In this powerful new novella, Paul Park submits some answers, alternately menacing and absurd. Encountering an ape-man in the mountains of North India, and then returning to America to experience the death of his old mentor Jim Carbone, our narrator finds himself dangerously susceptible to the attractions of the afterlife.
When Jim passes away, our young man follows him to bring him back, entering a harsh borderland of high mountains, lunatic monasteries, evil instincts, totalitarian coercion, incomprehensible cities, fascist police, and beautiful women. In the end, his only chance of finding his way home lies with his friend, who has receded away from him, and yet is still able to dispatch a messenger to help him one last time. Park is the acclaimed author of Soldiers of Paradise and Three Marys. Written with all of his customary imagination, poetry, and humour, No Traveller Returns is an exciting, meditative masterpiece, in which the impossible achieves its final triumph over the improbable.
Who Wants to Die? Within the contours of the island was a woman. A woman, naked, on her back, her knees up and legs splayed open, her face hidden by a forearm flung across it and by the long hair greenish, grayish that flowed around her like the sea. A slash of pink, startling against the mossy greens and browns, seemed to touch a nerve in my own groin.
The narrator of this creepy but feministically delicious novella, an early 21st-century novelist, decides to write the biography of Helen Ralston, an all-but-forgotten 20th-century novelist she has long admired. In the late s, Helen studied painting with W.
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When they parted for good, both turned to writing. Willy became famous; Helen did not. The narrator of My Death intends to do something about that. An Einarinn novella. In time, the country of Lescar will explode in bloody revolution, but before that comes this classic novella from Juliet E. Long ago -- when History was not as it is now -- the North African city of Carthage lay under the eternal darkness of the Penitence Ilario, a King's Freak from the minor Iberian kingdom of Tarraconensis, has been raised as both man and woman.
Now Ilario is on the run—as a would-be painter. Ilario desires to paint neither symbols nor formal icons, but simply and scandalously to paint what is. Carthage is the great capital of the medieval Mediterranean, existing under an aurora-stricken darkness—anyone who can paint under that light, Ilario thinks, must be taken seriously by the budding New School of painters further east in Rome and Florence and Venice.
But Ilario will not only encounter thieves, slavers, priests of the tophet, the Lords-Amir of Carthage itself, and a questionable eunuch book-buyer from the Royal Library at Alexandria. Murder is hot on Ilario's heels, following all the way from Tarraconensis—and the truth of the past is not to be denied. Under the Penitence takes place in the Visigothic Carthage of Ash: A Secret History, but stands alone, and can be read without any reference to the novel.
This third anthology inspired by Thomson's acclaimed series once again includes many of the biggest and most respected names in contemporary horror with some of their favourite stories, both classic and original. In the seventeen polished, ingenious and often darkly humorous stories collected here, multiple award-winning author Paul McAuley takes a fresh look at staple genre themes spanning science fiction, horror, and alternate history. In 'Residuals', written with Kim Newman, a hero who once helped repel an alien invasion, eaten up by self-loathing and alcoholism after his bruising experience in the eye of the media, must find it in himself to try to save the world all over again.
Bestselling mainstream author Philip K. A book-dealer turned private detective discovers strange and dangerous rivals making use of the internet in 'The Proxy'. A science fiction fan explains how he became a serial killer in 'I Spy', a story with a little something missing. And in 'Cross Roads Blues', especially rewritten for this collection, the course of American history hangs on the decision of an itinerant musician. Despite the wry black comedy that suffuses many of these stories, the author is fully engaged with the ineffable strangeness of the universe and the human predicament.
Even at his most playful, as in 'The Madness of Crowds', where a TV set designer must deal with the ramifications of a discovery by a mad scientist who is also his younger, smarter brother, McAuley has a serious point to make about hardwired human behaviour. Every one of these stories is different and distinctive. It includes essays and reviews from to , originally published in a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, literary journals and fanzines.
Most of the pieces concern the speculative fiction genre. Paris, Jules Verne, struggling playwright and frustrated dreamer, finds himself whisked through time, first into the Cretaceous Period, and then into the far future, on a perilous quest to save the world from the tyranny of Robur, the insane Master of the World. But what is not known is that Verne experienced an adventure equal to any he wrote about, a quest in which he met mad airship captains, beautiful rebels, and a race of ant-like aliens—and at the same time brought about the salvation of planet Earth and the dawn of a new Golden Age for humankind.
So they're telling me I need to talk about what I talked about in all these pages which had my bestest cover ever with green crayon and blue crayon because they're the only ones Glora Feeb hasn't eaten yet and bits of bark and moss and a dragonfly water beetle which is what they are before they crawl out and unwrap their wings, but it's only the shell because the dragonflies climb out through a hole in the beetle's back and then they dry up, which is what I'm going to do when I dry up too, climb out through the hole, I mean.
And that's what was on the cover using LePage's glue, the white stuff that tastes like toothpaste without the mint or chili pepper if it's my sister's toothpaste when she's not looking because she's too busy staring at her new phone all the time, probably because it doesn't work, it's got no cord!
But that cover's gone I don't know where maybe to the Smithsonian and I'd tied strings through the holes to keep all those pages in order, especially since I forgot to number them, only it's not real string it's five lb test monofilament fishing line that says 8 lb on the box but it's old and Grandma Matchie says fishing line that's old doesn't weigh as much as when it's new, not that I can tell the difference can you? Besides it's not like pages weigh a lot or fight back much. Anyway the pages I'm supposed to talk about got numbers now because grown-ups are obsessed with putting things in order but I'm not good at taking orders which is where all the trouble started so I'll stop now.
The calls on the radio are all about tunnels. Someone whose grandfather was involved in digging the first of the pair that take roads under the river says attempts were made to block up the excavations. The bosses accused the workmen of trying to prolong the job, but some of her grandfather's colleagues insisted the tunnel had been blocked from within. The wife of a worker at the sorting office on Copperas Hill reveals that the postmen are loath to use the tunnel that links the office to Lime Street Station.
Perhaps it's a tale to frighten new recruits, since the veterans say the lights in the tunnel sometimes fail, unless they're switched off as a prank, at which point you may realise you have company that doesn't need to see you to find you, because you'll hear its whisper in your ear before you encounter its wet flabby touch Gavin Meadows gives guided tours of Liverpool. Some of his stories are based on history and some on local legends. As a summer of rainstorms and redevelopment overtakes the city, his research starts to disinter the true nature of the place. What originally brought settlers to the Pool?
What used to take place in the cellars of Liverpool's Whitechapel? Why did Joseph Williamson, the Mole of Edge Hill, construct a maze of underground tunnels only to brick them up? What drove Virginia Woolf's uncle mad in Liverpool as he summed up a prosecution for murder? As Gavin and his partner Lucinda delve deeper they're confronted by the truth behind the legends and encounter what has always lived under the city.
At the end, what will come up from the dark? Earth is fog-shrouded, the Amazon rainforest a desert. Not surprising, as from its base in the Alpha system, the Monroe Corporation has total control of tachyferite, the only substance to emit faster than light signals.
To do this he must brave personal threats and corporate intrigue and eventually centuries of star travel with one embittered companion. Then, on a new, unblemished world he makes a decision which will change both their lives. William Ian North is an absurdly successful moneymaker.
His nigh-unimaginable wealth gives him the ability to found and topple governments, ruin nations, even start wars.
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New York, the late 's. The tribes of punk and disco are at war, and the first casualties have fallen in the Chelsea Hotel. Johnny Pop, a vampire fresh from Europe with a name to make and a thirst to slake, gravitates to the orbit of the grey-faced undead master to the city, Andy Warhol. With Johnny comes a new drug craze, perhaps a new disease and certainly a new communion between the living and the undead.
The alternate world of Anno Dracula, The Bloody Red Baron, Judgment Of Tears and Coppola's Dracula is extended here to a new era and a new continent, reimagining Saturday Night Fever as a lust for blood and examining one artist's obsession with things dead but moving. After a chequered and violent career, Eddie Kruger now lives in the Florida Keys. Apart from the kidnappings. And the aliens. Michael Marshall Smith is the winner of the Philip K.
Mid-list writer Daniel Ellis becomes obsessed with the life and work of novelist Vaughan Edwards, who disappeared in mysterious circumstances in Edwards' novels, freighted with foreboding tragedy and a lyrical sense of loss, echo something in Ellis's own life.
His investigations lead Ellis ever deeper into the enigma that lies at the heart of Vaughan Edwards' country house, Edgecoombe Hall, and the horror that dwells there. In a departure from his science fiction roots, Eric Brown has written a haunting novella that explores the essence of creativity, the secret of love, and the tragedy that lies at the heart of human existence.
It's dog eat dog out here. And man eat dog, and man eat man Howling Mile. A city of the future.
Barred from surrounding areas in the aftermath of a deadly toxic spill, its citizens are a crushed, hateful breed, slowly imploding in a vicious cycle of violence and cannibalism while their jailers, the Bordertypes, keep watch from sniper steeples and patrols of fire-breathing helicopters, desperate to prevent the contagion from infecting the rest of the country. Yet within this black arena, hope has come, at least for one woman. Carrier has fallen in love with The Dancer, a man she catches glimpses of beyond her reinforced windows and deep within her dreams.
By day, she tends to her best friend Jake, who is dying, infected by the slow poison that is subsuming the city and its inhabitants. By night, she corresponds with Enderby, a friend who provides her with a reason to live, by sending her missives from the real world. Meanwhile, The Dancer introduces her to a different way of life in Howling Mile.
She learns that there is beauty and magic beyond the bloodshed and resentment, that there exists a possible way forward. But she discovers there is a price to be paid for such epiphanies. Carrier finds herself running the risk of exposing herself and Jake to the Bordertypes, who don't want anything leaking out fro Howling Mile. Anything alive, that is.
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And all the while, it seems that the greatest secrets of the city are to be found deep within herself. It doesn't matter that in this novella, the physical direction of travel is upwards. Richard Swift and Roland Childe misspent their youth trying to outdo one another. Swift is a disgraced scientist, and Childe an eccentric rich man whose family has discovered an artifact on a distant moon. Others have tried to enter it to wrest its secrets. Their remains surround the tower.
Childe proposes an expedition, equipped to solve the riddle. Why, Ben Savitch, of course! After all, Ben was born in this backwater town and that might just give him the edge when it comes to finding out the truth. And he might finally realise a shot-glass of fame and meaning in his otherwise lacklustre career.
But the mystery of the stranded extraterrestrial pales in comparison to the powerful yet fragile magic that already exists in Elderton: Almo Parrish can infallibly predict the moment when the first leaf of autumn will fall each year, and believes that he is the last surviving Munchkin; Chandler Quinn can build or repair anything including otherworldly machines ; little Vida Proust lumbers around town because the gentle inhabitants of Elderton are far too polite to tell her the truth of her existence or lack thereof ; and poor Frank Shepard is a flickering wraith of a man, a reanimated superhero who has forgotten how to fly.
A moderately modern city, pulsing with music and commerce, seemingly of infinite length, yet only as broad as a wide avenue, flanked on one side by Heaven, on the other by Hell. Such is the milieu intimately familiar to — and mostly unquestioned by — the millions of average humans who inhabit the Linear City. Yet a small band of seekers do indeed ponder their odd lot, the genesis and fate of their strange habitation. A Year in the Linear City is the story of Diego and his friends, their loves and rivalries, their failures and triumphs, during one pivotal year beneath the Seasonsun and Daysun, in forbidding sight of The Other Shore and The Wrong Side of the Tracks.
Careers will flourish, comrades will part forever, subterranean adventures will endanger both soul and city, and a fateful expedition to far off Blocks will bring new and challenging perspectives, leaving no one unchanged. But perhaps his luck has finally changed, for two strangers have come to Lamentable Moll This is surely a remarkable opportunity for the hapless Emancipor Reese. Ramsey Campbell is the world's most honored living horror writer, with more than twenty World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Bram Stoker, and other awards to his credit. In The Darkest Part of the Woods , Campbell introduces readers to the Price family, whose lives have for decades been snarled with the fate of the ancient forest of Goodmanswood.
Here, Dr. Lennox Price discovered a hallucinogenic moss that quickly became the focus of a cult-and though the moss and the trees on which it grew are long gone, it seems as if the whole forest can now affect the minds of visitors. In the Tate Gallery in London hangs a mysterious painting that captures the hearts and souls of everyone who sees it. It emerged from the disturbed mind of an artist consigned to the infamous lunatic asylum Bedlam after he slaughtered his father.
Mystical, disconcerting, enthralling, it purports to be a vista on to fairyland itself. But for Danny it is a key. A child prodigy, Danny has been obsessed with the painting all his life. Somewhere deep within it is the answer to a mystery that possessed his mother before him.
And so Danny sets out on a quest into the life of the brilliant tortured artist Richard Dadd. By following in his footsteps to Egypt, where Dadd first went insane, Danny risks madness itself. But the prize is worth it. Or is it something much, much darker? The uglimen are coming. Watch your back. They killed your dad. They'll kill you too if they can. Life is sweet—until the day that his mother rings him at work to tell him that his quiet, thoughtful and apparently contented father has hung himself from the banister of their family home.
Before long, Rob finds that it is not only his own and his mother's grief that he has to cope with. A mysterious, hissing voice on the phone informs him that his father was murdered, and that his murderers—the uglimen—are targeting Rob as their next victim. But if Rob's father really is dead, why does Rob glimpse him, standing between distant trees, watching his own funeral? Is his father a phantom? A figment of Rob's imagination? Or has he somehow faked his own death in order to avoid some terrible retribution? To discover the truth, Rob must confront and accept shocking revelations about his father, must delve deep into his father's past, and in particular into certain events that occurred in California in , during the fabled summer of love.
For it was here where his father made the biggest mistake of his life, where his reckless actions were to have such devastating consequences that they would destroy not only his life, but the lives of all those around him. Gus has his squeeze Mandy. Mandy used to be a lap dancer. She's still got a body, I can tell you. She's also got a mouth and the brains to use it. Her cover is that she used to be in property development. Well yeah maybe. A certain kind of old babe has the hardest eyes you'll ever see. Mandy says, "The trouble with that scum is they'll turn the heat up on all of us.
Sound guns or microwaves blast thieves and juveniles alike. The Happy Farm provides drugs and physiotherapy and advanced Neurobics to help heal its guests' bodies and minds. So, some of the guests have turned to unorthodox ways of paying their bills. They hack it out of other people's bank accounts. Then a gang of aged street people starts taking more direct action.
They turn the VAO onto the people it's supposed to protect: the young, the wealthy. Age Rage they call it. They even have a charismatic leader called Silhouette. The cosy criminals of the Happy Farm realise that Silhouette is drawing all together too much attention to the scourge of elderly crime.
And the best way to do something about that is to catch Silhouette themselves. With the middle classes adopting voodoo as a lifestyle fad, their doors are opened to a ruthless white male with a command of the religion's darker practical secrets. After an unusual and harrowing encounter, Louisiana detective John Lafcadio pursues the faceless man who now haunts his nightmares.
Eighteen thousand years have passed since the birth of the Third Expansion. Humanity spans the Galaxy and has become locked in a titanic, unending battle with their ultimate foe, the Xeelee. Luca is a novice at the Commission for Historical Truth. Based on Earth, young Luca is at the heart of the mesh of intelligence that controls and drives the Galaxy-wide war. But now into his life comes Captain Teel, a woman as young as he is, enigmatic, compellingly beautiful—but also a serving officer from the Front itself.
Luca is immediately captured by an infatuation for Teel. But Luca's duty to the Expansion sends him on an extraordinary journey to the deadly core of the Galaxy, where he must confront the truth of an interstellar war, a war that spans a hundred thousand light years and has endured for millennia. In the midst of this superhuman conflict, even as he 'rides the rock' with Teel into the jaws of the ultimate darkness, Luca must strive to protect his own humanity from being crushed by the great events in which he is enmeshed. Ramsey Campbell, Probably collects , words of Campbell's non-fiction from the last three decades.
The subjects range from the perils of authorship to the delights of amateur fiction and film, from drugs to nightmares, from the Highgate Vampire to the Dracula Society's marching song. Friends are remembered, and so is Mary Whitehouse. A seminal study of English schoolgirl spanking on video is brought up to date. Many thoughts on the history of horror fiction are included. At last it is revealed why Harlan Ellison is responsible. May the reader variously laugh, weep, ponder, disagree and turn uneasily in bed.
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