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Stepan Chapman

- About the Book

The Troika
by Stepan Chapman
Published by Ministry of Whimsy Press

Under the glare of three suns, three beings travel across an endless desert. They argue, whine, wheedle and needle each other. Sometimes they switch identities when the sandstorms roar in. As The Troika rolls on, we learn more about Alex, who started out as a man, then became cyborg, then jeep. About Naomi, a veteran soldier who woke up from her cryogenic storage tank to a new life, now a dinosaur. About Eva, who fled her native land to escape her fate as an organ-donor for the emperor. Fantasy? Surrealism? The desert landscape spins and alters as we look at the man behind the curtain: mad angel Dr. Mazer, testing a controversial therapy program at his isolated asylum. Science fiction after all?

Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award for 1997,The Troika is speculative literature at its finest. --Bonnie Bouman

Paul J. McAuley, Interzone:"It's a remarkable debut, with the inventive power of Steve Erickson or Jonathan Lethem."

Kathleen Ann Goonan, SF EYE :"If you enjoy finely controlled absurdity, freewheeling invention pinned down with precisely detailed description, black humor, and language that is breathtakingly engaging, there is little more to be said except 'Read this!' "

Review of Contemporary Fiction: "absurd fantasy beautifully rendered in detail. The surreal landscapes of isolation are reminiscent of Waiting for Godot...you'll walk away smiling for being whipped through surprising twists and loops."

Michael M. Levy, Science Fiction Research Association:"Chapman successfully combines traditional science-fiction techniques with sophisticated surrealism and theological fantasy reminiscent of James Morrow to create a novel of unusual beauty and power. In case you hadn't noticed, I strongly recommend Stepan Chapman's The Troika."

Paul DiFilippo, Asimov's: "A masterful dream voyage through realms of terror and strange beauty. Like Ellison's 'I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream,' this novel portrays the indomitability of the human spirit, all the while permuting reality in fascinating ways."

Publisher's Weekly: "[The Troika] abounds with savage imagery reminiscent of William S. Burroughs, and, sentence for sentence, the writing is brilliant, lucid, and poetic... as startling and satisfying as a painting by Dali, Magritte, or Klee, whose compositions it resembles."

SF Age: "Here's further proof that the small presses can compete with the big dogs at their own game. This tale of a bizarre trio's journey across a desert planet delivers the goods."

John Shirley: "Any book that can fairly be described as a surrealistic, high energy tour de force is supposed to also be tedious and self indulgent - but The Troika is an entertaining read as well as being brilliant and would even be a good companion on an airplane."

Brian Stableford: "Stepan Chapman's The Troika is cornucopia with a cutting edge: a vivid phantasmagoria crowded with bizarre imagery which contrives to remain heartfelt and engaging. It has style, it has wit, it has guts and it has showmanship; what more could anyone want?"

Kathe Koja: "...completely unlike everything else that's out there...an ambitious yet playful work, with a clear pleasure in language."

Eliot Fintushel: " I...make...a habit of reading Publisher's Weekly...so...I...read the...review...of Stepan Chapman's The Troika...from which...the Ministry of Whimsy...excerpted a...rave for their ad in NYRSF 113...I am an admirer of Chapman...and...that particular review was...really...genuinely good... Let's hope...they...do it again."

Arabu Minnekotubu, Banu Warrior Daily: "Of all the loose-leaf novels out there, this one was a really good wipe."


Copyright ©1997 by Stepan Chapman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not duplicate or distribute this file without permission from the author. Thank you.

William Colby

About the Author

William H. "Bill" Colby (Kansas City, MO) is the lawyer who represented the family of Nancy Cruzan in their right-to- die case, the first such case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, on December 6, 1989. He worked with Senator John Danforth's office on legislation which eventually became Federal law, the Patient Self-Determination Act, and has testified before different state legislatures and legislative committees about law and ethics at the end of life. He has also represented many families who have been faced with agonizing questions about removal of life support from a loved one.

Bill has appeared on Good Morning America, Today, CBS This Morning, Frontline, Media & Society with Fred Friendly, the MacNeil Lehrer Report and other national programs. He has presented at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting, DRI, ASLME, ASPEN and other national legal and medical conferences, and has spoken to groups across the country on the issues we face at the end of life.

Bill graduated from Knox College in 1977 with an English degree and an emphasis in creative writing, and from the University of Kansas Law School in 1982. After law school he clerked at the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and practiced law in D.C. at the Wall Street firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. In 1985 he returned to Kansas City and the firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon. He is a Senior Fellow with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in Washington, D.C., and the author of Long Goodbye: The Deaths of Nancy Cruzan. Bill has taught at the University of Kansas School of Law. He lives in Kansas with his wife, four children, and their dog, Spot.

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