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Babel-17/Empire Star (Vintage)by Samuel R. Delany
Synopses & Reviews
"A funny, horribly accurate portrait of a life in California in the Fifties."—Rolling Stone
Jack Isidore doesn't see the world like most people. According to his brother-in-law Charlie, he’s a crap artist, obsessed with his own bizarre theories and ideas, which he fanatically records in his many notebooks. He is so grossly unequipped for real life that his sister and brother-in-law feel compelled to rescue him from it. But while Fay and Charlie Hume put on a happy face for the world, they prove to be just as sealed off from reality, in thrall to obsessions that are slightly more acceptable than Jack's but a great deal uglier. Their constant fighting and betrayals threaten their own marriage and the relationships of everyone around them. When they bring Jack into their home, he finds himself in the middle of a maelstrom of suburban angst from which he might not be able to escape.
Confessions of a Crap Artist is one of Philip K. Dick's most accomplished novels, and the only non–science fiction novel published in his lifetime.
Clans of the Alphane Moon deals with one of Philip K. Dicks favorite themes: mental illness and what that actually means. The Alphane moon may be full of people with clinical disorders, but are the "normal" people who are supposed to cure them really any saner?
Dr. Bloodmoney is Philip K. Dick's darkly comic riff on Dr. Strangelove, a look at how humanity gets along after the end of the world. This Nebula Award nominee has all the wild characters and twisty science fiction plotting that Dick fans know and love.
In Vulcan's Hammer a super-computer makes all the important decisions for a worldwide government. But when religious fanatics decide to fight back, it leads a high-ranking official to question whether the peace provided by the computer is worth the abnegation of free will.
This satirical adventure from Philip K. Dick deals with issues of power, class, and politics, set in a world ruled by big-brained elites. But one man went to space to find help, and now he is returning with it—a giant, indestructible alien blob.
Ragle Gumm believes he lives in the 1950s and makes his living by making accurate predictions in a newspaper contest. But when he begins having hallucinations, it appears as if his world may not be what it seems, and in the contest he may be predicting something far more consequential. Time Out of Joint is Philip K. Dick at his twisty, paranoid best.
When a doctor is taken into a future where death is embraced by society, he is the only one who can save a time-traveling revolutionary.
Mars is not a happy place—a planet for exiles, drifters, and psychics, who would otherwise be executed. One such psychic is a ten-year-old boy named Manfred, a boy so powerful he not only looks into the future, but can send people there. But with the turbulent politics of Mars, that future might not be any better than the present. This twisty novel from Philip K. Dick is combines political intrigue, time travel, family drama, and all the perils that come with being the first at anything.
In Dick's only non-science fiction novel published in his lifetime, a man is obsessed with crackpot ideas, like the Earth being hollow, while his sister and brother-in-law are obsessed with creating the ideal American home. But will their obsessions overtake them? And which is worse?
The Glimmung is a mysterious alien, which looks alternately like a flaming wheel, a teenage girl, and a swirling mass of ocean life. In this hilarious Philip K. Dick novel, it recruits a disparate group of humans and aliens to help it raise a ruined temple from the bottom of the ocean.
In this collaboration with Roger Zelazny, an armless and legless painter must undertake a pilgrimage through a nuclear war-ravaged America in a search for the God of Wrath, whose picture he has been commissioned to paint.
A Maze of Death is a sci-fi murder mystery set on a mysterious planet, with a twist ending that leaves the reader wondering just what theyve been witnessing the whole time.
After a devastating war in which the Earth lost most of its population, the new alien overlords have set up a worldwide game called Bluff, where players swap both land and spouses. But when Pete Garden loses Berkeley, it sets in motion a chain of events that could lead to humanity losing the whole planet. Psychics, aliens, and regular humans all attempt to out-bluff each other in this unpredictable comic misadventure from the mind of Philip K. Dick.
Years ago, Earth and Titan fought a war and Earth lost. The planet was irradiated and most of the surviving population is sterile. The few survivors play an intricate and unending game called Bluff at the behest of the slug-like aliens who rule the planet. At stake in the game are two very important commodities: land and spouses. Pete Garden just lost his wife and Berkeley, California, but he has a plan to win them back. That is, if he isn’t derailed by aliens, psychic traitors, or his new wife.
The Game-Players of Titan is both satire and adventure, examining the ties that bind people together and the maddening peccadilloes of bureaucracy, whether the bureaucrats are humans or alien slugs.
A sci-fi murder mystery set on a mysterious planet, with a twist ending that leaves the reader wondering just what theyve been witnessing the whole time.Delmak-O is a dangerous planet. Though there are only fourteen citizens, no one can trust anyone else and death can strike at any moment. The planet is vast and largely unexplored, populated mostly by gelatinous cube-shaped beings that give cryptic advice in the form of anagrams. Deities can be spoken to directly via a series of prayer amplifiers and transmitters, but they may not be happy about it. And the mysterious building in the distance draws all the colonists to it, but when they get there each sees a different motto on the front. The mystery of this structure and the secrets contained within drive this mind-bending novel.
About the Author
Samuel R. Delany was born and raised in Harlem, where he still lives. He is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.
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