It’s murder in a sleepy French fishing village . . .
Crime writer Ben Anderson was hoping for a peaceful honeymoon sailing in Europe. He’s solved four murders in the last three years, which is more than enough to suit him. He is, after all, a married man now. Things are going to be different.
Alas, their trip to a quiet, out-of-the-way French village is disrupted when they rescue the passengers of a boat on fire, and find themselves swept up in a chain of events that involves smugglers, car chases and – yes – murder.
‘Compton has been one of Britain’s most original and consistent novelists since the late Sixties, but he has never received the attention he deserves…Compton’s prose is fine-tuned, his human insights sharp, and his narrative pace filled with the weird synchronicities and dissonances of how violent things usually happen’ INDEPENDENT
Greg Egan is arguably Australia’s greatest living science fiction writer. In a career spanning more than thirty years, he has produced a steady stream of novels and stories that address a wide range of scientific and philosophical concerns: artificial intelligence, higher mathematics, science vs religion, the nature of consciousness, and the impact of technology on the human personality. All these ideas and more find their way into this generous and illuminating collection, the clear product of a man who is both a master storyteller and a rigorous, exploratory thinker.
The Best of Greg Egan contains twenty stories and novellas arranged in chronological order, and each of them is a brilliantly conceived, painstakingly developed gem, including the Hugo Award-winning novella “Oceanic”, a powerful account of a boy whose deeply held religious beliefs are undermined by what he comes to learn about the laws of the physical world.
This book really does represent the best of Greg Egan, and it therefore takes its place among the best of contemporary SF. Startling, intelligent and always hugely entertaining, it provides an ideal introduction to one of the most accomplished and original writers working today. This is an important and provocative collection, and it deserves a place on the serious science fiction reader’s permanent shelf.
Powerful war machines of the far-future collide across a barren desert world in this post-apocalyptic debut novel from award-winning Australian author Cat Sparks.
Seventeen-year-old Star and her sister Nene are orphans, part of a thirteen-wagon caravan of nomadic traders living hard lives travelling the Sand Road. Their route cuts through a particularly dangerous and unforgiving section of the Dead Red Heart, a war-ravaged desert landscape plagued by rogue semi-sentient machinery and other monsters from a bygone age.
But when the caravan witnesses a relic-Angel satellite unexpectedly crash to Earth, a chain of events begins that sends Star on a journey far away from the life she once knew. Shanghaied upon the sandship Dogwatch, she is forced to cross the Obsidian Sea by Quarrel, an ancient Templar supersoldier. Eventually shipwrecked, Star will have no choice but to place her trust in both thieves and priestesses while coming to terms with the grim reality of her past-and the horror of her unfolding destiny-as the terrible secret her sister had been desperate to protect her from begins to unravel.
Meanwhile, something old and powerful has woken in the desert. A Lotus Blue, deadliest of all the ancient war machines. A warrior with plans of its own, far more significant than a fallen Angel. Plans that do not include the survival of humanity.
Top Gun heads to outer space in this throwback to the classic science fiction of Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein.
Strapped in to artificial wings spanning twenty-five feet across, your arms push a tenth of your body weight with each pump as you propel yourself at frightening speeds through the air. Inside a pressurized dome on the Moon, subject to one-sixth Earth’s gravity, there are swarms of chiseled, fearless, superbly trained flyers all around you, jostling for air space like peregrine falcons racing for the prize. This was the sport of piloting, and after Helium-3, piloting was one of the first things that entered anyone’s mind when Borealis was mentioned.
It was Helium-3 that powered humanity’s far-flung civilization expansion, feeding fusion reactors from the Alliances on Earth to the Terran Ring, Mars, the Jovian colonies, and all the way out to distant Titan. The supply, taken from the surface of the Moon, had once seemed endless. But that was long ago. Borealis, the glittering, fabulously rich city stretched out across the lunar North Pole, had amassed centuries of unimaginable wealth harvesting it, and as such was the first to realize that its supplies were running out.
The distant memories of the horrific planetwide devastation spawned by the petroleum wars were not enough to quell the rising energy and political crises. A new war to rival no other appeared imminent, but the solar system’s competing powers would discover something more powerful than Helium-3: the indomitable spirit of an Earth-born, war-weary mercenary and pilot extraordinaire.
The magician’s eyes gleamed with emerald hellfires as he looked at the council of nine.
“Let us enact upon Thongor of Valkarth the most terrible punishment conceivable to the human intelligence…the eternal slavery of the soul to Chaos.”
If the curse is carried out, Thongor’s body and soul will suffer throughout eternity. But much more than only Thongor’s fate is at stake. The Magicians of Zaar plan the conquest of the whole of Lemuria – and only Thongor stands in their way.
Can Thongor’s mighty sword keep his world from being enslaved by the sinister servants of Chaos?
She is known as Seeker. Spellbound by the Faerie Queen, she has abducted human children for her mistress’s pleasure for what seems like an eternity, unable to free herself from servitude and reclaim her own humanity.
Seeker’s latest prey is a Merlin. Named after the legendary wizard of Camelot, Merlins are not simply those who wield magic – they are magic. Now, with the Prometheus Club’s agents and rivals from Faerie both vying for the favor of this being of limitless magic to tip the balance of power, Seeker must persuade the Merlin to join her cause – or else risk losing something even more precious and more important to her than the fate of humankind . . .
Lord Dunsany, Irish master of fantasy, was the author of more than a dozen novels, hundreds of short stories, poems, and essays, and dozens of plays. In this powerful and moving novel, written in 1955, a futuroscope – a device that allows a viewer to see into the near or distant future – reveals an awful fate for humanity: a nuclear holocaust has destroyed nearly all human life on the planet. The great city of London is now merely an immense crater, filled in with water from the Thames. The pitiful remnants of humanity have been reduced to a Stone Age existence. The narrator, obsessively looking through the futuroscope, focuses upon the plight of a single family in their struggles to survive and fend off the many enemies, both animal and human, that surround them. When one of their number is kidnapped by a band of gypsies, we can only wonder at her fate in this brave new world of the distant future. Gripping, horrifying, touching, and fascinating, The Pleasures of a Futuroscope shows that Lord Dunsany retained his literary powers undiminished to the end of his life.
Alien horror becomes a living nightmare as the Xenos, meaning “strangers”, inflict mayhem on earth.
International distress alerts are sent out when planes first seem to disappear, disturbing concepts of space and time and leaving a trail of death and disillusionment. This bizarre series of “cosmic skyjackings” is shrouded in secrecy by a baffled and frightened military. Intense surveillance fails to reveal the cause of a seemingly hostile yet invisible enemy. Aircraft continue to disappear, plucked out of the sky without warning, only to reappear months later, thousands of miles off course.
National and global security is under threat and the ICARUS committee is formed to investigate. Military officials, the government and the FBI work alongside physician Mark Freedman and Soviet scientists to uncover the supernatural mystery that lies behind these unexplainable events. Earth has been found by a horde of creatures that not even the wildest imagination could invent – sinister parasitic creatures that took to their human hosts with deadly speed and bloodthirsty precision.
The terror that unfolds has terrifying consequences for all involved, and the invasion reveals something much more frightening and final than ever suspected.
A marvelous medley of Tiptree’s best, including:
“YOUR HAPLOID HEART” – When Ian Suitlov and Pax Patton landed on Esthaa to check for humans, the job wasn’t as easy as it appeared. Though the natives seemed human enough, only cross breeding would be conclusive proof. But how were they to prove anything, when sex was punishable by death?
“THE PSYCHOLOGIST WHO WOULDN’T DO AWFUL THINGS TO RATS” – Dr Tilly Lipsitz hated his name, loved his rats… and would be out of a job if he didn’t come up with a real zinger of an experiment soon. He didn’t have much in mind until he took a midnight trip to his lab and learned more than he would have thought possible.
“SHE WAITS FOR ALL MEN BORN” – She had eyes that could not see, but without sight she had powers that went far beyond those of all who came upon her.
Your Haploid Heart (1969)
And So On, and So On (1971)
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (1974)
A Momentary Taste of Being (1975)
Houston, Houston, Do You Read? (1976)
The Psychologist Who Wouldn’t Do Awful Things to Rats (1976)
She Waits for All Men Born (1976)
As an orphan growing up in the slums, Loren read her clandestine copy of Jane’s Story over and over, relishing every word. But Loren is no Jane. Savvy and street-smart, Loren could never be stirred by a man of metal, her passion never ignited by an almost-human – even one designed for pleasure.
Still, when the META corporation does the unthinkable and brings back updated versions of robots past-Loren knows she must see Silver. And just like Jane, it is love at first sight. But Silver is now Verlis. If he was perfection before, he is now like a god. Yet he is more human than his creators think – or fear. While Loren doesn’t quite trust him, she will follow her twice-born lover into a battle to control his own destiny – one that
will reveal to her the most astonishing illusion of all.
A rat called Crocus, imprisoned in the laboratory of an Irish scientist Dr Dresmond Burke, is transmitting information to a person or persons unknown in another galaxy. His information is in the form of a report on man’s history and development over the past 500 years. And it ends with Crocus’s shadowy imprecise foreknowledge of what will become of the human race in the future.
Crocus is sharp, wise and cleverer by far than most men – as, he claims, the whole race of rats is. He comments astutely on man’s spiritual decline; on the collapse of formalised religion and the obsession with things scientific; with man’s mistakes in numerology, and therefore in mathematics and astronomy; and with his loss of faith in all that is supernatural or extra-sensory. But Crocus himself is being monitored by Dr Burke, who is beaming the rat’s thoughts through an elderly lady medium and on to a tape recorder. The message as transmitted is unintelligible, but Dr Burke thinks he knows a way to interpret it. This involves outside help…the help of the army…of foreign powers. And then he discovers that what he has learned through Crocus is already known to a small band of resolute and dedicated men. Man’s thought-processes can be interfered with, thought-waves can move material objects, and this knowledge is being put to a use more potent than the nuclear bomb…
Returning to the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge after a spell at the nuclear research labs of CERN in Geneva, Professor Isaac Newton is plunged into the centre of a baffling mystery. One of his research students, Mike Howarth, has picked up strange signals on his satellite telemetry equipment, signals that appear to emanate from a passing comet. Not long after he has passed the vital data into Isaac Newton’s hands, Howarth is found dead. Soon after that, it becomes clear that some people in very high places – including the Kremlin and the White House – are more than a little interested in the remarkable events taking place at the Cavendish. But with the arrival of that most majestic of all celestial bodies, Comet Halley, a third and infinitely more powerful superpower enters the scene. And the Comet’s extraordinary intentions – not to mention its devastating methods of communicating them to Earth – promise a new dawn for humanity.
A frontier world on the back end of nowhere is the sort of place people go to get lost. And some of those people have secrets worth hiding, secrets that can change the future-assuming there is one. . .
André Deschênes is a hired assassin, but he wants to be so much more. If only he can find a teacher who will forgive his murderous past-and train him to manipulate odds and control probability. It’s called the art of conjuring, and it’s André’s only route to freedom. For the world he lives on is run by the ruthless Charter Trade Company, and his floating city, Novo Haven, is little more than a company town where humans and aliens alike either work for one tyrannical family-or are destroyed by it. But beneath Novo Haven’s murky waters, within its tangled bayous, reedy banks, and back alleys, revolution is stirring. And one more death may be all it takes to shift the balance . . .
After years of caring for her often impossible mother, Alice is finally free. But an unexpected legacy gives her more than she bargained for…
Classic crime from one of the greats of the Detection Club
When Alice Hunter’s mother dies, after grimly clinging on for eighty-odd years, it is enough for genteel Alice just to be free. But she soon becomes lonely, having few points of contact with the people in the cheap boarding houses which are all she can afford. Then comes news of a legacy, and Alice’s soul rises as she travels to the family’s lawyers in Bath.
Her new life is not what she expects, however, and she is lost in a fog of human misunderstanding, hatred and deceit. A nice cup of tea, stirred by detective Arthur Crook, is what she will need to put things right . . .
Death is everywhere. A child in a playground. A playboy in a cheap hotel. A John Doe in a freight yard. A nanny and her two charges in a church pew.
After twenty-six years in homicide, Lieutenant Luis Mendoza knows death is all in a day’s work. But in the heat of a Los Angeles summer, even the predictable becomes bizarre. And for a hard-boiled cop with a decidedly soft centre, nothing is more implausible than human nature – especially when it comes to murder . . .
‘A Luis Mendoza story means superlative suspense’ Los Angeles Times