his versatility in 13 short stories ranging from whimsical fantasy to hard-edged SF. In the one tale written specifically for this collection, the entertaining "A Peaceable Man," an ex-con antique dealer has the good fortune to have a magical Borzoi as his faithful canine companion. In the touching and poignant "Agent Provocateur," a father and son investigate the impact that Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle has on the son’s 1940 interception of a Moe Berg home run. Irvine is equally at ease speculating about the futility of endless wars ("Jimmy Guang’s House of Gladmech," which also focuses on the importance of certain romantic attachments) as he is constructing multilayered fantastic historicals ("Akhenaten," his mythological Egyptian meditation on the creation of gods, and "Vandoise and the Bone Monster," a rollicking Rocky Mountain ghost yarn). He returns to relationship issues in "Chichén Itza," an astute reflection on the transformation of communication in the future, while "The Sea Wind Offers Little Relief" echoes Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451’s concern about the preservation of literature. Irvine falters only in the slice-of-life moroseness of "The Sands of Iwo Jima," the overwritten cuteness of the monkey-infested "Down in the Fog-Shrouded City" and the too-silly "Tato Chip, Tato Chip, Sing Me a Song." Most of these stories point to a bright future for an exuberant new voice in speculative fiction.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Irvine's first collection of stories and novellas covers a lot of ground as, from the halls dedicated to Aten, the sun, in the ancient Egypt of "Akhnaten" to a future in which terraforming is banned and people live in domed cities ("Elegy for a Greenwiper"), Irvine perambulates through the long-term human condition, and not only as we know it, for in "Chichen Itza" he contemplates revolutions in perception that quite change it. He doesn't neglect the chaotic nature of reality; indeed, in "Agent Provocateur," Heisenberg's uncertainty principle "decides" the outcome of a world war. The volume-opening novella, "Jimmy Guang's House of Gladmech," looks at the entrepreneurial spirit in a near future of endless ethnic warfare in central Asia, and the closer, "A Peaceable Man," rolls two human-condition-mongering genres, crime thriller and ghost story, together. Despite the stories' variety, they hang together remarkably well in a book that provides food for thought and that staple of healthy living, entertainment. Regina Schroeder
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Book Description Subterranean Press, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Signed, Limited edition. #577 of 600 copies. Unintended Consequences contains 13 diverse narratives, and is bookended by a remarkable pair of novellas. ''Jimmy Guang's House of Gladmech'' examines the life of an entrepreneur caught up in a hauntingly familiar, near-future ethnic war from which no one escapes untouched. ''A Peaceable Man,'' an original novella, takes a familiar subject -- a heist gone wrong -- and enriches it with memorable characters and an unexpected infusion of magic. In between, Irvine presents a gallery of tales ranging from the god-haunted world of ancient Egypt (''Akhenaten'') to an entropic colonial outpost in a remote galaxy (''Elegy for a Greenwiper.'') Among the collection's other highlights are ''Rossetti Song,'' a meditation on survival, loss, and the power of the past; ''Chichen Itza,'' in which an ancient Mayan site becomes the focal point of a new chapter in human evolution; ''Tato Chip, Tato Chip, Sing Me a Song,'' a comic reflection on the uses of technology and the ubiquitous appeal of junk food; and the stunning ''Agent Provocateur,'' which uncovers some startling connections between baseball, the processes of history, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Whatever his subject, Irvine remains in complete control of his often astonishing material. Individually, these 13 stories show us our world -- and its possible incarnations -- from a wholly unique perspective. Together, they comprise one of the most varied, memorable, and necessary collections of fiction published in recent years. Signed. Seller Inventory # KB005647
Book Description Subterranean, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1931081867
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-1931081867
Book Description Subterranean Press, Burton, Michigan, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. NEW BROWN LEATHER-BOUND, HARDBACK in FELT-LINRD TRAYCASE. SIGNED by ALEX IRVINE [NO Inscription]. LIMITED Ed. #U/26. 1st Ed./1st Printing. DJ in Clear, ARCHIVAL MYLAR WRAP. NO remainder mark. | SHIPS AIRMAIL INTERNATIONALLY! [Extra Postage for International Delivery]. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # 000761