Lewis Shiner, the author of Frontera in the Philip K Dick Award Storybundle, posted this review on Facebook after the bundle launched.
“I haven’t kept up with SF for some years, so I didn’t know about Lisa Mason’s SUMMER OF LOVE until she approached me about the PKD Award Storybundle (http://storybundle.com/pkdaward). I was immediately intrigued because I am currently working on a huge mainstream novel about the sixties that includes a long section set in San Francisco in August of 1967, which I had researched in print, on the Internet, and on the ground with the help of music historian Richie Unterberger.
The book completely knocked me out. I recognized everything, from the geography of Golden Gate Park to the stores in the Haight to the historical figures like Digger honcho Emmett Grogan (thinly disguised as “Leo Gorgon”) and biker Chocolate George (as himself). The Dead and the Airplane and Janis are all here–there’s even a historically accurate cameo by George Harrison. The fictional characters ring true, and they cover the spectrum from the childlike to the predatory. You can smell the pot smoke and patchouli and Loveburgers.
What elevates the book to greatness, though, is its heart and its moral center. Mason somehow captures the playfulness and guilelessness of the era without once turning away from the squalor and violence and hypocrisy. She has no sympathy for the narcissism of the Diggers, the sexism of the gurus, the foggy incompetence of the constantly stoned–and nothing BUT sympathy for the believers, the innocents, the ordinary folks trying to get by from day to day.
It is a tribute to Mason’s courage that, after showing us rape, addiction, rip-offs, and murder, she remains unshaken in her idealism. In this wonderful novel, the sixties are not a clown show or a costume party, not a joke or political cartoon. They are, as I believe them to be in my own heart, the key to the survival of the human race.
SUMMER OF LOVE is just one of 11 novels in the Philip K. Dick Award story bundle.”
So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).
The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle runs only until October 15. Once it’s gone, it’s gone! Download yours today at http://storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.