(introduction by Michael Bishop)
signed limited edition hardcover 1-90288-047-4
ebook from Fictionwise
A moderately modern city, pulsing with music and commerce, seemingly of infinite length, yet only as broad as a wide avenue, flanked on one side by Heaven, on the other by Hell. Such is the milieu intimately familiar to — and mostly unquestioned by — the millions of average humans who inhabit the Linear City. Yet a small band of seekers do indeed ponder their odd lot, the genesis and fate of their strange habitation. Among the speculatively minded are a small group of writers who specialize in what they call “Cosmogonic Fiction.” And among these men and women we find Diego Patchen, one of the younger luminaries of his set. A Year in the Linear City is the story of Diego and his friends, their loves and rivalries, their failures and triumphs, during one pivotal year beneath the Seasonsun and Daysun, in forbidding sight of The Other Shore and The Wrong Side of the Tracks. Careers will flourish, comrades will part forever, subterranean adventures will endanger both soul and city, and a fateful expedition to far off Blocks will bring new and challenging perspectives, leaving no one unchanged.
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(Introduction by Rudy Rucker)
- May 2003
- hardcover 1-90288-066-8
- softcover 0-74349-822-4
- also available as an ibook (October 2004)
- October 2009
- softcover 1-60459-890-5
Paul Girard is a morose ex-hippy working in a dead-end bookshop job and grappling with the mysteries of life. He’s expecting a quiet breakfast before the shop opens for business. He’s not expecting to be visited by a universe-hopping robot shrub from an alternate future, who offers him a ticket to all the parallel realities he can imagine in the form of a quantum yo-yo. Failure of a whole new order of magnitude awaits him.
How badly could you screw up when granted access to infinite worlds conforming to your heart’s most intimate desires? No matter how much of a botch you or I might make of such a miraculous gift, rest assured that Paul Girard, hapless middle-aged bookstore clerk, can hilariously surpass your worst fumblings and missteps. Visited one morning by a dimension-hopping artificial intelligence named Hans, Paul is given the ability to jump instantly to any world he can envision. But without truly knowing himself, Paul soon discovers that framing a wish that gets the expected results is not as easy as it first appears. From the depths of the Big Bang to a world where hippies rule; from a land of Amazons to one of where life is a video-game; from a society where cooperation means everything to one where individual chaos rules – across these bizarre dimensions and many others, Paul races in the search for happiness, love, wealth, status – and the answer to the Ontological Pickle. Acquiring comrades and enemies along the way, our feckless alternaut reaches a cul-de-sac from which the only exit is death. And then his adventures really begin..
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signed, limited edition hardcover 1-90583-434-9
Digital edition from e-reads
Harsh Oases is the author’s thirteenth collection of short fiction, but he chooses to regard that number as a lucky one, since this volume assembles some of his newest, most well-received personal favorites along with some of his older work either little reprinted or never before available.
In the first category is ‘Femaville 29,’ a much-lauded fantastical tale of love and salvation among the ruins of America’s Eastern Seaboard. ‘The Singularity Needs Women!’ pits human against posthuman over a woman’s love. In ‘Shipbreaker,’ a common laborer in an interstellar salvage yard finds his destiny altered forever by a strange pet. And in ‘Escape from New Austin,’ a young girl leaves her liberal home seeking the conservative dream.
Two stories appear here for the first time: ‘Aurorae’ and ‘A Game of Go.’ Both are set in the cyberpunk future of the author’s seminal ‘Kid Charlemagne.’ Two short, sharp satires, ‘Bad Beliefs’ and ‘Leakage,’ resurface from their initial publication in the alternative press.
The title story, ‘Harsh Oases,’ is the first addition to the Ribofunk canon since the publication of that pivotal collection in 1996. Nearly a compressed novel, it spans many strange milieus in the bio-engineered future of that series. On two radically different notes, ‘Pinocchia’ chronicles the erotic adventures of a sexy android, while ‘Personal Jesus’ and ‘Lignum Vitae’ address, with varying degrees of solemnity, the topic of religion. A collaboration with gonzo creator Rudy Rucker explores levels of quantum weirdness that underlie our familiar world. Finally, some flash fiction packs a few startling SF conceits into bite-sized stories. Running the wide gamut of DiFilippo’s myriad concerns and styles, this collection extends and solidifies his reputation as one of the finest short-story writers working today.