Great science fiction looks outward toward the intricacy of the universe in order to look inward at the complexity of the human condition. In Thumbprints, Nebula and Locus Award–winning author Pamela Sargent brings together short stories from across her career, each filled with rich characterization and eclectic, fascinating plots.
From Mongolia to Venus, from the distant past to the near future, these works of short fiction explore what it means to be human. Ranging from lyrically mystical to bitterly realistic to laughably satirical, Thumbprints is a shining catalog of all that Sargent has contributed to the genre.
This ebook features an introduction by James Morrow and an afterword by Sargent herself.read more
Pamela Sargent sold her first published story during her senior year in college at the State University of New York/Binghamton University, where she earned a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy and also studied ancient history and Greek.She is the author of several highly praised novels, among them Cloned Lives (1976), The Sudden Star (1979), The Golden Space (1982), The Alien Upstairs (1983), and Alien Child (1988).Her novel Venus of Dreams (1986) was selected by The Easton Press for its ìMasterpieces of Science Fictionî series; writer and physicist Gregory Benford described it as ìa sensitive portrait of people caught up in a vast project. It tells us much about how people react to technologyís relentless hand, and does so deftly...one of the peaks of recent science fiction.îVenus of Shadows (1988), the sequel, was called ìa masterly piece of world-buildingî by James Morrow and ìalive with humanity, moving, and memorableî by Locus.The Shore of Women (1986), one of Sargentís best-known books, was praised as ìa compelling and emotionally involving novelî by Publishers Weekly; Gerald Jonas of the New York Times said about this novel: ìI applaud Ms. Sargentís ambition and admire the way she has unflinchingly pursued the logic of her vision.î The Washington Post Book World has called her ìone of the genre's best writers.îSargent is also the author of Earthseed (1983), chosen as a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association, and the short fiction collections Starshadows (1977) and The Best of Pamela Sargent (1987).Her novels Watchstar (1980), Eye of the Comet (1984), and Homesmind (1984) comprise a trilogy.She has won the Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and has been a finalist for the Hugo Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. Her work has been translated into French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Japanese, Polish, Chinese, Russian, and Serbo-Croatian.Ruler of the Sky (1993), Sargentís epic historical novel about Genghis Khan, published in the United States by Crown Publishers and in Britain by Chatto & Windus, tells the Mongol conquerorís story largely from the points-of-view of women. Gary Jennings, bestselling author of the historical novels Aztec and The Journeyer, said about Ruler of the Sky: ìThis formidably researched and exquisitely written novel is surely destined to be known hereafter as the definitive history of the life and times and conquests of Genghis, mightiest of Khans.î Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, anthropologist and author of Reindeer Moon and The Animal Wife, commented: ìScholarly without ever seeming pedantic, the book is fascinating from cover to cover and does admirable justice to a man who might very well be called historyís single most important character.îSargent is also an editor and anthologist. In the 1970s, she edited the Women of Wonder series, the first collections of science fiction by women; her other anthologies include Bio-Futures and, with British writer Ian Watson as co-editor, Afterlives. Two anthologies, Women of Wonder, The Classic Years: Science Fiction by Women from the 1940s to the 1970s and Women of Wonder, The Contemporary Years: Science Fiction by Women from the 1970s to the 1990s, were published by Harcourt Brace in 1995; Publishers Weekly called these two books ìessential reading for any serious sf fan.î With artist Ron Miller, she collaborated on Firebrands: The Heroines of Science Fiction and Fantasy (1998), published by Thunder's Mouth Press in the U.S. and Collins & Brown/Paper Tiger in the U.K.Her novel Climb the Wind: A Novel of Another America was published by HarperPrism in January of 1999 and was a finalist for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. Gahan Wilson, writing in Realms of Fantasy, calls this book ìa most enjoyable and entertaining new alternate history adventure...which brings a new dimension to the form,î while Science Fiction Chronicle describes it as ìa first class work from a first class writer.î Child of Venus, the third novel in Sargentís Venus trilogy, was published in May 2001 by Eos/HarperCollins, thus completing a trilogy Publishers Weekly has termed ìmasterful...as in previous books, Sargent brings her world to life with sympathetic characters and crisp, concise language.îTwo collections, The Mountain Cage and Other Stories (Meisha Merlin) and Behind the Eyes of Dreamers and Other Short Novels (Thorndike Press/Five Star) were published in 2002, and a third collection of fantasy stories, Eye of Flame (Thorndike Press/Five Star), came out at the end of 2003.Michael Moorcock has said about her writing: ìIf you have not read Pamela Sargent, then you should make it your business to do so at once. She is in many ways a pioneer, both as a novelist and as a short story writer...She is one of the best.îHer more recent publications include 2004's Conqueror Fantastic (DAW), an anthology of original stories, and Thumbprints (Golden Gryphon), a collection of Sargentís short fiction with an introduction by James Morrow.In 2007, Tor Books reissued Earthseed, along with a new novel for younger readers, Farseed, which Voice of Youth Advocates, in a starred review, calls ìextremely well-done. Sargent is a significant figure in modern science fictionÖand this novel is a fine example of her work.î Farseed was also selected by the New York Public Library for their 2008 Books for the Teen Age list of best books for young adults. A third novel, Seedship, will be published by Tor in 2010.Pamela Sargent lives in Albany, New York.Pamela Sargent's Web site is located at: pamelasargent.comread more