Item description for A Thousand Deaths by George Alec Effinger, Mike Resnick & Andrew Fox...
This volume of science fiction thrillers contains a novel and seven short stories centered on the semi-autobiographical character Sandor Courane. The collection's feature novel, In the Wolves of Memory, paints a world where Earth's governing body, the Representatives, has relinquished control to an increasingly intelligent and self-aware computer known as TECT. Deemed a social misfit and banished from Earth to Planet D for his inability to fall in line, Sandor finds the new planet's idyllic environment and fulfilling lifestyle to his liking---at first. Upon discovering that all of the inhabitants of Planet D succumb to an insidious, debilitating disease, Sandor embarks on a race against time to discover the meaning behind Planet D, the motives of TECT, and the mysterious malady. Utilizing a unique approach with the use of flashbacks, this powerful story, with poignant and sardonic tones, is a heartrending display of one man's pain and absolution.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5" Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2007
Publisher Golden Gryphon Press
ISBN 1930846479 ISBN13 9781930846470
Availability 0 units.
More About George Alec Effinger, Mike Resnick & Andrew Fox
George Alec Effinger contributed regularly to the top science fiction and fantasy magazines including "Orbit," "New Dimensions," and "Universe,""" His novelette "Schrodinger's Kitten" won the Hugo, Japanese Seiun, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Awards. He published several novels including "The Exile Kiss," "A Fire in the Sun," "What Entropy Means to Me," and "When Gravity Fails,"""
Reviews - What do customers think about A Thousand Deaths?
Science fiction fans will find it a winning story Sep 3, 2007
Eight stories represent fine Sandor Courane thrillers, with the opening novel 'The Wolves of Memory' telling of a bleak Earth ruled by intelligent, near-human computers. Here Sandor is assigned three jobs for which he lacks skills - and is exiled to Planet D, a farm world, which he comes to consider a fine alternative to Earth. Courane keeps facing death in subsequent short stories in this collection - and always has a fun, unique answer to challenges. Science fiction fans will find it a winning story and any serious collection appealing to genre readers will want this.
Publishers Weekly review Jun 19, 2007
Since this site has neglected to post the Publishers Weekly review for Effinger's A THOUSAND DEATHS, I'll take the liberty.
Publishers Weekly for May 7, 2007:
A heartfelt homage to the late (and largely underappreciated) SF author Effinger (1947-2002), this intimate collection of stories revolving around his literary alter ego, hapless genre writer and editor Sandor Courane, offers a poignant glimpse into the author's psyche. Central to the collection is The Wolves of Memory, a deeply allegorical novel in which Courane, banished from Earth by the computerized overlord TECT after numerous career failures, finds himself exiled on a bleak world where he and other outcasts slowly succumb to an alien neurological disorder. Struggling with increasing memory loss and the deterioration of his body, Courane finally finds what he has been seeking all along: fulfillment. Also included are seven sardonic short stories that pit the ill-fated Courane against, among other things, a bibliophilic time traveler and a witch who lives off the Pennsylvania Turnpike. A touching afterword by Andrew Fox as well as visually stunning cover art by John Picacio make this bittersweet collection one to be cherished. (June)
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four stars for The Wolves of Memory Jun 2, 2007
A Thousand Deaths is the first collection of George Alec Effinger's Sandor Courane stories. Courane is one of Effinger's science fiction alter-egos, though this may be more of an impact in the shorter Courane fiction than in the opening novel The Wolves of Memory.
The Wolves of Memory introduces the reader to Sandor Courane. Courane, in a future where humans have given up control of their lives to computers, is assigned three jobs for which he is entirely unsuited and he subsequently fails at each job: basketball player, science fiction writer, assembly line worker. When he fails at each Courane finds himself in violation of TECTwish (TECT being the overcomputer which everyone must obey) and is exiled to Planet D, an apparently perfect agrarian world. The problem: everyone on Planet D suffers from an illness which slowly robs the citizen of his or her memory, and eventually their lives.
Told in a fragmented style where flashbacks meld with the main storyline of Sandor Courane carrying the body of his love back to the farm, The Wolves of Memory is perhaps the perfect title for this novel because there is a sense that Courane's memory is quite literally being eaten away. This is an extremely effective and moving story, one which hints at something sinister with TECT and shows the nonsense of anyone knowing what a person wants most, including the person in question. The Wolves of Memory is an exciting opening to this collection which continues with seven short stories.
Unfortunately, everything that was exciting about The Wolves of Memory is lost in the other stories. In "Fatal Disk Error" TECT is only a figment of the imagination of Sandor Courane as he writes science fiction stories (and so only ties into The Wolves of Memory in a tangential way). "In the Wings" introduces Sandor as a fictional character waiting to be written into the author's novels or short stories. The other five stories have Sandor Courane as the primary character, but in situations that are simply stories with no tie into TECT or The Wolves of Memory.
Obviously this is the way George Alec Effinger wanted it and in this posthumous collection Marty Halpern, the editor, placed the stories in this particular order for a reason. A Thousand Deaths brings the Sandor Courane stories of Effinger together in one place, but it is only The Wolves of Memory which really connects or leaves any sort of impression. The collection is very much worth reading for the opening novel, but the short stories are mostly miss because of the lack of continuity or tie in with the novel. Had I never read The Wolves of Memory I may very well have felt differently about the stories.
Reading copy provided courtesy of Golden Gryphon Press.