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Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr

John Crowley

From award-winning author John Crowley comes an exquisite fantasy novel about a man who tells the story of a crow named Dar Oakley and his impossible lives and deaths in the land of Ka.

A Crow alone is no Crow.

Dar Oakley--the first Crow in all of history with a name of his own--was born two thousand years ago. When a man learns his language, Dar finally gets the chance to tell his story. He begins his tale as a young man, and how he went down to the human underworld and got hold of the immortality meant for humans, long before Julius Caesar came into the Celtic lands; how he sailed West to America with the Irish monks searching for the Paradise of the Saints; and how he continuously went down into the land of the dead and returned. Through his adventures in Ka, the realm of Crows, and around the world, he found secrets that could change the humans' entire way of life--and now may be the time to finally reveal them.

A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth Ozeki

A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki--shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

"A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be."

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace--and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox--possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao's drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.

Full of Ozeki's signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

Good Omens

Neil Gaiman
Terry Pratchett

There is a distinct hint of Armageddon in the air. According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world's last two remaining witch-finders are getting ready to fight the good fight, armed with awkwardly antiquated instructions and stick pins. Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring.... Right. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan.

Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon -- each of whom has lived among Earth's mortals for many millennia and has grown rather fond of the lifestyle -- are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. If Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they've got to find and kill the Antichrist (which is a shame, as he's a really nice kid). There's just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him....

American Gods

American Gods: Book 1

Neil Gaiman

The storm was coming....

Shadow spent three years in prison, keeping his head down, doing his time. All he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and to stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his scheduled release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place.

On the plane ride home to the funeral, Shadow meets a grizzled man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A self-styled grifter and rogue, Wednesday offers Shadow a job. And Shadow, a man with nothing to lose, accepts.

But working for the enigmatic Wednesday is not without its price, and Shadow soon learns that his role in Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. Entangled in a world of secrets, he embarks on a wild road trip and encounters, among others, the murderous Czernobog, the impish Mr. Nancy, and the beautiful Easter -- all of whom seem to know more about Shadow than he himself does.

Shadow will learn that the past does not die, that everyone, including his late wife, had secrets, and that the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined.

All around them a storm of epic proportions threatens to break. Soon Shadow and Wednesday will be swept up into a conflict as old as humanity itself. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought -- and the prize is the very soul of America.

As unsettling as it is exhilarating, American Gods is a dark and kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an America at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. Magnificently told, this work of literary magic will haunt the reader far beyond the final page.

The Dispatcher

John Scalzi

One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone -- 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.

Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher -- a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death's crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death, and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge what they see as a wrong.

It's a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it's too late... before not even a Dispatcher can save him.

The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

The Valis Trilogy: Book 3

Philip K. Dick

The final book in Philip K. Dick's VALIS trilogy, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer brings the author's search for the identity and nature of God to a close. The novel follows Bishop Timothy Archer as he travels to Israel, ostensibly to examine ancient scrolls bearing the words of Christ. But, more importantly, this leads him to examine the decisions he made during his life and how they may have contributed to the suicide of his mistress and son.

This introspective book is one of Dick's most philosophical and literary, delving into the mysteries of religion and of faith itself. As one of Dick's final works, it also provides unique insight into the mind of a genius, whose work was still in the process of maturing at the time of his death.

Aloha from Hell

Sandman Slim: Book 3

Richard Kadrey

Supernatural fantasy's greatest anti-hero goes back to hell!

In Sandman Slim Stark came back from hell for revenge.

In Kill the Dead he tackled both a zombie plague and being Lucifer's bodyguard.

Once again all is not right in L.A. Lucifer is back in Heaven, God is on vacation, and an insane killer mounts a war against both Heaven and Hell.

Stark's got to head back down to his old stomping grounds in Hell to rescue his long lost love, stop an insane serial killer, prevent both Good and Evil from completely destroying each other, and stop the demonic Kissi from ruining the party for everyone.

Even for Sandman Slim, that's a tall order. And it's only the beginning.

The Satanic Verses

Salman Rushdie

One of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written, The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's best-known and most galvanizing book. Set in a modern world filled with both mayhem and miracles, the story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, The Satanic Verses is a key work of our times.

Kraken

China MiƩville

With this outrageous new novel, China Miéville has written one of the strangest, funniest, and flat-out scariest books you will read this--or any other--year. The London that comes to life in Kraken is a weird metropolis awash in secret currents of myth and magic, where criminals, police, cultists, and wizards are locked in a war to bring about--or prevent--the End of All Things.

In the Darwin Centre at London's Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centre's prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis dux--better known as the Giant Squid. But Billy's tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air.

As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizens--human and otherwise--are adept in magic and murder.

There is the Congregation of God Kraken, a sect of squid worshippers whose roots go back to the dawn of humanity--and beyond. There is the criminal mastermind known as the Tattoo, a merciless maniac inked onto the flesh of a hapless victim. There is the FSRC--the Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unit--a branch of London's finest that fights sorcery with sorcery. There is Wati, a spirit from ancient Egypt who leads a ragtag union of magical familiars. There are the Londonmancers, who read the future in the city's entrails. There is Grisamentum, London's greatest wizard, whose shadow lingers long after his death. And then there is Goss and Subby, an ageless old man and a cretinous boy who, together, constitute a terrifying--yet darkly charismatic--demonic duo.

All of them--and others--are in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.

The Cosmic Puppets

Philip K. Dick

This novel is a revised edition of A Glass of Darkness (1956). It originally appeared in Satellite Science Fiction, December 1956. It was included in Ace Double D-249 (1957).

Yielding to a compulsion he can't explain, Ted Barton interrupts his vacation in order to visit the town of his birth, Millgate, Virginia. But upon entering the sleepy, isolated little hamlet, Ted is distraught to find that the place bears no resemblance to the one he left behind-and never did. He also discovers that in this Millgate Ted Barton died of scarlet fever when he was nine years old. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that it is literally impossible to escape. Unable to leave, Ted struggles to find the reason for such disturbing incongruities, but before long, he finds himself in the midst of a struggle between good and evil that stretches far beyond the confines of the valley.

Winner of both the Hugo and John W. Campbell awards for best novel, widely regarded as the premiere science fiction writer of his day, and the object of cult-like adoration from his legions of fans, Philip K. Dick has come to be seen in a literary light that defies classification in much the same way as Borges and Calvino. With breathtaking insight, he utilizes vividly unfamiliar worlds to evoke the hauntingly and hilariously familiar in our society and ourselves.

On a Pale Horse

Incarnations of Immortality: Book 1

Piers Anthony

When Zane shot Death, he learned, too late, that he would have to assume his place, speeding over the world riding his pale horse, and ending the lives of others. Sooner than he would have thought possible, Zane found himself being drawn to Satan's plot. Already the Prince of Evil was forging a trap in which Zane must act to destroy Luna, the woman he loved...unless he could discover the only way out....

Kill the Dead

Sandman Slim: Book 2

Richard Kadrey

Death bites. Life is worse.

After eleven years of torment, James Stark, a.k.a. Sandman Slim, crawled out of Hell, took bloody revenge for his girlfriend's murder, and saved the world along the way. Now Lucifer himself comes to town to produce his autobiography, and an unstoppable zombie army menaces the City of Angels.

All things considered, Hell's not looking so bad.

Towing Jehovah

The Godhead Trilogy: Book 1

James Morrow

God is dead. "Died and fell into the sea." That's what Raphael, a despondent angel with luminous white wings and a blinking halo, tells Anthony Van Horne on his fiftieth birthday.

Soon Van Horne is charged with captaining the supertanker Carpo Valparaiso (flying the colors of the Vatican) as it tows the two-mile-long corpse through the Atlantic toward the Arctic, in order to preserve Hime from sharks and decomposition. Van Horne must also contend with ecological guilt, a militant girlfriend, an estranged father, sabotage both natural and spiritual, a crew on (and sometimes past) the brink of mutiny, and greedy huksters of oil, condoms, and doubtful ideas.

As he rings his wild, Vonnegutian changes on everything from male chauvinism to the Catholic Church, James Morrow once again proves himeself to be one of the premier satirists of our time while still managing to capture some of the beauty and sorrow of the world. With Towing Jehova, the Denver Post declared, Morrow "solidifies his position as Christianity's Salman Rushdie, only funnier and more sacrilegious."