Virtual Unrealities: The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester
"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And nowhere is Bester funnier, speedier, or more audacious than in these seventeen short stories—two of them previously unpublished—that have now been brought together in a single volume for the first time.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. "
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"As in telly-a-scope." "Be serious. Starr and his little friends were worried frantic
about someone named Coven." "Guy who got mashed under the truck?" "Yes." "
So?" "Coven deliberately jumped under the truck." "Suicide?" "Maybe, but dig this
From one to six. It pays thirty-five dollars. I do research." "What kind of research?"
"Statistical ... on floods and fires and wrecks and so on." "For what person or
persons?" "An awfully nice man. Very respectable, Chuck. A Mr. Coven." "Mr.
He attempted to turn around but Coven said quickly: "Don't, Dr. Granville. Arno is
not wearing his glasses. It would be most unpleasant." Arno said: "You're an
inconsiderate young man, Doctor. You've made a lot of trouble for Mr. Coven.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing
Not a definitive collection, but much overlap w/ Starburst, which I just read. ? Kind of overwhelming to read that much Bester in such a short span of time. ? He really is much more modern than most ... Read full review
VIRTUAL UNREALITIES: The Short Fiction of Alfred BesterUser Review - Kirkus
A major retrospective, comprising 15 tales from 194179 (mostly from the '50s and '60s), together with two previously unpublished pieces, though readers should note that the word ``selected'' has been ... Read full review
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