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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The Emperor of Gondwanaland and Other Stories, Paul Di Filippo's first-ever "non-themed" volume of short stories, is a wide-ranging collection that includes 18 brilliantly bizarre works of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction.
"And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon" is set in a near future where spontaneous assemblages of intelligent appliances, called blebs, are becoming an increasing danger -- and carnal temptation -- to humanity. "Time Travel Blasphemies I and II" features two unforgettable characters: Joe Carpenter, a perverted genius who is so sexually fixated on the Virgin Mary that he builds a time-travel device to meet her, and Sandra Birkenstock, a man-hating woman who creates a virus to kill off all human males -- only to create a completely unanticipated future. Also included are stories about fun-loving anarchists, cybernations, human-animal hybrids, Tao mysticism on Mars, and even the O. J. Simpson trial!
In the collection's introduction, Di Filippo likens his past-themed short story collections (The Steampunk Trilogy, Fractal Paisleys, Little Doors, et al.) to eating a quart of vanilla ice cream in one sitting. This collection he describes as a "foot-long banana-split, with three kinds of sauce, nuts, cherries, whipped cream, and at least one flavor of ice cream" that readers are "guaranteed to love." He couldn't be more correct. The diverse and memorable stories included in his newest collection are pure literary genius. Science fiction and fantasy fans who have yet to experience Di Filippo's creative brilliance need only read The Emperor of Gondwanaland and Other Stories to see why this author is being tagged the next coming of Ray Bradbury. Paul Goat Allen