A terrible massacre has occurred on the grounds of an exclusive housing estate west of London: thirty-two adults murdered in the space of twenty minutes, and their thirteen children nowhere to be found. The Pangbourne Massacre, as it is dubbed in the tabloid press, has the police baffled. Was it a terrorist strike? A government plot? And where are the children? Only the police psychiatrist Dr. Richard Greville has an inkling of the sinister truth. Under a remorseless regime of care and kindness, human beings may be driven to uncharted limits, and Ballard traces those limits in this harrowing novel.
Joan Aiken - Lady Catherine's Necklace
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy have finally found matrimonial bliss, and so our attention must now turn to their acquaintances at Rosings Park, the estate of the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh... When an unfortunate carriage accident means that Ralph and Priscilla Delaval must reside with Lady Catherine, a sequence of terrible scandals ensues. The siblings have excellent connections and charming repartee, but are appearances deceptive? Life in the genteel household is turned upside down and dark family secrets are brought to light in the most outrageous of manners. Featuring a cast of characters from Austen's classic, including Anne de Bourgh, Elizabeth's friend Charlotte Collins (née Lucas), Colonel Fitzwilliam and, of course, the redoubtable Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
Alastair Reynolds - Stephen Baxter - The Medusa Chronicles
Following an accident that almost cost him his life, Howard Falcon was not so much saved as he was converted, through the use of prosthetics, into something faster, stronger and smarter ...but also slightly less human and more machine than he was. And with this change came an opportunity - that of piloting a mission into Jupiter's atmosphere, and ultimately of making first contact with the life forms he discovers there. Picking up the threads of humanity versus artificial intelligences and machines, and of encounters with the alien, this collaborative novel between two superb writers is a sequel to Howard Falcon's adventures. A proper science fiction adventure, this is perfect for fans of Golden Age SF as well as the modern SF reader.
Stephen Baxter - Obelisk
A remarkable collection of short stories and novellas from one of our greatest SF authors. This collection contains stories set in the worlds of the bestselling duology Ultima and Proxima, which expand on the characters and worlds of that series, including two brand new short stories. There are also a selection of alternate histories and possible futures, building on Baxter's work with Terry Pratchett on the Long Earth series. Confirms Stephen Baxter's place as one of the greatest practitioners of the SF short story.
Robert Harris - The Ghost
The role of a ghostwriter is to make his client look good, not to uncover the truth. But what happens when the client is a major political figure, and the truth could change the course of history? Adam Lang, the controversial former prime minister of Britain, is writing his memoirs. But his first ghostwriter dies under shocking circumstances, and his replacement—whose experience lies in portraying aging rock stars and film idols—knows little about Lang’s inner circle. Flown to join Lang in a secure house on the remote shores of Martha’s Vineyard in the depths of winter, cut off from everyone and everything he knows, he comes to realize he should never have taken the job. It’s not just his predecessor’s mysterious death that haunts him, but Adam Lang himself. Deep in Lang’s past are buried shocking secrets . . . secrets with the power to alter world politics . . . secrets with the power to kill.
David Gemmell - Bloodstone
The tyrannical rule of the Deacon and his Jerusalem Riders has unleashed a sea of bigotry and hatred; Unbelievers and Mutants are massacred in the name of God and Peace. When a church is burnt down and its congregation slaughtered, a rider appears to hunt the killers - The Jerusalem Man is back!
Adrian Tchaikovsky - Dogs of War
Rex is a Good Dog. He loves humans. He hates enemies. He's utterly obedient to Master. He's also seven foot tall at the shoulder, bulletproof, bristling with heavy calibre weaponry and his voice resonates with subsonics especially designed to instil fear. With Dragon, Honey and Bees, he's part of a Multi-form Assault Pack operating in the lawless anarchy of Campeche, Southeastern Mexico. Rex is a genetically engineered bioform, a deadly weapon in a dirty war. He has the intelligence to carry out his orders and feedback implants to reward him when he does. All he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and Master says he's got to kill a lot of enemies. But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?
Daphne du Maurier - The Birds and other stories
"How long he fought with them in the darkness he could not tell, but at least the beating of the wings about him lessened and then withdrew..." A classic of alienation and horror, 'The Birds' was immortalised by Hitchcock in his celebrated film. The five other chilling stories in this collection echo a sense of dislocation and mock man's sense of dominance over the natural world.
Wilkie Collins - Poor Miss Finch
Wilkie Collins's intriguing story about a blind girl, Lucilla Finch, and the identical twins who both fall in love with her, has the exciting complications of his better-known novels but it also overturns conventional expectations. Using a background of myth and fairy-tale to expand the boundaries of nineteenth-century realist fiction, Collins gives one of the best accounts in fiction of blindness and its implications.
Arthur C. Clarke - Mike McQuay - Richter 10
When he was seven years old, a major earthquake killed Lewis Crane's parents. As an adult, Crane has dedicated his life to protecting humanity from a similar tragedy. He's a Nobel-winning earthquake scientist, and the founder of the Foundation – an organization that has perfected equipment sensitive enough to predict an earthquake strike down to the minute. With unrelenting dedication to his cause, Crane's organization explores the idea of fusing the Earth's tectonic plates together-stopping all earthquakes forever by halting tectonic activity. But what effect will this have on the earth-and can it stop another major earthquake due in the United States? In this book, Arthur C. Clarke applies an imagination big enough for deep space to the inner workings of our planet. It's a fascinating exploration of the possible future of earthquake prediction technology – and a compelling read for science fiction fans.
Conn Iggulden - The Blood of Gods
Julius Caesar has been assassinated A nation is in mourning Revenge will be bloody Rome's great hero has been brutally murdered by his most trusted allies. While they seek refuge in the Senate, they have underestimated one man: Caesar's adopted son Octavian, who will stop at nothing to avenge his father's death. As unrest spreads through Rome's streets, the assassins must face their fate. Some flee the city; others will not escape mob justice. Not a single one will die a natural death. And the reckoning will come for Brutus on the sweeping battlefield at Philippi.
Ruth Ware - The Lying Game
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel. On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister... The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.” The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father). Atmospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill that will keep you wrong-footed—which has now become Ruth Ware’s signature style—The Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller. Another unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
Arthur C. Clarke - Tales from Planet Earth
If you want an omnibus of short fiction by Arthur C. Clarke, a Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master, then you want _The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke_. If you're looking for a representative sample of Clarke's short stories, or for some examples of the creative and extrapolative abilities that established Clarke as one of science fiction's greatest and most important writers, then check out _Tales from Planet Earth_. Tales from Planet Earth ranges widely across time, but the stories are centered on our home world. Many SF writers confine their visions of earth to its flatlands, but Clarke is three-dimensional; his stories "Hate," "The Deep Range," and "The Man Who Ploughed the Sea" plunge into the ocean, while "The Cruel Sky" ascends the Himalayas. Some stories, like "The Other Tiger" and "'If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth...'," end on chilling twists. "The Road to the Sea" spans centuries and millennia to explore how humanity's exodus to the stars may affect the world left behind. "Hate" considers how transcendence of the Earth's atmosphere may affect ancient enmities. "The Parasite" demonstrates a scary nastiness not usually associated with Clarke. "The Wall of Darkness" is set on an alternate-universe earth so different from ours, and "The Lion of Comarre" is set in a future so far away, that both stories feel like fantasy; but both are rigorously extrapolated from scientific theory. Two lighthearted entertainments, "The Next Tenants" and "The Man Who Ploughed the Sea," are from Tales of the White Hart. All of the stories in _Tales from Planet Earth_ are recommended. The iBooks 2001 Anniversary Edition of _Tales from Planet Earth_ collects 14 SF stories first published between 1950 and 1987.
Frances Hodgson Burnett - The Secret Garden
This timeless classic is a poignant tale of Mary, a lonely orphaned girl sent to a Yorkshire mansion at the edge of a vast lonely moor. At first, she is frightened by this gloomy place until she meets a local boy, Dickon, who's earned the trust of the moor's wild animals, the invalid Colin, an unhappy boy terrified of life, and a mysterious, abandoned garden...
Robert Graves - Count Belisarius
The sixth century was not a peaceful time for the Roman empire. Invaders threatened on all fronties, but they grew to respect and fear the name of Belisarius, the Emperor Justinian's greatest general. With this book, Robert Graves again demonstrates his command of a vast historical subject, creating a startling and vivid picture of a decadent era.
Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange
Fifteen-year-old Alex and his three friends start an evening's mayhem by hitting an old man, tearing up his books and stripping him of money and clothes. Or rather Alex and his three droogs tolchock an old veck, razrez his books, pull off his outer platties and take a malenky bit of cutter. For Alex's confessions are written in 'nadsat' - a teenage argot of a not-too-distant future. Because of his delinquent excesses, Alex is jailed and made subject to 'Ludovico's Technique', a chilling experiment in Reclamation Treatment... Horror farce? Social Prophecy? Penetrating study of human choice between good and evil? A Clockwork Orange is all three, dazzling proof of Anthony Burgess's vast talents.
Sebastian Faulks - Birdsong
In 1910 a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, goes to Picardy, France, to learn the textile business. While there he plunges into a love affair with the young wife of his host, a passion so imperative and consuming that it changes him forever. Several years later, with the outbreak of World War I, he finds himself again in the fields of Picardy, this time as a soldier on the Western Front. A strange, occasionally bitter man, Stephen is possessed of an inexplicable will to survive. He struggles through the hideously bloody battles of the Marne, Verdun, and the Somme (in the last named, thirty thousand British soldiers were killed in the first half hour alone), camps for weeks at a time in the verminous trenches, and hunkers in underground tunnels as he watches many of the companions he has grown to love perish. In spite of everything, Stephen manages to find hope and meaning in the blasted world he inhabits. Sixty years after war's end, his granddaughter discovers, and keeps, Stephen's promise to a dying man. Sebastian Faulks brings the anguish of love and war to vivid life, and leaves the reader's mind pulsating with images that are graphic and unforgettable.
Helen Fielding - Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason
The Wilderness Years are over. But not for long. At the end of _Bridget Jones' Diary,_ Bridget hiccuped off into the sunset with man-of-her-dreams Mark Darcy. Now, in _The Edge of Reason,_ she discovers what it is like when you have the man of your dreams actually in your flat and he hasn't done the washing-up, not just the whole of this week, but ever. Lurching through a morass of self-help-book theories and mad advice from Jude and Shazzer, struggling with a boyfriend-stealing ex-friend with thighs like a baby giraffe, an 8ft hole in the living-room wall, a mother obsessed with boiled-egg peelers, and a builder obsessed with large reservoir fish, Bridget embarks on a spiritual epiphany, which takes her from the cappuccino queues of Notting Hill to the palm and magic mushroom-kissed shores of... Bridget is back. V. g.
Frank Tallis - Fatal Lies
The Liebermann Papers 3 Vienna, 1903. In St. Florian's military school, a rambling edifice set high in the hills of the City's famous woods, a young cadet is found dead - his body lacerated with razor wounds. Once again, Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt calls on his friend - and disciple of Freud - Doctor Max Liebermann, to help him with the investigation. In the closed society of the school, power is everything - and suspicion falls on an elite group of cadets, with a penchant for sadism and dangerous games. When it is discovered that the dead boy was a frequent guest of the deputy headmaster's attractive young wife - other motives for murder suggest themselves. A tangled web of relationships is uncovered, at the heart of which are St. Florian's dark secrets, which Liebermann, using new psychoanalytic tools such as dream interpretation and the ink-blot test, begins to probe. At the same time, a shocking revelation makes it impossible for Liebermann to pursue the object of his affections, the Englishwoman Miss Lydgate, and he finds himself romantically involved with the passionate and elemental Trezska Novak - a mysterious Hungarian concert violinist, gifted with uncannily accurate intuitions. Again, all is not what it seems, and Liebermann is drawn into the perilous world of espionage - and must make choices, the outcome of which will threaten the entire stability of the Habsburg Empire.
Catherine Cookson - The Glass Virgin
Annabella Lagrange was the only child of a wealthy family, owners of a glass-works in the North-East of England. When Annabella was seven, she thought the world a delightful place to live in, and only occasionally wondered why her parents never took her beyond the gates of their magnificent country estate. When she was ten she decided that the seclusion didn't really matter because when she grew up she would marry her handsome cousin Stephen and never be lonely again. But when she was eighteen, Annabella learned the circumstances of her birth—and her entire world crashed around her...