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ARE YOU THERE by Jack Skillingstead

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Orig. Price: $17.99
Sale Price: $13.99
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Prod. Code: FP76

 July 2014           978-1-933846-45-3 

Cover art by John Picacio

This dynamic collection of 27 stories offers a wealth of fantastical and horrifying settings. Life after death, digital personalities, alien invasion, and Lovecraftian horror. It includes “Life on the Preservation,” the basis for Skillingstead’s Philip K. Dick nominated novel of the same name. In the title story, a parapolice detective in hot pursuit of a serial killer receives help from a responsive memory module of the killer’s mother, but soon discovers that he might be falling in love with the module. Edgy and surreal, each tale reflects on familiar, emotional issues and complex relationships from new and imaginative angles.

"Jack Skillingstead’s stories are smart: smart in the sense of intelligent, savvy, stylish, biting, and succinct. And they all have heart. Choose any tale in Are You There—the Ellisonian opener “The Avenger of Love,” the tersely convolute “Life on the Preservation,” the Shirley Jacksonesque “The Tree,” the poignant closer “Stranger on a Bus,” or any of the gems in between—and that story will flash upon you like a memory, with a light at once familiar and uniquely brilliant. I am not only a reader of these pieces, but a devout admirer of their art.”  
     —Michael Bishop, author of Brittle Innings
“Jack Skillingstead is fearless. No one in SF writes about death, sex, loneliness, and love with such searing honesty.”  
     —Daryl Gregory, author of Afterparty
"Jack Skillingstead writes the noir of the future, dark and cool and literate. I loved these stories so much that I worried I’d finish the book and run out of stories. But Jack, thinking ahead, has written more books.” 
     —Eileen Gunn, author of Questionable Practices
"A generous collection! Skillingstead makes elegant use of classic SF tropes. The wonder is sharp-edged, the dreams disturbing, and the human relations hard and real in ways you won’t find anywhere else!”
     —Richard Bowes, author of If Angels Fight
"Protagonists with ruptured childhoods fight solipsism on near-future mean streets tingling with avatars and ghosts and parallels and deaths. Each tale, taken individually, is brilliant.”
     —John Clute, Strange Horizons
"Edgy and dark . . . readers braced for powerful emotions will find this collection more than worthwhile.”
     —Publishers Weekly
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