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1. Lost Pages (Di Filippo, Paul)
2. Cities
3. Shuteye for the Timebroker: Stories
4. Strange Trades
5. Fuzzy Dice
6. The Emperor of Gondwanaland and
7. Ribofunk (Di Filippo, Paul)
8. Roadside Bodhisattva
9. Spondulix
10. The Steampunk Trilogy
11. Fractal Paisleys (Di Filippo,
12. A Mouthful of Tongues: Her Totipotent
13. Little Doors (Di Filippo, Paul)
14. Harsh Oases
15. Neutrino Drag
16. Universe 3 (The Universe Anthology
17. Ciphers
18. Families Are Murder
19. Tales of the Shadowmen 3: Danse
20. Creature From The Black Lagoon:

1. Lost Pages (Di Filippo, Paul)
by Paul Di Filippo
Paperback: 304 Pages (1998-09-18)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$6.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003UHU9BU
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Imagine "Frank" Kafka as the scourge of Gotham's mean streets; Henry Miller as a messenger for Western Union; Philip K. Dick as a hardware store salesman married to Linda Ronstadt. Paul Di Filippo, one of the original cyberpunks, reimagines the lives of some of the superstars of literature. Nine unpredictable stories position famous writers in strange, alternate existences.Amazon.com Review
In 1988, readers of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazinewere treated to a collaboration between Paul Di Filippo and Rudy Ruckercalled "Instability," in which Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady were sent ona crash-course trajectory hurtling into John von Neumann and RichardFeynmann (a.k.a. "Doctor Miracle" and "Little Richard," portrayed as twowild and crazy "atomic wizards, quantum shamans, plutonium prophets, andbe-boppin' A-bomb peeaitchdees"). Lost Pages brings "Instability"together with eight other Di Filippo stories that apply the what-ifpremise to writers' lives. You'll also find a hilarious introduction thatcredits a George Pal-produced Star Trek with the destruction ofSF.

Di Filippo lets his imagination run wild, creating worlds in which FranzKafka stalks the streets of nighttime Manhattan as a costumed avengerknown as the Jackdaw, or in which Anne Frank, having been sent to livewith relatives in America, becomes part of MGM's galaxy of stars. Sciencefiction writers such as Robert Heinlein, Alice (James Tiptree, Jr.)Sheldon, Alfred Bester, and Ted Sturgeon are given chances to save theworld. In what turns out to be one of the most gimmicky and at thesame time touching premises, Astounding Science Fiction isedited inits golden age by Joseph Campbell. Telling you any more would spoilthe dozens of quirky surprises this collection has in store for you.--Ron Hogan ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Memorable and imaginative stories
This bunch of previously published stories present a number of alternative visions of the 20th century.

Anne Frank emigrates to America, just ahead of the Nazis, and eventually becomes a famous movie star. She falls in love with Mickey Rooney, and later marries him. Anne divorces him after a few years, citing physical abuse. While a plague is ravaging the Northern Hemisphere, a man attempts to re-create Wings Over the World (from "Things to Come" by H.G. Wells) with help from a few surviving pilots in southern Africa. There is a tale about Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and the 1945 Trinity atomic bomb test.

In a Hamburg bar in the middle of World War III, a soldier listens to a very strange story. An average-looking man tells of a world destroyed by nuclear weapons in an all-out war. He happens to find a time machine and takes a one-way trip back to the early 20th century. Pretending to be a reporter, he systematically, and discreetly, kills any scientist involved in atomic physics, from Einstein to Oppenheimer. The atomic bombing of Japan is replaced by the American invasion of Japan, with heavy American casualties. The man realizes, to his dismay, that he may have taken nuclear weapons off the table, but he has done nothing about the forces that periodically push humanity to war.

A young Native American writer travels to 1930s New York City to meet the editor of a famous science fiction magazine, Joseph Campbell. In post-war America, a handful of people are sent on a private rocket ship to the Moon. Told that the Nazi High Command is there plotting a comeback, when they arrive, they don't find any Nazis. Then they are informed (by President Robert Heinlein) the real reason they are there.

Here are some memorable and imaginative stories. They are well-done and interesting from start to finish, and will give the reader plenty to think about.

4-0 out of 5 stars Writers in Control (Is this Really Good for the World?)
Ever wished you could go back in time and change one crucial point in history? Ever thought what the world would be like if, say, Lincoln was not assassinated? This book is a compilation of what ifs where what is changed is the life of some famous writer.

The introduction, "What Killed Science Fiction" is an absolute hoot. Detailing the various things that went wrong with real science and the flops that Hollywood made, the fun is finding all the references to things as they are in our world, while it makes a perfect case for just how and why the dreams of science fiction died. And of course, this is a parody of "Who Killed Science Fiction" of SF fan fame.

The first story, "The Jackdaw's Last Case", is told in typical early 1900 style, with a large amount of description and flowery phrases, as it looks at Franz Kafka as a super-crime fighter. The story is somewhat slight, its interest is in the style and the odd situation, not quite coming off as a parody of the early scientifiction pulp stories.

"Anne" is bittersweet, following a very different life path for Anne Frank. Its conclusion is almost an acidic put down of Hollywood and the American dream.

"The Happy Valley at the End of the World" is, perhaps, the weakest story here, as we enter a world depopulated by a hemorrhagic plague, with a daredevil pilot convinced that H. G. Well's Wings Over the World is the blueprint for how to return the world (and fliers) to glory. Overly long and without much of either the humor or parody that suffuses most of the other stories.

"Mairzy Doats" is my favorite of this bunch, as we find Robert Heinlein, through an odd combination of circumstances (though highly believable - showing just how close to reality some of these alternate histories can be), as President of the United States, and mounting a manned mission to the moon. Heinlein is one of my favorite authors, but I could really appreciate just how well this story extrapolates some of Heinlein's political and social ideas to their extreme, deflating both the ideas and the man in a thoroughly delightful way.

"Campbell's World" is one that any science fiction fan can relate to, showing just what would have happened if Joseph Campbell, rather than John W. Campbell, became editor of Astounding magazine in 1938. The results are literally astounding.

"Instability", written with Rudy Rucker, is one I did not care for, probably because I've never cared for Kerouac, Cassady, Ginsburg and the other `Beats'. But as a story of the ultimate meeting of the Physicist with the Poet, it certainly belongs in this collection.

"World Wars III" is a nice little tale of the world as it would be without Einstein or any of the other physicists who made the A-bomb possible. The added charm of this one is the weird skewing of musical personalities, from the Beatles and Elvis Presley to Barry Sadler and Dionne Warwick.

Philip K. Dick married to Linda Ronstadt? "Linda and Phil" is a quiet tale of alternate realities that Dick (naturally) has to set right. Doesn't quite have the head-splitting wackiness of a Dick original, but good for a quick read.

"Alice, Alfie, Ted, and the Aliens" is one for science fiction aficionados only. The fun is catching who all the people are and which characterizations of them really fit the person. Alfred Bester doesn't come off so well here, but `Chip' Delany is marvelously satirized.

Most of these stories have a very strong `in-crowd' element - those who are not steeped in the world of fantastical literature may miss many of the sly, underhanded references scattered throughout. I've been reading this stuff for 45 years, and even so I have the suspicion that I missed a few of them. But there is some good parody, some biting social comment, and a good sense of style throughout these stories. Not perfect, and some of the stories are much weaker than the others, but a good light read, with an occasional laugh.

--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)

5-0 out of 5 stars An unbelievably good alternate worlds collection
This is the finest work of original fiction that I have read in a decade or more. In fact, the whole time that I was reading this collection I kept asking myself how one writer could have come up with so many original, fresh ideas. Not only that, but the ideas are just so well fleshed out with humor, intelligence, and scholarship.

The overall theme of the book is alternate timelines and realities. In fact, Rudy Rucker, the mathematician famed for his popular explorations of alternate dimensions and universes, is co-author of one of the component tales. I just couldn't get over the plausibility, or in the case of my favorite story "Campbell's World", the desirability of some of these alternate realities. Indeed, if you are like me you will be amazed that so many of your favorite writers and literary figures have been woven into them with such intricate knowledge and believability.

First of all, the introduction is written from the perspective of a world where science fiction totally died out in the mid-60's. It really gets you to thinking what today's world might be like without the genre- or the imagination and belief in the future that fuels it.

The first tale explores a world where Franz Kafka escaped his existential despair by becoming a costumed crime-fighter in 1920's Manhattan.

The second deals with a world where Anne Frank escaped occupied Europe to replace Judy Garland in Hollywood after the latter's early and tragic death.

The third chronicles Antoine Saint-Exupery's (the Little Prince) desperate flight from a plague depopulated northern hemisphere to bring H.G. Well's vision of Wings Over the World to actual life in colonial Kenya.

The fourth demonstrates the natural outcome of a world where Robert Heinlein succeeds FDR as our first post-war president.

The fifth, my favorite, is a deeply thoughtful and moving tale of a world where the shaman Joseph Campbell decided not to teach at Sarah Lawrence, but went on to run "Astounding Stories" instead.

The sixth, written with Rudy Rucker, deals with a world where Burroughs, Kerouac, and Cassidy detect a profound imbalance in the dimensions and unite to rid the world of the H-Bomb and the monsters responsible for it.

The seventh tells of a time traveler from a future where WWIII is fought with nuclear weapons - who exterminates Einstein only to see WWIII fought out with conventional weapons instead.

The eight story tells of a hell-world where Rush Limbaugh is absolute dictator of the U.S. and Phillip K. Dick must cross over into an alternate reality to set things right.

Finally, the ninth tale envisions Theodore Sturgeon as the head of an alien-worshipping cult in San Francisco- where aliens have become an all too real reality.

I literally couldn't put this book down, and I haven't been able to get that worked up over a work of fiction in a long time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb collection by one of SF's brightest lights
Paul Di Filippo is one of the best writers working in the genre today, and this collection proves it again.Highly recommended. ... Read more

2. Cities
by Paul Di Filippo, China Mieville, Michael Moorcock, Geoff Ryman, Peter Crowther
Paperback: 304 Pages (2004-03-31)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$8.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000HT2OIA
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
China Miéville, Michael Moorcock, Paul Di Filippo, and Geoff Ryman: These award winners are on any list of the most inventive, popular, and critically acclaimed talents writing in the realms of fantasy and science fiction today. Their four original creations for this collection range from surreal visions of the infinite to high-tech nightmare; from apocalyptic ruins stalked by heroes and vampires to a near future where the aged terrorize the young. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Super Reader
This book includes four novellas. China Mieville takes a look at a bleak, blasted out London full of not very nice things. Avatars of death and politics collide in Paul Di Filipo's A Year in the Linear City, which is really quite good. Ryman's V A O is shorter, and not as interesting.

Of most interest to me is yet another outing for the fabled Jerry Cornelius. In Firing the Catherdral, Moorcock is attempting a scatching satirical take on our post 9/11 type world, as seen by all the newspaper quotes at the start of chapters, from both 2002 and also from decades in the past.

Jerry is running around doing his thing, happy to be back and functioning. So is the omnipresent Una Persson, travelling at Jerry's side for much of the time. The usual brothers, sisters, bishops and even Colonel Pyat make an appearance. It is ok, but maybe more than a touch heavyhanded, at times.

4-0 out of 5 stars Three out of four aint bad
This collection edited by Peter Crowther, contains four stories by some of the best known fantasists of today...IMHO only the Moorcock piece is weak, but they are as follows:

A Year in Linear City-Paul DiFilippo: Reminds me of Ringworld, except this one seems to be on a straight line, bordered by water on two side and a railway (subway?) that runs down the west side of the City.It's millions of blocks long, and few people have been outside of their own town (each is made up of 10k blocks),not does anyone know who or what is building/built it. Great idea and well carried out.

The Tain-China Mieville: China has Stephen King's nightmares.This one details the revenge of the people we see in our mirrors.After having to perform for us for centuries, they decide to strike back, devastating whole cities and murdering their dopplegangers where they can.They are almost unstopable since we can't go into their world.

Firing the Cathedral-Michael Moorcock: As best I can figure (with my limited mentality), this is a story of time coming unstuck and people living in different time periods at the same time. On the other hand it could be an old acid dream of Moorcock's left over from the sixties.

V.A.O-Geoff Ryman: If you've read "Was" or any of Ryman's books, you know that he likes to take a known premise and bend it to it's breaking point and then go over the top with it.In this one, "old" people shut themselves up in Homes (the one called Happy Farm) to protect them in their old age.It cost $100K per year to stay on the Farm.Because so many of the 'residents' are ex-programmers, all of their computers are spied on stroke by stroke and the place is monitored by cameras and bio- reading equipment 24-7-365.The property is protected by 'Victim Activated Ordanance'; in other words, the inside perimeter looks like the East German side of the old Berlin Wall.

For me, I would love to see DeFillipo's story turned into a full novel.It has classic written (pun intended) all over it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Strange new places and odd new themes to tease the brain
Cities is a compilation of four stories by authors who are all masters of their craft; Paul Di Filippo, China Mieville, Michael Moorcock, and Geoff Ryman.

Beginning with Paul Di Filippo's `A Year In The Linear City', the book takes off like a bullet from a gun.Di Filippo's envisioned city is hundreds of thousands of blocks long, but bordered on one side by a river and on the other side by railroad tracks.Beyond these boundaries exist The Wrong Side Of The Tracks and The Other Shore, places of myth and superstition.The world is cleansed of their dead by the Fisherwives and the Yardbulls, celestial beings who come for the spirits of the dead.This is a truly outstanding tale of a strange city in a strange world, with compelling characters and original plotline.Need I say more?

Next is China Mieville's `The Tain', a unique and horrifying tale of what lays in wait behind our own mirrors.Call it a tale of vampires, or a tale of spectral imagery, a curse behind vanity, or a strange sci-fi-fantasy yarn of alternate universe/reality, but what it really amounts to is a chilling tale that is well worth picking up this book strictly for `The Tain' by itself.

Michel Moorcock's `Firing The Cathedral' would be the one letdown in the book, regardless of what high esteem I hold Moorcock in.This is a `Jerry Cornelius' adventure, but I think even fans of Moorcock's `Jerry' will find this short story to be just a tad too meandering.Moorcock is an extremely talented writer whom I felt was merely left wandering through the haze of useless obliqueness when this story was conceived.`Cathedral' touches down into the prose style of "guess what I'm thinking" sci-fi jumbles that I usually try to avoid. The writing was just a little too disjointed, and Moorcock is normally much better than this individual story.

Last of the collection is `V.A.O.' by Geoff Ryman, perhaps not as well known as the other three authors, but he writes a masterpiece with this tale of elderly inhabitants of a nursing home.V.A.O. stands for Victim Activated Ordinance, a security system put into place to protect the wealthy elders from the violent youths of the time.Or is it the elderly who are violent?In a closely monitored `home', these aged folks hide their computer codes beneath videos of golf matches, codes that launder money and track the activities of The Silhouette, leader of the `Age Rage' gang.

Cities is an outstanding addition to your collection of strange places to go, and I highly recommend you pick up a copy if you are a fan of any one of these four talented authors.If you aren't now, you soon will be.Enjoy!

2-0 out of 5 stars So close and yet so far.
Peter Crowther (ed.), Cities (Four Walls Eight Windows, 2003)

You're most likely going to either love this book or hate it. When it's good, it's very very good. But when it's bad, man, does it blow goat.

Paul diFilippo starts things off with "A Year in the Linear City," and while it's not the weakest story in the collection, it's just this side of unreadable. None of the characters is in any way engaging; the protagonist seems to attempt, over the course of it, to break out of his own self-absorbed shell (one of which surrounds every character here), but never really manages the sort of transformation that would be necessary to make the story worthwhile. Worse, everyone else is completely static.

China Mieville then provides us with "The Tain." Not Mieville's best work, to be sure, but certainly a refreshing change from the last bit. Readable, with the best spin on vampires since Brian Lumley took them on.

The mighty Michael Moorcock chimes in third, with "Firing the Cathedral." I've read hundreds of pieces of Moorcock's fiction, both short and long, and when he's on his game, he's one of the best writers on the planet. The Ice Schooner, Gloriana, the Elric novels... the one place where his writing has always been, to me, consistently lacking is in the Jerry Cornelius material. All of it that I've read, the sum total of which is the seven novels collected in Berkley's "The Cornelius Chronicles," was disjointed, unreadable political screed masquerading as fiction. "Firing the Cathedral" is even more so than the stuff that preceded it. To call it disappointing would be a major understatement; Jerry Cornelius fans will probably like it, but if you've never read Moorcock, whatever you do, do not let this be your introduction to his work.

Geoff Ryman rounds things out with "V. A. O.," which is the only story in the book that demanded I sit and read it in one gulp. Imagine George Clayton Johnson's wonderful "Kick the Can" set in the world of cyberpunk and given a mystery plot. It is-- even with the presence of Mieville-- the highlight of the collection.

Overall, though, the warm glow you get after you've finished Ryman's tale will quickly be overshadowed by your despair that you wasted valuable time reading two of the stories in here. **

5-0 out of 5 stars Great value.Fresh ideas and writing.
All these writers happen to be favorites of mine, so I could be prejudiced. The Moorcock story also appears in The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius and it's from the same publisher.People not familiar with Jerry and who haven't read Alan Moore's brilliant introduction to him (reprinted on the Fantastic Metropolis website) will get a better idea of the context.Moorcock has always used Jerry as a divining rod for the sources of the world's ills and the newspaper reports, including the quote from Cromwell about Ireland, reveal the story behind the story.Contrary to what one reader says, these stories are about cities -London in Mieville's story, Linear City in Di Filippo's and Moorcock suggests that we'll be living in some sort of artificial domes as the greenhouse effect destroys the world more thoroughly than any terrorist.The way he links the tragedy of 9/11 to the tragedy of what we're doing to our own cities, let alone the planet, is beautifully stated.Four novellas by four top writers, all of whom have something more to say, all of whom have outstanding imaginations.This is what modern sf is all about.I can't recommend this highly enough. ... Read more

3. Shuteye for the Timebroker: Stories
by Paul Di Filippo
Paperback: 272 Pages (2006-04-26)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560258179
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Shuteye for the Timebroker gathers a wide, wild assortment of stories that collectively represent Di Filippo's extensive concerns, themes and styles.Pure science fiction in the "Galaxy" mode can be found in the title piece, while modern-day publishing practices get a raking-over in the satirical "The Secret Sutras of Sally Strumpet" (included in The Year's Best Science Fiction Twenty-Second Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois).

Humorous fantasies such as "Captain Jill" and "Billy Budd" segue into a Dunsanyian tale such as "Walking the Great Road."There's a touch of horror to be found in "Underground," "Eel Pie Stall," and "We're All In This Alone" (the latter co-written with award-winner Michael Bishop). A politically-charged story of a fantastic assassin occurs in "Shadowboxer." Finally, the nearly three dozen vignettes under the title "The Farthest Schorr" form a mini-collection in themselves, as they take flight from the surreal paintings of Todd Schorr. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Shuteye for the Reader
Paul di Filippo has some unique and offbeat ideas, but most of the short stories in this collection fail to take hold with the reader. In most of these tales, witty dialogue and surreal plot twists merely become momentarily impressive writing shenanigans, leading to vague and obtuse resolutions that will probably leave the reader unsatisfied. Granted, there are a few strong stories in the collection, with a touch of weird romantic whimsy in "Billy Budd," postmodern celebreality in "The Secret Sutras of Sally Strumpet," and an especially effective look at the morals of the war on terror in "Shadowboxer." But these are among the few stories in this collection with themes robust enough to truly connect with the reader.

Other tales are built on disappointingly thin premises, like a cheesy rockstars-with-superpowers conceit in "Slowhand and Little Sister," and inconclusive tributes to Jules Verne and Edgar Allan Poe. In fact, several of the stories here are vanity exercises for unknown themed anthologies and tributes, and without similarly-themed stories by others, they suffer in isolation here. The ultimate vanity project in this collection is "The Farthest Schorr," a collection of 32 disconnected mini-tales of about one page each, inspired by the paintings of fantasy artist Todd Schorr. This exercise wouldn't have worked much better if you could actually see the paintings in this book, which you can't. di Filippo admits that many of the stories here are inspired by the works of his predecessors, and that's a fine way to find interesting story ideas, but his level of inspiration is only partially passed on to the reader. [~doomsdayer520~]

5-0 out of 5 stars Dream-like Science Fiction and Fantasy
Paul Di Filippo is certainly a talented fantasy and SF writer.His short stories in "Shuteye for the Timebroker" are gems of the trade and remind me of the days a friend used to send me copies of "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction."In fact one of the stories was published in this old standard.

From the lusty "Captain Jill" to the surrealistic "The Farthest Schorr" (the latter commemorated by the painting on the cover) Di Filippo has fashioned a brilliant collection of hard core SF-fantasy that is difficult to put down,If you have ever thought about the possibility of being awake 24 hours a day, or what would have happened if Jules Verne's Captain Nemo were real and his inventions had been applied to solving the world's problems in Iowa, or what it might be like to really go aboriginal, this is your book.

Good reading on a trip, each story will reward the reader with odd and unexpected twists.If you like stories like those presented by Rod Serling on the Twilight Zone, you will love this collection! ... Read more

4. Strange Trades
by Paul Di Filippo
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2001-10-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$9.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1930846053
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Revolving around the inescapable process of earning a living, these 11 stories present a welcome and refreshing change of pace from more typical science fiction. Speculating about future lifestyles and how to function as a member of the new global economy, these tales emphasize the moral and spiritual dimensions of employment and examine the practical and ethical quandaries that possible future occupations may provide. Though written primarily about jobs, careers, and professions, these narratives are filled with suspense and adventure, romance, and laughter. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended collection of SF stories about work
Strange Trades, Paul Di Filippo's fifth collection of short fiction, is one of the most satisfying SF single-author collections I have read in some time. As the title announces, the stories are concerned with people at work. Di Filippo explores a variety of science-fictional jobs, some strange due to technological advances, others due to marginal or experimental economics, others because they're set in unusual milieus.

One of Di Filippo's favourite themes is people living on the edges of society, or in the cracks. In several stories in this book, he depicts, with sympathy, a cooperative economy built in those "cracks." One story, "Harlem Nova," mentions Levi-Strauss' term bricoleurs, for "a class of people who live as scavengers, living on the odds and ends the rest of society discards." And the heroes of "Harlem Nova," "Spondulix," "Karuna, Inc." and maybe even "Conspiracy of Noise," four of the best stories in the book, are to one extent or another bricoleurs. In particular, "Karuna, Inc.", one of my favourite stories of the year 2001: dark because of some real tragedy, and because it features some truly (even cartoonishly) evil villains, but also optimistic, in its view of basic human nature, and in the depiction of the title corporation, with its mission:

"the creation of environmentally responsible, non-exploitive, domestic-based, maximally creative jobs... the primary goal of the subsidiaries shall always be the full employment of all workers... it is to be hoped that the delivery of high-quality goods and services will be a byproduct..."

Di Filippo also indulges in some classical SFnal extrapolation. "Agents" looks at computer-based personality simulations which handle interactions in the "net," and at what might happen if one such "agent" became autonomous. "Skintwister" and "Fleshflowers" follow the career of Dr. Strode, a very talented "peeker": a man who uses psychokinetic powers to heal people by manipulating them at the cellular level. "SUITs" is a mordant and effective fable about robotic security personnel.

The other stories are perhaps less easy to fit into categories. "Kid Charlemagne," as the author acknowledges, is a story strongly influenced by J.G. Ballard's Vermilion Sands stories: it's set in an isolated lush resort, and features the inevitably doomed romance of a mysterious musician and a spoiled rich girl. "The Boredom Factory" is a cynical fable that is pretty well described by its title. And "The Mill" -- well, for one thing, "The Mill" is my favourite story in this book: I read it and loved it in Amazing Stories back in 1991, and I loved it as much on rereading it just now. It's a long story that in some ways seems reminiscent of Jack Vance. The Mill is a series of factory buildings devoted to producing "luxcloth," which is bought by the immortal Factor for interstellar distribution. In the background are such nice SFnal ideas as the interstellar milieu into which this colony planet obscurely fits, the true nature of the Factor, the "luxcloth," and so on. But the centre of the story is the close depiction of the circumscribed society of the factory villages. This society seems real, and its eventual fate is well-portrayed, the characters are sympathetic and worth reading about, and the concluding scene is truly moving.

I recommend this collection of stories very highly. Di Filippo is a compulsively engaging writer -- witty and imaginative, and fond of his characters, so that they are fun to spend time with, and fun to root for (mostly!). This book delivers on its implicit thematic promise, offering a nice distribution of SFnal explorations of people at work, even while collecting stories from all phases of the author's career. Excellent stuff.

4-0 out of 5 stars A masterful collection of short fiction
Prior to reading _Strange Trades_ I knew Paul Di Filippo as an author of wonderfully bizarre short stories.They don't always make sense, but they're wonderful just the same.This collection collects typically bizarre Di Filippo stories, but these are coherent, well-written stories.Truly, a masterful collection.

My favorite story is the novella "The Mill", set in the distant future on a planet where humans work in a mill for the benefit of alien overlords.The story brilliantly shows us the toil and struggle of the workers and their dedication to their masters.

The other stories are all equally good.'Karuna, Inc.' is the tale of an evil cadre of businessmen out to take over an ecologically-minded firm with the help of their undead revenants.'Spondulix' tells the fascinating story of how a sandwich maker created a form of underground currency.

My attempts to laud this collection don't do it justice.It's a fabulous book.Hands down my favorite collection from 2001.If you have any interest in short science fiction you must buy this collection immediately.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A highly recommended gift pick
A highly recommended gift pick for the discriminating science fiction reader who seeks literature as much as adventure, Paul Di Filippo's Strange Trades provides an unusual collection of eleven stories which empathize the moral and spiritual realms of employment and jobs. A range of odd circumstances evolve on various job sites, from a corporation which cares about people over products - with a sinister overtone - to a doctor's search for personal gain from his position.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like Pynchon, Wm. Gibson, Bruce Sterling?
The best and most varied collection yet from a standout writer of contemporary SF, whose prominence as a reviewer has perhaps distracted readers from his own excellent work. Di Filippo often wears his influences on his sleeve here (J.G. Ballard in 'Kid Charlemagne, Thomas Pynchon in 'Conspiracy of Noise,' Samuel R. Delany in 'Harlem Nova') but these stories are grounded in the writer's own fine sensibility and wit. Readers interested in the 'slipstream' between postmodernist fiction exemplified by Pynchon and the SF that lies somewhere in or around the 'Cyberpunk' milieu will be very glad they checked out Paul Di Filippo. ... Read more

5. Fuzzy Dice
by Paul Di Filippo
Paperback: 252 Pages (2009-10-28)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$12.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1604598905
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
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 disaster 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 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. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Is contemplating the nature of the universe fun?
If Paul Di Filippo is doing it, then YES it is.

All I can say is Wow! This book does a very good job of speculating the exact nature of the universe. In any other authors hands this book would have turned into a scientific/sci-fi disaster. But Paul pulls it off and with such ease that you might not noticeyou are actually learning while reading. It is chocked-full of great existing theories and puts them into words that even I can understand.

It is the story of Paul Girard and how he is granted the ability to travel between every conceivable dimension. What does he do? Well, for starters he seriously F's up. I may like the character because he reminds me so much of myself.

I would recommend this to anyone who has ever wondered "why are we here?" It does help if you have a little bit of scientific knowledge, but the book is so good that you could get by without it.

Why have I not heard of this guy sooner?

2-0 out of 5 stars Why bother?
I finished this novel a couple days ago and I need to start by saying that this wasn't a *bad* book at all. But it wasn't a great book either.

I reached the end and felt...nothing. I wasn't glad I read it nor was I upset to not be in the universe the author wrote either.

It has an interesting premise, but I'm not really sure that the author knew what he wanted from the story...there didn't seem to be much passion in the writing and no real reason to *like* the protagonist. There also wasn't a really good reason for him to be an anti-hero.

The last two chapters or so were wonderful...but the game isn't really worth the candle.

5-0 out of 5 stars All Across the Multiverse
First off, this isn't a typical Amazon title, rather it is the product of PS Publishing, which puts out limited, signed editions by various science fiction and fantasy authors.Specifically, "Fuzzy Dice" by Paul Di Filippo was limited to 200 slip-cased hardcovers and another 500 regular hardcover copies, and at the time of this writing, some copies were still available from the publisher.Moreover, there are copies available on the internet, and should the opportunity to acquire a copy present itself, I would strongly recommend doing so.

A relatively recent theory in physics suggest that there is not just the one universe in which we reside, but an infinite number of universes that represent an infinite number of possible variations.For example, there is a universe where aliens invaded Earth in 1492 and another where there is no Moon.Of course this represents just the tip of the iceberg, as there are an infinite number of universes that are beyond the abilities of human conception.Conversely, the very fact that one could conceive of a universe means that exists somewhere (or perhaps more accurately, sometime).So a world where a megalomaniacal Mickey Mouse rules Earth from his base on Mars is no more or less likely than one in which the Boston Red Sox never traded Babe Ruth.

So when Paul Girard was granted the ability to travel among the universes by a post-human time traveler, he was understandably pleased.Here was an escape from the everyday drudgery of his plainly wasted life.The doorway to the full spectrum of human desire and ambition was placed literally at his fingertip in the form of a yo-yo.Made of "strange matter" drawn from pre-Big Bang space, it will, with a flick of Paul's wrist and a thought of where he wants to go, take him zooming across the multiverse.Unfortunately, as Paul quickly realizes, in a continuum of an infinite number of universes, one should be exceedingly particular about where one wants to go.While you might intend to jump to a world run by the Playboy bunnies, you could very easily end up in a world run by bloodthirsty Amazons.

As one might expect, Paul does just that (although under a variety of different circumstances) and pretty much makes a mess out of what should have been the greatest gift ever given to a mortal man.Nonetheless, along the way he inadvertently, and often unwillingly, learns a little something about himself.However, he is routinely thwarted in his efforts to resolve the "Ontological Pickle" as he puts it; simply stated it is, "What started everything?"What came before the Big Bang, or in this instance, what came before all of the Big Bangs?No matter how complex space-time actually is, and no matter how thoroughly it is understood, there has to be an Alpha Point, as it were, a space-time with nothing before it.But if such a place exists, what caused it to spring from nothing into something?It is these questions that gnaw at Paul, and even as he learns more and improves his physical and mental state, he comes no closer to the answer.

However, after a catastrophically bad jump, Paul and his companions (a son, (the result of a digital data swap) and Moonbeam, his erstwhile wife (a one time militant virgin hippy transformed into a bookworm nymphomaniac)) face certain death.That's when things get really interesting.

All that sounds like pretty heavy subject matter, but in Di Filippo's able hands, it is both hilarious and fascinating.Paul's miscalculations are so obvious in retrospect, one can't help but laugh, however, at the same time, the various worlds are by no means clichés.No matter how bizarre the setting, Di Filippo manages to lend a realism that drives the story forward.

Moreover, the author's consideration of the "Ontological Pickle" is exceptionally deft.Through quantum physics, he is able to create a theory of creation and God, of "everything" really, that makes sense and applies a subtle logic to religion.Though obviously only a hypothesis, Di Filippo's distillation of science, philosophy and religion is both profound and sound.

"Fuzzy Dice" is a novel that defies categorization, as it uses humorous science fiction to explore our deepest mysteries.Moreover, Di Filippo weaves in a great deal of science, but in a manner so subtle it would make Michael Crichton drool.This is truly one of the most original novels I have ever encountered, and I am certain it will be one I revisit many times.


Jake Mohlman ... Read more

6. The Emperor of Gondwanaland and Other Stories
by Paul Di Filippo
Paperback: 304 Pages (2005-06-10)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$5.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560256656
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Paul Di Filippo’s fiction spans genres—from cyberpunk to alternative history to extravagantly funny tales involving talking beavers. As whimsical as they are intelligent, the eighteen stories gathered here, each introduced by the author, find strange characters in even stranger circumstances.

An all-access pass to Di Filippo’s whirlwind imagination, The Emperor of Gondwanaland makes clear why its author is one of the most respected science fiction writers around. The man who coined the word ribofunk (to describe science fiction with a biogenetic twist), Di Filippo sees into the heart of our times with a vision and creativity that simply won’t quit. The Emperor of Gondwanaland is more like a fluid Dalí dreamscape, painted with the deft brushstrokes; a wildly fantastic escape to alternate universes from one of the most imaginative writers around. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Darn Good
Paul Di Filippo is a talented writer, there is no doubt. This collection is better than the Steampunk Trilogy. I thought that book started out great and finished so-so. The Emperor of Gondwanaland has it's ups and downs, but on a whole, it is wonderful. The variety of stories alone is fantastic. But there are some real winners too, and they left we wanting a full novel version. I admit, I didn't read the story about Robert Frost, the poet story in the Steampunk Trilogy still bugs me and I couldn't bring myself to read it. Here is the best example of this books quality though, I borrowed it from the library, but now I want to buy it! The stories are rich in detail and world building, so rich that I want to read it over and over. It's worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff.
I bought this a year or so ago when it came out and devoured it. I cannot believe no one has reviewed it. There's not a bad story in it. If you like Paul Di Filippo and don't have this book, what are you waiting for???

If you're a Di Filippo novice, this is a great starting place. Unlike his other books, which stick to a theme (renegade biology, steampunkery, odd jobs, etc...) this is a grab bag of treats. SF, fantasy, cyberpunk, alternate history, contemporary magical realism, and the just plain odd all get royal treatment in this book. Get it--you'll not be disappointed! ... Read more

7. Ribofunk (Di Filippo, Paul)
by Paul Di Filippo
Hardcover: 295 Pages (1996-04-02)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$4.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1568580622
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Following the shock wave of cyberpunk writing in the late 1980s, Paul Di Filippo's first book, The Steampunk Trilogy, burst on the scene in 1995, leading SF veteran William Gibson to declare the young writer's work "spooky, haunting, hilarious."Cyberpunk concentrated on cold hardware.Di Filippo coined "ribofunk" by fusing "ribosome" (as in cellular biology) with "funk" (as in rock and roll).In the world of Ribofunk, biology is a cutting-edge science, where the Protein Police patrol for renegade gene splicers and part-human sea creatures live in Lake Superior, dealing with toxic spills.Ribofunk depicts a sentient river; a sultry bodyguard who happens to be part wolverine; a reluctant thrill seeker who climbs a skyscraper-and finds himself stuck; and a chain-smoking Peter Rabbit who leads his fellows in a bloody rebellion against-whom else?-Mr. McGregor.Amazon.com Review
Nebula finalist Paul Di Filippo follows The Steampunk Trilogy, acollection of alternate-history novellas, with Ribofunk, abiotechnological hard-SF collection.As the radical shift of genres mayindicate, Ribofunk is astonishingly diverse in subjects and styles,even though its 13 stories make up a future history.Despite thegenerous number of stories, the book's quality and creativity remain highthroughout.In "Brain Wars," a genetically engineered disease afflicts anAntarctic army with enough psychobiological horrors to frighten even thefamed neurologist Oliver Sacks.In"The Boot," a 2060s-era private investigator seeks a bio-enhancedthief-gambler who can see the dynamics of chaos and may therefore be ableto beat any odds, even those of capture.In "The Bad Splice," the PIfinds himself trapped alone in the superseaweed-choked, storm-torn NorthAtlantic with the diabolical Krazy Kat, a "splice," orgenetically engineered animal-man, who has escaped bondage and become asplice-rights terrorist.A few characters recur sporadically, but oneappears in every story:the Earth, its biosphere progressively alteringwith every tale, until the ultimate transformation of the final story,which brings the collection, novel-like, to a tremendous, terrifying,apocalyptic climax.

Few SF writers are as imaginative, energetic, or idea rich as Paul DiFilippo, and fewer still have as broad a knowledge of science and culture. And there's no contemporary SF writer who's more fun to read. --CynthiaWard ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

1-0 out of 5 stars A waste of time
Gimmicky and sometimes downright annoying. I was really looking forward to having a new author to read, after Harlan Ellison spoke so highly of di Filippo, but no such luck! I'm a big fan of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, so I really expected to like this book, but I couldn't make myself finish it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Bruce Sterling does it better
This book is a collection of short stories that are all set in a futuristic world where biotechnology has altered and pervades every aspect of life.Drugs, recreational or otherwise, determine where you fit in society, as does your genetic makeup.I forgot how exactly I found out about this book, but after reading through every short story, I felt as if my time might have been better spent re-reading Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix, or William Gibson's Neuromancer.

I found that there are two predominant themes in this book, one being if humans are genetically engineered to contain DNA from other organisms, should they still be classified as being human, and what rights should they have?The other was how will biotechnology alter how humans live day-to-day?Di Filippo's answer to the first question is quite arbitrary, that one must only have 51% or more human DNA to be considered human, and all other genetically modified creatures with 50% or less human DNA may be treated like any other animal.Di Filippo must not have realized that most if not all primates have 51% or more DNA, and would thus be classified as humans in his futuristic world.It's also disappointing to learn that in the future, the concept of animal rights has all but been abolished, since many stories feature characters who are "animals" composed of 50% or less human DNA who are routinely beaten, tortured, and raped (and lovingly referred to as "play-pets").Even more disappointing is Di Filippo's refusal to explore more spiritual or social aspects as to what makes a human human, such as what only humans can create or do.For Di Filippo, the classifications of human and non-human are frighteningly black and white, and unbelievable in even the most dystopic future.

There are also a few scattered short stories about characters that use biotechnology to enhance how they do their job or interact with others.There are stories about characters who use drugs to help them gamble, biotechnological enhancements to help them fight crime, medical treatments given to those who clean up toxic waste, and cosmetic enhancements like horns or tusks for social purposes.But after contemplating them all, I can't quite fathom what Di Filippo is trying to convey with these stories, other than if we can use biotechnology to do something, we will regardless of its moral or social implecations.And Di Filippo may very well be right about this, and this idea is the only reason why I'm not giving Ribofunk one star.Most of the ideas in it are either stagnant, or poorly thought out and easily dismissed.Di Filippo tries to develop a type of futuristic slang for his characters throughout Ribofunk similar to nadsat slang in A Clockwork Orange, but it's more annoying than anything.

Overall I was very disappointed with Ribofunk.There are dozens of books that are far superior in quality to this one, and have more innovative predictions of what the biotechnology revolution will bring.

4-0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, well-realized biopunk world of "Tomorrow"
If I were Tim Robbins in Robert Altman's 'The Player' I might pitch a well-read exec like this: Imagine a biopunk version of William Gibson's 'Burning Chrome'. But I'm not. Briefly, I have a love/hate relationship with science-fiction. Love the genre, hate most of what I find out there. Most science-fiction is poorly conceived and/or poorly written. Di Filippo is different. As a writer, his prose is as tight as his ideas are original. 'Ribofunk' is an excellent collection of short stories connected by a shared dystopian world where genetic engineering has been taken to the extreme. What it means to be human has changed as 'splices', individuals possessing a blend of human and non-human DNA, have become the norm. Animal antlers, fish gills, insect limbs and a host of other add-ons can be acquired in shops for reasons ranging from fashion to military functionality. One's human rights are determined by the possession of no less than 51% human DNA. These and many more provacative premises are cleverly explored throughout 'Ribofunk'. Each story stands on its own. Taken together they form a strange kaleidescope of a future that seems much closer and more plausible with each new 'biotech' headline.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enormously entertaining and creative
How I wish this writer would do some more of his speculative SF. This collection of short stories is some of the most innovative and well conceived stuff available without a prescription. I absolutely recommend this to anyone who likes writers like greg egan or neal stephensen.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Sci Fi Books of the Past 10 Years
This is a very entertaining, very engaging book.Fantastic, creative use of language combined with amazing insight into the possibilities of nanotechnology, cloning, genetic manipulation and better living through chemistry.The book and stories are fun but have depth and emotion.I reread this in 2001 after reading it 5 years ago and I was amazed at the perceptive forward vision that the author had in some of these stories originally published 10 years ago. ... Read more

8. Roadside Bodhisattva
by Paul Di Filippo
Hardcover: Pages (2010-06-01)
-- used & new: US$28.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1906301751
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9. Spondulix
by Paul Di Filippo
 Hardcover: Pages (2004-05-31)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$40.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1878914065
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This volume reports on a large body of work led by the World Health Organization that is intended to strengthen the foundations for evidence-based policies aimed at health systems development. This has included work to develop a common conceptual framework for health systems performance assessment, to encourage the development of tools to measure its components, and to collaborate with countries in applying these tools to measure and then to improve health systems performance. It began with the enunciation of a framework that specified a parsimonious set of key goals to which health systems contribute, and the first set of figures on goal attainment and health system efficiency in countries that were Members of the Organization was published in The World Health Report 2000.

This book provides a uniquely comprehensive exploration of many different facets of health systems performance assessment. It will be relevant for researchers, students and decision-makers seeking a more detailed understanding of concepts, methods and the latest empirical findings. While most authors in this volume take a global perspective, the findings have important implications for the development of national performance frameworks and the creation of a culture of accountability. ... Read more

10. The Steampunk Trilogy
by Paul Di Filippo
Paperback: 354 Pages (1997-11-10)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1568581025
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Steampunk is the twisted offspring of science fiction and postmodernism, a sassy, unpredictable tongue-in-cheek style of which the incomparable Paul Di Filippo is master. The three short novels in The Steampunk Trilogy are all set in a very alternative nineteenth century, and feature a mixture of historical and imaginary figures. In "Victoria," a young and lissome Queen Victoria disappears from her throne and is replaced by a sexy human/newt clone. The race is on to find the original Victoria and to hide the terrible secret from the nation. In "Hottentots," Massachusetts is threatened by monsters from the deep; in "Walt and Emily," Emily Dickinson hooks up with a robust and lusty Walt Whitman, loses her virginity, and travels to a dimension beyond time where she meets the future Allen Ginsberg.
Amazon.com Review
Queen Victoria as a trollop-in-training whose newt-human cloneserves as stand-in during Victoria's trysts? Walt Whitman aslusty seducer of an only partly reticent EmilyDickinson who loses the "Keys to the Inner Chambers of herHeart" to him? This fine and funny madness is"steampunk," a branch of cyberpunk fiction that locatesitself in historical venues rather than in the future. Paul Di Filippohas certainly done his homework: the settings as well as the languageemulate the times and, in Dickinson's and Whitman's cases, theirpoetic language, which asserts itself into their conversationaldialogue and thoughts at most unusual but appropriatemoments. Dickinson's "Universe Entire" is disrupted by anaked Whitman bathing in her rain barrel and singing his "bodyelectric." But will Dickinson's "White Election" remainintact? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

2-0 out of 5 stars Very much not what I was expecting, in a bad way
As I tend to be wary of more traditional fantasy owing to the amount of...let's say "not good" that can be found in that genre, I have been poking around in subgenres hoping to find both authors and ideas that do click with me.Thus my decision to explore steampunk - which led to me reading 'The Steampunk Trilogy.'

The book is comprised of three separate novellas: "Victoria," "Hottentots" and "Walt and Emily."As the three stories are connected in the loosest of ways (a character from one is tangentially referred to in another) I will discuss the stories on their own merits.

But first, I should probably note my overall feeling for the book as a whole.My expectations for "steampunk" weren't met very well as most of what happens in each story is a lot closer to "alternate-history."There are brief mentions of the sorts of things I would have expected to find - machines and techniques not expected of the era - but these were almost as fleeting as the references that tie the stories together.

The book starts off with "Victoria" which largely centers on the creation of the main character, which is a genetically modified newt that looks human.This newt is used as a replacement for Queen Victoria who has gone missing.
You didn't read that incorrectly.
The story is actually somewhat humorous, but I kept expecting a little more of it - and then ending of the story is somewhat abrupt.

Next is "Hottentots," and after reading the story for the first 25 pages or so I needed to break out the dictionary owing to my confusion regarding the title word.I had seen said word before (owing to a line in the comic strip 'Bloom County') and remembered initially thinking that it had something to do with pre-WWI Germans.This is not the case, and cleared up some significant confusion on my part (altho' not where I got that idea in the first place).
This story focuses largely on a trio of characters attempting to find an...item of power before it can be used for magical mischief.The item in question is...well, it's part of the female anatomy.
I'm *seriously* not making this up.
The character that the story mostly focuses on is somewhat of a bigot and some of his thoughts, actions and language might be construed as offensive; however, as said character is also mostly used to show how his beliefs just aren't the case is it somewhat excusable.
The end of the story here is almost equally as abrupt and even more ludicrous than the first story; it must be noted that the "humor" in this story, while similar to the first, became somewhat tedious.

The last story is "Walt and Emily" and focuses on highly fictionalized versions of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.This story really dragged for me - even more than the first two - mostly because I had come to the realization that for all the writing Di Filippo has done not much actually happens, and so there are large passages that simply need to be waded through.

All in all, I was hoping for much more than what I ended up with.

2-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant in spots, but on the whole, forgettable
An interesting if not great book, The Steampunk Trilogy relates three unconnected tales about a quirky, early Victorian world where genetically engineered salamanders reign and where nuclear train engines and "ideoplasm"-powered transdimensional prairie schooners haunt the imagination. DeFilippo's success here is in the details---the fustian prose echoes that of the 19th century, as does the fiery libertine poetry, while the characters never quite lose a certain postmodern knowingness, a glint in the eye as it were.

Alas, he never seems to weave these details into a memorable story. Two days after completing it, and "Hottentots" (the second of the three stories comprising the trilogy) is receding in my memory. The other two stories, "Victoria" and "Walt and Emily," were more compelling, but only marginally so.

Good for checking out of the library or buying from a used-book store.

2-0 out of 5 stars Juvenille Junk
Picked this up based on a "Oh, you like China Mieville, you'll like this" recommendation.Big mistake.The prose is bland, the characters are universally one-dimensional, the plot "twists" are stunningly obvious throughout, and the whole thing feels like the quality of writing you expect to pick up at a 4th grade bookmobile stop.I read through the first story, "Victoria" with rapidly dwindling interest.Only because I felt it unfair to judge the book on less than half of the read did I bother reading through the second story, "Hottentots" which is no better (and in many ways worse) than the first.

Steer clear of this one.I'm sure you could find worse things to read, but it'd take effort.

4-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, and unusual
This book (actually three stories) is one of the most clever pieces of Victoriana I've ever read.I looked for it forever before ordering it, and it was worth the wait.I don't know how to describe these fascinating stories which I still think about long after I read the book.The end of each story is sort of like listening to a piece of music without the last note... there's just a feeling of... unresolvedness or frustration or something... about each one.They are sort of like a Victorian, supernatural Annie Hall... a perfect, suspended, dangling little snapshot in time.And the author perfectly captures his characters... from their supernatural alienness, to their stubbornly anti-anachronistic attitudes about race, empire, and sex/gender.(And I say kudos to that - while I love anachronistic Victorian adventuresses in fiction, it's nice to see an author actually acknowledge the ugliness of an idealized era, normally glossed over in such works.Plus, the unlikeable antihero gets his well-deserved comeuppance anyway.)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Afternoon of Summer's Wane
I had read Ribofunk 5 years or so ago and enjoyed it and reread it this summer and enjoyed it even more.When it was finished I wanted more so I sought out The Steampunk Trilogy.The book was engaging and funny from the very start.Very, very clever language and style and very funny.I was particularly impressed with the life the author bestowed upon the many historical people who were incorporated into the story.After reading the books I even discovered that the Hottentots Venus' pickled "friend" is indeed at the Musee de l'Homme in Paris.As a New Englander I also loved the fact that two of the stories take place in Massachusetts.When will you be in Snipe Harbour again, Paul Di Filippo? ... Read more

11. Fractal Paisleys (Di Filippo, Paul)
by Paul Di Filippo
 Hardcover: 320 Pages (1997-09-02)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$8.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001G8WC0Q
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Ten funky science fiction stories by the widely acclaimed author of The Steampunk Trilogy and Ribofunk. Here is cutting-edge science fiction by a writer called one of the funniest, most original, and most offbeat today. The book includes "alternate world" stories with a light, whimsical touch, in the vein of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.Amazon.com Review
Paul Di Filippo is many things: author of The SteampunkTrilogy, Ribofunk, and Lost Pages; a two-time Nebula Awardfinalist; a leading practitioner of alternate history; one of the originalsteampunks; one of the original cyberpunks; and a modern master of satire.The 10 stories in Fractal Paisleys blend alternate history, hardSF, modern fantasy, noir-detective fiction, satire, and pop culture tovarying degrees, creating what the author calls "trailer park sciencefiction," in which regular folks (middle-, working-, and nonworking-class)encounter great and terrible powers and technologies of human, alien,futuristic, and fantastic origin.

In "Do You Believe in Magic?", the ultimate self-absorbed,'60s-obsessed Baby Boomer emerges from his New York apartment for thefirst time in 20 years and finds himself an icon and a joke, and hiscity fire-bombed and theme-parked. In "Flying the Flannel," one of thefew Di Filippo stories to feature a female protagonist, an unknowngarage-rock group is part of a cosmic battle of the bands, in whichthe fate of Earth itself is at stake. In the terrifying "Earth Shoes"(possibly the most unusual Philip K. Dick-inspired story everwritten), a quantum-uncertainty-infected mood ring gives successivecharacters the power to remake reality according to their own oftenunacknowledged and dangerous desires. The remaining stories are asinventive, witty, entertaining, and well-written, making this anotherhigh-caliber collection from Paul Di Filippo. --Cynthia Ward ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Di Filippo Rules The School
You need to read this book. If you don't, you should just go back to living in a cave of your own self-imposed isolation. Di Filippo manages to take crazed, madman thoughts and make brilliantly constructed views of the human mind. Reading them is easy as they are rock and roll on the printed page, but at the same time they will stay with you for generations.

4-0 out of 5 stars Di Filippo Rules The School
You need to read this book. If you don't, you should just go back to living in a cave of your own self-imposed isolation. Di Filippo manages to take crazed, madman thoughts and make brilliantly constructed views of the human mind. Reading them is easy as they are rock and roll on the printed page, but at the same time they will stay with you for generations.

4-0 out of 5 stars A collection of popcorn for the brain sci-fi short stories
Paul Di Filippo has collected several of his sci-fi short stories with rock and roll undertones.Combining music, hard sci-fi concepts, and everyday average or below average people (some of which do live in a trailer park, hense trailer park sci-fi)is not an easy task, but Di Filipo pulls it off nicely.The stories are fast pased, light, and whimsical.Perfect for a lunch break. ... Read more

12. A Mouthful of Tongues: Her Totipotent Tropicanalia
by Paul Di Filippo
Paperback: 184 Pages (2003-08-15)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$13.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1587155079
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In his new novel, A Mouthful of Tongues, Paul Di Filippo, cult author of Ciphers, The Steampunk Trilogy, and Ribofunk, makes his boldest fictional statement yet. Writing in the tradition of Kathy Acker and Samuel R. Delany, but with a subversive brio all his own, Di Filippo here imagines a true erotic revolution, a crusade of the libido that will topple a corrupt and jaded future world order, and possibly much besides . . . Kerry Hackett is just another corporate pawn in the urban cauldron of 2015, besieged on all sides by those who would possess and exploit her. Driven to desperation, she undergoes a mysterious transformation into an alchemical goddess, wanderer of the timelines. In a magnificently evoked parallel Brazil, a place of seedy splendor and charismatic lusts, Kerry, or that which she has become, tests her carnal arsenal on targets deserving and undeserving; but the attention of a more powerful agency has been attracted, and a yet stranger metamorphosis awaits. A tale of heartbreak, revenge, and liberation, written in Paul Di Filippo's most fantastically effervescent prose, A Mouthful of Tongues is a work of science fiction which crosses boundaries and breaks taboos with brilliant savage abandon. It can only add to its author's rapidly growing following, and will shake the world of speculative fiction to its very foundations. "Out of a rich impasto of language, a story that is sensual, sexual, and hot takes shape around one of the most engaging heroines since Southern and Hoffenberg's Candy." --Samuel R. Delany "Sacred sin, that's Di Filippo's force here. We have participated in a transpersonal act that lifts our consciousness above the situational polarities of morality and into the psyche's unknown, where objective energetic processes fuse dream and matter--and make us us. A ruthless fantasy of aggressive sexuality and archaic intentions." --A. A. Attanasio ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Surely, there must be a point...
Kerry is an average girl -- working as an assistant/secretary in a biotechnology job, supporting her boyfriend ill with something like AIDS, getting hit on by her boss -- when she releases the benthic, a top-secret project at her firm. The benthic is a force of living energy, with a magical ability to transmute any matter it touches. Given shape by Kerry's emotions at the time of the release, the benthic travels to Bahia, a tropical resort island, where its sexual hunger rampages uncontrolleable and unstoppable.

Delany has "Hogg," and Di Filippo has "A Mouthful of Tongues." The explicit sexual content comprises all of the book, resting in a thin frame of a story as summarized above. It's impossible to open a random page and not be in the middle of something explicit.

Given that I'd started reading this as a science fiction and not an erotic book, I was disappointed that there wasn't more explanation and elaboration. What is the benthic? (My little description above is pure conjecture.) What drove it, why was it so hungry, and what did it want? To what original purpose was it designed, and on what scientific or at least philosophical principles? Was it erotic in nature, destruction and creation, kindness and cruelty - all expressed through sex, or was that only one possible expression? How did it reason? I also would have liked to read more about the near-future world Di Filippo briefly sketched (80% of the book takes place in a tropical jungle).

Perhaps it was the author's intention to leave these questions to us. The writing and the prose are excellent, but the overall impression is less than satisfying.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Grand Erotic Science Fiction Tale From Di Filippo
Paul Di Filippo is highly regarded by his fellow science fiction writers; one of the finest practitioners of the subgenre popularly known as "steampunk". Here he steals a few pages from Delaney and Dick, crafting a splendidly well written erotic near future fantasy that is as well told as any from these other great science fiction writers. It is one of the finest erotic tales in science fiction I have come across, rich in the magical realism that I found prevalent in works such as those by Borges and cyberpunk fiction writer Lucius Shepherd. Di Filippo is as skillful a stylist as William Gibson in "A Mouthful Tongues", and has created female characters as memorable as any of Gibson's. Yet please note that this may not be a fine book for everyone since some may be disturbed by the intense erotic content prevalent through much of the novel. ... Read more

13. Little Doors (Di Filippo, Paul)
by Paul Di Filippo
 Hardcover: 320 Pages (2002-11-21)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$5.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001G8W7MO
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Here are 17 new stories from a writer whose work has been praised by William Gibson as "spooky, haunting, hilarious." In the title story of Little Doors, a professor of children's literature discovers a bizarre synchronicity between a lost text and his illicit relationship with a student. In another story, a boy is born without a brain and his skull is invaded by a group of wild animals. Another chronicles an all-night drive through a Manhattan distinctly different from — but strangely similar to — our own. All of these stories are replete with chaos, human oddities, and the unruly energy of a Tom Waits song, forming an exhilarating collection from a truly creative force in contemporary fiction. The master of "trailer park science fiction", Di Filippo is a two-time finalist for the Nebula Award and finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. "[Di Filippo] channelsurfs postmodern apocalypse, brilliantly." — Jonathan Lethem
Amazon.com Review
Paul Di Filippo returns in fine protean form with his storycollection Little Doors. "Billy" satirizes both the Reagan presidency and the American anyone-can-make-it myth, as a boy born literally without a brain grows up to become president of the United States. "Rare Firsts" places a fantastic temptation before a failing rare-book dealer. A deceased milquetoast may yet save the day in the amusing nightmare-noir of "The Short Ashy Afterlife of Hiram P. Dottle." The melancholy "Slumberland" reveals the later adventures of the old man who once dreamed his way through the Sunday comic strip "Little Nemo in Slumberland." And "Return to Cockaigne" turns high fantasy inside out, in what can only inadequately be described as a collision of Candyland, C.S. Lewis's Narnia, James Branch Cabell's Poictesme, and LSD.

The promotional printing of Little Doors promises "seventeen new stories that represent his best work to date": this is not true. The anthology contains 16 stories and one poem. Also, the copyright page indicates that every work has been previously published, and some of the stories date back a decade or more, to a time when Di Filippo was a less skilled and versatile stylist. However, the early stories do display the wild imagination for which he is justly praised, and the later stories demonstrate his full creative powers, from the impressive surrealism of "The Death of Salvador Dali" to the jabberwacked-out magic realism of "Jack Neck and the Worry Bird" to the eerie e.e. cummings tribute "Mehitabel in Hell." --Cynthia Ward ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
This is a good example of an average collection. There is nothing brilliant, or nothing terrible, most of the stories are above average, with some average or slightly less, so a no-brainer 3.5 all around. They are pretty much all in the supernatural/fantasy vein.

Little Doors : Little Doors - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : Billy - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : Moloch - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : The Grange - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : Sleep Is Where You Find It - Paul Di Filippo and Marc Laidlaw
Little Doors : The Horror Writer - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : My Two Best Friends - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : The Death Of Salvador Dali - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : Our House - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : Jack Neck And The Worry Bird - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : Stealing Happy Hours - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : Singing Each to Each - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : Rare Firsts - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : Return To Cockaigne - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : The Short Ashy Afterlife Hiram P. Dootle - Paul Di Filippo
Little Doors : Slumberland - Paul Di Filippo

Shagged student's escape portal.

3.5 out of 5

Brainless boy's lower order locutors are trendsetters.

3.5 out of 5

Devil maybe talk.

2.5 out of 5

Secret society of fertilisers.

3.5 out of 5

Human Head Cakebox Murderer proves camera shy.

3 out of 5

Stephenkingalogue not quite all there in his twisted world.

3 out of 5

Werepeople AC/DC match is no matter.

3.5 out of 5

Painter's posthumous path.

3 out of 5

House squatters provide higher and lower function.

3.5 out of 5

Taking the avian load off.

2.5 out of 5

Pleasuresucker strangulation showdown.

3.5 out of 5

Mermaid hooker scheme.

3.5 out of 5

Librarian lady's booksense worth a punt.

4 out of 5

Fantasy trippyworld quartet's return to adventure.

3.5 out of 5

Axe murdering golddigger victim's wooden existence luckily coincides with superhero's crime investigation. A permanent trophy life.

4 out of 5

Sojourn with the Sandman.

3 out of 5

5-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing only in the way Jimi Hendrix disturbs
Reportedly Di Filippo brews his heady potions whilst seated with headphones on, blasting music so loud it can be heard across the room. Probably the man listens to everything from Glenn Gould to the Stones; his stories reflect that kind of eclectic, roving intelligence. He's not afraid to poke gentle fun at the SF genre, and his skill at writing is impressive: he's a shape-shifter in writer's form. That is, one story will have you thinking "Harlan Ellison," another "Gene Wolfe," another "Samuel Delany," etc. So, yes, it's weirdly discomforting not to be able to pigeonhole these tales. But it sure seems to me that if you're looking for a hugely enjoyable, multi-faceted and unpredictable collection...this is it.

1-0 out of 5 stars BORING and DISTURBING
Don't bother to open these little doors. I buy every book and article that I can find by Paul, He is usually the most stimulating, interesting, inovative and fun author. He was number one on my list.
This collection is terrible in many ways. The stories and either boring, or unintersting and a couple are disturbing .
It is ok to disturb your reader, but there are stories that make you think that Paul is so disturbed that you do not want to support him anymore by buying his books.
Maybe this is just a collection of the stories that he wanted to through away but was published anyway.
It will probably take me a year to buy another one of his books( That is a long time, since I buy about 3 books a day and he publishes about 3 books an hour.) ... Read more

14. Harsh Oases
by Paul Di Filippo
Hardcover: 319 Pages (2009-01)
-- used & new: US$60.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1905834357
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15. Neutrino Drag
by Paul Di Filippo
Paperback: 288 Pages (2004-06-16)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1568583001
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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What do Jayne Mansfield, Pythagoras, Disney "imagineers," and the Virgin Mary have in common? They are all privileged to be protagonists in the stories in Paul Di Filippo's newest collection. Twenty tales to rock the mind, of mental pygmies and product placement, gentle giants and teen witches. The title story is a Robert Williams cartoon come to life, in which the narrator races roadsters in "a match of Cosmic Chicken out in space" with a pair of visiting aliens. The inimitable Di Filippo is known for his calculated lack of restraint and his incredible stylistic versatility. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Twenty impossible-to-catalog tales
Fans of Paul DiFilippo will readily acknowledge his penchant for sexy, funky tales: he was the author of the Steampunk Trilogy which offered a whole new twist on the genre of science fiction, he's been nominated for a Sturgeon Award, a Hugo and a World Fantasy Award, and he specializes in unusual settings and plots. One would expect the same of his latest Neutrino Drag: Stories - and he doesn't disappoint. Here are twenty impossible-to-catalog tales ranging from teen witches and the Virgin Mary to alternate worlds of paranoia and even tongue-in-cheek humor. Highly recommended; especially for prior DiFilippo fans.
... Read more

16. Universe 3 (The Universe Anthology series)
by Karen Haber, Brian Aldiss, E. Michael Blake, Terry Boren, David Ira Cleary, Nicholas Dichario, Paul Di Filippo, Joe Haldeman, Alex Jeffers, Phillip Jennings, Mary Turzillo
Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1994-03-01)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$7.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 055356580X
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A collection of fifteen stories from the brightest voices in contemporary science fiction features the writing of Brian W. Aldiss, E. Michael Blake, Terry Boren, David Ira Cleary, Alex Jeffers, Jamil Nasir, and others. ... Read more

17. Ciphers
by Paul Di Filippo
 Hardcover: 533 Pages (1998)
-- used & new: US$85.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1878914022
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Fiction. "Am I live or am I Memorex?" -- so begins DiFilippo's latest novel, "A Post-Shannon Rock'N'Roll Mystery ComposedPartially By Sampling, Splicing, Channeling and ReverseTranscription". This dense tome contains large numbers ofthought-provoking quotes("Klues") as well as "Doctor Wu's PortableDecryption of Cyphers". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars One man's signal is another man's noise
An enigmatic and convoluted (snakelike, one might say) book, but eerily relevant and oneirogenic. Cyril Prothero and Polly Peptide join forces (and other things) when their respective lovers turn up missing. They encounter the mysterious Doctor Wu, Maxwell's Demon, Sophia, snake cults, voodoo, information theory, DNA, kinky sex, designer drugs, rock-and-roll, crytography, cyber-immortality, imperialism, gnosticism, bagism, fagism....all coiled up in this slithy tome like a slippery Joycean dragon. The cover art alone is worth the price of intromission. All I am saying is give this book a chance, because if you don't know by now, it ain't the meat it's the motion. (Hey, hey Paul, I can hear your heartbeat for a thousand miles!)

4-0 out of 5 stars Setting yourself up for a fall, Paul ?
An immensely entertaining book. A test of cultural literacy (if you haveto flip to the endnotes you failed). Lacks the depth and sophistication,especially when dealing with historical matters, of Pynchon. Reminds memore of Madison Smartt-Bell or Robert Anton Wilson than Pynchon. Goodenough to buy a copy for a friend.

The general theme of informationsaturation, and the characters Di Filippo constructs to deal with it workvery well. You'd be hard pressed to find a more frenetic paranoid book thanthis, and Di Filippo seems to work better in a novel than in his shortstories. ... Read more

18. Families Are Murder
by Philip Lawson
 Paperback: 352 Pages (2005-01-09)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$16.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1930997930
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Would it Kill You to Smile?When second-rate ventriloquist Skipper Keats dies of a heart attack at his comedy club, Skipper's son Will learns of the bizarre codicil to his father's will: Skipper has requested that he be buried with Dapper O'Dell, his favorite dummy.But after the funeral, and after Dapper visits Will in a dream, Will realizes that the grave is not, after all, the appropriate resting-place for this very valuable piece of teakwood.Will's surreptitious exhuming of the coffin reveals a new surprise: someone has beaten him to it.The dummy is gone, and the mystery is afoot.Muskrat CourageIn the aftermath of his father's death, Will Keats' life finally seems to be settling down to some semblance of normalcy again in his new home with Adrienne and her bright lively, eight-year-old daughter Olivia.Then Olivia disappears, and a trail of muddy boot prints indicates she didn't leave on her own.The trail leads to the door of Adrienne's disreputable ex-husband, Byron, Olivia's father.Byron has an alibi and an unlimited reserve of jealousy and hatred for Will.Olivia's kidnapping only fuels the simmering fire between them.But as the police and FBI investigations grow colder with the oncoming winter, it appears to Will that his only hope of ever seeing Olivia again lies in cooperating with Byron and his shady underworld connections. ... Read more

19. Tales of the Shadowmen 3: Danse Macabre
Paperback: 296 Pages (2006-11-22)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$20.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932983775
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Fantômas is dead, long live Fantômas! Doctor Omega and Captain Kronos challenge the might of the Vampire City! The Animalists overthrow Babar, King of the Elephants! King Kong falls in love for the first time! Hercule Poirot stalks a Murderer from Beyond! The Sûreté du Temps Perdu faces the Vampires and the Cat Women of the Moon invade the 20th Century-but which 20th Century? And also Fu-Manchu, Judex, Maciste, the Black Coats, Biggles, John Devil, Barbarella and many more! Welcome once again to our merry-go-round of heroes and villains of popular literature, the danse macabre of of the Shadowmen. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The previous review says it all...almost.
Matthew Baugh's review of this excellent anthology (see above) is helpful, succinct, and accurate in every particular. However, he is apparently too modest to mention the story that he wrote for the volume, "The Heart of the Moon." Baugh's story, the first one in the book, is an absolutely brilliant tour de force which, if you're not already a fan of this series, is guaranteed to make you into one. I refuse to give away any spoilers, but I will say that if you are a fan of Robert E. Howard, Doctor Who, Hammer Horror, or just plain good writing, you owe it to yourself to read Baugh's story, and the rest of them in the book as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Year for Shadowmen
This series is getting better and better. It thrives on the funny, adventurous, or uncanny parings of pop culture characters and the crossovers are getting more entertaining as they get more audacious! It is interesting to see how many of the stories are now showing the shadowy influence of the Black Coats, (a vast criminal conspiracy from the stories of Paul Feval.) There are also several nods to Madame Atomos, a Japanese master villainess. Unlike many super-criminals, she isn't interested in ruling the world. Her greatest goal is to punish the United States for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"Long Live Fantomas" by Alfredo Castelli patches a loose thread in the stories of the great villain. I don't know enough about Fantomas to fully appreciate this take on his origin, but the story is a doozy. The sheer evil of the "original" and (even more) the new Fantomas are very well handled. The shadowy presence of the Black Coats is a nice addition. There is also a new twist added to the story of history's first recorded serial killer.

"Next!" by Bill Cunningham lets Barbarella turn the tables on some of the most infamous lady's men in SF. I once read a humorous list of Star Trek words which included this entry: "Kirk - v. 1) to bend to the point of breaking the Prime Directive, as 'We really Kirked that planet.' 2) To bed multifarious members of the opposite sex from as many humanoid species as possible." (It was fun to some of the great Kirkers out-kirked for once.)

"Au Vent Mauvais" by Francois Dardaudet is a fun riff on third generation wannabe master villains. The story manages to be both funny and chilling as it gives us an idea of just how poisonous Madame Atomos' obsessive hatred for the United States is.

"Return to the 20th Century" by Paul Filippo combines the science fiction of two eras into a funny, fast moving adventure. It's amazing how good a story making creative use of the silly science of bygone generations can be!

"Les Levres Rouges" by Win Scott Eckert is his sequel to "The Eye of Oran" from volume 2. This story gives Doc Ardan a greater role as it drifts into the erotic horror of Hammer studios. It's "Doc-Savage-meets-the-lesbian-vampire-mistress-of-the-undead-elder-servitors-from-the-bottom-of-the-sea." Win manages to make a bewildering array of diverse elements come together to good effect.

"Beware the Beasts" by Greg Gick is a nifty short encounter between Doctor Omega and the inhabitants of what is probably the most famous planet in French SF. Short and funny!

"The Ape Gigans" by Micah Harris is my personal favorite from this volume. It uses an amazingly creative combination of characters. A willful heroine/villainess of a period romance meets the King of Skull Island and the prehistoric horrors from the canter of the earth! Not only does this make me (really) want to read THE ELDRICH ADVENTURES OF BECKY SHARP (Micah's upcoming novel), it even makes me want to read VANITY FAIR.

"A Dance of Night and Death" by Travis Hiltz combines the classic films of Louis Feuillade, "Las Vampires" and "Fantomas." We know a lot about the sorts of things that Irma Vep does, but this is the first glimpe I can remember of her inner workings as she has an intense encounter with the dread Fantomas.

"The Lady in the Black Gloves" by Rick Lai continues his exploration of characters form the Arsene Lupin stories. Like Rick's other stories, this tale of false identities in intricately plotted with subtle references galore. Even to someone unfamiliar with the characters he is using, this is a good creepy mystery as we look as the sordid and sadistic side of the European underworld. (It isn't all glamorous plots to control civilization you know.)

"The Murder of Randolph Carter" by Jean Marc Lofficier is a hilarious take on the country house murder mystery with Hercule Poirot in far past his depth. (That's what happens when you deal with Deep Ones I suppose.) What happens when a rational sleuth tries to solve a mystery in the bizarre milieu of H.P. Lovecraft? His little grey sells just aren't up to grasping it.

"A Day in the Life of Madame Atomos" by Xavier Maumejean is a brilliant comic piece about the villainess which pays homage to the silly spy romps of the early 1970's. The story works well throughout and the last paragraph is priceless!

"Bullets Over Bombay" by David A. McIntee is a Bollywood style adventure of the French occult detective Dr. Mystere. I have to confess, I found the conbination of musical numbers and a slaughtered village unsettling. I'm squeamins about high body counts among innocent bystandrs and that impaired my appreciation for the story. On the other hand, the glimpse of Dr. Mystere is very interesting.

"All's Fair..." by Brad Mengle asks what happens when all of the spies and mystery men in aris are interested in the same woman on the same night... A fun and humerous debut for Brad. Nice job!

"The Affair of the Bassin Les Hivers" by Michael Moorcock(!) I'd heard that Mr. Moorcock was a fan of the TOTS series and it's a blast to see him contribute a story. Not surprisingly, this mystery featured the sinister M. Zeneth the Albino. Zeineth was the inspiration for Moorcock's own Elric of Melnibone and we see shades of the doomed prince in this incarnation.

"The Successful Failure" by John Peel is a clever caper mystery with the unlikely but very likable pairing of Beautrelet and Bigglesworth on the case. A very enjoyable adventure.

"The Butterfly Files" by Joseph Altairac & Jean-Luc Rivera is a nicely paranoid short piect that gives us a fascinating (and disturbing) look at Madame Atomos before the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. War warps people's souls, but some are pretty twisted to start with.

"The Famous Ape" by Chris Roberson is the most unexpected crossover I have ever seen in the TOTS series. - I remember the Babar stories vaguely but fondly (my one big quibble was that they were written in cursive.) As an adult I've heard them criticized as being pro colonialism, and that may be Chris' starting point. The result can be disturbing as we see political realities played out in the traditionally unrealistic and non-political world of children's stories. Ultimately though I really liked this. Chris isn't doing this to disturb and offend the way some revisionist authors seem to. He is provoking thought and feeling but does it in a way that is compassionate and, in the end, touching.

"Two Hunters" by Robert L. Robinson features the pairing of Judex with one of the most famous hunters in literature. Judex is probably my favorite Shadowmen character and this story does well by him. The meeting of our two heroes is perfectly logical and fits well into both of their histories. It's also a ripping good adventure.

"The Child Stealers" I was ready for something really good after part of this story in last year's volume. This was (IMO) every bit as involving as the first chapter and more exciting. It was great getting to see so much of Gregory Temple and John Devil in this one, and the minor characters included are brilliant and subtle. I am also amazed at how smoothly Stableford has moved from the voice of Ned Knob to that of Gregory Temple. The two characters are extremely different but he handles each with equal insight and sympathy.

So, another good year for the Shadowmen and their fans! I'm eagerly looking forward to Vol 4! ... Read more

20. Creature From The Black Lagoon: Time's Black Lagoon (Universal Monsters (Dh Press))
by Paul Di Filippo
Paperback: 276 Pages (2006-09-20)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1595820337
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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In 1954, an expedition found what seemed to be a missing link in the evolutionary chain: an ancient, immensely powerful amphibian creature. Scientists tried to tame it, break its will, and even change its very being with surgery and torture, but the beast rebelled, killing nearly all in its way. But was the creature truly a throwback, a freak survivor of some prehistoric era — or was it something more?

Six decades later, one scientist attempts to find out, using a time machine to journey into the past. What he finds not only shatters his vision of what the Creature might be, but could change the history of the human race forever. Paul Di Filippo reinvents the Creature with a tale of time travel, horror, and mystery that blends Cold War science fiction with today’s cutting edge cyberpunk. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Blast From the Looong Past!
Despite my long-standing love of this shambling, soggy Creature, I may never have bought this novel had I not seen it was written by Paul Di Filippo, the highly regarded author of such collections as THE STEAMPUNK TRILOGY and novels such as COSMOCOPIA (and the wonderful A YEAR IN THE LINEAR CITY, which I read a few years ago). That's what I find so intriguing about Dark Horse's tie-in novels, that the editors have chosen such well-established, not to mention distinctly original literary fantastists, to write them (and I've already ordered ALIENS: NO EXIT, by B. K. Evenson -- Brian Evenson, another unique author I've enjoyed). So I knew this novel was bound to be a fun, assorted grab bag, and I certainly wasn't disappointed.

TIME'S BLACK LAGOON was just as enjoyable as Jeff VanderMeer's recent, action-packed Dark Horse tie-in, PREDATOR: SOUTH CHINA SEA, but with a different, more casual and friendly tone (until the end chapters, where it gets pretty damn frenzied and apocalyptic, too; let's just put it this way, there isn't just one Creature in this book -- not by a long shot -- and there are other creatures on a microscopic level that might pose an even greater threat). One reader whose comments I perused complained that the novel was slow, but the only thing slow are the wits of those who can't appreciate the novel's human, likable characters, delightful sense of humor, radical reimagining of the Creature and its origins, and such imaginative plot devices as a time machine (embodied in an iPod!) that can open a portal into the Devonian Period. The early chapters intrigue as we witness the protagonist's growing obsession with the Creature, his introduction to a time machine his researcher friend has developed, and his inevitable journey into the far-flung past. The early sequences in the Devonian, as the protagonist and his girlfriend seek out the Creature (and find much more than they bargained for), really made me feel like I was tromping through the muck along with them, sort of like "Survivorman" meets "Jurassic Park." The plot gets even more mind-blowing and head-spinning from there, but always in a perfectly accessible way. The novel is way better than it needs to be, but that's just what I would expect from an author like Di Filippo. I recommend it highly; it's good-natured, fantastically fun, witty and clever and inventive. You might even get a little awed by the time traveling science. Just a thoroughly enjoyable book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Laughable "Sequel" to The Creature From the Black Lagoon.
The beautiful cover art fooled many a monster fan when this one hit the shelves,and i'm here o warn you,speaking as a monster fan....IT'S REALLY LAME!
The novel takes place in the future,and begins interestingly enough with a student studying the legend of the Gill man and becoming enthralled.
This leads him to go on an expedition to find the Creature's origins...by using his I-pod to go back n time(!),where he finds that the Creature descended from a race of aliens!
The creatures remind one a little TOO much of the kind of forgotten civilizations that H.P Lovecraft would write about,and melding that in a Universal horror way,just dosen't work.
And that the Creature is nothing but a violent MUTANT is sad indeed for our friend,the gill man.
The characters are largely unmemorable and inconsistent.
Sex seemed out of place but didn't bother me so much....so two young people had sex in the Devonian Age,sounds kind of cool....it was the MINDLESS action that got me.
This story was more Stephen Sommers than Jack Arnold as dumb action scene after dumb action scene,repeat themselves frequently.
It would be a wise move to pack some big guns if your on a dinosaur safari,but someone should have told the author to do his homework.
The rifles they carry are Barret .50 sniper rifles,basically an anti-tank weapon,that holds a ten round magazine and is semi-automatic.
In this it's full auto(!) and has no recoil(!)....huh?
How about the "Creature invasion" sequence at the end?
Did that part make ANY sense?
Wouldn't it be pretty big news?
Nope....no one seems to care that Florida got invaded by fifty Creatures from the Black lagoon...no big deal I guess.
To call the book dumb,would be kind,so i'll just call it boring an innane.
Come on people...i'm sure some of us out there can make an exciting story about Universal's last great movie monster.
Give it a try!(Just don't read this book).

2-0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Trip
Let me start by saying the Creature is my favorite of the classic Universal monsters...
The premise of the book sounded interesting...time-travelling back to the prehistoric period to learn about the Gill Man in his natural habitat. But once you meet the monsters, so to speak, it removes the mystery of the Creature seen in the films. It's like being in Disney and seeing Mickey behind the castle with his head off smoking a cigarette.
The ending very much reminded me of a classic monster movie where there's an epic world-threatening crisis that is very quickly resolved to finish the story up all nice and tidy so the credits can roll.

1-0 out of 5 stars What an AWFUL disappointment
So, you hear that the author of The Steampunk Trilogy, which is one of the most fantastic books I've ever read, is writing this book, and you think, WOW, I can't wait.And then you read it, and you wish you'd never heard of it.That's exactly what this book is like.

First of all, I'm no prude, but, um, wow is there an enormous, unneccesary amount of non-plot-furthering sex in this book.

Second of all, the book takes place in the future, but the attempts to sound futuristic are anachronistically clunky and possibly trademark infringing, as well as flat-out offensive.To wit - a guy born in 1985 muses that his childhood was like Huck Finn with added postmodern technology like "computers, Walkmen, VCRs."Um, this book was published in 2006 - did any teenagers in 2006 really wax nostalgic about Walkmen and VCRs?Or were they thinking, "Oh, you mean my Tivo and DVD player?" (And how could he miss the obvious CELL PHONE reference there, a device that this wildly ubiquitous among teenagers?).Likewise, in this future, MicroSoft will have a successful iPod competitor - called the View Master?There's already a View Master - I recall them from my childhood - and they're a lot more reliable than anything Windows makes.Most irritating was the snarky comment about topless women cavorting as a collateral consequence of "President Clinton's" "sweeping lactivist legislation."This smacks of anti-feminism.I WAS a breastfeeding mom, and this kind of legislation sounds like heaven to me, not something to grouse about.Maybe I wouldn't be irritated if the rest of the book was consistently puritanical and didn't feature the above-mentioned constant graituitous sex.

Oh, and can we talk for a moment about how wildly improbable all of this is?I mean, they decided to use an iPod in an aquatic enviroment?That's like putting a screen door on a submarine, literally.(And apparently they aren't waterproof in the future, either - they spend half the book panicking that it will get wet.)And never mind the fact that humans couldn't, you know, breathe Devonian air...

All of this weakens any plot the book might actually have.I just couldn't get this stuff out of my brain to enjoy the book.

Smart women read sci-fi and horror, people.Humor us, please. The Steampunk Trilogy did a brilliant job playing on the sexism and racism of the Victorian Era in a way that was thought- and squeam- provoking.But this is not The Steampunk Trilogy.It's not even an enjoyable pulp, as if that was some kind of excuse for bad books.It's just disappointing.If you must read it, please read his better work FIRST because you'd be crazy to miss out on it.And then go look for my copy of this book at the used book store, because that's where it's headed and you don't want to pay full price.

1-0 out of 5 stars The Coarsened 1 - PARENTAL ADVISORY
You'd think time travel through use of an iPod would be FUN, right?Nope. I was excited when I saw this book listed at Amazon.One look at the AMAZING cover, and I just had to have it.I'm a huge fan of the Universal Monsters, with the Gill-Man being my fave.Unfortunately, I was not thrilled by the execution of this tale.First of all this book is NOT FOR CHILDREN AT ALL!I was absolutely stunned, shocked and dismayed to see the profanity that proliferates throughout.'F bombs' fly at will and are completely unnecessary.I don't mind such coarse dialogue in the proper venue... but in a book featuring one of the Universal Monsters?Yikes!It is pretty cringe worthy.I must also note that there is quite a bit of casual religious blasphemy as well.If you are sensitive about that, then this book isn't for you.(And to think I had thought of blind buying this for my nieces!Sheesh!)

The liberal usage of 'four letter words' is not the only clue to the authors personal politics.Here is a quote concerning topless students of both sexes: "The repercussions of sweeping lactivist legislation passed in 2013 and signed by President Clinton during her second term were still being sorted out..."

His take on 'Conservative minded' folks: "The Gill-People were more conservative in their thinking, more group-minded and more eternal.This very lack of adaptability had no doubt contributed to their general extinction."Now, I'm all for political discourse (or in this case disCOARSE) but, is this really the proper venue for this?Not at all.Totally inappropriate.This type of book should whisk you away into a fantasy setting for the purposes of good, 'old fashioned' FUN.

As a FUN book, this is a failure that will hopefully be lost in the eddies of time's lagoon.I just hope it hasn't damaged my love of the Gill-Man forever.If you are looking for a great FUN novel featuring a Universal Monster, hunt down a copy of Jeff Rovin's AMAZING Return oftThe Wolf ManIf you need to have a Gill-Man fix, check out Arthur Adams incredible artwork that retells the first film: Universal Monsters: Creature from the Black Lagoon ... Read more

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