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In an Absent Dream

Wayward Children: Book 4

Seanan McGuire

This is the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

For anyone...

Thud!

Discworld: Book 34

Terry Pratchett

Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch admits he may not be the sharpest knife in the cutlery drawer -- he might not even be a spoon. But he's dogged and honest and he'll be damned if he lets anyone disturb his city's always-tentative peace -- and that includes a rabble-rousing dwarf from the sticks (or deep beneath them) who's been stirring up big trouble on the eve of the anniversary of one of Discworld's most infamous historical events.

Centuries earlier, in a gods-forsaken hellhole called Koom Valley, a horde of trolls met a division of dwarfs in bloody combat. Though nobody's quite sure why they fought or who actually won, hundreds of years on each species still bears the cultural scars, and one views the other with simmering animosity and distrust. Lately, an influential dwarf, Grag Hamcrusher, has been fomenting unrest among Ankh-Morpork's more diminutive citizens with incendiary speeches. And it doesn't help matters when the pint-size provocateur is discovered beaten to death... with a troll club lying conveniently nearby.

Vimes knows the well-being of his smoldering city depends on his ability to solve the Hamcrusher homicide without delay. (Vimes's secondmost-pressing responsibility, in fact, next to being home every evening at six sharp to read Where's My Cow? to Young Sam.) Whatever it takes to unstick this very sticky situation, Vimes will do it -- even tolerate having a vampire in the Watch. But there's more than one corpse waiting for him in the eerie, summoning darkness of the vast, labyrinthine mine network the dwarfs have been excavating in secret beneath Ankh-Morpork's streets. A deadly puzzle is pulling Sam Vimes deep into the muck and mire of superstition, hatred, and fear -- and perhaps all the way to Koom Valley itself.

The Drawing of the Three

The Dark Tower: Book 2

Stephen King

The Man in Black is dead, and Roland is about to be hurled into 20th-century America, occupying the mind of a man running cocaine on the New York/Bermuda shuttle. A brilliant work of dark fantasy inspired by Browning's romantic poem, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came."

V For Vendetta

Alan Moore
David Lloyd

A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V FOR VENDETTA takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet.

In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts. It's a gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.

Farthing

Small Change: Book 1

Jo Walton

One summer weekend in 1949-but not our 1949-the well-connected "Farthing set", a group of upper-crust English families, enjoy a country retreat. Lucy is a minor daughter in one of those families; her parents were both leading figures in the group that overthrew Churchill and negotiated peace with Herr Hitler eight years before.

Despite her parents' evident disapproval, Lucy is married-happily-to a London Jew. It was therefore quite a surprise to Lucy when she and her husband David found themselves invited to the retreat. It's even more startling when, on the retreat's first night, a major politician of the Farthing set is found gruesomely murdered, with abundant signs that the killing was ritualistic.

It quickly becomes clear to Lucy that she and David were brought to the retreat in order to pin the murder on him. Major political machinations are at stake, including an initiative in Parliament, supported by the Farthing set, to limit the right to vote to university graduates. But whoever's behind the murder, and the frame-up, didn't reckon on the principal investigator from Scotland Yard being a man with very private reasons for sympathizing with outcasts - and looking beyond the obvious.

As the trap slowly shuts on Lucy and David, they begin to see a way out-a way fraught with peril in a darkening world.

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...

The Shepherd's Crown

Discworld: Book 41

Terry Pratchett

A SHIVERING OF WORLDS

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.

This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.

As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land.

There will be a reckoning...

THE FINAL DISCWORLD NOVEL

The City & the City

China Miéville

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Bes el, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger. Borlu must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other.

Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Castle: Book 1

Diana Wynne Jones

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

Lords and Ladies

Discworld: Book 14

Terry Pratchett

Although they may feature witches and wizards, vampires and dwarves, along with the occasional odd human, Terry Pratchett's bestselling Discworld novels are grounded firmly in the modern world. Taking humorous aim at all our foibles, each novel reveals our true character and nature.

It's a dreamy midsummer's night in the Kingdom of Lancre. But music and romance aren't the only things filling the air. Magic and mischief are afoot, threatening to spoil the royal wedding of King Verence and his favorite witch, Magrat Garlick. Invaded by some Fairie Trash, soon it won't be only champagne that's flowing through the streets ...

The Lathe of Heaven

Ursula K. Le Guin

In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George's dreams for his own purposes.

Finch

Ambergris: Book 3

Jeff VanderMeer

In Finch, mysterious underground inhabitants known as the gray caps have reconquered the failed fantasy state Ambergris and put it under martial law. They have disbanded House Hoegbotton and are controlling the human inhabitants with strange addictive drugs, internment in camps, and random acts of terror. The rebel resistance is scattered, and the gray caps are using human labor to build two strange towers.

Against this backdrop, John Finch, who lives alone with a cat and a lizard, must solve an impossible double murder for his gray cap masters while trying to make contact with the rebels. Nothing is as it seems as Finch and his disintegrating partner Wyte negotiate their way through a landscape of spies, rebels, and deception. Trapped by his job and the city, Finch is about to come face to face with a series of mysteries that will change him and Ambergris forever.

Dangerous Visions

Dangerous Visions: Book 1

Harlan Ellison

Anthologies seldom make history, but Dangerous Visions is a grand exception. Harlan Ellison's 1967 collection of science fiction stories set an almost impossibly high standard, as more than a half dozen of its stories won major awards - not surprising with a contributors list that reads like a who's who of 20th-century SF.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword 1-The Second Revolution - (1967) - essay by Isaac Asimov
  • Foreword 2-Harlan and I - (1967) - essay by Isaac Asimov
  • Thirty-Two Soothsayers - (1967) - essay by Harlan Ellison
  • Evensong - (1967) - shortstory by Lester del Rey
  • Flies - (1967) - shortstory by Robert Silverberg
  • The Day After the Day the Martians Came - (1967) - shortstory by Frederik Pohl
  • Riders of the Purple Wage - (1967) - novella by Philip José Farmer
  • The Malley System - (1967) - shortstory by Miriam Allen deFord
  • A Toy for Juliette - shortstory by Robert Bloch
  • The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World - novelette by Harlan Ellison
  • The Night That All Time Broke Out - (1967) - shortstory by Brian W. Aldiss
  • The Man Who Went to the Moon - Twice - (1967) - shortstory by Howard Rodman
  • Faith of Our Fathers - novelette by Philip K. Dick
  • The Jigsaw Man - (1967) - shortstory by Larry Niven
  • Gonna Roll the Bones - novelette by Fritz Leiber
  • Lord Randy, My Son - (1967) - shortstory by Joe L. Hensley
  • Eutopia - (1967) - novelette by Poul Anderson
  • Incident in Moderan - (1967) - shortstory by David R. Bunch
  • The Escaping - (1967) - shortstory by David R. Bunch
  • The Doll-House - (1967) - shortstory by James Cross
  • Sex and/or Mr. Morrison - shortstory by Carol Emshwiller
  • Shall the Dust Praise Thee? - (1967) - shortstory by Damon Knight
  • If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister? - (1967) - novella by Theodore Sturgeon
  • What Happened to Auguste Clarot? - (1967) - shortstory by Larry Eisenberg
  • Ersatz - (1967) - shortstory by Henry Slesar
  • Go, Go, Go, Said the Bird - (1967) - shortstory by Sonya Dorman
  • The Happy Breed - shortstory by John Sladek
  • Encounter with a Hick - (1967) - shortstory by Jonathan Brand
  • From the Government Printing Office - (1967) - shortstory by Kris Neville
  • Land of the Great Horses - shortstory by R. A. Lafferty
  • The Recognition - shortstory by J. G. Ballard
  • Judas - (1967) - shortstory by John Brunner
  • Test to Destruction - (1967) - novelette by Keith Laumer
  • Carcinoma Angels - (1967) - shortstory by Norman Spinrad
  • Auto-da-Fé - (1967) - shortstory by Roger Zelazny
  • Aye, and Gomorrah... - (1967) - shortstory by Samuel R. Delany

The Gunslinger

The Dark Tower: Book 1

Stephen King

In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.

King released a revised edition of The Gunslinger in 2003. In the introduction of the new edition, King states that he felt that the original version was 'dry' and difficult for new readers to access. He also made the storytelling more linear as well as making the plot of the book more consistent with the series' ending. Other changes were made in order to resolve continuity errors introduced by later volumes. The added material is about 35 pages in length.

Ombria in Shadow

Patricia A. McKillip

Ombria. It is a city that echoes with the footfalls of sapphire-heeled shoes that holds its breath as a straw-haired apparition glides through its streets that sees its dreams and nightmares take shape in the drawings of a bastard-heir. It is an enchanted time and place envisioned by World Fantasy Award winner Patricia A. McKillip, acclaimed author of The Tower at Stony Wood.

When Ombria's prince, Royce Greve, breathes his last in palace rooms high above the city he leaves his young son at the mercy of his ancient great-aunt, Domina Pearl a woman who has plotted her rise to power in Ombria for far too many years to allow a little boy to stand in her way. Already she has thrown Greve's pretty mistress out into the streets, where no one would expect her to live an hour. The boy will take her a little longer. Meanwhile, in a dreamlike underworld peopled by Ombria's ghosts, a sorceress weaves her spells and brews her potions, never revealing her real face or true heart. And somewhere in between, the struggle to rule the whole of Ombria both its light and shadows will rest in the hands of those whose fractured lives align like the lost pieces of a magical puzzle.

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

Philip K. Dick

On October 11 the television star Jason Taverner is so famous that 30 million viewers eagerly watch his prime-time show. On October 12 Jason Taverner is not a has-been but a never-was -- a man who has lost not only his audience but all proof of his existence. And in the claustrophobic betrayal state of Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, loss of proof is synonymous with loss of life.

Taverner races to solve the riddle of his disappearance", immerses us in a horribly plausible Philip K. Dick United States in which everyone -- from a waiflike forger of identity cards to a surgically altered pleasure -- informs on everyone else, a world in which omniscient police have something to hide. His bleakly beautiful novel bores into the deepest bedrock self and plants a stick of dynamite at its center.

The Adjacent

Dream Archipelago: Book 3

Christopher Priest

A photographer returns to a near-future Britain after the death of his wife in a terrorist incident in Afghanistan. And finds that Britain has, itself, been suffering terrorist attacks. But no-one knows quite what is happening or how. Just that there are similarities between what killed the photographer's wife and what happened in West London. Soon he is drawn into a hall of mirrors at the heart of government.

In the First World War a magician is asked to travel to the frontline to help a naval aerial reconnaissance unit hide its planes from the German guns. On the way to France he meets a certain H.G. Wells. In the Second World War on the airfields of Bomber Commands there is also an obsession with camouflage, with misdirection. With deceit.

And in a garden, an old man raises a conch shell to his ear and initiates the first Adjacency.

Cress

Lunar Chronicles: Book 3

Marissa Meyer

In this third book in Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she's being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she's just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she'd ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Gun, With Occasional Music

Jonathan Lethem

Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems-not the least of which are the rabbit in his waiting room and the trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is an ominous place where evolved animals function as members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage. In this brave new world, Metcalf has been shadowing the wife of an affluent doctor, perhaps falling a little in love with her at the same time. But when the doctor turns up dead, our amiable investigator finds himself caught in the crossfire in a futuristic world that is both funny-and not so funny.

Radio Free Albemuth

Philip K. Dick

In Radio Free Albemuth, his last novel, Philip K. Dick morphed and recombined themes that had informed his fiction from A Scanner Darkly to VALIS and produced a wild, impassioned work that reads like a visionary alternate history of the United States. Agonizingly suspenseful, darkly hilarious, and filled with enough conspiracy theories to thrill the most hardened paranoid, Radio Free Albemuth is proof of Dick's stature as our century's greatest science fiction writer.

The Stochastic Man

Robert Silverberg

Lew Nichols is in the business of stochastic prediction. A mixture of sophisticated analysis and inspired guesswork, it is the nearest man can get to predicting the future. And Nichols is very good at it. So good that he is soon indispensable to Paul Quinn, the ambitious and charismatic mayor of New York whose sights are firmly set on the presidency. But there is nothing paranormal about stochastic prediction: Nichols can't actually see the future. However, Martin Carvajal apparently can and he offers to help Nichols do so too. It's an offer Nichols can't resist, even though he can clearly see the devastating impact that knowing in advance every act of his life has on Carvajal. For Carvajal has even seen his own death.

Three Hearts and Three Lions

Poul Anderson

The gathering forces of the Dark Powers threaten the world of man. The legions of Faery, aided by trolls, demons and the Wild Hunt itself, are poised to overthrow the Realms of Light. Holger Carlsen, a bemused and puzzled twentieth-century man mysteriously snatched out of time, finds himself the key figure in the conflict. Arrayed against him are the dragons, giants and elven warriors of the armies of Chaos, and the beautiful sorceress Morgan le Fay.

On his side is a vague prophecy, a quarrelsome dwarf and a beautiful woman who can turn herself into a swan, not to mention Papillon, the magnificent battle-horse, and a full set of perfectly fitting armour, both of which were waiting for him when he entered the magical realm. The shield bears three hearts and three lions - the only clue to Holger Carlsen's true identity. Could Carlsen really be a legendary hero, the only man who can save the world?

Patchwerk

David Tallerman

Fleeing the city of New York on the TransContinental atmospheric transport vehicle, Dran Florrian is traveling with Palimpsest -- the ultimate proof of a lifetime of scientific theorizing.

When a rogue organization attempts to steal the device, however, Dran takes drastic action.

But his invention threatens to destroy the very fabric of this and all other possible universes, unless Dran -- or someone very much like him -- can shut down the machine and reverse the process.

The Female Man

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 56

Joanna Russ

It's influenced William Gibson and been listed as one of the ten essential works of science fiction. Most importantly, Joanna Russ's THE FEMALE MAN is a suspenseful, surprising and darkly witty chronicle of what happens when Jeannine, Janet, Joanna, and Jael--four alternate selves from drastically different realities--meet.