Ian Watson - The Embedding - Orion Publishing Group

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    • ISBN:9781473222670
    • Publication date:19 Oct 2017
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The Embedding

By Ian Watson

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A cutting-edge novel about the nature of communication and what it means to be human.

Ian Watson's brilliant debut novel was one of the most significant publications in British SF in the 1970s. Intellectually bracing and grippingly written, it is the story of three experiments in linguistics, and is driven by a searching analysis of the nature of communication.

Deep in the Brazilian jungle, an isolated tribe face eviction from their ancestral lands - and the psychedelic fungus that makes their religious language possible.

In a British laboratory, a brilliant linguist conducts cutting-edge experiments - but does his search for answers come at too high a cost?

And in the ultimate test of linguistics, First Contact presents a challenge unlike any humanity has faced before . . .

Fiercely intelligent, energetic and challenging, The Embedding immediately established Watson as a writer of rare power and vision, and is now recognized as a modern classic of SF.

Biographical Notes

Ian Watson (1943 - )Ian Watson was born in England in 1943 and graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, with a first class Honours degree in English Literature. He lectured in English in Tanzania (1965-1967) and Tokyo (1967-1970) before beginning to publish SF with "Roof Garden Under Saturn" for the influential New Worlds magazine in 1969. He became a full-time writer in 1976, following the success of his debut novel The Embedding. His work has been frequently shortlisted for the Hugo and Nebula Awards and he has won the BSFA Award twice. From 1990 to 1991 he worked full-time with Stanley Kubrick on story development for the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence, directed after Kubrick's death by Steven Spielberg; for which he is acknowledged in the credits for Screen Story. Ian Watson lives in Spain.

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  • ISBN: 9780575114524
  • Publication date: 29 Sep 2011
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Gateway
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The Power

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An ancient Power awakes.A modern evil mushrooms into apocalypse.Cocooned in a nightmare world, the village of Melfort waits, as The Power feeds on the death and destruction, fuelling its gross appetite.And the dead rise up.

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Whores of Babylon

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Alex Winter and Deborah Tate arrive by hovercraft at the city of Babylon, lying on the river Euphrates in the Arizona desert. He is a sociology drop-out from the University of Oregon at Eugene who wants to become a Babylonian. She has a much stranger ambition. Their minds are babbling in the Greek that has been pumped into them via computer interface at the University of Heuristics. To them, English has yet to be invented and the young king Alexander lies dying in his palace. The city is dominated by the tower of Babel, its spiral roadway curling up towards the heavens and wide enough for several donkey carts. And women sit outside the Temple of Ishtar, waiting for some stranger to drop a coin in their laps. The prospect seems to fascinate Deborah. She wants to become one of the Whores of Babylon.

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When Saul and Diane save a wild rabbit from a hungry weasel in a quiet country lane, they inadvertently unleash the vengeance of a bloodthirsty, carnivorous force.Soon their sanity and their lives are at risk - as are the young people of a cell of the Animal Liberation Front with whom they join forces to learn the terrible secrets of their rural village. A visit to a battery chicken shed turns into an animal Auschwitz, where Saul is held prisoner. And a raid on a butcher's shop brings to murderous life a full size model of the meatman which, armed with a butcher's cleaver, goes hunting for blood and MEAT!

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Hard Questions

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Oracle

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Sunstroke: And Other Stories

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Slow Birds: And Other Stories

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Where do the metal death gliders come from? To the glass-sailors of the five villages the slow birds that inched over the Earth at shoulder height, appearing and vanishing, were a mystery - until young Daniel climbed aboard one of the scarred Missiles and vowed to find out where it wentIan Watson's third short story collection is his best yet: a brilliant array of original and imaginative inventions that plunge the reader into strangely familiar new worlds.

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Evil Water: And Other Stories

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In his fourth short-story collection, Watson again demonstrates the extraordinary scope of his imagination. The title story has ancient witchcraft meeting complacent modern suburbia in a tale of spine-chilling horror, while 'When the Timegate Failed' casts an unexpected light in the dangers of space travel and man's powers of self-delusion. Alien matters of a different kind crop up in 'Windows', in which mysterious artefacts found on Mars prove to be something of a problem for their chic human owners. Evil Water is a highly inventive collection which is a delight to read.

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Salvage Rites: And Other Stories

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Ian Watson's latest collection shows the same range and apparently inexhaustible fund of ideas that have characterized all his previous books. No other contemporary figure in SF is so prolific or inventive a writer of short stories. In the title story we immediately encounter a phantasmagoric vision of a society increasingly dependent on recycling its usable material; other brilliant inventions include a planet inhabited by lemur-like aliens who bafflingly produce marvellously finished stone carvings without apparently having the tools to do so ('The Moon and Michelangelo'); people fighting their way through the various levels of what appears to be a real-life version of a computer adventure game ('Jewels in an Angel's Wing'); and a zoo in which are caged the extensions into our universe of four-dimensional hyberbeings ('Hyperzoo'). And that is only the beginning: there are fifteen stories in all, each one a state-of-the-art example of short science fiction at its finest.

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Stalin's Teardrops: And Other Stories

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Ian Watson is one of the most prolific short story writers in contemporary science fiction, with a range and invention that others might envy. In this collection we move from a ghostly occurrence in Catalonia to a memorably hallucinatory and atmospheric tale of eggs and ectoplasm in pre-glasnost Russia. The Times said of Watson that his 'stories are springloaded with effect, compressed with a drama that, in others, might take a novel to eke out', a judgement confirmed by he dozen stories collected here.

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The Coming of Vertumnus: And Other Stories

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A collection of science-fiction short stories by the author of "Lucky's Harvest". They feature dozens of characters, a new way of travelling between the stars, a strange planet, magical powers, bravura set-pieces, and manoeuvres of narrative.

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The Great Escape

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The Butterflies of Memory

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Ian Watson is one of the finest writers of SF and fantasy stories, and Butterflies of Memory is his 10th collection, a selection of stories that are by turns serious and playful, and always wildly imaginative... In the title story, what if mobile phones were to become truly mobile, flying about like butterflies? 'An Appeal to Adolf' tells of gay sailors on a Nazi battleship many kilometres long during a Second World War unfamiliar to us; 'Lover of Statues' of an enigmatic alien visiting the only statue of Satan in the world, in Madrid - while in the bubbling stew of faiths which is Jerusalem a doorway opens to reveal capricious godlike beings. And just suppose that Jules Verne undertook an actual journey to the centre of the Earth. Closer to home, in a Midlands town, a man who seems to have suddenly popped into existence tries to discover who and what he is. 'Hijack Holiday', written a year before 9/11, presciently if bizarrely anticipates events akin to those on that fateful day.

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