Centuries Ago and Very Fast is a collection of linked stories by Rebecca Ore, author of Gaia's Toys, Time's Child, Slow Funeral, and other well-received novels. The stories in this collection relate tales from the life of Vel, a gay immortal born in the Paleolithic who jumps time at will. We encounter him hunting mammoths, playing with reindeer tripping on hallucinogenic mushrooms, negotiating each successive wave of invaders to keep his family and its land intact, living as the minor god of a spring, witnessing the hanging of mollies in seventeenth-century London as well as the Stonewall riots in twentieth-century New York City. Vel has had more lovers than he can remember and is sometimes tempted to flirt with death. Centuries Ago and Very Fast offers fascinating, often erotic glimpses of the life of a man who has just about seen it all. The eminent novelist and critic Samuel R. Delany writes: ''Witty, vivid, and very thought provoking, these interwoven narratives of the most sophisticated of primitive lusts start with a gay caveman who happens to have been around over fourteen thousand years. Finishing an afternoon tryst with a Puerto Rican drag queen at the Chelsea Hotel in New York, he and his new friend wander back to Greenwich Village to end up smack in the Stonewall Riots of late June 69. Then we go hunting (and killing and dressing and eating and a few other things that might raise your eyebrow) a mammoth. But that s only the beginning. (Want to learn the right way to celebrate the winter solstice?) Ore's little book has intelligence and charm. Really, you ve just got to read this!'' And Pamela Sargent, author of The Shore of Women and the Venus Trilogy and editor of the Women of Wonder series, says: ''In Centuries Ago and Very Fast, Rebecca Ore reveals the gritty and often less admirable aspects of human life without flinching but also without cynicism. These earthy, lively, and compelling stories centered around a time-traveling immortal show inventiveness, combine cosmic scope with realistic detail, and will leave readers wanting more.''
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