Close But No Cigar
By Stephen Purvis
WINNER OF THE CRIME WRITERS' ASSOCIATION GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION 2017'In its tragic absurdity, Close But No Cigar reads like a Graham Greene story, with a cast of characters to make Hemingway proud' Daily TelegraphFor over a decade Stephen Purvis had been a pillar of Havana's expat community, one of many foreign businessmen investing in Cuba's crawl from Cold War communism towards modernity. But for reasons unknown to him he was also under State Security's microscope. One morning during the height of President Raúl Castro's purges in 2012, while his family slept, the unmarked Ladas of State Security arrived at his home and he was taken away into the absurd and brutal world of Cuban justice.In this engrossing memoir, Purvis recounts his fifteen-month ordeal. Accused at first of selling state secrets, he is taken to the notorious interrogation centre Villa Marista, where he endures brutal conditions designed by the KGB and Stasi to break the bodies and minds of spies and political prisoners, and resists the paranoia and incompetence of his jailers. Later, held in a maximum-security prison, he finds himself surrounded by a motley crew of convicts: people-smugglers and drug-runners together with a handful of confused businessmen also awaiting formal charges.From his arrest to his farcical secret trial and sudden release, Purvis exposes the madness of modern Cuba with wit, grit and a sharp eye for character. As tourists flock to Havana to marvel at a city frozen in time, he shows that despite reforms and international reconciliation the Castro regime remains a corrupt, dictatorial relic. Close But No Cigar is part thriller, part comedy and part morality tale, but most of all a true story that takes the reader into a dark side of a sunny place that remains an enigma.
By Parag Khanna
Which lines on the map matter most?It's time to reimagine how life is organized on Earth. In Connectography, Parag Khanna guides us through the emerging global network civilization in which mega-cities compete over connectivity and borders are increasingly irrelevant. Travelling across the world, Khanna shows how twenty-first-century conflict is a tug-of-war over pipelines and Internet cables, advanced technologies and market access.Yet Connectography also offers a hopeful vision of the future - beneath the chaos of a world that appears to be falling apart, a new foundation of connectivity is pulling it together.
By Ben Chu
'Chu's smart, iconoclastic portrait dismantles seven misconceptions' [NEW STATESMEN] about modern China and offers a corrective to Western assumptions.THE CHINESE ARE THE MOST HARDWORKING PEOPLE ON EARTH...so why are the younger generation derided as spoiled and lazy?CHINESE PEOPLE DON'T CARE ABOUT POLITICAL FREEDOM...so why is the country's internet exploding with anti-regime dissent?CHINA WILL ONE DAY RULE THE WORLD...so why do the country's political leaders feel so insecure?Perhaps it is time to stop engaging in a centuries-old game of Chinese whispers in which the facts have become more and more distorted in the telling.Ben Chu examines the myths that have come to dominate our view of the world's most populous nation, forcing us to question everything we thought we knew about it. The result is a penetrating, surprising and provocative insight into China today.
By Michael Gove
Celsius 7/7 analyses how the West's approach to fundamentalism is destined to lead to further atrocities.In his column which appeared in The Times on the morning of 9/11, Michael Gove prophetically argued that the West's policy of appeasement towards terror was destined to provoke yet greater atrocities.In CELSIUS 7/7, Gove explores the roots of Islamic rage, the historical factors which culminated in the current terrorist campaign and the Muslim world's troubled accommodation with modernity. He also analyses the intellectual roots and political appeal of Islamism, explains the factors behind Jihadi violence and places the current fundamentalist challenge in context.Combining a broad historical sweep with character sketches of key figures such as Michel Aflaq, Charles de Gaulle, Sayyid Qutb, Donald Rumsfeld, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Henry Kissinger and Osama bin Laden, as well as a detailed survey of Western political failures, Gove's account is a shrewd and detached analysis that provides powerfully convincing recommendations for future action.
Carson of Venus SF Gateway Omnibus
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
The son of a Civil War veteran, Edgar Rice Burroughs was a prolific writer for the early pulp magazines. Famous the world over as the creator of Tarzan - and in SF circles for his Martian tales featuring John Carter - Burroughs is a household name. But John Carter wasn't the only Earthman to champion another world. This omnibus collects PIRATES OF VENUS, LOST ON VENUS and CARSON OF VENUS - the first three of Burroughs' classic pulp tales of Carson Napier on the waterworld of Amtor - better known to us as Venus.PIRATES OF VENUS: The shimmering, cloud-covered planet of Venus conceals a wondrous secret: the strikingly beautiful yet deadly world of Amtor. In Amtor, cities of immortal beings flourish in giant trees reaching thousands of feet into the sky; ferocious beasts stalk the wilderness below; rare flashes of sunlight precipitate devastating storms; and the inhabitants believe their world is saucer-shaped with a fiery center and icy rim. Stranded on Amtor after his spaceship crashes, astronaut Carson Napier is swept into a world where revolution is ripe, the love of a princess comes at a dear price, and death can come as easily from the blade of a sword as from the ray of a futuristic gun. LOST ON VENUS: Napier's adventures continue in this pulse-pounding sequel to PIRATES OF VENUS. Here the intrepid and wry explorer takes on a savage world in order to rescue the princess from her sworn enemies. Napier's epic quest for Duare takes him through the streets of the City of the Dead, into the terrifying Room of the Seven Doors, and face to face with fantastic and perilous creatures. LOST ON VENUS brims with the action, suspense and wit unique to the Master of Adventure.CARSON OF VENUS: Carson Napier, first Earthman to reach Venus, had to keep alert every instant of his stay on that world of mist and mystery. For its lands were unmapped, its inhabitants many, varied and strange, and he had taken an obligation to restore a native princess to her lost homeland. On terrible oceans where dreaded sea-monsters dwelled, in deep forests where terror haunted every branch, and behind the walls of eerie cities where power-mad chieftains plotted uncanny schemes, CARSON OF VENUS is fast-paced science fiction adventure.
By Sarah Pinborough
CHARM is a beautifully illustrated re-telling of the Cinderella story which takes all the much-loved elements of the classic fairytale (the handsome prince, the fairy godmother, the enchanted mouse, the beautiful girl and, of course, the iconic balls) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. This is fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of ONCE UPON A TIME, GRIMM, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and more.This edition contains 15 original pen and ink illustrations by Les Edwards.
By Robert E. Howard
A sumptuous collection of epic fantasy heroes from the pen of Robert E. Howard, one of the true Masters of FantasyRobert E. Howard was a pulpwriter who turned his hand to everything from historical adventure and detective stories to Western and boxing fiction - and invented the genre now known as sword-and-sorcery: it is for these tales of heroic fantasy and horror that he is best remembered.His mighty heroes - including an English Puritan adventurer sent on redressing grievous wrongs, the king of a mythical, antediluvian empire contemporary with Atlantis, a Pictish warrior-king - all these brothers of the sword and more bestrode the pages of WEIRD TALES and the other pulp magazines of the twenties and thirties.This companion volume follows on from the success of the first Gollancz Big Black Book featuring Howard's world-famous barbarian king, and contains all the stories featuring his brothers-in-arms, collected together in chronological order, as fresh and atmospheric today as when they were first published in the pulp magazines of more than eighty years ago.Compiled by and with an Afterword by award-winning writer and editor Stephen Jones, and with cover image, frontispiece and internal pictures by the award-winning artist Les Edwards.
By Charlaine Harris
There's only one vampire Sookie Stackhouse is involved with - at least voluntarily - and that's Bill. But recently he's been a little distant - in another state distant. His sinister and sexy boss Eric has an idea where to find him, and next thing Sookie knows she's off to Jackson, Mississippi, to mingle with the underworld at Club Dead. It's a dangerous little haunt where the elusive vampire society can go to chill out and suck down some Type O - but when Sookie finally finds Bill caught in an act of serious betrayal she's not sure whether to save him, or to sharpen some stakes.The Sookie Stackhouse books are delightful Southern Gothic supernatural mysteries, starring Sookie, the telepathic cocktail waitress, and a cast of increasingly colourful characters, including vampires, werewolves and things that really do go bump in the night.