The Best of Michael Swanwick

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Overview

It's here at last--the first comprehensive overview of the extraordinary career of master storyteller Michael Swanwick. Covering over a quarter of a century, from his first two published stories--both of them Nebula finalists--to his most recent, these works bear witness to one of the most vivid and far-ranging imaginations in contemporary fiction. From the hardest of hard science fiction to the purest of core fantasy, from the heartwarming to ...
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The Best of Michael Swanwick

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Overview

It's here at last--the first comprehensive overview of the extraordinary career of master storyteller Michael Swanwick. Covering over a quarter of a century, from his first two published stories--both of them Nebula finalists--to his most recent, these works bear witness to one of the most vivid and far-ranging imaginations in contemporary fiction. From the hardest of hard science fiction to the purest of core fantasy, from the heartwarming to the despairing, these are works incandescent with literary brilliance.

In these pages, Janis Joplin is worshiped as a god, teenagers climb down the edge of the world, zombies are commodified, a vengeful man tracks a wizard across the surface of a planet-sized grasshopper, dinosaurs invade Vermont, a train leaves New York City bound for Hell, and those lovable Post-Utopian con men, Darger and Surplus, seek their fortunes in Buckingham Labyrinth.

Michael Swanwick is one of the most acclaimed and prolific writers of his generation, as well as being the only person ever to win five Hugo Awards for fiction in the space of six years. All five of those stories are included here--plus much, much more, all of it beautifully written, critically acclaimed, and deeply satisfying to read.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

More than a quarter century's worth of short fiction is gathered in this comprehensive collection of stories from Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winner Swanwick. The tales run the gamut from strict space adventures like "The Very Pulse of the Machine" to deceptively complex ghost stories like "Radio Waves." In "The Feast of Saint Janis," Janis Joplin is worshiped as an ancient goddess made flesh, with all the power and pitfalls that accompany the role. The more surreal pieces-such as "Mother Grasshopper," wherein wizards chase one another across an insect the size of a planet-nonetheless have a method to their madness, and though it would be easy for alien monster shorts like "A Midwinter's Tale" to dissolve into self-conscious silliness, even the weaker setups conclude with a bang. Swanwick's blend of savvy science fiction, Freudian fantasy and top-notch storytelling both chills and charms. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In one of Swanwick's earliest published short stories, a junior trade representative from Africa visits the United States, now ravaged by biochemical warfare, and is introduced to a uniquely American quasireligious ritual centering around the life of Janis Joplin ("The Feast of Saint Janis"). His most recent story, "From Babel's Fall'n Glory We Fled," takes place in a posthuman world where alien life celebrates and mourns its own creation myths. Spanning more than a quarter-century, the 21 short stories, including five winners of the coveted Hugo Award, demonstrate the author's breathtaking versatility and excellence of style. This first chronological overview of the short fiction by the author of The Iron Dragon's Daughter and The Dragons of Babel belongs in most libraries.


—Jackie Cassada
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596061781
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2008
  • Edition description: Deluxe
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Title Tells You EVERYTHING You Need to Know!

    Michael Swanwick is one of the masters of short-form science fiction and fantasy. This book is an outstanding introduction to his short fiction, and it's worth recommending just for that reason alone. But it also contains some seriously thought-provoking, mind-bending and FUN stories. Swanwick never forgets to put some fun and playfulness into every story, regardless of how deadly serious the stories sometimes get. If I have one criticism of THE BEST OF MICHAEL SWANWICK it is that fully half of the stories in the book appeared in TALES OF OLD EARTH and THE DOG SAID BOW-WOW. But it's really great to have them in a more permanent hardcover format. (And if you haven't read either of his novels called THE IRON DRAGON'S DAUGHTER or THE DRAGONS OF BABEL, you seriously have a real treat waiting for you!)

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