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  • The Snows of Olympus

    By Arthur C. Clarke
    Authors:
    Arthur C. Clarke
    This is the story of how a world could be resurrected?Mars is a barren planet, almost without atmosphere and with a temperature ranging from near zero to 120 degrees below. No water flows and there is no evidence that life has ever existed there.Yet Mars is Earth's near neighbour and has always exerted a powerful hold on our imagination. The astronomer Lowell thought he'd discovered canals on the planet's surface; H.G. wells (and his near namesake Orson) speculated on the red planet's inhabitants invading Earth; sf writers have always used Mars as a setting and continue to do so.In the Snows of Olympus Arthur C. Clarke uses a revolutionary computer program to show, in words and pictures, how the surface of the planet would change as, gradually, scientists created an atmosphere and raised the temperature. Taking as his starting point Olympus Mons, the highest mountain in the Solar System, a 27km extinct volcano, Clarke creates detailed 'photographs' of the Martian surface and then shows how the landscape would change as vegetation began to thrive and water to flow. He speculates about how this might happen, about the journey to Mars and about what living on the planet would be like. The result is one of the most fascinating, challenging and imaginatively stimulating books of the year.Arthur C. Clarke has long been hailed as the most visionary and accurate of science fiction and non-fiction writers, having predicted communications satellites years before their development. In this extraordinary booked he chart the next chapter of humanity's future in space.
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    The Holiday

    By Erica James
    Authors:
    Erica James
    Torn between struggling to live up to the expectations of being a Modern Woman and ridding herself of the effect of a repressed upbringing, Izzy Jordan would be the first to admit that it's time to take stock of her life. She's 31 with a teaching career on the skids - not surprising really, given that she harbours a strong desire to lock her pupils in the art room cupboard and throw away the key. She also has a manipulative mother and an ex-boyfriend whose parting shot was to tell her she was boring in bed!So when she's invited to spend the summer on Corfu and is offered the chance of a no-strings holiday romance with the irresistible Theo, what should she do? Go for it, or listen to the voice of Modern Woman and tell him to sling his hook? Just as she thinks she's made up her mind, along comes Mark, whose turbulent past sets in motion a series of dramatic events ...
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  • Wilds of the Wolf

    By Steve Backshall
    Authors:
    Steve Backshall
    Deadly TV presenter Steve Backshall joins Anthony Horowitz and Charlie Higson writing the best adventure fiction with his third adventure in the gripping Falcon Chronicles, filled with intrigue, adventure, exotic wildlife and dramatic locations.Saker and Sinter escape by the skin of their teeth when their plan to sabotage a billionaire businessman plundering 'black gold' (natural oil and gas) and hunting wolves in the remote Yamal peninsula in North West Siberia goes disastrously wrong. But they escape one kind of peril only to find themselves in an even more terrifying situation. Separated by blizzards and avalanches, lost in a breathtakingly beautiful but deadly frozen Arctic wilderness, suffering from frostbite and hunger, listening to the wolves howl and the packs draw closer, it seems that this time they cannot possibly live to tell their tale...
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    Circle of Friends

    By Maeve Binchy
    Authors:
    Maeve Binchy
    In the small Irish town of Knockglen, best friends Bernadette ('Benny') and Eve are inseparable. Benny is an adored only child, and Eve, a poor, birdlike orphan brought up by nuns. On their first day at University College, Dublin, a fatal road accident brings the pair together with fellow students Nan Mahon and Jack Foley, and new friendships are quickly struck. Jack and Nan introduce Eve and Benny to a life of excitement and sophistication. But beneath their carefree existence trouble is brewing for the circle of friends.Warmth and laughter are interwoven with sadness in this compassionate and absorbing tale of friends whose lives, over a period of ten years, become entwined.Read by Kate Binchy
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    Firefly Summer

    By Maeve Binchy
    Authors:
    Maeve Binchy
    'FIREFLY SUMMER is warm, humorous, sad and happy. Reading it is a joy' Irish Independent In the summer of 1962, an American millionaire arrives in a small, sleepy Irish town with far-reaching consequences.For the children of the Ryan family, the long hot summers are usually spent playing in the ruins of a large, abandoned house. But when the American, Patrick O'Neill, buys the ruins, dreams are made and broken and secrets which should never be revealed are betrayed.Firefly Summer tells interlocking stories of love lost and won during four fateful years in the life of a close-knit Irish community.Read by Kate Binchy
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    Light a Penny Candle

    By Maeve Binchy
    Authors:
    Maeve Binchy
    As a child, Elizabeth was sent from her war-torn, rather loveless home in London to stay with a big, boisterous family in a small town in Ireland. There she meets Aisling, and begins what becomes a long-lasting friendship.Over the next 20 years, Aisling and Elizabeth's paths will cross and re-cross. As they face their loves, their marriages, and their disappointments, they realise that not all problems will be solved, nor all wishes granted by lighting a penny candle.Read by Kate Binchy
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    The Garden Party and Other Stories

    By Maeve Binchy
    Authors:
    Maeve Binchy
    A collection of short stories from the Archives read for Radio 4, by best-selling author Maeve Binchy.Stories included are:"The Garden Party" - Helen looked down at Mrs Kennedy's garden. It was cheerfully coloured yet ordered like Mrs Kennedy. But first impressions are not always reliable."The Special Sale" - Yvonne's good deed leads to a romantic encounter the day after Christmas."The Sensible Celebration" - Are the picture perfect couple really the ones to envy? All is not as it seems..."Dolly's Mother" - If you were square and solid and without colour and grace it was sometimes easy to hate Mother.
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    Dublin 4

    By Maeve Binchy
    Authors:
    Maeve Binchy
    A society hostess entertains her husband's mistress to dinner; a country girl savours the delights of city life; a student faces the dilemma of unmarried pregnancy; and a drink-ridden photographer tries to relaunch his shattered career.A vintage collection of four stories set in the heart of Dublin's fashionable Southside, DUBLIN 4 has all of the author's intimate grasp of human feelings, and her marvellous ear for dialogue.
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    London Transports

    By Maeve Binchy
    Authors:
    Maeve Binchy
    A delectable collection of 22 short stories centred around people travelling on the London Underground.We meet a young couple travelling nervously to Seven Sisters for their first wife-swapping party; there's Annie's Pimlico Hotel, which is only open for specially-chosen guests; Rita, the mysterious temp, who lives in Notting Hill Gate; and Sophie, who runs a handbag shop at Marble Arch. All the stories have in common Maeve Binchy's delicious humour and warmth.Read by Kate Binchy
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    Silver Wedding

    By Maeve Binchy
    Authors:
    Maeve Binchy
    A silver wedding means a family gathering - difficult occasions at the best of times. But for the Doyles - Deidre, Desmond and their children Anna, Helen and Brendan - it will be more difficult than most.For each of them is keeping up a front; each of them is nursing a secret wound, or smarting over a hidden betrayal. As the day draws nearer, so the tension mounts, until finally the guests gather at the silver wedding party itself...Read by Kate Binchy
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    The Lilac Bus

    By Maeve Binchy
    Authors:
    Maeve Binchy
    Every Friday night, the same seven Dublin workers meet to travel home in Tom Fitzgerald's lilac-coloured minibus. Each of them needs to return regularly to Rathdoon: Nancy Morris, a real 'Miss Mouse', is known for her meanness and has to escape her flatmate's carping; Dee Burke is engrossed in her affair; Kev Kennedy has a side to his character hidden even from his family; Celis Ryan has to face her mother making a drunken exhibition of herself - and Tom has his reasons.'Touching, gossipy and as warming as a feather bed' Sunday Telegraph Read by Kate Binchy
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    Echoes

    By Maeve Binchy
    Authors:
    Maeve Binchy
    This is the story of two very different children growing up in a small Irish seaside town in the 50s and 60s. Shouting their hearts' desires into the echo cave, praying that their destiny will lead them far away from the town in which they live. Castlebay, in winter empty and grey with wind and sea spray, becomes all bustle and colour in the gaudy days of summer. The paths of these two characters are destined to criss-cross in a quite unforeseen way, and eventually both roads will lead back to Castlebay. The end of this long drama of ambition, betrayal and love is played out in the seaside town where it began, against a backdrop of whispered family gossip and the tangled skein of past friendships.Read by Kate Binchy
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    The Last Crusaders: Ivan the Terrible

    By William Napier
    Authors:
    William Napier
    After the final defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the great naval battle of Lepanto, it seems that Europe is safe. But one day Nicholas Ingoldsby is summoned to London for an audience with the Queen herself. He is to go on a diplomatic mission to Constantinople, the heart of the old enemy - and then onward, to a little-known but rising power called Muscovy. Here the Russian Czar has just proposed marriage to Elizabeth herself. Such a bold offer should be no surprise, for this is no normal leader: Ivan IV Vasil'evich is known to his people as Ivan the Terrible. But this rising new Christian power in the North has also caught the attention of the Ottomans; and their allies, the wild Tatar horsemen of the Asiatic steppes, Russia's ancient enemy. And soon Nicholas and his fellow travellers, Smith, Stanley and the faithful Hodge, are caught up in their most dangerous adventure yet, trapped in a doomed Muscovy ruled by a deranged but cunning Czar Ivan, and with a vast army of Tatar tribesmen riding down upon them, vowed to burn the city to the ground and extinguish Russia forever...
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    The Man Who Came Back

    By Neil Thanet, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    Authors:
    Neil Thanet, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    On June 1st 1963 Donald Bailey set out on a hiking tour. For twelve days it was mountain and lakes, rivers and fells, healthy exercise and the magic of a starlit campfire. On the thirteenth day they found a cave and decided to explore. A rock fall cut off the entrance and they searched desperately for another way out. Exhausted and battered, they finally scrambled through a small shaft into a strangely changed countryside which was familiar, yet not familiar.From a cottager who fed them and tended their wounds they learnt that somehow they were back in the days of the Civil War. Roundheads and Cavaliers battled desperately across the country and they found themselves involved in the bitter struggle for power.Unwittingly they gave information to a Roundhead spy, which resulted in the death of a Cavalier Commander. He returns from the dead in monstrous form, trying to exact a terrible vengeance on the bewildered pair who are desperately seeking to return to their own time.
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    The Shadow Man

    By Lee Barton, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    Authors:
    Lee Barton, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    'The Night Walker' began as an ordinary country legend. No two stories agreed on the details and Paul Donovan's attempts to sift out the facts seemed doomed to failure. He was on the verge of omitting it from his new series of articles on East Anglian Folklore when a sudden, sinister coincidence brought the old story sharply back into focus. An eccentric old wildfowler was taken to hospital where he babbled incoherently about "the man in the stove-pipe hat" before dying of inexplicable injuries. Donovan restarted his enquiries and found an unexpectedly determined ally in Shelia Morrison, an outcast from her village, who had been befriended by the dead wildfowler. together they hunted for intangible clues across the lonely reed beds and slow mysterious rivers of Broadland - the areas holiday-makers rarely see. Piece by piece the puzzle fitted together to reveal a chain of horror linking the past and present...connecting the mid-1960s with the ghoulish outbreak of body-snatching at the start of the Nineteenth Century. Not all the victims had gone for medical research...'The Night Walker' is abroad again and fear treads beside him.
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    Barrier 346

    By Karl Zeigfreid, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    Authors:
    Karl Zeigfreid, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    Life at the Station had ceased to hold any drama. The only enemies were boredom - a psychic inertia - and the innate weakness of the human element. Reading and samplings, data analysis and stereotyped daily radio reporting filed the long bleak hours. Suddenly they lost all contact with the outside. No radio...No television...No physical contact with patrolling ships...Nothing... Their universe had contracted until life was bounded by the beryllium alloy fuselage of the Station.Martia, the assistant astro-physicist, woke from a strangely deep sleep to find herself unable to get out of her cabin. None of the others could reach her... When the door was finally cut away Martia had vanished.One by one other crew members and scientific personnel disappeared until Kersh, the radio-operator, found himself alone on the vast echoing station...
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    Time Echo

    By Lionel Roberts, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    Authors:
    Lionel Roberts, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    The Eurasian world of the 24th Century is in the grip of Rajak the Magnificent, one of the most efficiently ruthless totalitarian tyrants ever produced by history. The dreaded security guards are everywhere. The only escape is the time dimension. But what if the Time Vortex breaks down? To what unknown realms - of past, future or probability - will the travellers be transported?Mike Grafton, on the run from the security forces, finds himself changing places with Benjamin Bathurst, the true life Missing Diplomat of the early 19th Century, who vanished and was never seen again.What happens to these men, torn from their environments, into unknown realms? Will the Liberationist forces succeed in destroying Rajak the Magnificent? But perhaps the greatest question of all is the possibility of Time Travel: will man ultimately conquer time as he is even know conquering space?
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    The X-Machine

    By John E. Muller, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    Authors:
    John E. Muller, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    Sally McQuire worked for an unusual organisation. She was an undercover agent for the I.P.F., but her friends knew her only as a scatter-brained night club dancer. Then came the Thing. At first there were just off paragraphs in provincial papers. A cow disappeared. Fish stopped biting. Finally Jon Vardo, a shepherd, vanished without a trace. The I.P.F. put Sally on the track. She discovered a strange common denominator linking the events. There was a mathematical and geographical sequence. Sally arranged to be at the next danger zone, and then she too vanished. This is a story of humanity at its best, locked in a life and death struggle with a cruel, cold culture of Beings from the Beyond. This is a story of humanity fighting against incredible odds and fantastic weapons. Can the mind of man hold its own against deadly, sinister Intelligence from beyond the stars?
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    Force 97X

    By Pel Torro, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    Authors:
    Pel Torro, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    In the realm of science things are often far from what they seem. In the science of sociology this is truest of all. Those who seem to control human affairs may only be figure-heads. The real power lies in unsuspected places...sinister...alien...Mervyn Wayne called at the offices of an apparently normal, respectable, old-established city firm and overheard intrigue of nightmare quality. He found himself a fugitive from an organisation whose ramifications extended everywhere.Society was being master-minded by someone, or something, so irresistibly powerful that Mervyn's first reaction was hopeless fear. Gradually, however, he learnt how to distinguish allies from organisation men and began building a counter-group of his own.
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    Legion of the Lost

    By Pel Torro, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    Authors:
    Pel Torro, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
    Servius had always been a faithful servant of the goddess Diana. As a gladiator he had given her thanks for his victories, as a Centurion he had prayed to her on the eve of every battle. When at last the tide of war turned against him he fled to her sanctuary on the shore of Lake Nemi. Here he killed the Priest in order to become the Priest and ever after he lived in fear of being killed himself by the next aspirant for the office. When the fatal battle was fought the dying Servius had a vision of Diana, who made him a strange promise. He would die, yet he would not die. He would live, yet he would not live. When he found himself he would be lost, and when he was lost he would be found.Servius closed his eyes by the shorts of Lake Nemi and opened them in a strange, frightening world where chariots ran without horses and where men flew inside iron birds. His first problem was to survive. His second was to find his way home!
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