Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award: Nineteen stories of power and humanity from a science fiction master with otherworldly talent.

Points of Departure Cover Final

For Pat Murphy, the process of writing is a journey to somewhere very different. Her stories are the messages she sends back.

Points of Departure collects the most memorable of Murphy’s tales. These stories explore the shifting boundaries between the real and the imaginary, blending visionary storytelling with uncompromising realism. A chimpanzee with the memories of a teenage girl must find her way in a hostile world. An alien visitor seeks refuge among the Mayan people of the Yucatan peninsula. A woman comes to terms with a spirit that invades her apartment. A young man, following in his dead father’s footsteps by venturing alone into the Himalayan wilderness, makes an unexpected discovery. In Murphy’s worlds, the supernatural is just a few steps away—in the static of an old movie on TV, on an abandoned subway platform, in a cluttered room where an alien spaceship is under construction.

As children we all knew that there were monsters under the bed, fairies in the garden, and fantastic creatures everywhere, just out of sight. With these stories, Murphy opens the secret doorway, letting strange beings enter our world and allowing us to visit theirs. Review
Points of Departure is a collection of short stories tinged with barbed humor that won the 1991 Philip K. Dick Award. Alternating between hope and despair, Pat Murphy’s stories range from “Rachel in Love,” which portrays a chimpanzee whose brain is implanted with the personality of a young girl who has died to “His Vegetable Wife,” the story of a farmer who grows a spouse from a packet of seed only to find that she is more quiet than docile. All but one of the 19 stories in this collection have been published previously in magazines and anthologies.

From Publishers Weekly
Although infused with a gentle sort of magic, the stories in Murphy’s (The City, Not Long After) enjoyable collection are also tinged with barbed humor, alternating between hope and despair. Nebula Award-winner “Rachel in Love” portrays a chimpanzee whose brain is implanted with the personality of a young girl who has died. When the researcher who cared for the chimp dies, the hybrid draws on her mingled primate and human knowledge to make her way in a world that can be at once hostile and kind. In “Prescience,” a fortune-teller learns that there’s a difference between seeing the future and changing it. Conversely, in “Orange Blossom Time,” a woman who travels through time cannot change the past or the present as she watches the city and the man she loves suffer painful deaths from rampant disease and the exhaustion of resources. Unappreciated wives get the last word in two stories: a wife’s spirit escapes her abusive husband to join the “Women in the Trees,” and a farmer who grows a spouse from a packet of seeds finds that “His Vegetable Wife” is more quiet than docile. All but one of these 19 stories have been published previously in SF magazines and book anthologies.
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Pat Murphy’s novels and short stories include Rachel in Love, The Falling Woman, The City Not Long After, Nadya, Wild Angel, Adventures in Time and Space with Max Merriwell, and The Wild Girls. Her fiction has won two Nebulas, the Philip K. Dick Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and the Seiun Award. In 1991, Pat co-founded the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender roles. This award harnesses the power of chocolate chip cookies in an on-going effort to change the world.

For Pat’s insightful blog about reading as a child, writing, and inspiration, you must check out

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 and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.