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Despite our best efforts to control our lives, the people we happen to meet often direct our sails, affecting how long we live, whom we marry, the children we have and the lives of others. In Escape Velocity-50 True Poems Richard Peres pulls us into the lives of his past friends and family with passion, wit and irony. He describes flashing moments whose impacts are lifelong and relentless, encapsulating a lifetime in a few chosen words: "Lacking creativity he did nothing not making the connection nor the intersection with her life " We identify almost immediately with our own lives, making us reflect on how we arrived to this point and how it all happened.
When her painkiller-addicted father suffers a stroke, fifteen-year old Lou goes to stay with her mother and takes advantage of the newly established relationship to figure out why her mother abandoned her at birth.
Today, movie theaters are packed with audiences of all ages marveling to exciting science fiction blockbusters, many of which are also critically acclaimed. However, when the science fiction film genre first emerged in the 1950s, it was represented largely by exploitation horror films—lurid, culturally disreputable, and appealing to a niche audience of children and sci-fi buffs. How did the genre evolve from B-movie to blockbuster? Escape Velocity charts the historical trajectory of American science fiction cinema, explaining how the genre transitioned from eerie low-budget horror like It Came from Outer Space to art films like Slaughterhouse-Five, and finally to the extraordinary popularity of hits like E.T. Bradley Schauer draws on primary sources such as internal studio documents, promotional materials, and film reviews to explain the process of cultural, aesthetic, and economic legitimation that occurred between the 1950s and 1980s, as pulp science fiction tropes were adapted to suit the tastes of mainstream audiences. Considering the inescapable dominance of today’s effects-driven blockbusters, Escape Velocity not only charts the history of science fiction film, but also gives an account of the origins of contemporary Hollywood.
For those who care about literature or simply love a good laugh (or both), Charles Portis has long been one of America’s most admired novelists. His 1968 novel True Grit is fixed in the contemporary canon, and four more have been hailed as comic masterpieces. Now, for the first time, his other writings—journalism, travel stories, short fiction, memoir, and even a play—have been brought together in Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany, his first new book in more than twenty years. All the familiar Portis elements are here: picaresque adventures, deadpan humor, an expert eye for detail and keen ear for the spoken word, and encounters with oddball characters both real and imagined. The collection encompasses the breadth of his fifty-year writing career, from his gripping reportage of the civil rights movement for the New York Herald Tribune to a comic short story about the demise of journalism in the twenty-first century. New to even the most ardent fan is his three-act play, Delray’s New Moon, performed onstage in 1996 and published here for the first time. Whether this is your first encounter with the world of Portis or a long-awaited return to it, you’ll agree with critic Ron Rosenbaum—whose essay appears here alongside tributes by other writers—that Portis “will come to be regarded as the author of classics on the order of a twentieth-century Mark Twain, a writer who captures the soul of America.”
An Unforgettable Journey into the Dark Heart of the Information Age In Escape Velocity Mark Dery takes is on an electrifying tour of the high-tech subcultures that both celebrate and critique our wired world: would-be cyborgs who believe the body is obsolete and dream of downloading their minds into computers, cyber-hippies who boost their brainpower with smart drugs and mind machines, on-line swingers seeking cybersex on electronic bulletin boards, techno-primitives who sport biomechanical tattoos of computer circuitry; and cyberpunk roboticists whose Mad Max contraptions duel to the death before howling crowds. Timely, trenchant, and provocative, Escape Velocity is the first truly critical inquiry into cyberculture-essential reading for everyone interested in computer culture and the shape of things to come.
Linguist Elios Campbell is thrilled to be granted flight time in a Colonial Guard fighter jet, until he catches sight of his pilot. Spending time with Sender Kinnison holds even more appeal than the flight itself. Sender's desire for other men is forbidden by his faith and his family. He tries to resist his attraction to Elios, who is unlike anyone he's ever known. When he fails, the incredible sex quickly leads to something deeper, forcing Sender to question his long-held beliefs. Then, duty calls Sender home to the repressed colony of Themis. Will he be forced to give up a future with Elios to honor the ghosts of his past? First published as Runaway Star, newly revised by the authors. 61,000 words
From the moment of a marriage’s heated inception to its period of luminous crowding and onward into distance and darkness, Bonnie Arning’s Escape Velocity asks if it’s possible to exist outside the only universe we’ve ever known. In modes both lyric and narrative, we are given a peephole into the height and decline of a marriage that begins beneath the moving lights of Las Vegas, Nevada, and traverses the devastating terrain of gambling, miscarriage, infidelity, and violence. Arning gives voice to divergent aspects of love and violence through her use of math problems, erasures, dictionary entries, structured stanzas, and sprawling free verse. This multiplicity of forms comes together to explore everything from pop culture references of domestic violence to cultural notions of victims and victimhood. However dark, collectively these poems tell a love story—an acceptance of our capability to love those who hurt us, but also the love-of-self required to slowly and steadily reach "the velocity to be everleaving." In the tradition of Eavan Boland and Louise Glück, Arning wrestles down and examines the terrible without flinching. We journey with her, engrossed by each difficult truth: a precipice near which we are both terrified to stand and transfixed by its unnerving insistence on beauty.

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