Her first short story collection exhibits the multitude of talents that have made English novelist Jeanette Winterson not just admired but beloved by her many fans. There are the surprising, fresh little phrases minted expressly to convey the delicate realities of the made-up world. There’s the humor, fierce and sly but always kind. There’s the imagination that changes gender and historical epoch at whim, and does so convincingly; and the characters themselves, a sundry bunch of men and women not necessarily successful or commendable but always, somehow, likable. Best of all, by their very diversity, these stories reveal glimpses of the smart and enigmatic woman behind the work.
In “Atlantic Crossing,” Winterson becomes a middle-aged businessman of the mid-20th century, accidentally assigned to share his second-class cabin with a young black woman on a transatlantic crossing. In the realm of event, little happens, but in its depth of perception and what it tells of the nuances of regret, the story is as rich as a novel in another writer’s hands. A few scant pages later, Winterson becomes a kind of lost female Homer, telling Orion’s story from Artemis’s point of view: “When she returned she saw this huge rag of a man eating her goat, raw…. His reputation hung about him like bad breath.” In “The Poetics of Sex,” she creates a lesbian love story that evokes her characters’ personalities as explicitly as their erotic pleasures. “The 24-Hour Dog,” the story of a woman writer returning a puppy she had thought to adopt, is remorseless as a psychological thriller in the squirmy depths it plumbs: “I had made every preparation, every calculation, except for those two essentials that could not be calculated: his heart and mine.”
Rebecca Knight - No Rest for the Wicked
Fairy tale villains are real, but luckily there's one woman crazy enough to stop them: Veronica Grim, Fairy Tale Assassin. Follow her exploits in the seedy world of fairy tale crime in these two thrilling short stories. "Blood Don't Lie" is a 1000 word tale involving blue facial tattoos, a bloody key, and a whole closet full of trouble. Can Veronica take down a killer without becoming one of his victims? "Heartless" is a 2600 word action tale. Porn princess Whitney Snow is in a world of hurt with no one to trust--not even her dwarf entourage! Her Stepmom wants her dead, but that's not even the worst of her problems--Veronica Grim is the one hired to track her down. What readers are saying: "I felt like I was dropped in on an exciting scene from an action movie. It starts quick, and then gets wild as the mayhem kicks in." "There are glimpses of a much larger, darkly twisted world and I'd love to see more of this series..." "I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from this author."
J. G. Ballard - The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard
“More than one thousand compelling pages from one of the most haunting, cogent, and individual imaginations in contemporary literature.”—William Boyd The American publication of The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard is a landmark event. Increasingly recognized as one of the greatest and most prophetic novelists, J. G. Ballard was a “writer of enormous inventive powers,” who, in the words of Malcolm Bradbury, possessed, “like Calvino, a remarkable gift for filling the empty deprived spaces of modern life with the invisible cities and the wonder worlds of imagination.” Best known for his novels, such as Empire of the Sun and Crash, Ballard rose to fame as the “ideal chronicler of disturbed modernity” (The Observer). Perhaps less known, though equally brilliant, were his devastatingly original short stories, which span nearly fifty years and reveal an unparalleled prescience so unique that a new word—Ballardian—had to be invented. Ballard, who wrote that “short stories are the loose change in the treasury of fiction, easily ignored beside the wealth of novels available,” regretted the fact that the public had increasingly lost its ability to appreciate them. With 98 pulse-quickening stories, this volume helps restore the very art form that Ballard feared was comatose. Ballard’s inimitable style was already present in his early stories, most of them published in science fiction magazines. These stories are surreal, richly atmospheric and splendidly elliptical, featuring an assortment of psychotropic houses, time-traveling assassins, and cities without clocks. Over the next fifty years, his fierce imaginative energy propelled him to explore new topics, including the dehumanization of technology, the brutality of the corporation, and nuclear Armageddon. Depicting the human soul as “being enervated and corrupted by the modern world” (New York Times), Ballard began to examine themes like overpopulation, as in “Billenium,” a claustrophobic imagining of a world of 20 billion people crammed into four-square-meter rooms, or the false realities of modern media, as in the classic “Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan,” a faux-psychological study of the sexual and violent reactions elicited by viewing Reagan’s face on television, in which Ballard predicted the unholy fusion of pop culture and sound-bite politics thirteen years before Reagan became president. Given Ballard’s heightened powers of perception, it is astonishing that the dehumanized world that he apprehended so acutely neither diminished his own febrile imagination nor his engagement with mankind, evident in every story, including two new ones for this American edition. So eerily prophetic is his vision, so commanding are his literary gifts, the import and insight of J. G. Ballard’s deeply humanistic and transcendent works can only grow in years to come.
Jeanette Winterson - The Battle of the Sun
Imagine a city made of gold, and each thing in it made of gold, and every person as golden as a precious statue. . . . A magus dreams of turning London into a city of gold, but he cannot do it alone and so he kidnaps a child called Jack, who he is sure will help him realise his ambition. But Jack is not a willing assistant and instead he embarks on a magical adventure to save the city, release a dragon and set free seven other boys kidnapped in the past. An enchanting novel filled with magic and mystery by the award-winning author of TANGLEWRECK.
Jeanette Winterson - Gut Symmetries
Physics seems to have become the new language of love in the 1990s, and Jeanette Winterson is not the first writer to make a major character a physicist. Jonathan Lethem mined similar territory earlier this year in his delightful book, As She Climbed Across the Table, and now Winterson enters the lists with not one, but two physicists populating the pages of her equally wonderful book, Gut Symmetries. If you think about it, physics does make a good metaphor for love, encompassing as it does the principles of attraction, the exchange of energy, and unification. At the center of this meditation on "the intelligence of the universe" and "the stupidity of humankind" are Jove, a married physicist; Alice, a single physicist who becomes his mistress; and Stella, Jove's wife and later, Alice's lover. They meet on the QE2 and from there the three participants in the story take turns telling their versions of it. Gut Symmetries is a collage of memories, snippets of scientific theory, meditations on abstract concepts like truth, and the events surrounding Jove, Alice, and Stella's affair. This is a book that demands your attention, jumping as it does from one seemingly tangential topic to another; but whereas physics still seeks a grand unification theory (GUT) to explain how everything in the universe fits together, Winterson actually finds one of her own in this satisfyingly complete fictional world.
Nick Hornby - Otherwise Pandemonium
Every book tells a story ... And the 70 titles in the Pocket Penguins series are emblematic of the renowned breadth and quality that formed part of the original Penguin vision in 1935 and that continue to define our publishing today. Together, they tell one version of the unique story of Penguin Books. Nick Hornby's books have found millions of readers around the globe since publication of _Fever Pitch_ in 1992. Accessible, relevant and deeply passionate, his work embodies the 'good books for all' spirit of the original Penguins and in doing so gives a literary voice to the needs, concerns and preoccupations of everyday life. _Otherwise Pandemonium_ features two Hornby stories, one of which was written specifically for this volume.
Ismeretlen szerző - Wastelands
Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon - these are our guides through the Wastelands... From the Book of Revelations to The Road Warrior; from A Canticle for Leibowitz to The Road, storytellers have long imagined the end of the world, weaving tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity. Gathering together the best post-apocalyptic literature of the last two decades from many of today's most renowned authors of speculative fiction, including George R.R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, Carol Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler, and Stephen King, Wastelands explores the scientific, psychological, and philosophical questions of what it means to remain human in the wake of Armageddon.
Joanne Harris - A Cat, a Hat and a Piece of String
A second short story collection from Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat and Peaches for Monsieur le Cure. 'Stories are like Russian dolls; open them up, and in each one you'll find another story.' Conjured from a wickedly imaginative pen, here is a new collection of short stories that showcases Joanne Harris's exceptional storytelling art. Sensuous, wicked, mischievous, uproarious and wry, here are tales that combine the everyday with the unexpected; wild fantasy with bittersweet reality. From the house where it is Christmas all year round, to a ghost who lives on a Twitter timeline; from the Congo where a young girl braves the raging rapids to earn a crust of bread, to Norse gods battling for survival in Manhattan; and a newborn baby created with sugar, spice and lashings of cake, these stories will ensnare and delight you with their variety and inventiveness.
Charles Bukowski - Tales of Ordinary Madness
In these tales of ordinary madness, Charles Bukowski ingeniously mixes high and low culture, from prostitutes and the philosophy of Kant to despair and classical music, to create his modern dystopia. Inspired by D.H. Lawrence, John Fante and Hemingway, Bukowski’s writing is passionate, extreme and relentlessly realistic. These are angry yet tender, humorous and haunting portrayals of life in the underbelly of America. Charles Bukowski was one of America’s best-known and most prolific writers. During his lifetime he published more than forty-five books of poetry and prose including the novels Post Office (1971), Factotum (1975), Women (1978), and Pulp (1994) all available from Virgin Books.
Ismeretlen szerző - The Living Dead
"When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth!" From White Zombie to Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil to World War Z, zombies have invaded popular culture, becoming the monsters that best express the fears and anxieties of the modern west. Gathering together the best zombie literature of the last three decades from many of today's most renowned authors of fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror, including Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, George R. R. Martin, Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Joe R. Lansdale, The Living Dead covers the broad spectrum of zombie fiction.
Neil Gaiman - Smoke and Mirrors
The distinctive storytelling genius of Neil Gaiman has been acclaimed by writers as diverse as Norman Mailer and Stephen King. Now in this new collection of stories — several of which have never before appeared in print, and more than half that have never been collected — that will dazzle the senses and haunt the imagination. Miraculous inventions and unforgettable characters inhabit these pages: an elderly widow who finds the Holy Grail in a second-hand store...a frightened little boy who bargains for his life with a troll living under a bridge by the railroad tracks...a stray cat who battles nightly against a recurring evil that threatens his unsusupecting adoptive family. In these stories, Gaiman displays the power, wit, insight and outrageous originality that has made him one of the most unique literary artists of our day.
Tony Parsons - Departures
Seven short stories from bestselling author Tony Parsons, based on his week as Writer in Residence at Heathrow airport. Here is Heathrow as it has never been seen before - a secret city populated by the 75 million travellers who pass through every year, a place where journeys and dreams end - and begin. From the brilliant twenty-something kids who control the skies up in Air Traffic Control to the softly-spoken man who cares for the dogs, lions and smuggled rattlesnakes at Heathrow's Animal Reception Centre, from the immigration officers who have heard it all before to the firemen who hone their skills by setting the green plane on fire, from the armed police who watch for terrorist attacks to the pilots who have touched the face of god - Heathrow teems with life. In Departures, his first collection of short stories, Tony Parsons takes us deep inside the secret city.
Ian McEwan - First Love, Last Rites
Ian McEwan's Somerset Maugham Award-winning collection First Love, Last Rites brought him instant recognition as one of the most influential voices writing in England today. Taut, brooding, and densely atmospheric, these stories show us the ways in which murder can arise out of boredom, perversity can result from adolescent curiosity, and sheer evil might be the solution to unbearable loneliness. These tales are as horrifying as anything written by Clive Barker or Stephen King, but they are crafted with a lyricism and intensity that compel us to confront our secret kinship with the horrifying.
Thomas Pynchon - Slow Learner
Thomas Pynchon's literary career was launched not with the release of his widely acclaimed first novel, V., but with the publication in literary magazines of the five stories collected here. In his introduction to Slow Learner the author reviews his early work with disarming candor and recalls the American cultural landscape of the early post-Beat era in which the stories were written. Time magazine described this introductory essay as "Pynchon's first public gesture toward autobiography. /Synopsis from barnesandnoble.com/
Edgar Allan Poe - The Complete Tales and Poems
All of the tales by the master of the detective and the macabre story. 53 of his best-known poems plus essays and criticisms. Edgar Allan Poe self-published his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems, in 1827. In 1830, Poe embarked on a career as a writer and began contributing reviews and essays to popular periodicals. He also wrote sketches and short fiction and in 1833 published his only completed novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Over the next five years he established himself as a master of the short story form through the publication of "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Tell-tale Heart" and other well-known works. In 1841, he wrote "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," generally considered the first modern detective story. The publication of The Raven and Other Poems in 1845 brought him additional fame as a poet.
H. P. Lovecraft - The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories
Howard Phillips Lovecraft's unique contribution to American literature was a melding of traditional supernaturalism (derived chiefly from Edgar Allan Poe) with the genre of science fiction that emerged in the early 1920s. This new Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics edition brings together a dozen of the master's tales-from his early short stories "Under the Pyramids" (originally ghostwritten for Harry Houdini) and "The Music of Erich Zann" (which Lovecraft ranked second among his own favorites) through his more fully developed works, "The Dunwich Horror," The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and At the Mountains of Madness. The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories presents the definitive corrected texts of these works, along with Lovecraft critic and biographer S. T. Joshi's illuminating introduction and notes to each story.
Jaci Burton - Holiday Games
All Elizabeth and Gavin Riley want for Christmas is a baby. Despite over a year of trying, conception hasn’t been successful. But for a high-achiever like Elizabeth, she must succeed at everything. That means making the very most of every opportunity with her husband. And when it comes to nonstop sex, Gavin’s not really complaining. Exhausted, maybe… Unfortunately, this holiday season they’re not exactly given a lot of private time. Elizabeth is hosting the holiday, Gavin’s sister is getting married, and the house is wall-to-wall with family. For Elizabeth and Gavin the nights may be chilly, but the urge is still hot. And they’re not about to let any distraction get in the way of their necessary pleasures during a holiday game that yields so many unexpected surprises.
Greer Ilene Gilman - Cloud & Ashes
“I am wind and memory who spells this . . .” In the eighteen years since her Crawford Award–winning debut novel Moonwise, Greer Gilman’s writing has only grown more complex and entrancing, more beguiling and inventive. Gilman’s second novel, Cloud & Ashes, is a slow whirlwind of language, a button box of words, a mythic Joycean fable that will invite immersion, study, revisitation, and delight. To step into her world is to witness the bright flashes, witty turns, and shadowy corners of the human imagination, limned with all the detail and humor of a master stylist. In Gilman’s intricate prose, myth and fable live, breathe, and dance as they do nowhere else. Cloud & Ashes collects three Winter’s Tales (“Jack Daw’s Pack,” “A Crowd of Bone,” and the longest, “Unleaving”) centering on folk traditions, harvest rites, the seasons, gods, and trickster figures. In “Unleaving,” Margaret, granddaughter of a goddess, escapes from the underworld into the human realm, Cloud. She is pursued, and, in escaping, brings about an epochal change, separating the kingdom of myth from the human world. Cloud & Ashes is a work that reaches back to the richness of Shakespeare—Gilman understands that the depth of Shakespeare’s work lies in his range—and the reader will rejoice in her counterplay of high myth and bawdry even while being drawn into the world of Cloud. Inventive, playful, and erudite, Gilman is an archeolexicologist rewriting language itself in these long-awaited tales. Greer Gilman is the author of the novel Moonwise, which won the Crawford Award and was shortlisted for the James Tiptree, Jr. and Mythopoeic awards, as well as of the World Fantasy Award–winning “A Crowd of Bone.” She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Ismeretlen szerző - Machine of Death
The machine had been invented a few years ago: a machine that could tell, from just a sample of your blood, how you were going to die. No dates, no details. Just a slip of paper with a few words spelling out your ultimate fate -- at once all-too specific and maddeningly vague. A top ten Amazon Customer Favorite in Science Fiction & Fantasy for 2010, The Machine of Death is an anthology of original stories bound together by a central premise. From the humorous to the adventurous to the mind-bending to the touching, the writers explore what the world would be like if a blood test could predict your death. But don't think for a moment this is a book entirely composed of stories about people meeting their ironic dooms. There is some of that, of course. But more than that, this is a genre-hopping collection of tales about people who have learned more about themselves then perhaps they should have, and how that knowledge affects their relationships, their perception of the world, and how they feel about themselves. Features thirty-four stories by Randall Munroe, Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, Tom Francis, Camille Alexa, Erin McKean, James L. Sutter, David Malki !, Ryan North, and many others Features illustrations by Kate Beaton, Kazu Kibuishi, Aaron Diaz, Jeffrey Brown, Scott C., Roger Langridge, Karl Kershl, Cameron Stewart, and many others
Rosamund Hodge - Gilded Ashes
A romantic and fantastical reimagining of the classic Cinderella tale, Gilded Ashes is a novella by Rosamund Hodge set in the same world as the author's debut novel, Cruel Beauty. Orphan Maia doesn't see the point of love when it only brings pain: Her dying mother made a bargain with the evil, all-powerful ruler of their world that anyone who hurt her beloved daughter would be punished; her new stepmother went mad with grief when Maia's father died; and her stepsisters are desperate for their mother's approval, yet she always spurns them. And though her family has turned her into a despised servant, Maia must always pretend to be happy, or else they'll all be struck dead by the curse. Anax, heir to the Duke of Sardis, doesn't believe in love either—not since he discovered that his childhood sweetheart was only using him for his noble title. What's the point of pretending to fall in love with a girl just so she'll pretend to fall in love with him back? But when his father invites all the suitable girls in the kingdom to a masked ball, Anax must finally give in and select a wife. As fate would have it, the preparations for the masquerade bring him Maia, who was asked by her eldest stepsister to deliver letters to Anax. Despite a prickly first encounter, he is charmed and intrigued by this mysterious girl who doesn't believe in love. Anax can't help wishing to see her again—and when he does, he can't help falling in love with her. Against her will, Maia starts to fall in love with him too. But how can she be with him when every moment his life is in danger from her mother's deadly bargain?