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The Start of the End of It All

The Start of the End of It All

And Other Stories
A collection of stories by

Publisher's Weekly
Emshwiller's ( Carmen Dog ) exotic worlds are like carnival mirrors that distort our perceptions, letting us see ourselves in new, wise ways. Animals and aliens in these 18 stories embody the fears and hopes of disenfranchised women and attachment-wary men. In the title story, cat-loathing aliens plan to take over Earth, enlisting the aid of a middle-aged divorcee. She agrees to marry one of them, musing that ''sometimes one has to make do (we older women do, anyway) with the peculiar, the alien or the partly alien, the egocentric, the disgruntled, the dissipated. . . . '' Many of the stories have a feminist slant, but Emshwiller portrays men and even dogs with compassion, and marvelously bizarre humor, as well. In ''Pelt,'' a slavishly obedient dog is urged to assert his independence; ''Looking Down'' presents a freedom-loving bird-man who gradually is tamed by love. Love, in fact, is the unifying theme of these stories; imagined or real, it can transform the most cynical of beings. Emshwiller's characters embrace the unexpected and extraordinary; their lives leap from the mundane to the wondrous in a surreal instant, and the reader feels transported, too.

Library Journal
Emshwiller's latest volume of short fiction displays much the same spirit as her previous works. Offering 18 stories, she writes with incredible imagination of human beings and animals. Many of her characters are outside mainstream society by virtue of their age, appearance, or temperament. In ''The Start of the End of It All,'' aliens come to Earth and join forces with divorced women to take over the planet. Under alien influence, the women (and herds of ewes) give birth to thousands of silvery little minnows, which will grow into more aliens. In ''Moon Songs,'' a beautiful young girl falls in love with a singing mite and meets a premature end. The sensibilities in this book are extraordinary; it is a work of fantasy and science ficiton, with a feminist twist. Readers are likely to find themselves thinking, ''How did the author ever think of this?!'' while reading these highly unusual stories.-- Kimberly G. Allen, National Assn. of Home Builders Lib., Washington, D.C.

Used availability for Carol Emshwiller's The Start of the End of It All

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Hardback Editions

January 1991 : USA Hardback
Title: Start Of The End Of It All
Author(s): Carol Emshwiller
ISBN: 1-56279-001-3 / 978-1-56279-001-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mercury House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

January 1991 : USA Paperback
Title: The Start of the End of It All
Author(s): Carol Emshwiller
ISBN: 1-56279-002-1 / 978-1-56279-002-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mercury House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

April 1990 : UK Paperback
Title: The Start of the End of it All and Other Stories
Author(s): Carol Emshwiller
ISBN: 0-7043-4219-7 / 978-0-7043-4219-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: The Women's Press Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

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