Common Denominator

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Advanced races generally are eager to share their knowledge with primitive ones. In this case ... with Earthmen!
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About the author

John D. MacDonald was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania on July 24, 1916. He received a B.S. from Syracuse University in 1938 and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1939. During World War II, he served in the Army. His first novel, Brass Cupcake, was published in 1950. He wrote about 70 books during his lifetime including the Travis McGee series, Condominium, No Deadly Drug, Nothing Can Go Wrong, and A Friendship: The Letters of Dan Rowan and John Dann MacDonald. A Flash of Green was adapted into a movie by the same name and The Excuse was adapted into a movie entitled Cape Fear. He received numerous awards including the Ben Franklin Award for the best American short story in 1955, the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere for A Key to the Suite in 1964, the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award in 1972, the American Book Award for The Green Ripper in 1980. He died from complications of an earlier heart bypass surgery on December 28, 1986 at the age of 70.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Mar 3, 2016
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Pages
21
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ISBN
9781681465074
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Science Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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He sat in a small half-darkened booth well over in the corner-the man with the strangely glowing blue-green eyes.The booth was one of a score that circled the walls of the "Maori Hut," a popular night club in the San Fernando Valley some five miles over the hills from Hollywood.It was nearly midnight. Half a dozen couples danced lazily in the central dancing space. Other couples remained t te- -t te in the secluded booths.In the entire room only two men were dining alone. One was the slender gray-haired little man with the weirdly glowing eyes. The other was Blair Gordon, a highly successful young attorney of Los Angeles. Both men had the unmistakable air of waiting for someone.Blair Gordon's college days were not so far distant that he had yet lost any of the splendid physique that had made him an All-American tackle. In any physical combat with the slight gray-haired stranger, Gordon knew that he should be able to break the other in two with one hand.Yet, as he studied the stranger from behind the potted palms that screened his own booth. Gordon was amazed to find himself slowly being overcome by an emotion of dread so intense that it verged upon sheer fear. There was something indescribably alien and utterly sinister in that dimly seen figure in the corner booth.The faint eerie light that glowed in the stranger's deep-set eyes was not the lambent flame seen in the chatoyant orbs of some night-prowling jungle beast. Rather was it the blue-green glow of phosphorescent witch-light that flickers and dances in the night mists above steaming tropical swamps.The stranger's face was as classically perfect in its rugged outline as that of a Roman war-god, yet those perfect features seemed utterly lifeless. In the twenty minutes that he had been intently watching the stranger, Gordon would have sworn that the other's face had not moved by so much as the twitch of an eye-lash.****Then a new couple entered the Maori Hut, and Gordon promptly forgot all thought of the puzzlingly alien figure in the corner. The new arrivals were a vibrantly beautiful blond girl and a plump, sallow-faced man in the early forties. The girl was Leah Keith, Hollywood's latest screen sensation. The man was Dave Redding, her director.A waiter seated Leah and her escort in a booth directly across the room from that of Gordon. It was a maneuver for which Gordon had tipped lavishly when he first came to the Hut.A week ago Leah Keith's engagement to Blair Gordon had been abruptly ended by a trivial little quarrel that two volatile temperaments had fanned into flames which apparently made reconciliation impossible. A miserably lonely week had finally ended in Gordon's present trip to the Maori Hut. He knew that Leah often came there, and he had an overwhelming longing to at least see her again, even though his pride forced him to remain unseen.Now, as he stared glumly at Leah through the palms that effectively screened his own booth, Gordon heartily regretted that he had ever come. The sight of Leah's clear fresh beauty merely made him realize what a fool he had been to let that ridiculous little quarrel come between them.Then, with a sudden tingling thrill, Gordon realized that he was not the only one in the room who was interested in Leah and her escort.Over in the half-darkened corner booth the eerie stranger was staring at the girl with an intentness that made his weird eyes glow like miniature pools of shimmering blue-green fire. Again Gordon felt that vague impression of dread, as though he were in the presence of something utterly alien to all human experience.
“ONE OF THE MOST VISIONARY, ORIGINAL, AND QUIETLY INFLUENTIAL WRITERS CURRENTLY WORKING”* returns with a sharply imagined follow-up to the New York Times bestselling novel The Peripheral.
 
William Gibson has trained his eye on the future for decades, ever since coining the term “cyberspace” and then popularizing it in his classic speculative novel Neuromancer in the early 1980s. Cory Doctorow raved that The Peripheral is “spectacular, a piece of trenchant, far-future speculation that features all the eyeball kicks of Neuromancer.” Now Gibson is back with Agency—a science fiction thriller heavily influenced by our most current events.
 
Verity Jane, gifted app whisperer, takes a job as the beta tester for a new product: a digital assistant, accessed through a pair of ordinary-looking glasses. “Eunice,” the disarmingly human AI in the glasses, manifests a face, a fragmentary past, and a canny grasp of combat strategy. Realizing that her cryptic new employers don’t yet know how powerful and valuable Eunice is, Verity instinctively decides that it’s best they don’t.
 
Meanwhile, a century ahead in London, in a different time line entirely, Wilf Netherton works amid plutocrats and plunderers, survivors of the slow and steady apocalypse known as the jackpot. His boss, the enigmatic Ainsley Lowbeer, can look into alternate pasts and nudge their ultimate directions. Verity and Eunice are her current project. Wilf can see what Verity and Eunice can’t: their own version of the jackpot, just around the corner, and the roles they both may play in it.
 
*The Boston Globe
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