Related to: 'Not Forgetting The Whale'

W&N

The Coincidence Authority

John Ironmonger
Authors:
John Ironmonger
W&N

The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder

John Ironmonger
Authors:
John Ironmonger

SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD'Maximilian Ponder is lying face up, dead, on the dining table in his own front room. This is something you really should know, right from the start. 'Max would also have wanted you to know that this is a Henri II style, French, walnut extending dining table, standing on solid turned legs with fretwork decor to the middle, also with ebony and sandalwood inlay, designed by the French furniture maker Nicolas Rastin and probably dating from around 1900 ...'Maximilian Ponder shut himself away for thirty years in an attempt to record every memory he ever had. Now he lies dead, surrounded by his magnum opus - The Catalogue - an exhaustive set of notebooks and journals that he hopes will form the map of one human mind. But before his friend Adam Last can call the police and inform them of Max's death, one rather gruesome task remains in order for Max's project to be complete. Interspersed with sections from The Catalogue, Adam tells the story of the man he knew - a man whose life changed dramatically the day he buried a dead labrador and fought a duel with his father. What emerges is both the story of a friendship, and also of a lifelong obsession, a quest to understand the human mind, memory and what constitutes a life.

Alfred Bester

Alfred Bester (1913-87) was born in New York and educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia. He was a scriptwriter and journalist by profession but he set the science fiction world alight with The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination and his extraordinary short stories in the 1950s, and blazed a trail for the sf New Wave of the 1960s and the cyberpunk writers of the 1980s.

Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz is one of the UK's most prolific and successful writers. His novels The House of Silk and Moriarty were Sunday Times Top 10 bestsellers and sold in more than thirty-five countries around the world. His bestselling Alex Rider series for children has sold more than nineteen million copies worldwide. He is also the author of a James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis.As a TV screenwriter he created both Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle's War; other TV work includes Poirot, the widely-acclaimed mini-series Collision and Injustice and most recently, New Blood for the BBC. Anthony sits on the board of the Old Vic and regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines. In January 2014 he was awarded an OBE for services to literature. Anthony Horowitz lives in London. www.anthonyhorowitz.com @AnthonyHorowitz

Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke was born in Minehead in 1917. During the Second World War he served as an RAF radar instructor, rising to the rank of Flight-Lieutenant. After the war he won a BSc in physics and mathematics with first class honours from King's College, London. One of the most respected of all science-fiction writers, he also won the KALINGA PRIZE, the AVIATION SPACE-WRITERS PRIZE,and the WESTINGHOUSE SCIENCE WRITING PRIZE. He also shared an OSCAR nomination with Stanley Kubrick for the screenplay of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, which was based on his story, 'The Sentinel'. He lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death in 2008. To discover more about how the legacy of Sir Arthur is being honoured today, please visit http://www.clarkefoundation.org

Cathy Kelly

Cathy Kelly is published around the world, with millions of books in print. Cathy is the bestselling author of The Honey Queen, Once in a Lifetime and Between Sisters, and is a No.1 bestseller in the UK, Ireland and Australia. Her trademark is warm and witty Irish storytelling about modern life, always with an uplifting message, a sense of community and strong female characters at the heart. She lives with her family and their three dogs in County Wicklow, Ireland. She is also an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland, raising funds and awareness for children orphaned by or living with HIV/AIDS.Find out more at www.cathykelly.com or follow her on Twitter @cathykellybooks

Charles Martin

Charles Martin is a New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels, including his most recent book Long Way Gone. His work is available in 17 languages. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife and their three sons.

Christopher Priest

Christopher Priest's novels have built him an inimitable dual reputation as a contemporary literary novelist and a leading figure in modern SF and fantasy. His novel THE PRESTIGE is unique in winning both a major literary prize (THE JAMES TAIT BLACK AWARD and a major genre prize THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD); THE SEPARATION won both the ARTHUR C. CLARKE and the BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION AWARDS. THE ISLANDERS won both the BSFA and John W. Campbell awards. He was selected for the original BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS in 1983.

David Rintoul

David Rintoul has played leading parts with most of the major British theatre companies. Many television appearances include Darcy in the first BBC Pride and Prejudice. He frequently appears on radio and has recorded over a hundred audio books. At the time of recording he was playing Dr Jake Houseman in the original London cast of the smash-hit musical Dirty Dancing.

Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea on 27 October 1914, the son of a senior English master. On leaving school he worked on the South Wales Evening Post before embarking on his literary career in London. Not only a poet, he wrote short stories, film scripts, features and radio plays, the most famous being Under Milk Wood. On 9 November 1953, shortly after his thirty-ninth birthday, he collapsed and died in New York city. He is buried in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, which had become his main home since 1949. In 1982 a memorial stone to commemorate him was unveiled in 'Poet's Corner' in Westminster Abbey.www.discoverdylanthomas.com

Emily Fridlund

Emily Fridlund grew up in Minnesota. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Her collection of stories, Catapult, was chosen by Ben Marcus for the Mary McCarthy Prize and will be published by Sarabande Books. She lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York. History of Wolves is her first novel.

Graham Joyce

Graham Joyce is the award-winning author of numerous short story collections and novels, including The Tooth Fairy, Smoking Poppy, The Facts of Life, The Limits of Enchantment, The Silent Land, Some Kind of Fairy Tale and The Year of the Ladybird.He won the British Fantasy Award six times, and the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 2003 for The Facts of Life. He also won the O Henry Award.In addition to his own writing, he taught a writing course at Nottingham Trent University.He died in September 2014.

Gregoire Delacourt

Grégoire Delacourt is the bestselling author of five novels and has won several literary awards. The List of My Desires was a runaway number-one bestseller in France, with rights sold in thirty-three countries, and was selected for the Waterstones Book Club in the UK. We Only Saw Happiness, published in France as On ne voyait que le bonheur, was longlisted for the Prix Goncourt 2014. Grégoire lives in Paris, where he runs an advertising agency with his wife.www.gregoire-delacourt.com

Harriet Cummings

Harriet Cummings is a freelance writer with a background in history of art and gender studies. As a script writer, she has had work performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as independent venues around London. While studying at Faber Academy, Harriet threw herself into her first novel and hasn't looked back since.She lives in Leamington Spa with her husband and springer spaniel.Follow Harriet on Twitter @HarrietWriter or find out more at www.harrietcummings.co.uk

Ian Rankin

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University.A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a number one bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons. www.ianrankin.net Twitter @Beathhigh

Jack Shepherd

Jack Shepherd is an actor, playwright and director. He made his film debut in 1969 but is best known for his television roles, most notably as Detective Superintendent Charles Wycliffe in Wycliffe. He is an accomplished saxophonist and jazz pianist.

Jacqueline King

With numerous audiobook and stage credits to her name, Jacqueline King has also had a great variety of television roles, including parts in Doctors, Doctor Who, The Bill, 55 Degrees North and Casualty. She has read a number of Maureen Lee audios, abridged and unabridged.

James Blish

James Blish (1921-75) studied microbiology at Rutgers and then served as a medical laboratory technician in the US army during the Second World War. Among his best known books are Cities in Flight, A Case of Conscience, for which he won the Hugo in 1959 for Best Novel, Doctor Mirabilis, Black Easter and The Day After Judgement.

Jardine Libaire

Jardine Libaire is the author of the novel Here Kitty Kitty, and the creative nonfiction book Gravity Is Stronger Here (a collaboration with photographer Phyllis Dooney). Originally from New York, she now lives in Austin. She's a volunteer teacher in the Truth Be Told writing programme for incarcerated women in Texas.

Jean E. Pendziwol

Jean E. Pendziwol is an award-winning Canadian author of books for children. Once Upon a Northern Night was shortlisted for a Governor General's Award and the 2014 TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards Book of the Year. The Lightkeeper's Daughters is her debut novel for adults. She lives in northern Ontario in the shadow of the Nor'Wester Mountains near Lake Superior.