In the manner of Robert Sheckley, William Tenn, Harry Harrison, Douglas Adams, Tom Holt, and other great science fiction satirists, Paul Di Filippo takes on the foibles and follies, tropes and tics of the genre he loves in a wealth of short, sharp flash fictions.
Using his four decades of experience in writing and publishing, he skewers authors, editors, artists, readers, retailers, librarians, and book companies alike with fantastical and visionary humor.
You’ll encounter miniature android authors as playthings and a future where guns are de rigueur and books are banned. You’ll learn of the secret collaboration between Wells and Verne, and how civilization was toppled by a DVD sale gone wrong. You’ll attend the only school for writers that matters, and witness how an invented language escapes Hollywood to revolutionize the world. On each overstuffed mini-odyssey into Carrollian contrarianism, you’ll enjoy sparkling and savage prose and meet folks you’ll recognize from a thousand conventions—or from looking in the mirror.
The reader’s love of good science fiction will be enhanced, and their radar for pretentiousness and fakery will be upgraded to cosmic levels!
Taylor MacPherson, a survivor of Earth’s apocalyptic collapse, witnesses a strange light in the night sky, little realizing a leftover space-based rail gun has crippled the alien Qu’uda’s giant spaceship, stranding it in an unstable orbit. The Qu’uda send one of their own down to Earth to make repairs. The resulting interaction with humans comes at a terrible cost to each.
In the battle between the humans and aliens, Taylor MacPherson captures a Qu’uda alien. From the prisoner, the humans gain the Qu’uda fusion technology and learn the aliens intend to return and bomb them into a stone-age condition. Taylor knows the alien technology is key to ease their primitive condition and provide a means to survive the coming conflict.
The life story of Jules Verne’s enigmatic dark hero from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island.
He built the Nautilus sub-marine, which terrorized the sea in his war against all war.
He discovered a passage to the center of the Earth.
He explored Africa in a balloon.
He fought pirates on the high seas . . .
And he was a friend of Jules Verne.
In this epic fantastic history, André Nemo experiences incredible adventures, which Verne then incorporates into his classic novels. Learn the truth of these extraordinary journeys, which is even more incredible than fiction.
Is your kingdom bothered by a pesky dragon problem?
Need any giant monsters slain?
Are your own knights in shining armor unreliable or—worse—cowards?
Young Cullin, wanting to see the world, joins a band of renowned knights-errant who will slay your dragon for a price. Satisfaction guaranteed!
The only problem is it’s all a scam. The “dragon” is no more than rumors and tall tales spread by Cullin and his gang, giant three-toed footprints stomped into the ground near strategically burned-down huts and charred skeletons (procured from the local graveyard). It’s a great con job, so long as Cullin and company can take the money and run, move on to the next kingdom before anyone catches on.
But even con men can be caught in their own game. Clever, spunky Princess Affonyl doesn’t want any part of the arranged marriage to an evil duke from a neighboring kingdom. And she realizes that a fearsome dragon, even an imaginary one, is the perfect cover for her escape.
It’s one caper after another as these medieval dirty, rotten scoundrels try to outsmart one another. And they discover that the dragon business is more than just a game . . . especially if a real dragon might be involved.