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Dead Letters (galley edition) By David Manning
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(lower cost Galley Edition) Labor Day 1989: Duncan Twist's sleazy client, Nick Varnish, has loaned him a cottage overlooking the salt marshes of Dusktide Beach, a barrier island in southeast North... More > Carolina. Just to the south lies Lorn Island, which is deserted, except for one ethereal resident: the Kindred Spirit. Duncan coincidentally encounters a former lover, Tendency Specter, who introduces him to the Kindred Spirit. In turn, the Kindred Spirit introduces him to an unnamed person who has mysteriously disappeared. Intrigued as much by their rekindling relationship as they are by the missing person, Duncan and Tendency begin investigating. As they grapple with both the growing mystery and each other, curious events continue to interrupt both interests. A skeleton half-buried in the sand seems to indicate murder... or maybe not. Or are there two skeletons? Is the skeleton a murder victim or has it been there since the Civil War? Only the Kindred Spirit knows the answers, and it's not talking.< Less
A Brief History of the Recent Future (Galley Edition) By David Manning
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(lower priced Galley Edition). A Brief History of the Recent Future was written in the mid 1970s with the idea of satirizing the present by forecasting the most bizarre imaginable future. The result... More > was a "verbally animated cartoon tracing the evolution of an apocalyptic conflict between proponents of ganic garbage vs ficial garbage as civilization's final energy resource. Along the way, the tale introduces such absurdities as a credit-system economy; the Bronx Sanitation Air Force; a 3,000-acre rubber-raft island named Carabia; a news toaster that burns headlines onto breakfast bread; and people metabolically transformed by Mango Tango, the core building block of the artificial ecosystem. Resurrected from the past, the book remains, after 35-plus years, a satiric fantasy, now looking back at the odd events nobody knows transpired but brought us to our increasingly dystopian state. Once the harbinger of a future too ridiculous to contemplate, the original bizarre predictions resonate more every day.< Less
Sylvia's Violin: The Amber Eye (galley edition) By David Manning
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(Note: this is the lower priced Galley Edition) Sylvia Solo is a seventh-grade student at an ultra-expensive private school that she attends by virtue of a violin scholarship. As part of a class... More > assignment, Sylvia visits the Metropolitan Museum's ancient Egyptian collection. While there in Perneb’s tomb, the lights go out. As she begins playing her violin, a guard investigates, and his flashlight reveals ancient symbols carved into the stone walls that look to Sylvia like musical notes. She plays the notes and finds herself transported back to the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt. There, she meets Da’av and his cat Teekay, who guide her on a brief romp into the underworld. Da’av is a protege of Imhapknum, a priest trying to save the spiritual soul of the kingdom from the ambitious Niphut, right-hand lady to the aging Pharaoh. A young adult fantasy, the book can be enjoyed by adults of any age with active imaginations.< Less
Half Slave, Half Free By David Manning
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Two homeless beggars meet on the streets of New York in the winter of 1870. One is a handicapped Irish Civil War veteran with a low self-esteem trying to find something in life to hang on to; the... More > other a confident, well-educated former slave trying to make the most of his considerable potential as an accomplished chef. An exploration of the two men's lives is augmented by images brought to life through the magic of the ex-slave's cooking. During the course of this exploration, and subsequent events, it becomes apparent that the veteran has emerged from the war half slave and the slave only half free. Rather than a historic drama, the play comments on the present (often in humorous or absurd tones) through parallels between the 1870s and current issues: homelessness, growing extremes of wealth and poverty, corporate greed, a recent controversial war, and racial/ethnic prejudices.< Less