And can she find a way back to her own life? AN Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. This is frequently judged the best ghost story of the Victorian period. On the sudden death of her father, Maud, an heiress, is left to the care of her Uncle Silas, until she comes of age.
Sinister in appearance and villainous by nature, Silas first plans to marry Maud to his oafish son, Dudley who is, it emerges, already married. When this fails, father and son, together with the French governess Madame de la Rougierre, conspire to murder their ward with a spiked hammer. Told by the ingenuous and largely unsuspecting Maud, the narrative builds an impending sense of doom.
Set in a near-future in a disintegrating city, where lawlessness prevails and citizens scratch a living from the debris, this dystopia is the journal of an unnamed middle-class narrator who fosters street-kid Emily and observes the decaying world from her window.
Phantom Lover - Susan Napier - Google книги
Despite the pessimistic premise and the description of civilisation on the brink of collapse, with horror lurking at every turn, the novel is an insightful and humane meditation on the survivability of the species. The world has entered the Second Enlightenment after the Faith Wars. In the Republic of Scotland, Detective Inspector Adam Ferguson investigates the murders of religious leaders, suspecting atheists but uncovering a plot involving artificial intelligence.
Before his current incarnation as a thriller writer specialising in conspiracy theories and psychopathic gore, Marshall Smith wrote forward-thinking sci-fi which combined high-octane angst with humour both noir and surreal. His debut features a bizarre compartmentalised city with different postcodes for the insane, the overachievers, the debauched or simply those with unusual taste in interior design; as well as adventures in the realm of dreams, a deep love of cats and a killer twist.
Phantom Lover (Mills & Boon Vintage 90s Modern)
Robert Neville is the last man standing, the lone survivor in a world overrun by night-crawling vampires. But if history is written by the winners, what does that make Neville: the hero or the monster?
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Clearly this was too much for the recent Will Smith movie adaptation, which ran scared of the very element that makes the book unique. Francie Brady is a rambunctious kid in s Ireland. McCabe leads us on a freewheeling tour of a scattered, shattered consciousness, as Francie grows from wayward child to dangerous adult — nursing his grievances and plotting his revenge.
Chances are that old Mrs Nugent has a surprise in store. These two figures are pushing south towards the sea, but the sea is poisoned and provides no comfort. In the end, all they have and, by implication, all the rest of us have is each other. During the Korean war and then the space programme, Yeremin closes down his emotions even as his horizons expand, from the Arctic skies to the moon itself.
The second of his sprawling steampunk fantasies detailing the alternate universe of Bas-Lag follows Armada, a floating pirate city, in its search for a rip in reality. Miller breathes new life into the Gothic antihero with his beautifully written Impac-winning first novel. Technology emerges. In an epilogue, a spaceship leaves Earth with a cargo of monks, children and the Leibowitzian relics.
The Wandering Jew makes recurrent and enigmatic appearances. Then it hops all the way back down again, resolving each story in turn.
These include a camp Ealing-style misadventure, an American thriller and an interview with a clone, all connected by a mysterious comet-shaped tattoo. Moorcock spills out such varied books that he often feels impossible to nail down, which is probably the point. Mother London, his most literary — it was shortlisted for the Whitbread — shows him at the height of his powers. Having gone to sleep on the London underground, the narrator awakes to find himself in 20th-century Hammersmith. He bathes in the now crystalline Thames and spends a day in what used to be the British Museum, airily discussing life and politics.
He then travels up the river to Runnymede, where Magna Carta was signed, going on from there to some idyllic haymaking in Oxford.
Sweet Home is a deceptive name for the Kentucky plantation where horrific crimes have been committed, as Beloved is for this shocking and unforgettable account of the human consequences of slavery. Sethe lives in Ohio in the s; she has escaped from slavery, but cannot escape the past, which quite literally haunts her. It sparks off a page adventure that sees him trapped at the bottom of a well, marked with a strange blue stain and taken on many otherworldly adventures, all in search of his missing wife. Murakami has the Japanese trick of writing about surreal events in a matter-of-fact way, making them all the more disturbing.
Ada or Ardor is part sci-fi romance, part Proustian memoir.
It plays out on a fantasy planet, a marriage of contemporary America and pre-revolutionary Russia, and details the love affair of precocious Van Veen and his sister Ada, chasing them from lustful puberty to decrepit old age. It is a gorgeous display of narrative wizardry, at once opulent, erotic, playful and wise. A moving affirmation of the continuities of love against unusual odds. JH Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. But this novel, which won Hugo and Nebula awards, reminds us he was once one of the most exciting names in hard sci-fi. Part of the Known Space series, it follows a group of humans and aliens as they explore a mysterious ring-shaped environment spinning around a star like a giant hula-hoop.
Set in Manchester in the near-future and in a phantasmagorical virtual reality, Vurt is the story of Scribble, his gang the Stash Riders and his attempt to find his sister Desdemona, who is lost in a drug-induced VR. Set in a rural Ireland that is also a vision of hell, it features policemen turning into bicycles; that SF standby, the universal energy source; and any number of scientific and literary in-jokes.
According to Yoruba tradition, a spirit child is one who has made a pact with his fellows in their other, more beautiful world, to rejoin them as soon as possible. Azaro breaks the pact, choosing to remain in this place of suffering and poverty, but the African shanty town where he lives with his parents teems with phantoms, spirits and dreams. An angry, impassioned fantasy of how to take down corporate America, and an ingenious modern version of the myth of the double. Thwarted in love, the hero Scythrop reads The Sorrows of Werther and considers suicide, but settles for the comforts of madeira instead.
Sinister and sensual, overwrought and overwritten, Titus Groan is a guilty pleasure — a dank, dripping Gothic cathedral of a novel. He inherits Gormenghast castle and its extraordinary household: emaciated Flay, with his whip-crack joints; the morbidly obese cook, Swelter; feverish, moody young Fuchsia; cackling Dr Prunesquallor, and many others. But at its heart is a chilling glimpse of the nature of evil.
With this gargantuan novel, Powys set out to take a location he knew well from his boyhood and make it the real hero of the story. It tells the story of Glastonbury through a year of turmoil, setting mystic mayor John Geard against industrialist Philip Crow. Geard wants to turn the town into a centre for Grail worship, while Crow wants to exploit and develop the local tin mines. Complex and rich, this is a landmark fantasy novel. The novel is as much a study of their obsession as a brilliant examination of magic and rationalism. A Benedictine monk who gave it up to study medicine, Rabelais wrote this satirical tale of the giant Pantagruel and his even more monstrous and grotesque father Gargantua on the cusp between eras.
In his portrayal of Gargantua, a belching, farting scholar given to urinating over the masses below his ivory tower, he satirises medieval learning as well as the emerging Renaissance thirst for knowledge.
A drink! Remind you of anything more contemporary? NB Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. This was the novel that brought the one-time astrophysicist to the attention of the SF mainstream. Robinson asks: what if the Black Death destroyed 14th-century European culture and the Mongols reached the Atlantic shores?
What follows is a history of our world with Islam and Buddhism as the dominant religions and the major scientific discoveries and art movements we take for granted happening elsewhere. Necessarily schematic in places, but a stunning achievement all the same. Every now and then, a book comes along that is so influential you have to read it to be part of the modern world. It is also a truly global phenomenon, and a nice little earner for the tribe of British character actors who have had the good fortune to be cast in the films.
Claire Armitstead Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. The offensive core of the novel depicts, under thin disguise, the prophet Muhammad, and wittily if blasphemously questions the revealed truth of the Koran. Stranded in the Sahara, a pilot meets a boy. He claims to have come from an asteroid, which he shared with a talking flower, and to have visited many other worlds — one inhabited only by a king, another by a businessman, a third by a drunkard … On Earth, he has chatted with a snake and tamed a fox. Blindness is black, says an onlooker to the man who has suddenly ceased to see while sitting in his car at the traffic lights; but this blindness is white, a milky sea in the eye.
Soon everyone is affected and the city descends into chaos. His flowing, opaque style can be challenging, but this parable of wilful unseeing, which resists reductive interpretations, is full of insight and poetry. When Lily Bloom dies, she simply moves house: to a basement flat in Dulston, north London borough for the deceased, which she shares with a calcified foetus and her surly, long-dead son.
The classic Gothic tale of terror, Frankenstein is above all a novel of ideas. Victor Frankenstein is a young Swiss student who resolves to assemble a body from dead parts and galvanise it into life. As well as an exploration of nature and nurture, the book can be read as a reaction to motherhood and a comment upon creativity.
High SF at its best. The world is gone, destroyed in an accident that gave humanity farcasters, controlled singularities that enable instant travel across galactic distances.