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The Barter

Siobhan Adcock

A heart-stopping tale as provocative as is suspenseful, about two conflicted women, separated by one hundred years, and bound by an unthinkable sacrifice.

The Barter is a ghost story and a love story, a riveting emotional tale that also explores motherhood and work and feminism. Set in Texas, in present day, and at the turn of the twentieth century, the novel follows two young mothers at the turning point of their lives.

Bridget has given up her career as an attorney to raise her daughter, joining a cadre of stay-at-home mothers seeking fulfillment in a quiet suburb. But for Bridget, some crucial part of the exchange is absent: Something she loves and needs. And now a terrifying presence has entered her home; only nobody but Bridget can feel it.

On a farm in 1902, a young city bride takes a farmer husband. The marriage bed will become both crucible and anvil as Rebecca first allows, then negates, the powerful erotic connection between them. She turns her back on John to give all her love to their child. Much will occur in this cold house, none of it good.

As Siobhan Adcock crosscuts these stories with mounting tension, each woman arrives at a terrible ordeal of her own making, tinged with love and fear and dread. What will they sacrifice to save their families--and themselves? Readers will slow down to enjoy the gorgeous language, then speed up to see what happens next in a plot that thrums with the weight of decision--and its explosive consequences.

Grey

Jon Armstrong

For Michael Rivers, life is perfect. He is tall, handsome and worshipped by billions of fans around the globe. He is wealthy beyond measure, the heir apparent to one of the high-tech corporations that controls the world. He is fashionable, setting trends with his wardrobe of immaculate designer suits. And Michael is in love with Nora, his beautiful, witty and equally perfect fiancee. When an assassin's bullets pierce Michael's body before the cameras at a press junket, everything changes. Forcibly separated from Nora, his illusions shattered, Michael seeks to uncover the reasons behind the attempted assassination. Michael delves deep into his past, finding that all paths lead to a time when he was the golden boy, dancing furiously to the beat of notorious all-night Rage parties thrown by his father.

Human Croquet

Kate Atkinson

Part fairy tale, part mystery, part coming-of-age novel, this is the story of Isobel Fairfax, a girl growing up in Lythe, a typical 1960s British suburb. But Lythe was once the heart of an Elizabethan feudal estate and home to a young English tutor named William Shakespeare, and as Isobel investigates the strange history of her family, her neighbors, and her village, she occasionally gets caught in Shakespearean time warps. Meanwhile, she gets closer to the shocking truths about her missing mother, her war-hero father, and the hidden lives of her close friends and classmates.

Life After Life

Kate Atkinson

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, she finds warmth even in life's bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past.

Lives of the Monster Dogs

Kirsten Bakis

A postmodern Mary Shelley, taking the parable of Frankenstein's monster several giant steps farther, might have written this fable of a novel about a tragic race of monster dogs--in this case, genetically and biomechanically engineered dogs (of several major breeds). Created by a German mad scientist in the 19th century, the monster dogs possess human intelligence, speak human language, have prosthetic humanlike hands and walk upright on hind legs. The dogs' descendants arrive in New York City in the year 2008, still acting like Victorian-era aristocrats. Most important, the monster dogs suffer humanlike frailties and, ultimately, real suffering more serious and affecting than the subject matter might at first glance suggest.

The Unlimited Dream Company

J. G. Ballard

One of the Burgess 99 Best Novels in English Since 1939. A young man who has never flown a plane steals a small aircraft from London Airport and crash lands it in the thames at the suburban community of Shepperton. He is taken in by the towns people as an apocalyptic figure fascination, and in the few days following his recovery he begins to assume certain supernatural powers that transform both the town and its inhabitants. Tropical flora and fauna appear;daily routine is disrupted by wild pan-sexual celebrations; and in their final climax of liberation, the towns people are taught to fly.

The Love We Share Without Knowing

Christopher Barzak

In this haunting, richly woven novel of modern life in Japan, the author of the acclaimed debut One for Sorrow explores the ties that bind humanity across the deepest divides. Here is a Murakamiesque jewel box of intertwined narratives in which the lives of several strangers are gently linked through love, loss, and fate.

On a train filled with quietly sleeping passengers, a young man's life is forever altered when he is miraculously seen by a blind man. In a quiet town an American teacher who has lost her Japanese lover to death begins to lose her own self. On a remote road amid fallow rice fields, four young friends carefully take their own lives-and in that moment they become almost as one. In a small village a disaffected American teenager stranded in a strange land discovers compassion after an encounter with an enigmatic red fox, and in Tokyo a girl named Love learns the deepest lessons about its true meaning from a coma patient lost in dreams of an affair gone wrong.

From the neon colors of Tokyo, with its game centers and karaoke bars, to the bamboo groves and hidden shrines of the countryside, these souls and others mingle, revealing a profound tale of connection-uncovering the love we share without knowing.

Exquisitely perceptive and deeply affecting, Barzak's artful storytelling deftly illuminates the inner lives of those attempting to find-or lose-themselves in an often incomprehensible world.

Sleep Walking Now and Then

Richard Bowes

"Sleep Walking Now and Then", by Richard Bowes, is a weird, futuristic novelette about an interactive theater production in The Big Arena (aka New York City) and the mystery surrounding its inspiration.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

A Highly Unlikely Scenario: or a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World

Rachel Cantor

In the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It's a boring job, but he likes it — there's a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn't like it when you go off script.

Meanwhile, Leonard's sister keeps disappearing on secret missions with her "book club," leaving him to take care of his nephew, which means Leonard has to go outside. And outside is where the trouble starts.

A dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can't save the world with pizza coupons.

Ten Billion Tomorrows: How Science Fiction Technology Became Reality

Brian Clegg

Science fiction is a vital part of popular culture, influencing the way we all look at the world. TV shows like Star Trek and movies from Forbidden Planet to Inception have influenced scientists to enter the profession and have shaped our futures. Science fiction doesn't set out to predict what will happen - it's far more about how human beings react to "What if?..." - but it is fascinating to see how science fiction and reality sometimes converge, sometimes take extraordinarily different paths.

Ten Billion Tomorrows brings to life a whole host of science fiction topics, from the virtual environment of The Matrix and the intelligent computer HAL in 2001, to force fields, ray guns and cyborgs. We discover how science fiction has excited us with possibilities, whether it is Star Trek's holodeck inspiring makers of iconic video games Doom and Quake to create the virtual interactive worlds that transformed gaming, or the strange physics that has made real cloaking devices possible. Mixing remarkable science with the imagination of our greatest science fiction writers, Ten Billion Tomorrows will delight science fiction lovers and popular science devotees alike.

If Then

Matthew de Abaitua

James has a scar in the back of his head. It's where he was wounded in the Battle of Suvla Bay on August 1915. Or is the scar the mark of his implant that allows the Process to fill his mind with its own reality?

In IF, the people of a small English town cling on after everything fell apart under the protection of the Process, the computer system that runs every aspect of their lives. But sometimes people must be evicted from the town. That's the job of James, the bailiff. While on patrol, James discovers the replica of a soldier from the First World War wandering the South Downs. This strange meeting begins a new cycle of evictions in the town, while out on the rolling downland, the Process is methodically growing the soldiers and building the weapons required to relive a long lost battle.

In THEN, it is August 1915, at the Battle of Suvla Bay in the Dardanelles campaign. Compared to the thousands of allied soldiers landing on this foreign beach, the men of the 32nd Field Ambulance are misfits and cranks of every stripe: a Quaker pacifist, a freethinking padre, a meteorologist, and the private (once a bailiff) known simply as James. Exposed to constant shellfire and haunted by ghostly snipers, the stretcher-bearers work day and night on the long carry of wounded men. One night they stumble across an ancient necropolis, disturbed by an exploding shell. What they discover within this ancient site will make them question the reality of the war and shake their understanding of what it means to be human...

Libra

Don DeLillo

In this powerful, eerily convincing fictional speculation on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Don DeLillo chronicles Lee Harvey Oswald's odyssey from troubled teenager to a man of precarious stability who imagines himself an agent of history. When "history" presents itself in the form of two disgruntled CIA operatives who decide that an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the president will galvanize the nation against communism, the scales are irrevocably tipped. A gripping, masterful blend of fact and fiction, alive with meticulously portrayed characters both real and created, Libra is a grave, haunting, and brilliant examination of an event that has become an indelible part of the American psyche.

The Body Artist

Don DeLillo

Lauren Hartke, an artist whose work defies the limits of the body, is living on a lonely coast, in a rambling rented house, where she encounters a strange, ageless man, a man with uncanny knowledge of her own life. Together they begin a journey into the wilderness of time -- time, love and human perception.

Underworld

Don DeLillo

Our lives, our half-century.

Nick Shay and Klara Sax knew each other once, intimately, and they meet again in the American desert. He is trying to outdistance the crucial events of his early life, haunted by the hard logic of loss and by the echo of a gunshot in a basement room. She is an artist who has made a blood struggle for independence.

Don DeLillo's mesmerizing novel opens with a legendary baseball game played in New York in 1951. The glorious outcome -- the home run that wins the game is called the Shot Heard Round the World -- shades into the grim news that the Soviet Union has just tested an atomic bomb.

The baseball itself, fought over and scuffed, generates the narrative that follows. It takes the reader deep into the lives of Nick and Klara and into modern memory and the soul of American culture -- from Bronx tenements to grand ballrooms to a B-52 bombing raid over Vietnam.

A generation's master spirits come and go. Lenny Bruce cracking desperate jokes, Mick Jagger with his devil strut, J. Edgar Hoover in a sexy leather mask. And flashing in the margins of ordinary life are the curiously connected materials of the culture. Condoms, bombs, Chevy Bel Airs and miracle sites on the Web.

Underworld is a story of men and women together and apart, seen in deep, clear detail and in stadium-sized panoramas, shadowed throughout by the overarching conflict of the Cold War. It is a novel that accepts every challenge of these extraordinary times -- Don DeLillo's greatest and most powerful work of fiction.

White Noise

Don DeLillo

Jack Gladney teaches Hitler studies at a liberal arts college in Middle America where his colleagues include New York expatriates who want to immerse themselves in "American magic and dread." Jack and his fourth wife, Babette, bound by their love, fear of death, and four ultramodern offspring, navigate the usual rocky passages of family life to the background babble of brand-name consumerism.

Then a lethal black chemical cloud floats over their lives, an "airborne toxic event" unleashed by an industrial accident. The menacing cloud is a more urgent and visible version of the "white noise" engulfing the Gladney family - radio transmissions, sirens, microwaves, ultrasonic appliances, and TV murmerings - pulsing with life, yet heralding the danger of death.

The Enchanted

Rene Denfeld

The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries magical visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs, with the devastating violence of prison life.

Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest, and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners' pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honor and corruption-ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.

Beautiful and transcendent, The Enchanted reminds us of how our humanity connects us all, and how beauty and love exist even amidst the most nightmarish reality.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Junot Diaz

Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who--from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister--dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú--a curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere--and risk it all--in the name of love.

Ragtime

E. L. Doctorow

The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home of an affluent American family. One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside their house. And almost magically, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disappears. Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, J. P. Morgan, Evelyn Nesbit, Sigmund Freud, and Emiliano Zapata slip in and out of the tale, crossing paths with Doctorow's imagined family and other fictional characters, including an immigrant peddler and a ragtime musician from Harlem whose insistence on a point of justice drives him to revolutionary violence.

Things We Lost in the Fire

Mariana Enriquez

Mariana Enríquez's THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE (Hogarth; February 21, 2017) is an arresting collection of short stories by an exciting, new international talent. Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortázar, THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE brings modern Argentina to vibrant life as a place where shocking inequality, violence, and corruption are the law of the land, and where military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory. Asking vital questions of the world as we know it, this unnerving debut signals the arrival of an astonishing and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.

Throughout THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE, Enríquez introduces us to a cast of compelling characters who find themselves grappling with the social and political fabric of Argentina, imbued with surreality and classic horror tropes. In these twelve tales, we meet street kids and social workers, hikikomori and practitioners of black magic. There is a young professional who encounters a homeless woman and her son begging for change outside her building--when they suddenly stop appearing, she can't help but connect this to the story of a decapitated little boy she sees on the news. A group of teenage girls begin an innocent experiment with drugs, but their friendship turns dangerous as they dare each other to continually up the stakes. A family opens a tourist hotel on the site of a former secret police barracks, where their guests get more than they bargained for on a trip to the country. When a pop star who rose from the slums turns up dead, his obsessive fans gather to dig up his body. And in the title story, as a protest against domestic violence, women begin to set themselves on fire in public.

Darkly entertaining and brilliantly subversive, Enríquez's collection of stories delivers bold originality. Macabre, disturbing, and magnificently composed, THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE is not to be missed.

Our Ecstatic Days

Steve Erickson

Our Ecstatic Days begins as the memoir of a young mother desperate to forget a single act, committed out of love and fear, that has changed forever the world around her.

In the waning days of summer, a lake appears, almost overnight, in the middle of Los Angeles. In an instant of either madness or revelation, convinced that the lake means to take her small son from her, Kristin becomes determined to stop it. Three thousand miles away, on the eve of a momentous event, another young woman - with a bond to Kristin that she can't even know - meets a mysterious figure who announces in the dark, "The Age of Chaos is here."

Against a forbidden landscape that shimmers with destiny and yearning, Our Ecstatic Days finally takes place on the terrain of a defiant heart. Human connections multiply into astonishing twists of fate - by which the wrongs of an obsolete century may be set right - and parallel lives spin faster toward the possibility that they will once again unite, electrifying a vision of the century to come.

1610: A Sundial in a Grave

Mary Gentle

Valentin Rochefort, professional duellist and down-at-heels aristocrat, arranges the assassination of Henri IV, King of France. Fleeing from the consequences, he makes for England, on the way picking up two companions - a young boy, Dariole, and a ship-wrecked 'demon'. Dariole is discovered first to be a girl, and then to be Rochefort's sister; the 'demon' is Tanaka Saburo, a Japanese samurai on ambassadorial mission to England from the Shogun; and Rochefort is found by a pack of Hermetic mages and conspirators, who want him to arrange the same thing for King James I/VI of England as he did for Henri of France.

Rochefort is blackmailed into arranging the death of King James at the performance of a Hermetic magic play. Meanwhile, Dariole is busy making forays into Shakespeare's theatre as England's first (and worst) female actor ...1610 really isn't Rochefort's year - And as the play's performance and the assassination approach, Rochefort's dreams of the future that may spring from this crucial year grow increasingly stranger and more contradictory. He realises he must act - but, how? What is the right choice? And how much of the future will depend on what he does?

Museum of the Weird

Amelia Gray

A monogrammed cube appears in your town. Your landlord cheats you out of first place in the annual Christmas decorating contest. You need to learn how to love and care for your mate--a paring knife. These situations and more reveal the wondrous play and surreal humor that make up the stories in Amelia Gray's stunning collection of stories: Museum of the Weird.

Acerbic wit and luminous prose mark these shorts, while sickness and death lurk amidst the humor. Characters find their footing in these bizarre scenarios and manage to fall into redemption and rebirth. Museum of the Weird invites you into its hallways, then beguiles, bewitches, and reveals a writer who has discovered a manner of storytelling all her own.

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet -- sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors -- doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through...

The Wall

Marlen Haushofer

First published to acclaim in Germany, The Wall chronicles the life of the last surviving human on earth, an ordinary middle-aged woman who awakens one morning to find that everyone else has vanished. Assuming her isolation to be the result of a military experiment gone awry, she begins the terrifying work of survival and self-renewal. This novel is at once a simple and moving tale and a disturbing meditation on humanity.

The Colorado Kid

Stephen King

On an island off the coast of Maine, a man is found dead. There's no identification on the body. Only the dogged work of a pair of local newspapermen and a graduate student in forensics turns up any clues.
But that's just the beginning of the mystery. Because the more they learn about the man and the baffling circumstances of his death, the less they understand. Was it an impossible crime? Or something stranger still...?
No one but Stephen King could tell this story about the darkness at the heart of the unknown and our compulsion to investigate the unexplained. With echoes of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon and the work of Graham Greene, one of the world's great storytellers presents a surprising tale that explores the nature of mystery itself...

Under the Poppy

Kathe Koja

From a wartime brothel to the intricate high society of 1870s Brussels, Under the Poppy is a breakout novel of childhood friends, a love triangle, puppetmasters, and reluctant spies.

Under the Poppy is a brothel owned by Decca and Rupert. Decca is in love with Rupert, but he in turn is in love with her brother, Istvan. When Istvan comes to town, louche puppet troupe in tow, the lines of their age-old desires intersect against a backdrop of approaching war. Hearts are broken when old betrayals and new alliances--not just their own--take shape, as the townsmen seek refuge from the onslaught of history by watching the girls of the Poppy cavort onstage with Istvan's naughty puppets...

Under the Poppy is a vivid, sexy, historical novel that zips along like the best guilty pleasure.

Gun, With Occasional Music

Jonathan Lethem

Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems-not the least of which are the rabbit in his waiting room and the trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is an ominous place where evolved animals function as members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage. In this brave new world, Metcalf has been shadowing the wife of an affluent doctor, perhaps falling a little in love with her at the same time. But when the doctor turns up dead, our amiable investigator finds himself caught in the crossfire in a futuristic world that is both funny-and not so funny.

Trampoline

Kelly Link

An anthology of unclassifiable short stories, all original to this anthology.

"No unblinkered, gloveless reader can resist the stream of associations unleashed by Ford's story and the rest of Trampoline: influences as disparate as science fiction, magic realism, pulp, and Twilight Zone morality plays."--The Village Voice

Table of Contents:

  • The Force Acting on the Displaced Body - (2003) - shortstory by Christopher Rowe
  • Well-Moistened With Cheap Wine, the Sailor and the Wayfarer Sing of Their Absent Sweethearts - (2003) - shortstory by Ed Park
  • Angel - (2003) - shortstory by Shelley Jackson
  • Impala - (2003) - shortstory by John Gonzalez
  • Famous Men: The Periodic Table of Liquids - (2003) - shortstory by Samantha Hunt
  • Famous Men: Igor and Igor and Igor and Igor - (2003) - shortstory by Samantha Hunt
  • Famous Men: For Love - (2003) - shortstory by Samantha Hunt
  • Gus Dreams of Biting the Mail Man - (2003) - shortstory by Alexander C. Irvine
  • A Crowd of Bone - (2003) - novella by Greer Gilman
  • Fuming Woman - (2003) - shortstory by Alan DeNiro
  • Eight-Legged Story - (2003) - shortstory by Maureen F. McHugh
  • King of Spain - (2003) - shortstory by Dave Shaw
  • Bumpship - (2003) - shortstory by Susan Mosser
  • The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet - (2003) - shortstory by Vandana Singh
  • Shipwreck Beach - (2003) - novelette by Glen Hirshberg
  • The Yellow Chamber - (2003) - shortstory by Jeffrey Ford
  • Destroyer - (2003) - shortstory by Beth Adele Long
  • Gods and Three Wishes - (2003) - shortstory by Carol Emshwiller
  • Dead Boy Found - (2003) - shortstory by Christopher Barzak
  • Insect Dreams - (2003) - novella by Rosalind Palermo Stevenson
  • Ash City Stomp - (2003) - shortstory by Richard Butner
  • King Rat - (2003) - shortstory by Karen Joy Fowler

Three Scenarios in which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail

Kelly Luce

Set in Japan, Luce's playful, tender stories--reminiscent of Haruki Murakami and Aimee Bender--tip into the fantastical, plumb the power of memory, and measure the human capacity to love. The award-winning narratives in this mesmerizing debut trace the lives of ex-pats, artists, and outsiders as they seek to find their place in the world. HANA SASAKI beguiles and surprises: stories include an oracular toaster, a woman who grows a tail, and a most unusual kind of sex reassignment.

Ghostwritten

David Mitchell

A gallery attendant at the Hermitage. A young jazz buff in Tokyo. A crooked British lawyer in Hong Kong. A disc jockey in Manhattan. A physicist in Ireland. An elderly woman running a tea shack in rural China. A cult-controlled terrorist in Okinawa. A musician in London. A transmigrating spirit in Mongolia. What is the common thread of coincidence or destiny that connects the lives of these nine souls in nine far-flung countries, stretching across the globe from east to west? What pattern do their linked fates form through time and space?

A writer of pyrotechnic virtuosity and profound compassion, a mind to which nothing human is alien, David Mitchell spins genres, cultures, and ideas like gossamer threads around and through these nine linked stories. Many forces bind these lives, but at root all involve the same universal longing for connection and transcendence, an axis of commonality that leads in two directions—to creation and to destruction. In the end, as lives converge with a fearful symmetry, Ghostwritten comes full circle, to a point at which a familiar idea—that whether the planet is vast or small is merely a matter of perspective—strikes home with the force of a new revelation. It marks the debut of a writer of astonishing gifts.

The Unseen World

Liz Moore

The moving story of a daughter's quest to discover the truth about her beloved father's hidden past.

Ada Sibelius is raised by David, her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father, who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. Home-schooled, Ada accompanies David to work every day; by twelve, she is a painfully shy prodigy. The lab begins to gain acclaim at the same time that David's mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving Ada virtually an orphan, she is taken in by one of David's colleagues. Soon she embarks on a mission to uncover her father's secrets: a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood. What Ada discovers on her journey into a virtual universe will keep the reader riveted until The Unseen World's heart-stopping, fascinating conclusion.

Kafka on the Shore

Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami gives us a novel every bit as ambitious and expansive as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has been acclaimed both here and around the world for its uncommon ambition and achievement, and whose still-growing popularity suggests that it will be read and admired for decades to come.

This magnificent new novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch the reader. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle--yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.

Extravagant in its accomplishment, Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world's truly great storytellers at the height of his powers.

The Crying of Lot 49

Thomas Pynchon

The highly original satire about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a worldwide conspiracy, meets some extremely interesting characters, and attains a not inconsiderable amount of self knowledge.

Where

Kit Reed

In a coastal town on the Outer Carolina Banks, David Ribault and Merrill Poulnot are trying to revive their stale relationship and commit to marriage, and a slick developer claiming to be related to a historic town hero, Rawson Steele, has come to town and is buying up property. Steele makes a romantic advance on Merrill and an unusual 5 a.m appointment outside of town with David. But Steele is a no-show, and at the time of the appointment everyone in the town disappears, removed entirely from our space and time to a featureless isolated village--including Merrill and her young son. David searches desperately but all seems lost for Steele is in the other village with Merrill.

Kit Reed's Where is a spooky, unsettling speculative fiction.

Island

Jane Rogers

The island is a place where things are not quite as they appear; a magical place where the murder of a reclusive woman is not a cut and dried case.

Nikki Black, intent on punishing the mother who abandoned her at birth, goes to the island with only one aim in mind: revenge. But her plans are confounded by the discovery that she has a brother. Not just any old brother, but a brother strangely possessed by their mother; a brother with a terrifying violent streak; an apparent simpleton whose head is filled with the stories of past islanders, crofters, Vikings, little people. A brother whose dangerous love and strange way of seeing the world transform Nikki's life.

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

Salman Rushdie

From Salman Rushdie, one of the great writers of our time, comes a spellbinding work of fiction that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story. A lush, richly layered novel in which our world has been plunged into an age of unreason, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a breathtaking achievement and an enduring testament to the power of storytelling.

In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub-Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor's office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.

Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn, who live in a world separated from ours by a veil. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world.

Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia's children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights - or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, in which beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.

Inspired by the traditional 'wonder tales' of the East, Salman Rushdie's novel is a masterpiece about the age-old conflicts that remain in today's world. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is satirical and bawdy, full of cunning and folly, rivalries and betrayals, kismet and karma, rapture and redemption.

Was

Geoff Ryman

WAS is the story of Dorothy. Orphaned as a child in the 1870s, she goes to live in Kansas with her Aunty Em and Uncle Henry. They face drought and poverty. They face each other. Alone, abused, Dorothy meets an itinerant actor called Frank and inspires a masterpiece. From the settling of the West and the heyday of the Hollwywood studios to the glittering megalopolis of modern Los Angeles, WAS is the story of all our childhoods.

The Fifth Heart

Dan Simmons

In 1893, Sherlock Holmes and Henry James come to America together to solve the mystery of the 1885 death of Clover Adams, wife of the esteemed historian Henry Adams--member of the Adams family that has given the United States two Presidents. Clover's suicide appears to be more than it at first seemed; the suspected foul play may involve matters of national importance.

Holmes is currently on his Great Hiatus--his three-year absence after Reichenbach Falls during which time the people of London believe him to be deceased. Holmes has faked his own death because, through his powers of ratiocination, the great detective has come to the conclusion that he is a fictional character.

This leads to serious complications for James--for if his esteemed fellow investigator is merely a work of fiction, what does that make him? And what can the master storyteller do to fight against the sinister power -- possibly named Moriarty -- that may or may not be controlling them from the shadows?

The Blood of Angels

Johanna Sinisalo

The phenomenon of colony-collapse disorder, the sudden mass disappearance of bees, has become so widespread that much of the world – although not, as yet, Finland – is facing agricultural and ecological disaster.

Amateur beekeeper Orvo, devastated by the recent death of his eco-warrior son, finds two of his hives deserted and begins to fear that the 'epidemic' has reached Scandinavia. Then, in the attic of the old barn, he makes a mystical and frightening discovery: a pathway to a parallel world. Is it a hallucination stimulated by sorrow and loss – or is it something very real and connected with the bees' disappearance? His research teaches him that in practically every culture bees are viewed as half-supernatural messengers that can travel between worlds and are associated with resurrection and the afterlife. He begins to wonder if this portal could reunite him with his dead son and whether he can himself escape the ecological meltdown of this world.

The Blood of Angels reworks the Orpheus myth while analysing modern man's need to deny his mortality and raise himself above the rest of nature, to compare himself to the angels – but at what price?

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Robin Sloan

A Winner of the Alex Award, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle.

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything — instead, they "check out" large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele's behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore's secrets extend far beyond its walls.

Marrow Island

Alexis M. Smith

What would you give to save the thing you love the most?

It has been twenty years since Lucie Bowen left the islands. Twenty years ago, the May Day Quake set loose catastrophic waves along the west coast, from Alaska to California, shattering thousands of lives. Twenty years ago, Lucie's father disappeared in an explosion at the Marrow Island oil refinery, a tragedy that destroyed the island's ecosystem and sent Lucie and her mother to the mainland to start anew. Twenty years ago, Lucie and her best friend, Katie, were just Puget Sound children, tucked up under their desks, hovering under mylar sheets, hoping to survive.

Now, Katie writes with strange and miraculous news. Marrow Island is no longer uninhabitable, no longer abandoned. She is part of a community, a mysterious Colony, that has, somehow, conjured life again from Marrow's soil. Lucie returns. Her journalist instincts tell her there's more to the Colony and their charismatic leader--a former nun with an all-consuming plan--than its members want her to know. The island's astonishing rebirth seems to have come at great cost--perhaps to the colonists themselves. As she uncovers their secrets, will Lucie endanger more than their mission? What price will she pay for the truth?

I was always a part of you, and you were always a part of me, Katie writes. And in this marvelously spun story Alexis Smith reaches into the depths of our connections to our pasts, our loved ones, our devotions. Our choices may bring us to the brink, but within our promises to each other and our hopes for the future, at the intersection of science and faith and grace, there may well be miracles in the making.

Hotel World

Ali Smith

Five disparate voices inhabit Ali Smith's dreamlike, mesmerising Hotel World, set in the luxurious anonymity of the Global Hotel, in an unnamed northern English city. The disembodied yet interconnected characters include Sara, a 19-year-old chambermaid who has recently died at the hotel; her bereaved sister, Clare, who visits the scene of Sara's death; Penny, an advertising copywriter who is staying in the room opposite; Lise, the Global's depressed receptionist; and the homeless Else who begs on the street outside.

Reamde

Neal Stephenson

In 1972, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, fled to the mountains of British Columbia to avoid the draft. A skilled hunting guide, he eventually amassed a fortune by smuggling marijuana across the border between Canada and Idaho. As the years passed, Richard went straight and returned to the States after the U.S. government granted amnesty to draft dodgers. He parlayed his wealth into an empire and developed a remote resort in which he lives. He also created T'Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of fans around the world.

But T'Rain's success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player's electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game's virtual universe-and Richard is at ground zero.

Poe's Children: The New Horror: An Anthology

Peter Straub

Peter Straub--bestselling author and 8-time Bram Stoker Award winner--has gathered here 24 bone-chilling, nail-biting, frightfully imaginative stories that represent the best of contemporary horror writing.

Table of Contents

  • Dan Chaon "The Bees"
  • Elizabeth Hand "Cleopatra Brimstone"
  • Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem "The Man on the Ceiling"
  • M. John Harrison "The Great God Plan"
  • Ramsey Campbell "The Voice of the Beach"
  • Brian Evenson "Body"
  • Kelly Link "Louise's Ghost"
  • Jonathan Carroll "The Sadness of Detail"
  • M. Rickert "Leda"
  • Thomas Tessier "In Praise of Folly"
  • David J. Schow "Plot Twist"
  • Glen Hirshberg "The Two Sams"
  • Thomas Ligotti "Notes on the Writing of Horror: A Story"
  • Benjamin Percy "Unearthed"
  • Bradford Morrow "Gardener of Heart"
  • Peter Straub "Little Red's Tango"
  • Stephen King "The Ballad of a Flexible Bullet"
  • Joe Hill "20th Century Ghost"
  • Ellen Klages "The Green Glass Sea"
  • Tia V. Travis "The Kiss"
  • Graham Joyce "Black Dust"
  • Neil Gaiman "October in the Chair"
  • John Crowley "Missolonghi 1824"
  • Rosalind Palermo Stevenson "Insect Dreams"

Occupy Me

Tricia Sullivan

A woman with wings that exist in another dimension. A man trapped in his own body by a killer. A briefcase that is a door to hell. A conspiracy that reaches beyond our world. Breathtaking SF from a Clarke Award-winning author.

Tricia Sullivan has written an extraordinary, genre defining novel that begins with the mystery of a woman who barely knows herself and ends with a discovery that transcends space and time. On the way we follow our heroine as she attempts to track down a killer in the body of another man, and the man who has been taken over, his will trapped inside the mind of the being that has taken him over.

And at the centre of it all a briefcase that contains countless possible realities.

Tricia Sullivan returns to the genre with a book that will define the conversation within the genre and will show what it is capable of for years to come. This is the best book yet from a writer of exceedingly rare talent who is much loved in the genre world.

Armageddon in Retrospect

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

First published on the anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut's death, Armageddon in Retrospect is a collection of twelve new writings - a fitting tribute to the author, and an essential contribution to the discussion of war, peace and humanity's tendency towards violence. Imbued with Vonnegut's trademark rueful humour, the pieces range from a visceral non-fiction recollection of the destruction of Dresden - to a painfully funny short story about three soldiers and their fantasies of the perfect meal.

Slaughterhouse - Five

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Slaughterhous-Five is one of the world's great anti-war books. Centering on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.

Unstuck in time, Billy Pilgrim, Vonnegut´s shattered survivor of the Dresden bombing, relives his life over and over again under the gaze of aliens; he comes at last to some understanding of the human comedy.

The Sirens of Titan

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

The richest and most depraved man on Earth takes a wild space journey to distant worlds, learning about the purpose of human life along the way.

Neon Green

Margaret Wappler

It's the summer of 1994 in suburban Chicago: Forrest Gump is still in theaters, teens are reeling from the recent death of Kurt Cobain, and you can enter a sweepstakes for a spaceship from Jupiter to land in your backyard. Welcome to Margaret Wappler's slightly altered 90s. Everything's pretty much the way you remember it, except for the aliens.

When a flying saucer lands in the Allens' backyard, family patriarch and environmental activist Ernest is up in arms. According to the company facilitating the visits, the spaceship is 100 percent non-toxic, but as Ernest's panic increases, so do his questions: What are the effects of longterm exposure to the saucer and why is it really here?

The family starts logging the spaceship's daily fits and starts but it doesn't get them any closer to figuring out the spaceship's comically erratic behavior. Ernest's wife Cynthia and their children, Alison and Gabe, are less concerned with the saucer, and more worried about their father's growing paranoia (not to mention their mundane, suburban existences). Set before the arrival of the internet, Neon Green will stun, unnerve, and charm readers with its loving depiction of a suburban family living on the cusp of the future.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Claire North

The extraordinary journey of one unforgettable character - a story of friendship and betrayal, loyalty and redemption, love and loneliness and the inevitable march of time

Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. 'I nearly missed you, Doctor August,' she says. 'I need to send a message.'

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

Banner of Souls

Liz Williams

Journey into a strange future fueled by haunt-tech: a technology which works by harnessing energy from of the realm of the dead. But who are the mysterious race known as the Kami who brought haunt-tech to earth? Saviors from another world, or something else entirely? And how does the child named Lunae who can manipulate time with a thought fit into the puzzle? It is up to the Martian warrior Dreams-of-War to answer these questions before life as she knows it comes to an end.

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette, the protagonist of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and the author's namesake, has issues—"unnatural" ones: her adopted mam thinks she's the Chosen one from God; she's beginning to fancy girls; and an orange demon keeps popping into her psyche.

This is the story of Jeanette, adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God's elect. Zealous and passionate, she seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts. At sixteen, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves. Innovative, intoxicating and tender, "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit" is a journey to the bizarre outposts of religious excess and an exploration of love.

Blueprints of the Afterlife

Ryan Boudinot

From the "wickedly talented" (Boston Globe) and "darkly funny" (New York Times Book Review) Ryan Boudinot, Blueprints of the Afterlife is a tour de force.

It is the Afterlife. The end of the world is a distant, distorted memory called "the Age of F***ed Up Shit." A sentient glacier has wiped out most of North America. Medical care is supplied by open-source nanotechnology, and human nervous systems can be hacked.

Abby Fogg is a film archivist with a niggling feeling that her life is not really her own. She may be right. Al Skinner is a former mercenary for the Boeing Army, who's been dragging his war baggage behind him for nearly a century. Woo-jin Kan is a virtuoso dishwasher with the Hotel and Restaurant Management Olympics medals to prove it. Over them all hovers a mysterious man named Dirk Bickle, who sends all these characters to a full-scale replica of Manhattan under construction in Puget Sound. An ambitious novel that writes large the hopes and anxieties of our time—climate change, social strife, the depersonalization of the digital age—Blueprints of the Afterlife will establish Ryan Boudinot as an exceptional novelist of great daring.

Black Wine

Candas Jane Dorsey

An old woman hangs in a cage; a young woman slaves on a rich lord's estate. How does a woman discover and assert her identity in a primeval, barbaric world? From slave dens to merchant cities to isolated mountains, Candas Jane Dorsey's first novel is a powerful exploration of gender, identity, and freedom.

Baba Yaga Laid an Egg

Canongate Myth: Book 11

Dubravka Ugresic

According to Slavic myth, Baba Yaga is a witch who lives in a house built on chicken legs and kidnaps small children. In Baba Yaga Laid an Egg, internationally acclaimed writer Dubravka Ugresic takes the timeless legend and spins it into a fresh and distinctly modern tale of femininity, aging, identity, and love.

With barbed wisdom and razor-sharp wit, Ugresic weaves together the stories of four women in contemporary Eastern Europe: a writer who grants her dying mother’s final wish by traveling to her hometown in Bulgaria, an elderly woman who wakes up every day hoping to die, a buxom blonde hospital worker who’s given up on love, and a serial widow who harbors a secret talent for writing. Through the women’s fears and desires, and their struggles against invisibility, Ugresic presents a brilliantly postmodern retelling of an ancient myth that is infused with humanity and the joy of storytelling.

The Islanders

Dream Archipelago: Book 2

Christopher Priest

Reality is illusory and magical in the stunning new literary SF novel from the multiple award-winning author of The Prestige-for fans of Haruki Murakami and David Mitchell.

A tale of murder, artistic rivalry, and literary trickery; a Chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you. The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters. The Islanders serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands; an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder; and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator. It shows Christopher Priest at the height of his powers and illustrates his undiminished power to dazzle.

The Gradual

Dream Archipelago: Book 4

Christopher Priest

In the latest novel from one of the UK's greatest writers we return to the Dream Archipelago, a string of islands that no one can map or explain.

Alesandro Sussken is a composer, and we see his life as he grows up in a fascist state constantly at war with another equally faceless opponent. His brother is sent off to fight; his family is destroyed by grief. Occasionally Alesandro catches glimpses of islands in the far distance from the shore, and they feed into his music - music for which he is feted.

But all knowledge of the other islands is forbidden by the junta, until he is unexpectedly sent on a cultural tour. And what he discovers on his journey will change his perceptions of his country, his music and the ways of the islands themselves.

Playing with the lot of the creative mind, the rigours of living under war and the nature of time itself, this is Christopher Priest at his absolute best.

On Wings of Song

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 4

Thomas M. Disch

Named one of science fiction's 100 best books by noted genre editor David Pringle, Thomas M. Disch's On Wings of Song is at once allegory, social satire, political fable, and brilliantly written science fiction of the ultimate out-of-body experience. In Disch's dazzlingly imagined future America, Daniel Weinraub dreams of escaping the repressive midwest of the mid-twenty-first century through an electronic device with which the user takes flight into cyberspace when activated with a quasi-musical code called "The Symphonette." Daniel's adventures take him from Iowa's God-fearing police state and its "correctional" labor camps for the sinful to Manhattan's mean streets and "cyberspatial flight paths."

Noughts & Crosses (Black and White)

Noughts & Crosses: Book 1

Malorie Blackman

Callum is a naught, a second-class citizen in a society run by the ruling Crosses. Sephy is a Cross, and daughter of the man slated to become prime minister. In their world, white naughts and black Crosses simply don't mix -- and they certainly don't fall in love. But that's exactly what they've done.

When they were younger, they played together. Now Callum and Sephy meet in secret and make excuses. But excuses no longer cut it when Sephy and her mother are nearly caught in a terrorist bombing planned by the Liberation Militia, with which Callum's family is linked. Callum's father is the prime suspect...and Sephy's father will stop at nothing to see him hanged. The blood hunt that ensues will threaten not only Callum and Sephy's love for each other, but their very lives.

In this shocking thriller, UK sensation Malorie Blackman turns the world inside out. What's white is black, what's black is white, and only one thing is clear: Assumptions can be deadly.

The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars

Terri Windling's Fairy Tales: Book 8

Steven Brust

Once upon a time there was a kingdom that lived in darkness, for the sun, the moon and the stars were hidden in a box, and that box was hidden in a sow's belly, and that sow was hidden in a troll's cave, and that cave was hidden at the end of the world.

Once upon a time there was a studio of artists who feared they were doomed to obscurity, for though they worked and they worked, no one was interested in the paintings that stood in racks along their studio walls.

Steven Brust's fantasy novel The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars is a tale of two quests, of two young men who are reaching for the moon. And the sun. And the stars.

The House of Storms

The Aether Universe: Book 2

Ian R. MacLeod

Darkness encroaches upon the Age of Light as Ian R. MacLeod's "electrifying" (Interzone) epic continues.

The Physiognomy

The Well-Built City Trilogy: Book 1

Jeffrey Ford

The nightmare metropolis called the Well-Built City exists because the satanic genius and Master, Drachton Below, wished it so. And few within its confines hold the power of Physiognomist First Class Cley. With scalpels, calipers, and the other instruments of his science, Cley can divine good and evil, determine character and intelligence, uncover dark secrets and foretell a person's destiny, through the careful study of facial and bodily features.

But now the Master has ordered the great physiognomist out of the City on a seemingly trivial assignment into the rural hinterlands. but there, removed from Below's omnipresent scrutiny, even the most loyal servant of logic and order can fall prey to seductions of the flesh and spirit. And in this strange and unfamiliar place possessing terrors uniquely its own, there are stark truths awaiting the eminent Cley -- and inescapable revelations that could shatter his perceptions of himself, his profession, and his world.