By Brian Catling
'A benchmark not just for imaginative writing but for the human imagination in itself...Read this book, and marvel.' Alan Moore'A work of genius.' Iain Sinclair'Brian Catling is simply a genius. His writing is so extraordinary it hurts.' Terry GilliamIn the tradition of China Miéville, Michael Moorcock and Alasdair Gray, B. Catling's The Vorrh is literary dark fantasy which wilfully ignores boundaries, crossing over into surrealism, magic-realism, horror and steampunk.In B. Catling's twisting, poetic narrative, Bakelite robots lie broken - their hard shells cracked by human desire - and an inquisitive Cyclops waits for his keeper and guardian, growing in all directions. Beyond the colonial city of Essenwald lies the Vorrh, the forest which sucks souls and wipes minds. There, a writer heads out on a giddy mission to experience otherness, fallen angels observe humanity from afar, and two hunters - one carrying a bow carved from his lover, the other a charmed Lee-Enfield rifle - fight to the end. Thousands of miles away, famed photographer Eadweard Muybridge attempts to capture the ultimate truth, as rifle heiress Sarah Winchester erects a house to protect her from the spirits of her gun's victims.s.
The Violent Century
By Lavie Tidhar
John le Carré meets Alan Moore's The Watchmen in this stunning novel by one of science fiction's most original voices.For seventy years they guarded the British Empire. Oblivion and Fogg, inseparable friends, bound together by a shared fate. Until one night in Berlin, in the aftermath of the Second World War, and a secret that tore them apart.But there must always be an account... and the past has a habit of catching up to the present.Now, recalled to the Retirement Bureau from which no one can retire, Fogg and Oblivion must face up to a past of terrible war and unacknowledged heroism - a life of dusty corridors and secret rooms, of furtive meetings and blood-stained fields - to answer one last, impossible question: What makes a hero?'Espionage inhabits a sort of parallel universe. Lavie Tidhar has taken this idea and run with it, creating a sophisticated, moving and gripping take on 20th century conflicts and our capacity for love and hate, honour and betrayal.' Daily Mail
By Ben Bova
It is the most desolate place in the universe. With a surface blasted by temperatures hotter than any oven and an atmosphere heavy with sulphur, months from Earth by even the fastest spacecraft, Venus remains almost unknown even after a century of space travel. But Alex Humphries, son of ruthless space tycoon Martin Humphries, disappeared along with his ship Phosphoros into Venus's infernal atmosphere, and now Humphries has offered ten billion dollars to anyone who can bring his son's body home. Two ships are soon racing against each other to Venus. But when they enter the poisonous hurricane winds of the unknown planet they find something so surprising, so unexepected, that it will change the whole course of space exploration.
A Voyage Long and Strange
By Tony Horwitz
Long before the Pilgrims, other Europeans pioneered North America, seeking land, converts and cities of gold. By exploring Americas lost, or often repressed, heritage, award-winning writer Tony Horwitz unmasks the countrys founding myths. A Voyage Long and Strange opens with the Vikings in ad 1000, but focuses on the neglected period in early American history between Columbus voyage of 1492 and the Pilgrims arrival in 1620. Horwitz recaptures the adventures of non-English explorers and the drama of the first contact with native peoples during this period. He also sets out on his own journey of rediscovery, travelling in the explorers wake to reveal the enduring influence that early Europeans had on America.Why, Horwitz asks, do we remember history the way we do? During his long and strange journey, from Indian sweat lodges to Columbus crypt, he exposes the revealing gap between what we enshrine and what we forget about our past. A Voyage Long and Strange is a gripping historical adventure that illuminates not only Americas early European history, but also the memory and myths that give the past power in the present day.
By Rosemary Sullivan
The Franco-German armistice, signed in June 1940 following the German invasion of France, called on the Vichy government to surrender on demand all refugees considered enemies of the Third Reich. Suddenly, thousands of artists, scientists and other intellectuals feared for their lives. The Emergency Rescue Committee, based in New York, compiled a list of two hundred people it considered the most endangered, including artists and writers André Breton, Max Ernst and Benjamin Péret. The committee sent Varian Fry to set up its headquarters in Marseilles, with the aim of helping these artists to escape. A number of them were sheltered at the Villa Air-Bel. Amidst the chaos and terror of wartime France, the villa became an oasis of calm, and a centre of creativity. Rosemary Sullivan explores the diaries, memoirs and letters of the individuals involved as she uncovers their private worlds and the web of relationships they developed. Central to her task is to understand what it must feel like to move from freedom to occupation: to feel threatened, administered, restrained. Villa Air-Bel brilliantly dramatizes the slow, relentless process by which ordinary lives were turned into lives lived in terror. In the end every artist in the house, as well as two thousand others, found asylum outside of France through the courageous intervention of Fry and his committee.
By Simon Clark
Lazarus Deep is a lake that sits like a blot of darkness in the valley. Eighteen-year-old Dylan Adams is on the verge of leaving his hometown for a life in the city, but his plans are dramatically changed when his old school friend Luke Spencer goes missing. A search finds nothing. All anyone knows is that he was last seen at Lazarus Deep. Then, in the dead of night, Dylan's old friend comes calling. But he's not the same boy that everyone once knew.Once more David Leppington, Bernice Mochardi and Electra Charnwood are drawn together to face the vampiric creatures that are Nosferatu: the undead. The desolate North Yorkshire Moors have held their secret for more than a thousand years. Now it is the turn of Lazarus Deep.