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Rare Unsigned Copy, by Simon Petrie

Second paragraph of third story (Fomalhaut 451):
Zia’s gloved fingers jabbed out the control sequence again, but she knew it was futile: the hab was dead this past year. She’d been sent from Central to discover how, why.
The author ran a contest several years ago offering free copies of this book to the the three people with the most interesting namesakes as revealed by Google, and of course I was up for that challenge and won. The book took a few weeks to reach me from Australia, and it took me a lot longer to get around to reading it. It's a collection of short stories, most of them very brief indeed, with a bit of a tendency to go for last-minute twists or punchlines (à la Asimov, but a little better, which is not difficult). There are several about near-future detective Gordon Mammon investigating various murders. The two that stick in my mind are "Running Lizard", which takes the unpromising concept of were-dinosaurs in the present day and carries it off very well, and the non-sfnal "Scratched" about a little girl, her brother and a mouse. I will keep an eye out for more of Petrie's work. You can get it here. (See author’s note about availabilty in a comment to this post.)

This was the sf book that had lingered longest unread on my shelves. Next in that pile is Hybrid, by Shaun Hutson.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 1st, 2018 08:17 pm (UTC)
Rare Unsigned Copy
Nicholas,

Thanks for your comments on the book. Re the purchase link, I should note that Rare Unsigned Copy is now out of print and unlikely to be easily found; some of its stories, including 'Running Lizard', can be found in my new collection 80,000 Totally Secure Passwords That No Hacker Would Ever Guess, out at the end of this month and currently available for preorder from the usual suspects.

All the best,
Simon Petrie
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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