Second Variety and Other Stories

"The claws were bad enough in the first place--nasty, crawling little death-robots. But when they began to imitate their creators, it was time for the human race to make peace--if it could!" Philip K. Dick said of his story "Second Variety" "My grand theme--who is human and who only appears as human?--emerges most fully. Unless we can individually and collectively be certain of the answer to this question, we face what is, in my view, the most serious problem possible. Without answering it adequately, we cannot even be certain of our own selves." Reviewing the story, critic Zack Handlen wrote, "'Second Variety' is grim, violent, and suspenseful. . . . While most of the twists are easy to spot once you discover the main plot--basically 'Are you or aren't you a machine'-- they still have an impact, and Dick makes his point quite clearly." Besides the title story, this collection also includes nine more classic Philip K. Dick tales: "Piper in the Woods," "Beyond the Door," "The Crystal Crypt," "The Defenders," "The Gun," "The Skull," "The Eyes Have It," "Mr. Spaceship," and the novella "The Variable Man"--260 pages of mind-bending prose from the master of weird science fiction.
Views: 723

A Scanner Darkly

Bob Arctor is a dealer of the lethally addictive drug Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, Fred takes on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D--which Arctor takes in massive doses--gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize he is narcing on himself. Caustically funny, eerily accurate in its depiction of junkies, scam artists, and the walking brain-dead, Philip K. Dick's industrial-grade stress test of identity is as unnerving as it is enthralling. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Views: 722

Demon Mistress

We're the D'Artigo Sisters: Half-human, half-Faerie, we're savvy--and sexy--operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But our mixed-blood heritage short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times. My sister Camille is a wicked-good witch whose magic is as unpredictable as the weather. My sister Delilah transforms into a tabby cat at the worst possible times. And me? I'm Menolly, acrobat-extraordinaire-turned-vampire. And if the nerds from hell don't get their act together, I'm going to turn their toga party into a bloodbath. . . Life's getting stranger by the minute. First, Iris and I unearth a diary from one of the bartenders at the Wayfarer who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. And when I discover a ghoul in the woods near our home, we know there has to be a necromancer nearby--another sign that something's wrong. But the blood really hits the fang when we discover a secret society bent on winning Shadow Wing's favor. Now it's up to us to stop the chaos they've unleashed on the city, and to prevent the demon they summoned from devouring Delilah's soul. . .
Views: 722

Everything Precious

This story is a unique collaboration between Paspaley, acclaimed author Anna Funder, photographer Derek Henderson and award-winning actress Teresa Palmer.It's an original story of love, self and all things precious, featuring the most beautiful pearls in the world.Nora-May grew up hearing tales from her grandfather of the half-human, half-fish creatures that terrorize sailors on Creek Island. After her grandfather's death, Nora-May joins her father on a fishing trip down at Creek Mountain. What she witnesses will change her life forever.
Views: 717

The Samurai Strategy

Bantam 1988”A financial thriller right out of the headlines.” Adam SmithA high-finance, high-tech thriller of Wall Street, murder, currency manipulation. A mysterious Japanese industrialist begins a massive 'hedging' in the US markets. Two weeks later, in Japan’s Inland Sea, divers working for him recover the Imperial Sword, given to Japan's first Emperor by the Sun Goddess. Can a lone”A financial thriller right out of the headlines.” Adam Smith*A high-finance, high-tech thriller that correctly predicted the 1987 stock market crash. It was the first fictional treatment of a major international concern of the Eighties. Set in locales as diverse as Wall Street and the offices of Japan's powerful Trade Ministry, THE SAMURAI STRATEGY describes a scenario of murder, worldwide currency manipulation, a revival of Japan's smoldering nationalism, and is set against a background of a new high-tech computer milieu. Matthew Walton, a freelance corporate 'takeover' lawyer is hired by a mysterious Japanese industrialist to purchase a New York office building and begin a massive 'hedging' in the financial markets. Two weeks later, off an island in the Inland Sea, divers working for the industrialist's organization, recover the original Imperial Sword, given to Japan's first Emperor by the Sun Goddess, Japan's 'Excalibur', and lost in a sea battle in 1185. He forms an '800-Year Fund' and billions of yen flow to his fingertips. He then dumps all the Treasuries Japan had acquired and devastates the American economy.As the story rushes to its stunning conclusion, Matt Walton goes to Japan and determines that the 'Imperial Sword' is, in fact an unusual antique he once owned himself.Tags: Wall Street, Japanese Stock Market, Treasury Bonds, Stock Market, Imperial Sword, Emperor of Japan, Japanese History, Supercomputer, MITI
Views: 717

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

Alan is a middle-aged entrepeneur in contemporary Toronto, who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in a bohemian neighborhood. This naturally brings him in contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wings--wings, moreover, which grow back after each attempt to cut them off. Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain; his mother is a washing machine; and among his brothers are a set of Russian nesting dolls. Now two of the three nesting dolls, Edward and Frederick, are on his doorstep--well on their way to starvation, because their innermost member, George, has vanished. It appears that yet another brother, Davey, who Alan and his other siblings killed years ago, may have returned...bent on revenge.Under such circumstances it seems only reasonable for Alan to involve himself with a visionary scheme to blanket Toronto with free wireless Internet connectivity, a conspiracy spearheaded by a brilliant technopunk who builds miracles of hardware from parts scavenged from the city's dumpsters. But Alan's past won't leave him alone--and Davey is only one of the powers gunning for him and all his friends.
Views: 716

Shadows in the Stone

No one sees the threat to Aruam Castle. They are busy following protocol. Corporal Bronwyn Darrow can’t see it but he feels something is wrong. Confused by the actions of others and ordered to focus on his duties, he puts aside his suspicions. The lords of the castle force him to take charge of an orphan, and his world becomes entangled with a mysterious woman who captures more than his attention.Traditional Fantasy in the same vein as Terry BrooksA CHILD IN NEED: Isla stared at the food. She had tasted many types of biscuits in her life, but even the worse tasting ones filled an empty stomach. Her mouth watered. She rubbed the top of her legs and realised her hands trembled; they craved to hold the food.No one sees the threat to Aruam Castle. They are too busy following protocol and their own dreams. Corporal Bronwyn Darrow can’t see it, but he feels something is wrong. Confused by the actions of others and ordered to focus on his duties, he puts aside his suspicions. The lords of the castle force him to take charge of an orphan child, and his world becomes entangled with a mysterious woman who captures more than his attention.Alaura of Niamh, a half-breed enchantress with a deadly past, takes refuge in Bronwyn’s hometown of Maskil. When the two meet, the spell which binds them is stronger than their fears of falling in love. As Alaura’s secrets threaten to separate them forever, outside forces attempt to shatter the security of Aruam Castle and eliminate Bronwyn. The orphan child weaves their lives together and when she is taken, they embark on a perilous journey.SWEET BISCUITS: She put the biscuit between her teeth and took a large bite. The dough rolled around in her mouth as if chocolate on raisins. She’d never tasted a sweeter biscuit. Guarding her mouth, she took another bite. Sensing Tam’s movement, she looked up to find him watching her. She shoved the last bit into her mouth and chewed, savouring the taste. Crumbs stuck in her teeth. She extracted every last one and enjoyed them one more time as she rolled them over her tongue.SCATTERED STONES: RELEASE DATE MAY 6, 2016: Continue the journey started in “Shadows in the Stone” with the second book in the Castle Keepers series.Follow Diane Lynn McGyver into the Land of Ath-o’Lea and live the fantasy. To learn more about her books and future adventures, visit her website.
Views: 706

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

Godlike--or perhaps Satanic--takeover artists and corporate psychics wage marketing battles for the human soul in this wildly disorienting funhouse of a novel.
Views: 703

Helga: Out of Hedgelands (Wood Cow Chronicles, #1)

Helga has more danger in her life than most beasts her age—Wrackshee slavers after her, a vicious attack by bandits that nearly kills her, a race against dragons pursuing her, and leading a daring rebellion against the insidious WooZan. A dangerous quest to solve mysteries in her own past leads Helga and her comrades on a journey that will forever change them, and upset ancient civilizations.Helga has more danger in her life than most beasts her age--Wrackshee slavers after her, a vicious attack by bandits that nearly kills her, a race against dragons pursuing her, and leading a daring rebellion to save her life and rescue friends and family from the insidious WooZan. And that is just the beginning. But what do you expect when you are a young beast who just can't see the stupid rules of the world making any sense? Helga can't accept things as they are and ends up taking on not just one, but two all-powerful, supreme tyrants in two different realms. Helga never intended to lead a revolution. It just sort of happened because she wouldn't go along with the "rules of normal" that keep tyrants in power and entire societies enslaved. Beginning on a dangerous quest to solve some mysteries in her own past, Helga leads her quirky comrades on a journey that will not only forever change them, but upset ancient civilizations. As an author, I'm drawn to eccentric, unexpected characters: those who surprise because they hear a distant galaxy, see a different music, create their own fragrance rather than get hooked on a soundtrack; the child who has her own ideas about how the emperor is dressed; the lunatics and rebels who tell stories on the boundaries. Helga's unusual story will take readers to worlds they never imagined--definitely a whole new ride.Time and again, the unconventional heroine and her eccentric comrades overcome ominous tyrants and black-hearted slavers, not by battling to the last beast standing, but by being the first beast to think differently. Helga: Out of Hedgelands is divided into three books which introduce the epic saga of the Wood Cow clan and their role in overturning centuries of slavery and tyranny. This story will continue in additional volumes of the Wood Cow Chronicles now in development. Over the series of current and future volumes, the entire history of the Wood Cow clan, the fall of Maev Astuté, and the coming of Lord Farseeker to the Outer Rings, will be told.
Views: 702

The Hallowed Hunt

It's October, and with Samhain approaching, Ember must enter the Cruharach to face the darkest night of her life. As she gives herself over to the Autumn Stalkers and the Leannan Sidhe, she is plunged deep into the shadows of Annwn to face Cernunnos and the test of the Hallowed Hunt.Meanwhile, the Wild Hunt is trying to contain collateral damage throughout the city. A Fae hate group is terrorizing Seattle, going after shifters and humans alike. In the middle of investigating the deadly cult, Herne takes on a new case.A frantic wolf-shifter mother begs them for help. Her three-year old daughter has been kidnapped. With three other young girls already dead at the hands of a serial killer dubbed the Angel of Mercy, Herne and Ember find themselves in a desperate race to find the girl before the Angel of Mercy claims another victim and strikes again.Reading order of the series:1. The Silver Stag2. Oak & Thorns3. Iron Bones4. A...
Views: 690

Murder at Bear Ranch

Four generations of women live and work at Bear Ranch, Prescott, Arizona. Their non-traditional life style leads to intrigue and unusual solutions.He’s desperate to keep his secret. She has questions only he can answer. Can they overcome the past to live their future?Sarah Alexander is ready to start her post-divorce life in Salem, Massachusetts. When she starts having vivid dreams about the town’s famous witch trials, she seeks out a widower who seems to know more than he lets on. James Wentworth has spent his lifetime hiding a secret. When a new woman in town reminds him of the wife he still grieves, he wonders if the connection runs deeper. When a modern-day witch hunt threatens to unravel James’ hidden knowledge, he’s faced with a choice: sacrifice himself for the woman he loves or lose everything all over again. Her Dear and Loving Husband is the first book in a series of literary paranormal romance novels. If you like rich, historical fiction, chilling suspense, and tales of enduring love, then you’ll love the first book in Meredith Allard’s Loving Husband Trilogy.Buy Her Dear and Loving Husband to be swept up in the timeless paranormal tale today!
Views: 685

Vulcan's Hammer

Objective, unbiased and hyper-rational, the Vulcan 3 should have been the perfect ruler. The omnipotent computer dictates policy that is in the best interests of all citizens—or at least, that is the idea. But when the machine, whose rule evolved out of chaos and war, begins to lose control of the “Healer” movement of religious fanatics and the mysterious force behind their rebellion, all Hell breaks loose. Written in 1960, Philip K. Dick’s paranoid novel imagines a totalitarian state in which hammer-headed robots terrorize citizens and freedom is an absurd joke. William Barris, the morally conflicted hero, may be the only person who can prevent the battle for control from destroying the world—if, that is, he can decide which side he’s on. Winner of both the Hugo and John W. Campbell awards for best novel, widely regarded as the premiere science fiction writer of his day, and the object of cult-like adoration from his legions of fans, Philip K. Dick has come to be seen in a literary light that defies classification in much the same way as Borges and Calvino. With breathtaking insight, he utilizes vividly unfamiliar worlds to evoke the hauntingly and hilariously familiar in our society and ourselves.
Views: 685

The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick 5: The Eye of the Sibyl

Since his untimely death in 1982, interest in Philip K. Dick's works has continued to grow, and his reputation has been enhanced by an expanding body of critical appreciation. This fifth and final volume of Dick's collected works includes 25 short stories, some previously unpublished.
Views: 680

Eyeless in Gaza

Written at the height of his powers immediately after Brave New World, Aldous Huxley's highly acclaimed Eyeless in Gaza is his most personal novel. Huxley's bold, nontraditional narrative tells the loosely autobiographical story of Anthony Beavis, a cynical libertine Oxford graduate who comes of age in the vacuum left by World War I. Unfulfilled by his life, loves, and adventures, Anthony is persuaded by a charismatic friend to become a Marxist and take up arms with Mexican revolutionaries. But when their disastrous embrace of violence nearly kills them, Anthony is left shattered—and is forced to find an alternative to the moral disillusionment of the modern world.
Views: 675