46 results 1-20

News from the Squares

Robert Llewellyn (Author)

In this eagerly-awaited sequel to News From Gardenia, Gavin Meckler is trying to get back to the present, but something is amiss. He soon realises he has travelled sideways through time to another possible future, as unlike Gardenia as our own era.

Arriving in a teeming megacity, Gavin discovers a highly technologically developed society in a vast urban landscape constructed around a seemingly endless series of squares dense with lush vegetation and trees.

Much of what Gavin sees is recognisable. But there is one important difference. Here, women make up the majority of the global population and run the majority of institutions, including the vast and mysterious Institute of Mental Health where Gavin is required to live...

News from the Clouds

Robert Llewellyn (Author)

Gavin Meckler has slipped sideways in time again to a far more treacherous future than he has ever faced before.

Ever since Gavin left the world of 2011 and landed 200 years in the future, he has navigated the garden lands of Gardenia, escaped a world run by women in the Squares, and now finds himself in a floating city in the Clouds.

In this possible alternative future, the planet is ravaged by a brutal climate – crippling storms, sweeping winds and an unforgiving sun. Earth's inhabitants have had to adapt, creating a highly sophisticated society where the human race has two options: to live on the earth's scarred surface in enormous culverts, reinforced to withstand the ravages of the weather… or to float above it all.

It is a classless society where everyone must experience life both on the earth and in the clouds… and where they claim to know how and why Gavin has travelled 200 years beyond his own time.

Will Gavin finally understand the truth behind his journey? Can he find his way back to the life he left behind in 2011?

Is there even a world to go back to?...

The Wake

Paul Kingsnorth (Author)

Winner of the Gordon Burn Prize 2014 and The Bookseller Industry Book of the Year Award 2015. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize.

A post-apocalyptic novel set a thousand years ago, The Wake tells the story of Buccmaster of Holland, a free farmer of Lincolnshire, owner of three oxgangs, a man clinging to the Old Gods as the world changes drastically around him. After losing his sons at the Battle of Hastings and his wife and home to the invading Normans, Buccmaster begins to gather together a band of 'grene men', who take up arms to resist their brutal invaders.

Written in a 'shadow tongue' – a version of Old English updated so as to be understandable for the modern reader – The Wake is a landmark in historical fiction and looks set to become a modern classic.

News from Gardenia

Robert Llewellyn (Author)

When Gavin Meckler's light aircraft encounters a mysterious cloud and crashes to earth, he discovers that the eerily quiet landscape in which he has landed is 200 years older than the one from which he took off. In this gentle, peaceful, sustainable new world, it is possible to travel from one side of the globe to the other in a matter of minutes without burning fuel, and everyone is a gardener because that's how they can be sure to eat.

Inspired by William Morris's utopian novel News from Nowhere, Robert Llewellyn shows us a future where we don't burn anything to make anything else and which isn't hovering on the brink of disaster; where aliens haven't invaded, meteors haven’t hit and zombies haven’t taken over. In short, a world where humanity eventually gets it right.

All the technology described in the novel has seen the light of day in reality. Llewellyn's future isn't perfect and may not be very likely, but it is entirely possible.

Crushed Mexican Spiders

Tibor Fischer (Author)

The appearance of any new work by Tibor Fischer is a cause for celebration. Here, are two dazzling new stories that show why he is so admired. The first, Crushed Mexican Spiders, is classic Fischer. Don't be fooled by the title: the poet laureate of London grime is on home ground as a women returns home to discover the key to her Brixton flat no longer works...

Haunting images and crisp one-liners are about all that link it with the second tale, Possibly Forty Ships, the true story of the Trojan War. In a scene straight out of a Tarantino movie, an old man is being tortured, pressed to reveal how the greatest legend of all really happened. (Let's just say it bears scant resemblance to Homer: 'If you see war as a few ships sinking in the middle of the waves, a few dozen warriors in armour, frankly not as gleaming as it could be, being welcomed whole-heartedly by the water, far, far away from Troy, if you see that as war, then it was a war...')

The stories are published in a beautiful small hardback edition, each one illustrated by the work of the acclaimed Czech photographer Hana Vojáková. The book has two front covers: read one way you're in south London at night; turn it over and you’re being burned by the harsh glare of Mediterranean sunlight.

The Half Life of Joshua Jones

Danny Scheinmann (Author)

Joshua Jones' life is falling apart: he's lost his job, his wife has left him for another woman, and he's been kicked out of his flat. On the precipice of homelessness and defeat, he has a chance encounter with a beguiling stranger, Angela, triggering a series of surreal events that will blow his world wildly off course.

Angela, an impulsive femme fatale, has also reached a low point. Seeking refuge from her troubles in the arms of a stranger, they share an intimate moment of tenderness in a café. But as she walks away from Josh, she steps quite deliberately into the path of an oncoming bus.

As Angela lies in a coma, Josh – magnetically drawn to her and unable to shake the effects of their brief but powerful encounter – pretends that he is her boyfriend, inextricably binding their fates. But as his obsession grows, so does the danger of his situation. With his life continuing to unravel, he begins to question his own sanity until the shocking discovery of Angela's real identity finally reveals the chilling truth about himself.

The Half Life of Joshua Jones is a striking blend of psychological drama and romantic fairy tale, full of dark humour, mystery and wonder that will grip you from first page to last.

A Box of Birds

Charles Fernyhough (Author)

Neuroscientist Dr Yvonne Churcher has problems in the world beyond her lab. One of her students, James, a dangerously attractive anti-science protestor, has set out to challenge her entire philosophy about how the brain works. His friend, Gareth, a brilliant, unstable computer genius, is obsessed with the biochemical basis of memory. When he tries to persuade Yvonne to get involved with a plan to stimulate memory artificially, it sets off a chain of events involving unscrupulous biotech companies, stolen brain-mapping data and a strange brand of eco-terrorism.

A Box of Birds is both a pacy literary thriller set in a near-future world of experimental brain research, and a compelling love story between a neuroscientist and an animal rights campaigner. It brilliant dramatizes the clash between two of the predominant philosophical positions of our age: the materialist view that science has all the answers and that 'we' are nothing more than bundles of nerves and chemical reactions, and the Freud-inspired position that underpins the culture of psychotherapy: that the stories we tell about ourselves and our pasts have the capacity to change our future. Does neuroscience really change our understanding of who we are? Or are we all at the mercy of our own need to make coherent stories?

Epic Space

Ian Martin (Author)

Epic Space is a hilarious take on contemporary culture as viewed through the twisted prism of ‘Martin’, amoral architectural consultant with a penchant for a long lunch and powerful friends, including members of the Cabinet and HRH the Prince of Wales.

Written in weekly diary form, Martin’s world is a mad and woozy version of our own: one in which Martin and his friend, the nanofuturologist Beansy, can invent Kryptogel – a new building material developed using ‘hard air’. It’s a world where the property wing of the Church of England builds buy-to-let almshouses while ‘bouncy mega-mosques’ have helium-stiffened minarets. An arts correspondent is sacked by a Sunday newspaper and replaced with his own overdressed architectural dachshund. Soot becomes a valuable stock market commodity. A hipster skyscraper is called the Blard. And an ambitious plan is hatched to turn the North around so that it faces south.

Big questions are asked: Is Texture The New Fragrance? Is Modern Modernism Just Post-Modernism But With A Neo-Modernistic Coat On? How Fat is Your Faceprint?

And, reassuringly, there are still plenty of boozy lunches.

The Serendipity Foundation

Sam Smit (Author)

The Serendipity Foundation demands anarchy over apathy. They deal in terrorism with a social conscience. And they're going to make the British government play along.

When four British citizens are kidnapped in Cairo, they soon realise this is no ordinary hostage situation: the accommodation is three star and the menu à la carte. Without the deep regrets and thwarted ambitions of their lives back home, they soon come to view their kidnapping as a welcome escape.

They are the captives of the Serendipity Foundation, a tiny collective with a millennium-old prophecy to fulfil and a rather redeeming quality: they only demand ransoms that people would want to give.

As the ransom demands begin, the British government has no choice but to play along... can they really allow four men to die because parliament refuses to conduct Prime Minister’s Questions in Haiku? As the threats and demands escalate, so does the tension, until they challenge the very foundations and assumptions of the media, industry and society.

The Serendipity Foundation, bursting with the satirical deftness of a Douglas Coupland and the subversive intensity of an Owen Jones, is a thrilling yet endearing satirical novel for the new political generation that will make us question why we settle for a lesser world when we have the power to make it better.

The Mule

David Quantick (Author)

Jacky is a translator. He is a bit of an eccentric. And he can't quite understand why the enigmatic and beautiful girl at the bar wants to talk to him.

Even more perplexing is the tatty-looking book she carries with her but won't let him touch. Written in an untranslatable language – even for him – it contains, quite impossibly, what seem to be photographs of her murder.

When she disappears hours later and the book comes into his custody, the suspicion falls on him. Accused of her murder, Jacky must find a way to decipher the untranslatable book she has left behind. Racing through Paris in pursuit of the truth and the missing girl, he must track her down with nothing but an unwavering determination and the assistance of the world's most annoying man.

The Mule is a wholly original, comical thriller filled with eccentric characters, sporadic violence and other peculiarities. Weaving a tale of intrigue, betrayal and romance, this is the bizarre story of the world's most enigmatic book.

Conversations with Spirits

E. O. Higgins (Author)

December, 1917.

The Great War is rampaging through Europe – yet Trelawney Hart has scarcely noticed. The arch-sceptic and former child prodigy has lost his way and now ekes out a lonely existence, taking his only comfort from the bottle.

This dissolute lifestyle is interrupted, however, when spiritualist crusader and celebrated author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle arrives at the door of his London club and requests his help in investigating a man he believes to be a psychic medium of unparalleled gift. Driven on by his anticipation of exposing the psychic as a fraud, Hart accepts. But it is not long before he finds himself helpless amidst a series of seemingly inexplicable events – and he is forced to consider whether there may be much more to life than he had ever thought possible.

Nominated for the Edinburgh Book Festival's 2014 First Book Award.

Warhorses of Letters

Robert Hudson (Author) , Marie Phillips (Author)

The world's first gay, equine, military, epistolary romance.

Newly discovered letters written from Wellington's warhorse (Marengo) to Napoleon's warhorse (Copenhagen) and vice versa.

Includes extra material not featured in the Radio 4 series, both elements of the letters cut from the final scripts and additional material not featured in the shows at all, including the letters from Marengo to his hygienist and the horse he plays chess with, and the notes between Copenhagen and the annoying dog he has to share a stall with.

Initially written as a series of letters between the authors (each choosing a stretch of the Napoleonic wars between them to examine and write into the most recent letter). They were then performed with great success at the Tall Tales evenings in Kilburn until the letters were picked up by the BBC for broadcast in autumn 2011.

Ex

Laurie Avadis (Author)

Daniel's father wants to kill him. It's something of a family tradition.

Daniel's 32-stone psychotic police sergeant father is constantly concocting ever-more obscure methods of killing him and his mother has abandoned the family to live out her life as a mermaid.

Together with child genius Ferris and school bully Dorsal, the unlikely trio must set out on an epic adventure to reunite Daniel's family and find out exactly why his father is so emotionally illiterate.

Ex takes you on a riotous and bizarre voyage down the Thames on the world's largest and most deadly wooden potato. Along the way you and Daniel will meet an outrageous array of characters including a flock of swearing ducks, a superhero-murdering grandmother and a cappuccino-swigging lion.

If you're squeamish stay far away but if you've ever seen the funny side of a bad situation, Ex will transport you to a bizarre topsy turvy world where childhood has gone so wrong that the results are gothic.

The Lifers' Club

Francis Pryor (Author)

Alan Cadbury is a professional archaeologist: a digger of ancient sites and a man who likes to unravel the mysteries and meaning of the past. For many years, Alan has worked with the 'Circuit Diggers', so called because they work the 'circuit', moving from one excavation to another, as new sites open across Britain. Most of the sites they dig are ahead of industrial development, new housing estates, gravel quarries, or roads. They are a down-to-earth bunch; but they all know what they want from life. Feared by respectable citizens, they are always covered in mud, deeply suntanned and drunk (or stoned) on their days off.

Like others on the circuit, Alan Cadbury is obsessive: he won't let problems lie, even when he's slumped drunk in a lonely bedsit, somewhere in the Fens. But there's another side to him, too: in the late 90s he helped to give a forensic archaeology course and there met Richard Lane, now a senior detective in the Leicestershire force. DCI Lane helps him tackle new cases. But this is his first big one: an 'honour killing', perpetrated eight years ago in Leicester.

It's a dark tale of past wrongdoing and modern criminality. And it's not without violence. Alan's life may be harsh and at times unpleasant, but it's not likely to be very long, either. Oh yes, archaeology can be a very dirty business…

Unbelievable

Jennifer Pickup (Author)

Neona White is rather extraordinary. The thing is, while she knows that she's very different from other teenagers, she doesn't know quite how different…yet. A traumatic incident leaves Neona without the desire to keep living and a fear that she's not entirely human, and her mother is less than forthcoming. She is soon sent to live with her Grandmother where, after making some unusual new friends, she begins a dangerous quest to unravel the mysteries of her identity. Her supernatural identity.

Neona continues to face the eternal struggle between what people want her to be and who she actually is, as the world she thought she knew begins to disclose its unbelievable secrets.

Versailles

Yannick Hill (Author)

Welcome to Versailles, an oceanfront mega-mansion, 100 rooms of technologically breathtaking real estate, tailor-made for Casey Baer, founder and CEO of the internet’s pre-eminent social network. He’s the closest thing the online generation has to royalty, and this is his palace.

But all is not well in this concrete shell of one man’s American Dream. His wife, Synthea, once the world’s foremost industrial designer, roams the corridors in a drugged dream state. His son, River, locks himself away in his room, living vicariously through dozens of virtual pseudonyms. And Missy, his daughter, has just deleted her online profile and driven away through the gates, never to return.

As River tries to track his sister down, he alights upon Deep Sky. Is it a cult? And if so, what do they want with Missy? Is she running away from home or toward a darker mystery? And why? Is it something Casey did?

Versailles is a fable for the digital age. In an era of perpetual connectivity and mass surveillance, the novel explores our dual need to be witnessed and to be alone.

Lily Poole

Jack O'Donnell (Author)

Everything about John is off-kilter.

He’s sixteen now, out of school and out of work. It’s the early 1970s: shipyards in Clydebank are no longer hiring and a long stretch on the dole is imminent. But on a day when the town is covered by a deluge of snow, his life is changed by an act of kindness: he helps a wee girl, Lily, get to school on time.

She waits for him to meet her outside the school gates every day, but he seems to be the only one who can see her. This provokes a backlash that ripples out from concerned mothers at school to the parish priest of St Stephen’s and invites institutional responses that involve the police and psychiatric care.

The unspoken hope is that John can be ‘cured’ of what has seduced him. But Lily has bled into other parts of John’s family life, in a novel which is an exploration of the physical and the psychological, of spiritual crises and the occult.

Dark, haunting, and told by alternating narrators, Lily Poole disrupts your assumptions about mental health and who can be trusted when the truth becomes threadbare.

What If the Queen Should Die?

John-Paul Flintoff (Author)

Windsor Castle, 1714. Queen Anne has known her share of tragedy and grief: betrayed by her father; plagued by illness and obesity; cursed to lose all seventeen of her children.

Now she is dying with no living offspring, and the question of who will succeed her hangs over the court, fuelling political intrigue and fear. There are two likely successors: James Stuart, the half-brother she has always refused to acknowledge, and George of Hanover, the cousin who once turned her down for marriage.

Neither is ideal. She hates them both.

As courtiers, politicians and sycophants plot to steer the succession to their own advantage, Queen Anne must finally face the past. For nothing can be resolved until she comes to terms with her children's deaths and repairs the terrible wrong she committed many years before . . .

With familiar characters – including three of the most important writers in English literature: Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe), Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels), and fashionable poet Alexander Pope – and a gripping plot, What If the Queen Should Die? is the thrilling historical tale of Britain's most tragic queen.

The Book of Wag

Paul Sidey (Author)

Meet the richly eccentric Burton family: reigned over by the steadfast matriarch Harriet and surrounded by an equally peculiar cast of characters, their exploits are narrated in alternating voices by Wag, a World War I veteran, and his nephew Jack.

But the ever-evolving London of the twentieth century is as much a character as the Burtons themselves, with the narrative taking us on a journey from the Western Front to World War II, through post-war 'civvy street' to the 1960s gangster era of the sadistic Richardson Gang, and ultimately to the political tumult of the 1970s.

Drawing on his own uncle's handwritten World War I memoir and his recollection of family stories, author Paul Sidey has created a seamless fusion of family history, fact and inspired invention.

At times funny and tender, at other times violent and dramatic, The Book of Wag is the portrait of one family as they navigate the multi-faceted landscape of the London of another time.

No Lipstick in Lebanon

Paul Timblick (Author) , Fasika Sorssa (Author)

Meron Lemma couldn't know there was a fate worse than wasting away as a poor teenager in the Ethiopian slum where she was born.

Desperate to create her own destiny, and drawn by the irresistible possibility of earning real dollars as a maid in Beirut, Meron leaves her devout mother and family behind to join the many other Habesha migrants searching for a better life in the Middle East.

Only once there does she realise the ugly truth: instead of opportunity, she has found captivity. Instead of freedom, subordination. Trapped and mistreated by the harsh Madame, Meron lives in constant fear – fear of the daily onslaught of Madame's vicious spite; of her cruel and callous daughters; of the sexual advances of her predatory son; and most of all, fear of losing her sense of self... her Habesha spirit... even her life.

Rich in cultural detail and exposing the ongoing, under-reported horrors facing domestic workers in Lebanon today, No Lipstick in Lebanon is a harrowing account of the unremitting hell of modern slavery. Told through the escalating plight of our heroine, this is not just a fictionalised report of one maid's ordeal, but rather the uncovering of a larger issue plaguing a generation of women.

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