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The Best of Ian Watson [hardcover] by Ian Watson

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A COLLECTION by Ian Watson
Edited by Nick Gevers
CATEGORY Science Fiction
PUBLICATION DATE  April 2014
COVER ART Jim Burns
PHOTOGRAPHS Christina Macia
PAGES 539

EDITIONS
Unsigned Jacketed Hardcover — ISBN 
978-1-848637-48-1  [£25]


SYNOPSIS
The Times once wrote that ‘Mr Watson’s short stories are spring-loaded with effect, compressed with a drama that, in others, might take a novel to eke out’ while the Times Literary Supplement went three better: ‘Many of his stories contain enough intellectual substance to fuel a trilogy’—consequently this first-ever collection of his best stories might be the equivalent of 72 books.

In ‘An Appeal to Adolf’ the Third Reich invades England by way of very long battleships bridging the Channel, while two gay sailors fret about the F├╝hrer’s hatred for Wittgenstein. In ‘The Great Escape’ rebel angels set Hell in motion towards a very distant God, planning to harpoon the deity. ‘Swimming with the Salmon’ tells of the seduction by pheromones of a Scottish priestess who looks after genetically engineered superfish; while in ‘The Moon and Michelangelo’ a stone mason from Oxford achieves a petrifying transcendence on an alien planet. In Jerusalem a gate opens to a domain of inexplicable beings; while in ancient Babylon, recreated in the Arizona desert, immigrants from our own time encounter strange destinies. Here is science fiction of the highest calibre, and horror too, while other stories are surreally fantastical.

So as to cut to the cream, this selection by the author is guided by public opinion in the form of nominations for awards, inclusion in ‘best of the year’ anthologies as well as in other reprint volumes, and the number of translations over the years, although he has also slipped in some of his own less acknowledged favourites. Altogether this is an amazing showcase of treasures spanning 30 years from Ian Watson’s pen (and typewriter, and computer).
 
CONTENTS
  • The Very Slow Time Machine
  • The World Science Fiction Convention of 2080
  • The Thousand Cuts
  • Slow Birds
  • We Remember Babylon
  • The People on the Precipice
  • Ahead!
  • Cold Light
  • Salvage Rites
  • The Moon and Michelangelo
  • The Emir´s Clock
  • Lost Bodies
  • Stalin´s Teardrops
  • The Eye of the Ayatollah
  • Swimming with the Salmon
  • The Coming of Vertumnus
  • The Bible in Blood
  • The Great Escape
  • One of Her Paths
  • The Black Wall of Jerusalem
  • A Speaker for the Wooden Sea
  • An Appeal to Adolf
  • Giant Dwarfs
  • Saving for a Sunny Day, or The Benefits of Reincarnation
  • Story Notes

Additional material for the deluxe edition:

  • The Name of the Lavender
  • The 1000 Year Reich
  • Red Squirrel
  • Story Notes