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Virtual Unrealities: The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester Paperback – November 11, 1997
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Bester's use of the word girl and the occasional female as manipulating schemer are not in line with current sensibilities and may give readers pause, especially those accustomed to feminist improvements in modern SF. Nevertheless, these stories are a frenetic and delightful confection of SF from the mid-20th century. --Bonnie Bouman
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If you're at all a fan of science fiction, you owe it to yourself to give these stories a read. For me, at least, I'll be slipping this volume right next to my collections of E.B. White and Hermann Hesse at the end of my shelf where I keep my most treasured, most beloved books.
The common thread in these stories is Bester's flabbergasting imagination. His stories are often ironic, taking a wry observation about current society, and projecting it to its logical conclusion into an absurd future, from the quest for poets in an efficient future of "Disappearing act", to the drop of acid that makes a test tube woman intriguing in "Galatea Galante".
As one of the inventors of science fiction, Bester not only lays the ground work for the popular themes of science fiction such as the last couple on earth, time travel, androids and their programming, but adds his own twists: a man needing an agent to sell his soul to the Devil (of the company Beelzebub, Belial, Devil, and Orgy), collectors in the future recreating a 1950's style room, and a chaos compensator.
Table of contents and info for Virtual Unrealities:
Nov '97, 366pp. Collection of 16 stories and one fragment, one story and the fragment previously unpublished. Introduction by Robert Silverberg. ss: short story, nv: novelette.
* ix * Introduction * Robert Silverberg * in
* 3 * Disappearing Act * ss Star Science Fiction Stories #2, ed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thought-provoking short stories by a giant in speculative fiction. The introduction by Robert Silverberg is informative and to the point - no endless Ellison-style drivel here. Read morePublished 8 months ago by sierraseven
The best story in here is Fondly Fahrenheit, about an android who the heat makes do, lets say crazy things. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kindle Customer
I love Bester's writing, but he is that rare SF writer who I think is better in longer forms rather than in short story. Nonetheless, this is a must-read.Published 11 months ago by Richard S Davis
Alfred Bester wrote this. What else is there to say. Had he been enamored with only science fiction he would have been the greatest that ever wrote; however, he is merely... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
Enjoyable read. A lot of the short stories have similar themes. As such got tired about halfway through. Stars My Destination/ Tiger Tiger is fantastic read - start there.Published 13 months ago by Thomas