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Reach for the stars, get dropped into strange worlds, or shut your eyes and dive into the darkest recesses of the imagination of horror. Enjoy!
Shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2012. May 2011 Book of the Month. China Mieville is not just a galaxy in the science fiction firmament, he is a whole universe! Following THE CITY AND THE CITY'S gripping crime investigation in parallel cities that owed a lot to Escher and twisted the brain with relish and the extravagant London caper of KRAKEN where gods, monsters, demons and mummies joyfully ran havoc through the capital's streets, his breakthrough new novel EMBASSYTOWN moves much further afield and takes the reader to the deep reaches of space. But the visions he deploys are not like anything you've ever read before and convey both a sense of dread and what the nature of alienness might actually be. Space and time is an impenetrable sea through which only specially-trained and gifted navigators swim, survivors of ancient races overlook the chaos with both benevolence and quiet menace, and all familiarity with the world as we know it proves totally illusory. Once you wrap your mind through the imaginative and weird concepts Mieville juggles with bravura, you are transported into an invigorating if unsettling version of reality. Truly science fiction for the 22nd century. Fascinating stuff. Ursula K Le Guin has written a wonderful review of Embassytown for the Guardian. Click here to view it.
Returning to the Sanctuary of the Redeemers, Thomas Cale is told by the Lord Militant that the destruction of mankind is necessary; the only way to undo God's greatest mistake. Cale seemingly accepts his role in the ending of the world: fate has painted him as the Left Hand of God, the Angel of Death. Absolute power is within his grasp, the terrifying zeal and military might of the Redeemers a weapon for him to handle as simply as he once used a knife. But perhaps not even the grim power that the Redeemers hold over Cale is enough - the boy who turns from love to poisonous hatred in a heartbeat, the boy who switches between kindness and sheer violence in the blink of an eye. The annihilation that the Redeemers seek may well be in Cale's hands - but his soul is far stranger than they could ever know.
Los Angeles has become the city that never sleeps: an insomnia epidemic is sweeping the town, causing psychosis. As people begin to lose their minds, the line between reality and nightmare blurs. LAPD officer Parker Haas can sleep, but he's wide awake. Going undercover to find the source of Dreamer - the black market drug that gives the afflicted the sleep relief they crave - he is plunged into a dark and restless world. But as he edges closer to the truth, Park must beware the enemies hiding in the shadows. Park's also battling a personal nightmare. His wife has been sleepless for months, and the final phase of the disease - 'the suffering' - is close. Soon, Park must decide what he'll do to save his loved ones, whatever the cost to himself...
Once again Dan Simmons has delivered an intricate narrative that sweeps across decades of American history, building up a portrait of one country's relentless expansion and what was lost and destroyed in its path. Black Hills is historical fiction with Dan Simmons' trademark twist. He weaves in real places, events and people with his own uniquely weird take on reality to create a portrait of a world that is hilarious and tragic, spiritual and disturbing. In short it's a richly imaginative tale of alien cultures set on a collision course.
November 2010 Book of the Month. A chilling end of the world as we know it saga, this first volume of a trilogy has all the impact of Stephen King’s THE STAND in breadth of vision and length. Following a failed military experiment, America falls to a zombie/vampire epidemic and only a curious little girl and a group of doughty survivors hold the key to survival. A truly epic masterpiece that will have you hanging on for dear life for both its conclusion and the next volume. Lovereading comment: More than just a supreme thrill-ride, but something with the resonance and power of myth, The Passage is epic storytelling at its very best. A story that powerfully articulates our deepest fears and hopes, The Passage will move, captivate and be impossible to forget. From Bill Massey, the publisher who found The Passage: What could an innocent child and a psychotic killer have in common? One of them could destroy us all; one could save us, But which is which? It takes a special book to pose such dark and deep questions. A very special one to answer them. And a great one to weave them into a hypnotically powerful piece of storytelling that will take over your waking hours and invade your dreams. Welcome to the world of the Passage. It's your world - our world. But change is on its way. And not all change is good. Turn the page and be among the first to take the journey. Here are a few comments from staff at the Publishing House, Orion: I was so obsessed with it... a towering work... one of the most amazing books I've read... an extraordinary novel... the most exciting book I've read for a decade... I couldn't put it down and its size became a virtue... an epic and vivid masterpiece of suspense and adventure... Genius, there is no other word for it... read it and you will not be disappointed.
Because the word ‘ghosts’ appears in the title we know what they are when they turn up but our protagonist doesn’t. How he comes to realise this and cope with it is cleverly done in a creepy tale of persecution, war, loss and love very reminiscent of Susan Hill’s creepy tales. It’s short and atmospheric, a one-sitting read, highly recommended. Comparison: Susan Hill, Alexandra Sololoff, Jennifer Egan.
Best-selling author Cornelia Funke whose Inkheart was a world-wide phenomenon has created a wonderful new imaginary world peopled with a gigantic cast of original and outlandish characters. Searching for his missing father, Jacob Reckless steps through the mirror into a strange, story-filled world in which danger is never very far away. When Jacob mistakenly allows his brother to follow him through the mirror he discovers the awesome powers he is working against and needs to use all his skill and cunning to save his brother from a horrible death as he is gradually turned to stone. Cornelia Funke’s original storytelling captures the hearts and minds of all young readers.
Review by Hugh, a 15 yr old fan: Lies is the latest installment to the Gone series, in which relationships are tested and new measures are resorted to in order to stay alive. The balance of power has become more important than ever as the characters struggle with each other, and fear drives them to do things that they would never normally do: but their lives are far from normal. The plot is gripping and although it is a long book, I found myself reading for hours at a time. It is also more complex than the first two, as the line between right and wrong becomes ever more hazy, but this makes it more intriguing, and the reader has to think more. There are unpredictable twists in the plot, which increase the drama and the thrill of the story. It is a relentless high tempo plot with new events and situations introducing interesting elements to the story. Many questions are left unanswered, and it ends with a brilliant twist which leaves the reader eagerly anticipating the next in the series, Plague.
Shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award 2011. From this award winning author this is a futuristic look at Istanbul in 2025. We follow the families that live in and around the Dervish House looking towards future possibilities.
Mieville follows his award-winning THE CITY AND THE CITY with a wild jaunt through a fantasy London chockfull of quirks, magic, assassins and teeming like Dickens with a multitude of human and non-human protagonists. The disappearance of a giant squid from the Natural History Museum sets in motion a series of events each more fantastic than the one before and the novel carries the reader in its wake on a journey full of shock and awe. An author at the top of his form.
Ignatius spends the night drunk and involved in dark matters he should have steered clear of and wakes in the morning not just with a hangover and a headache but also with horns, and as he soon discovers, awesome new powers which he will soon have to use to defend himself from the accusation of having murdered his beloved. A breathless descent into contemporary horror orchestrated by the author of the justly acclaimed HEART-SHAPED BOX. Will leave you gasping.
The fourth volume in Hunt’s fascinating Jackelian fantasy series has unbridled imagination to spare, as cyberpunk landscapes conjugate to perfection with a Sherlockian mystery investigation of the highest calibre led by Boxiron and Jethro Daunt. Wildly entertaining and with the usual quota of colourful and amusing characters. Escapist entertainment of the highest calibre.
Boldly Going … with a Bump!
Mankind has always looked to the heavens and wondered what’s out there. We have always lapped up stories of strange visitors, of gods and monsters, of things going bump under the bed. Using the extremes of human imagination to conjure worlds at the far reaches of darkness and light, this is a collection of authors who have the power to transport us to the vastest plains or the smallest black holes.
Horror fans of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Peter Straub, James Herbert will find a bloody pool of psychological mind-meddlers here to keep them shaking with delight.
Sci-fi lovers of Asimov, Phillip K Dick, Arthur C Clarke, and Ray Bradbury will find others to launch them to new beginnings. Using our Book of the Month recommendations or ‘Author Like for Like’ tool, your next bone shaking book is just a click away… if you dare, that is.
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A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include: