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Goth: 2nd Edition - Expanded

Otsuichi

Morino is the strangest girl in school--how could she not be, given her obsession with brutal murders? And there are plenty of murders to grow obsessed with, as the town in which she lives is a magnet for serial killers. She and her schoolmate will go to any length to investigate the murders, even putting their own bodies on the line. And they don't want to stop the killers--Morino and her friend simply want to understand them.

This new edition contains the bonus novelette "Morino's Souvenir Photo."

Goth: A Novel of Horror

Otsuichi

The novel contains a series of six short stories about two high school students: a boy who remains unnamed until late in the story, and a girl named Yoru Morino. Both share a similar interest in gruesome murders.

Goth (Dark Type) - Morino finds a diary written by a serial killer. It describes a third victim that has yet to be discovered, so she and the narrator go to look at it. Morino then begins dressing like the third victim, and a few days later, sends a text message to the narrator, which reads only, "Help."

Wristcut (The Wristcut Incident) - Flashback to before Morino and the narrator were friends. After finding a doll with no hands in the science lab garbage can, the narrator breaks into the science teacher's house, convinced he has been the one cutting hands off people of all ages in the city. He then steals the teacher's hand collection, and plants evidence to suggest Morino was the one who stole them - because he wants Morino's hand, and the scar from when she cut her wrist.

Dog (Dog) - The narrator investigates a series of dog kidnappings after his sister discovers a pit filled with their bodies. A young girl and her pet dog have been plotting to defend themselves against her mother's abusive boyfriend.

Twins (Memories) - Morino has been having trouble sleeping, and is looking for a rope to put around her neck - the right rope will help her sleep. At the narrator's urging, she tells the story of how she and her twin sister, Yu, often pretended to be dead...until Yu accidentally hanged herself.

Grave (Soil) - Saeki spends all his free time gardening, digging holes to try to control his obsession with burying people alive. He's already given in once, and killed a young neighbor boy, drowning him in his coffin. Now he's snatched a high school girl off the street - according to her ID, her name is Yoru Morino.

Voice (Voice) - Natsumi's older sister was recently found chopped to pieces in an abandoned hospital. A few weeks later, a mysterious high school boy gives Natsumi a tape - a message from her sister, recorded just before she was murdered. If she wants the rest, she will have to come to the hospital, and allow him to murder her.

The Heart Goes Last

Margaret Atwood

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around--and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in... for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their "civilian" homes.

At first, this doesn't seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one's head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan's life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.

The Wasp Factory

Iain M. Banks

"Two years after I killed Blyth, I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different reasons and more fundamental reasons than I'd disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did my young cousin Esmeralda, more or less on a whim. That's my score to date. Three. I haven't killed anybody for years, and don't intend to ever again. It was just a stage I was going through."

Dead Lines: A Novel of Life… After Death

Greg Bear

For the last two years, Peter Russell has mourned the death of one of his twin daughters--who was just ten when she was murdered. Recent news of his best friend's fatal heart attack has now come as another devastating blow. Divorced, despondent, and going nowhere in his career, Peter fears his life is circling the drain. Then Trans comes along. The brainchild of an upstart telecom company, Trans is (as its name suggests) a transcendent marvel: a sleek, handheld interpersonal communication device capable of flawless operation anywhere in the world, at any time. "A cell phone, but not"--transmitting with crystal clarity across a newly discovered, never-utilized bandwidth... and poised to spark a new-technology revolution. When its creators offer Peter a position on their team, it should be a golden opportunity for him. If only he wasn't seemingly going mad.

Everywhere Peter turns, inexplicable apparitions are walking before him or reaching out in torment. After a chilling encounter with his own lost child he begins to grasp the terrifying truth: Trans is a Pandora's box that has tapped into a frequency not of this world... but of the next. And now, via this open channel to oblivion, the dead have gained access to the living. For Peter, and for humankind, a long, shadowy night of the soul has descended, bringing with it the stuff of a horrifying nightmare from which they may never awaken.

The Shining Girls

Lauren Beukes

The Time Traveler's Wife meets The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in this story of a time-traveling serial killer who is impossible to trace--until one of his victims survives.

In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back.

Working with an ex-homicide reporter who is falling for her, Kirby has to unravel an impossible mystery.

THE SHINING GIRLS is a masterful twist on the classic serial killer tale: a violent quantum leap featuring a memorable and appealing girl in pursuit of a deadly criminal.

Arctic Rising

Tobias S. Buckell

Global warming has transformed the Earth, and it's about to get even hotter. The Arctic Ice Cap has all but melted, and the international community is racing desperately to claim the massive amounts of oil beneath the newly accessible ocean.

Enter the Gaia Corporation. Its two founders have come up with a plan to roll back global warming. Thousands of tiny mirrors floating in the air can create a giant sunshade, capable of redirecting heat and cooling the earth's surface. They plan to terraform Earth to save it from itself-but in doing so, they have created a superweapon the likes of which the world has never seen.

Anika Duncan is an airship pilot for the underfunded United Nations Polar Guard. She's intent on capturing a smuggled nuclear weapon that has made it into the Polar Circle and bringing the smugglers to justice.

Anika finds herself caught up in a plot by a cabal of military agencies and corporations who want Gaia Corporation stopped. But when Gaia Corp loses control of their superweapon, it will be Anika who has to decide the future of the world. The nuclear weapon she has risked her life to find is the only thing that can stop the floating sunshade after it falls into the wrong hands.

Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Selena Chambers

"...although Mary and these poets experienced a lifetime before they were thirty, here I was at 28, having never left my homeland. I needed to flee -- go forth and find sublimity. What better guide than Frankenstein."

Six years ago, Selena Chambers turned her first major trip abroad into a literary scavenger hunt of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Visiting Geneva, Switzerland, Ingolstadt, Germany, and Chamonix, France over a series of several days, she found within the nooks and crannies of these modern European towns the residual Romanticism that inspired the teenage Mary Shelley and shaped her most famous novel.

This special limited edition chapbook collects this Best of the Net-nominated travelogue to commemorate the bicentennial of Frankenstein's conception during the week of June 16, 1816. Written in the epistolary vein as Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, these letters portray Chambers' visits to three of the most important sites within literature and take us all on a journey through the sublime.

Table of Contents:

The Troop

Nick Cutter

Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip--a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder stumbles upon their campsite--shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry--Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. A horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival with no escape from the elements, the infected... or one another.

Part Lord of the Flies, part 28 Days Later--and all-consuming--this tightly written, edge-of-your-seat thriller takes you deep into the heart of darkness, where fear feeds on sanity... and terror hungers for more.

White Noise

Don DeLillo

Jack Gladney teaches Hitler studies at a liberal arts college in Middle America where his colleagues include New York expatriates who want to immerse themselves in "American magic and dread." Jack and his fourth wife, Babette, bound by their love, fear of death, and four ultramodern offspring, navigate the usual rocky passages of family life to the background babble of brand-name consumerism.

Then a lethal black chemical cloud floats over their lives, an "airborne toxic event" unleashed by an industrial accident. The menacing cloud is a more urgent and visible version of the "white noise" engulfing the Gladney family - radio transmissions, sirens, microwaves, ultrasonic appliances, and TV murmerings - pulsing with life, yet heralding the danger of death.

The Walk

Dennis Etchison

"The Walk," by Dennis Etchison, is a neat little horror story about the dog eat dog world of Hollywood in which a director and writer have very different ideas of how their collaboration should proceed.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

The Gemini Effect

Chuck Grossart

A single raindrop opens a Pandora's box when the spawn of perverse genetic research performed during World War II is unleashed on an unsuspecting modern world. By dawn, only a dead city remains, eerily quiet and still, except for mutant beasts that hide from the light, multiply, and await the shadows of night to continue their relentless advance.

Ordered to investigate the unfolding crisis, biowarfare specialist Carolyn Ridenour barely escapes the creatures' nocturnal onslaught, saved in the nick of time by Colonel Garrett Hoffman, who lost hundreds of his troops to a swarm that neither bombs nor bullets can stop.

As Carolyn and Garrett race to stop the plague, a battered and broken government prepares to release the fury of America's nuclear arsenal on its own soil and its own citizens.

Hellstrom's Hive

Frank Herbert

First published in 1973, Frank Herbert's vivid imagination and brilliant view of nature and ecology have never been more evident than in this classic of science fiction. America is a police state, and it is about to be threatened by the most hellish enemy in the world: insects. When the Agency discovered that Dr Hellstroms Project 40 was a cover for a secret laboratory, a special team of agents was immediately dispatched to discover its true purpose and its weaknesses - it could not be allowed to continue. What they discovered was a nightmare more horrific and hideous than even their paranoid government minds could devise.

Where the Trains Turn

Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

World Fantasy-nominated Novella

I don't like to think about the past. But I cannot stop remembering my son.

Emma Nightingale prefers to remain grounded in reality as much as possible. Yet she's willing to indulge her nine year-old son Rupert's fascination with trains, as it brings him closer to his father, Gunnar, from whom she is separated. Once a month, Gunnar and Rupert venture out to follow the rails and watch the trains pass. Their trips have been pleasant, if uneventful, until one afternoon Rupert returns in tears. "The train tried to kill us," he tells her.

Rupert's terror strikes Emma as merely the product of an overactive imagination. After all, his fears could not be based in reality, could they?

Published here for the first time in English, "Where the Trains Turn" won first prize in the Finnish science-fiction magazine Portti's annual short story competition and then went on to win the Atorox Award for best Finnish science fiction or fantasy short story. Anthologized in Paula Guran's The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas 2015.

Read this story online for free at Tor.com.

Born of the Sea

Victor Kelleher

Victor Kelleher's Born of the Sea is both a sequel to, and a correction of, its parent text, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein". It is the autobiographical narrative of Madeleine Sauvage, the 'bride' Frankenstein began to produce for his monster, before abandoning his work and discarding its unfinished parts into the sea. In this version, she wasn't destroyed and her parts are not left lying on the bottom of the sea; instead, she goes out in search of her creator.

Inspired by the following quote from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:

"The remains of the half-finished creature... lay scattered on the floor, and I... put them into a basket, with a great quantity of stones, and... determined to throw them into the sea that very night..."

Horns

Joe Hill

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more-he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look-a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge. . . . It’s time the devil had his due. . . .

NOS4A2

Joe Hill

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it's across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls "Christmasland."

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble-and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx's unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He's on the road again and he's picked up a new passenger: Vic's own son.

Exclusive to the print editions of NOS4A2 are more than 15 illustrations by award-winning Locke & Key artist Gabriel Rodríguez.

Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales

Stephen King

The first collection of stories Stephen King has published since Nightmares & Dreamscapes nine years ago, Everything's Eventual includes one O. Henry Prize winner, two other award winners, four stories published by The New Yorker, and "Riding the Bullet," King's original e-book, which attracted over half a million online readers and became the most famous short story of the decade.

"Riding the Bullet," published here on paper for the first time, is the story of Alan Parker, who's hitchhiking to see his dying mother but takes the wrong ride, farther than he ever intended. In "Lunch at the Gotham Café," a sparring couple's contentious lunch turns very, very bloody when the maître d' gets out of sorts. "1408," the audio story in print for the first time, is about a successful writer whose specialty is "Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Graveyards" or "Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Houses," and though Room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel doesn't kill him, he won't be writing about ghosts anymore. And in "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French," terror is déjà vu at 16,000 feet.

Whether writing about encounters with the dead, the near dead, or about the mundane dreads of life, from quitting smoking to yard sales, Stephen King is at the top of his form in the fourteen dark tales assembled in Everything's Eventual. Intense, eerie, and instantly com-pelling, they announce the stunningly fertile imagination of perhaps the greatest storyteller of our time.

Table of Contents:

  • "Autopsy Room Four"
  • "The Man in the Black Suit"
  • "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away"
  • "The Death of Jack Hamilton"
  • "In the Deathroom"
  • "The Little Sisters of Eluria"
  • "Everything's Eventual"
  • "L. T.'s Theory of Pets"
  • "The Road Virus Heads North"
  • "Lunch at the Gotham Café"
  • "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French"
  • "1408"
  • "Riding the Bullet"
  • "Luckey Quarter

The Colorado Kid

Stephen King

On an island off the coast of Maine, a man is found dead. There's no identification on the body. Only the dogged work of a pair of local newspapermen and a graduate student in forensics turns up any clues.
But that's just the beginning of the mystery. Because the more they learn about the man and the baffling circumstances of his death, the less they understand. Was it an impossible crime? Or something stranger still...?
No one but Stephen King could tell this story about the darkness at the heart of the unknown and our compulsion to investigate the unexplained. With echoes of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon and the work of Graham Greene, one of the world's great storytellers presents a surprising tale that explores the nature of mystery itself...

The Mark of the Beast

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was a major figure of English literature, who used the full power and intensity of his imagination and his writing ability in his excursions into fantasy.

Kipling, one of England's greatest writers, was born in Bombay. He was educated in England, but returned to India in 1882. He began writing fantasy and supernatural stories set in his native continent, such as 'The Phantom Rickshaw' and 'The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes', and his most famous weird story is 'The Mark of the Beast' (1890), about a man cursed to transform into a were-leopard.

This Masterwork, edited by Stephen Jones, Britain's most accomplished and acclaimed anthologist, collects all Kipling's weird fiction for the first time; the stories range from traditional ghostly tales to psychological horror.

Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness is a short novel by Polish novelist Joseph Conrad, written as a frame narrative, about Charles Marlow's experience as an ivory transporter down the Congo River in Central Africa.

The river is "a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land". In the course of his travel in central Africa, Marlow becomes obsessed with Mr. Kurtz.

The story is a complex exploration of the attitudes people hold on what constitutes a barbarian versus a civilized society and the attitudes on colonialism and racism that were part and parcel of European imperialism.

Originally published as a three-part serial story, in Blackwood's Magazine, the novella Heart of Darkness has been variously published and translated into many languages. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Heart of Darkness as the sixty-seventh of the hundred best novels in English of the twentieth century.

Dr. Rat

William Kotzwinkle

There has never been a rat like Doctor Rat, PHD. Frenzied survivor of medicine's most vicious experiments; brilliant eunuch; insane prophet of progress through genocide.

Savage Season

Joe R. Lansdale

A rip-roaring, high-octane, Texas-sized thriller, featuring two friends, one vixen, a crew of washed-up radicals, loads of money, and bloody mayhem.

Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are best friends, yet they couldn't be more different. Hap is an east Texas white-boy with a weakness for Texas women. Leonard is a gay, black Vietnam vet. Together, they steer up more commotion than a fire storm. But that's just the way they like it. So when an ex-flame of Hap's returns promising a huge score. Hap lets Leonard in on the scam, and that's when things get interesting.

Chockfull of action and laughs, Savage Season is the masterpiece of dark suspense that introduced Hap and Leonard to the thriller scene. It hasn't been the same since.

The Boys from Brazil

Ira Levin

The classic thriller of Dr. Josef Mengele's nightmarish plot to restore the Third Reich.

Alive and hiding in South America, the fiendish Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele gathers a group of former colleagues for a horrifying project--the creation of the Fourth Reich. Barry Kohler, a young investigative journalist, gets wind of the project and informs famed Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman, but before he can relay the evidence, Kohler is killed.

Thus Ira Levin opens one of the strangest and most masterful novels of his career. Why has Mengele marked a number of harmless aging men for murder? What is the hidden link that binds them? What interest can they possibly hold for their killers: six former SS men dispatched from South America by the most wanted Nazi still alive, the notorious "Angel of Death"? One man alone must answer these questions and stop the killings--Lieberman, himself aging and thought by some to be losing his grip on reality.

H.P. Lovecraft Goes to the Movies

H. P. Lovecraft

With more than 100 movies based on his writing, H.P. Lovecraft ranks among the most adapted authors in history--along with Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King. His unnervingly scary tales appeal to both diehard fans of horror and readers with mainstream tastes, and H.P. Lovecraft Goes to the Movies presents the very best of his filmed stories. Additionally, this unique collection provides an enlightening historical introduction, short headnotes for each story calling out interesting trivia, and an appendix with credits for each screen version.

THE STORIES INCLUDE:

  • "The Colour out of Space": filmed twice, once as a vehicle for Boris Karloff called Die, Monster, Die!
  • "The Dunwich Horror," also filmed two times, once with Dean Stockwell "Pickman's Model" and "Cool Air": both for Rod Serling's Night Gallery TV program
  • "The Call of Cthulhu," which laid the foundation for the Cthulhu Mythos

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

H. P. Lovecraft

A nameless terror surges through centuries to engulf the soul of Charles Dexter Ward, a brilliant New England antiquarian. Evil spirits, malefic gods whose memory lives on in whispered legends and fear-stricken superstitions, still lurk in vile catacombs beneath the surface of a blighted land. Ward is driven to unleash these loathsome horrors upon a defenceless world, possessed by the demonic shade of his ancestor Joseph Curwen, a warlock steeped in the blackest arts of magic. Now Ward too must master these obscene rituals, and pay the price in blood. Human blood.

The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward remains the only full-length work of fiction by HP Lovecraft, the master of 20th century horror. It has inspired such classic horror films as Roger Corman's The Haunted Palace and Lucio Fulci's The Beyond.

Asura Girl

Otaro Maijo

Seventeen-year-old Aiko lives a life of casual sex and casual violence, though at heart she remains a schoolgirl with an unrequited crush on her old classmate Yoji Kaneko. Life is about to get harder for Aiko, as a recent fling, Sano, has been kidnapped, and the serial killer Guru-Guri Majin (Round-and-Round Devil) has begun slaughtering children. The youth are rioting in the streets, egged on by the underground Internet bulletin board known as Ten-no Koe, the Voice from Heaven. Expecting that Yoji will come and save her from the madness, Aiko posts a demand for her own murder on Ten-no-Koe, but will she be left waiting... or worse?

Sandkings

George R. R. Martin

Hugo, Nebula and Locus Award winning novelette.

When Simon Kress returned to his home planet of Baldur from an offworld business trip, he was amused to find that his tank of Earth piranhas had cannibalized themselves into extinction, and of the two exotic animals that roamed his estate, only one remained. Now, in search of some new pets to satisfy his cruel pursuit of amusement, Simon finds a new shop in the city where he is intrigued by a new lifeform he has never heard of before ... a collection of multi-colored sandkings. The curator explains that the insect-like animals, no larger than Simon's fingernails, are not insects, but animals with a highly-evolved hive intelligence capable of staging wars between the different colors, and even religion--in the form of worship of their owner. The curator's warning to Simon about the regularity of their feeding, unfortunately, was not taken seriously....

The story originally appeared in Omni, August 1979 and has been reprinted many times. There is a comic adaptation and the story served as the basis for an episode of the horror series Outer Limits. It can be found in the anthologies:

It is included in the collections Sandkings (1981), Songs the Dead Men Sing (1983) and GRRM: A RRetrospective (2003).

Ladies' Night

Jack Ketchum

New York City. A Hot summer evening.

A tanker on an unscheduled run lies like a huge cracked egg in the middle of Broadway, its unidentified spill spread wide across the street.

Its smell is cloyingly sweet. And it's everywhere

Night now, and Tom Braun is sitting in his neighborhood bar.

His wife and his boy are at home in their apartment just a few blocks away.

He's had yet another fight with her and is looking to steady his nerves and drown his sorrows and maybe-- if he's lucky--snaga little something on the side. It's happened before.

Earlier he'd witnesses a girl go suddenly and violently berserk at a rooftop party in his highrise apartment building. He assumed it was nothing but a bizarre isolated incident.

But the women in the bar are very strange tonight.

The Girl Next Door

Jack Ketchum

Suburbia. Shady, tree-lined streets, well-tended lawns and cozy homes. A nice, quiet place to grow up. Unless you are teenage Meg or her crippled sister, Susan. On a dead-end street, in the dark damp basement of the Chandler house, Meg and Susan are left captive to the savage whims and rages of a distant aunt who is rapidly descending into madness. It is a madness that infects all three of her sons and finally the entire neighborhood. Only one troubled boy stands hesitantly between Meg and Susan and their, cruel, torturous deaths. A boy with a very adult decision to make.

The Savage Dead

Joe McKinney

It starts in a laboratory. A man-made strain of flesh-eating virus. Created by a power-hungry cartel. Capable of turning victims into brain-dead carnivores. Smuggled aboard a cruise ship that's about to set sail...One by one, the passengers are exposed. A U.S. senator. A young couple. An undercover agent. A beautiful assassin. Some will be infected. Others will survive. But no one will be spared if the outbreak isn't contained - and the dead outnumber the living...

Enter Delta Force operative Juan Perez. He's fought the deadliest killers in the darkest hellholes on earth. But he's never seen anything like this - an apocalyptic cargo of pure zombie mayhem heading for the coast. If Perez and his SEAL team can't stop it, America, and quickly the entire population of the world, are finished. The plague years will begin...

Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories

China Miéville

A highly anticipated collection of short fiction listed in the Guardian's 'Essential Literary Calendar' for 2015 from one of the most exciting and original authors writing today.

The multi-award-winning China Miéville has been called 'the equal of David Mitchell or Zadie Smith' (Scotland on Sunday), whose 'inventiveness and precision is awesome' (Independent), and who writes with 'an imagination of immense power' (Guardian). In this extraordinary series of stories, defying definitions and literary stereotyping, he once again proves why he 'is one of the most interesting and promising writers to appear in the last few years in any genre' (Carlos Ruiz Zafon).

In these stories, glistening icebergs float above urban horizons; a burning stag runs wild through the city; the ruins of industry emerge unsteadily from the sea; and the abandoned generations in a decayed space-elevator look not up at the stars but down at the Earth. Ranging from portraits of childhood to chilling ghost stories, from dystopian visions to poignant evocations of uncanny love, with beautiful prose and melancholy wit, this breath-taking collection poses searching questions of what it is to be human in an unquiet world. It is a humane and unsentimental investigation of our society, our world, and ourselves.

Table of Contents:

  • Three Moments of an Explosion
  • Polynia
  • The Condition of New Death
  • The Dowager of Bees
  • In The Slopes
  • The Crawl
  • Watching God
  • The 9th Technique
  • The Rope is the World
  • The Buzzard's Egg
  • Säcken
  • Syllabus
  • Dreaded Outcome
  • After the Festival
  • The Dusty Hat
  • Escapee
  • The Bastard Prompt
  • Rules
  • Estate
  • Keep
  • A Second Slice Manifesto
  • Covehithe
  • The Junket
  • Four Final Orpheuses
  • The Rabbet
  • Listen The Birds
  • A Mount
  • The Design

Voice of the Fire

Alan Moore

In a story full of lust, madness, and ecstasy, we meet twelve distinctive characters that lived in the same region of central England over the span of six thousand years. Their narratives are woven together in patterns of recurring events, strange traditions, and uncanny visions. First, a cave-boy loses his mother, falls in love, and learns a deadly lesson. He is followed by an extraordinary cast of characters: a murderess who impersonates her victim, a fisherman who believes he has become a different species, a Roman emissary who realizes the bitter truth about the Empire, a crippled nun who is healed miraculously by a disturbing apparition, an old crusader whose faith is destroyed by witnessing the ultimate relic, two witches, lovers, who burn at the stake. Each interconnected tale traces a path in a journey of discovery of the secrets of the land. In the tradition of Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill, Schwob's Imaginary Lives, and Borges' A Universal History of Infamy, Alan Moore (Watchmen, From Hell, Lost Girls) travels through history blending truth and conjecture, in a novel that is dazzling, moving, sometimes tragic, but always mesmerizing.

Shambling Towards Hiroshima

James Morrow

Hugo- and Nebula-nominated Novella, Sturgeon Award winner

It is the early summer of 1945, and war reigns in the Pacific Rim with no end in sight. Back in the States, Hollywood B-movie star Syms Thorley lives in a very different world, starring as the Frankenstein-like Corpuscula and Kha-Ton-Ra, the living mummy. But the U.S. Navy has a new role waiting for Thorley, the role of a lifetime that he could never have imagined.

The top secret Knickerbocker Project is putting the finishing touches on the ultimate biological weapon: a breed of gigantic, fire-breathing, mutant iguanas engineered to stomp and burn cities on the Japanese mainland. The Navy calls upon Thorley to don a rubber suit and become the merciless Gorgantis and to star in a live drama that simulates the destruction of a miniature Japanese metropolis. If the demonstration succeeds, the Japanese will surrender, and many thousands of lives will be spared; if it fails, the horrible mutant lizards will be unleashed. One thing is certain: Syms Thorley must now give the most terrifyingly convincing performance of his life.

In the dual traditions of Godzilla as a playful monster and a symbol of the dawn of the nuclear era, Shambling Towards Hiroshima unexpectedly blends the destruction of World War II with the halcyon pleasure of monster movies.

Haunted

Chuck Palahniuk

Haunted is a novel made up of twenty-three horrifying, hilarious, and stomach-churning stories. They're told by people who have answered an ad for a writer's retreat and unwittingly joined a "Survivor"-like scenario where the host withholds heat, power, and food. As the storytellers grow more desperate, their tales become more extreme, and they ruthlessly plot to make themselves the hero of the reality show that will surely be made from their plight. This is one of the most disturbing and outrageous books you'll ever read, one that could only come from the mind of Chuck Palahniuk.

A Plague of Pythons

Frederik Pohl

The pythons had entered into Mankind. No man knew at what moment he might be Possessed!

On Christmas the world's freedom died. Every man, woman and child lay in the grip of fear, for no one knew at what moment his nearest friend or a casual stranger might suddenly be possessed by some brutal mind... and begin to murder and destroy. For Chandler it was worse than for most. He was both victim and executioner. He had suffered himself, and he had committed a violent crime while under the strange domination. Accusing of hoaxing he was driven from his home. He wandered the world and found it smashed like a spoiled child's plaything?now Chandler was in the very presence of the destroyers! But what could one person do against such power -- the power of gods!

Blind Voices

Tom Reamy

"It was a time of pause, a time between planting and harvest when the air was heavy, humming with its own slow warm music."

So begins an extraordinary fantasy of the rural Midwest by a winner of the John W. Campbell, Jr., Award for best young science fiction writer.

One summer day in the 1920s, Haverstock's Traveling Curiosus and Wondershow rides into a small Midwestern town. Haverstock's show is a presentation of mysterious wonders: feats of magic, strange creatures, and frightening powers.

Three teenage girls attend the opening performance that evening which, for each, promises love and threatens death. The three girls are drawn to the show and its performers-a lusty centaur, Angel the magical albino boy, the rowdy stage hands-but frightened by the enigmatic owner, Haverstock. The girls at first try to dismiss these marvels as trickery, but it becomes all too real, too vivid to be other than nightmare reality.

Each feels the force of the show and its power to alter everyday lives: Francine is drawn embarrassingly to the centaur, Rose makes an assignation with one of the hands and gets in trouble, and Evelyn is fascinated by the pathetic, mysterious Angel, The Boy Who Can Fly, and together they plan escape.

The Great Zoo Of China

Matthew Reilly

It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years. They have proven the existence of dragons--a landmark discovery no one could ever believe is real, and a scientific revelation that will amaze the world. Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing findings within the greatest zoo ever constructed.

A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see these fabulous creatures for the first time. Among them is Dr. Cassandra Jane "CJ" Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles. The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that the dragons are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong.

Of course it can't...

Torment

Jeremy Robinson

Note: listed under his pen-name Jeremy Bishop.

Jeremy Bishop's first pulse-pounding novel is a horrific tale of post-apocalyptic terror that is one part zombie story and one part Dante's Inferno. The story asks hard questions and generates strong emotions in everyone who reads it--anger, excitement, and most of all: FEAR. This book asks the question that everyone is afraid to answer: Are you ready?

STORY DESCRIPTION:

Small town reporter, Mia Durante, finds herself having brunch with the President of the United States on the day civilization comes to an end. An electromagnetic pulse blinds the U.S. Cars crash. Planes fall. Chaos reigns. Power is restored within minutes, but it's already too late. Russian nukes are falling. U.S. allies around the world are all ready wiped out. The United States will cease to exist inside of five minutes.

After giving the order to launch a full-scale retaliation, dooming the planet, the president, White House staff, Secret Service and those lucky enough to be visiting the white house, are whisked below ground where they board several Earth Escape Pods. As the EEPs launch into Earth orbit, missiles descend.

Less than forty survive the end of the world. When they return, they're greeted by survivors of a different sort. The bloodbath that follows leaves Durante and nine other survivors on the run. They find themselves fighting for survival in a world in which only torment remains and where death is the only escape.

Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus

Mary Shelley

At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of science student Victor Frankenstein, who is obsessed with "bestowing animation upon lifeless matter." Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by loneliness, the creature unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator.

Green Eyes

Lucius Shepard

Life the second time around is short, strange and terrifying to the awakened. One "zombie", victim of a bizarre scientific obsession, breaks away, leaving a trail of muder and miracle as he flees the Project and the horror his "life" has become.

Grasshopper Jungle

Andrew Smith

In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend, Robby, have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things. This is the truth. This is history. It's the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it. You know what I mean. Funny, intense, complex, and brave, Grasshopper Jungle brilliantly weaves together everything from testicle-dissolving genetically modified corn to the struggles of recession-era, small-town America in this groundbreaking coming-of-age stunner.

The Citadel of Fear

Francis Stevens

Two adventurers discover a lost city in the Mexican jungle. One is taken over by an evil god while the other falls in love with a woman from Tlapallan. Back in the states, the possessed man begins to use magic to mutate civilians. The other walks away, but the pair must duel in the end.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson

Bubbling potions can be bad for your health!Just ask Dr. Jekyll.By day, he's a kind doctor.But by night, he's the merciless kill Mr. Hyde.And all because of a magic formula.Will anybody find out the horrible secret of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

Specimen 313

Jeff Strand

This is the story of story of a meat-eating plant named Max and his mad doctor keeper. Eating humans is nice, but after a while it starts to get old. However, with the arrival of a new female neighbor, Max's malaise may finally be over...

This story was originally published in the Christopher Golden anthology The Monster's Corner: Stories Through Inhuman Eyes (2011).

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Floating Dragon

Peter Straub

The terrors afflicting the sleepy town of Hampstead, Connecticut, were beyond imagination. Sparrows dropping dead from the trees like rotten fruit, disfiguring diseases spreading like wildfire, inexplicable murders and child drownings shattering the lives of the citizens - never can such a list of horrors have afflicted one town. But the evil madness had a long history. A catastrophe had struck Hampstead every thirty years since its foundation 300 years before - yet only Graham Williams, a writer and descendant of one of the original founders, had looked into the 'black summers' and their mysterious origins. When he discovers that descendants of the three other original settlers are back living in the town, he knows it will be the blackest summer yet...

Join

Steve Toutonghi

What if you could live multiple lives simultaneously, have constant, perfect companionship, and never die? That's the promise of Join, a revolutionary technology that allows small groups of minds to unite, forming a single consciousness that experiences the world through multiple bodies. But as two best friends discover, the light of that miracle may be blinding the world to its horrors.

Chance and Leap are jolted out of their professional routines by a terrifying stranger -- a remorseless killer who freely manipulates the networks that regulate life in the post-Join world. Their quest for answers -- and survival -- brings them from the networks and spire communities they've known to the scarred heart of an environmentally ravaged North American continent and an underground community of the "ferals" left behind by the rush of technology.

The Island of Dr. Moreau

H. G. Wells

Dr. Moreau, a scientist expelled from his homeland for cruel experiments, finds a deserted island where he can create hideous creatures with manlike intelligence. But as the rigid order on Moreau's island dissolves, the consequences of his experiments emerge-and his creations revert to beasts more shocking than nature could devise.

Wall, Stone, Craft

Walter Jon Williams

An alternative-history classic nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards!

Young Mary Godwin has run away with the married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, but a chance encounter places them in the path of Lord Byron, the Hero of Waterloo. Byron wants Mary, and is willing to use Mary's young, reckless sister Claire as a pawn in his heartless schemes. Exactly how heartless, and how audacious is only revealed on a storm-tossed lake in Switzerland, a tragic encounter that produces not only an alternate history, but an alternate literary monster, a new Frankenstein for a new world...

Amped

Daniel H. Wilson

Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. The New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse creates a stunning, near-future world where technology and humanity clash in surprising ways. The result? The perfect summer blockbuster.

As he did in Robopocalypse, Daniel Wilson masterfully envisions a frightening near-future world. In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities-and rights-of "amplified" humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, twenty-nine-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as "amps." Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world-or destroy it.

Once again, Daniel H. Wilson's background as a scientist serves him well in this technologically savvy thriller that delivers first-rate entertainment, as Wilson takes the "what if" question in entirely unexpected directions. Fans of Robopocalypseare sure to be delighted, and legions of new fans will want to get "amped" this summer.

Nod

Adrian Barnes

Dawn breaks over Vancouver and no-one in the world has slept the night before, or almost no-one. A few people, perhaps one in ten thousand can still sleep, and they've all had the same strange, golden dream. A handful of children still sleep as well, but what they're dreaming remains a mystery. After six days of absolute sleep deprivation, psychosis will set in. After four weeks, the body will die. In the interim, panic ensues and a bizarre new world arises in which those previously on the fringes of society take the lead. One couple experience a lifetime in a week as he continues to sleep , she begins to disintegrate before him, and the new world swallows the old one whole...NOD

Relic

Douglas Preston
Lincoln Child

Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human...

But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.

Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who-or what-is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?

Prey

Michael Crichton

Prey is a novel by Michael Crichton based on a nano-robotic threat to human-kind, first published in hardcover in November 2002 and as a paperback in November 2003 by HarperCollins. Like Jurassic Park, the novel serves as a cautionary tale about developments in science and technology; in this case, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. The book features relatively new advances in the computing/scientific community, such as artificial life, emergence (and by extension, complexity), genetic algorithms, and agent-based computing.

The Andromeda Strain

Michael Crichton

The United States government stands warned that sterilization procedures for returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. When a probe satellite falls to the earth two years later, and lands in a desolate area of northeastern Arizona, the bodies that lie heaped and flung across the ground, have faces locked in frozen surprise. The terror has begun.

The Stepford Wives

Ira Levin

Something strange is happening in the town of Stepford where the men spend their nights doing something secret and the women act like every man's dream of a "perfect" wife. One young woman watches the dream turn into a nightmare which engulfs her best friend, and realizes that her turn is coming.

I Hunt Killers

Barry Lyga

It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field. Except for the body.

Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer, some might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, "Take Your Son to Work Day" was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminals' point of view.

And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod. Again.

In an effort to prove murder doesn't run in the family, Jazz joins the police in the hunt for this new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

From acclaimed author Barry Lyga comes a riveting thriller about a teenager trying to control his own destiny in the face of overwhelming odds.

The Postmortal / The End Specialist

Drew Magary

This book is published in the UK as The End Specialist and was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award under that title.

John Farrell is about to get "The Cure." Old age can never kill him now. The only problem is, everything else still can...

Imagine a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and-after much political and moral debate-made available to people worldwide. Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems-including evil green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors. Witty, eerie, and full of humanity, The Postmortal is an unforgettable thriller that envisions a pre-apocalyptic world so real that it is completely terrifying.

On the Beach

Nevil Shute

Nevil Shute’s most powerful novel—a bestseller for decades after its 1957 publication—is an unforgettable vision of a post-apocalyptic world.

After a nuclear World War III has destroyed most of the globe, the few remaining survivors in southern Australia await the radioactive cloud that is heading their way and bringing certain death to everyone in its path. Among them is an American submarine captain struggling to resist the knowledge that his wife and children in the United States must be dead. Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from somewhere near Seattle, and Captain Towers must lead his submarine crew on a bleak tour of the ruined world in a desperate search for signs of life.

Both terrifying and intensely moving, On the Beach is a remarkably convincing portrait of how ordinary people might face the most unimaginable nightmare.

The Machine

James Smythe

Haunting memories defined him. The machine took them away. She vowed to rebuild him. From the author of The Testimony comes a Frankenstein for the twenty-first century.

Beth lives alone on a desolate housing estate near the sea. She came here to rebuild her life following her husband’s return from the war. His memories haunted him but a machine promised salvation. It could record memories, preserving a life that existed before the nightmares.

Now the machines are gone. The government declared them too controversial, the side-effects too harmful. But within Beth’s flat is an ever-whirring black box. She knows that memories can be put back, that she can rebuild her husband piece by piece.

The Food of the Gods

H. G. Wells

Two stuffy English scientists, always looking to further their scientific knowledge, create a substance called Herakleophorbia, which in its fourth incarnation – known as Herakleophorbia IV – has the special ability of making things increase greatly in size. As the scientists begin experimentation on some chicks, the substance is misused by some “country folk” who don’t take it seriously and soon Herakleophorbia IV is running rampant throughout England and then across the globe, creating giant plants and animals that wreak havoc on the land and then the people. Then the first giant babies are revealed and for the first time humanity has to contend with the existence of a new race of giant people. How humanity deals with this shocking new creation is revealed in The Food of the Gods and How it Came to Earth.

The Alienist

Alienist: Book 1

Caleb Carr

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.

The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler's intellect and Moore's knowledge of New York's vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology-- amassing a psychological profile of the man they're looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over.

Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian's exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society's belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences.

The Angel of Darkness

Alienist: Book 2

Caleb Carr

In The Angel of Darkness, Caleb Carr brings back the vivid world of his bestselling The Alienist but with a twist: this story is told by the former street urchin Stevie Taggert, whose rough life has given him wisdom beyond his years. Thus New York City, and the groundbreaking alienist Dr. Kreizler himself, are seen anew.

It is June 1897. A year has passed since Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in forensic psychiatry, tracked down the brutal serial killer John Beecham with the help of a team of trusted companions and a revolutionary application of the principles of his discipline. Kreizler and his friends--high-living crime reporter John Schuyler Moore; indomitable, derringer-toting Sara Howard; the brilliant (and bickering) detective brothers Marcus and Lucius Isaacson; powerful and compassionate Cyrus Montrose; and Stevie Taggert, the boy Kreizler saved from a life of street crime--have returned to their former pursuits and tried to forget the horror of the Beecham case. But when the distraught wife of a Spanish diplomat begs Sara's aid, the team reunites to help find her kidnapped infant daughter. It is a case fraught with danger, since Spain and the United States are on the verge of war. Their investigation leads the team to a shocking suspect: a woman who appears to the world to be a heroic nurse and a loving mother, but who may in reality be a ruthless murderer of children.

Bending the Landscape: Horror

Bending the Landscape: Book 3

Stephen Pagel
Nicola Griffith

Bending the Landscape: Horror brings together a tantalizing slew of truly horrifying tales guaranteed to provoke, entertain, and inspire fear in even the most seasoned horror aficionado. World-renowned fantasy author Nicola Griffith and fantasy publisher Stephen Pagel have compiled an exciting array of never-before-published stories, from both talented newcomers and award-winning genre veterans.

In Kraig Blackwelder's "Coyote Love," a man wakes up in a stranger's bed, not knowing how he got there, after a drunken night out. Terror ensues as the reader is shown just how far a person is willing to go to deny reality. In "The WereSlut of Avenue A," Leslie What shows us that change is not always a good thing, as we witness what may or not be a transformation into something inhuman. These stories, written by writers both gay and straight, incite fear and spur thought, transporting the reader into realms of shock and dread.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - (2001) - essay by Nicola Griffith and Stephen Pagel
  • Coyote Love - (2001) - shortstory by Kraig Blackwelder
  • Explanations Are Clear - (2001) - novelette by L. Timmel Duchamp
  • What Are You Afraid Of? - (2001) - shortstory by Simon Sheppard
  • The Lost Homeland - (2001) - novelette by Cynthia Ward
  • The Man Who Picks the Chamomile - (2001) - shortstory by Mark McLaughlin
  • Love on a Stick - (2001) - novelette by Carrie Richerson
  • Triangle - (2001) - shortstory by Ellen Klages
  • Memorabilia - (2001) - novelette by Holly Wade Matter
  • Blood Requiem - (1995) - shortstory by Gary Bowen
  • In the Days Still Left - (2001) - novelette by Brian A. Hopkins and James Van Pelt
  • Broken Canes - (2001) - shortstory by Alexi Smart
  • Keep the Faith - (2001) - shortstory by A. J. Potter
  • The WereSlut of Avenue A - (2001) - shortstory by Leslie What
  • Kindred - (2001) - novelette by Alexis Glynn Latner
  • 'Til Death - (2001) - shortstory by Barbara Hambly
  • If I Could See Lazarus Rising - (2001) - novelette by Kathleen O'Malley
  • The Waltz of the Epileptic Penguins - (2001) - shortstory by Keith Hartman
  • Passing - (2001) - novelette by Mark W. Tiedemann

Koko

Blue Rose: Book 1

Peter Straub

'KOKO ' Only four men knew what it meant. Vietnam vets. One was a doctor. One was a lawyer. One was a working stiff. One was a writer. All were as different as men could be - yet all were bound eternally together by a single shattering secret. And now they are joined together again on a quest that could take them from the graveyards and fleshpots of the Far East to the human jungle of New York, hunting an inhuman ghost of the past risen from nightmare darkness to kill and kill...

Last Book of Lost Swords: Shieldbreaker's Story

Book of Lost Swords: Book 8

Fred Saberhagen

Fred Saberhagen brings his immensely popular Swords Series to a thrilling conclusion in the tale of Shieldbreaker -- the Sword of Force, against which there is no defense.

Long ago, the gods forged Twelve Swords of Power and threw them on the gameboard of life to watch men scramble. But they forged too well; the Swords could kill the gods themselves.

Now, ages later, the Swords are as powerful as ever -- and still coveted by good and evil men alike. Some have been lost again, and some destroyed. Prince Mark of Tasavalta holds five Swords: Woundhealer, Stonecutter, Dragonslicer, Sightblinder, and the greatest of them all, Shieldbreaker -- the Sword of Force against which no enemy can stand. With their help, he has ruled peacefully, protecting his people from all dangers.

A year ago, Prince Mark defeated Vilkata, the dark King, who sought to gain the swords by force. Mark exiled Vilkata beyond the boundaries of the world, where not even Vilkata's horde of demons should have been able to find an escape for the mad sorcerer.

But the Dark King has overcome all barriers and returned to seek revenge. With him he brings Mindsword, the Sword of Glory -- with the power to compel obedience from all who come within its range.

The Dark King's timing is perfect: Prince Mark is in a far corner of his kingdom, defending his people against a dragon. Vilkata finds the castle almost undefended, the ultimate power of the Swords almost in his grasp. Between him and the Sword vault stands only one small warrior: Prince Mark's son, Prince Stephen, armed with Shieldbreaker, Sword of Swords. But how can a fourteen-year-old boy, no matter how well armed, resist the evil power of the Dark King -- especially with the Mindsword in Vilkata's hand?

Seventy Seven Clocks: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

Bryant & May: Book 3

Christopher Fowler

A mysterious stranger in outlandish Edwardian garb defaces a Pre-Raphaelite painting in the National Gallery. Then a guest at the exclusive Savoy Hotel is fatally bitten by a marshland snake. Over the next several days, an outbreak of increasingly bizarre crimes will hit London-and, fittingly, come to the attention of the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Art vandalism, an exploding suspect, pornography, rat poison, Gilbert and Sullivan musicals, secret societies... and not a single suspect in sight. The killer they're chasing has a dark history, a habit of staying hidden, and time itself on his side. Detectives May and Bryant are racing the clock and this time the bell may be tolling for them.

Ten Second Staircase: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

Bryant & May: Book 4

Christopher Fowler

It's a crime tailor-made for the Peculiar Crimes Unit: a controversial artist is murdered and displayed as part of her own outrageous installation. No suspects, no motive, no evidence-but this time they do have an eyewitness. A twelve-year-old claims the killer was a cape-clad highwayman atop a black stallion. Whoever the killer really is, he seems intent on killing off enough minor celebrities to become one himself. As "Highwayman Fever" grips London, Bryant and May, along with the newest member of the Unit, May's agoraphobic granddaughter, April, find themselves sorting out a case involving artistic rivalries, sleazy sex affairs, the Knights Templars, feuding street gangs, and a decades-old crime spree that split up their partnership once before-and threatens to end it again... with murder.

The Rook

Checquy: Book 1

Daniel O'Malley

Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization and this person wants her dead.

As Myfanwy battles to save herself, she encounters a person with four bodies, a woman who can enter her dreams, children transformed into deadly fighters, and an unimaginably vast conspiracy.

Suspenseful and hilarious, THE ROOK is an outrageously inventive debut for readers who like their espionage with a dollop of purple slime.

Stiletto

Checquy: Book 2

Daniel O'Malley

In this spirited sequel to the acclaimed The Rook, Myfanwy Thomas returns to clinch an alliance between deadly rivals and avert epic -- and slimy -- supernatural war.

When secret organizations are forced to merge after years of enmity and bloodshed, only one person has the fearsome powers---and the bureaucratic finesse---to get the job done. Facing her greatest challenge yet, Rook Myfanwy Thomas must broker a deal between two bitter adversaries:

The Checquy---the centuries-old covert British organization that protects society from supernatural threats, and...

The Grafters---a centuries-old supernatural threat.

But as bizarre attacks sweep London, threatening to sabotage negotiations, old hatreds flare. Surrounded by spies, only the Rook and two women who absolutely hate each other, can seek out the culprits before they trigger a devastating otherworldly war.

Colossus

Colossus: Book 1

D. F. Jones

Charles Forbin has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the construction of his own supercomputer, Colossus, rejecting romantic and social endeavours in order to create the United States' very first Artificially Intelligent defence system.

Colossus is a supercomputer capable of in-taking and analyzing data rapidly, allowing it to make real time decisions about the nation's defense.

But Colossus soon exceeds even Forbin's calculated expectations, learning to think independently of the Colossus Programming Office, processing data over one hundred times faster than Forbin and his team had originally anticipated.

The President hands off full control of the nation's missiles and other defense protocols to Colossus and makes the announcement to the world that he has ensured peace.

However, the USSR quickly announces that it too has a supercomputer, Guardian, with capabilities similar to that of Colossus.

Forbin is concerned when Colossus asks--asks--to communicate with Guardian. The computer he built shouldn't be able to ask at all...

Colossus and Guardian begin to communicate, quickly bypassing existing knowledge ... and the parameters placed on them by their creators. They are perfectly smart and totally in control. However, they lack human empathy and emotion, creating horrific scenarios.

Colossus and its Russian counterpart, Guardian, soon compromise US military secrecy, ultimately subjugating their creators with the threat of nuclear war.

And while Colossus has been specifically designed not to understand emotion - so as to make quicker and more logical decisions about America's safety - this is exactly the thing that makes him so lethal; Colossus does not experience human empathy and is incapable of understanding the moral ramifications of his decisions.

Having handed over total control of American defence missiles to Colossus, the President and Forbin must act quickly to shut down the unstable machine.

Will Forbin be able to take down the machine he's spent ten years building?

Will Colossus cause real damage before it's too late?

Find out in D.F. Jones's thrilling novel Colossus, which deals with the ongoing battle - both physical and philosophical - between man and machine, addresses the author's own apprehensive attitude towards our future. His message is still as poignant and moving today and when the novel was originally published in 1966.

Again, Dangerous Visions

Dangerous Visions: Book 2

Harlan Ellison

The classic companion to the most essential science fiction anthology ever published. 46 original stories edited with introductions by Harlan Ellison. Featuring: John Heidenry / Ross Rocklynne / Ursula K. Le Guin / Andrew J. Offutt / Gene Wolfe / Ray Nelson / Ray Bradbury / Chad Oliver / Edward Bryant / Kate Wilhelm / James B. Hemesath / Joanna Russ / Kurt Vonnegut / T. L. Sherred / K. M. O'Donnell (Barry N. Malzberg) / H. H. Hollis / Bernard Wolfe / David Gerrold / Piers Anthony / Lee Hoffman / Gahan Wilson / Joan Bernott / Gregory Benford / Evelyn Lief / James Sallis / Josephine Saxton / Ken McCullough / David Kerr / Burt K. Filer / Richard Hill / Leonard Tushnet / Ben Bova / Dean R. Koontz / James Blish and Judith Ann Lawrence / A. Parra (y Figueredo) / Thomas M. Disch / Richard A. Lupoff / M. John Harrison / Robin Scott / Andrew Weiner / Terry Carr / James Tiptree, Jr.

Table of Contents:

  • An Assault of New Dreamers - (1972) - essay by Harlan Ellison
  • The Counterpoint of View - (1972) - shortstory by John Heidenry
  • Ching Witch! - (1972) - shortstory by Ross Rocklynne
  • The Word for World Is Forest - (1972) - novella by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • For Value Received - (1972) - shortstory by Andrew J. Offutt
  • Mathoms from the Time Closet - (1972) - shortfiction by Gene Wolfe
  • Robot's Story - (1972) - shortstory by Gene Wolfe
  • Against the Lafayette Escadrille - (1972) - shortstory by Gene Wolfe
  • Loco Parentis - (1972) - shortstory by Gene Wolfe
  • Time Travel for Pedestrians - (1972) - shortstory by Ray Nelson
  • Christ, Old Student in a New School - (1972) - poem by Ray Bradbury
  • King of the Hill - (1972) - shortstory by Chad Oliver
  • The 10:00 Report is Brought to You By... - (1972) - shortstory by Edward Bryant
  • The Funeral - (1972) - novelette by Kate Wilhelm
  • Harry the Hare - (1972) - shortstory by James B. Hemesath
  • When It Changed - (1972) - shortstory by Joanna Russ
  • The Big Space Fuck - (1972) - shortstory by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • Bounty - (1972) - shortstory by T. L. Sherred
  • Still-Life - (1972) - shortstory by Barry N. Malzberg
  • Stoned Counsel - (1972) - shortstory by H. H. Hollis
  • Monitored Dreams and Strategic Cremations - (1972) - shortfiction by Bernard Wolfe
  • The Bisquit Position - (1972) - shortstory by Bernard Wolfe
  • The Girl With Rapid Eye Movements - (1972) - shortstory by Bernard Wolfe
  • With a Finger in My I - (1972) - shortstory by David Gerrold
  • In the Barn - (1972) - novelette by Piers Anthony
  • Soundless Evening - (1972) - shortstory by Lee Hoffman
  • * - (1972) - shortstory by Gahan Wilson
  • The Test-Tube Creature, Afterward - (1972) - shortstory by Joan Bernott
  • And the Sea Like Mirrors - (1972) - shortstory by Gregory Benford
  • Bed Sheets Are White - (1972) - shortstory by Evelyn Lief
  • Tissue - (1972) - shortfiction by James Sallis
  • Elouise and the Doctors of the Planet Pergamon - (1972) - shortstory by Josephine Saxton
  • Chuck Berry, Won't You Please Come Home? - (1972) - shortstory by Ken McCullough
  • Epiphany for Aliens - (1972) - shortstory by David Kerr
  • Eye of the Beholder - (1972) - shortstory by Burt K. Filer
  • Moth Race - (1972) - shortstory by Richard Hill
  • In re Glover - (1972) - shortstory by Leonard Tushnet
  • Zero Gee - (1972) - novelette by Ben Bova
  • A Mouse in the Walls of the Global Village - (1972) - shortstory by Dean R. Koontz
  • Getting Along - (1972) - novelette by James Blish and J. A. Lawrence
  • Totenbüch - (1972) - shortstory by Parra y Figuéredo
  • Things Lost - (1972) - shortstory by Thomas M. Disch
  • With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama - (1972) - novella by Richard A. Lupoff
  • Lamia Mutable - (1972) - shortstory by M. John Harrison
  • Last Train to Kankakee - (1972) - shortstory by Robin Scott Wilson
  • Empire of the Sun - (1972) - shortstory by Andrew Weiner
  • Ozymandias - (1972) - shortstory by Terry Carr
  • The Milk of Paradise - (1972) - shortstory by James Tiptree, Jr.
  • Ed Emshwiller - (1972) - essay by Anonymous

Off Season

Dead River: Book 1

Jack Ketchum

A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River, during the off season; awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall. This novel appears for the first time in its original unexpurgated of the authors vision. The original publisher refused to publish it in this version in 1980. Now available only in this edition with an introduction by Douglas E. Winter.

The Dying Earth

Dying Earth: Book 1

Jack Vance

The stories included in The Dying Earth introduce dozens of seekers of wisdom and beauty, lovely lost women, wizards of every shade of eccentricity with their runic amulets and spells. We meet the melancholy deodands, who feed on human flesh and the twk-men, who ride dragonflies and trade information for salt. There are monsters and demons. Each being is morally ambiguous: The evil are charming, the good are dangerous. All are at home in Vance's lyrically described fantastic landscapes like Embelyon where, "The sky [was] a mesh of vast ripples and cross-ripples and these refracted a thousand shafts of colored light, rays which in mid-air wove wondrous laces, rainbow nets, in all the jewel hues...." The dying Earth itself is otherworldly: "A dark blue sky, an ancient sun.... Nothing of Earth was raw or harsh-the ground, the trees, the rock ledge protruding from the meadow; all these had been worked upon, smoothed, aged, mellowed. The light from the sun, though dim, was rich and invested every object of the land ... with a sense of lore and ancient recollection." Welcome.

alternate title: Mazirian the Magician

Red Dragon

Hannibal Lecter: Book 1

Thomas Harris

A quiet summer night...a neat suburban house...and another innocent, happy family is shattered - the latest victims of a grisly series of hideous sacrificial killings that no one understands, and no one can stop. Nobody lives to tell of the unimaginable carnage. Only the blood-stained walls bear witness.

All hope rests on Special Agent Will Graham, who must peer inside the killer's tortured soul to understand his rage, to anticipate and prevent his next vicious crime. Desperate for help, Graham finds himself locked in a deadly alliance with the brilliant Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the infamous mass murderer who Graham put in prison years ago.

As the imprisoned Lecter tightens the reins of revenge, Graham's feverish pursuit of the Red Dragon draws him inside the warped mind of a psychopath, into an unforgettable world of demonic ritual and violence, beyond the limits of human terror.

The Silence of the Lambs

Hannibal Lecter: Book 2

Thomas Harris

As part of the search for a serial murderer nicknames "Buffalo Bill," FBI trainee Clarice Starling is given an assignment. She must visit a man confined to a high-security facility for the criminally insane and interview him.

That man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of The Silence of the Lambs--an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.

Infernal Devices

Infernal Devices: Book 1

K. W. Jeter

HE INHERITED A WATCHMAKER'S STORE - AND A WHOLE HEAP OF TROUBLE. But idle sometime-musician George has little talent for clockwork. And when a shadowy figure tries to steal an old device from the premises, George finds himself embroiled in a mystery of time travel, music and sexual intrigue. A genuine lost classic, a steampunk original whose time has come.

Patient Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel

Joe Ledger: Book 1

Jonathan Maberry

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills. And that's both a good, and a bad thing. It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can't handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It's bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance....

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park: Book 1

Michael Crichton

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Creatures once extinct now roam Jurassic Park, soon-to-be opened as a theme park. Until something goes wrong...and science proves a dangerous toy.

The Lost World

Jurassic Park: Book 2

Michael Crichton

It is now six years since the secret disaster at Jurassic Park, six years since the extraordinary dream of science and imagination came to a crashing end--the dinosaurs destroyed, the park dismantled, the island indefinitely closed to the public. There are rumors that something has survived.

Fear Nothing

Moonlight Bay: Book 1

Dean Koontz

Christopher Snow is the best-known resident of 12,000-strong Moonlight Bay, California. This is because 28-year-old Chris has xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)--a light-sensitivity so severe that he cannot leave his house in daylight, cannot enter a normally-lit room, cannot sit at a computer. Chris's natural element is the night, and his parents, both academics, chose to live in Moonlight Bay because in a small town Chris can make the nightscape his own--roaming freely through the town on his bike, surfing in the moonlight, exploring while most people sleep.

But Chris's brilliant mother, a scientist, was killed in a car accident 2 years ago, and as the book opens his father, Steven Snow, is dying of cancer; Chris's protected life is about to change forever. We meet Chris as he is carefully preparing himself to go out in the late-afternoon sun to visit the hospital. In his last moments of life his father tells Chris he is "sorry" and that Chris should "fear nothing"--cryptic words that Chris cannot really relate to.

Steven Snow's body is removed to the hospital basement for transport to the funeral home/crematorium, and when Chris goes downstairs for a final moment of farewell, he witnesses a frightening and clandestine encounter: the funeral director and another man Chris doesn't recognize are substituting the body of a hitchhiker for Steven Snow's body–which is being taken not to the crematorium but to some secret destination.

For Chris, this scene is the first intimation of a conspiracy that he will come to realize envelopes many of his townspeople. His parents knew of it and wanted to protect Chris from it. His best friend has had hints of something wrong because of the frightening nocturnal visitors that have come to his beachhouse. And the first person to try to explain to Chris what's going on--and warn him about the special danger he himself is in--will be hideously murdered.

In the 24 hours this book encompasses, Christopher Snow will find out that, sheltered though he's been, he has the soul of a fighter and an adventurer. By the end of the book he will have killed a man, will have discovered the role his own mother played in the birth of the conspiracy, will have come to recognize the extraordinary guardians that, unknown to him, have watched over him for years. He will realize that some people hate him, others revere him, and neither his own life nor those of anyone he knows will ever be the same.

Deeply Odd

Odd Thomas: Book 6

Dean Koontz

How do you make sure a crime that hasn’t happened yet, never does? That’s the critical question facing Odd Thomas, the young man with a unique ability to commune with restless spirits and help them find justice and peace. But this time, it’s the living who desperately need Odd on their side. Three helpless innocents will be brutally executed unless Odd can intervene in time. Who the potential victims are and where they can be found remain a mystery. The only thing Odd knows for sure is who the killer will be: the homicidal stranger who tried to shoot him dead in a small-town parking lot.

With the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock riding shotgun and a network of unlikely allies providing help along the way, Odd embarks on an interstate game of cat and mouse with his sinister quarry. He will soon learn that his adversary possesses abilities that may surpass his own and operates in service to infinitely more formidable foes, with murder a mere prelude to much deeper designs. Traveling across a landscape haunted by portents of impending catastrophe, Odd will do what he must and go where his path leads him, drawing ever closer to the dark heart of his long journey—and, perhaps, to the bright light beyond.

Parasite

Parasitology: Book 1

Mira Grant

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives... and will do anything to get them.

Psycho

Psycho Series: Book 1

Robert Bloch

When the Bates Motel loomed up out of the storm, Mary Craine thought it was her salvation. The rooms were musty but clean, and the manager, Norman Bates, seemed like a nice enough fellow, if a little strange....

Then Mary met Norman's mother. And the butcher knife.

The nightmare had just begun....

Annihilation

Southern Reach Trilogy: Book 1

Jeff VanderMeer

If J.J. Abrams and Margaret Atwood collaborated on a novel, it might look something like ‘Annihilation’, the first in an extraordinary trilogy.

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilisation. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers – they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding – but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

The Wooden Sea

The Crane's View Trilogy: Book 3

Jonathan Carroll

From the moment a three-legged dog limps into the life of Police Chief Frannie McCabe and drops dead at his feet, McCabe finds himself in a new world of disturbing miracles. His small town of Crane's View, New York has long been a haven of harmony and comfort--but now he finds himself afflicted by the inexplicable, by omens that converge to throw his life into doubt. And what he does over the next few days may have consequences for the whole world....

The Detainee

The Detainee: Book 1

Peter Liney

When the fog comes down and the drums start to beat, the inhabitants of the island tremble: for the punishment satellites - which keep the tyrannical Wastelords at bay - are blind in the darkness, and the islanders become prey.

The inhabitants are the old, the sick, the poor: the detritus of Society, dumped on the island with the rest of Society's waste. There is no point trying to escape, for the satellites - the invisible eyes of the law - mete out instant judgement from the sky.

The island is the end of all hope - until 'Big Guy' Clancy finds a blind woman living in a secret underground warren, and discovers a reason to fight.

The Twelve

The Passage: Book 2

Justin Cronin

At the end of The Passage, the great viral plague had left a small group of survivors clinging to life amidst a world transformed into a nightmare. In the second volume of this epic trilogy, this same group of survivors, led by the mysterious, charismatic Amy, go on the attack, leading an insurrection against the virals: the first offensives of the Second Viral War.

To do this, they must infiltrate a dozen hives, each presided over by one of the original Twelve. Their secret weapon: Alicia, transformed at the end of book one into a half human, half viral—but whose side, in the end, is she really on?

Empire of Salt

Tomes of the Dead: Book 9

Weston Ochse

A DREAD TIDE!

The Olivers have a chance to make a new home by the Salton Sea. Looking forward to Californian fun, sun and adventure they are unprepared for the ecological devastation they find. The sea is rotting, the town of Bombay Beach is dying and the citizens are like bait, waiting to be plucked from their homes by what comes from the sea. For just off the coast something lies in wait, a government secret gone wrong, a deadly experiment that has created a breed of zombie like no other. Beware the coming of the green, the townsfolk say. Beware the coming of the night!

The Last Town

Wayward Pines: Book 3

Blake Crouch

Welcome to Wayward Pines, the last town.

Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrived in Wayward Pines, Idaho, three weeks ago. In this town, people are told who to marry, where to live, where to work. Their children are taught that David Pilcher, the town's creator, is god. No one is allowed to leave; even asking questions can get you killed.

But Ethan has discovered the astonishing secret of what lies beyond the electrified fence that surrounds Wayward Pines and protects it from the terrifying world beyond. It is a secret that has the entire population completely under the control of a madman and his army of followers, a secret that is about to come storming through the fence to wipe out this last, fragile remnant of humanity.

White Horse

White Horse: Book 1

Alex Adams

White Horse is the first book in an absolutely unique debut trilogy--a post-apocalyptic thriller chronicling one woman's quest to nurture those she holds dear against the backdrop of a shocking, new world.

The world has ended, but her journey has just begun.

Thirty-year-old Zoe leads an ordinary life until the end of the world arrives. She is cleaning cages and floors at Pope Pharmaceuticals when the president of the United States announces that human beings are no longer a viable species. When Zoe realizes that everyone she loves is disappearing, she starts running. Scared and alone in a shockingly changed world, she embarks on a remarkable journey of survival and redemption. Along the way, Zoe comes to see that humans are defined not by their genetic code, but rather by their actions and choices. White Horse offers hope for a broken world, where love can lead to the most unexpected places.