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Reality by Other Means
The Best Short Fiction of James Morrow
James Morrow; Gary K. Wolfe, intro.




Wesleyan
2015 • 324
pp. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Short Stories - Single Author / Paranormal Fantasy / Science Fiction - Genetic Engineering


$30.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7594-4

$23.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7575-3

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



(starred review) "Morrow's stellar best-of collection leads off with "Bigfoot and the Bodhisattva," about a yeti who seeks spiritual enlightenment from the 15th Dalai Lama but who instead becomes ensnared in the irrationalities of religious dogma. The collection concludes with the ingenious alternate history story "The Raft of the Titanic," in which the survivors of the Titanic save themselves by constructing an island-sized raft and setting up a more progressive society on it than the one they've left behind. The 15 stories in between are similarly imaginative gems in which Morrow cocks a satirical eye at serious and salient subjects such as warmongering ("Arms and the Woman"), right-to-life doctrines ("Auspicious Eggs"), global ecology ("Daughter Earth"), religious orthodoxy ("Bible Stories for Adults, No 31: The Covenant"), and liberal politics ("The Cat's Pajamas"). Morrow (Galapagos Regained) is a master of reductio ad absurdum, and his puckish sense of humor keeps stories light and buoyant that might otherwise have turned cranky and polemical. This book reveals him to be one of the wittiest writers of contemporary speculative fiction."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Seventeen stories from the award-winning author of the Godhead Trilogy

Join the Abominable Snowman as, determined to transcend his cannibalistic past, he studies Tibetan Buddhism under the Dalai Lama. Pace the walls of Ilium with fair Helen as she tries to convince both sides to abandon their absurd Trojan War. Visit the nursery of Zenobia Garber, born to a Pennsylvania farm couple who accept her for the uncanny little biosphere she is. Scramble aboard the raft built by the passengers and crew of the sinking Titanic—and don’t be surprised when the vessel transmutes into a world even more astonishing than the original Ship of Dreams. Reality by Other Means offers readers the most celebrated results from James Morrow’s thirty-five-year career designing fictive thought experiments. Anchored by seven previously uncollected stories, this omnibus ranges from social satire to theological hijinks, steampunk escapades to philosophical antics.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements:

“No matter where—or when—he sets his stories, Morrow's a clean stylist with an accurate grip on the diction, the character, and the metabolic rate of the narrator. Intelligent and funny, this is the best kind of mind candy.”—Kit Reed, author of The Story Until Now

“In these angrily compassionate tales, Morrow ventriloquizes Dante and Swift in writing as cutting as freshly strung barbed wire. Each posits an astonishing otherness that debunks a menacing human folly while also eliciting gasps or guffaws of outraged delight.”—Michael Bishop, author of A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire

“Here’s undeniable proof that James Morrow is our Jonathan Swift—a funnier, more fantastical Swift. Morrow can be brainy and absurd, hilarious and profound, scatological and philosophical—all on the same page. After you stop laughing, you keep thinking, and that’s when you realize you’re in the hands of a master. No one else sounds like him, and no one else has sharper satirical knives.”—Daryl Gregory, author of Afterparty

“James Morrow, a master of the reductio ad absurdum, is a thoughtful satirist whose sharp but never gratuitous wit takes aim at serious issues in beautifully crafted prose that is always a pleasure to read.”—Pamela Sargent, author of The Shore of Women

“Even as Reality by Other Means points out what is wrong with society, James Morrow never lets us forget that society is made up of individuals who matter, be they a soldier on the battlefield, a hitchhiker on the Ark, or our daughter the Earth. No one has used the devices of satire and science fiction to give us literature this smart, this elegant, this compassionate. I hope that Morrow, who understands that the only way out is for us to reason together, will forgive me for saying that I admire his works beyond all reason.”—F. Brett Cox, coeditor of Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Foundation



JAMES MORROW has written ten critically acclaimed novels of satire and speculation, including Towing Jehovah, The Last Witchfinder, and Galápagos Regained. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

Click here for author's website.


Fri, 16 Sep 2016 14:23:07 -0500