Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories
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by Terry Bisson
Category: Science Fiction/Fantasy Locus Poll Award Winner, Hugo Award Winner, Nebula Award(R) Winner, Sturgeon Award Winner
Description: From the gentle fantasies that include the wry title story--winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards--to ecological allegories; a horrific novelette about experimental excursions into the realm of death; and a first-contact mini-epic, this anthology showcases the wide range of Bisson's powerful talent. In every piece, Bisson's characters are just as absurd as their fantastic landscape, yet thoroughly ordinary, recognizable, and authentic. His pack of scientists, artists, rednecks, insurance salesmen, astronauts, truck drivers, owlish British gentlemen, and others will stay with you like your best friends and quirkiest relations.
eBook Publisher: Electricstory.com, 1993 Anthology
eBookwise Release Date: August 2004
41 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [313 KB]
Reading time: 205-288 min.
"Every story showcases Bisson's keen intelligence and distinctive gift for deliciously wry prose--which make him highly recommendable to story enthusiasts regardless of their genre preference."--Carl Hays, Booklist
"Bisson's stock in trade is whimsy where, at his best, he combines a splendidly loopy inventiveness with real poignancy, a hard-edged sense of wonder and a grasp of the genuinely alien. The exemplars here: the award-winning title piece, in which bears forgo hibernation in favor of camping out along interstate highway medians, warming themselves at ineptly smoky fires; the funny but affecting long story of alien contact and an aging astronaut ('The Shadow Knows'); a rather untypical life-after-death hair-raiser ('Necronauts'); a quite hysterically bizarre short-short about 'Partial People,' who are 'people only incompletely seen, or found in boxes, perhaps under benches. Lips and eyes stuck under theatre seats like gum'; and any number of agreeably batty commentaries featuring giant mountains, aliens, famous writers, computers, hunting, winged children, the environment, race relations, time travel, England, and what-all. About half the entries here are amusing if ephemeral; for the remainder, Bisson's distinctive style and priceless imagination lift his work to an altogether more exalted plane."--Kirkus Reviews, Copyright (c)1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
"Bisson's prose is a wonder of seemingly effortless control and precision; he is one of science fiction's most promising short story practitioners."--Publisher's Weekly
"Unlike some of his colleagues, Bisson usually says no more than he has to. His quick jabs to the funny bone and the intellect often are more powerful than many a lesser artist's attempt at a knockout punch. The overall quality bespeaks a remarkable burst of creativity."--San Diego Union-Tribune
"Bisson's work is a fresh, imaginative attempt to confront some of the problems of our time. . . . It is the Bissons of the field upon whom the future of science fiction depends."--Washington Post Book World
From Canción Auténtica de Old Earth:
"Quietly," our guide said.
Quietly it was.
We glided over ancient asphalt, past ghost-gray buildings that glowed in the old, cold light of a ruined Moon that seemed (even though we have all seen it in pictures a thousand times) too bright, too close, too dead.
Our way was lighted by our photon shadow guide, enclosing us and the street around us in an egg of softer, newer light.
At the end of a narrow lane, four streets came together in a small plaza. At one end was a stone church; at the other a glass and brick department store façade; both dating (my studies coming through at last) from the High European.
"There's no one here," one of us said.
"Listen ..." said our guide.
There came a rumbling. A synthesizer on a rubber-tired wood-and-wire cart rolled into the plaza out of an alley beyond the department store. It was pulled by an old man in black sweaters, layered against the planet's chill, and a boy in a leather jacket. An old woman, also all in black, and a smiling man who looked to be about forty walked behind. His smile was the smile of the blind.
"They still live here?" someone asked.
"Where else could they live??