Drink down the brew and dream of a better Earth.
Skyward Inn, within the high walls of the Western Protectorate, is a place of safety, where people come together to tell stories of the time before the war with Qita.
But safety from what? Qita surrendered without complaint when Earth invaded; Innkeepers Jem and Isley, veterans from either side, have regrets but few scars.
Their peace is disturbed when a visitor known to Isley comes to the Inn asking for help, bringing reminders of an unnerving past and triggering an uncertain future.
Did humanity really win the war?
This is Jamaica Inn by way of Jeff Vandermeer, Ursula Le Guin, Angela Carter and Michel Faber, a beautiful story of belonging, identity and regret.
Penelope Greensmith is a bio-librarian, responsible for a vast seed bank made possible by the mysterious Vice she inherited from her father.
She lives a small, dedicated life until the day the enigmatic and charming Horticulturalist arrives in her garden, asking to see her collection. He thinks it could hold the key to stopping a terrible plague sweeping the universe.
Soon Penelope is whisked away on an intergalactic adventure by the Horticulturalist, experiencing the vast and bizarre mysteries that lie among the stars.
But as this gentle woman searches for a way to save the universe, her daughter Lily is still on Earth, trying to track her down, and struggling to survive the terrible events unfolding there…
When people shed their skin every seven years, it’s just a fact of life that we will cast off our old attachments. And when our loves are part of us, those memories of love can be bought, if you know the right people.
Introducing the new drug, Suscutin, that will prevent the moult. Now you can keep your skin forever. Now you never need to change who you are.
But it’s not so simple for celebrity bodyguard Rose Allington, who suffers from a rare disease. Her moults come quickly, changing everything about her life, who she is, who she loves.
Meanwhile, her former client, superstar actor Max Black, is hooked on Suscutin, because he knows moulting could lose him everything. When one of his skins is stolen, and the theft is an inside job, he needs the best who ever worked for him on the job – even if she’s not the same person.
The Loosening Skin peels away the layers of these stories, exploring our definitions of love, sex and friendship, and what it means to love.
The Arrival of Missives is a genre-defying story of fate, free-will and the choices we make in life. In the aftermath of the Great War, Shirley Fearn dreams of challenging the conventions of rural England, where life is as predictable as the changing of the seasons.
The scarred veteran Mr. Tiller, left disfigured by an impossible accident on the battlefields of France, brings with him a message: part prophecy, part warning. Will it prevent her mastering her own destiny?
As the village prepares for the annual May Day celebrations, where a new queen will be crowned and the future will be reborn again, Shirley must choose: change or renewal?
Skein Island, a private refuge twelve miles off the coast, lies in turbulent waters. Few receive the invitation to stay for one week, free of charge. If you are chosen, you must pay for your stay with a story from your past; a Declaration for the Island’s vast library.
What happens to your Declaration after you leave the island is none of your concern.
From the monsters of Ancient Greece to the atrocities of World War II, from heroes to villains with their seers and sidekicks by their sides, Skein Island looks through the roles we play, and how they form and divide us. Powerful and disturbing, it is a story over which the characters will fight for control.
Until they realise the true enemy is the story itself.
Somewhere away from the cities and towns, a group of men and boys gather around the fire each night to listen to their stories in the Valley of the Rocks. For when the women are all gone the rest of your life is all there is for everyone. The men are waiting to pass into the night.
The story shall be told to preserve the past. History has gone back to its aural roots and the power of words is strong. Meet Nate, the storyteller, and the new secrets he brings back from the darkness. William rules the group with youth and strength, but how long can that last? And what about Uncle Ted, who spends so much time out in the woods?
Hear the tales, watch a myth be formed. For what can man hope to achieve in a world without women? When the past is only grief how long should you hold on to it? What secrets can the forest offer to change it all?
Discover the Beauty.
This is a bold and striking novella to shake up the New Weird and does contain strong imagery and events. The beautiful and the terrible exist side by side. Encompassing post-apocalyptic setting, science fiction and horror, this is a story you will never forget.
Prudence Green is a troubled woman. Stifled by her existence as an RAF wife, she’s dying for a bit of excitement. When one of the other women on the base commits suicide (having discovered that her husband is having an affair with a male comrade in Iraq), Pru and her best friend Lena are prompted to set off on a memorably surreal journey – a criminal investigation, a search for love and an exploration of Pru’s own dark past. The discontented pair escape the base and arrive in a blighted seaside town, Allcombe, determined to find out the truth behind the supposed suicide of one-time TV star Crystal Tynee. But as they explore the lawless town, Pru and Lena find that Allcombe hides more than one hideous secret.
Light Reading is a wickedly clever detective story and a pitch-black mystery, seething with grotesque and unforgettable characters, and concluding with a twist that will leave you breathless.
THREE THINGS ABOUT ME
Seven potential customer service representatives start their training course under the professional guidance of Rob Church. From the start, he is disillusioned with the quality of his latest batch of trainees, but ever the professional and an inveterate optimist, he plunges into his routine. His worst fears are confirmed. Each of his charges, with one exception, is a loser. As he works his way through the embarrassingly formulaic training set-pieces with never a doubt about the value of his corporate objectives, the awful reality of the appalling quality of the human material he has to work with becomes clear. From failed actress to religious puritan, from would-be pop star to tarty young temptress, none is the trainee of choice – except, perhaps, the apparently sophisticated Charlotte, professional lady to her fingertips and romantic and professional hope of the slick and be-suited Church. Perhaps – but perhaps not.
In parallel with the hilarious accounts of Church’s attempts to instil a corporate culture in the team, we are treated to funny and sometimes moving stories of the individuals’ private lives and their relationships with each other on and off the job.
MEAN MODE MEDIAN
Mean Mode Median revolves around a brother and sister who at times seem intimately close, but are also in fierce competition. They share similar talents – an ability to read and influence others. But they apply their talents in different ways: ways which are intrinsically opposed. And each is fated to suffer the consequences of their actions. Their family, and those whose lives they touch, are caught up in a chain of events manipulated by the pair that lead to unexpected and potentially tragic consequences.
Cutting insights into personality, power and humanity draw the reader along, tempting and teasing until the plot unfolds and the reader’s view expands with startling clarity. It is the kind of book that you look back on, remember, and savour the resonances of; that you think about long after you have put it down.