Saki - The Best of Saki
Cats who learn to talk (to the discomfiture of their owners), bad-tempered aunts who get stuck in water tanks and the world’s most disgusting breakfast cereal, ‘Filboid Studge’, are just some of the fantastical inventions that populate the stories of Saki, the pen-name of H. H. Munro. Saki had the ability to combine fresh comedy with a biting satire that makes his stories occasionally unsettling and always arresting. For all their humour, there is a serious undercurrent to his work. The severity of his own upbringing in the care of his aunts is reflected in stories like ‘Sredni Vashtar’, where a child invents a religion in honour of the eponymous polecat-ferret; a vengeful, merciless god to rebel against his aunt’s tyranny. Adults may appear to hold all the power, but are crucially unable to control the imagination, which allows us to laugh in the midst of trouble, find a window of escape, counteract society’s hypocrisy. As shown by stories like ‘The Penance’, where an adult agrees to a strange ritual devised by three children to make up for killing their cat, there is even an opportunity to redeem our all-too-human natures. Although he wrote two novels, a history of Russia and was a prolific journalist, Saki is best remembered for these economical and witty short stories. The youthful idlers of Edwardian country-house parties he depicts remind the reader that Munro was writing during the comic heyday of P. G. Wodehouse and Jerome K. Jerome. Seldom more than five pages long, these stories perfectly illustrate the aphorism that brevity is the soul of wit.
Angela Carter - Black Venus
A collection of short stories: 'BLACK VENUS' displays the superbly witchy Angela Carter at her best. Her fabulous fables all speak for themselves in tones so commanding you feel this must be Baudelaire's mistress, ageing, remembering, still spreading syphilis, or Lizzie Borden restless in the fatal and hot Massachusetts summer. Whatever her subject Miss Carter writes like a dream - sometimes a nightmare. And as the voices call out, the images blaze, one is saved from an excess of fantasy by earthy realism, a sudden bark of humour' .
Arthur C. Clarke - The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke
The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, (ISBN 0-575-07065-X), first published in 2001, is a collection of almost every science fiction story shorter than novel length that Arthur C. Clarke has ever published: more than 100 in all arranged in order of publication, from "Travel by Wire!" in 1937 through to "Improving the Neighbourhood" in 1999. The story "Improving The Neighbourhood" has the distinction of being the first fiction published in the journal Nature.
Ian McDonald - Empire Dreams
Published simultaneously as Desolation Road, the Empire Dreams collection was intended to exploit the author's nomination for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1985. It collects the following stories: Vivaldi Visits to Remarkable Cities Unfinished Portrait of the King of Pain by Van Gogh Scenes from a Shadowplay Radio Marrakech King of Morning, Queen of Day The Island of the Dead Empire Dreams (Ground Control to Major Tom) Christian The Catharine Wheel (Our Lady of Tharsis)
Mary Shelley - The Mortal Immortal
Winzy becomes immortal after drinking an elixir belonging to his mentor, the alchemist Cornelius Agrippa. His mentor soon dies, as does his one love Bertha. Over the years his health gradually worsens and his mentality comes into question. At the start of the story, the narrator claims more than three hundred and twenty-three years have passed since he drank the elixir at the age of twenty.
Christopher Priest - Ersatz Wines
‘This book shows that young writers have to start somewhere, that they can learn and improve, that the road is long but not that long.’ Christopher Priest introducing Ersatz Wines, a collection of his short stories that have never before been collected in book form. Like thousands of others, Priest dreamed of becoming a writer. He was 18 years old, languishing incompetently in a job he neither liked nor understood – the world of books was his main hold on sanity. One day he decided that he would change his life and become a published writer. With no advantages to speak of, he had to start from nothing. Within three years, though, he had sold his first story and by the time he was 25 he was a full-time author, selling books in Britain, the USA and several other countries. This book traces the process by which he did it. ‘These are the stories I wrote while I was learning how to be a writer. They are not intended to explain or excuse or brag about what I did. They are simply to encourage others, who might have now the same objective as I had then.’
M. R. James - Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
Curl up by the fire and enter the sinister, supernatural world of Montague Rhodes James, the master of the English ghost story. Chillingly atmospheric, quietly terrifying, M.R. James's stories explore the darkness just beyond the flicker of the candle or the creaking door.
M. R. James - The Haunted Dolls' House
Evil Comes With Many Different Faces A macabre human drama is re-enacted in a Gothic dolls' house; a whistle awakens a force of unspeakable malevolence; an ancient curse is passed from person to person; a grisly crime is avenged from bexond the grave; the tomb of a Swedish count will not rest quietly... M. R. James's chilling ghost stories reveal a world where the familiar becomes diabolical, the smallest object can lead to unimaginable horro, and evil brushes against everyday life in the most unexpected and sinister of ways.
P. G. Wodehouse - The Inimitable Jeeves
A Jeeves and Wooster collection A classic collection of linked stories featuring some of the funniest episodes in the life of Bertie Wooster, gentleman, and Jeeves, his gentleman’s gentleman – in which Bertie's terrifying Aunt Agatha stalks the pages, seeking whom she may devour, while Bertie’s friend Bingo Little falls in love with seven different girls in succession (he marries the last, the bestselling romantic novelist Rosie M. Banks). And Bertie, with Jeeves’s help, just evades the clutches of the terrifying Honoria Glossop... At its heart is one of Wodehouse’s most delicious stories, ‘The Great Sermon Handicap.’
P. G. Wodehouse - Very Good, Jeeves
This book is a Jeeves and Wooster collection. It is an outstanding collection of Jeeves stories, every one a winner, in which Jeeves endeavours to give satisfaction: By saving a grumpy cabinet minister from being marooned and attacked by a swan - in the process saving Bertie Wooster from his impending doom. By rescuing Bingo Little and Tuppy Glossop from the soup (twice each). By arranging rather too many performances of the song 'Sonny Boy' to a not very appreciative audience. And by a variety of other sparkling stratagems that should reduce you to helpless laughter.
Alice Adams - Amy Bloom - John Cheever - Ernest Hemingway - A. M. Homes - Andrea Lee - Joyce Carol Oates - Edna O'Brien - Julie Orringer - James Purdy - Graham Swift - John Updike - David Foster Wallace - Fay Weldon - Poolside
Poolside is a waterproof collection of fourteen stories about the satisfactions (and tribulations) of swimming lessons, summer scenes at club pools, chance encounters at the rec center-and just plain floating. The perfect companion for a day of dipping and people watching, Poolside is as necessary as sunscreen for achieving maximum poolside bliss. Poolside features internationally acclaimed authors Alice Adams, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, David Foster Wallace, Ernest Hemingway, John Cheever, and AM Homes, as well as emerging voices such as Julie Orringer and Andrea Lee.
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.
Ismeretlen szerző - Servants of the Machine God
A brand-new anthology of stories featuring the enigmatic Adeptus Mechanicus, cybernetic servants of the Imperium who venerate technology above all else. It is the 41st millennium and humanity teeters on the brink of destruction. Yet out of the darkness comes a cold hope. The Adeptus Mechanicus are logical, remote beings of cybernetic construction. Their armour is a work of mechanical art, their weapons unparalleled in intelligent design. One of the most hostile fighting forces of the Imperium, the Priesthood of Mars serves justice upon their enemies with forbidding momentum. Though nominally allied with mankind, it is in the name of the Omnissiah that their mighty war machines step forth into the cauldron of war, for the Machine God alone is worthy of their sacrifice and neither man nor xenos can deter them from their single purpose of championing his dominion. This anthology contains a dozen gripping tales about the formidable Titans, Imperial Knights, battle-servitors and skitarii legions with which the Adeptus Mechanicus wage war, all written by some of Black Library's most popular authors, including Graham McNeill, Gav Thorpe, Josh Reynolds, Rob Sanders, David Guymer, David Annandale and Andy Clark. Read It Because It's an essential collection of tales about the tech-priests and their cohorts. As they would put it: 01010100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01001111 01101101 01101110 01101001 01110011 01110011 01101001 01100001 01101000 00100000 01100100 01100101 01101101 01100001 01101110 01100100 01110011 00100000 01101001 01110100.
Ben Aaronovitch - The Furthest Station
PC Peter Grant is heading west. THE FURTHEST STATION is Ben Aaronovitch's first PC Grant novella . . . and there's something going bump on the Metropolitan line. And when commuters start reporting encounters with ghosts up and down the track - encounters which they forget entirely within minutes - Peter Grant gets a call to investigate. And the very first interview leads to a ghost-hunting expedition . . . The first ever Peter Grant novella, this is a fantastic London-based mystery.
W. Somerset Maugham - Collected Short Stories 2
This final classic collection reveals Somerset Maugham's unique talent for exposing and exploring the bitter realities of human relationships in tales of love, infidelity, passion and prejudice. The stories range from "The Lotus Eater" where a man envisions a life of bliss in the Mediterranean, to the astringent tales of "The Outstation" and "The Back of Beyond" in Malaya and South East Asia.
John Fowles - The Ebony Tower
The Ebony Tower is a series of novellas, rich in imagery, exploring the nature of art. In the title story, a journalist visiting a celebrated but reclusive painter is intrigued by the elderly artist's relationship with two beautiful young women. John Fowles reputation as a master storyteller was further advanced by this collection, which echoed themes and preoccupations from his other books.