The military-grade artificial intelligence known as Iona has only one week to live. After that, the UNSC will legally terminate her seven-year existence in order to stave off the threat of the data corruption phenomenon known as “rampancy,” a condition that will eventually take hold of her functionality and persona, endangering all those around her. In a last-ditch effort to save herself, Iona has successfully launched an unprecedented legal appeal against her own death sentence—a case being watched very closely at not only the highest levels of human government, but by others with a very different agenda…
Launch once more into galaxy-spanning conflict and legendary heroism…shards of an ever-expanding journey where human and alien alike find their finest hours in facing their greatest challenges. These scattered stories span untold millennia, from the age of the ancient custodial race known as the Forerunners…to the aftermath of the Covenant’s bloody war against humanity…and even the shocking events surrounding the resurrection of the mysterious Guardians. Halo: Fractures explores mythic tales of bravery and sacrifice that blaze brightly at the very heart of the Halo universe.
Featuring electrifying works from such acclaimed authors as:
Tobias Buckell • Troy Denning • Matt Forbeck • Kelly Gay • Christie Golden • Kevin Grace • Morgan Lockhart • John Jackson Miller • Frank O’Connor • Brian Reed • Joseph Staten • James Swallow
The most generous one-volume collection ever published of short stories, autobiographical writings,poetry, and essays by the writer Yeats called “Ireland’s Chekhov.”
Selected and arranged thematically by Julian Barnes, the rich mix of writings in The Best of Frank O’Connor starts off with his most famous short story, “Guests of the Nation,” set during the Irish War of Independence; chronicles his childhood with an alcoholic father and protective mother; and traces his literary influences in brilliant essays on Joyce and Yeats. O’Connor’s wonderfully polyphonic tales of family, friendship, and rivalry are set beside those that bring to life forgotten souls on the fringes of society. O’Connor’s writings about Ireland vividly evoke the land he called home, while other stories probe the hardships and rewards of Irish emigration. Finally, we see O’Connor grappling, in both fiction and memoir, with the largest questions of religion and belief.
The Best of Frank O’Connor is a literary monument to a truly great writer.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
From the Hardcover edition.
In the words of W. B. Yeats, Frank O’Connor “did for Ireland what Chekhov did for Russia.” Anne Tyler, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, described his tales as “encapsulated universes.” This indispensable volume contains the best of his short fiction, from “Guests of the Nation” (adapted into an Obie Award–winning play) to “The Mad Lomasneys” to “First Confession” to “My Oedipus Complex.”
Dublin schoolteacher Ned Keating waves good-bye to a charming girl and to any thoughts of returning to his village home in the lyrical and melancholy “Uprooted.” A boy on an important mission is waylaid by a green-eyed temptress and seeks forgiveness in his mother’s loving arms in “The Man of the House,” a tale that draws on O’Connor’s own difficult childhood. A series of awkward encounters and humorous misunderstandings perfectly encapsulates the complicated legacy of Irish immigration in “Ghosts,” the bittersweet account of an American family’s pilgrimage to the land of their forefathers. In these and dozens of other stories, O’Connor accomplishes the miraculous, laying bare entire lives and histories in the space of a few pages.
As a writer, critic, and teacher, O’Connor elevated the short story to astonishing new heights. This career-spanning anthology, epic in scope yet brimming with small moments and intimate details, is a true pleasure to read from first page to last.
Over the course of his long and distinguished career, Frank O’Connor wrote many stories about priests. Some of his most iconic characters are men of the cloth, and few writers have portrayed the unique demands of the priesthood with as much empathy, honesty, and wit. This collection, edited and introduced by his widow, Harriet O’Donovan Sheehy, brings together the best of O’Connor’s short fiction on the subject.
From “An Act of Charity,” the ironically titled tale of church efforts to cover up a curate’s suicide, to “The Sentry,” an exquisite blend of drama and satire sparked by the British army’s invasion of a priest’s onion patch, these sixteen stories capture the full range of pressures visited on the Irish clergy. “Peasants” is a lesson in what happens when a man of God places law and order above compassion, while “Achilles’ Heel” reveals that even a bishop can be rendered powerless by his housekeeper. “The Frying-pan” and “The Wreath” are sad and lovely portraits of priests caught between their vows of celibacy and their natural desire for human connection.
In the rituals and contradictions of the priesthood, Frank O’Connor found one of his greatest motifs. The Collar showcases an artist at the peak of his powers and shines a brilliant light on a fascinating world too often hidden in shadow and sentiment.
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When Frank O’Connor was born, his parents—Minnie O’Connor, a former maid raised in an orphanage, and Michael O’Donovan, a veteran of the Boer War and the drummer in a local brass-and-reed band—lived above a sweet-and-tobacco shop in Cork, Ireland. The young family soon moved, however, to a two-room cottage at the top of Blarney Street, a lane that originates, as O’Connor so vividly describes it, “near the river-bank, in sordidness, and ascends the hill to something like squalor.” From this unlikely beginning, a poor boy born Michael Francis Xavier O’Donovan set out on the remarkable journey that transformed him into Frank O’Connor, one of Ireland’s greatest writers.
An Only Child, the first installment of O’Connor’s wonderfully evocative autobiography, captures the joy and pain of his early years: joy in the colorful people and places of Cork and in his devoted relationship with his mother, pain in the family’s impoverished situation and in his father’s melancholy moods and drunken outbursts. Fifteen years old when he joins the Irish Republican Army in the fight for independence, O’Connor finds himself on the losing side of the ensuing civil war and is imprisoned by the government of the new nation. My Father’s Son begins with his release from an internment camp and follows him to Dublin and the world-renowned Abbey Theatre, where he meets W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, and other members of the Irish Literary Revival, and takes the first steps toward becoming one of the twentieth century’s most beloved authors.
As richly detailed and eloquent as the best of his short fiction, Frank O’Connor’s autobiography is an entertaining portrait of a fascinating time and place, and the inspiring account of a young artist finding his voice.