To a Chimp Held Captive For Purposes of Research (1986)
Michael Bishop and J.K. Potter
A "broadside" (in the traditional sense) is a large sheet of paper used to warn or
to inform people about a single topic. Often, it was posted in public areas to be read by those
passing and to be read aloud for those unable to read. Michael Bishop
wrote this prose poem on animal rights theme and J. K. Potter did the border or
frame. In today's terms most folks would call it a poster, mailed in a round mailing tube.
The Silver Pillow (1987)
Thomas M. Disch
This short (48 pages) book consists of an original
horror novelette termed a "bizarre meta-horrific tale of
witchcraft." Elsewhere some wag suggested that it was too
slight, apparently, even for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction where
much of Disch's short material has appeared.
The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter (1988)
"The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter" is built around an independent,
separate sequence of events from the acclaimed Shepard short story
"The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule" which was nominated for
Hugo, World Fantasy, and Nebula Awards. This novella begins and ends with
the paralyzed dragon who constitutes the setting for each story.
Catherine, the heroine, determines her own fate. No knights in
shining armour come to her rescue from the drooling horde of mental defects
who imprison her. She has no suitor to aid her, no loyal family servant does
her dirty work. And, in the end, nobody slays the dragon. As the dust jacket
proclaims, "this is a story of betrayal and vengeance, lust and violence.
Yet it is also a tale trust and forgiveness, love and tenderness.
A story about predestiny and adventure..."
Lucius Shepard's novels include Green Eyes and
Life During Wartime. He won the John W. Campbell Award in 1984
as the Best New Writer.
The Dark-Haired Girl (1988)
Philip K. Dick
According to fairly reliable gossip, Philip K. Dick
assembled this book himself but it remained unsold and unpublished until this
edition. It is a mixture of essays, poems, letters and some autobiography.
It collects the following material:
The Dark-Haired Girl
The Android and the Human
The Evolution of a Vital Love
letters from It, Sept 1973
Man, Android, and Machine
letter from It, July 1981
Books slated for future release include:
A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore
edited by Mark V. Ziesing which features weird and dark stories about
books and book collectors. Contributors include Thomas Ligotti, Brian Stableford,
A.A. Attanasio, Patrick O'Leary, and several others.
A Handbook of American Prayer by Lucius Shepard is planned once the author finally turns in his manuscript.
The Last Coin (1988)
James P. Blaylock
Andrew Vanbergen loves coffee. He prides himself on his ability to make
excuses, no matter how preposterous. With his wife Rose, he's struggling
to start a B & B. One day, a chap named Jules Pennyman arrives to rent one of
their rooms. Pennyman is something of a rogue and adventurer. He has a scheme
to control the magic contained in 30 ancient silver coins and he's trying to
gather them together. But the coins have a terrible history. The last time they
were together, they were paid to Judas for the betrayal of Christ. Andrew and
his buddy Pickett become caught up in the struggle to prevent Pennyman from
getting the last coin. It turns out that Rose's cantankerous Aunt Naomi is
the guardian of the coin. Supporting them is a normal Blaylock assemblage of
helpers: possums, spoon-bearing pigs and Uncle Arthur, who, we discover,
has a connection to the coins that stetches way back into history.
I found the book dust jacket quote to echo my thoughts on Blaylock,
"...his generously ambiguous perspective on reality.
Determinism? Darwinism? Biblical Fundamentalism? Quantum Mechanical Uncertainty? New Age
Mysticism? Well... Blaylock has constructed his own idiosyncratic
system of guy-wires and pulleys which are no less a match for the
vast inexplicability of the physical universe than any of the more widely-held notions."
Them Bones (1989)
Done simultaneously with A Dozen Tough Jobs, this novel is a reprint of
an Ace Science Fiction Special (3rd Series) title.
Four divergent alternate histories form the core of this novel. One closely resembles our own and
another where the southwestern Amerindian mound-builders still exist. The third is from a near future where
man has ravaged the planet in a flurry of radiation, germ warfare and chemical pollution. The three
come together to tell the tale of a military expedition travelling to the past to alter the future. Expecting
Louisiana in the mid-1930s, they ended up in a world where Aztecs sacrifice humans to their
gods on the banks of the Mississippi and Arabs explored America by steamboat. Christianity and the Roman Empire never existed.
The complex threads come together, converging in a poignant story that transcends all timelines' differences.
A Dozen Tough Jobs (1989)
Suppose the ancient world of meddling gods who interfere
in human affairs is reset in northern Mississippi, circa 1926.
It is still a world of classic good-ol'-boys,
of Southern belles, of children of ex-slaves picking cotton and
"bowin' and scrapin'," and of chain gangs and rumrunners. Rump parties rule the
populace and the KKK flourishes. Now add into that mix the Graeco-
Roman legend of The Twelve Labors of Hercules. Waldrop takes aim at
the corruption and arbitrary injustice of that place and time.
It is a marvelous story told with much humour and sadness, much joy