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Fables from the Fountain [Paperback]

Neil Gaiman , Stephen Baxter , Charles Stross , James Lovegrove , Eric Brown , Adam Roberts , Ian Whates , Ian Watson , Liz Williams , David Langford
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.61 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

9 May 2011
The hardback edition is signed by all the authors and limited to just 200 numbered copies.

Written as homage to Arthur C. Clarke's classic 'Tales from the White Hart', the book features many of today's top genre writers.

The Fountain, a traditional London pub situated in Holborn, just off Chancery Lane, where Michael, the landlord, serves excellent real ales and dodgy ploughman's, ably assisted by barmaids Sally and Bogna (from Poland).

The Fountain, in whose Paradise bar a group of friends - scientists, writers and genre fans - meet regularly on a Tuesday night to swap anecdotes, reveal wondrous events from their past, tell tall tales, talk of classified scientific invention and, maybe, just maybe, save the world...

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: NewCon Press (9 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907069240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907069246
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,009,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

For more information see www.wearenarrative.wordpress.com

Update 25th November 2012:
Today sees the launch of a major project by my co-author Ian Watson and I, a three novel modern / medieval tecno-thriller 'The Waters of Destiny', of which we are very proud :) . All three books are available simultaneously: 'Assassins' , 'Tongue of Knowledge', and 'Death Overflows'. Angus Donald , bestselling author of The Outlaw Chronicles, has this to say about book One:

"Fluidly written, with finely drawn characters and spot-on historical research, Assassins (Book 1 of The Waters of Destiny) is a tightly plotted international thriller that flips effortlessly between the 12th and 21st centuries to tell a gripping tale of ancient hatreds and modern-day nightmares. Starring a murderous sect of medieval Muslims - that may just have survived into our own age - a Christian fundamentalist US Government agent hot on their trail, and a sexy Canadian history professor looking for love in all the wrong places, Assassins packs in conspiracy, action, romance and clock-ticking suspense into one thoroughly enjoyable Dan Brown-style yarn. Highly recommended."

The series is a departure from SF for both of us, and we thoroughly enjoyed both the shared writing experience and the deep research into arcane scientific and religious knowledge, both medieval and modern.

2nd June 2012:
Having shared space in several SF anthologies with well-known authors such as Stephen Baxter, Neil Gaiman, Ian Watson, Charles Stross, Brian Stableford, Liz Williams, Ken Macleod, Pat Cadigan, Adam Roberts, Sarah Pinborough and more, Andy was encouraged to strike out on his own, and now has an SF novel released: 'The Outcast and the Little One' (in hardback, paperback, & kindle).

"I don't even remember learning to read, it seemed like I always could. From the beginning I was always very interested in books; but factual books as much as fiction. Physics, the big picture of the Universe, this was an early love, and Carl Sagan an inspiring hero, which all led to a degree in that subject.

But Evolution has been my most passionate intellectual hobby during later decades (I was born in 1958 by the way). Most of my stories tend to have an underpinning of evolutionary mechanisms, from the 'big engines of history' to the tricksy workings of individual memes. How evolution applies to, and operates within, sentient societies, is the juicy core of the fruit for me. Though I've lightened up somewhat lately, it has been said by some that many of my stories are not for the faint hearted, though they leave a deep and lasting impression :) "

'Rescue Stories' (see book list) was a runner up in the British Science Fiction Association's short story competition of 2008, and was first published in a special edition of the Association's magazine, Focus, in March 2009.

Customer Reviews

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3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This was an interesting themed anthology, based around a group of people telling stories in the kind of pub I wish was MY local... It is based on Arthur C Clarke's Tales From The White Hart, and indeed the last story by Adam Roberts has some fun with several other Clarke tales.

What's nice about the book is that, despite the many different authors, each story is linked by being set in the same location, and gradually the reader gets a real sense of The Fountain, its staff, and its patrons. The individual stories all share a light-hearted, almost whimsical tone, defiantly old-fashioned - like the pub itself. There's not a bad one among them, but particular favourites of mine were 'Transients' by Stephen Baxter, "And Weep Like Alexander" by Neil Gaiman (on typically fine form), and "Book Wurms" by Andy West.

This is the kind of anthology that as a reader I both love and hate - love because it's introduced me to many new authors; hate because I'll be spending yet more money on buying books by those newly discovered authors.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous 14 Aug 2011
By D. Harris TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is an intriguing book, a collection of short SF stories written as a tribute to Arthur C Clarke's Tales from the White Hart which I have to confess I haven't read (yet). The set up is good - a bunch of academics and SF writers get together every Tuesday night in the eponymous Fountain, a traditional pub in Holburn, London (one story is told in a similar Edinburgh setting), that's oddly difficult to find, and swap stories. There is a varied cast of fictional storytellers, overlapping fuzzily with the real SF authors who wrote each tale, and it's left pleasingly unclear whether the "I" who narrates most of the stories (ie as the listener who hears the tales) is the same person or whether, as the storyteller of the week rotates, so does the "listener".

The book contains stories by Ian Whates, Stephen Baxter ("Transients" - my personal favourite, with a thought provoking account of alien life), Ian Watson, Paul Graham Raven, James Lovegrove, Neil Gaiman, Colin Bruce, Charles Stross, Liz William, Eric Brown, Steve Longworth ("The Cyberseeds - probably the funniest, with a punning payoff that you may see coming but which nevertheless is just so right) Henry Gee, Andy West, David Langford, Andrew J Wilson, Peter Crowther, Tom Hunter and Adam Roberts.

As with most collections of this sort, it would be invidious to comment on the qualities of individual stories since their approach and content vary so widely. They are all fairly short, puns and word play abound and I think everyone will find something here to like, and for me, they were all of a good standard - if I was forced rate them individually I'd have said there were one or two ***, most **** and a couple of *****.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pub-based sci-fi, there should be more of it 25 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Fables From the Fountain is a collection of stories that pays homage to the writing of Arthur C. Clarke. The stories are all set in a fictitious pub (the Fountain) and each story finds a group of regulars, with the occasional visiting `irregular', gathering for pint and a story.

I really enjoyed this book. Each story is interesting in its own right, but they are all coordinated in such a way that they seem to overlap and mingle. It feels just like a lively conversation with friends in a friendly local pub. Each story contains familiar landmarks - the pub itself, the "old bodger" ale, and a Polish barmaid named Bogna. You could read this book for the atmosphere as much as for the stories.

Anyone who has read Clarke's story The Nine Billion Names of God will probably remember the ending ("overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out"). In a very entertaining riff on this classic, Adam Roberts picks up the theme of stars going out and... well, I don't want to spoil it for you, but I had to grin at Robert's explanation of this unlikely scenario. In fact I grinned through most of this book, enjoying the light-hearted treatment of interesting though sometimes nerdy sci-fi themes.

The Fountain might be an old-fashioned pub, but the authors have not been shy with modern touches. Alongside pump handles and damp bar-mats there are smart phones, twitter and for the hard-core nerds there's even a mention of bioperl. It's as if these stories were written specifically to entertain me, or someone like me.

If I have one criticism it is that some of the stories seem to end rather abruptly, although if I'm honest this probably reflects my disappointment as each story ended rather than any fault in their construction.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what it says on the tin 8 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A god example of why Kindle can really disappoint. This is dreary and self-indulgent. The only people who could possibly want to read it are the authors and their mums. Not even worthy of a vanity publishing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting anthology based on Arthur C Clarke... 11 Jun 2011
By J. Everington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This was an interesting themed anthology, based around a group of people telling stories in the kind of pub I wish was MY local... It is based on Arthur C Clarke's Tales From The White Hart, and indeed the last story by Adam Roberts has some fun with several other Clarke tales.

What's nice about the book is that, despite the many different authors, each story is linked by being set in the same location, and gradually the reader gets a real sense of The Fountain, its staff, and its patrons. The individual stories all share a light-hearted, almost whimsical tone, defiantly old-fashioned - like the pub itself. There's not a bad one among them, but particular favourites of mine were 'Transients' by Stephen Baxter, "And Weep Like Alexander" by Neil Gaiman (on typically fine form), and "Book Wurms" by Andy West.

This is the kind of anthology that as a reader I both love and hate - love because it's introduced me to many new authors; hate because I'll be spending yet more money on buying books by those newly discovered authors.
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