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Life After Life

Todd Family: Book 1

Kate Atkinson

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, she finds warmth even in life's bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past.

Days of Magic, Nights of War

Abarat: Book 2

Clive Barker

Candy Quackenbush's adventures in the amazing world of the Abarat are getting more strange by the hour. Christopher Carrion, the Lord of Midnight, has sent his henchman to capture her. Why? she wonders. What would Carrion want with a girl from Minnesota? And why is Candy beginning to feel that the world of Abarat is familiar to her? Why can she speak words of magic she doesn't even remember learning?

There is a mystery here. And Carrion, along with his fiendish grandmother Mater Motley, suspects that whatever Candy is, she could spoil their plans to take control of the Abarat.

Now Candy's companions must race against time to save her from the clutches of Carrion, and she must solve the mystery of her past before the forces of Night and Day clash and Absolute Midnight descends upon the islands.

A final war is about to begin. And Candy is going to need to make some choices that will change her life forever...

Pavane

Keith Roberts

A fantastical alternate history set in a twentieth-century England dominated by the Church of Rome and untouched by the Industrial Revolution chronicles the dramatic impact of a scientific and technological revolution that will transform the world and its peaceful agrarian society.

Table of Contents:

  • Prologue - (1968)
  • The Lady Margaret - (1966)
  • The Signaller - (1966)
  • The White Boat - (1966)
  • Brother John - (1966)
  • Lords and Ladies - (1966)
  • Corfe Gate - (1966)
  • Coda (Pavane) - (1968)

Ash: A Secret History

The Book of Ash

Mary Gentle

There is more than one history of the world...

In the mid-fifteenth century there was Burgundy, the jewel of Europe-opulent and powerful, the undisputed center of an uncivilized world.

In an epoch of war and madness there was Ash. A girl born in mud and dung, she slew her first men while only eight. Scarred and ravaged, but still beautiful, she rose up to lead a great mercenary army before the age of twenty-and followed a sacred voice wise in the bloody ways of battle to a pinnacle unattainable to even the most potent of legends.

In a time when empires and alliances shifted like sand-when Mithras the bull was worshipped freely alongside the Christ-a great cloud arose out of Africa to darken the sun. The Visigoths came with their terrible machines-powered by magic or a science unknown to this day-and aimed their irresistible might toward the rich Burgundian prize, wrenching the wheel of civilization in an unknown and unexpected direction. And with their coming, one incomparable warrior raised on Destiny's ash heap became more that anyone thought one woman could ever be.

Note: The contents of this novel was also separately published in four parts as A Secret History / Carthage Ascendant / The Wild Machines / Lost Burgundy.

My Real Children

Jo Walton

It's 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. "Confused today," read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know--what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don't seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.

Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War--those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?

Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history; each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. Jo Walton's My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan's lives... and of how every life means the entire world.?

A Gathering of Shadows

A Darker Shade of Magic: Book 2

V. E. Schwab

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games-an extravagent international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries-a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again-and so to keep magic's balance, another London must fall.

The Plot Against America

Philip Roth

When the renowned aviation hero and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh defeated Franklin Roosevelt by a landslide in the 1940 presidential election, fear invaded every Jewish household in America. Not only had Lindbergh, in a nationwide radio address, publicly blamed the Jews for selfishly pushing America toward a pointless war with Nazi Germany, but upon taking office as the thirty-third president of the United States, he negotiated a cordial "understanding" with Adolf Hitler, whose conquest of Europe and virulent anti-Semitic policies he appeared to accept without difficulty. What then followed in America is the historical setting for this startling new book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Philip Roth, who recounts what it was like for his Newark family -- and for a million such families all over the country -- during the menacing years of the Lindbergh presidency, when American citizens who happened to be Jews had every reason to expect the worst.

The Eyre Affair

Thursday Next: Book 1

Jasper Fforde

In Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career. Fforde's ingenious fantasy-enhanced by a Web site that re-creates the world of the novel--unites intrigue with English literature in a delightfully witty mix.

Control Point

Shadow Ops: Book 1

Myke Cole

Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer.

Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the dead, and set everything they touch ablaze. Army officer Oscar Britton sees the worst of it. A lieutenant attached to the military's Supernatural Operations Corps, his mission is to bring order to a world gone mad. Then he abruptly manifests a rare and prohibited magical power, transforming him overnight from government agent to public enemy number one.

The SOC knows how to handle this kind of situation: hunt him down--and take him out. Driven into an underground shadow world, Britton is about to learn that magic has changed all the rules he's ever known, and that his life isn't the only thing he's fighting for.

A Princess of Roumania

A Princess of Roumania: Book 1

Paul Park

This is a truly magical tale, full of strangeness, terrors and wonders. Many girls daydream that they are really a princess adopted by commoners. In the case of teenager Miranda Popescu, this is literally true. Because she is at the fulcrum of a deadly political battle between conjurers in an alternate world where "Roumania" is a leading European power, Miranda was hidden by her aunt in our world, where she was adopted and raised in a quiet Massachusetts college town.

The narrative is split between our world and the people in Roumania working to protect or to capture Miranda: her Aunt Aegypta Schenck versus the mad Baroness Ceaucescu in Bucharest, and the sinister alchemist, the Elector of Ratisbon, who holds her true mother prisoner in Germany. This is the story of how Miranda -- with her two best friends, Peter and Andromeda -- is brought back to her home reality. Each of them is changed in the process and all will have much to learn about their true identities and the strange world they find themselves in.

This story is a triumph of contemporary fantasy.

Alvin Journeyman

The Tales of Alvin Maker: Book 4

Orson Scott Card

Alvin is a Maker, the first to be born in a century.

Now a grown man and a journeyman smith, Alvin has returned to his family in the town of Vigor Church. He will share in their isolation, work as a blacksmith, and try to teach anyone who wishes to learn the knack of being a Maker. For Alvin has had a vision of the Crystal City he will build, and he knows that he cannot build it alone.

But he has left behind in Hatrack River enemies as well as true friends. His ancient foe, the Unmaker, whose cruel whispers and deadly plots have threatened Alvin's life at every turn, has found new hands to do his work of destruction.

How Few Remain

Harry Turtledove

From the master of alternate history comes an epic of the Second Civil War. It was an epoch of glory and success, of disaster and despair. Twenty years after the South won the Civil War, America writhed once more in the bloody throes of battle. Furious over the annexation of key Mexican territory, the United States declared total war against the Confederate States of America. And so, in 1883, the fragile peace was shattered.

But this was a new kind of war, fought on a lawless frontier where the blue and gray battled not only each other, but the Apache, the outlaw, and even the redcoat. Along with France, England entered the fray on the side of the South, with blockades and invasions from Canada.

Out of this tragic struggle emerged figures great and small. The disgraced Abraham Lincoln crisscrossed the nation championing socialist ideals. Confederate cavalry leader Jeb Stuart sought to prevent wholesale slaughter in the desert Southwest, while cocky young Theodore Roosevelt and stodgy George Custer bickered over modern weapons--even as they drove the British back into western Canada.

Thanks to the efforts of journalists like Samuel Clemens, the nation witnessed the clash of human dreams and passions. Confederate genius Stonewall Jackson again soared to the heights of military expertise, while the North's McClellan proved sadly undeserving of his once shining reputation as the "young Napoleon." For in the Second War Between the States, the times, the stakes, and the battle lines had changed... and so would history.

Once again, Harry Turtledove has created a thoroughly engrossing alternate history novel, a profoundly original epic of blood and honor, courage and sacrifice, set amidst the raw beauty of young America's frontier wilderness.

The Only Harmless Great Thing

Brooke Bolander

Nebula-winning and Hugo, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Sturgeon, and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated Novelette

In the early years of the 20th century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time, an Indian elephant was deliberately put to death by electricity in Coney Island.

These are the facts.

Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and injustice crying out to be righted. Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey that crosses eras, chronicling histories of cruelty both grand and petty in search of meaning and justice.

This novelette is included in the anthology The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year: Volume Thirteen (2019), edited by Jonathan Strahan.

The Last Days of New Paris

China Miéville

A thriller of war that never was--of survival in an impossible city--of surreal cataclysm. In The Last Days of New Paris, China Miéville entwines true historical events and people with his daring, uniquely imaginative brand of fiction, reconfiguring history and art into something new.

"Beauty will be convulsive...."

1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseille, American engineer--and occult disciple--Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist André Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever.

1950. A lone Surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts--and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse.

But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties--to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself.

A Midsummer Tempest

Poul Anderson

Suppose every event in history had at least two causes...and led to and from a separate universe in space and time. Then there would be an infinity of alternate worlds. Imagine a world in which every word written by Shakespeare was literally true. A world in which Prince Rupert of the Rhine could fight to save Charles I of England and escape the Puritans by hopping a railroad locomotive, on the right track but 200 years before its time. A world in which an aging Caliban could pace the lonely shore, yearning for the return of his lost love, Miranda. And where all these universes, and more, intersected, there lay a tavern where infinite possibilities met---if only for a night!