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Conversation Pieces

Vol. 9 — Alien Bootlegger: A Novella

by Rebecca Ore

$12 $10.00 (paperback)

Read a sample from the book.

with an introduction by Michael Swanwick

Every writer worth admiring has her place of power: that locale or perspective from which she does her best and most assured work. For Rebecca Ore, it’s the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia. Though she has lived much of her life elsewhere, the land and its people are in her bones and the rhythm of their speech lodged in her head. It’s not an easy place to love, and she returns to it always with a certain degree of pain and regret. But it’s the forge and wellspring of Alien Bootlegger.
     The Blue Ridge area is a region of stunning beauty where guns are common, old wealth holds to traditional values ("like owning people," as Rebecca enjoys explaining), and operating an illegal still is not so much disreputable as a matter of cultural pride. —Michael Swanwick

In Franklin County, when times get tough, people often to turn to bootlegging. But that’s a perilous way to make a living, since bootlegging is both illegal and tightly regulated by distributors like Dennis DeSpain. So when the mysterious and scary alien who calls himself "Turk" openly sets up as an independent operator, flouting both the law and the distributors, all hell breaks loose. In it up to their necks and pursuing their own agendas are: ex-activist Lilly, the alien’s lawyer; Berenice, an aging ’60s radical with a past; Orris, DeSpain’s smart, ambitious wife who believes in doing whatever it takes to achieve the objective; and DeSpain’s ex-lover Marie, a chemical-engineering student who loves working with machines and whose grandmother was a midwife, bootlegger in the Forties, and notorious for having killed a man.


"Alien Bootlegger is a supremely clever, elegant piece of writing that uses one of the oldest staples of science fiction in a genuinely new way. It’s intelligent, funny, extremely dark at times, and offers an unusually honest view of personal history and the way that it traps us."
    —Tangent Online, March 7, 2006 (read the whole review)

ISBN: 978-1-933500-01-0 (13 digit)
Publication Date: Dec 2005
paperback 122 pages