Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite science fiction authors, and he’s contributed short stories to two wonderful science fiction anthologies. Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin also appears in one of them, and they’re all part of Amazon’s special selection of discounted ebooks for June. They’re even discounting a prize-winning novella by Ursula K. Le Guin — plus a massive collection of comic books starring The Avengers!
Lovecraft’s Monsters by Neil Gaiman and others ($1.99)
All the gothic horrors of H. P. Lovecraft are resurrected again by the top science fiction writers of today. Neil Gaiman contributed “Only the End of the World Again,” in which Lovecraft’s “Deep Ones” confront a werewolf in a story that one Amazon reviewer described as ” very original and extremely entertaining.” Amazon’s description of the book promises that “Each story is a gripping new take on a classic Lovecraftian creature, and each is accompanied by a spectacular original illustration that captures the monsters’ unique visage” (by John Coulthart, the illustrator of The Steampunk Bible. There’s 16 stories (and two poems) about classic Lovecraftian characters like Cthulhu, Shoggoths, and Elder Things — presented “in all their terrifying glory.”
Avengers: Absolute Vision – Book One by John Byrne ($3.99)
A mammoth collection of original Avengers comic books — just in time to commemorate Marvel’s release of their new blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron. This 432-page tome collects 11 classic issues of The Avengers — plus two more of the big “Avengers Annual” issues, as well as Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16, Fantastic Four #256, and Doctor Strange #60. See The Scarlet Witch and The Vision, as well as memorable confronation between Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man — arguing whether Tony Stark has finally taken things too far. And this book even includes a rare story where Hawkeye, Black Widow, and three of their superhero teammates make an appearance on David Letterman’s late-night talk show!
The End of the World: Stories of the Apocalypse
by George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, and others ($1.99)
George R. R. Martin and Neil Gaiman both contributed stories to this 340-page anthology, which also features works by Orson Scott Card and Arthur C. Clarke. In fact, there’s 19 different authors in what Amazon describes as an “explosive collection of the worldâ€™s best apocalyptic writers”. Even the titles are stunning — there’s “Flight to Forever” (a time-travelling story by Poul Anderson), and Arthur C. Clarke’s story is called “‘If I Forget Thee O Earth…”. (And George R. R. Martin’s titled his story “Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels”…) Publisher’s Weekly called this anthology “a moving and powerful reminder of humanity’s capacity for self-destruction and powerful will to survive.” And Amazon’s also discounting the audiobook to just $2.99 (so you can switch back and forth between reading the stories and listening to them!)
The Wild Girls by Ursula K. Le Guin ($2.99)
This remarkable short novel won the Nebula award for science fiction in 2003 — when the author was 73! But it was only a few years ago that it was finally published as a book, and now Amazon’s discounting its Kindle edition to just $2.99. (And if you’ve already purchased a print edition from Amazon, they’ll discount the ebook to just $1.99.) In the Kindle Store, the book’s characters are described as “two captive ‘dirt children’ in a society of sword and silk, whose determination to find a glimpse of justice leads to a violent and loving end…”
As a bonus, this book also includes a special non-fiction essay by the Ursula Le Guin “which demolishes the pretensions of corporate publishing and the basic assumptions of capitalism” (titled “Staying Awake While We Read”.) And the book even ends with a surprising interview with Le Guin “which reveals the hidden dimensions of America’s best-known sci-fi author.”
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