Gravity Wells

Gravity Wells

5.0 2
by James Alan Gardner
     
 

James Alan Gardner has been called “one of the most engaging reads in SF.” His debut novel, Expendable, was acclaimed by some of science fiction’s most esteemed authors. Now, in Gravity Wells, he brings together some of the stories that have helped solidify his reputation as one of the greats in speculative fiction. This collection…  See more details below

Overview

James Alan Gardner has been called “one of the most engaging reads in SF.” His debut novel, Expendable, was acclaimed by some of science fiction’s most esteemed authors. Now, in Gravity Wells, he brings together some of the stories that have helped solidify his reputation as one of the greats in speculative fiction. This collection consists of stories making their debut, previously published stories that have won the Aurora Award, the grand prize in the prestigious Writers of the Future contest, and tales that have been nominated for Hugo and Nebula Awards.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
American SF buffs will welcome Canadian author Gardner's highly intelligent first story collection. Muffin Explains Teleology to the World at Large, which won the Aurora Award, is as witty as the title implies. Kent State Descending the Gravity Well: An Analysis of the Observer deals provocatively with the media's distortion of history, even for eyewitnesses. The large cast of The Last Day of the War, with Parrots, set in the League of Worlds, at times slows the pace, but not at the cost of vivid characterization. Hardware Scenario G-49, written for the Clarion Workshop, manages to convey an intense emotional impact almost without action. The quasi-fantastic Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream explores a crisis of faith arising from the invention of the microscope and the scientific and medical progress it made possible. Sense of Wonder is a good example of that difficult form, a story entirely in dialogue. Like the author's most recent novel, Radiant, these speculative tales can be heavy going, but they're all absorbing. Agent, Richard Curtis. (May 10) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781497627291
Publisher:
Open Road Media
Publication date:
04/01/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
345
Sales rank:
317,338
File size:
916 KB

Read an Excerpt

Gravity Wells

Speculative Fiction Stories
By James Gardner

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 James Gardner
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060087706

Muffin Explains Teleology to
the World at Large

I told my kid sister Muffin this joke.

There was this orchestra, and they were playing music, and all the violins were bowing and moving their fingers, except for this one guy who just played the same note over and over again. Someone asked the guy why he wasn't playing like the others and he said, "They're all looking for the note. I've found it."

Muffin, who's only six, told me the joke wasn't funny if you understood teleology.

I never know where she gets words like that. I had to go look it up.

TELEOLOGY [teli-oloji] n doctrine or belief that all things or actions are designed to achieve some end.

"Okay," I said when I found her again, "now I understand teleology. Why isn't the joke funny?"

"You'll find out next week," she said.

I talked to Uncle Dave that night. He's in university and real smart, even though he's going to be a minister instead of something interesting. "What's so great about teleology?" I said. He looked at me kind of weird, so I explained, "Muffin's been talking about it."

"So have my professors," he said. "It's, uhh, you know, God has a purpose for everything, even if we can't understand it. We're all heading toward some goal."

"We took that in Sunday school," I said.

"Well, Jamie, we go into it in a bit more detail."

"Yeah, I guess."

He was quiet for a bit, then asked, "What's Muffin say about it?"

"Something big is happening next week."

"Teleologically speaking?"

"That's what she says."

Muffin was in the next room with her crayons. Uncle Dave called her in to talk and she showed him what she was working on. She'd colored Big Bird black. She has all these crayons and the only ones she ever uses are black and gray.

"What's happening next week?" Uncle Dave asked.

"It's a secret," she said.

"Not even a hint?"

"No."

"Little tiny hint? Please?"

She thought about it a minute, then whispered in his ear. After that, she giggled and ran upstairs.

"What did she say?" I asked.

"She told me we'd get where we're going." He shrugged and made a face. We were both pretty used to Muffin saying things we didn't understand.

The next day I answered the front doorbell and found three guys wearing gray robes. They'd shaved their heads too.

"We are looking for her gloriousness," one of them said with a little bow. He had an accent.

"Uh, Mom's gone down the block to get some bread," I answered. "It's okay," Muffin said, coming from the TV room. "They're here for me."

All three of the men fell facedown on the porch, making a kind of high whining sound in their throats.

"You know these guys?" I asked.

"They're here to talk about teleology."

"Well, take them into the backyard. Mom doesn't like people in the house when she's not here."

"Okay." She told the guys to get up and they followed her around the side of the house, talking in some foreign language.

Continues...


Excerpted from Gravity Wells by James Gardner Copyright © 2005 by James Gardner. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More

Meet the Author

James A. Gardner is the author of seven science fiction novels and one collection of short stories. Gardner lives in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. 

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >