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Conversation Pieces

Vol. 12 — Absolute Uncertainty: Short Stories

by Lucy Sussex

$12 $10.00 (paperback)

Read a sample from the book.

…it's like being kissed by his Mam, but with an erotic edge that tingles, sends slow shockwaves through him, from the spikes on his hennaed hair to the toes suddenly clenching in his platform boots. Her mouth is wide and dry, except for a trace of saliva left behind as she disengages. She kissed me! And with an open mouth! Where are the lads from school when he needs to tell them something really important?
    —from "A Sentimental, Sordid Education"

Absolute Uncertainty collects seven stories—three of them new—by Lucy Sussex, as well as an interview conducted by Maureen Kincaid Speller. In these stories, a fashionista becomes obsessed with the uncanny resemblance of the dazzling, eccentric "Lady Sanspareille" to the seventeenth-century Duchess of Newcastle; a young man loses his virginity in more than one sense of the word; an older writer shares her insight with Philip K. Dick, who really needs it; and in Biocultural Studies 101, a class examines moral ambiguities and the limits of biography in the case of Werner Heisenberg, "a real slippery customer," via a high-tech "interactive template."


"Strongly feminist, linguistically muscular, and historically erudite, Lucy Sussex is an Australian writer who deserves to be more widely read outside of her home country[...]This book is your chance to test [bridges between our day and the past] in all their precarious charm, to take them as far as they'll go in hopes of inhabiting a few broken moments of life in another time."
   — Strange Horizons, September 12, 2006

"[...]Sussex is a potent talent[...]vivid and interesting[...]"
    — Tangent Online, July 18, 2006

"Fine stuff all around."
    —Fantasy Magazine, Fall 2006

"It opens with a delicious original, 'Duchess'[...]The other selections range from earthy, political Australian fantasy[...]to ghost story[...]to the title's story time-traveling Watcher in a Nazi Germany where Heisenberg is busy speculating about Uncertainty, and they're told in a corresponding variety of styles and voices."
    —Locus, Jan 2007

ISBN: 978-1-933500-06-5 (13 digit)
Publication Date: May 2006
paperback 147 pages