The Best of Walter Jon Williams


With the publication of his debut novel, The Privateer, in 1981, Walter Jon Williams began one of the most varied and prolific careers in contemporary popular fiction. His work encompasses cyberpunk (Hardwired), military SF (The Dread Empire’s Fall series), humor (The Crown Jewels), even disaster fiction (The Rift).

But much of Williams’s best work takes place in the shorter forms, as this generous volume, filled to overflowing with award-winning and award-nominated stories, clearly proves.


With one exception, The Best of Walter Jon Williams reflects its author’s affection for—and mastery of—the novella form. That exception is “The Millennium Party,” a brief, brilliant account of a virtual anniversary celebration unlike any you have ever imagined. Elsewhere in the collection, Williams offers us one brilliantly sustained creation after another. The Nebula Award-winning “Daddy’s World” takes us into a young boy’s private universe, a world of seeming miracles that conceals a tragic secret. “Dinosaurs” is the far future account of the incredibly destructive relationship between the star-faring human race and the less evolved inhabitants of the planet Shar.


“Diamonds from Tequila” is a lovingly crafted example of SF Noir in which a former child actor attempts a comeback that proves unexpectedly dangerous. “Surfacing” is a tale of alienation featuring a research scientist more at home with the foreign and unfamiliar than with the members of his own species. Finally, the magisterial “Wall, Stone, Craft” offers a brilliantly realized alternate take on a young Mary Godwin, future creator of Frankenstein, and her relationships with the poets Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron, culminating in the creation of a monster who would “stalk through the hearts of all the world.”


These stories, together with half a dozen equally substantial tales, are the clear product of a master craftsman with a seemingly limitless imagination. The Best of Walter Jon Williams is the capstone of a truly remarkable career. It’s the rare sort of book that the reader can return to again and again, finding new and unexpected pleasures every time out.


Walter Jon Williams :

The Boolean Gate


Mark Twain was one of the greatest minds of his time, torn between the brilliant persona he had forged for himself and a life of wrenching tragedy. Nicola Tesla was an unworldly genius capable of insights that defied the wildest imaginations. Their secret history is rife with friendship and betrayal, human tragedy and unearthly danger.


Drawn by his curiosity, Samuel Clemens escapes the grinding toil of being Mark Twain by cultivating what seems an innocent friendship with the greatest scientist of the age. As he grows closer to the powerfully eccentric Tesla, he begins to sense another, stranger intelligence that may be coming into being. The inventions of Nicola Tesla--alternating current, wireless communications, death rays, robot weapons--become puzzle pieces that take shape under Mark Twain's eyes. Has Tesla somehow opened the gateway to a profoundly alien intelligence, or is it Tesla himself that will bring the world to Armageddon?


And with every tragedy in his family--buffeted by the deaths of his wife, daughter, brother, and son--Samuel Clemens is moved to ask the most important question of all: Why is the world worth saving?

First edition hardcover

   First edition hardcover -signed/ ltd

   First edition hardcover -signed/ ltd

B- format paperback

B- format paperback

Paperback

Paperback

Paperback