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In the upper room and other likely stories (edition 2001)
by Terry Bisson
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312874200, Paperback)Terry Bisson was already an established and acclaimed SF-fantasy novelist when he began publishing short stories in 1990. He immediately demonstrated his promise as one of the short-SF giants of the '90s with "Bears Discover Fire" (1990), which won the Nebula, Hugo, Locus, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards, and was nominated for the World Fantasy Award. Unsurprisingly, this story provided the title of Bisson's first collection, Bears Discover Fire (1993). His second collection, In the Upper Room and Other Likely Stories, assembles sixteen lean, sharp, literate fictions. A few selections are short-shorts; some of these are slight. A few others describe lingerie in enough detail to make you wonder if you've wandered into a text-only Victoria's Secret catalog, which gets as eye-glazing as a baseball story if you don't share the interest. The stories from Playboy will also annoy some readers (especially women), since three of the four feature women characters who are software and the fourth story's female narrator is a male fantasy in drag.
Among the collection's many strong stories are "The Edge of the Universe" and "Get Me to the Church on Time," featuring the reality-bending adventures of the brilliant physicist-mathematician-meteorologist Wilson Wu. "There Are No Dead," the collection's lone fantasy, is a thoughtful, Bradbury-esque examination of childhood, change, loss, and the American dream. With a series of terse and increasingly disturbing interviews, "macs" traces the demand for victim's rights to its ironic logical extreme. "First Fire" pays tribute to Arthur C. Clarke and examines the amorality of laissez-faire capitalism in a tale of archaeological discovery, obsession, hubris, and the corruption of science. --Cynthia Ward
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:53 -0400)
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