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Blindness

Blindness: Book 1

José Saramago

A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers-among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears-through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of man's worst appetites and weaknesses-and man's ultimately exhilarating spirit. The stunningly powerful novel of man's will to survive against all odds, by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Long Walk

Stephen King

On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as The Long Walk. If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying.

Glimpses

Lewis Shiner

Ray Shackleford lives in the ruins of the idealistic 1960s. Veteran of failed garage bands, he works as a repairman of stereo equipment, tending the dying embers of his marriage, and dreaming of bygone days and the music that almost was.

When he finds the music he dreams of has been mysteriously recorded by his tape deck, Ray is drawn into the past, to revisit the histories of Hendrix, Morrison, and the Beatles... along with the history of Ray Shackleford.

Vividly re-creating a lost era that might have been, Glimpses fuses the hopes and dreams in the music with a powerful vision of reality.

The Lottery and Other Stories

Shirley Jackson

The Lottery, one of the most terrifying stories written in this century, created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker. "Power and haunting," and "nights of unrest" were typical reader responses. This collection, the only one to appear during Shirley Jackson's lifetime, unites "The Lottery:" with twenty-four equally unusual stories. Together they demonstrate Jack son's remarkable range--from the hilarious to the truly horrible--and power as a storyteller.

Table of Contents:
• The Intoxicated • non-genre • (1949)
• The Daemon Lover • (1949)
• Like Mother Used to Make • non-genre • (1949)
• Trial by Combat • non-genre • (1944)
• The Villager • non-genre • (1944)
• My Life with R. H. Macy • non-genre • (1941)
• The Witch • non-genre • (1949)
• The Renegade • non-genre • (1948)
• After You, My Dear Alphonse • non-genre • (1943)
• Charles • non-genre • (1948)
• Afternoon in Linen • non-genre • (1943)
• Flower Garden • non-genre • (1949)
• Dorothy and My Grandmother and the Sailors • non-genre • (1949)
• Colloquy • non-genre • (1944)
• Elizabeth • non-genre • (1949)
• A Fine Old Firm • non-genre • (1944)
• The Dummy • non-genre • (1949)
• Seven Types of Ambiguity • non-genre • (1946)
• Come Dance with Me in Ireland • non-genre • (1943)
• Of Course • non-genre • (1949)
• Pillar of Salt • (1948)
• Men with Their Big Shoes • non-genre • (1947)
• The Tooth • (1949)
• Got a Letter from Jimmy • non-genre • (1949)
The Lottery • (1948)
• James Harris, the Daemon Lover • (1949) • poem by uncredited (variant of The Demon Lover 1737)

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Haruki Murakami

Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force equal in scope to the masterpieces of Mishima and Pynchon.

Dangerous Visions

Dangerous Visions: Book 1

Harlan Ellison

Anthologies seldom make history, but Dangerous Visions is a grand exception. Harlan Ellison's 1967 collection of science fiction stories set an almost impossibly high standard, as more than a half dozen of its stories won major awards - not surprising with a contributors list that reads like a who's who of 20th-century SF.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword 1-The Second Revolution - (1967) - essay by Isaac Asimov
  • Foreword 2-Harlan and I - (1967) - essay by Isaac Asimov
  • Thirty-Two Soothsayers - (1967) - essay by Harlan Ellison
  • Evensong - (1967) - shortstory by Lester del Rey
  • Flies - (1967) - shortstory by Robert Silverberg
  • The Day After the Day the Martians Came - (1967) - shortstory by Frederik Pohl
  • Riders of the Purple Wage - (1967) - novella by Philip José Farmer
  • The Malley System - (1967) - shortstory by Miriam Allen deFord
  • A Toy for Juliette - shortstory by Robert Bloch
  • The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World - novelette by Harlan Ellison
  • The Night That All Time Broke Out - (1967) - shortstory by Brian W. Aldiss
  • The Man Who Went to the Moon - Twice - (1967) - shortstory by Howard Rodman
  • Faith of Our Fathers - novelette by Philip K. Dick
  • The Jigsaw Man - (1967) - shortstory by Larry Niven
  • Gonna Roll the Bones - novelette by Fritz Leiber
  • Lord Randy, My Son - (1967) - shortstory by Joe L. Hensley
  • Eutopia - (1967) - novelette by Poul Anderson
  • Incident in Moderan - (1967) - shortstory by David R. Bunch
  • The Escaping - (1967) - shortstory by David R. Bunch
  • The Doll-House - (1967) - shortstory by James Cross
  • Sex and/or Mr. Morrison - shortstory by Carol Emshwiller
  • Shall the Dust Praise Thee? - (1967) - shortstory by Damon Knight
  • If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister? - (1967) - novella by Theodore Sturgeon
  • What Happened to Auguste Clarot? - (1967) - shortstory by Larry Eisenberg
  • Ersatz - (1967) - shortstory by Henry Slesar
  • Go, Go, Go, Said the Bird - (1967) - shortstory by Sonya Dorman
  • The Happy Breed - shortstory by John Sladek
  • Encounter with a Hick - (1967) - shortstory by Jonathan Brand
  • From the Government Printing Office - (1967) - shortstory by Kris Neville
  • Land of the Great Horses - shortstory by R. A. Lafferty
  • The Recognition - shortstory by J. G. Ballard
  • Judas - (1967) - shortstory by John Brunner
  • Test to Destruction - (1967) - novelette by Keith Laumer
  • Carcinoma Angels - (1967) - shortstory by Norman Spinrad
  • Auto-da-Fé - (1967) - shortstory by Roger Zelazny
  • Aye, and Gomorrah... - (1967) - shortstory by Samuel R. Delany

Time Out of Joint

Philip K. Dick

Time Out of Joint is Philip K. Dick's classic depiction of the disorienting disparity between the world as we think it is and the world as it actually is.

The year is 1998, although Ragle Gumm doesn't know that. He thinks it's 1959. He also thinks that he served in World War II, that he lives in a quiet little community, and that he really is the world's long-standing champion of newspaper puzzle contests. It is only after a series of troubling hallucinations that he begins to suspect otherwise. And once he pursues his suspicions, he begins to see how he is the center of a universe gone terribly awry.

Slow River

Nicola Griffith

She awoke in an alley to the splash of rain. She was naked, a foot-long gash in her back was still bleeding, and her identity implant was gone. Lore Van de Oest was the daughter of one of the world's most powerful families...and now she was nobody.

Then out of the rain walked Spanner, an expert data pirate who took her in, cared for her wounds, and gave her the freedom to reinvent herself again and again. No one could find Lore if she didn't want to be found: not the police, not her family, and not the kidnappers who had left her in that alley to die. She had escaped...but she paid for her newfound freedom in crime, deception, and degradation--over and over again.

Lore had a choice: She could stay in the shadows, stay with Spanner...and risk losing herself forever. Or she could leave Spanner and find herself again by becoming someone else: stealing the identity implant of a dead woman, taking over her life, and inventing her future.

But to start again, Lore required Spanner's talents--Spanner, who needed her and hated her, and who always had a price. And even as Lore agreed to play Spanner's games one final time, she found that there was still the price of being a Van de Oest to be paid. Only by confronting her past, her family, and her own demons could Lore meld together who she had once been, who she had become, and the person she intended to be....

Mr. Fox

Helen Oyeyemi

From a prizewinning young writer, a brilliant and inventive story of love, lies, and inspiration.

Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding, and the fairy tales don't get complicated. In this book, the celebrated writer Mr. Fox can't stop himself from killing off the heroines of his novels, and neither can his wife, Daphne. It's not until Mary, his muse, comes to life and transforms him from author into subject that his story begins to unfold differently.

Mary challenges Mr. Fox to join her in stories of their own devising; and in different times and places, the two of them seek each other, find each other, thwart each other, and try to stay together, even when the roles they inhabit seem to forbid it. Their adventures twist the fairy tale into nine variations, exploding and teasing conventions of genre and romance, and each iteration explores the fears that come with accepting a lifelong bond. Meanwhile, Daphne becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair, and finds her way into Mary and Mr. Fox's game. And so Mr. Fox is offered a choice: Will it be a life with the girl of his dreams, or a life with an all-too-real woman who delights him more than he cares to admit?

The extraordinarily gifted Helen Oyeyemi has written a love story like no other. Mr. Fox is a magical book, endlessly inventive, as witty and charming as it is profound in its truths about how we learn to be with one another.

High-Rise

J. G. Ballard

Within the concealing walls of an elegant forty-storey tower block, the affluent tenants are hell-bent on an orgy of destruction. Cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on 'enemy' floors and the once-luxurious amenities become an arena for technological mayhem!In this classic visionary tale, human society slips into violent reverse as the inhabitants of the high-rise, driven by primal urges, recreate a world ruled by the laws of the jungle.

Too Like the Lightning

Terra Ignota: Book 1

Ada Palmer

Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer--a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.

The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st-century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s. It is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech. What seem to us normal gender distinctions are now distinctly taboo in most social situations. And most of the world's population is affiliated with globe-girdling clans of the like-minded, whose endless economic and cultural competion is carefully managed by central planners of inestimable subtlety. To us it seems like a mad combination of heaven and hell. To them, it seems like normal life.

And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destablize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life...

Limbo

Bernard Wolfe

LIMBO is a uniquely unusual, dazzling novel of the future that is unlike anything you have ever read- or are likely to read.

Dr. Martine, a neurosurgeon, flees a limited nuclear war to a forgotten island in the Indian Ocean. After 18 years of performing "humane" lobotomies on island natives, he sets out to rediscover the world. What he finds is a grotesque post-bomb society in which self-mutilation and installed prosthetic limbs are used to mute the urge to make war.

Bernard Wolfe, co-author of Really The Blues, grapples with the largest issues of our century in Limbo.

Just After Sunset

Stephen King

A stunning collection from international bestseller Stephen King that displays his phenomenally broad readership (stories published in The New Yorker, Playboy,and McSweeney's and including the 25,000 word story "Gingerbread Girl" published in Esquire).

Stephen King--who has written more than fifty books, dozens of number one New York Times bestsellers, and many unforgettable movies--delivers an astonishing collection of short stories, his first since Everything's Eventual six years ago. As guest editor of the bestselling Best American Short Stories 2007, King spent over a year reading hundreds of stories. His renewed passion for the form is evident on every page of Just After Sunset. The stories in this collection have appeared in The New Yorker, Playboy, McSweeney's, The Paris Review, Esquire, and other publications.

Who but Stephen King would turn a Port-O-San into a slimy birth canal, or a roadside honky-tonk into a place for endless love? A book salesman with a grievance might pick up a mute hitchhiker, not knowing the silent man in the passenger seat listens altogether too well. Or an exercise routine on a stationary bicycle, begun to reduce bad cholesterol, might take its rider on a captivating--and then terrifying--journey. Set on a remote key in Florida, "The Gingerbread Girl" is a riveting tale featuring a young woman as vulnerable--and resourceful--as Audrey Hepburn's character in Wait Until Dark. In "Ayana," a blind girl works a miracle with a kiss and the touch of her hand. For King, the line between the living and the dead is often blurry, and the seams that hold our reality intact might tear apart at any moment. In one of the longer stories here, "N.," which recently broke new ground when it was adapted as a graphic digital entertainment, a psychiatric patient's irrational thinking might create an apocalyptic threat in the Maine countryside...or keep the world from falling victim to it.

Just After Sunset--call it dusk, call it twilight, it's a time when human intercourse takes on an unnatural cast, when nothing is quite as it appears, when the imagination begins to reach for shadows as they dissipate to darkness and living daylight can be scared right out of you. It's the perfect time for Stephen King.

In the Country of Last Things

Paul Auster

Here is the story of Anna Blume, a woman who has come to an unnamed city in search of her brother. Her notebook recounts her quest in this cruel modern landscape, and through her anguished narrative, Auster presents a frightening vision of the future.

Patternmaster

The Patternist: Book 4

Octavia E. Butler

A despot's heirs battle for control of all the minds on Earth.

A psychic net hangs across the world, and only the Patternists can control it. They use their telepathic powers to enslave lesser life forms, to do battle with the diseased, half-human creatures who rage outside their walls, and, sometimes, to fight amongst themselves. Ruling them all is the Patternmaster, a man of such psychic strength that he can influence the thoughts of all those around him. But he cannot stop death, and when he is gone, chaos will reign.

The Patternmaster has hundreds of children, but only one of them-Coransee-has ambition to match his father's. To seize the throne he will have to coopt or kill every one of his siblings, and he will not shy from the task. But when one brother takes refuge among the savages, a battle ensues that will change the destiny of every being on the planet.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Patrick Rothfuss

The University, a renowned bastion of knowledge, attracts the brightest minds to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences like artificing and alchemy. Yet deep below its bustling halls lies a complex and cavernous maze of abandoned rooms and ancient passageways - and in the heart of it all lives Auri.

Formerly a student at the University, now Auri spends her days tending the world around her. She has learned that some mysteries are best left settled and safe. No longer fooled by the sharp rationality so treasured by the University, Auri sees beyond the surface of things, into subtle dangers and hidden names.

At once joyous and haunting, THE SLOW REGARD OF SILENT THINGS is a rich, atmospheric and lyrical tale, featuring one of the most beloved characters from Rothfuss' acclaimed fantasy series.

The Gracekeepers

Kirsty Logan

As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, sending the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.

In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland ("landlockers") and those who float on the sea ("damplings"), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives--offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.

Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.

The House of the Seven Gables

Nathaniel Hawthorne

A tale of an evil house, cursed through the centuries by a man who was hanged for witchcraft, haunted by ghosts of its dead and the terror of its living. Nathaniel Hawthorne's works are imbued with a mixture of actual and imaginary and this is an enduring example. The puritanical Jaffrey Pyncheon is the embodiment of Hawthorne's own ancestor, a judge at the Salem witch trials.

Roadwork

Stephen King

What happens when one good-and-angry man fights back is murder--and then some....

Bart Dawes is standing in the way of progress. A new highway extension is being built right over the laundry plant where he works--and right over his home. The house he has lived in for twenty years... where he has made love with his wife...played with his son.... But before the city paves over that part of Dawes' life, he's got one more party to throw--and it'll be a blast....

The Dark Half

Stephen King

Creating George Stark was easy. Getting rid of him won't be...

The sparrows are flying again. The idea - unbidden, inexplicable - haunts the edge of Thad Beaumont's mind.

Thad should be happy. For years now it is his secret persona 'George Stark', author of super-violent pulp thrillers, who has paid the family bills. But now, Thad is writing seriously again under his own name, and his menacing pseudonym has been buried forever.

And yet... the sparrows are flying again, and something is terribly wrong in Thad Beaumont's world.

Rose Madder

Stephen King

Roused by a single drop of blood, Rosie Daniels wakes up to the chilling realisation that her husband is going to kill her. And she takes flight - with his credit card. Alone in a strange city, Rosie begins to build a new life: she meets Bill Steiner and she finds an odd junk shop painting, Rose Madder, which strangely seems to want her as much as she wants it.

The Heart Goes Last

Margaret Atwood

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around--and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in... for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their "civilian" homes.

At first, this doesn't seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one's head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan's life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.

The Beautiful Bureaucrat

Helen Phillips

A young wife's new job in an enigmatic organization pits her against the unfeeling machinations of the universe in this inventive and compulsively page-turning first novel

In a windowless building in a remote part of town, the newly employed Josephine inputs an endless string of numbers into something known only as The Database. After a long period of joblessness, she's not inclined to question her fortune, but as the days inch by and the files stack up, Josephine feels increasingly anxious in her surroundings--the office's scarred pinkish walls take on a living quality, the drone of keyboards echoes eerily down the long halls. When one evening her husband Joseph disappears and then returns, offering no explanation as to his whereabouts, her creeping unease shifts decidedly to dread.

As other strange events build to a crescendo, the haunting truth about Josephine's work begins to take shape in her mind, even as something powerful is gathering its own form within her. She realizes that in order to save those she holds most dear, she must penetrate an institution whose tentacles seem to extend to every corner of the city and beyond. Both chilling and poignant, The Beautiful Bureaucrat is a novel of rare restraint and imagination. With it, Helen Phillips enters the company of Murakami, Bender, and Atwood as she twists the world we know and shows it back to us full of meaning and wonder--luminous and new.