Nebula Award winner John Kessel is one of the best short-SF writers of the 1990s. His stories are intelligent, literate, sometimes metafictional, often black-humored. They can be as hard and piercing as a rapier, yet they always have a tang of insightful compassion. The seventeen stories in The Pure Product
examine human nature, destiny, and identity through alternate history, quantum universes, relativity, and time travel; through omnipotent beings and alien cultures; and through memory manipulation and role reversals. "Invaders" juxtaposes the Spanish conquest of the Incas with an equally devastating near-future alien invasion. In "Animals," humans have been turned into pets for powerful and inscrutable beings, and one man's encounter with a human who has never lived under alien control has unexpected and dangerous consequences. In "Hearts Do Not in Eyes Shine," an estranged couple seeks to rescue their relationship by regaining trust through selective memory erasure--but one of the lovers may have lied about undergoing the procedure.
Nine of The Pure Product's seventeen stories previously appeared in Meeting in Infinity; two stories appear for the first time in The Pure Product. --Cynthia Ward
From Library Journal
Kessel (Corrupting Dr. Nice, LJ 12/96) collects 15 previously published (1980-96) short stories and two poems, plus one play. A 16th story, "Gulliver at Home," is original to this book. These stories range from the alternate history of his 1980 story, "Herman Melville: Space Opera Virtuoso," to 1995's "Some Like It Cold," in which a time traveler returns to 1962 Los Angeles to rescue Marilyn Monroe from her suicide. "Not Responsible! Park and Lock It!" offers a satirical look at obsessive driving and the herd mentality as people drive endlessly in their cars on the westbound highway, never getting farther than the same mile marker. Highly recommended for larger sf short story collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.