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ParaSpheres Paperback – June 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: ParaSpheres
  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Omnidawn; First Edition edition (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890650188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890650186
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,289,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The genre writers tend to be the better storytellers in Morgan and Keegan's ambitious anthology of "Fabulist and New Wave Fabulist" stories. Where Ira Sher works up to an interesting image and stops in "Lionflower Hedge," Kim Stanley Robinson moves from premise to character to genuine moral complexity in "The Lucky Strike," imagining an alternative history in which the bombardier over Hiroshima deliberately missed. Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Birthday of the World" starts as a primitive world fantasy, filled with gods and warriors, until it suddenly turns interplanetary. Michael Moorcock's "The Third Jungle Book" is both a continuation of Kipling's myth of the wild and effective political satire. Rudy Rucker, Jeff VanderMeer, Stepan Chapman and Jeffrey Ford also contribute high-quality work. The editors ponder calling some of these selections "Non-realistic artistic fiction." More seasoned readers will recognize "quality fantasy and science fiction." (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A feast of fine writing and striking applications of the fantastic to the everyday . . . ParaSpheres performs an inestimable service."  —Nick Gevers, Locus magazine


"[A] marvelously generous collection of stories that dart back and forth over the boundary supposedly separating the genre of the fantastic from mainstream literature."  —Peter Straub, bestselling author


"A marvelous anthology full of marvelous tales. The sum of an anthology can sometimes be greater than its parts, and these parts—these stories—are bold, haunting, and remarkable."  —Kelly Link, author, Stranger Things Happen


"The editors have cast an impressively wide net. . . . As a collection of stories, and
an introduction to a number of new writers, ParaSpheres is fine, and well worth your attention."  —Stephen Jeffery, Interzone


"ParaSpheres has succeeded in . . . presenting an excellent selection of unique writing and providing an alternative framework through which it may be understood."  —Miranda Siemienowicz, HorrorScope


"Full of superb stories . . . often breathtaking . . . ParaSpheres doesn't point toward other worlds as much as point toward ours, and how we have let our public and private spheres become, alternately, reverie and nightmare."  —Alan DeNiro, Rain Taxi Online


"This anthology begins with a fascinating discussion of fiction and its subdivisions. . . . They are tales of weirdness and wonder, largely set in odd analogues of our own world. Not quite like ordinary literature, nor yet like typical fantasy, they hold a unique and intriguing flavor."  —S. Ardrian, Fearless Reviews

More About the Author

"Write something clever about yourself" revolts me. The higher a writer's personality grows, the more it stunts the offspring.
Besides, Crandolin was just released by Chômu Press, and has no such scruples. C loves being looked at and into. So do open C up in the link below, where you can also find out something about yourself. Do you, for instance, prefer to be commanded, or to crack the !s?
http://medlarcomfits.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/open-crandolin-personality-test.html
And just for joy, Crandolin recommends: Happiness=Soviet ice cream:
http://medlarcomfits.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/happinesssoviet-ice-cream.html

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
In the United States, most published fiction falls under two categories: "genre fiction" and "literary fiction."

According to Ken Keegan, editor at Omnidawn Publishing, genre fiction, which accounts for about 90% of all fiction published, is often defined as "escapist," usually follows a "winning" formula, and seldom has any lasting literary value. Literary fiction (also referred to as narrative fiction), which accounts for the remaining 10% of all fiction published, is primarily realistic and possesses more depth, characterization and lasting cultural impact. (625-8)

But what happens to fiction that doesn't fit into one of these categories? Novels like The Mists of Avalon, Brave New World, or Life of Pi, for instance--works that have unrealistic settings or plots and aren't officially "literary," yet have incredible depth and power?

As we all know, necessity is the mother of invention. Thus, in the Fall 2002 issue of Conjunctions, the literary journal from Bart College, a new term was coined: New Wave Fabulist. Put simply, New Wave Fabulist is non-realistic, literary fiction. You may also think of it as literary fiction with strong elements of horror, science fiction or fantasy.

Looking back, other terms have been used to describe this type of fiction: magic realism and speculative. Yet magic realism is chiefly associated with Latin American novelists like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose One Hundred Years of Solitude greatly exemplifies it. On the other hand, speculative fiction disregards literary quality, making it impossible to always represent serious works.

Omnidawn's latest anthology, Paraspheres: Extending Beyond the Spheres of Literary and Genre Fiction, excellently illustrates New Wave Fabulist fiction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fearless Reviews on September 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
This anthology begins with a fascinating discussion of fiction and its subdivisions. The stories here are what might variously be termed "slipstream," "surreal," or "speculative" in different contexts. These editors prefer to call them "fabulist and new wave fabulist stories." They are tales of weirdness and wonder, largely set in odd analogues of our own world. Not quite like ordinary literature, nor yet like typical fantasy, they hold a unique and intriguing flavor. My favorite story is "The Third Jungle Book: A Mowgli Story" by Michael Moorcock. Herein Mowgli has moved to London and become a lawyer. There he befriends the foxes who live in the city - and must fight against a proposed law which would kill most of them. Just wait until you find out who Mowgli's "friend" is! Another gem is "Third Initiation: A Gift from the Land of Dreams" by Mary Mackey. Set in ancient times, this tale follows the potter Marrah as she strives to satisfy a demanding taskmaster during her initiation. The goal is to make a perfect pot, but the reason for it is the point of the story. Worth noting on the scientific side is Michael Constance's "Finding the Words." It questions the nature of reality and consciousness, as the main character travels through virtual reality. These and many other fine tales await you in ParaSpheres. You'll enjoy them more if you don't try to make sense of them. -- Sheela Ardrian for the FEARLESS REVIEWS
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lieder on September 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
I really hate giving this book a bad review. Actually I'm giving it a lukewarm review but even that is painful. I want to be praising this book to the skies. I want to recommend it to all my friends and tell them to read it. I want to be so excited by this book that I'm buying it as birthday presents (like I do with Gilad Elbom's Scream Queens of the Dead Sea or Ronald Damien Malfi's books).

You see this book is a collection of short stories that are purposefully non-conformist. They aren't genre. They aren't literary. They are both. While Kafka, Allende, Morrison and Silko can write ghost and fantasy stories as literary masterpieces, most writers are stuck in the ghettos of genre or literary. The genre writers get no respect. The literary writers get no money. An anthology that combines the best of both worlds should be groundbreaking.

Instead it's merely ok. There are great stories in it. I liked the one about ghosts in London and I rather enjoyed Michael Moorcock's take on Tarzan. However, there are also stories that just drag on. The writers are so enthusiastic about their Harper's Literary Tricks (long endless description of trees - and no I'm not making that up) that I find myself skipping through more stories than I read.

The main problem is the bloating that happened. It's as if the editors didn't want to keep anyone out. There are even writers that appear twice. Most of the writers are MFA students who threw a few ghosts into the story to make themselves seem genre. Many of the stories are just bad and one suspects that the editor really really liked the person enough to ignore the tedium.
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