Illustration By Bob Aufuldish
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Dust jacket illustration by Bob Aufuldish.

Introduction by Karen Joy Fowler.

Michael Blumlein was one of the most singular writers to be associated with the science fiction genre. Active from the 1980s until his death in 2019, he produced a body of work notable for its literary ambition, its urbanity, its depth and breadth of subject matter, and its sly deadpan humor.

A medical doctor and San Francisco native, Blumlein’s profession and locale deeply informed his fiction. The physician and the author were fascinated by the human body, mind, and spirit, and their always complex connections. These two perspectives on the same subject, clinical and compassionate, created a unique parallax.

He wrote several novels, but the short story and the novella were central to his art.

Long includes all of the longer stories and novellas Blumlein published in his lifetime. They come from the last decade of his long career, displaying his mature mastery of craft, generosity of spirit, and unbounded imagination. “California Burning” concerns a son’s attempt to come to terms with his father’s difficult, perhaps alien, legacy. “Longer” is a brilliant, penetrating short novel about an alien artifact that interrogates the nature of life, and how much is enough.

Also included are a previously unpublished one-act play, “No Fast Dancing,” and a brilliant, moving essay, “Thoreau’s Microscope,” in which the author confronts his own mortality.

Limited: 750 numbered hardcover copies


Table of Contents:

  • Introduction by Karen Joy Fowler
  • California Burning
  • The Roberts
  • Success
  • Choose Poison, Choose Life
  • No Fast Dancing
  • Longer
  • Thoreau’s Microscope

From Paul di Filippo at Locus Online:

“Theodore Sturgeon was at heart a romantic who believed in testing his characters to destruction, presenting them with ‘impossible’ challenges precisely slanted to their basic natures, which they must overcome to reach stability and happiness, in a universe slightly weighted towards goodness and grace. Blumlein reminds me often of Sturgeon, except that his characters generally fail their ordeals in a cosmos that is indifferent at best and hostile at worst. Which worldview hews more accurately to reality is debatable. But like Sturgeon, Blumlein was deeply authentic, caring, and desirous of sharing his vision with the world.”

Bob Aufuldish
Michael Blumlein
352 pages
United States
In Print