Top Books/Videos for SHANANNAREEFERS

(updated December 4, 2009)


Seekers Humanists Atheists Naturalists
Agnostics Nonreligionists Nontheists Antireligionists
Realists Educationalists Experimentalists Freethinkers
nlightened Rationalists Secularists

- - - Books Added on December 4, 2009 - - -

062. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
"... On the evening of September 10, 2001, the
acclaimed, or is it notorious, British-Indian author
of The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie, came to
Houston to read from his latest work. A small
crowd of Ayatollah-following extremist protesters
picketed outside the Alley Theater. If that is all
they're up to now, I thought, perhaps we've heard
the last of the jihad, the fatwa and the Islamic cra-
zies. Little did I know what outrage awaited the
next day.

... If this is a war of ideas, a war for the mind, then
my own little personal protest will be to read what
my enemy does not want anyone to read. It  had
not occurred to me before, because the fervor of
the fatwa led me to believe Salman Rushdie's book
was some sort of religious tract or angry political
protest against Muslim fundamentalism,  not a novel
of brilliant imagination, sensual metaphor and lyrical

It is a story of India and Britain, and the inevitable
clashes between, brought on by their long, and tur-
bulent history together. It is a story about personal
identity, racial identity and religious identity. It is
a story of damnation and redemption, love and
betrayal, betrayal and forgiveness.

But most of all, it is a story about people. Deep,
colorful and live, full of passion, humor and ques-
tions for the Almighty. It is, in short, a human story,
so well crafted, that anyone, even someone like
me who has little experience with India or Islam,
can relate to its message.

Perhaps this accessibility is just what worried the
Ayatollah Khomeni. By issuing his death sentence
upon Salman Rushdie's head, he drew widespread
attention and sympathy for a talented writer ...

... Rushdie's criticism for the religion of Islam/Sub-
mission, as spread by the Prophet Mohammed/
Mahound, is sharp, angry and completely unapol-
ogetic. He even goes so far as to suggest that
Mahound invented a lot of the 'rules' of this reli-
gion for the sake of convenience, or compromise,
in businesslike fashion, for the more successful
spread and maintenance of power of the Idea
and its officials.

Throughout the story, Rushdie asks the question,
Where are the words, or verses, attributed to
God/Allah really coming from?

... With his lightning-fast wit and willingness to
satire even himself, he reminds us all that, Hey, this
is a book, a novel, and its first purpose is to enter-
tain. The Ayatollahs, Imams and religious dictators
need to lighten up. ..."

061. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
"... a fable of the near future. In the Republic of Gilead,
formerly the United States, far-right Schlafly/Falwell-
type ideals have been carried to extremes in the mono-
theocratic government. The resulting society is a femin-
ist's nightmare: women are strictly controlled, unable
to have jobs or money and assigned to various classes:
the chaste, childless Wives; the housekeeping Marthas;
and the reproductive Handmaids, who turn their off-
spring over to the 'morally fit' Wives.

The tale is told by ... a Handmaid who recalls the past
and tells how the chilling society came to be. ..."

060. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One,
by Robert Silverberg (editor)
From the back cover:

"... The definitive collection of the best in science
fiction stories between 1929-1964 ... contains
twenty-six of the greatest science fiction stories 
ever written. ..."

059. Contact, by Carl Sagan
"... Who could be better qualified than the author of
the highly successful Cosmos to turn the possibility
of extraterrestrial intelligence, and humankind's first
contact with it, into imaginative reality?

This is precisely what Sagan does in this eagerly
awaited and, as it turns out, engrossing first novel.
The basic plot is very simple. A worldwide system
of radio telescopes, in the charge of brilliant astro-
physicist Ellie Arroway, picks up a 'Message' from
outer space.

Ellie is instrumental in decoding the message and
building the 'Machine' for which it gives instructions
(despite stiff opposition from religious fundament-
alists and those scientists and politicians who fear
it may be a Trojan Horse).

Then she and fellow members of a small multinational
team board the machine, take a startling trip into outer
space and on their return must convince the scientific
community that they are not the perpetrators of a
hoax. ..."

058. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,
by Philip K. Dick
. . .  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was
published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today
it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.

By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving
entire species into extinction and sending mankind
off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living
creature, and for people who couldn't afford one,
companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses,
birds, cats, sheep. . .

They even built humans.

Emigres to Mars received androids so sophisti-
cated it was impossible to tell them from true men
or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial
humans could wreak, the government banned them
from Earth. But when androids didn't want to be
identified, they just blended in.

Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty
hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and
to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to
fight back, with deadly results. ..."

057. Taking the Red Pill : Science, Philosophy
and Religion in The Matrix, by Glenn Yeffeth (editor),
David Gerrold (introduction)
"... Lets face it. If you're reading this review, The
Matrix was more than just a movie to you. Something
that you saw in it made you question, if even for a
moment, the nature of reality as you have always
understood it. And if you're willing to entertain that
tantalizing 'splinter in your mind' awhile longer, you
need to read this book.

All of the essays in this book are thought-provoking
and well written, with authors ranging from prominent
members of the science fiction community, to theolo-
gians, to computer scientists. All have been similarly
affected by this truly remarkable movie, and all take
you on their own personal tour of The Wachowski's
mindbending dystopia.

Essay content ranges from comparisons of Neo with
Christ and Buddha, to whether we are in fact living
inside a simulated world. The two finest essays in this
book (in my opinion) are by technologists themselves,
one by Ray Kurzweil and another by Sun Micro-
systems' Bill Joy, each with a very in-depth examin-
ation of the technology behind The Matrix, albeit
with two very different visions of humanity's future
once our technology catches up with that depicted
in the movie.

If The Matrix made you question the nature of the
world around you, even a little, you need to read
this book. You may not like it when you discover
just how far down the rabbit hole goes, but at least
you might be on the right track to freeing your mind.

056. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
"... Here is the novel that started it all, launching the
cyberpunk generation, and the first novel to win the
holy trinity of science fiction: the Hugo Award, the
Nebula Award and the Philip K. Dick Award.

With Neuromancer, William Gibson introduced the
world to cyberspace -- and science fiction has never
been the same.

Case was the hottest computer cowboy cruising the
information superhighway -- jacking his conscious-
ness into cyberspace, soaring through tactile lattices
of data and logic, rustling encoded secrets for anyone
with the money to buy his skills.

Then he double-crossed the wrong people, who
caught up with him in a big way -- and burned the
talent out of his brain, micron by micron. Banished
from cyberspace, trapped in the meat of his physical
body, Case courted death in the high-tech under-
world. Until a shadowy conspiracy offered him a
second chance -- and a cure -- for a price. ..."

055. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
"... In this collection, one of the great classics of
science fiction, Asimov set out the principles of
robot behavior that we know as the Three Laws
of Robotics.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, mind-reading
robots, robots with a sense of humor, robot politi-
cians, and robots who secretly run the world, all
told with Asimov's trademark dramatic blend of
science fact and science fiction. ..."

054. 2001 : A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
"... When an enigmatic monolith is found buried on
the moon, scientists are amazed to discover that it's
at least 3 million years old. Even more amazing, after
it's unearthed the artifact releases a powerful signal
aimed at Saturn.

What sort of alarm has been triggered? To find out,
a manned spacecraft, the Discovery, is sent to inves-
tigate. Its crew is highly trained -- the best -- and
they are assisted by a self-aware computer, the
ultra-capable HAL 9000.

But HAL's programming has been patterned after
the human mind a little too well. He is capable of
guilt, neurosis, even murder, and he controls every
single one of Discovery's components. The crew
must overthrow this digital psychotic if they hope
to make their rendezvous with the entities that are
responsible not just for the monolith, but maybe
even for human civilization.

Clarke wrote this novel while Stanley Kubrick
created the film, the two collaborating on both pro-
jects. The novel is much more detailed and intimate,
and definitely easier to comprehend. Even though
history has disproved its 'predictions,' it's still loaded
with exciting and awe-inspiring science fiction.  ..."

053. I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream,
by Harlan Ellison
"... First published in 1967 and re-issued in 1983,
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream contains
seven stories with copyrights ranging from 1958
through 1967. This edition contains the original
introduction by Theodore Sturgeon and the original
foreword by Harlan Ellison, along with a brief update
comment by Ellison that was added in the 1983 edi-

Among Ellison's more famous stories, two consistently noted as among his very best ever are the title story
and the volume's concluding one, 'Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes'. Since Ellison himself strongly resists
categorization of his work, we won't call them science
fiction, or SF, or speculative fiction or horror or any-
thing else except compelling reading experiences that
are sui generis. They could only have been written by
Harlan Ellison and they are incomparably original. ..."

052. Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein
"... Stranger in a Strange Land, winner of the 1962
Hugo Award, is the story of Valentine Michael Smith,
born during, and the only survivor of, the first manned
mission to Mars. Michael is raised by Martians, and
he arrives on Earth as a true innocent: he has never
seen a woman and has no knowledge of Earth's cul-
tures or religions.

But he brings turmoil with him, as he is the legal heir
to an enormous financial empire, not to mention de
facto owner of the planet Mars. With the irascible
popular author Jubal Harshaw to protect him, Michael
explores human morality and the meanings of love. He
founds his own church, preaching free love and dis-
seminating the psychic talents taught him by the Mar-
tians. Ultimately, he confronts the fate reserved for
all messiahs. ..."

051. Sookie Stackhouse (8-copy Boxed Set - Sookie
Stackhouse/True Blood), by Charlaine Harris
"... Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is no
typical Southern belle. She can read minds. And
she's got a thing for vampires. Which, in a town
like Bon Temps, Louisiana, means she'll have to
watch her back - and neck ...


Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse ..."

050. The Twilight Saga Collection [4 books - box set],
by Stephenie Meyer
"... Helpful background (but of note, spoilers are
presented here):

Product details for each of the 4 books, presented
at Stephenie Meyer's website:

Twilight, Book 1 ... Deeply sensuous and extra-
ordinarily suspenseful, TWILIGHT captures the
struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying
our desires. ...

New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2) ... The
'star-crossed' lovers theme continues as Bella and
Edward find themselves facing new obstacles,
including a devastating separation, the mysterious
appearance of dangerous wolves roaming the
forest in Forks, a terrifying threat of revenge from
a female vampire and a deliciously sinister encounter
with Italy's reigning royal family of vampires, the
Volturi. ...

Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) ... As Seattle
is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a
malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge,
Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger.
... With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella
has one more decision to make: life or death. But
which is which? ...

Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) ... Bella
... a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife
have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her immin-
ent choice to either join the dark but seductive world
of immortals or to pursue a fully human life ..."

049. Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia)
Popular Culture and Science-Fiction, by User Contributions

"... Popular culture (commonly known as pop culture)
is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed pre-
ferred per an informal consensus within the main-
stream of a given culture.

Heavily influenced by mass media (at least from the
early 20th century onward) and perpetuated by that
culture's vernacular language, this collection of ideas
permeates the everyday lives of the society. ...

Science fiction is a genre of fiction ... its imaginary
elements are largely possible within scientifically-
established or scientifically-postulated laws of nature (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation).

Exploring the consequences of such differences is
the traditional purpose of science fiction, making it
a 'literature of ideas'. Science fiction is largely based
on writing rationally about alternative possibilities. ..."

- - - Videos Added on December 4, 2009 - - -

048. DVD : Star Trek

047. DVD : Star Trek - Original Motion Picture Collection
(I - The Motion Picture, II - The Wrath of Kahn,
III - The Search for Spock, IV - The Voyage Home,
V - The Final Frontier, VI - The Undiscovered Country,
Bonus - Captain's Summit, a discussion with William
Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan
Frakes, and host Whoopi Goldberg)

046. DVD : Star Trek : The Original Series
(Remastered) - Three Season Pack

045. DVD : Twilight

044. DVD : Gladiator

043. DVD : Star Wars Trilogy (Episode IV - A
New Hope, Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back,
Episode VI - Return of the Jedi)

042. DVD : Star Wars Prequel Trilogy (Episode I - The
Phantom Menace, Episode II - Attack of the Clones,
Episode III - Revenge of the Sith)

041. DVD : I, Robot

040. DVD : The Matrix

039. DVD : Contact

038. DVD : Jurassic Park

037. DVD : Terminator 2 - Judgment Day

036. DVD : The Terminator

035. DVD : Indiana Jones - The Complete Adventure
Collection (Raiders of the Lost Ark / Temple of Doom /
Last Crusade / Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)

034. DVD : Blade Runner

033. DVD : Godfather Part II [Coppola Restoration]

032. DVD : Godfather [Coppola Restoration]

031. DVD : 2001 : A Space Odyssey

030. DVD : Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned
to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [Two-Disc
Special Edition]

029. DVD : The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night

028. DVD : Casablanca [HD DVD]

027. DVD : Gone With the Wind [70th Anniversary
Ultimate Collector's Edition - 6 Discs]

026. Pro-Humanist FREELOVER Posts which
include videos pertaining to Pop-SciFi
(as of December 4, 2009)

- - - Books from the 1999 & 2000 Versions of this post - - -

025. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
"... The Only Book Available That Will Arm You
To Fight Nonsense! Do you ever listen to people
discuss mystical things with reverie and wonder
why they believe all that crap? Do you ever wonder
what belief in all things irrational ultimately does to
the world? Here is your chance to find out.

Atlas  Shrugged is the most important book ever
written, and will provide you with all the tools
necessary to understand how to live a life of rea-
son and see the law of cause and effect in action
when man tries to live with out his most important
tool, his mind.

024. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand (Introduction),
Leonard Peikoff (Afterword)
"... This can be a life changing book. If life has you
wondering about incompetence, hypocrisy and
dishonesty, if you feel like you have to compromise
your beliefs just to get by, this is definitely a must
read book! Rand allows her characters to live and
enjoy life without guilt.

Raises the complex question: At what price do you
set your art, your life, your soul? How unusual is it
to find a person that will not sell out at any cost?
You won't be disappointed if you read this book. ..."

023. The Book of the Subgenius : Being the
Divine Wisdom, Guidance, and Prophecy of
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs, by J. R. Dobbs, Inc
Subgenius Foundation, Ivan Stang
"... Divine obfuscation has a purpose. This is the
classic that ushered in so many imitators, imitators
who did not get it. It is slack, the desiderata that
cannot be desired and is only attainable through
Bob, the evil god/male model who founded the
Church of the SubGenius without bothering to
exist. If you read this holy book properly, you
will learn to pull the wool over your own eyes.

While this volume may seem hilarious, it's also
an incredibly adept deconstruction of religion in
general and the human impulse to believe in and
follow anyone who promises to give their lives
meaning and structure.

Plus, it's the only place to find the information
you need to survive when the bad alien gods
come out of the sky to kill, enslave, and entertain
us. If you don't already have a copy, then hand
in your hipness ID card and hang your head in
shame. ..."

022. The Doors of Perception Includes Heaven
and Hell, by Aldous Huxley
"... In the early 1950s, distinguished novelist Aldous
Huxley ingested mescaline and wrote about the
experience in The Doors of Perception.

For Timothy Leary, the Merry Pranksters, Jim Mor-
rison (who named the Doors after the book), and
a whole generation of psychedelic seekers, Huxley's
account became an essential touchstone.

Today, Huxley's insights into the psychedelic exper-
ience remain as fresh and provocative as ever. By
taking mescaline, he hoped to experience, from the
inside out, the sort of visionary mysticism that inspired
artists such as William Blake.

What Huxley discovered was something else alto-
gether. Instead of a luminous inner world, he found
himself transcending his own consciousness and
becoming one with the outer world, where every-
thing -- the desk, the chair, the flower vase -- 'shone
with an Inner Light and was infinite in its significance.'

Huxley concluded that although psychedelic drugs
did not offer enlightenment as to life's ultimate pur-
pose, they could open the door to self-transcen-
dence ..."

021. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
"... 'Community, Identity, Stability' is the motto of
Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here every-
one consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depres-
sion, babies are born in laboratories, and the most
popular form of entertainment is a 'Feelie,' a movie
that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch.

Though there is no violence and everyone is pro-
vided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing
and senses his relationship with a young woman has
the potential to be much more than the confines of
their existence allow.

Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and
gadgets we take for granted today -- let's hope the
sterility and absence of individuality he predicted
aren't yet to come. ..."

020. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A
Savage Journey to the Heart of the American
Dream, by Hunter S. Thompson
"... Dr. Thompson is the only man, the only human,
on this earth who has given me hope. Obviously
a genius, despite the massive quantities of chemicals
consumed, he leads me to believe there is hope yet
for one such as myself. I may still have functional
brain cells.

He's a doctor of journalism, dammit, and if you want
the real behind the story from that era or the era of
the present, this is the one to read. This story is real,
from page 3 to 204, and I could die happy should
I ever write anything as real and raw as this. ..."

019. Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe
"... 'You're either on the bus...or off the bus.' This is
the choice facing you as you begin to read Tom Wolfe's
classic saga of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters as they
test the boundaries of consciousness and test the limits
of other humans' patience.

What is almost as amazing as the lengths to which the
pranksters went to enjoy their existence on Earth, is
the style that Wolfe has chosen to narrate the adven-

Brilliantly blending stream of consciousness writing
and a journalistic sense of description, Wolfe immerses
himself in Kesey's world in an attempt to understand
the thoughts of a group of adults who would paint a
school bus with day-glo colors and trek across the
United States with pitchers full of acid and a video
camera keeping an eye on it all. ..."

018. 1984, by George Orwell
"... This book is one of the markers of its time. It is
amazingly horrifying in its portrayal of our future.
There is so much to be learned and feared from
this book that it can give you nightmares.

This is one of the best books I have ever read and
chewed on in discussion. The ideas and theories
- the concept of 'Big Brother' - definitely gives me
the feeling that this is what a Nazi rule would have
been like. ..."

017. The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference
Guide to the Future, by Michael Okuda,
Denise Okuda (Contributor),
Doug Drexler (Illustrator), Margaret Clark
"... The ultimate Star Trek reference guide is now
updated and expanded with new material and over
2,000 spectacular full-color photographs. ... the
minutiae of every moment from the four Star Trek
series and eight films [as of 1997].

Every planet ever visited, every food ingested, every
outfit worn, and every featured character appears in
The Star Trek Encyclopedia, on glossy pages with
color illustrations worthy of author Michael Okuda's
position as art director for the entire Star Trek uni-
verse. ..."

016. The Ethics of Star Trek,
by Judy Barad Ph.D., Ed Robertson
"... How would Immanuel Kant's insistence on auto-
nomous altruism have impacted the Federation's deal-
ings with the Borg? Did Aristotle's concept of equity
account for why Kirk and Picard often violated the
Prime Directive? Would Nietzsche have made a good
starship captain?

As every fan of Star Trek knows, even in the brave
new world of the 24th century, the deepest questions
of morality and ethics will still need to be answered.
In this enjoyable and engaging book, Dr. Judith Barad
uses characters and plots from all of the Star Trek
television series to illustrate how our earthbound phil-
osophers would handle the most challenging ethical
questions in the universe. ..."

015. Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom
Menace, by Terry Brooks
"... Phantom does illuminate in ways the other install-
ments didn't. For the first time, we get a glimpse at
the whys and wherefores behind the curtain; at times
the book reads almost like a sociopolitical thriller as
the emerging Federation shuffles for power with the
waning democracy of the Republic. The Force is
also further illuminated. ..."

014. Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton
"... One of mankind's most thrilling fantasies has come
true - -an astonishing technique for recovering and
cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Creatures
that have been extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park,
where all the world can visit them -- for a price. Until
something goes wrong. Frighteningly real ... it'll keep
you riveted. ..."

013. Dune, by Frank Herbert
"... A book which can be read on many levels, every
reading reveals something new. As art, it has few
equals. Herbert creates an entire world and peoples
it with interesting, complex people embroiled in high
drama - which makes for a ripping good story. Its
explorations of the nature of messianic religion and
societal dependence on a single, fragile substance
are as relevant today as ever. Not to be missed by
any SF fan. ..."

012. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
"... First published in 1953, Fahrenheit 451 is a clas-
sic novel set in the future when books forbidden by
a totalitarian regime are burned. The hero, a book
burner, suddenly discovers that books are flesh
and blood ideas that cry out silently when put to
the torch. ..."

011. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,
by Douglas Adams
"... Adams could not have written this while he
was sober, because all the perverse logic he sets
out (check out his theory on the relationship be-
tween the babel fish and the non existence of
God) makes perfect sense!

Humorous and intelligent, to make your mind
giggle, Douglas Adams takes sci-fi to the next
level; humor. He makes you think while rolling
you upside-down in laughter. Arthur Dent, homo-
sapian from the blue planet Earth goes on an
unexpected journey with friend and alien, Ford
Prefect, on a hilarious quest to figure out the
Ultimate Answer to Life.  ..."

010. The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells
"... When the Time Traveler courageously stepped
out of his machine for the first time, he found himself
in the year 802,700 -- and everything has changed.
In another, more utopian age, creatures seemed to
dwell together in perfect harmony.

The Time Traveler thought he could study these mar-
velous beings -- unearth their secret and then return
to his own time -- until he discovered that his inven-
tion, his only avenue of escape, had been stolen.

H.G. Well's famous novel of one man's astonishing
journey beyond the conventional limits of the imagin-
ation first appeared in 1895. It won him immediate
recognition, and has been regarded ever since as
one of the great masterpieces in the literature of
science fiction. ..."

009. Foundation, by Isaac Asimov
"... For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire
had ruled supreme. Now it was dying. But only
Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science
of psychohistory, could see into the future - a dark
age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that would
last thirty thousand years.

To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon
gathered the best minds in the Empire - both scien-
tists and scholars - and brought them to a bleak
planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a bea-
con of hope for future generations. He called his
sanctuary the Foundation. ..."

008. The Essential Ellison, by Harlan Ellison,
Terry Dowling (Editor), Gil Lamont (Editor)
"... This collection should be owned by anyone who
is interested in science fiction, imaginative fiction
(Ellison's term), or contemporary literature. Ellison
is to the modern short story what Vincent Van
Gogh was to Impressionist visual art (disturbing,
yet real). Buy this volume and help make this man
the star he should have been years ago when he
published 'I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream'
or 'Deathbird'. ..."

007. Genesis, by Poul Anderson
"... Astronaut Christian Brannock has lived to see
artificial intelligence develop to a point where a
human personality can be uploaded into a computer,
achieving a sort of hybrid immortality. He welcomes
that because the technology will make it possible
for him to achieve his dream and explore the stars.

... A billion years later, Brannock is dispatched to
Earth to check on some strange anomalies. While
there, he  meets Laurinda Ashcroft, another hybrid

Brannock and Laurinda join forces and investigate
Gaia, the supermind dominating the planet, and learn
the truth of her shocking and terrifying secret plans
for Earth. ..."

006. Art of Rowena,
by Rowena Morrill (Illustrator), Doris Vallejo
"... Always feminine, often erotic, and usually tinged
with irony: fantasy artist Rowena takes modern dilem-
mas and presents them in a fairy tale world both fan-
ciful and powerful. ... Above all, Rowena creates
extraordinary images of women, as a magical por-
trait of MIT-trained electrical engineer Susan Ferrer
reveals so brilliantly. Over 100 artworks and insight-
ful commentary. ..."

005. Cybersex, by Richard Glyn Jones (Editor)
"... Cybersex is a compilation of futuristic tales taking
place in both outer space and cyberspace. Most of
the stories feature computers programmed to perform
sensual acts with aliens or other weird forms of life.

Some stories delve into electric prosthetics that trans-
port participants to future orgiastic worlds. The entire
book takes the concept of safe sex to a new level
and arouses the sexiest organ of them all -- the brain.

Some may be surprised to see Kurt Vonnegut Jr. on
the list of authors. Other contributors include Harlan
Ellison, J.G. Ballard, Katherine Dunn, Kathe Koja,
and Storm Constantine. ..."

004. Off Limits: Tales of Alien Sex,
by Ellen Datlow (Editor)
"... From Susan Wade's hypnotic tale of a tattoo
artist's strangest client (The Tattooist) to Bruce
McAllister's disturbing story of a captive child's
dream of freedom (Captain China), the 18 selec-
tions (including four previously published titles)
in this anthology explore the alien dimensions of
exotic sexuality.

Although only a few stories deal with interspecies
relationships, each selection explores the boundar-
ies of love's strange territories. ..."

003. The Torture Garden
by Octave Mirbeau, Alvah C. Bessie (Translator)
"... Following the twin trails of desire and depravity
to a shocking, sadistic paradise - a garden in China
where torture is practiced as an art form - a disso-
lute Frenchman discovers the true depths of degra-
dation beyond his prior bourgeois imaginings.

Entranced by a resolute Englishwoman whose capa-
city for debauchery knows no bounds, he capitulates
to her every whim amid an ecstatic yet tormenting
incursion of visions, scents, caresses, pleasures,
horrors, and fantastic atrocities.

The Torture Garden is exceptional for its detailed
descriptions of sexual euphoria and exquisite tor-
ture, its political critique of government corruption
and bureaucracy, and its revolutionary portrait of
a woman - which challenges even contemporary
models of feminine authority.

This is one of the most truly original works ever
imagined. Beyond providing richly poetic experience,
it will stimulate anyone interested in the always-con-
temporary problem of the limits of experience and

As part of the continuing struggle against censorship
and especially self-censorship, it will remain a land-
mark in the fight against all that would suppress the
creation of a far freer world. Written in 1899, this
fabulously rare novel was once described as 'the
most sickening work of art of the 19th century.'  ..."

002. The Atrocity Exhibition, by J. G. Ballard
"... Easily one of the 20th century's most visionary
writers, J. G. Ballard still lives far ahead of his time.
Called his 'prophetic masterpiece' by many, The
Atrocity Exhibition practically lies outside of any
literary tradition. Part science fiction, part eerie
historical fiction, part pornography, its characters
adhere to no rules of linearity or stability.

This reissued edition features an introduction by
William S. Burroughs, extensive text commentary
by Ballard, and four additional stories. Of specific
interest are the illustrations by underground car-
toonist and professional medical illustrator Phoebe
Gloeckner. Her ultrarealistic images of eroticism
and destruction add an important dimension to
Ballard's text. ..."

001. Crash, by J. G. Ballard
"... Ballard's graphic, violent novel is controversial
wherever it is read, even on's own
Web page! The book's characters are obsessed
with automobile accidents and are determined to
narrate the horrors of the car crash as luridly as
possible. In the words of the novel's protagonist,
the wounds caused by automobile collisions are
'the keys to a new sexuality born from a perverse
technology.' ..."