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Punktown [Kindle Edition]

Jeffrey Thomas
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Considered by many critics and readers as one of the new classics of SF collections, now reissued by DarkFuse for Kindle.

In the city they call Punktown, on a planet where a hundred sentient species collide, you can become a creator of clones. You can become a piece of performance art. You might even become a library of sorrows...

Table Of Contents:

The Reflections Of Ghosts
Pink Pills
The Flaying Season
Union Dick
Dissecting The Soul
Precious Metal
Sisters Of No Mercy
Heart for Heart’s Sake
The Ballad Of Moosecock Lip
The Pressman
The Palace Of Nothingness
The Rusted Gates Of Heaven
Unlimited Daylight
The Library Of Sorrows
Nom de Guerre
The Color Shrain

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 488 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: DarkFuse (27 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0073M7NYY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #211,797 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi, prose and horror wrapped in imagination 11 Oct 2011
By 2theD
Jeffrey Thomas explores his Punktown universe in this collection of 18 short stories. Punktown (officially know as Paxton) is a city on the planet of Oasis which is inhabited by indigenous aliens, humans and a slew of other alien races (some human-like and others... not so much). The entire collection isn't horrific enough for me to able to label in the `horror' genre, but rather it's more of a science fiction novel which would comfortably fit the mixed genre of sci-fi/horror. These two essential elements are presented in each story. There's also a fair bit a prose and word usage which the reader endeared amidst the horror all snug in the wealth of imagination.

The Reflections of Ghosts - 4/5: Drew makes clones for customers, which happen to be mangled versions of himself, so that they could do whatever they please to the helpless copies. He makes a female clone for a wealthy customer who he can mistakenly relate to on a basic level and finds himself in a dilemma. 15 pages

Pink Pills - 4/5: Marisol finds she has a type of tumor named Orb Weaver's Tumor, which is growing from a lump in her jaw. At the alien physician's office, a technician befriends her who could also provide a truth to her lingering suspicions of a rumor. 12 pages

The Flaying Season - 4/5: Kohl has an interest in reviving her erased memories of two traumatic episodes. Could her sister refresh her memory? Could the doctor reload her memories into her brain? Or could a coffee shop customer be a link to her past? 10 pages

Union Dick - 3/5: Yolk is a Union representative and veteran from the Union Wars. His job is to ensure that factories have enough active human employees to work in tandem with their robotic counterparts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Punktown 21 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A world populated by weird fantastic characters, dislocated in space and time in Punktown your darkest dreams have come to life.
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly 15 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, interesting place 'Punktown' I think I visited it when I was a salesman once or twice! lol.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully the beginning of a long career... 26 Dec 2001
By Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer - Published on
Punktown, a near-future city in the vein of traditional post-apocalyptic or cyberpunk visions, is the heart of Jeffrey Thomas's collection of short stories, all of which take place in the eponymous city, Punktown - the affectionate name for the city Paxton on the alien world Oasis. The Choom, fairly human in appearance and culture, save for their shark-like mouths, are the natives of the planet and have opened their world for immigrants, which has made Paxton a melting pot of alien cultures, a new New York City. Dozens of races intermingle, but, invariably, the protagonists in each of the narratives is human, their antagonists either aliens - other immigrants to Oasis - or the city itself. The majority of stories in the collection of nine concern male protagonists with poor, or no, relationships with women, or, as in the case of "The Flaying Season", a woman with poor relationships with men: Punktown not only explores humanity's inability to interact healthily with their fellow inhabitants in the city of Paxton, but also itself.
Most interesting is the first story in the collection, "The Reflection of Ghosts", which approximates the viewing of a David Cronenberg film, but in prose. The plot concerns an artist whose art is created through the manipulation of his clones, in their incubation periods, to create horribly disfigured versions of himself. Like Cronenberg, Drew, the artist, is concerned with the possibilities of the flesh, finding infinite variations of life in the fusion of technology and genetic science. Drew is commissioned to construct a female clone of himself, for wealthy clients, most of whom rape, torture, and/or kill their commissioned clones as the clones are created to be rather mindless and as such the rich have no compunctions about doing such, but as one might expect, Drew finds himself transfixed by the slightly intelligent female version of himself. Sparing the details, the sexual relationship of Drew with his female clone is at once wholly engrossing and equally repellant - impossible to put down as the best horror achieves and lingering in its effects.
Unfortunately, the rest of the collection exists in the shadow and excellency of "The Reflection of Ghosts". While some of the stories are rather interesting, none of them approach the sheer visceral impact of the first story in the collection. Other stories of interest include "Heart for Heart's Sake" and "Wakizashi", the former a further examination of future art made possible by technology, the latter a study of direct minoritarian cultural interaction. "Heart for Heart's Sake" details the purchase of a performance artist by a wealthy alien, who then proceeds to rape the artist. Only when she sabotages the structure in which she dances does he finally set her free, the work of art destroyed in her sabotage and the buyer's possession of her. Nimbus, the performance artist, is influenced by her desire to return to her lover, thus making the narrative overwhelmingly sentimental. Similarly sentimental is "Wakizashi" wherein a Japanese prison guard is confronted with the sacrifice of an imprisoned man for his wife's benefit: It is only through this alien culture that so mirrors his ancestral culture that he realizes the merits of his ancient heritage, emblematized in the wakizashi of the title. When the sacrificing husband is accidentally killed, it is only the sacrifice of the Japanese prison guard that saves his wife - predictable, but effective through its characterization.
While sentimental, the final story in the collection is a rather interesting examination of cybernetics. "The Library of Sorrow" concerns a homicide detective with a cybernetic implant that gifts him with perfect, eidetic memory. MacDiaz, the protagonist, is haunted by the horrific images of crime scenes and the beauty encountered in his youth. As such, he is unable to cope with the mounting conflicts that occur between his memories and his life, his past and his present. Eventually, only through losing his memory can MacDiaz cope with the present. Thus, the stories are largely sentimental, which distracts from the horrific aspects of many of them: Without the sentimental aspects thrown into the various narratives, they would be explicitly horrific. As such, while most of the stories are interesting and the characters well developed, Thomas seems trapped in a romantic mode. "The Reflection of Ghosts", while achingly sentimental, is so perverse that the sentimentality acts as a trap; otherwise the romantic aspect of the stories deadens the horror that would otherwise compel readers, both in their reading of Punktown and elsewhere.
Available at ..., Thomas has authored a parallel website to further explore the world of Punktown. The site features later and shorter material that wasn't included in Punktown. The most interesting of the various material are the doctored images, although most of them are rather amateur in nature. If at all interested in the collection of short stories, a visit to the site might be in order: While simplistic, the site offers a wonderful introduction to the aesthetics at the heart of Punktown, an aesthetic that is at once horrific and sentimental and bound to establish Thomas as an important voice in contemporary horror.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Lost In Punktown�you won�t want to come back out 24 April 2004
By Schtinky - Published on
All I can say to this new author is...WOW! What a great compilation of stories. Interesting, well written, imaginative, and absorbing; you won't want to leave Punktown once you submerge yourself into its seedy depths.
On the planet of Oasis, an Earth established colony is formed called Paxton, but is known to everyone on Oasis as Punktown. In this colony, people from many different worlds and cultures live crowded into the apartments and streets, the colony overflowing with teeming life forms from the native Choom to the strange L'leweds and Antses and Waiais and of course the Humans.
Although each chapter is a separate story, they all blend into each other as a single fully developed tale of the colony itself, and the lives that carry out their existence there. When I read the first two chapters, I found myself being a little disappointed that they seemed to end rather "unfinished", like there should have been more wrap up to that particular tale. But as you read along, this feeling will fade because you realize that the overall concept of the book is that "life goes on", and you begin to feel the continuum of Punktown itself; as an entity comprised of individuals and not the individuals themselves.
My favorite chapter has to be the first one, "The Reflections of Ghosts", about an artist who clones himself to make artwork out of his creations, twisting the helix here and there to cause mutations according to whatever specs his customers wish. He calls them "Starfish" because of their complete lack of intelligence, but his narcissistic captivation with his "art" will be his downfall. Wait till you read about his "wall piece". Yuck.
Next, in "The Flaying Season", we follow a human woman named Kohl who lives in the Antse part of the neighborhood, and cannot seem to let go of her past even though it has already been erased.
"Wakizashi" is a very strange tale, introducing us to the L'lewed, one of the strangest residents Jeffrey Thomas dreamed up for Punktown. This chapter gives us a reason to ponder just how far does Tolerance extend when you are dealing with such diverse cultures?
"Precious Metal" is a new look at "Man vs Machine", a rather interesting tale that would be at home in Asimov's "I Robot". (Yes, it's that good!) Mob bosses and a robot jazz band and beautiful women make this tale a tasty and satisfying addition to this collection.
"Heart For Heart's Sake" is a beautiful tale of love conquering both evil, and artistic desires. Teal has created the perfect piece of art, his best work ever, and his girlfriend Nimbus does the performance art within his creation. But what price could possibly be worth such a treasure?
"Face" is a different kind of love story; the unconditional love of a parent for their child. This chapter is not about the conquering power of love, but the gut-wrenching pain that familial love can cause, and just how far one will go to never let go of their love. Or avenge it.
"The Palace of Nothingness" is a short, futuristic Haunted House story.
"Immolation" is an interesting and sad tale of a "Culture"; which is a clone specifically created for work. Would these "Cultures" have feelings? Love? Anger? Would there be room in their "brain-drip educated" minds to feel friendship, affection, or perhaps even seek vengeance?
The last chapter in the book, "The Library Of Sorrows", is about a cop named MacDiaz who has a photographic memory chip installed in his brain. This proves to be great for solving crimes and tracking killers, but just how many grisly scenes can he handle having total image recall of? At what point does one grow weary of the carnage?
This is the first book I have read of Jeffrey Thomas's, and I must say it is absolutely wonderful. I loved the world he created, and the different aliens. His descriptions of the strange beings bring them out into flesh without teetering over into boring repetitiveness or patronizing "you should know what I'm thinking" prose. The characters are well though out, believable, and likeable; and the scenes they wander through flow like mind candy past the eye. Punktown is a fast read, which is good, because you will want to stay up reading this one. Enjoy!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling and genre-defying read! 8 Feb 2003
By Cenobyte - Published on
Jeffrey Thomas' is a grim, grimy, and enthralling world. A genre-busting collection, Punktown has cyberpunk and horror (even a touch of splatterpunk) in its lineage, and a compelling collection of tales merging a smattering of species on a faraway planet with the gritty, crumbling, degraded desperation of life in a huge megopolis slowly suffering the unstoppable enfeeblement of its advancing age. A future noir in its own vein. Thomas' stories bring life and death, excess and blight, triumph and failure to Punktown with a clear, sharp writing style. Punktown is not to be missed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Punktown, a gem from a small press. 27 July 2000
By Raymond M. Coulombe - Published on
Punktown blends S/F and elements of horror to create a future world of disturbing possibilities. Nine short stories, set on planet far away in time and space, in a city gone tough, vicious and criminal. Aliens, clones, robots, and something really scary, humans, inhabit a strange city with strange rules. Thomas gives us characters, no matter how flawed, that we can root for. Strange things lurk here, but the strangest of all are those that bring grace, atonement, justice and freedom. Enter Punktown, but don't turn your back on anybody and don't go unarmed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best short story anthologies I have ever read 24 May 2013
By P. Zimm - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a short story addict. I saw this guy's punktown suggested to me because I read one of his short bios after a short story he wrote. So I got it. Wow. Great characters. Great stories. Can't believe this guy is not a bigger known deal. So much better than most stuff out there. If I was a millionaire I would just pay this guy to write. Read my other reviews. They rarely gush. Going to buy another of his books ASAP.
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