By Adam Roberts
A man is about to kill a cow. He discusses life and death and his right to kill with the compliant animal. He begins to suspect he may be about to commit murder. But kills anyway ...It began when the animal rights movement injected domestic animals with artificial intelligences in bid to have the status of animals realigned by the international court of human rights. But what is an animal that can talk? Where does its intelligence end at its machine intelligence begin? And where might its soul reside?As we place more and more pressure on the natural world and become more and more divorced, Adam Roberts' new novel posits a world where nature can talk back, and can question us and our beliefs.Adam Roberts is an award-winning author at the peak of his powers and each new novel charts an exciting new direction while maintaining a uniformly high level of literary achievement.
By Susan Shwartz
Byzantium lies at the intersection of East and West, in the heart of the most opulent empire the world has ever known. Warrior Prince Marric has to fight for his right to defend his position as heir of the kingship. Last in the powerful line of kings descended from Alexander the Great, he is ordained by the gods of the people to rule alongside his beloved and wise sister, Alexa. But a sorcerer of dark magic has usurped the throne and Marric is exiled. To win back his rule, he must learn the arts of magic in order to defeat the dark sorcerer. In the land of Egypt, amidst the slave markets and the luxurious perfumed villas of the wealthy, he encounters a silver-haired slave girl who can teach him the arts of magic. For Marric knows that he cannot vanquish his enemy with sword and strength alone.
By Michael Angold
A concise political, social and religious history of the Byzantine empire.Michael Angold's book is a clear, concise and authoritative history of the successor state to the Roman Empire, known as the Byzantine Empire. It was named after Byzantium, which Emperor Constantine I rebuilt in 330 AD as Constantinople and made the capital of the entire Roman Empire.Angold begins in the heart of Byzantium, the city of Constantinople from which a new Empire emerged. He shows how the foundation and growth of the city altered the balance of the Roman empire, shifting the centre of gravity east. He describes the emergence of political factions and their impact on political life and traces the rise of Islam. Angold concludes his book by stressing the continuing attraction and influence of imperial Byzantium, best seen in Norman Sicily.
By Poul Anderson
Early in the 21st century the world is enjoying an uneasy peace, with a distinct division between the "straight" society and the various fringe groups that go to form the Byworld.Tension grows, however, over the presence of an alien spaceship that is orbiting the world, bearing a single occupant - the Sigman. It appears that no-one knows how to communicate with the Sigman; no-one knows the purpose of his visit. Until two people - one "straight" and the other a Byworlder - solve the problems involved; and in so doing trigger off a series of violent plots and counterplots that mount to a frenetic climax.
Byron In Love
By Edna O'Brien
'Edna O'Brien has always had a gift for writing about affairs of the heart' Guardian'Her boldly coloured portrait rewrites his life with all the brio and elan for which her novels are renowned' The Herald 'Hugely enjoyable' Daily Telegraph BYRON IN LOVE - the nobility, arrogance and sheer theatre of Byron's life.Byron, more than any other poet, has come to personify the poet as rebel, imaginative and lawless, reaching beyond race, creed or frontier, his gigantic flaws redeemed by a magnetism and ultimately a heroism that by ending in tragedy raised it and him from the particular to the universal.Everything about Lord George Gordon Byron was a paradox - insider and outsider, beautiful and deformed, serious and facetious, profligate but on occasion miserly, and possessed of a fierce intelligence trapped forever in a child's magic and malices. He was also a great poet, but as he reminded us, poetry is a distinct faculty and has little to do with the individual life of its creator. Edna O'Brien's exemplary biography focuses upon the diverse and colourful women in Byron's life.'O'Brien charts the many loves of the notorious 19th-century poet's reckless life in immediate and candid prose' Sunday Telegraph'A beguiling blend of sympathy, humour and, of course, her signature lilting style . . . a delightful, though poignant, account' Main on Sunday 'There is much to enjoy in this idiosyncratic and highly readable account of the poet whose writing enthralled and whose actions appalled in equal measure' Independent
The By-Pass Control
By Mickey Spillane
Tiger Mann is faced with one of the most frightening challenges of his career: to avert the imminent destruction of the defence system of the United States. An engineer has disappeared, taking with him the secret of the device he created: a method to by-pass the buttons which activate America's most deadly missiles - and render the system inoperative.The Communists want more than anything else to discover the workings of the by-pass control, and Tiger is equally determined to see that they don't. But to prevent them, Tiger has to find the missing man first ...And that's a job in itself.
By the Pricking of Her Thumb
By Adam Roberts
Private Investigator Alma is caught up in another impossible murder. One of the world's four richest people may be dead - but nobody is sure which one. Hired to discover the truth behind the increasingly bizarre behaviour of the ultra-rich, Alma must juggle treating her terminally ill lover with a case which may not have a victim.Inspired by the films of Kubrick, this stand-alone novel returns to the near-future of THE REAL-TOWN MURDERS, and puts Alma on a path to a world she can barely understand. Witty, moving and with a mystery deep at its heart, this novel again shows Adam Roberts' mastery of the form.
By the Light of My Father's Smile
By Alice Walker
'Alice Walker in this, the most beautiful, the most compassionate, the most sensuous of novels, has created a masterpiece. It is one of the most life-enhancing novels you could hope to read. Flawless' Mary Louden, THE TIMES'All your life you have the necessary illusion that you know all there is to know about heartbreak. I hate to the one to tell you about the heartbreak you will experience after you die . . .'A family goes to the remote sierras of Mexico - the writer-to--be Susannah; her sister Magdalena; their father and mother. There, amid indigenous people called the Mundo, they begin an encounter that will change them more than they ever could have dreamed. This is a deeply sensual novel that explores the richness of female sexuality as a celebration of life, affirming the belief 'that it is the triumphant heart, not the conquered heart, that forgives. And that love is both timeless and beyond'.
By Tank into Normandy
By Stuart Hills
'One of the best half-dozen personal accounts of the Normandy campaign' - Richard HolmesStuart Hills embarked his Sherman DD tank on to an LCT at 6.45 a.m., Sunday 4 June 1944. He was 20 years old, unblooded, fresh from a public-school background and Officer Cadet training. He was going to war. Two days later, his tank sunk, he and his crew landed from a rubber dinghy with just the clothes they stood in. After that, the struggles through the Normandy bocage in a replacement tank (of the non-swimming variety), engaging the enemy in a constant round of close encounters, led to a swift mastering of the art of tank warfare and remarkable survival in the midst of carnage and destruction. His story of that journey through hell to victory makes for compulsive reading.
By Sword and Fire
By Sean McGlynn
A vivid and original account of warfare in the Middle Ages and the cruelty and atrocity that accompanied it.Sean McGlynn investigates the reality of medieval warfare. For all the talk of chivalry, medieval warfare routinely involved acts which we would consider war crimes. Lands laid waste, civilians slaughtered, prisoners massacred: this was standard fare justified by tradition and practical military necessity. It was unbelievably barbaric, but seldom uncontrolled. Such acts of atrocity were calculated, hideous cruelties inflicted in order to achieve a specific end. Sean McGlynn examines the battles of Acre and Agincourt, sieges like Béziers, Lincoln, Jerusalem and Limoges as well as the infamous chevauchées of the Hundred Years War that devastated great swathes of France. He reveals how these grisly affairs form the origin of accepted 'rules of war', codes of conduct that are today being enforced in the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
By Space Possessed
By Arthur C. Clarke
By Space Possessed brings together Clarke's essays on travel to the planets and beyond in a form where they can be read individually or as a continuing narrative. It describes the history of an enthusiasm that took a Somerset farm boy to international fame, starting with the delightful, self-deprecating humour of the early days of British Interplanetary Society and proceeding to deeper concerns when at last the early daydreams, mocked by so many, began to come radiantly true. Along the way there are delights of Clarke's prediction of the Moon landing, the lecture which prompted Bernard Shaw to join the British Interplanetary Society and the birthpangs of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Humanity's future lies in space. These ever-topical essays, covering crucial years of interplanetary speculation and exploration show that one man, Arthur C. Clarke, has always been capable of foreseeing possibilities and probabilities, and opening up magnificent vistas to those willing to look with unblinkered eyes and minds. This is a testament to his vision.
By Mia James
April Dunne is not impressed. She's had to move from Edinburgh to Highgate, London, with her parents. She's left her friends - and her entire life - behind. She has to start at a new school and, worst of all, now she's stuck in a creepy old dump of a house which doesn't even have proper mobile phone reception.Ravenwood, her new school, is a prestigious academy for gifted (financially or academically) students - and the only place her parents could find her a place, in the middle of term, in the middle of London, on incredibly short notice. So she's stuck with the super-rich, and the super-smart ... and trying to fit in when the rest of the students seem to be more glamorous, smarter, or more talented than she is, is more than tough. It's intimidating and isolating, even when she finds a friend in the conspiracy-theorist Caro Jackson - and perhaps finds something more than friendship in the gorgeous, mysterious Gabriel Swift.But there's more going on at Ravenwood than meets the eye. Practical jokes on new students are normal, but when Gabriel saves her from ... something ... in Highgate Cemetery, and then she discovers that a murder took place just yards away from where she had been standing, April has to wonder if something more sinister is going on.... and whether or not she's going to live through it ...To find out more about the Ravenwood series visit www.ravenwoodmysteries.com
By Light Alone
By Adam Roberts
In a world where we have been genetically engineered so that we can photosynthesise sunlight with our hair, hunger is a thing of the past, food an indulgence. The poor grow their hair, the rich affect baldness and flaunt their wealth by still eating.But other hungers remain ... The young daughter of an affluent New York family is kidnapped. The ransom demands are refused. A year later a young woman arrives at the family home claiming to be their long lost daughter. She has changed so much, she has lived on light, can anyone be sure that she has come home?Adam Roberts' new novel is yet another amazing melding of startling ideas and beautiful prose. Set in a New York of the future it nevertheless has echoes of a Fitzgeraldesque affluence and art-deco style. It charts his further progress as one of the most important writers of his generation.
By Furies Possessed
By Ted White
Tad Dameron's assignment was routine enough: escort Bjonn, the alien from Farhome, on the final leg of his journey to Earth - and learn what he could about the alien's culture.But from the beginning Dameron realized that there was something strange and ominous about Bjonn - something in his eyes and the way he spoke, even the way he help himself, that forewarned of danger. Then Bjonn was gone, slipped away to mingle with Earth's teeming millions, and with him the beautiful Dian, Dameron's woman. When next he surfaced, Bjonn was heading a new religion - one which threatened to subvert all humanity. Dameron found himself embarked upon the most dangerous, most isolating job of his career in an attempt to halt the...ALIEN MENACE
By Any Illegal Means
By Donald MacKenzie
While John and Kirstie Raven are in Paris they come across an old college friend of Kirstie's, Kirk Cameron. Learning he is coming to London in an attempt to raise some funds, Kirstie insists he stay with them on their houseboat in Chelsea. What Cameron doesn't tell his hosts is that he has agreed to help a casual acquaintance in a little 'industrial espionage': and what Cameron hasn't been told is that he is to be involved in robbing a safety deposit box . . .
By A Spider's Thread
By Laura Lippman
After her brilliant stand-alone thriller EVERY SECRET THING, Lippman returns to her series character, PI Tess Monaghan, and her home town of Baltimore.Natalie Rubin, middle-class Jewish wife and mother, has vanished. Worse, she has taken her three children with her. Her husband, Mark, is devastated. He loves her; and he thought she was happy. So he approaches Tess to trace her. At first Tess is wary. She doesn't like getting involved in domestic disputes, and Mark's love for his wife seems to contain a disturbing desire to control her. Did he drive her away? Did he perhaps kill her? But as Tess pursues her quest for Natalie, she discovers a woman with a mysterious past, a man whose values will challenge her own, and a family that knows how to keep its secrets ... BY A SPIDER'S THREAD is part tense thriller and part all-too-human drama about what families do to each other.
By Isaac Asimov
A masterly collection of 24 stories by the world's greatest SF writerFrom backyard miracles to cosmic conundrums, enter the incredible world of Isaac Asimov.Spanning twenty-three years of Asimov's amazing career, these stories display to the full the exhilarating power of one of science fiction's most astonishing writers. Each tale is accompanied by Asimov's own intriguing account of how and why it came to be written.
Buttering Parsnips, Twocking Chavs
By Martin H. Manser, David Pickering
A more-ishly browsable collection of words and phrases, linguistic quirks, lexical oddities and syntactic surprises.Our langauge is one of delight and curiosity. BUTTERING PARSNIPS, TWOCKING CHAVS is a guided tour of English, exploring the origins of words, their changing meaning, lexical peculiarities, word games and lost words, presented in lists, small passages of narrative text, amusing quotations and nuggets of amazing facts.This must-have compendium shows that words have a matchless power to entertain. Here you will find enough new words and phrases to last a lifetime. Idioms frolic beside cliches, catchphrases, proverbs, eponyms, acronyms, spoonerisms and split infinitives. Text messages cavort alongside business jargon and rap slang to produce a language that is both witty and bizarre, and sometimes frankly outstanding.So whether you're a yuppie or a woopie, a sinbad or dinky, a spod or even a wazzock, these pages will provide endless hours of delight and fascination.
By Barry Cryer
Barry Cryer is one of the great comedians of the last 50 years. This is a sparkling series of hilarious and true anecdotes, almost all of which have never been told before!Barry Cryer has collaborated with all the greats from Max Miller to Tony Hancock, Bob Hope, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, John Cleese, Frankie Howerd, Kenny Everett, Spike Milligan, Eric Sykes, Dave Allen, Richard Pryor, Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson, Graham Chapman, the Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise - in fact almost all the great comedians and comic writers since the mid 1950s. Barry's set of experiences with these legends of humour is unique, and will delight all who made PIGS CAN FLY a runaway porcine bestseller.In this completely new, organically grown book, old Baz recalls, reminisces, recounts and other words beginning with 'R', on a trip down Memory Lane, pausing only for tea and macaroons at the Stannah Stairlift Cafe. What memories - if only he can remember them. Currently 74, a third of his life has already passed and he invites you to enjoy this wonderfully funny account of it, a decorous orgy of nostalgia.
The Butterflies of Memory
By Ian Watson
Ian Watson is one of the finest writers of SF and fantasy stories, and Butterflies of Memory is his 10th collection, a selection of stories that are by turns serious and playful, and always wildly imaginative... In the title story, what if mobile phones were to become truly mobile, flying about like butterflies? 'An Appeal to Adolf' tells of gay sailors on a Nazi battleship many kilometres long during a Second World War unfamiliar to us; 'Lover of Statues' of an enigmatic alien visiting the only statue of Satan in the world, in Madrid - while in the bubbling stew of faiths which is Jerusalem a doorway opens to reveal capricious godlike beings. And just suppose that Jules Verne undertook an actual journey to the centre of the Earth. Closer to home, in a Midlands town, a man who seems to have suddenly popped into existence tries to discover who and what he is. 'Hijack Holiday', written a year before 9/11, presciently if bizarrely anticipates events akin to those on that fateful day.