Virtual Unrealities

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J. Boylston, Publishers, May 31, 2013 - Fiction - 230 pages
"Dazzlement and enchantment are Bester's methods. His stories never stand still a moment." —Damon Knight, author of Why Do Birds Alfred Bester took science fiction into hyperdrive, endowing it with a wit, speed, and narrative inventiveness that have inspired two generations of writers. And nowhere is Bester funnier, speedier, or more audacious than in these seventeen short stories—two of them previously unpublished—that have now been brought together in a single volume for the first time. Read about the sweet-natured young man whose phenomenal good luck turns out to be disastrous for the rest of humanity. Find out why tourists are flocking to a hellish little town in a post-nuclear Kansas. Meet a warlock who practices on Park Avenue and whose potions comply with the Pure Food and Drug Act. Make a deal with the Devil—but not without calling your agent. Dazzling, effervescent, sexy, and sardonic, Virtual Unrealities is a historic collection from one of science fiction's true pathbreakers. "Alfred Bester was one of the handful of writers who invented modern science fiction. " —Harry Harrison Alfred Bester (1913-1987) was the author of two of science fiction's seminal works, The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination. He also wrote some fast-moving, sizzling short stories that were very highly regarded; many of them are included in the 17 stories showcased in Virtual Realities; two were never before published. Highlights include "Disappearing Act," in which shell-shocked soldiers vanish from their hospital ward; "Hobson's Choice," in which a statistician uncovers a disturbing population trend in post-nuclear Kansas; "Time Is the Traitor," wherein powerful business people manipulate their most valuable consultant; and "The Devil Without Glasses," a conspiracy tale with an X-Files feel. The science fiction and literary classic "Fondly Fahrenheit" stars wealthy Vandaleur and his mad android who has an unfortunate habit of turning murderous when the temperature gets too hot... All reet!

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