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Abyss: Two Novellas

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liked it 3.0  ·  Rating details ·  22 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Collects two novellas: "The Plastic Abyss" (1971) which was nominated for the 1971 Nebula Award for Best Novella, & "Stranger in the House" (1968).
Enter Kate Wilhelm's realm of extrasensory perception, alternate universes, alien monsters, & something else, something much more strange—the abyss that lurks near each of us, ready to destroy us, or set us free.
1st, 158 pages
Published June 1971 by Doubleday & Co. (Garden City, NY)
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Nate D
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it
First novella, The Plastic Abyss, is surprisingly compelling and layered. Why surprising, when I've been meaning to read Wilhelm for ages? Lots of mediocre reviews seem to have distracted me a bit, but this is, in fact, quite great. A PKD-like peeling and bifurcating of reality, across solid conceptual conservations about images playing over the surface of nothingness, or the unknowable. Second novella is a bit less grippingly mysterious, but also decent. Must read more Wilhelm, obviously. I thi ...more
Michael
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
So this book has two novellas. First is "The Plastic Abyss" which is a great story about a woman who can be in two places at once and experience both places. The confusing narrative style worked well for it. Now on to the second novella, "Stranger in the House" which tells us about an alien inside an old house that an old couple moves into. First, aliens just aren't my thing for sci-fi and this story was just horrible. If it was by itself, the story would get 1/2 a star. So if you read this book ...more
Shira and Ari Evergreen
Jun 22, 2009 added it
Recommends it for: sci fi fans, feminist sci fi fans, people who like philip k. dick and margaret atwood
Shelves: scifi
This was surprisingly awesome. I liked the campy cover and picked it up cheap or free (can't remember which), and then shelved it. I picked it up the other day and could barely put it down - it's got smart, interesting characters and clever time-and-space-twisting plotlines, told in a dreamy, poetic style. The second novella is interesting from an animal rights / anti-speciesist point of view, too - it features empathy and communication across species lines.
Niccy
Sep 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
The first story in the book was quite confusing, with a wishy-washy female who seemed to give herself up into her marriage and lose all identity of herself, and also seemed unable to figure out what was happening to her in the story.
The second story in the book I was unable to read past 5 pages.
Erik Graff
Jul 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Wilhelm fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Two forgettable science fiction novels by Kate Wilhelm read during the summer vacation.
Laura Huber
Feb 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Really enjoyed the second story.
Jim
Mar 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Abyss (4-stars) is much better than the other novella, Stranger in the House (1-star).
lou
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
so good for a random thrift find - like the 60s feel, the gothic leanings, etc. wish someone would tell me if she has anything else worth reading bc it sounds like a lot to wade through otherwise.
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Kate Wilhelm’s first short story, “The Pint-Sized Genie” was published in Fantastic Stories in 1956. Her first novel, MORE BITTER THAN DEATH, a mystery, was published in 1963. Over the span of her career, her writing has crossed over the genres of science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy and magical realism, psychological suspense, mimetic, comic, and family sagas, a multimedia stage producti ...more
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