Out of this World

The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break

By Steven Sherrill

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The half-man, half-bull supposedly slain by Theseus in the labyrinth is actually working as a cook at Grub's Rib in a small town in North Carolina.
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The Afterlife Diet

By Daniel Pinkwater

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In a heaven reserved for the obese, Milton Green, a second-rate editor who died under mysterious circumstances, ponders his life, his romance with an equally obese woman, and the conditions of his demise.

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Spilling Clarence

By Anne Ursu

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"What if you could suddenly remember everything that ever happened to you, every joy and every sorrow that you had ever endured? Would it be a blessing--or a curse? This is the fate of the residents of the town of Clarence, who fall under the spell of a strange and powerful drug that unlocks their memories. The past comes flooding back without the buffer of time, and the townspeople, young and old, find themselves awash in their own reminiscences--of love and death, of war and childhood, of happiness they've experienced, and sins they've committed."
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Ray in Reverse

By Daniel Wallace

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"Sitting in Last Words group where everyone is recounting their last words on earth, Ray is embarrassed. He didn't declare his love. He didn't say anything symbolic. He didn't reveal his benevolence or goodwill. In fact, he didn't even finish his sentence. His words didn't measure up, and now he can't seem to get them out of his head. Now, in Heaven, he has time to reflect on his short life of fifty years. This is the darkly humorous story of that life, told backward."
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The Intuitionist

By Colson Whitehead

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"It is a time of calamity in a major metropolitan city's Department of Elevator Inspectors, and Lila Mae Watson, the first black female elevator inspector in the history of the department, is at the center of it. There are two warring factions within the department: the Empiricists, who work by the book and who dutifully check for striations on the winch cable and such; and the Intuitionists, who are simply able to enter the elevator cab in question, meditate, and intuit any defects.

"Lila Mae is an Intuitionist and, it just so happens, has the highest accuracy rate in the entire department. But when an elevator in a new city building goes into total freefall on Lila Mae's watch, chaos ensues. Sabotage is the obvious explanation: It's an election year in the Elevator Guild, and the good-old-boy Empiricists would love nothing more than to assign the blame to an Intuitionist, and a colored one at that. But Lila Mae is never wrong.

"The sudden appearance of excerpts from the lost notebooks of Intuitionism's founder, James Fulton, has also caused quite a stir. The notebooks describe Fulton's work on the 'black box,' a perfect elevator that could reinvent the city as radically as the first passenger elevator did when patented by Elisha Otis in the nineteenth century. When Lila Mae goes underground to investigate the crash, she becomes involved in the search for the portions of the notebooks that are still missing and uncovers a secret that will change her life forever."

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Fluke, or I know Why the Winged Whale Sings

By Christopher Moore

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"Just why do humpback whales sing? That's the question that has marine behavioral biologist Nate Quinn and his crew poking, charting, recording, and photographing very big, wet, gray marine mammals. Until the extraordinary day when a whale lifts its tail into the air to display a cryptic message spelled out in foot-high letters: Bite me. Trouble is, Nate's beginning to wonder if he hasn't spent just a little too much time in the sun. 'Cause no one else on his team saw a thing, not his longtime partner, Clay Demodocus; not their saucy young research assistant; not even the spliff-puffing white-boy Rastaman Kona (ne Preston Applebaum). But later, when a roll of film returns from the lab missing the crucial tail shot, and his research facility is trashed, Nate realizes something very fishy indeed is going on."
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Rapture

By David Sosnowski

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A virus is stalking America, but instead of killing the sufferers, it makes them sprout wings. Thus, a new race is born--as is a new form of racism--Angelism.

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Humans

By Donald E. Westlake

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Disillusioned with His own creation, God has decided to wipe humanity out for good, but the rag-tag collection of human misfits His chief angel has selected to trigger the Apocalypse will endanger this divine plan.

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The Tooth Fairy

By Graham Joyce

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It began as an experiment in college -- a seemingly harmless investigation into "lucid dreaming:-- the ability to control one's dreams.
Sam and his friends are like any gang of normal young boys…until the day Sam wakes to find the Tooth Fairy sitting on the edge of his bed.

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Practical Magic

By Alice Hoffman

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For more than two hundred years, the Owens women had been blamed for everything that went wrong in their Massachusetts town. And Gillian and Sally endured that fate as well; as children, the sisters were outsiders. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, but all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One would do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they shared brought them back--almost as if by magic...

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