IN THE UPPER ROOM by Terry Bisson


and Other Likely Stories
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Another collection from accomplished storysmith Bisson, his first since Bears Discover Fire (1993), composed of 16 ``likely stories,'' 1994–2000. Bisson has developed a strange obsession with sexy lingerie, which appears prominently in no less than four entries: the title piece, a VR vacation resort; a sexual con artist that turns out to be an alien plasma intelligence; a future where stateoftheart computer workstations run Microserf Office; and an electronic telephone answering routine comes alive. Elsewhere, there's a clever Rudy Rucker pastiche; a time travel yarn involving distinguished physicist Richard Feynmann; clones; history that repeats at the touch of a button; an interstellar music probe; ``Tell Them They Are All Full of Shit and They Should Fuck Off'' features an alien contact—almost; a dead man trapped in a weird pocket universe; and a reworking of Arthur C. Clarke's ``The Nine Billion Names of God.'' Elsewhere, the universe starts to contract, and a mellow old man with Alzheimer's turns back into the sadistic psychopath he used to be. Other yarns remain indescribable.

More playful, less thoughtful, than the earlier collection, but rousing entertainment, underwear, equations, entities and all.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-87404-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2000


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