Alastair Reynolds has continued to publish short fiction throughout the thirty-odd years of his professional career. This fourth collection gathers material mostly written by the former space scientist in the last decade, even as a number of stories--such as the title piece, set in the universe of House of Suns--revisit earlier environments. The scope of settings is wide, ranging from the contemporaneous Earth to the near future and out to the furthest realms of the galaxy, and taking in such diverse topics as the perils of immortality, cybernetic encounters in the Wild West, uncanny skateboard parks and the flocking behaviour of birds. There is horror here, but also hope--and not a little black humour. The collection includes "Open and Shut," "Night Passage," and "Plague Music," a long, previously unpublished story, all three set in the Revelation Space universe.
Literary fiction of humor and horror, poetry and mystery, science fiction and myth, exploring the limits and inner and outer space. Short-short fictions of only a few lines hint at terrible depths. The long story "The Perquisites of His Position" tells a tale of ghostly revenge. The novella "The Darkness of the Heart" relates a story of the day slavery was abolished in Haiti. The satirical "Pangloss Triumphant" tells of a happy hermaphrodite. From the revelations of the aged Don Juan to the musings of B-movie actors trapped in deteriorating celluloid, from the voice of the ancient Sphinx to the senility of a quantum particle at the very end of the physical universe, the thirty-three artfully crafted stories presented here are full of deftly drawn characters, amazing plots, psychological insights, and universal truths.
Night in Erg Chebbi and Other Stories spans the globe, taking us from Belfast to Brazil, Morocco to Manhattan. The teenaged daughter of an IRA assassin flees Northern Ireland only to end up in Baby Doc’s terrifying Haiti. An American woman who’s betrayed her brother only to lose him to a Taliban bullet comes face to face with her demons during a vacation in Morocco. A famed photojournalist must find a way to bring her life’s work to closure before she goes blind, a quest that changes her understanding of the very physics of light. By turns innocent and canny, the characters of Night in Erg Chebbi and Other Stories must learn to improvise—quickly—when confronted with stark choices they never dreamed they’d have to make. Lyrical, immaculately constructed and deeply felt, these nine stories take us far beyond our comfort zones and deep into the wilds of the human heart.
The story takes place in two worlds: the real one and also a world of nightmares. In this nightmarish world Samantha is constantly persecuted by spirits who torment her and clearly want her to suffer. But all this has an ominous purpose that will lead her to a journey with moments of overcoming, discovery, euphoria, depression, and violence. In addition to Denis Mello's drawings, the book also has a preface by Julio Shimamoto, a master of the Brazilian horror comics; a piece by Danilo Beyruth (Astronauta: Magnetar) on the back cover; a making off, from the script to the inkings; and a gallery of invited artists like Vitor Cafaggi, Danilo Beyruth and Mario Cau. The graphic novel tells the story of Samantha, a girl haunted by terrible dreams. The story takes place in two worlds: the real one and also a world of nightmares. In this nightmarish world Samantha is constantly persecuted by spirits who torment her and clearly want her to suffer. But all this has an ominous purpose that will lead her to a journey with moments of overcoming, discovery, euphoria, depression, and violence. In addition to Denis Mello's drawings, the book also has a preface by Julio Shimamoto, a master of the Brazilian horror comics; a piece by Danilo Beyruth (Astronauta: Magnetar) on the back cover; a making off, from the script to the inkings; and a gallery of invitited artists like Vitor Cafaggi, Danilo Beyruth and Mario Cau.
This anthology comprises fifteen short stories, including works that have won First Places and were Commended in various literary competitions. Seven of the stories are narrated by Micaela Morris (a sharp-witted heroine with a yen to sing Gilbert and Sullivan), and an additional five utilize the same background: a fictional small town in Kentucky called Kawbury. Another story is set in a similar small town. Other settings include television, show business, stage, theater, and country clubs. A political satire and a science fiction tale round out the collection.
Who is Belladonna? In New York City, she's known only as the mysterious masked woman who presides over the most exclusive, opulent club of the times. In Virginia's blue-blood countryside, she's known as the Contessa, the elusive heiress who flaunts convention and shuns human contact. But then there are a wretched few who remember her from "The Club" and knew her as a fresh-faced innocent whom they desired...and misled...and left to the sadistic devices of a nobleman who robbed her of her youth, her dignity, and, ultimately her heart. As Belladonna's story, told by one of her faithful manservants, slowly unfolds, we learn the horrifying truth behind Belladonna's masks and her insatiable desire for vengeance. It is a truth that involves betrayal, murder, depravity -- a truth so chilling that it will pit brother against brother, father against son, and will force Belladonna to ultimately confront the one man who can ultimately either destroy her, or set her free.
Meet sixty–one-year-old vodou priestess, convicted black widow serial killer and cop killer, Beatrice Belladonna. She is a death row inmate housed at The Federal Medical Center, Carswell, Texas, and is five months shy of her scheduled execution date. Seeking notoriety after death, Beatrice accepts A&E Network’s request for a televised interview. During this six-hour interview, she reveals her life story which includes being sexually abused as a child by her stepfather and abandoned at the age of sixteen by her mother. Consequently, it is no surprise that Beatrice evolved into a sociopathic black widow serial killer at a very young age, eighteen. On camera, she coldly confesses to murdering all of her subsequent lovers for profi t and states that after their deaths, she felt absolutely no remorse, only sheer elation. Naturally, being a vodou priestess has its advantages when it comes to cold-blooded murder. Find out how Beatrice used her vodou black magic powers to kill her lovers and how she managed to elude arrest by the police for over thirty years! Beatrice Belladonna’s bizarre and macabre life story is truly remarkable and one that will not soon be forgotten.
Tell about Night Flowers presents previously unpublished letters by Eudora Welty, selected and annotated by scholar Julia Eichelberger. Welty published many of her best-known works in the 1940s: A Curtain of Green, The Wide Net, The Robber Bridegroom, Delta Wedding, and The Golden Apples. During this period, she also wrote hundreds of letters to two friends who shared her love of gardening. One friend, Diarmuid Russell, was her literary agent in New York; the other, John Robinson, was a high school classmate and an aspiring writer who served in the Army in WWII, and he was long the focus of Welty's affection. Welty's lyrical, witty, and poignant discussions of gardening and nature are delightful in themselves; they are also figurative expressions of Welty's views of her writing and her friendships. Taken together with thirty-five illustrations, they form a poetic narrative of their own, chronicling artistic and psychic developments that were underway before Welty was fully conscious of them. By 1949 her art, like her friendships, had evolved in ways that she would never have predicted in 1940. Tell about Night Flowers not only lets readers glimpse Welty in her garden; it also reveals a brilliant and generous mind responding to the public events, people, art, and natural landscapes Welty encountered at home and on her travels during the 1940s. This book enhances our understanding of the life, landscape, and art of a major American writer.
Anne Bishop’s “erotic, fervently romantic, [and] superbly entertaining” (Booklist) novel Sebastian introduced readers to the realm of Ephemera. Now, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author continues her tale of light and darkness... The Eater of the World is casting its shadow over the landscapes of Ephemera, tainting people’s souls with doubts and fears. Only Glorianna Belladonna possesses the ability to thwart the Eater—but she is not alone. In dreams, a call has traveled beyond the Landscapes—“Heart’s hope lies within Belladonna”—and reached Michael, a man with mysterious powers of his own. Together, they may offer Ephemera the very hope it needs.
"Belladonna is brutal, beautiful, and unforgettable . . . One of the truly outstanding novels of recent years" EILEEN BATTERSBY, Los Angeles Review of Books ** Winner of the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation 2018** ** Shortlisted for the inaugural E.B.R.D. Prize for Literature ** ** Shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize ** An excoriating work of fiction that references the twentieth century's darkest hours Andreas Ban is a writer and a psychologist, an intellectual proper, but his world has been falling apart for years. When he retires with a miserable pension and finds out that he is ill, he gains a new perspective on the debris of his life and the lives of his friends. In defying illness and old age, Andreas Ban is cynical and powerful, and in his unravelling of his own past and the lives of others, he uncompromisingly lays bare a gamut of taboos. Andreas Ban stands for a true hero of our times; a castaway intellectual of a society which subdues every critical thought under the guise of political correctness. Belladonna addresses some of the twentieth century's worst human atrocities in a powerful fusion of fiction and reality, the hallmark of one of Europe's finest contemporary writers. Translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth
It's the trouble you aren't expecting that gets you. And it's all around you, Bronwyn, it's all around you like the air.... Bronwyn "BitsyWyn" Whalen hasn't set eyes on the red dirt of Magnolia Creek, Alabama, for fourteen years - not since her mama died. But with her brother, Patrick, imprisoned for the murder of her childhood best friend, and her eccentric father, Jackson, at his wits' end while her eleven-year-old niece, Byrd, runs wild, Bronwyn finds herself once again surrounded by ancient magnolia trees and the troubled family she left behind. She becomes immersed in a whirlwind of mystery and magic as she tries to figure out what really happened that fateful night her friend died. And as her bond with Byrd deepens, Bronwyn must face the demons of her past in order to unravel her family's uncertain future.In Suzanne Palmieri's thrilling new novel, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, readers will learn if love and magic are enough to bring a broken family back together.
If the short story collections of John Cheever and Flannery O’Connor had a love child, it would be The Beasts of Belladonna. Alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, Gilbert Allen’s collection of fifteen linked stories explores every corner of the suburbanized foothills of South Carolina. Belladonna—a gated community with Tuscan architectural covenants—boasts a championship golf course, compulsory three-car garages, faux cobblestone sidewalks, and a lively assortment of cats, dogs, birds, deer, goldfish, and spider monkeys. Its human inhabitants include a skeptical high-school biology teacher and his stubbornly devout Methodist wife; a 300-pound biracial woman determined to lose weight; the county’s self-appointed Pavement Imperfection Coordinator; the state’s first African American optometrist; a sociopathic TV reporter and her would-be savior (a young minister from Southern California nicknamed Jesus of Malibu); and a Guatemalan housekeeper tormented by her evangelical employer’s cat. Although you won’t find Belladonna on any map, you might have already encountered its past, present, and future in Allen’s previous collection, The Final Days of Great American Shopping, which Ron Rash praised as “a delightful collection whose interrelated stories give the pleasure of a novel.” And The Beasts of Belladonna is even better.
For readers who enjoyed Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, this empowering collection of stories, poems and beautiful hand-drawn illustrations gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover. Gone are the gender stereotypes of obliging lovers, violent men and girls that need rescuing. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains and you'll meet brave princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle and a courageous Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own.
Will a high school music teacher and an indie rock star find their harmony in this small town holiday romance? Belladonna Pagano is far too busy for love—she has until Halloween to wow the school board with Hartwood High’s Fall production of Little Shop of Horrors, or she’ll be out of a job. Besides, after her former fiancé traded their future for his burgeoning music career, she’s vowed never to give a man that kind of power over her again. Least of all a rock star. On the outside, Cade Owens, sexy frontman for indie rock chart topper, Burning Umbrage, has it all. But he can’t outrun the ghosts from his past. When he’s forced to return to the small town holding his darkest memories to bury someone he loves, Cade makes a desperate, rock bottom choice. A rash decision that leads him crashing headlong into a fiery woman in the woods. And a choice that ultimately results in court-ordered community service . . . with her. Bella and Cade risk their careers and their hearts in this musical, bewitching tale of love and redemption.
A house of God hides a dark secret... It’s 1321 and Lady Elizabeth, Prioress of St Mary’s, is struggling to retain her position, especially since Sister Margherita, her treasurer, has accused her of lascivious disregard, claiming that, instead of paying for a new roof, Elizabeth has given money to the new vicar, a man she often sees alone – at night... Sir Baldwin Furnshill, together with his old friend Simon Puttock, is summoned by the Bishop of Exeter’s representative to investigate. There is no doubt that the threefold vows of poverty, chastity and obedience are routinely being broken. When two nuns are murdered, Simon and Baldwin must face their most difficult case yet. The path to the truth twists and turns under the influence of sinister passions and secret ambitions, until they finally uncover the evil that lies at the heart of the convent. A scintillating historical adventure from bestseller Michael Jecks, for fans of C. J. Sansom, S. J. Parris and Susanna Gregory. Praise for Michael Jecks ‘Michael Jecks is a national treasure’ Scotland on Sunday ‘Marvellously portrayed’ C. J. Sansom
Belladonna Johnson has got used to having parents who are ghosts, and most of the time they're just like other parents. The only problem is, no one can see them but her. When someone catches her having a conversation with thin air, Belladonna is carted off to a foster family. But all is not as it seems - there's something very weird about her new guardians, and something even weirder about their house. Soon Belladonna and her friend Steve are forced to go on another mission to the shadowy underworld - facing more than one bloodthirsty mythical beast along the way . . .