Blade of the Poisoner
By Douglas Hill
Marked with the tainted sword of the evil Prince Mephtik, Jarral Gullen will die horribly unless both the blade and the prince are destroyed by the next full moon. With the help of his friends, Archer, Scythe and the Lady Mandragorina - a band of magically talented adventurers - Jarral undertakes a perilous journey to Mephtik's demon-guarded fortress. Battling monsters and demons, they fight to overturn Jarral's sentence of death.According to the wizard Cryl, only Jarral can save the country from Mephtik's evil forces. Of the four friends, Jarral alone possesses the greatest magical talent. But will he live long enough to use it?
By Tanith Lee
She woke from a sleep of countless years, reborn from the heart of a raging volcano. Her body was a masterpiece all men desired, her face a monstrosity that must go masked. Warrior, witch, goddess and slave, she was doomed to travel through a world of barbaric splendour, helped and betrayed by her lovers, searching for escape from the taint of her forgotten race, and the malice of the demon that haunted her.
Bill, the Galactic Hero
By Harry Harrison
It was the highest honour to defend the Empire against the dreaded Chingers, an enemy race of seven-foot-tall lizards. But Bill, a Technical Fertilizer Operator from a planet of farmers, wasn't interested in honour - he was only interested in two things: his chosen career, and the shapely curves of Inga-Maria Calyphigia. Then a recruiting robot shanghaied him with knockout drops, and he came to in deep space, aboard the Empire warship Christine Keeler. And from there, things got even worse...
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 a 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.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 Richard Cowper
The ability to distinguish reality from fantasy is supposedly the root of sanity.But if a man lives in two worlds, and both are real, what then? Is he mad, or sane? One person, or two? And if one of his worlds should begin to grow dim, a shadow world, could one say he was in danger of going sane?
By John Glasby, A.J. Merak
The logical outcome of the space race, and the preliminary step towards the Moo, was the manned satellite, the Big Wheel moving in a stable orbit about the Earth, integrating the data necessary for a landing on the Moon, and eventually acting as a fuelling station for the Lunar rockets.After several failures, the station is ready, but even there, danger exists, unseen, unheard, invisible and terrible. Forced to exist in the belt of cosmic radiation surrounding the planet, men die within weeks from aplastic anemia. Seeking a solution to the problem, Doctor Paul Russell is sent up to the satellite and here learns of the two men fro the previous crew who vanished without a trace after spotting an unidentified spaceship in orbit further out from Earth than themselves.
By Doris Piserchia
Blood was what they called that mountain town and the forbidding land around it - and the name was significant. Folks there knew a secret that would have shocked the world...but nobody was ever going to get out of Blood to tell. Not even when Portia Clark arrived, hot on a news story for a national magazine. Especially not her...Clint Breen, who had been in the outside world, tried to save her. But he had to fight a tradition that drove men and women to unspeakable lusts and that ruled secretly the lives and afterlives of everything being in the county. Blood was the place where more men and women walked the night than were ever seen by day. Horror was their heritage, for they were the people that the census dared not count!
A Billion Days Of Earth
By Doris Piserchia
The Earth teemed with life of all kinds, and many besides man had intelligence and the gift of speech. But chaos ruled. And violence. And despair. Then, in the Valley of the Dead, Sheen first entered the world, and all of the life would bend to the might of the Supreme One before the final push to the stars.
By John Brunner
Ed Carter, a New York reporter on his way to his home town in Omaha for a short vacation, saw the missile in the last moments in its journey back to earth. A sweller on the brink, like all of us, he had no doubt about what it was; Oh God, he thought, this is it. The blast of the impact flung him some distance, and when he regained consciousness, his first reaction was one of surprised to find himself still alive, and not, it seemed, even badly hurt. Presumably the missile had been directed at the big Air Force base nearby, and should have destroyed everything and everyone within a radius of miles. Could it have failed to explode?Carter sees the remains of part of the missile in an adjacent field and hobbles over to it. A minute or two later several Air Force officers arrive. They examine the remains, and find the burned-up body of a pilot. In other worlds, the missile was not Russia's first shot in the Third World War, but a failure to launch a man into space. But Carter knows that the Distant Early Warning line will have reported the missile; that the senior Air Force officers, in accordance with plan, will have taken to the air - in the country's interest, their lives must, of course, be preserved if possible; that by now the retaliatory American bombers will have passed the point of no recall; and that the Third World War has begun. Not so, Colonel Ben Goldwater tells him: "I called the bombers back."Goldwater, the man who had been left in command, has saved the world - for at least a little longer. So he becomes a world hero? Not a bit of it. On the contrary: a nightmare looms ahead both for him and for Ed Carter, and the reader watches it all with growing fury...
The Bird Shaman
By Judith Moffett
Occupation of Earth is now in its 27th year, and relations between humanity and the dictatorial Hefn have never seemed shakier. The aliens mission is to save the planet from its human abusers; and the Baby Ban imposed by mass hypnosis has made Earth a cleaner, wilder, less crowded place. But the Ban has now lasted so long, and provoked such hatred, that when a spark is struck the situation explodes into worldwide riots on one side and retaliatory mindwipings on the other. Years of effort by the eco-spiritual Gaians, who mediate between humans and Hefn, have been destroyed. While the Gaians regroup and brainstorm frantically in an atmosphere of doubt and danger, one obsessed Hefn and one young woman begin a radical experiment. Pam Pruitt has discovered a growing ability to acquire information by non-rational means. Childhood suffering has empowered her, in a way once understood by hunting and gathering peoples - an understanding lost with that lost lifeway - to communicate with mysterious forces through strong dreaming: to function as a shaman on behalf of her community, the human race.
By Tanith Lee
Nobody knew where it had come from, or what it wanted. Not even Jaive, the sorceress, could fathom the mystery of the fabled beast. But Tanaquil, Jaive's completely unmagical daughter, understood it at once. She knew why the unicorn was there: It had come for her. It needed her. Tanaquil was amazed because she was the girl with no talent for magic. She could only fiddle with broken bits of machinery and make them work again. What could she do for a unicorn?
By Anna Reid
A classic and vivid history of Ukraine, fully updated to cover the Euromaidan Revolution in 2014 and ongoing crisis in the Donbass.Centre of the first great Slav civilisation in the tenth century, then divided between warring neighbours for a millennium, Ukraine finally won independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tiring of their own corrupt governments, Ukrainians have since mounted two popular revolutions, taking to the streets to demand fair elections and closer ties to Europe. In the spring of 2014, Russia responded by invading Crimea and sponsoring a civil war in the Russian-speaking Donbass. Threatened by Moscow, misunderstood in the West, Ukraine hangs once more in the balance. Speaking to pro-democracy activists and pro-Russia militiamen, peasants and miners, survivors of Hitler's Holocaust and Stalin's famine, Anna Reid combines history and travel-writing to unpick the past and present of this bloody and complex borderland.
The Burglar Who Counted The Spoons
By Lawrence Block
The long-awaited eleventh novel in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series.Everybody's favourite burglar returns in an eleventh adventure that finds him and his lesbian sidekick Carolyn Kaiser breaking into houses, apartments, and even a museum, in a madcap adventure replete with American Colonial silver, an F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscript, a priceless portrait, and a remarkable array of buttons.And, wouldn't you know it, there's a dead body, all stretched out on a Trent Barling carpet . . .
By Mickey Spillane
Everyone thought Mike Hammer was dead, shot in a drugs war battle on the docks of New York. But now he's back from a stay in Florida, and in deeper trouble than ever before. He has the slaying of Marcus Dooley, an old army buddy, to pay back with interest - and two generations of a powerful Mafia family to beat at their own bloody games. Plus, just before he died Dooley revealed to Hammer that there's a missing cache of $89 billion to find - before the bad guys get their hands on it, and their sights on Hammer.And to really complicate matters, the Feds have dealt themselves into the action, eager to beat everybody to the loot.With two rock-hard fists, a well-oiled .45, his beautiful secretary, Velda, and a miracle, Hammer might just make it out of this one alive ...
By Charles Palliser
'Rewarding, inventive and enjoyably perplexing' Sunday TimesA colleague writes an obituary for a fellow scientist and Nobel Prize winner, somewhat relishing his death; a train in the Scottish Highlands takes the wrong track during a snowstorm, resulting in a death, possibly murder; a publisher's reader reports on a hospital romance novel that bizarrely ends with a gory, Ripper-style murder. Ten apparently separate stories are ingeniously drawn together to form variations on a single theme - obsession with the success of a rival and the plotting of his death.But obsession is an unstable motive for murder, and the game of revenge can turn very sour . . .Betrayals is an ingenious, mesmerising puzzle, intricately pieced together by a master of the art.
The Bamboo Blonde
By Dorothy B. Hughes
Griselda and Con Satterlee are spending a second honeymoon in a cottage on Long Beach, and it's not going well. To cap it all, Con picks up a blonde in the Bamboo Bar one night and walks out with her, leaving Griselda on her own.Con comes back, saying that he took the blonde outside to try to stop her from shooting herself, but the police find her body the next morning and Con is arrested for her murder.Then Con disappears, and Griselda is alone in their beach house with a door that can't keep out the Major, who frightens her; Kew, whom Con distrusts; Kathie, who is lovely, and so strange; or Dare, who has caused trouble before . . .Griselda must work quickly to save Con - and their marriage.
By Rory MacLean
The first single-volume biography of Berlin, one of the world's great cities - told via twenty-one portraits, from medieval times to the twenty-first century.A city devastated by Allied bombs, divided by a Wall, then reunited and reborn, Berlin today resonates with the echo of lives lived, dreams realised and evils executed. No other city has repeatedly been so powerful and fallen so low. And few other cities have been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations.Through vivid portraits spanning five centuries, Rory MacLean reveals the varied and rich history of Berlin, from its brightest to its darkest moments. We encounter an ambitious prostitute refashioning herself as a princess, a Scottish mercenary fighting for the Prussian Army, Marlene Dietrich flaunting her sexuality and Hitler fantasising about the mega-city Germania. The result is a uniquely imaginative biography of one of the world's most volatile yet creative cities.
By Jon Wallace
Kenstibec was genetically engineered to build a new world, but the apocalypse forced a career change. These days he drives a taxi instead.A fast-paced, droll and disturbing novel, BARRICADE is a savage road trip across the dystopian landscape of post-apocalypse Britain; narrated by the cold-blooded yet magnetic antihero, Kenstibec.Kenstibec is a member of the 'Ficial' race, a breed of merciless super-humans. Their war on humanity has left Britain a wasteland, where Ficials hide in barricaded cities, besieged by tribes of human survivors. Originally optimised for construction, Kenstibec earns his keep as a taxi driver, running any Ficial who will pay from one surrounded city to another. The trips are always eventful, but this will be his toughest yet. His fare is a narcissistic journalist who's touchy about her luggage. His human guide is constantly plotting to kill him. And that's just the start of his troubles. On his journey he encounters ten-foot killer rats, a mutant king with a TV fixation, a drug-crazed army, and even the creator of the Ficial race. He also finds time to uncover a terrible plot to destroy his species for good - and humanity too.
By John Russell Fearn, Vargo Statten
Earth is enveloped in what seems at first to be to be a harmless cloud of cosmic dust. But it leaves behind a deadly disease, dooming every human being on Earth unless an antidote can be found. Medical experts strive to find this antidote, but have to report failure. At this stage a mysterious woman arrives from Jupiter with the antidote mankind so desperately needs, but she demands in return the services of Doctor Meadows as her mate; he will have to return with her to Jupiter to help regenerate her race, where males are extinct. Meadows reluctantly agrees, and the antidote is given, saving humanity, so Meadows prepares to accept his fate...
The Broken Kings
By Robert Holdstock
The hill below the fortress of Taurovinda, stronghold of Urtha, High King of the Cornovidi, is coming alive: the Otherworldly realm of the Shadows of Heroes are claiming the land as their own. But this time their actions are driven by a force that is darker and older than even the oldest among the ghosts. Who or what is raising the Dead? Merlin, a temporary resident in the fortress, must answer that question if this time of kings and lovers is to be saved. Jason's wonderful ship, Argo, has returned, drawn back by her own guilty past, and a dreadful secret that she will reveal only to Merlin. Argo holds the key to the mystery. And Niiv, the bewitching, beautiful Northlands enchantress, is working her way even closer into Merlin's charms.This is a journey that will take Merlin back in history, and to a fabled island of legend. Love is in the air. But at a price.