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Patricia Geary

Patricia Geary is an American author. After writing two borderline fantasy novels, Living in Ether (1982) and Strange Toys (1987), the latter of which won the Philip K. Dick Award, she found it difficult to sell her third novel as she had a reputation primarily as a fantasy author, and returned to teaching creative writing at the University of Redlands. Her third novel, The Other Canyon, was published in 2002 by Gorsky Press, and another, Guru Cigarettes, in 2005.


Strange Toys: An odd, creepy novel

Strange Toys by Patricia Geary

Strange Toys is an odd, creepy novel. It won the Philip K. Dick Award in 1987, though apparently Patricia Geary hadn’t actually intended it as science fiction at all. I found it while exploring the labyrinthine basement of a local used bookstore, but it was reprinted in electronic form in 2018.

The heroine, nicknamed Pet, is the baby of her family. (We never learn her real name.) She is nine years old as the book begins, in the late 1950s. Her twelve-year-old sister, June, bullies her. Her sixteen-year-old sister, Deane, is worse. Deane is in some kind of unspecified trouble with the law (she’s into the occult, too), and the girls’ parents leave home abruptly with Pet and June because they fear retribution from Deane’s criminal friends.

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