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THE PROGRESSIVE APPARATUS AND MORE FANTASTICALS cover image, a close-up of a beaten-up robot head in front of a starry sky

The Progressive Apparatus And More Fantasticals

By Hugh A. D. Spencer

Science fiction short story collection, 17+
250 pages

ISBN: 978-1-928011-46-0
MSRP: $19.99 CAD paperback, $3.99 CAD ebook
Released: February 2021

Read samples: Web - PDF


Twice Aurora Award-nominated author Hugh A. D. Spencer collects more of his previously published short fiction in this fun collection. Featuring a series of interconnected stories about the Progressive Apparatus, a sometimes anti-muse, sometimes amoral high-tech firm, and a Galactic Super-culture that meddles in human life through heavy drugs and museum exhibits, this collection asks the big questions in science fiction.

Like what happens to those breakthrough scientific projects when the funders pull the plug? What if that crazy scifi religious cult is actually on to something? How can a heartless multi-galactic corporation be affected by a small act of rebellion, like driving a truck through their headquarters?

Stories in this collection

Five Stories About Alan
The Progressive Apparatus
...And the Retrograde Mentor
...Experience Denial Then Acceptance
The Heritage Drug Project
Sticky Wonder Stories
The Meaning of Steel
Ammonite City
Cult Stories
John, Paul, Xavier, Ironside and George (But Not Vincent)

Foreword by Candas Jane Dorsey, multiple award-winning author of Black Wine

Reviews for The Progressive Apparatus And More Fantasticals

"While borrowing from pop-culture SF conventions that are so familiar they feel a part of us, [Spencer] nevertheless manages to spin them off in quirky directions that take us places entirely new. Spencer is a writer who should be better known. Picking up any of his books is a good place to start." - Toronto Star

"Alienation is not just for extraterrestrials in this flippant and expectation-flipping collection of 10 surreal short stories. Spencer may not believe in the power of technology to save the world, but he allows humor and humanity to cushion the blow." - Publishers Weekly

"Hugh's work never fails to crack me up and make me think, and this is no exception. The story is touching and weird, speculative and human - a perfect metaphor for the anxiety that we feel whenever technology remakes our beloved selves and institutions." - Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Attack Surface on "Sticky Wonder Tales"

"Pretty weird - you can evidently go too far with 'Evolutionary Transformation'." - Rati Mehrotra, author of Mahimata, on "Sticky Wonder Tales"

"A surreal take on an apocalyptic scenario in which roving clouds of nanobots lay waste to civilization." - The Horror Bookshelf on "John, Paul, Xavier, Ironside and George (But Not Vincent)"