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Take a trip across time and space with the latest Sci-Fi titles; head to another universe with the latest and greatest Fantasy novels and get your heart pumping with a brilliant selection of Horror.
Chock-a-block with chills, this supernatural thriller also beautifully evokes teenage feelings of uncertainty and how they travel with us into adulthood. Theatre usher Chloe witnesses the iconic musical Dust returning to the stage after 20 years, the very stage said to be haunted by the leading actress who was murdered in her dressing room. It feels as though this book, which crosses genres so successfully, could only have been written by Louise Beech. Her ability to delve into the deepest of emotions and describe them so they land with acute precision in your own thoughts, is handfasted with her knowledge of the theatre. The past collides with the present and boy does the tension increase with each time switch. I felt as though I was a teenager again, and with all the buckets full of feelings that Chloe has to manage, I could have gathered her into the hugest hug. While this is spooky as heck, it is also hugely considerate of emotional heartache and distress. Compelling, original, and unmistakably Louise Beech, I Am Dust glides onto my Liz Robinson picks of the month.
Lisa needs to disappear. And her friend's rambling old home in the wilds of Yorkshire seems like the perfect place. It's miles away from the closest town, and no one there knows her or her little boy, Joe. But when Lisa meets some of the locals, and hears some disturbing rumours about the house, she realises it might not be the sanctuary she thought. What secret has Rowan Isle House - and her friend - kept hidden all these years? And what will Lisa have to do to survive, when her own past finally catches up with her?
A WORLD HALF IN DARKNESS. A SECRET SHE MUST BRING TO LIGHT. 2059. The world has stopped turning. One half suffers an endless frozen night; the other, nothing but burning sun. Only in a slim twilit region between them can life survive. In an isolationist Britain, scientist Ellen Hopper receives a letter from a dying man. It contains a powerful and dangerous secret. One that those in power will kill to conceal…
'Downtime Shift' is an intriguing, complex and chilling work of science fiction by Robert Holding. Set in the twenty-first and twenty-ninth centuries, it paints a frightening picture of a future in which mankind is totally controlled by artificial intelligence. Evelyn, the main character, is a 'Shifty', that is someone who has been trained to survive and carry out tasks for the 'EYE' when travelling 800 years into the planet's past to alter its future for the better. Questioning these tasks, Evelyn returns to her own time to find that many of the remaining population want to take back control of their lives but that the 'EYE' also has more forces under her control than had been reckoned with. This is a very challenging read on many levels and so plausible in general that it is truly terrifying. The characters are well-defined and the plot fast-paced. The author does leave us with a light at the end of a horrendously turbulent tunnel. I would certainly recommend this book, especially to anyone feeling disillusioned with the way modern life seems to be heading. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
The fairy tale you thought you knew… The story of the Sea Witch, the villainess from Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale The Little Mermaid, told from the viewpoint of the Sea Witch when she was a twelve-year-old girl… Evie has been wracked with guilt ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned. So when a girl appears on shore with an uncanny resemblance to Anna, Evie befriends her in an effort to make amends. And as the two girls catch the eyes – and hearts – of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at happy ever after. But is Evie’s new friend really who she says she is? Or will Evie discover, too late, the truth of her bargain? A gripping story of friendship, betrayal and the power of hope…Because ‘though magic can shape life and death… love is the one thing it cannot control
A Maxim Jakubowski Best Science Fiction selection. A second novel by the fast rising South African author (pronounced Beukes like mucus, she tells us...), recently shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. A frantic urban fantasy in which ex-drug addict Zinzi December, whose job is to find people, is tasked to retrieve missing pop starlet Songweza. But, in a broken city peopled by crime lords, magicians, beast masters and symbiotic animals, nothing is ever straightforward, nothing is as easy as it appears. Cue a sassy and cynical heroine with a gleeful touch of mischief, twists and turns on every corner. A page turner and a pleaser. In November 2011 South African film producer Helena Spring won film rights to Zoo City. Lauren Beukes said: "Every novelist dreams of a movie deal—but you actually want more than that. You want to find a producer of great vision and integrity and experience who fundamentally gets the book . . . I'm thrilled that it's being produced in South Africa—for an international audience."
Zombies and supernatural beings are all the rage at the moment and although this is another story about a Zombie plague sweeping across the world this is told in an original and thoroughly entertaining way and by collection of some of the best modern authors around. Told through various letters, emails, blogs, TV reports etc the story unfolds at a rapid and gut wrenching speed and sweeps the reader along as fast as the zombies are taking over the planet. A great addition to the genre.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Peter Caswell is a killer without a conscience as after every mission his mind is wiped and his guilt is expunged. When he is ordered into space at short notice and against protocol to investigate a missing spaceship that disappeared ages ago, all the safeties he had in his system are thrown by the side as he has to embark on a killing spree that will lead him to another, Earth-like, planet which sits at the other end of a wormhole. Here, in a medieval world centuries behind Earth’s technology he has to track down and kill a fugitive who could change the fate of not just the two planets but the whole universe. Saddled with an involuntary companion, Melni, a spy for one of the other world’s warring factions, he slowly begins to unravel a truth many would rather be kept silent. Non-stop action powers the plot along like a runaway train. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
Former hit singer Hollis is down on her luck after the Crash and can't turn down the offer of a job again from mysterious global ad agency, Blue Ant. Stanley Milgrim, ex-addict freshly out of an expensive rehab paid for by Blue Ant-founder Hubertus Bigend, is also on the payroll. Bigend wants them to do some discreet research on an a secret, obscurely fashionable denim. It may not matter that they know nothing about fashion - but it does matter, at least to them, when bullets start to fly and they realize that Bigend's business obsession is leading them down a dangerous path.
YA Sci-Fi featuring an all-girl spaceship crew taking control and showing the boy's how it's done, with romance, tragedy and ray-guns. Lovereading Review to follow.
A blistering, satirical novel about life under a global media corporation that knows exactly what we think, what we want, and what we do - before we do. Self-anointed guru of the Digital Age, Guy Matthias, has become one of the world's most powerful and influential figures. Untaxed and ungoverned, his company 'Beetle' essentially operates beyond the control of Governments or the law. But trouble is never far away, and for Guy a perfect storm is brewing: his wife wants to leave him; malfunctioning Beetle software has led to some unfortunate deaths which are proving hard to cover up and a mystery hacker, Gogol, is on his trail. With the clock ticking- Guy, his aide Douglas Varley, conflicted national security agent Eloise Jayne, depressed journalist David Strachey, and Gogol, whoever that may be - the question is becoming ever more pressing, how do you live in reality when nobody knows anything, and all knowledge, all certainty, is partly or entirely fake?
In the wake of World War Z, the 28 Days movies and TV series The Walking Dead, we've been deluged by a surfeit of zombie trash, but The Walkin' Trilogy by Towsey succeeds in infusing the sub-genre with both empathy and a strong sense of the human (or should that be non human?) dilemma the state of being dead presents. Following a near apocalyptic event, soldier Thomas returns from the bloody front as a zombie. Part road trip and part small-town family drama, the initial volume, Your Brother's Blood, set the scene. Here, seven years later, Thomas and family have left their village on a quest for some form of truth, which will keep on eluding them. An elegiac western mood dominates the book and already makes us hanker after the final volume in the series where many questions will have to be answered. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
In the wake of World War Z, the 28 Days movies and TV series The Walking Dead, we've been deluged by a surfeit of zombie trash, but The Walkin' Trilogy by Towsey succeeds in infusing the sub-genre with both empathy and a strong sense of the human (or should that be non human?) dilemma the state of being dead presents. Following a near apocalyptic event, soldier Thomas returns from the bloody front as a zombie. Part road trip and part small-town family drama, the initial volume, Your Brother's Blood, set the scene. Here, seven years later, Thomas and family have left their village on a quest for some form of truth, which will keep on eluding them. An elegiac western mood dominates the book and already makes us hanker after the final volume in the series where many questions will have to be answered.
Maxim Jakubowski's November 2014 Book of the Month. The final volume in THE LAST POLICEMAN trilogy reaches a melancholy and moving end. A subtle combination of police thriller and science fiction, this trilogy has turned out to be a major achievement. A comet is hurtling towards Earth and the planet's days are counted. Against this apocalyptic background and the ensuing breakdown in society a young, naively idealistic policeman insists on continuing to do his job and solve crimes that are no longer of interest to anyone else. He is clumsy, unerringly honest and as obstinate as a mule, and in this third instalment of the deliberately downbeat but most endearing series is now seeking out his sister whose disappearance might be linked to survivalist theories that might prolong the planet's existence. A quiet determination, touching encounters with the lost and the living, poetry spun about the small epiphanies of life, all emotions that are rare in crime or SF fiction. A gem of a book.
In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world. When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken. Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans, where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go. Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?
Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies. To live, you must follow the rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside. Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.
This is an omnibus volume of three short but quite spectacular SF thrillers. I would also guarantee that they are quite unlike anything else you have read before. Striding along the shadowy border between SF and Fantasy, Peter Higgins has imagined something that feels a little like China Mieville writing a John le Carre novel. With a dash of Gorky’s paranoia and Martin Cruz Smith’s edge-of-your-seat plotting. Set in a world that feels like an alternate Russia (but isn’t) the trilogy compresses a sense of Sovietesque history between 1939 and 1969 into a few short months as it follows downtrodden and rumpled provincial police inspector Visassrion Lom, into a plot at the centre of the dark dictatorship that is the Vlast. But there is a lot else going on beyond the cruelties of politics. An alien visitation, the spirit of the land, the press of other realities. As I say quite unlike anything else and sometimes you do feel like you’re running to keep up with its twists and new directions. But stay on board. With engaging characters and sometimes effortlessly beautiful and poetic prose (Higgins has an amazing way with describing nature) all nailed to a steam train of a plot this is the sort of book where you can afford to forget asking what sort of novel it is and just glory in the ride. With rights acquired for TV this is a trilogy you’ll want to be reading before it hit the screens. If you like David Mitchell this could be a dream for you. ~ Simon Spanton
A thousand miles east of Mirgorod, the great capital city of the Vlast, deep in the ancient forest, lies the most recent fallen angel, its vast stone form half-buried and fused into the rock by the violence of impact. As its dark energy leeches into the crash site, so a circle of death expands around it, slowly - inexorably - killing everything it touches. Alone in the wilderness, it reaches out with its mind. The endless forest and its antique folk lore are no concern to Inspector Vissarion Lom, summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist - and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police. A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown terrorism with an iron fist. But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and revolutionaries, cabaret clubs and doomed artists. Lom has been chosen because he is an outsider, not involved in the struggle for power within the party. And because of the sliver of angel stone implanted in his head at the children's home. Lom's investigation reveals a conspiracy that extends to the top echelons of the party. When he exposes who - or rather what - is the controlling intelligence behind this, it is time for the detective to change sides. Pursued by rogue police agents and their man-crushing mudjhik, Lom must protect Kantor's step-daughter Maroussia, who has discovered what is hidden beneath police headquarters: a secret so ancient that only the forest remembers. As they try to escape the capital and flee down river, elemental forces are gathering. The earth itself is on the move.
Whether you want to join Jonathan Strange on the magic-haunted streets of London or Jon Snow and the rest of the Night’s Watch on the wall Fantasy is the genre for you. Authors from Joe Abercrombie to Zen Cho have turned the modern fantasy genre into one of the most exciting and imaginative genres around. They’ve brought magic and wonder, heroes, heroines and people like you and me, together in stories that will delight, scare and mystify you. Whether you want the romance and deceit of court, the shadows of a great city’s alleyways, the clear air of a mountain range, the terrors of a bloody field let fantasy take you to new realities.
There are characters for everyone; Scott Lynch’s charming conmen, Liz William’s artful magicians. Fantasy has worlds for all; Ursula le Guin’s Earthsea, George RR Martin’s brutal Westeros, Ben Aaronovitch’s contemporary London, Naomi Novik’s dragon haunted version of our 19th century. And the genre has a style for each and every reader; whether the playful literary trickery of Angela Carter or the imaginative epic adventures of Peter Brett. Somewhere here there is a story for everyone, so follow us and let your imagination run wild.
Established names like Stephen King and new stars like Lauren Beukes alike have taken horror into the mainstream. And it’s no surprise why – we can’t help ourselves we love a good scare from the safety of our armchairs. But there are any number of authors out there ready and willing to confront you with your darkest fears and, if you’re lucky, take you through them and out into the light again.
There’s always a fresh take on whatever has scared us down through the years. Whether the dark thrills of the demons that haunt the paranormal romances of Cassandra Clare or the hunger of the vengeful ghosts and vampires of Joe Hill. Or the high concept terrors of Sarah Lotz’s work, the insidious chills of Adam Nevill’s urban horrors. Horror can be stealthy like the classic chills of Susan Hills’ ghost stories or screaming in your face like Max Brooks’ terrifying zombies. So step this way and let us put the frighteners on you; scares that are subtle and literary or full-on ‘slap the book shut and turn on all the lights’. Or scares of the best sort – where you don’t know WHAT to expect.
If you’ve ever dreamed about the world our grandchildren will live in, thought about how life could be different, looked at a star and wondered if there’s someone or something there looking at our sun you’ve been wondering about the same things as the great writers of Sci-Fi. Or perhaps you’ve simply wanted to share the excitement and danger of life on an alien world or in the harsh expanses of space? Maybe you’re so busy you wish you had a clone of yourself to do the work while you had the fun of exploring new places and experiences – how would that feel? For both of you?
Sci-Fi is all about these questions and thoughts. And it’s about things we can never experience, perhaps not even thought about yet. It’s about putting you at the centre of wonder and excitement. Whether the wide-screen excitements from the likes of Peter Hamilton and Suzanne Collins, or the noir thrills of cyberpunk by authors such as Pat Cadigan and William Gibson or the intricate speculations of authors like Ian McDonald and Nnedi Okorafor Sci-Fi really does have something for everyone and you’ll find the very best of it here.