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James Morrow


James Morrow

"Apologue," reacts to the events through the perspective of three classic movie monsters. The results are perhaps not what one would expect from such earth-shaking creatures.

This story originally appeared on the Sci Fiction website in 2001. It was anthologized in Year's Best Fantasy 2 (2002), edited by David G. Hartwell, Kathryn Cramer and collected in The Cat's Pajamas & Other Stories (2004).

Read the full story for free at

Auspicious Eggs

James Morrow

Nebula Award nomintated novelette. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October-November 2000. The story can also be found in the anthologies One Lamp (2003), edited by Gordon van Gelder, and Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories (2011), edited by John Joseph Adams. It is included in the collections The Cat's Pajamas & Other Stories (2004) and Reality by Other Means: The Best Short Fiction of James Morrow (2015).

Bible Stories for Adults

James Morrow

Morrow unabashedly delves into matters both sacred and secular in this collection of short stories buoyed by his deliciously irreverent wit. Among the dozen selections is the Nebula Award-winning "Bible Stories for Adults, No. 17: The Deluge."

Table of Contents:

  • Preface - essay
  • Bible Stories for Adults, No. 17: The Deluge - (1988) - shortstory
  • Daughter Earth - (1991) - shortstory
  • Known But to God and Wilbur Hines - (1991) - shortstory
  • Bible Stories for Adults, No. 20: The Tower - (1990) - shortstory
  • Spelling God with the Wrong Blocks - (1987) - shortstory
  • The Assemblage of Kristin - (1984) - shortstory
  • Bible Stories for Adults, No. 31: The Covenant - (1989) - shortstory
  • Abe Lincoln in McDonald's - (1989) - shortstory
  • The Confessions of Ebenezer Scrooge - (1989) - shortstory
  • Bible Stories for Adults No. 46: The Soap Opera - (1994) - shortfiction
  • Diary of a Mad Deity - (1988) - novelette
  • Arms and the Woman - (1991) - shortstory

City of Truth

James Morrow

In Veritas, people have been conditioned to always tell the truth, no matter how unnerving the truth may be. Jack Sperry must learn to lie in order to save his son in this witty science fiction novella. Recipient of a 1992 Nebula Award.

Galápagos Regained

James Morrow

James Morrow's Galápagos Regained centers on the fictional Chloe Bathurst, an unemployed Victorian actress who finds work on Charles Darwin's estate, nurturing the strange birds, exotic lizards, and giant tortoises he brought back from his trip around the world. When Chloe gets wind of the Great God Contest, sponsored by the Percy Bysshe Shelley Society--£10,000 to the first petitioner who can prove or disprove the existence of a Supreme Being--she decides that Mr. Darwin's materialist theory of speciation might just turn the trick. (If Nature gave God nothing to do, maybe He was never around in the first place.) Before she knows it, her ambitions send her off on a wild adventure--a voyage by brigantine to Brazil, a steamboat trip up the Amazon, a hot-air balloon flight across the Andes--bound for the Galápagos archipelago, where she intends to collect the live specimens through which she might demonstrate evolutionary theory to the contest judges.

Only Begotten Daughter

James Morrow

Call it a miracle or an accident at the sperm bank. But Julie Katz, the half-sister of Jesus, has been born to a celibate father. Soon poor Julie is tempted by the Devil and challenged by neo-Christian zealots-and that's just the beginning of her fantastic odyssey through Hell, a seceded New Jersey, and her own confused soul.

Reality by Other Means: The Best Short Fiction of James Morrow

James Morrow

Join the Abominable Snowman as, determined to transcend his cannibalistic past, he studies Tibetan Buddhism under the Dalai Lama. Pace the walls of Ilium with fair Helen as she tries to convince both sides to abandon their absurd Trojan War. Visit the nursery of Zenobia Garber, born to a Pennsylvania farm couple who accept her for the uncanny little biosphere she is. Scramble aboard the raft built by the passengers and crew of the sinking Titanic--and don't be surprised when the vessel transmutes into a world even more astonishing than the original Ship of Dreams.

Reality by Other Means offers readers the most celebrated results from James Morrow's thirty-five-year career designing fictive thought experiments. Anchored by seven previously uncollected stories, this omnibus ranges from social satire to theological hijinks, steampunk escapades to philosophical antics. With an introduction by Gary K. Wolfe.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: An Audience with the Abyss: James Morrow's Short Fiction - essay by Gary K. Wolfe
  • Bigfoot and the Bodhisattva - (2009) - novelette
  • The Cat's Pajamas - (2001) - novelette
  • Arms and the Woman - (1991) - shortstory
  • The War of the Worldviews - (2002) - shortstory
  • Bible Stories for Adults, No. 17: The Deluge - (1988) - shortstory
  • Spinoza's Golem - (2014) - shortstory
  • Known But to God and Wilbur Hines - (1991) - shortstory
  • Daughter Earth - (1991) - shortstory
  • The Vampires of Paradox - (2010) - shortstory
  • Bible Stories for Adults, No. 31: The Covenant - (1989) - shortstory
  • Lady Witherspoon's Solution - (2008) - novelette
  • Martyrs of the Upshot Knothole - (2004) - shortstory
  • Auspicious Eggs - (2000) - novelette
  • The Iron Shroud - (2011) - novelette
  • Fixing the Abyss - (2011) - shortstory
  • The Wisdom of the Skin - (2002) - shortstory
  • The Raft of the Titanic - (2010) - shortfiction

Shambling Towards Hiroshima

James Morrow

Hugo- and Nebula-nominated Novella, Sturgeon Award winner

It is the early summer of 1945, and war reigns in the Pacific Rim with no end in sight. Back in the States, Hollywood B-movie star Syms Thorley lives in a very different world, starring as the Frankenstein-like Corpuscula and Kha-Ton-Ra, the living mummy. But the U.S. Navy has a new role waiting for Thorley, the role of a lifetime that he could never have imagined.

The top secret Knickerbocker Project is putting the finishing touches on the ultimate biological weapon: a breed of gigantic, fire-breathing, mutant iguanas engineered to stomp and burn cities on the Japanese mainland. The Navy calls upon Thorley to don a rubber suit and become the merciless Gorgantis and to star in a live drama that simulates the destruction of a miniature Japanese metropolis. If the demonstration succeeds, the Japanese will surrender, and many thousands of lives will be spared; if it fails, the horrible mutant lizards will be unleashed. One thing is certain: Syms Thorley must now give the most terrifyingly convincing performance of his life.

In the dual traditions of Godzilla as a playful monster and a symbol of the dawn of the nuclear era, Shambling Towards Hiroshima unexpectedly blends the destruction of World War II with the halcyon pleasure of monster movies.

The Asylum of Dr. Caligari

James Morrow

Shirley Jackson Award-nominated Novella

It is the summer of 1914, and young American painter Francis Wyndham really needs work. Fortunately, he's attained a position as the new art therapist at a renowned European insane asylum. Unfortunately, the asylum's director?the terrible Dr. Alessandro Caligari?is less interested in curing patients than in his own nefarious projects.

In his secret lair, Caligari is creating a painting so hypnotic it will incite entire regiments into battle rage. If he succeeds, he will make untold profits selling his services to power-hungry governments. And with the world at the brink of war, only Francis's most talented (and not entirely sane) student Illona may be able to foil Caligari.

Vividly re-imagined from the madness of a silent-film classic, The Asylum of Dr. Caligari is a provocative satire on the fine art of profiteering.

The Cat's Pajamas

James Morrow

Sturgeon Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October-November 2001. The story can also be found in the anthology Year's Best SF 7 (2002), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. It is included in the collections The Cat's Pajamas & Other Stories (2004) and Reality by Other Means: The Best Short Fiction of James Morrow (2015).

The Cat's Pajamas & Other Stories

James Morrow

Terminal baptism, erotic performance art, and voodoo economics with actual voodoo.

An integrity gene is harvested from the brain of an unwilling schoolteacher. Christopher Columbus lands in modern-day Manhattan. John Wayne seeks treatment from a cinematic oncologist. Sports fans save the universe every day.

The Cat's Pajamas is a provocative collection of satiric short fiction from Nebula and World Fantasy award-winning author James Morrow. Included is "Auspicious Eggs," in which ritual procreation and compulsory abortion are mandated by the Catholic Church. Two original pieces were written specifically for The Cat's Pajamas: the play "Come Back, Dr. Sarcophagus," and the short story "Fucking Justice."

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: Good Morrow to Our Waking Souls - (2004) - essay by Terry Bisson
  • The War of the Worldviews - (2002) - shortstory
  • The Wisdom of the Skin - (2002) - shortstory
  • Martyrs of the Upshot Knothole - (2004) - shortstory
  • Come Back, Dr. Sarcophagus - (2004) - shortstory
  • The Fate of Nations - (2003) - shortstory
  • The Eye That Never Blinks - (1988) - shortstory
  • Director's Cut - (1994) - shortstory
  • Auspicious Eggs - (2000) - novelette
  • Apologue - (2001) - shortstory
  • Fucking Justice - (2004) - shortstory
  • Isabella of Castile Answers Her Mail - (1992) - shortstory
  • The Zombies of Montrose - (2004) - shortstory
  • The Cat's Pajamas - (2001) - novelette

The Continent of Lies

James Morrow

Cutting-edge virtual reality has emerged as a popular, albeit controversial, source of amusement. Devouring a cephapple or "dreambean" allows the eater to become the primary player in a preprogrammed narrative: love story, historical spectacle, horror thriller--this medium encompasses all genres. Our protagonist, Quinjin, is a professional dreambean critic, rating the hallucinogenic adventures hidden within these remarkable fruits.

But something has gone terribly wrong. An anonymous "dreamweaver" has created a cephapple that, by transporting its users to the core of an inescapable nightmare, drives them stark raving mad--just the sort of ammunition the anti-dreambean movement needs to get the technology banned. Quinjin is hired to find the source of the poison and eradicate it. But the reviewer's heroic quest becomes highly personal when the person he most cares about--his teenage daughter--eats the forbidden fruit and lapses into a coma.

The Last Witchfinder

James Morrow

Jennet Stearne's father hangs witches for a living in Restoration England. But when she witnesses the unjust and horrifying execution of her beloved aunt Isobel, the precocious child decides to make it her life's mission to bring down the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act. Armed with little save the power of reason, and determined to see justice prevail, Jennet hurls herself into a series of picaresque adventures - traveling from King William's Britain to the fledgling American Colonies to an uncharted island in the Caribbean, braving West Indies pirates, Algonquin Indian captors, the machinations of the Salem Witch Court, and the sensuous love of a young Ben Franklin. For Jennet cannot and must not rest until she has put the last witchfinder out of business.

The Madonna and the Starship

James Morrow

Who will save us from the lobsters from outer space?

It is New York City, 1953. Young pulp-fiction writer Kurt Jastrow's world is thrown into disarray when two extraterrestrial lobster-like creatures arrive at the NBC studios. Though rabid fans of Kurt's "scientific" alter-ego, loveable scientist Uncle Wonder, they also judge that the audience of a religious TV program is "a hive of irrationalist vermin." To Jastrow's horror, the crustaceans scheme to vaporize two million viewers when the next show goes on the air.

Now Jastrow and his co-conspirators have a mere forty hours to produce a script so explicitly rational and yet utterly absurd that it will somehow deter the aliens from their diabolical scheme...

The Philosopher's Apprentice

James Morrow

A brilliant philosopher with a talent for self-destruction, Mason Ambrose gratefully accepts an offer no starving ethicist could refuse. He must travel to a private tropical island and tutor Londa Sabacthani, a beautiful, brilliant adolescent who has lost both her memory and her moral sense in a freak accident. Londa's soul is an empty vessel - and Mason's job will be to fill it.

But all is not as it seems on Isla de Sangre. Londa's reclusive mother is secretly sheltering a second child whose conscience is a blank slate. Even as the mystery deepens, Mason confronts a frightening question: What will happen when Londa, her head crammed with lofty ideals and her bank account filled to bursting, ventures out to remake our fallen world in her own image?

The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent

Kathryn Morrow
James Morrow

A new SFWA Hall of Fame anthology

These powerful SF stories represent the best writers and stories in most of the major contemporary European languages. Editors James and Kathryn Morrow spent years working with translators to achieve sharp, polished, entertaining versions of these stories in English. This anthology belongs in every library of SF, personal or public.

Table of Contents:

  • Acknowledgments - essay by James Morrow and Kathryn Morrow
  • Introduction: Extrapolations of Things Past: A Barbarously Brief Account of European Science Fiction from Micromégas to Microchips - essay by James Morrow
  • Separations - shortstory by Jean-Claude Dunyach (trans. of Séparations 2005)
  • A Birch Tree, A White Fox - shortstory by Elena Arsenieva
  • Sepultura - shortstory by Valerio Evangelisti (trans. of Sepultura 1998)
  • The Fourth Day of Eternity - shortstory by Ondrej Neff
  • Baby Doll - (2007) - novelette by Johanna Sinisalo (trans. of Baby Doll 2002)
  • "Yoo Retoont, Sneogg. Ay Noo." - shortstory by Marek S. Huberath (trans. of "Wróciees Sneogg, wiedziaam..." 1987)
  • The Day We Went Through the Transition - (1998) - shortstory by Ricard de la Casa and Pedro Jorge Romero (trans. of Ed día que hicimos la Transición 1997)
  • Athos Emfovos in the Temple of Sound - shortstory by Panagiotis Koustas
  • Some Earthlings' Adventures on Outerria - shortstory by Lucian Merisca
  • Destiny, Inc. - shortstory by Sergei Lukyanenko (trans. 2001)
  • Wonders of the Universe - shortstory by Andreas Eschbach (trans. of Die Wunder des Universums 1997)
  • A Night on the Edge of the Empire - shortstory by João Barreiros
  • Transfusion - (1991) - shortstory by Joëlle Wintrebert (trans. of Transfusion 1988)
  • Verstummte Musik - shortstory by W. J. Maryson (trans. of Verstummte Musik 2005)
  • Between the Lines - shortstory by José Antonio Cotrina (trans. of Entre líneas 2000)
  • A Blue and Cloudless Sky - novelette by Bernhard Ribbeck (trans. of En blå og skyfri himmel 1996)
  • About the Translators - essay by uncredited
  • About the Editors - essay by uncredited
  • Select Bibliography - essay by uncredited
  • Story Copyrights - essay by uncredited

The Wine of Violence

James Morrow

A fact-finding mission has crash-landed on a harsh world, leaving entomologist Francis Lostwax and physicist Burne Newman marooned. The scientists are rescued by a mysterious society whose inhabitants are wholly incapable of murder, assault, rape, or any other form of aggression. Protected by a river made of liquid hate, the descendants of Quetzalia's original human colonists have devised a strange techno-religion that has in turn engendered a culture of total pacifism.

While Burne undertakes to rid the planet of the savage and menacing brain-eaters that flourish beyond the utopia's walls, Francis cultivates his romantic feelings for Tez Yon, the Quetzalian surgeon who saved his life. But the entomologist's obsession with Tez's soul leads him down a dark and twisted path, in time confronting him with a terrible dilemma. Should he murder the woman he loves to save a society he abhors?

This is the Way the World Ends

James Morrow

When George Paxman, a contented tombstone engraver in a sleepy Massachusetts town, is offered a bargain, he doesn't hesitate long. The deal is that his beloved daughter gets an otherwise unaffordable scopas suit to protect her from radioactive fall-out and all George has to do is sign a document admitting that, as a passive citizen who did nothing to stop it, he has a degree of guilt for any nuclear war that breaks out. George signs on the dotted line. And then the unthinkable happens. The world and everyone in it (scopas suit or no scopas suit) is destroyed in nuclear Armageddon. Except for George and five others who must now face prosecution from the great mass of humanity who will now never be born. And George Paxman stands accused in the name of all the people who stood by and never raised a finger to stop the horror of nuclear war.

Swatting at the Cosmos

Author's Choice Monthly: Book 8

James Morrow

Table of Contents:

  • 1 - Introduction: Swatting At the Cosmos - essay
  • 7 - The Assemblage of Kristin - (1984) - short story
  • 23 - Bible Stories for Adults, No. 17: The Deluge - [Bible Stories for Adults - 17] - (1988) - short story
  • 37 - The Eye That Never Blinks - (1988) - short story
  • 49 - Bible Stories for Adults, No. 20: The Tower - [Bible Stories for Adults - 20] - (1990) - short story
  • 71 - The Confessions of Ebenezer Scrooge - (1989) - short story
  • 81 - Bible Stories for Adults, No. 31: The Covenant - [Bible Stories for Adults - 31] - (1989) - short story
  • 93 - Spelling God with the Wrong Blocks - (1987) - short story

Bible Stories for Adults, No. 17: The Deluge

Bible Stories for Adults: Book 1

James Morrow

Nebula Award winning short story. It originally appeared in the anthology Full Spectrum (1988), edited by Lou Aronica and Shawna McCarthy. The story can also be found in the anthology Nebula Awards 24 (1990), edited by Michael Bishop and the collections Swatting at the Cosmos (1990) and Bible Stories for Adults (1996)

Nebula Awards 26

Nebula Awards: Book 26

James Morrow

The members of the Science Fiction Writers of America choose by ballot the best novel, novella, novelette, and short story of the year. Nebula Awards 26 features works by such writers as Terry Bisson, Kathryn Cramer, Joe Haldeman, Ursula K. LeGuin, and George Zebrowski.

Table of Contents:

Nebula Awards 27

Nebula Awards: Book 27

James Morrow

Besides offering works by winners (Michael Swanwick, Nancy Kress, Mike Conner, and Alan Brennert) in all four Nebula categories, this collection continues the tradition of featuring a variety of fiction and essays not found in other best-of-the-year anthologies. Includes tributes to Isaac Asimov as well as Asimov's final words, Farewell, Farewell, taken from the booklet distributed at his memorial service.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (Nebula Awards 27) - (1993) - essay by James Morrow
  • Science Fiction for What? Remarks on the Year 1991 - (1993) - essay by Kathryn Cramer
  • Guide Dog - (1991) - novelette by Mike Conner
  • Ma Qui - (1991) - shortstory by Alan Brennert
  • Three Scenes from Stations of the Tide (excerpt) - (1991) - shortfiction by Michael Swanwick
  • In Memoriam: Isaac Asimov (Nebula Awards 27) - (1993) - essay by uncredited
  • Introducing Isaac - (1993) - essay by Arthur C. Clarke
  • Asimov: The Last Questions - (1993) - interview of Isaac Asimov - interview by George Zebrowski
  • Untitled Epitaph for Isaac Asimov - (1993) - essay by Harlan Ellison
  • Farewell, Farewell - (1993) - essay by Isaac Asimov (variant of Farewell Farewell 1992)
  • Standing in Line with Mister Jimmy - (1991) - novelette by James Patrick Kelly
  • The Dark - (1991) - shortstory by Karen Joy Fowler
  • They're Made Out of Meat - (1991) - shortstory by Terry Bisson
  • Precessing the Simulacra for Fun and Profit - (1990) - essay by Bruce Sterling
  • Auteurs at Work? The Fantastic Films of 1991 - (1993) - essay by Bruce Warren
  • Eighteen Years Old, October Eleventh - (1990) - poem by Joe Haldeman
  • The Aging Cryonicist in the Arms of His Mistress Contemplates the Survival of the Species While the Phoenix Is Consumed by Fire - (1990) - poem by David Memmott
  • Buffalo - (1991) - shortstory by John Kessel
  • Getting Real - (1991) - novelette by Susan Shwartz
  • the button, and what you know - (1991) - poem by W. Gregory Stewart
  • Beggars in Spain - (1991) - novella by Nancy Kress
  • About the Nebula Awards - (1993) - essay by uncredited
  • Selected Titles from the 1991 Preliminary Nebula Ballot - (1993) - essay by uncredited
  • Past Nebula Award Winners - (1993) - essay by uncredited

Nebula Awards 28

Nebula Awards: Book 28

James Morrow

Morrow notes that many of the Nebula finalists grapple with the question Is science good or bad? Lending weight to this debate are all of the winners and many of the finalists in the 1992 awards.

Table of Content:

  • Introduction - essay by James Morrow
  • Is Science Fiction Out to Lunch? Some Thoughts on the Year 1992 - essay by John Clute
  • Even the Queen - (1992) - shortstory by Connie Willis
  • Danny Goes to Mars - (1992) - novelette by Pamela Sargent
  • Matter's End - (1989) - novella by Gregory Benford
  • In Memoriam: Fritz Leiber - essay by James Morrow
  • Gentleman Fritz - essay by Poul Anderson
  • Doing It Right - essay by David G. Hartwell
  • A World Without Fritz - essay by Stephen King
  • Let There Be Fandom - essay by Frederik Pohl
  • The July Ward - (1991) - novelette by S. N. Dyer
  • Lennon Spex - (1992) - shortstory by Paul Di Filippo
  • The Mountain to Mohammed - (1992) - shortstory by Nancy Kress
  • Hopeful Monsters: The SF and Fantasy Films of 1992 - essay by Nick Lowe
  • Song of the Martian Cricket - (1991) - poem by David Lunde
  • Vinland the Dream - (1991) - shortstory by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Life Regarded as a Jigsaw Puzzle of Highly Lustrous Cats - (1991) - shortstory by Michael Bishop
  • City of Truth - (1991) - novella by James Morrow

Towing Jehovah

The Godhead Trilogy: Book 1

James Morrow

God is dead. "Died and fell into the sea." That's what Raphael, a despondent angel with luminous white wings and a blinking halo, tells Anthony Van Horne on his fiftieth birthday.

Soon Van Horne is charged with captaining the supertanker Carpo Valparaiso (flying the colors of the Vatican) as it tows the two-mile-long corpse through the Atlantic toward the Arctic, in order to preserve Hime from sharks and decomposition. Van Horne must also contend with ecological guilt, a militant girlfriend, an estranged father, sabotage both natural and spiritual, a crew on (and sometimes past) the brink of mutiny, and greedy huksters of oil, condoms, and doubtful ideas.

As he rings his wild, Vonnegutian changes on everything from male chauvinism to the Catholic Church, James Morrow once again proves himeself to be one of the premier satirists of our time while still managing to capture some of the beauty and sorrow of the world. With Towing Jehova, the Denver Post declared, Morrow "solidifies his position as Christianity's Salman Rushdie, only funnier and more sacrilegious."

Blameless in Abaddon

The Godhead Trilogy: Book 2

James Morrow

In this sequel to the award-winning "Towing Jehovah", the two-mile long body of God has become the main attraction at a theme park. But some want the figure transported to The International Court of Justice at the Hague, where it will be forced to account for the injustices and tragedies of history.

The Eternal Footman

The Godhead Trilogy: Book 3

James Morrow

God's body has self-destructed and His skull is now in orbit directly above Times Square, prompting a plague of "death awareness" across the Western hemisphere.

The United States begins to resemble fourteenth-century Europe during the Black Death-with some unique twenty-first-century twists-a bloody battle on a New Jersey golf course between Jews and anti-Semites; a modern theater troupe's stirring dramatization of the Gilgamesh epic; a post-death debate between Martin Luther and Erasmus; and the most chilling capitalist villain ever, Dr. Adrian Lucido, founder of a new pagan church and inventor of a cure worse than any disease.

Two people fight to preserve life and sanity, Nora Burkhart, a schoolteacher who will stop at nothing to save her only son, and Gerard Korty, a brilliant sculptor struggling to create a masterwork that will heal the metaphysical wounds caused by God's abdication. The Eternal Footman brilliantly completes James Morrow's satiric trilogy begun with the World Fantasy Award-winning Towing Jehovah and continued in Blameless in Abaddon.

Thanatos Beach

The Palencar Project: Book 3

James Morrow

One of five stories inspired by the same painting by John Jude Palencar. Anthologized in The Palencar Project.

Read this story online for free at

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