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Why Do Birds

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It's the early 21st century. Ed Stone says he's been in suspended animation since the 1930s. He says he was kidnapped by aliens. He says they sent him forth on a mission: to convince the nations of the world to build a massive vault, a mile on each side, in which humanity's billions will lie in suspension and survive the impending destruction of the Earth. Ed Stone says all these things, and the strangest part is that people believe him - ordinary people and powerful people alike. So begins Why Do Birds, a ...
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NY 1994 trade PB Very Good+ with no dust jacket 0312890095. In softcover (no reader creases)

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Gordonsville, Virginia, U.S.A. 1994 Soft Cover First Paperback Printing As New Soft Cover. As new, 272 pages. No markings of any kind.

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Overview

It's the early 21st century. Ed Stone says he's been in suspended animation since the 1930s. He says he was kidnapped by aliens. He says they sent him forth on a mission: to convince the nations of the world to build a massive vault, a mile on each side, in which humanity's billions will lie in suspension and survive the impending destruction of the Earth. Ed Stone says all these things, and the strangest part is that people believe him - ordinary people and powerful people alike. So begins Why Do Birds, a classically science-fictional novel of ideas and quite possibly Damon Knight's most haunting work, a terrifying tale of deceit and human folly. "One of his great gifts," says Locus of Knight, "is that he takes an initial situation or idea and thinks, and thinks, and thinks."

It is the early 21st century, and Ed Stone says he's been in suspended animation since the 1930s--put there by aliens who have sent him on a mission: convince the nations of the world to build a massive vault, in which humanity's billions will lie in suspension and survive the Earth's impending destruction. And, the strangest thing of all is everybody believes him.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ed Stone, kidnapped by aliens in the 1930s, returns to Earth in 2002 to announce that the planet will soon be destroyed. Humanity can be saved, says Ed, only if everyone is packed into a giant box which the aliens will remove to another habitable planet. To boost his credibility, Ed wears a ring that charms everyone he shakes hands with into trusting him. Before long, he's shaking hands with world leaders and the human race is scrambling to get into the box. Knight avoids the mistake of trying to sound plausible. Despite the detailed discussion of the physical, political and geographical ramifications of packing the human race into a box, the basic premise remains absurd, which is precisely what gives this provocative tale by the author of The Observers its kick, from the hilariously deadpan beginning to its apocalyptic conclusion. Some readers might interpret the story as a satire of the New Age or an indictment of today's media-controlled culture, but why bother? A book this much fun to read doesn't need interpretations to justify its existence. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Ed Stone claims that aliens kidnapped him, held him in stasis for 70 years, and returned him to Earth with a grand plan to save the world from destruction. With this unlikely premise, sf veteran Knight ( The Observers , Tor, 1989; CV , Tor, 1986) begins a cautionary tall tale that is by turns a devastating look at human gullibility, a light-hearted spoof of world leaders and bureaucrats, and a poignant tale of love won and lost. Entertaining as well as disturbing, this sf parable belongs in most libraries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312890094
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/29/2000
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 0.71 (d)

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