by J. G. Ballard
About the book: A FUTURISTIC COVER - COMES WITH 3D GLASSES! Welcome to Vermilion Sands, the fully automated desert-resort ready to fulfil your most exotic whims. Home to the idle rich it now languishes in uneasy decay, populated only by forgotten movie queens, solitary impresarios and the remittance men of the artistic and literary world. Discover prima donna plants programmed to sing operatic arias, dial-a-poem computers and psychosensitive houses capable of murder. These quintessentially Ballardian short stories of dystopian modernity are Ballard’s ‘guess at what the future will actually be like’.
by Kingsley Amis
About the book: Hubert Anvil is a 10 year old boy blessed with the voice of an angel. The Church hierarchy decrees that Hubert should be turned into a castrato - an alteration that could bring Hubert fame and fortune, but would also cut him off from an adult world he is curious to discover. In a dystopian world where Martin Luther never reformed and where the Holy Office's power is absolute, where will Hubert turn if he decides to defy their wishes?
by Anthony Burgess
About the book: In this nightmare vision of a not-too-distant future, fifteen-year-old Alex and his three friends rob, rape, torture and murder - for fun. Alex is jailed for his vicious crimes and the State undertakes to reform him - but how and at what cost?
by David Mitchell
About the book: CLOUD ATLAS, David Mitchell's bestselling Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel which was also one of Richard & Judy's 100 Books of the Decade, has now been adapted for film. In this enhanced edition you can read the original novel along with a new essay by David Mitchell about the transformation of his novel into a film, and watch four exclusive videos about the book and film. The major motion picture, directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski, stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent Hugo Weaving, Doona Bae, James D'Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David and Hugh Grant. The novel features six characters in interlocking stories, each interrupting the one before it: a reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified dinery server on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation. The narrators of CLOUD ATLAS hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history and their destinies are changed in ways great and small. Mitchell's other novels are GHOSTWRITTEN, NUMBER9DREAM, BLACK SWAN GREEN and A THOUSAND AUTUMS OF JACOB DE ZOET, all published by Sceptre. www.sceptrebooks.com Facebook: Sceptre Books Twitter: SceptreBooks
by Emily St. John Mandel
About the book: 2014 National Book Award Finalist A New York Times Bestseller An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them. Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave. Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.
by Christopher Priest
About the book: In the latest novel from one of the UK's greatest writers we return to the Dream Archipelago, a string of islands that no one can map or explain. Alesandro Sussken is a composer, and we see his life as he grows up in a fascist state constantly at war with another equally faceless opponent. His brother is sent off to fight; his family is destroyed by grief. Occasionally Alesandro catches glimpses of islands in the far distance from the shore, and they feed into his music - music for which he is feted. But all knowledge of the other islands is forbidden by the junta, until he is unexpectedly sent on a cultural tour. And what he discovers on his journey will change his perceptions of his country, his music and the ways of the islands themselves. Playing with the lot of the creative mind, the rigours of living under war and the nature of time itself, this is Christopher Priest at his absolute best.
by Iain M. Banks
About the book: The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, the End Days for the Gzilt civilisation. An ancient people, organised on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they've made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilisations: they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost infinitely more rich and complex existence. Amid preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted - dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command. She must find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over nine thousand years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago. It seems that the final days of the Gzilt civilisation are likely to prove its most perilous.
by Mary Doria Russell
About the book: "A NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT . . . Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense." --USA Today "AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISSED . . . If you have to send a group of people to a newly discovered planet to contact a totally unknown species, whom would you choose? How about four Jesuit priests, a young astronomer, a physician, her engineer husband, and a child prostitute-turned-computer-expert? That's who Mary Doria Russell sends in her new novel, The Sparrow. This motley combination of agnostics, true believers, and misfits becomes the first to explore the Alpha Centuri world of Rakhat with both enlightening and disastrous results. . . . Vivid and engaging . . . An incredible novel." --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "POWERFUL . . . Father Emilio Sandoz [is] the only survivor of a Jesuit mission to the planet Rakhat, 'a soul . . . looking for God.' We first meet him in Italy . . . sullen and bitter. . . . But he was not always this way, as we learn through flashbacks that tell the story of the ill-fated trip. . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence." --San Francisco Chronicle "SMOOTH STORYTELLING AND GORGEOUS CHARACTERIZATION . . . Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them." --Entertainment Weekly
by Alan Dean Foster
About the book: Snatched through a portal into a land of magic, a young musician must use a mysterious, multistring duar to rescue the world into which he has fallen before he can return to his own Jonathan Thomas Meriweather is a typical college student, interested in girls, music, and an occasional taste of reefer. But when a journey through an interdimensional portal lands him in a world of talking animals and ominous sorcery, he finds he is on a very different trip indeed. Here, when he plays a strange instrument called a duar, peculiar things happen: powerful magic that may be the only way to stop a dark force that threatens his new world—and his old one. Reluctantly, he finds himself teaming up with a semi-senile turtle wizard; a thieving, backstabbing otter; and a bewildered Marxist dragon to rally an army for the war about to come. Spellsinger, the first in Alan Dean Foster’s eight-book Spellsinger series, introduces a world of magic and mayhem, where animals are people and plunging ahead no matter what the consequences may be the only way to survive.
by Orson Scott Card
About the book: An SF classic from the author of Ender's Game. Kidnapped at an early age, the young singer Ansset has been raised in isolation at the mystical retreat called the Songhouse. His life has been filled with music, and having only songs for companions, he develops a voice that is unlike any heard before. Ansset's voice is both a blessing and a curse, for the young Songbird can reflect all the hopes and fears his auidence feels and, by magnifying their emotions, use his voice to heal--or to destroy. When it is discovered that his is the voice that the Emperor has waited decades for, Ansset is summoned to the Imperial Palace on Old Earth. Many fates rest in Ansset's hands, and his songs will soon be put to the test: either to salve the troubled conscience of a conqueror, or drive him, and the universe, into mad chaos. Songmaster is a haunting story of power and love--the tale of the man who would destroy everything he loves to preserve humanity's peace, and the boy who might just sing the world away. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.