By H. Beam Piper
"ZNIDD SUDDABIT!"So the Ulleran challenge begins, with the rantings of a prophet and a seemingly incidental street riot. Only when a dose of poison lands in the governor-general's whiskey does it become clear that the "geeks" have had it up to their double-lidded eyeballs with the imperialist Terran Federation's Chartered Uller Company. Then, overnight, war is everywhere.How it will end is in the (merely) two Terran hands of the new governor-general, a man shrewd enough to know that "it is easier to banish a habit of thought than a piece of knowledge." The problem is, the particular piece of knowledge he needs hasn't been used in 450 years. . . .
By Charles Palliser
A gothic tale of deception, murder and mystery set in Victorian England.On a bleak, wintry morning in Victorian England, Dr Ned Courtine arrives in the sleepy cathedral town of Thurchester for a reunion with his former university friend, Austin Fickling. Over 20 years have passed since they last saw each other, and Fickling appears anxious and gaunt, ravaged by a strange, existential guilt. In order to deflect Courtine's questions from himself, Fickling recounts the story of Thurchester's ghost, William Burgoyne, once a royalist and treasurer of the cathedral who was murdered in the aftermath of the Civil War. The macabre tale of murder and deception captures Courtine's imagination, and he finds himself unknowningly drawn into a world of haunting evil. A masterpiece of Victorian suspense as well as a dazzling meditation on human passions, THE UNBURIED is a murder mystery that lingers - even after all has been resolved.
Untouched by Human Hands
By Robert Sheckley
People hunt and kill one another as public entertainment and to win prizes in "Seventh Victim," the short version of Sheckley's novel The 10th Victim, which was made into a movie.The twelve other stories in this collection are "The Monsters," "Cost of Living," "The Altar," "Shape," "The Impacted Man," "Untouched by Human Hands," "The King's Wishes," "Warm," "The Demons," "Specialist," "Ritual," and "Beside Still Waters."
By Stephen Baxter
Fresh from his latest collaboration with Terry Pratchett on the Long Earth sequence Stephen Baxter now returns to the mysteries and challanges first hinted at in his acclaimed novel PROXIMA.In PROXIMA we discovered ancient alien artifacts on the planet of Per Ardua - hatches that allowed us to step across light years of space as if we were stepping into another room. The universe opened up to us. Now in ULTIMA the consequences of this new freedom make themselves felt. And we discover that there are minds in the universe that are billions of years old and they have a plan for us. For some of us. But as we learn the true nature of the universe we also discover that we have countless pasts all meeting in this present and that our future is terrifyingly finite. It's time for us to fight to take back control.This is grand scale, big idea SF of the best possible sort. It is set to build on the massive success of PROXIMA and define Stephen Baxter's work going forward.
By Robert Sheckley
This collection focuses on Sheckley's horror stories. The sixteen stories included are "A Trick Worth Two of That," "The Mind-Slaves of Manitori," "Pandora's Box-Open with Care," "The Dream of Misunderstanding," "Magic, Maples, and Maryanne," "The New Horla," "The City of the Dead," "The Quijote Robot," "Emissary from a Green and Yellow World," "The Universal Karmic Clearing House," "Deep Blue Sleep," "The Day the Aliens Came," "Dukakis and the Aliens," "Mirror Games," "Sightseeing, 2179," and "Agamemnon's Run."
By Helen McCloy
When Sara Dacre comes across a large red pendant at a twenty cent jewellery stall she is tempted to buy it - especially when she bumps into her friend Gerry Hone, who persuades her that it will brighten up her old grey taffeta.But soon she finds herself at the centre of some strange events. On leaving the shop she and Gerry witness the scene of an accident - but nobody can agree what happened. And when Gerry takes her to an automat for coffee he goes to the counter to order - and never comes back ...'Explosive' Birmingham Post
Up for Grabs
By Erle Stanley Gardner
Bertha Cool was in a flap. The distinguished Mr Homer Breckinridge had been waiting twenty minutes for Donald Lam to make an appearance, and around Mr Breckinridge was the heady aroma of C-A-S-H.Then Donald appeared and in no time found himself hired to investigate an insurance claim. 'Such nice, safe, respectable work', purred Bertha, 'and it's up for grabs.'But it didn't take Donald long to find out he was anything but safe and that he was the one up for grabs ...
By Anthony Gilbert
'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday ExpressOn the day that Emily Tate vanished, Inspector Marston met her husband, Stephen Tate, on the tow-path of the River Pyle. The unassuming Stephen was on the brink of a nightmare episode that was to make his unhappy marriage, his clandestine love affair and his disappointed hopes seem positively joyous by comparison. The determination of the girl he loved was the only thing that could save him from the web of circumstances in which he was enmeshed. She sent for Detective Arthur Crook.
By Peter Cheyney
Three dazzling sisters are suspects in the killing of their own mother. If only Viola could have predicted the potential for danger when she drafted the will that prevents any of her daughters from being married strictly for her fortune.But no case of murder and intrigue is too knotty for shrewd detective Slim Callaghan, who stirs up the calm waters of the tiny village of Alfriston, leaving chaos in his wake and a stunningly solved puzzle at this adventure's thrilling close.
The Urgent Hangman
By Peter Cheyney
Slim Callaghan had been hired by beautiful Cynthis Meraulton to stop her cousins getting her step-father's money. But when the old man is murdered, the only suspect with no alibi and a giant motive is Cynthis.Slim always played his cases the way they came, but it turned out the Meraulton job had more twists than a hangman's rope.'Slim Callaghan's quick wit and knowledge of rough and tumble place him in the top ranks of private eyes. What a man!' New York Times Book Review
By Elizabeth Ferrars
The Unprofessional Spy
By Michael Underwood
Barrister Martin Ainsworth is sent to West Berlin by British Intelligence to make contact with his former lover, a suspected Communist agent, and it's up to him to find out the truth and to spot her contacts. As he travels through a divided Berlin, his dual role becomes emotionally tortuous, his lack of training an unforeseen hazard, and he turns more reckless than his peers had ever bargained for ...'A more or less conventional spy story is suddenly turned inside out by a most ingenious twist' Guardian
By Dave Duncan
The old Imperor was dead at last. His popular soldier grandson, known as Shandie, had succeeded him... Hadn't he? No, he hadn't. The man who sat the opal throne was not Shandie, but an illusion created by the mad dwarf, Xinixo. Year after year he had stealthily been ensorcelling sorcerers, turning them into loyal minions. Now, wielding their combined power, he was irresistible. He ruled the Impire, so he ruled the world. He would continue to rule it for centuries. Anyone who knew the truth or opposed him in any way, he would destroy or enslave. That especially included his old enemy, King Rap of Krasnegar. And Shandie, the rightful Imperor, of course. And all their supporters, their friends, their families. All of them! First he had to catch them. With his infinite magic, that ought to be easy. Rap and Shandie had other ideas, but even they could see that their cause looked hopeless.