Set in 2082, Peter Watts' Blindsight is fast-moving, hard SF that pulls readers into a futuristic world where a mind-bending alien encounter is about to unfold. After the Firefall, all eyes are locked heavenward as a team of specialists aboard the self-piloted spaceship Theseus hurtles outbound to intercept an unknown intelligence.
"Compelling modern hard sci-fi"
For years Chuck Palahniuk has reserved his best storytelling for his readings, often choosing to read a new short story instead of whatever novel he is supposed to be promoting. Make Something Up compiles these previously unpublished tales for the very first time, plus the Byliner social media insta-classic "Phoenix" and Palahniuk's most notable pieces from Playboy.
"Plenty of shock, just not enough Palahniuk awe"
Shortly after her 16th birthday, Sunshine Griffith and her mother, Kat, move from sunny Austin, Texas, to the rain-drenched town of Ridgemont, Washington. Though Sunshine is adopted, she and her mother have always been close, sharing a special bond filled with laughter and inside jokes. But from the moment they arrive, Sunshine feels her world darken with an eeriness she cannot place. And even if Kat doesn't recognize it, Sunshine knows that something about their new house is just...creepy.
"Absolutely suspenseful and heart warming."
Set in a bitterly benighted, mine-polluted corner of Virginia, Nitro Mountain follows a group of people bound together by alcohol, small-time crime, and music. There's Leon, a hapless bass player who can embroil himself in trouble just by getting out of bed in the morning. And his would-be girlfriend, Jennifer, who's living with Arnett, the town's most dangerous thug - and hoping Leon will help poison him. And there's Arnett himself, a psychopath for the ages.
These interrelated stories are arranged in two sections, one devoted to virtues ("Bravery", "Loyalty", "Chastity", "Charity", and "Forbearance") and the other to vices ("Lust", "Sloth", "Avarice", "Gluttony", and "Vanity"). They are cast with characters who appear and reappear throughout the collection, their actions equally divided between the praiseworthy and the loathsome.
"More Virtue than Vices"
Since ancient times, accounts of supernatural activity have mystified us. Ghost stories as we know them did not develop until the late 19th century, but the restless dead haunted the premodern imagination in many forms, as recorded in historical narratives, theological texts, and personal letters. The Penguin Book of the Undead teems with roving hordes of dead warriors, corpses trailed by packs of barking dogs, moaning phantoms haunting deserted ruins, evil spirits emerging from burning carcasses in the form of crows, and zombies with pestilential breath.
"Not what you're hoping for..."
Hidden far from sight, deep in the thick underbrush of the North Florida woods are the ghostly graves of more than 30 unidentified bodies, some of which are thought to be children who were beaten to death at the old Florida Industrial School for Boys at Marianna. It is suspected that many more bodies will be found in the fields and swamplands surrounding the institution.
"Tough. Brutal. Realistic. Vivid"
Like the work of Cormac McCarthy, Denis Johnson, Richard Ford, and Annie Proulx, Battleborn represents a near-perfect confluence of sensibility and setting, and the introduction of an exceptionally powerful and original literary voice. In each of these ten unforgettable stories, Claire Vaye Watkins writes her way fearlessly into the mythology of the American West, utterly reimagining it.
"Wonderful magnificent stories beautifully told"
Celebrating Failure is the definitive how-to manual for leaders seeking to embrace the power of failure as a learning tool to improve their organizations and achieve ever-greater goals. The business world (and, lately, the political arena) is convinced that the number one topic is change. Heath posits that it might well be failure, because if you do it right, failure can become a launching pad for change.
For more than three decades, while its writer's world fame increased, Queer remained unpublished because of its forthright depiction of homosexual longings. Set in the corrupt and spectral Mexico City of the '40s, Queer is the story of William Lee, a man afflicted with both acute heroin withdrawal and romantic and sexual yearnings for an indifferent user named Eugene Allerton. The narrative is punctuated by Lee's outrageous "routines" - brilliant comic monologues that foreshadow Naked Lunch - yet the atmosphere is heavy with foreboding.
Hollywood, 1945. Ben Collier has just arrived from war-torn Europe to find his brother has died in mysterious circumstances. Why would a man with a beautiful wife, a successful movie career, and a heroic past choose to kill himself?
"Joseph Kanon owns this little corner of history."
In this powerful work, Henning Mankell tells the story of a young African orphan adopted by a Swedish man and whisked away to his new father’s country. There the boy, dubbed Daniel, finds himself swallowed by a bizarre landscape of snow and mud. Always in his mind are thoughts of his murdered parents, calling him back to Africa. But Daniel’s path is marked by tragedy, and his homecoming seems an impossible dream.
"America's best novelist" (The Denver Post), two-time Edgar Award winner James Lee Burke is renowned for his lush, suspense-charged portrayals of the Deep South – the people, the crime, the hope and despair infused in the bayou landscape. This stunning anthology takes us back to where Burke's heart and soul beat -- the steamy, seamy Gulf Coast -- in complex and fascinating tales that crackle with violence and menace, meshing his flair for gripping storytelling with his urbane writing style.
The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws. In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?
Transcendental, an epic, high-concept space opera, is a Canterbury Tales of the far future in which beings from many planets hurtle across the universe to uncover the secrets of the legend of Transcendentalism. Riley, a veteran of interstellar war, however, is not journeying to achieve transcendence, a vague mystical concept that has drawn everyone else on the ship to this journey into the unknown at the far edge of the galaxy. His mission is to find and kill the prophet who is reputed to help others transcend.
"Interesting story; irrational characters"
Seventeen-year-old Caleb Ross is adrift in the wake of the sudden disappearance of his mother more than a year ago, and is struggling to find his way out of the small Texas border town of Murfee. Chris Cherry is a newly minted sheriff's deputy, a high school football hero who has reluctantly returned to his hometown.
"The Stars Are Bright Deep in the Heart of Texas"
A Tree or a Person or a Wall gives us Matt Bell at his most inventive and uncanny: parents and children, murderers and monsters, wild renditions of the past, and acute takes on the present, all of which build to a virtuoso reimagining of our world. A Tree or a Person or a Wall brings together Bell's previously published shorter fiction - the story collection How They Were Found and the acclaimed novella Cataclysm Baby - along with seven dark and disturbing new stories, to create a collection of singular power.
When Kenneth and Corrie Tyler become suspicious of the town undertaker, they attempt to discover the truth. But what they find is far worse than they had feared.
In his third novel, award-winning author William Gay is sure to astound listeners with his dark themes and memorable characters.
This collection of 11 stories spans virtually the whole of Tolstoy's creative life. While each is unique in form, as a group they are representative of his style, and touch on the central themes that surface in War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Stories as different as "The Snowstorm", "Lucerne", "The Diary of a Madman", and "The Devil" are grounded in autobiographical experience. They deal with journeys of self-discovery and the moral and religious thought that characterizes Tolstoy's works of criticism and philosophy.
"Amazing Tolstoy. Poor narration"
Raymond Carver called Anton Chekhov "the greatest short story writer who has ever lived". This unequivocal verdict on Chekhov's genius has been echoed many times by writers as diverse as Katherine Mansfield, Somerset Maugham, John Cheever, and Tobias Wolf. While his popularity as a playwright has sometimes overshadowed his achievements in prose, the importance of Chekhov's stories is now recognized by readers as well as by fellow authors. Their themes - alienation, the absurdity and tragedy of human existence - have as much relevance today as when they were written.