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 'Highly engaging and fascinating... this thought-provoking collection reminded me why I used to like science fiction so much... Eventually, one hopes, science fiction will regain its rightful place - as once again stranger than science.'

- The Guardian, 20 Dec 09.

'All hit, no miss... thought-provoking at worst, and stunning at best... shows that science can inspire anyone and everyone.'

– New Scientist, 5 Dec 09.

'Inspiring'

– THE, 19 Nov 09.

'A diamond of compression.'

– Financial Times, 20 Dec 09.

When It Changed is an attempt to put authors and scientists back in touch with each other, to re-introduce research ideas with literary concerns, and to re-forge the alloy that once made SF great. Composed collaboratively – through a series of visits and conversations between leading authors and practicing scientists – it offers fictionalised glimpses into the far corners of current research fields, be they in nanotechnology, invertebrate physiology, particle physics, or software archaeology. From Planck's Length (the smallest indivisible distance) to Plankton (potential saviours of the Earth's ecosystem), from virtual encounters between Witgenstein and Turing, to future civilisations torn asunder by different readings of the Standard Model, together these stories represent a literary 'experiment' in the true sense of the word, and endeavour to isolate a whole new strain of the SF bug.

* * Featuring Sara Maitland's 'Moss Witch' - Runner Up in the BBC National Short Story Prize 2009.* *

Geoff Ryman writes about the other and leaves us dissected in the process. His stories are set in recognizable places—London, Cambodia, tomorrow—and feature men and women caught in recognizable situations (or technologies) and not sure which way to turn. They, we, should obviously choose what's right. But what if that's difficult? What will we do? What we should, or . . . ?

Paradise Tales builds on the success of his most recent novel, The King's Last Song, and on the three Cambodian stories included here, "The Last Ten Years of the Hero Kai," "Blocked," and the exceedingly-popular "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter." Paradise Tales includes stories selected from the many periods of Ryman’s career including “Birth Days,” “Omnisexual,” “The Film-makers of Mars,” and a new story, “K is for Kosovo (or, Massimo’s Career).”

To complement this first full-length short story collection, Small Beer Press is reprinting Ryman's backlist: Was, The Child Garden, and a book of four novellas, The Unconquered Countries, with new introductions to continue to build the readership of one of the most fascinating writers exploring the edges of being, gender, science, and fiction.

Geoff Ryman is the author of the novels The King's Last Song, The Child Garden, Air (a Clarke and Tiptree Award winner), and The Unconquered Country (a World Fantasy Award winner). Canadian by birth, he has lived in Cambodia and Brazil and now teaches creative writing at the University of Manchester in England.
What if you could have sex with anyone in the world?

The ultimate fantasy? Or a nightmare of self-discovery? Michael Blasco, a young scientist investigating what happens to the brain during the process of learning, suddenly finds himself on the other end of experimentation. On the way home from his lab one night he runs into Tony, a fitness instructor from his gym who he harbors a crush for, on the same platform waiting for the subway. When Michael imagines Tony naked, a pleasant fantasy to spice up a dull journey home, an extraordinary thing happens: Tony strips then and there on the platform and offers himself to Michael in front of all onlookers. Horrified, Michael flees. But back at his apartment, Tony reappears, as if by magic. And disappears again, when Michael wishes him away. Being a scientist, Michael recognizes an experiment when he sees one, and sets out to test the parameters of his newfound gift. In quick succession he conjures up Billie Holliday, Johnny Weismuller, Daffy Duck, Picasso, Sophia Loren, even his younger self.

The world is seemingly there for the taking. But what does Michael really desire? Mad with lust and losing all scientific objectivity, he runs the gamut of his fantasies inventing new lovers and calling up old ones, until, sated and morally bankrupt, he's forced to confront himself. What happens to the heart when it gets everything it desires?

From the renowned author of Was and 253 comes a witty, disturbing and intensely erotic fable for the modern age.

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