East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

88 cents of dystopia

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Well, isn’t it a bummer: I had just time to discuss with some of my friends about how I do not like dystopian science fiction (I’m more of a positivist, optimist sort of guy), that the Humble Bundle went and did a Dystopian Worlds book bundle offer, and I ended up shelling out 88 hard-earned eurocents. And then I thought you might like to take a look at it. So here is the link.

For 1 dollar, or the equivalent 88 cents of a euro, you get an incredibly good selection of great books:

Harlan Ellison’s A boy and his dog, from which a rather good but flawed movie was made, and that – the Humble Bundle guys think it’s important to point out – inspired the Fallout line of games. But screw Fallout, it’s Harlan Ellison, so it’s good and you should read it.

Dave Duncan’s West of January, that won the Aurora Award and it’s a great book, and well worth a read. We lost Dave Duncan a few days ago and a great loss it was. Check out the gentleman’s titles, you will have lots of fun.

Pamela Sargent’s Shore of Women, that’s all about gender wars and post-apocalypse, and it’s quite promising. I think I only have read short fiction by Sargent, so this is a great opportunity to widen my horizons.

John Shirley’s The Other End. Shirley’s a legendary author, and anything by him is a guarantee.

John Brunner’s Children of Thunder. And once again, it’s Brunner, what else do you need? Go and read it. No, really, John Brunner was a colossal author, and he is certainly one of the most underrated authors out there; it breaks my heart that today young readers don’t remember him. Some of his books should be compulsory reading.

James Gunn’s Crisis!, one that I am curious to read, as Gunn’s another under-represented writer on my shelf, and I want to learn more.

And finally Liz William’s The Poison Master, where you get alien abduction, Elizabethan sorcerers, a strange planet, and a complex intrigue. Williams is a great writer, and this is possibly one of her best in a catalog of high-class numbers.

There are two further tiers in the bundle, where you get more Brunner, Steve Erickson, Cecelia Holland’s weird Floating Worlds, Tim Powers’ Dick-esque Dinner at Deviant Palace and many more – a total of fifteen other books. I did not get them because, you know, I’m cheap.
As it usually happens with the Bundle, you get DRM-free PDF, epub and mobi versions of the ebooks, and part of the money you pay goes to support a charity – in this case Khan Academy, that does training online and is therefore something I like a lot.

Some of the books I got for 88 cents I own already – but I am going to re-read the Ellison I only got in translation, and Duncan because I think I’ll make it the first in a special project for my Italian blog.
And everything else – so expect reviews sooner or later.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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