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Felix Charlock’s scientific genius is unrivaled—and so is his very special invention. So special, in fact, that a shadowy and enigmatic international firm, called Merlin, recruits Felix and marries him into the family. He is betrothed to the erratic Merlin heiress, Benedicta, and given access to an inexhaustible fortune. Yet he longs to be free of the psychological and scientific toll the mysterious firm inflicts. The inscrutable Merlin is always one step ahead, and twists and turns ensue in this tale of sexual and moral intrigue that leaves Felix’s future—and his sanity—on uncertain ground.
In their introduction to this reprint, historians Jerome M. Clubb and Howard W. Allen argue that Parry's novel and others like it display the opinions, feelings, and reactions of different sects of society at the turn of the century. Rapid changes in the United States caused mixed emotions about the future of the country. Many novels like The Scarlet Empire were used to criticize current measures, investigate proposed reform, and show these proposals in either a negative or a positive light.
One of the most popular utopian novels of the time, Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward, was written with the intention of promoting the reconciliation of equality and liberty. Bellamy's novel advocated a socialist government, a perfect utopian society with equality for men, women, and children, consolidated businesses, and strict government control. Clubb and Allen observe that these changes directly reflect reforms that were being proposed by the younger generation at the turn of the century.
The Scarlet Empire is said to be a direct response to Looking Backward. It is intended as a supplemental text in American history, American studies, and popular culture courses. Eight original illustrations by Hermann C. Wall enhance the text.
Published in 1904, G. K. Chesterton’s debut novel is set eighty years in the future. Technology and social mores remain the same, but the England of 1984 boasts a government in which ineffectual kings are selected at random from an otherwise apathetic populace that has “lost faith in revolutions.” The political system hits a snag when Auberon Quin is selected as the next monarch. More joker than potentate, Quin amuses himself by installing a series of laws and bizarre customs that inflate civic pomp and circumstance to laughable proportions. These policies inevitably put Quin, a leader who does not believes in any of his dictums, on a collision course with his most earnest supporter: Adam Wayne, otherwise known as the Napoleon of Notting Hill.
A favorite among scholars and critics, The Napoleon of Notting Hill showcases the eclectic wit and unorthodox intellect that established Chesterton as one of the twentieth century’s most influential and far-reaching thinkers.
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Inevitably, this island of bliss attracts the envy and enmity of the surrounding world. A conspiracy is underway to take over Pala, and events are set in motion when an agent of the conspirators, a newspaperman named Faranby, is shipwrecked there. What Faranby doesn't expect is how his time with the people of Pala will revolutionize all his values and—to his amazement—give him hope.
Who is John Galt? When he says that he will stop the motor of the world, is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he have to fight his battles not against his enemies but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves?
You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this book. You will discover why a productive genius becomes a worthless playboy...why a great steel industrialist is working for his own destruction...why a composer gives up his career on the night of his triumph...why a beautiful woman who runs a transcontinental railroad falls in love with the man she has sworn to kill.
Atlas Shrugged, a modern classic and Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism—her groundbreaking philosophy—offers the reader the spectacle of human greatness, depicted with all the poetry and power of one of the twentieth century’s leading artists.
At 2:27pm on February 13th of the year 2001, the Universe suffered a crisis in self-confidence. Should it go on expanding indefinitely? What was the point?
There's been a timequake. And everyone—even you—must live the decade between February 17, 1991 and February 17, 2001 over again. The trick is that we all have to do exactly the same things as we did the first time—minute by minute, hour by hour, year by year, betting on the wrong horse again, marrying the wrong person again. Why? You'll have to ask the old science fiction writer, Kilgore Trout. This was all his idea.
On the surface, the novel is the story of time-traveler Julian West, a young Bostonian who is put into a hypnotic sleep in the late 19th century, and awakens in the year 2000 in a socialist utopia. In conversations with the doctor who awakened him, he discovers a brilliantly realized vision of an ideal future, one that seemed unthinkable in his own century. Crime, war, personal animosity, and want are nonexistent. Equality of the sexes is a fact of life. In short, a messianic state of brotherly love is in effect.
Entertaining, stimulating, and thought-provoking, Looking Backward, with its ingenious plot and appealing socialism, is a provocative study of human society as it is and as it might be.
*Best science fiction and fantasy books of 2015 —The Washington Post
*One of the most anticipated books of 2015 —Dazed & Confused, BuzzFeed
Inez wanders a post-pandemic world, strangely immune to disease, making her living by volunteering as a test subject. She is hired to provide genetic material to a grief-stricken, affluent mother, who lost all four of her daughters within four short weeks. This experimental genetic work is policed by a hazy network of governmental Ethics committees, and threatened by the Knights of Life, religious zealots who raze the rural farms where much of this experimentation is done.
When the mother backs out at the last minute, Inez is left responsible for the product, which in this case is a baby girl, Ani. Inez must protect Ani, who is a scientific breakthrough, keeping her alive, dodging authorities and religious fanatics, and trying to provide Ani with the chilldhood tha Inez never had, which means a stable home and an education.
With a stylish voice, The Only Ones is a time-old story, tender and iconic, about how much we love our children, however they come, as well as a sly commentary on class, politics, and the complexities of reproductive technology.
"Breathtaking. [Dibbell has] delivered a debut novel on par with some of the best speculative fiction of the past 30 years; The Only Ones deserves to be shelved alongside Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring, and P. D. James' The Children of Men. It's that good, and that important, and that heartbreakingly beautiful." —NPR
“A screaming comes across the sky. . .” A few months after the Germans’ secret V-2 rocket bombs begin falling on London, British Intelligence discovers that a map of the city pinpointing the sexual conquests of one Lieutenant Tyrone Slothrop, U.S. Army, corresponds identically to a map showing the V-2 impact sites. The implications of this discovery will launch Slothrop on an amazing journey across war-torn Europe, fleeing an international cabal of military-industrial superpowers, in search of the mysterious Rocket 00000, through a wildly comic extravaganza that has been hailed in The New Republic as “the most profound and accomplished American novel since the end of World War II.”
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.
'Trollope did not write for posterity,' observed Henry James. 'He wrote for the day, the moment; but these are just the writers whom posterity is apt to put into its pocket.' Considered by contemporary critics to be Trollope's greatest novel, The Way We Live Now is a satire of the literary world of London in the 1870s and a bold indictment of the new power of speculative finance in English life. 'I was instigated by what I conceived to be the commercial profligacy of the age,' Trollope said.
His story concerns Augustus Melmotte, a French swindler and scoundrel, and his daughter, to whom Felix Carbury, adored son of the authoress Lady Carbury, is induced to propose marriage for the sake of securing a fortune. Trollope knew well the difficulties of dealing with editors, publishers, reviewers, and the public; his portrait of Lady Carbury, impetuous, unprincipled, and unswervingly devoted to her own self-promotion, is one of his finest satirical achievements.
His picture of late-nineteenth-century England is a portrait of a society on the verge of moral bankruptcy. In The Way We Live Now Trollope combines his talents as a portraitist and his skills as a storyteller to give us life as it was lived more than a hundred years ago.
In a little village nestled in the Balou mountains, fourteen-year-old Li Niannian and his parents run a funeral parlor. One evening, he notices a strange occurrence. Instead of preparing for bed, more and more neighbors appear in the streets and fields, carrying on with their daily business as if the sun hadn’t already set. Li Niannian watches, mystified. As hundreds of residents are found dreamwalking, they act out the desires they’ve suppressed during waking hours. Before long, the community devolves into chaos, and it’s up to Li Niannian and his parents to save the town before sunrise.
Set over the course of one increasingly bizarre night, The Day the Sun Died is a propulsive, darkly sinister tale from a world-class writer.
Includes an excerpt from Sarah Hall's new book The Beautiful Indifference.
“Dra-, the nondescript heroine of this grim, hilarious fiction, might have fallen through the same hole as Lewis Carroll's Alice, only now, 130 years later, there's no time for frivolity, just the pressing need to get a job. In a sealed, modern Wonderland of "small stifled work centers, basements and sub-basements, night niches, and training hutches connected by hallways just inches across," Dra- seeks employment . . . This labyrinthine journey is brilliantly mimicked in the architecture of the prose. Levine creates cozy little warrens, small safe spaces made of short clear sentences, then sends the reader spiraling down long broken passages, fragmented by colons and semi-colons which give a halting, lurching gait to our progress. A quest, a comedy of manners, and a parable, Dra- is, above all else, a philosophical novel concerned with the most basic questions of living.”–Matthew Stadler, reviewing the original edition in The Stranger, 1997.
One Sunday, eight people gather at a school to record a television programme. But the show is never made, because the end of the world has arrived. The authorities order all windows, doors and curtains to be closed. And stay closed. They hear nothing more for days, then weeks.
Through the eyes of TV editor Merel, a young woman, we see the group trying to survive in a new world, a world of darkness and isolation, of sleeping on gym mats and living on ten grains of rice a day. The survivors play cards, talk about their past, sleep together: anything to pass the time until their rescue. As food supplies dwindle, tensions mount. And when will the authorities arrive?
At once arresting, original and richly entertaining, Everything There Was is a gripping and disorientating novel that will enthrall readers of The Road or Station Eleven.
Hanna Bervoets writes novels, columns and scripts. Her columns for Volkskrant Magazine, collected in That’s Nice, Bye, are hugely popular in the Netherlands. Bervoets won the 2009 Debutant of the Year Award for her first novel Or, How, Why. Its follow-up, Dear Céline, was awarded the 2012 Opzij Literature Prize.Praise for Everything There Was
‘An eye-opening novel that takes a fresh look at everything we’re taking for granted’ Opzij
‘This book grabs you by the throat’ nu.nl
‘One truly clever novel’ De Groene Amsterdammer
Liberation is a speculation on life in near-future America after the country suffers an economic cataclysm that leads to the resurgence of ghosts of its past such as the human slave trade. Our heroes are the Slick Six, a group of international criminals who set out to alleviate the worst of these conditions and put America on the road to recovery. Liberation is a story about living down the past, personally and nationally; about being able to laugh at the punch line to the long, dark joke of American history.
Slattery's prose moves seamlessly between present and past, action and memory. With Liberation, he celebrates the resilience and ingenuity of the American spirit.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Over the course of a single night in 2052, a homeless man named Cuthbert Handley sets out on an astonishing quest: to release the animals of the London Zoo. When he was a young boy, Cuthbert’s grandmother had told him he inherited a magical ability to communicate with the animal world—a gift she called the Wonderments. Ever since his older brother’s death in childhood, Cuthbert has heard voices. These maddening whispers must be the Wonderments, he believes, and recently they have promised to reunite him with his lost brother and bring about the coming of a Lord of Animals . . . if he fulfills this curious request.
Cuthbert flickers in and out of awareness throughout his desperate pursuit. But his grand plan is not the only thing that threatens to disturb the collective unease of the city. Around him is greater turmoil, as the rest of the world anxiously anticipates the rise of a suicide cult set on destroying the world’s animals along with themselves.
Meanwhile, Cuthbert doggedly roams the zoo, cutting open the enclosures, while pressing the animals for information about his brother. Just as this unlikely yet loveable hero begins to release the animals, the cult’s members flood the city’s streets. Has Cuthbert succeeded in harnessing the power of the Wonderments, or has he only added to the chaos—and sealed these innocent animals’ fates?
Night of the Animals is an enchanting and inventive tale that explores the boundaries of reality, the ghosts of love and trauma, and the power of redemption.
It is the afterlife. The end of the world is a distant, distorted memory called “the Age of Fucked Up Shit.” A sentient glacier has wiped out most of North America. Medical care is supplied by open-source nanotechnology, and human nervous systems can be hacked.
Abby Fogg is a film archivist with a niggling feeling that her life is not really her own. She may be right. Al Skinner is a former mercenary for the Boeing Army, who’s been dragging his war baggage behind him for nearly a century. Woo-jin Kan is a virtuoso dishwasher with the Restaurant and Hotel Management Olympic medals to prove it. Over them all hovers a mysterious man named Dirk Bickle, who sends all these characters to a full-scale replica of Manhattan under construction in Puget Sound. An ambitious novel that writes large the hopes and anxieties of our time—climate change, social strife, the depersonalization of the digital age—Blueprints of the Afterlife will establish Ryan Boudinot as an exceptional novelist of great daring.
“Duct-tape yourself to the front of this roller coaster and enjoy the ride.” —The New York Times
“Challenging, messy and funny fiction for readers looking for something way beyond space operas and swordplay.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The absurdities are cleverly crafted and highly entertaining. Imaginative [and] heartfelt.” —Hannah Calkins, Shelf Awareness
“Ingenious . . . Frenzied, hilarious, and paranoid . . . A bracing dystopian romp through contemporary dread.” —Publishers Weekly
“Probably the strangest post-apocalyptic novel in ages.” —io9
“What an inspired mindfuck of a book!” —City Paper (Baltimore)
‘Takes all of your dystopian nightmares and connects them to a mother lode of pure emotional intensity. There’s so much keen detail here about the cruel logic of oppressive institutions, you’ll feel Mirii’s yearning for freedom in your bones – and you’ll rejoice at every tiny moment of escape that she achieves. Welcome to Orphancorp is harrowing, scarily real, and ultimately super moving.’ – Charlie Jane Anders (i09)
‘Punchy, crunchy, sexy and smart, Welcome to Orphancorp is a short, sharp shock of a story with bruised-but-not-broken characters and a bonsai dystopia you can actually believe in. Marlee Jane Ward is a writer of heart and passion, muscle and slow-burning anger.’ – Ian McDonald
‘Welcome to Orphancorp is an intimate, heartfelt story set in the darkest of places. I can’t stop thinking about these characters.’ – Kij Johnson
‘An object lesson in how to dehumanise young people by locking them up and depriving them of all warmth and care – has never been more timely. This gritty, greasy story is peppered with violence and lit with the slenderest shafts of affection and hope. It will make your jaw clench with fear for the indomitable Mirii Mahoney, and your fist punch the air at her every tiny victory.’ – Margo Lanagan
The Core of the Sun further cements Finlandia Award–winning author Johanna Sinisalo’s reputation as a master of literary speculative fiction and of her country’s unique take on it, dubbed “Finnish weird.”
In an alternative historical present, The Eusistocratic Republic of Finland has bred a new human sub-species of receptive, submissive women, called eloi, for sex and procreation, while intelligent, independent women are relegated to menial labor and sterilized so that they do not carry on their “defective” line. Vanna, raised as an eloi but secretly intelligent, needs money to find her sister, who has disappeared. Vanna forms a friendship with a man named Jare, and they become involved in buying and selling a stimulant known to the Health Authority to be extremely dangerous: chili peppers. Then Jare comes across a strange religious cult in possession of the Core of the Sun, a chili so hot that it is rumored to cause hallucinations—a temptation so enticing that it just might divert the addicted Vanna from her quest . . .
“A chilling tale reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale . . . A fascinating story centered on gender politics.” —The Washington Post
After their father’s death, twin brothers Yarik and Dima grew up together on their uncle’s farm, spending their days helping fishermen and their nights spellbound by their uncle’s stories. Years later, the two men labor at the Oranzheria, a sprawling glass greenhouse and a capitalist experiment that keeps the surrounding townspeople in perpetual daylight.
Work is now all the twins have in common. Stalwart Yarik is married with children, and oppressed by the burden of responsibility and the pressures of work, while dreamer Dima lives with his mother—and rooster—and spends his time planning the brothers’ return to their uncle’s land.
Then one day a bizarre encounter with the Oranzheria’s ruthless owner changes everything. Soon they find themselves at the center of strange conspiracies, disasters, and deceptions that threaten all they know.
Winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction, and the GrubStreet National Book Prize.
A featured Los Angels Times “Summer Book,” a Bustle “Best Book for July,” and one of Flavorwire’s “10 Must Read Books for July.”
“A genuinely fascinating novel—for its inventiveness, its passionate breadth and vision.” —Richard Ford
“Among the most gifted writers of his generation.” —Colum McCann
Richly imagined, dark, and darkly comic, the stories follow the narrator over three decades as he tries to survive in a world that is becoming increasingly savage as cataclysmic events unfold one after another. In the first story, “What We Know Now”—set in the eve of the millennium, when the world as we know it is still recognizable—we meet the then-nine-year-old narrator fleeing the city with his parents, just ahead of a Y2K breakdown. The remaining stories capture the strange—sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny—circumstances he encounters in the no-longer-simple act of survival; trying to protect squatters against floods in a place where the rain never stops, being harassed (and possibly infected) by a man sick with a virulent flu, enduring a job interview with an unstable assessor who has access to all his thoughts, taking the gravely ill on adventure tours. But we see in each story that, despite the violence and brutality of his days, the narrator retains a hold on his essential humanity—and humor.
Things We Didn’t See Coming is haunting, restrained, and beautifully crafted—a stunning debut.
At the turn of the 38th century, London's greatest orator, Plato, is known for his lectures on the long, tumultuous history of his now tranquil city. Plato focuses on the obscure and confusing era that began in A.D. 1500, the Age of Mouldwarp. His subjects include Sigmund Freud's comic masterpiece "Jokes and Their Relation to the Subconscious," and Charles D.'s greatest novel, "The Origin of Species." He explores the rituals of Mouldwarp, and the later cult of webs and nets that enslaved the population. By the end of his lecture series, however, Plato has been drawn closer to the subject of his fascination than he could ever have anticipated. At once funny and erudite, The Plato Papers is a smart and entertaining look at how the future is imagined, the present absorbed, and the past misrepresented.
Now it's every Mutual Citizen's job to keep an eye on his neighbor and to report anything amiss. Wally's neighbor, Whit Chambers, has been busy practically setting a world record for turning in suspicious characters and Unmutuals to the local authorities and, in fact, Whit's had his eye and his telescope trained on Wally for some time now. When Wally finally snaps, he finds refuge with the Unpluggers, an underground movement fighting for just a few minutes of peace and quiet. With a cast of Dickensian characters, from stroller-wielding Brooklyn mothers to former Kennedy spooks and Norwegian cowboys, Jim Knipfel's Unplugging Philco is a wildly funny look at our life and times, filled with sharp cultural references and vivid, witty prose that testifies to a dangerously perceptive mind behind the madness.
Into the midst of this methodical madness comes Marina Rubin, who experiences all the excesses of The Reeds. The pervasive cruelty of this refined novel distances it from facile conclusions. Amid the mordant social satire, The Reeds? obese campers are far more than merely victims of the system, subjected to impossible social demands for physical perfection. Out of control, fierce, rebellious, or subjugated, they are recognizable human beings, contending with an unjust but efficient authority in their unique and solitary ways.
In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker, who goes by Alif, shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, revolutionaries, and other watched groups—from surveillance, and tries to stay out of trouble.
The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the state’s electronic security force, putting his clients and himself on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the “Hand of God,” as they call the head of state security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground.
When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen.
This “tale of literary enchantment, political change, and religious mystery” was a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (Gregory Maguire).
“Wilson has a deft hand with myth and with magic.” —Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods
The paperback edition of Sarah Schulman's dystopian satire about urban mores set in New York sometime in the future, when the city has morphed into an idealized version of itself: where rent is cheap, homelessness is nonexistent, and the only job left is marketing. But all is not as it seems, culminating in a murder committed by a prominent New Yorker and a resulting trial that transfixes the city.
Kessler Award-winner Sarah Schulman's other books include Rat Bohemia, The Child, and Ties that Bind.
A blazingly original, wildly stylish, and pulpy debut novel
"City of Bohane, the extraordinary first novel by the Irish writer Kevin Barry, is full of marvels. They are all literary marvels, of course: marvels of language, invention, surprise. Savage brutality is here, but so is laughter. And humanity. And the abiding ache of tragedy." —Pete Hamill, The New York Times Book Review (front page)
Forty or so years in the future. The once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines. There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the North Rises, and the eerie bogs of the Big Nothin' that the city really lives. For years it has all been under the control of Logan Hartnett, the dapper godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang. But there's trouble in the air. They say Hartnett's old nemesis is back in town; his trusted henchmen are getting ambitious; and his missus wants him to give it all up and go straight.
Part imaginative free-for-all and part deeply felt examination of isolation and survival, the individual lives in Keyhole Factory shine through the chaos in all their beauty and tragedy. With his signature wit and originality, Gillespie spins a glittering fever-dream that questions our assumptions about the way we interpret events and our relation to the planet, without ever losing sight of the underlying experience of what it feels like to be a human being in the world we live in today.
One year after the president has plunged the world into nuclear war, a journalist takes refuge in the Twin Cities Metro Containment Zone. On assignment, she documents internet humor at the end of the world, hoping along the way to find the final resting place of her wife and daughter. What she uncovers, hidden amid spiraling memes and twitter jokes in an archive of the internet’s remnants, are references to an enigmatic figure known only as Birdcrash, who may hold the key to an uncertain future.
A brutal civil war has ravaged the country, and contagious fevers have decimated the population. Abandoned farmhouses litter the isolated mountain valleys and shady hollows. The economy has been reduced to barter and trade.
In this craggy, unwelcoming world, the central character of Scribe ekes out a lonely living on the family farmstead where she was raised and where her sister met an untimely end. She lets a migrant group known as the Uninvited set up temporary camps on her land, and maintains an uneasy peace with her cagey neighbors and the local enforcer. She has learned how to make paper and ink, and she has become known for her letter-writing skills, which she exchanges for tobacco, firewood, and other scarce resources. An unusual request for a letter from a man with hidden motivations unleashes the ghosts of her troubled past and sets off a series of increasingly calamitous events that culminate in a harrowing journey to a crossroads.
Drawing on traditional folktales and the history and culture of Appalachia, Alyson Hagy has crafted a gripping, swiftly plotted novel that touches on pressing issues of our time—migration, pandemic disease, the rise of authoritarianism—and makes a compelling case for the power of stories to both show us the world and transform it.
There was, until a year ago, a little and very grimy-looking shop near Seven Dials, over which, in weather-worn yellow lettering, the name of "C. Cave, Naturalist and Dealer in Antiquities," was inscribed. The contents of its window were curiously variegated. They comprised some elephant tusks and an imperfect set of chessmen, beads and weapons, a box of eyes, two skulls of tigers and one human, several moth-eaten stuffed monkeys (one holding a lamp), an old-fashioned cabinet, a flyblown ostrich egg or so, some fishing-tackle, and an extraordinarily dirty, empty glass fish-tank. There was also, at the moment the story begins, a mass of crystal, worked into the shape of an egg and brilliantly polished. And at that two people, who stood outside the window, were looking, one of them a tall, thin clergyman, the other a black-bearded young man of dusky complexion and unobtrusive costume. The dusky young man spoke with eager gesticulation, and seemed anxious for his companion to purchase the article....