You define life or it defines you. In Shawn Speakman’s case, it was both. Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay. That’s when New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story that Shawn could sell to help alleviate those bills—and suggested he ask the same of his other writer friends. Unfettered is the result: An anthology built in order to relieve that debt, featuring short stories by some of the best fantasy writers in the genre.
Oscar Hopkins is a high-strung preacher's kid with hydrophobia and noisy knees. Lucinda Leplastrier is a frizzy-haired heiress who impulsively buys a glass factory with the inheritance forced on her by a well-intentioned adviser. In the early parts of this lushly written audiobook, author Peter Carey renders the seminal turning points in his protagonists' childhoods as exquisite 19th-century set pieces.
"A book to wade in, submerge into."
Ned Kelly's name resonates in Australia the same way the name Jesse James does in America. Was he a crusading folk hero or murderous horse thief and bank robber? Who was the real Ned Kelly? As the impoverished son of an Irish convict, Kelly was cheated, lied to, and abused by the English. Committed to fighting back against oppression, Kelly and his gang of outlaws eluded police for nearly two years.
"Brilliant and Poetic"
Olivier, an improvisation on the life of Alexis de Tocqueville, is the traumatized child of aristocratic survivors of the French Revolution. Parrot is the motherless son of an itinerant English printer. Born on different sides of history, their lives will be joined by an enigmatic one-armed marquis.
"Like nothing else"
Award-winning, best-selling author Neil Gaiman demonstrates why he’s one of the hottest stars in literature today with “The Thing About Cassandra,” a subtle but chilling story of a man who meets an old girlfriend he had never expected to see .International blockbuster bestselling author Diana Gabaldon sends a World War II RAF pilot through a stone circle to the time of her Outlander series in “A Leaf on the Winds of All Hallows.”
How does a young woman from suburban Melbourne become America's public enemy number one? When Gaby Baillieux releases the Angel Worm into the computers of Australia's prison system, freeing hundreds of asylum seekers, she sets off a chain reaction. These prisons are run by US companies, and so the doors of some 5000 American institutions have also opened. And to some watching eyes, the secrets of both countries threaten to pour out. Was this a mistake? Or has the elusive Gaby declared cyberwar on the US?
Peter Carey has won the Booker prize twice for his ventures into historical fiction, True History of the Kelly Gang and Oscar and Lucinda. Now the acclaimed Australian author is set to address a rather more contemporary situation. Amnesia is a thrilling and witty journey to the place where the cyber underworld of radicals and hackers collides with international power politics.
"Aimless and boring"
Commanders from six Star Trek crews are faced with the ultimate gamble, as they hurl themselves through a Gateway without any knowledge of what lay beyond. Each faces a personally unique challenge, struggling to find a way back to the ships and homes they left behind. Waiting behind at least one of the Gateways are the ageless Iconians, the primordial architects of the mysterious portals causing chaos throughout the Milky Way galaxy.
Critics have used every possible superlative to praise the works of two-time Man Booker Prize winner Peter Carey. In The Chemistry of Tears, Carey continues to astound with a story of love, death, and human invention. Museum curator Catherine’s affair comes to an abrupt end with her married lover’s untimely death. Denied outward grief by the nature of their relationship, Catherine retreats into isolation. Delving into notebooks more than a century old, she feels a growing connection to Henry Brandling, who in 1854 gave life to a mechanical creature.
"Not worth reading…"
In the 1950s poet Christopher Chubb composes a body of sexually charged poems. Chubb then dupes a trendy literary magazine into believing the poems were composed by the late Bob McCorkle, an undiscovered genius. But the trick backfires, and soon Chubb finds himself tormented by the very monster he creates. Decades later, a literary editor named Sarah Wode-Douglass begins peeling back the layers of the Chubb mystery in, of all places, Malaysia, where the reclusive poet remains in hiding.
Che is a precocious young boy raised in isolated privilege by his New York grandmother. Yearning for his famous outlaw parents - radical 1960s activists who are now among the FBI's most wanted - he's denied access to television and the news. But he takes hope from his teenage neighbor, who predicts, "They will come for you, man. They'll break you out of here."
With scars on his back and silver in his pocket, the huge figure of Jack Maggs strides across the rich landscape of 19th century London. As this enigmatic man moves through its streets and houses, his single-minded quest to find his son will engender love, deceit, and vengeance in the lives around him.
Butcher Boone is an all-id all-the-time Australian painter of enormous talent and renown. Now divorced and bankrupted by his former wife, who tired of his excesses, Butcher has been reduced to caretaking a remote estate for his largest collector. And since the deaths of his working-class parents, he has also been saddled with his beloved, bedeviling brother Hugh, who, like Butcher, has a primarily pugilistic relationship with the world.
Olivier is a young aristocrat, one of an endangered species born in France just after the Revolution. Parrot, the son of an itinerant English printer, wanted to be an artist but has ended up in middle age as a servant. When Olivier sets sail for the New World - ostensibly to study its prisons, but in reality to avoid yet another revolution - Parrot is sent with him, as spy, protector, foe and foil.
"A grand story, full of great characters"
When Catherine's secret lover dies suddenly, she has nowhere to turn to except her work. A middle-aged curator in a London museum, Catherine is given a very particular project: a box of intricate clockwork parts that appear to be the remains of a 19th century automaton - a beautifully made mechanical bird. When she discovers the diary of the man who commissioned the machine, she is partially rescued from one obsession by another: who was Henry Brandling?
Following the success of Parrot and Olivier in America comes another wonderfully rich tale with historical themes from the twice Booker-winner. Catherine Gehrig, conservator at a London museum, learns of the unexpected death of her colleague and lover of thirteen years. Only the museum's director knew of the affair, and sends Catherine to work on a special project away from prying eyes.
"Another great novel from Carey"
Michael "Butcher" Boone is an ex-"really famous" painter, now reduced to living in the remote country house of his biggest collector and acting as caretaker for his younger brother, Hugh, a damaged man of imposing physicality and childlike emotions. Together, they've forged a delicate equilibrium, a balance instantly destroyed when a mysterious young woman named Marlene walks out of a rainstorm and into their lives.
"This grew on me."
Che is raised in isolated privilege by his New York grandmother, the precocious son of radical Harvard students in the sixties. Yearning for his famous outlaw parents, denied all access to television and the news, he takes hope from his long-haired teenage neighbour who predicts "They will come for you, man. They'll break you out of here."
Has a young Australian woman declared cyber war on the United States? (The Justice Department thinks so.) Or was her Angel Worm intended only to open the prison doors of those unfortunates detained by Australia's harsh immigration policies? Did American suffer collateral damage? Can she be extradited to a country with the death penalty? Is she innocent? Can she be saved? Enter her mother, the actress Celine Baillieux.
Olivier is a French aristocrat, the traumatized child of survivors of the Revolution. Parrot is the son of an itinerant printer who always wanted to be an artist but has ended up a servant. Born on different sides of history, their lives will be brought together by their travels in America. When Olivier sets sail for the New World, ostensibly to study its prisons but in reality to save his neck from one more revolution – Parrot is sent with him, as spy, protector, foe, and foil.