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First published: 1992
Publisher: Little, Brown, published 25 Jun 1992
ISBN: 1857230167, Hardcover, 304 pages
Size: 22 x 14.4 x 2.8 cm
Publisher: Orbit, published 28 Jan 1993
ISBN: 1857230809, Paperback, 304 pages
Size: 17.7 x 10.8 x 1.8 cm
Publisher: Hachette Digital, published 1 Oct 2009
ISBN: B002TZ3ELQ, Kindle edition, 304 pages
This novel is included in the omnibus Tall Stories: Omnibus 5.
Book synopsis (The back of the book says)
BOYS WILL BE ... BOYS?Read more about the cover artists in the FAQ.
Quotes from this book can be found in the quote-files.
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What critics have said
Quotes from Ye Gods!
The best definition of an immortal is someone who hasn't died yet.
Ms. Fisichelli's eyebrows shot up like share prices in April.
Telepathic communication is very rapid indeed; compared with two seasoned telepaths thinking quickly, words are second-class letters to Penzane in Dundee on a Sunday.
Jason squared his shoulders, drew the Sword of - I couldn't give a toss what it's supposed to be called, he said to himself, I shall call it Freckles - and took one step forward.
`Now then, Pol, you and I and Mary and the dog will form the rearguard, and the rest of us...'
...in the revised version to be found in the Shorter Harvard Orthodoxy:
Jason, meanwhile, was getting nicely into his rhytm. He had split the Helmet of Authority, sliced the thunderbolts into mortadella, shattered the Breastplate of Power and was just about to make an end of it when...
One view is that mankind has a desperate need to believe in something, preferably something so blatantly absurd that only blind, unquestioning faith will suffice - for example, the belief which sprang up in the late nineteenth century and was still widely current in Jason Derry's time and which held that human beings were not in fact created at all but were somehow the descendants of bald, mutant monkeys. The other view is that there is never anything much on television during the summer.
The plain truth of the matter is that if you put more than two or three atoms together in a confined space for any length of time, sooner or later they're going to get on each other's wick, and then they start hurling themselves about and colliding with each other. They also shout a lot, but since the science of physics is in its infancy, nobody has yet constructed an instrument sensitive enough to monitor the voices of millions of tiny atoms debating with each other whose turn it is to do the washing up. Probably just as well, if you ask me.
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