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Aud Torvingen is back-contemporary fiction's toughest, most emotionally complicated noir hero returns to teach a new round of lessons in hard-hitting justice, and to confront new adversaries: her own vulnerability and desire. The steely shell of Nicola Griffith's seemingly indomitable protagonist Aud Torvingen appears to be cracking. The six-foot-tall fury (who proved in The Blue Placeand Staythat she can kill you as easily as look at you) is shaken by the shocking consequences of the self-defense class she's been teaching, and her investigation of what seems to be run-of-the-mill real-estate fraud is turning out to be more than she bargained for. Alwaysbrilliantly intertwines the dramatic episodes of Aud's class with the increasingly complicated investigation that introduces Aud to the limits of self-reliance, and to the scary and beautiful prospect of allowing oneself to depend on other people. What emerges is a thrilling, thoroughly engrossing novel that imbues Griffith's "classic noir hero" (The New York Times Book Review) with an emotional complexity that far exceeds the boundaries of the genre, and will push Griffith to her well-deserved place at the front rank of new-wave literary crime writers.
From cult phenomenon to award-winning literary sensation, "the sexiest action figure since James Bond" (Seattle Weekly) returns in an exhilarating new thriller. It doesn't matter how well trained you are, how big, how fast, how strong; there will always be someone out there bigger or faster or stronger. Always. That's what Aud Torvingen teaches the students in her self-defense class. But the question is whether Aud really believes this lesson herself-and if not, what it will take for her to learn it. Aud has trained herself to achieve a fierce, machine-like precision, in hand-to-hand combat as well as life. But in Always she is abruptly confronted with the limits of her own power. Her self-defense classes spin violently out of her grasp and, still reeling from the consequences, she embarks on a seemingly simple investigation of Seattle real estate fraud that pulls her into something far more complicated and dangerous than she had imagined. .
Change or die. These are the only options available on the planet Jeep. Centuries earlier, a deadly virus shattered the original colony, killing the men and forever altering the few surviving women. Now, generations after the colony has lost touch with the rest of humanity, a company arrives to exploit Jeep, and its forces find themselves fighting for their lives. Terrified of spreading the virus, the company abandons its employees, leaving them afraid and isolated from the natives. In the face of this crisis, anthropologist Marghe Taishan arrives to test a new vaccine. As she risks death to uncover the women's biological secret, she finds that she, too, is changing--and realizes that not only has she found a home on Jeep, but that she alone carries the seeds of its destruction. Ammonite is an unforgettable novel that questions the very meanings of gender and humanity. As readers share in Marghe's journey through an alien world, they too embark on a parallel journey of fascinating self-exploration.
Science fiction stories in which the central characters are gay or lesbian.
Bending the Landscape: Fantasy, edited by world-renowned speculative fiction author Nicola Griffith and publisher Stephen Pagel, brings together the best short fiction from the fantasy genre's most notable and daring writers. In Leslie What's "Beside the Well," a captivating myth set in ancient China, a young woman rebels against her abusive husband by allying herself with the spirit of his first wife. Tanya Huff's "In Mysterious Ways" tells the riveting story of Terizan the thief and her intrigues in the Thieves' Guild. Don Bassingthwaite's "In Memory Of" is a tantalizing look into the passions and jealousies of two improbably long-lived brothers. This stunning anthology of works by writers both gay and straight demonstrates that gender and sexual orientation can be used to create rich works of fantasy and spectacularly imaginative plots.
A police lieutenant with the elite "Red Dogs" until she retired at twenty-nine , Aud Torvigen is a rangy six-footer with eyes the color of cement and a tendency to hurt people who get in her way. Born in Norway into the failed marriage between a Scandinavian diplomat and an American businessman, she now makes Atlanta her home, luxuriating in the lush heat and brashness of the New South. She glides easily between the world of silken elegance and that of sleaze and sudden savagery, equally at home in both; functional, deadly, and temporarily quiescent, like a folded razor. On a humid April evening between storms, out walking just to stay sharp, she turns a corner and collides with a running woman, Catching the scent of clean, rain-soaked hair, Aud nods and silently tells the stranger Today, you are lucky, and moves on-when behind her house explodes, incinerating its sole occupant, a renowned art historian. When Aud turns back, the woman is gone.
A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise of the most powerful woman of the early Middle Ages: Hild. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods are struggling, their priests worrying. Hild is the king's youngest niece, and she has a glimmering mind and a natural, noble authority. She will become a fascinating woman and one of the pivotal figures of the Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby. But now she has only the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world-of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing her surroundings closely and predicting what will happen next--that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. Her uncle, Edwin of Northumbria, plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief. Hild establishes a place for herself at his side as the king's seer. And she is indispensable--unless she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, for her family, for her loved ones, and for the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can read the world and see the future. Hild is a young woman at the heart of the violence, subtlety, and mysticism of the early Middle Ages--all of it brilliantly and accurately evoked by Nicola Griffith's luminous prose. Working from what little historical record is extant, Griffith has brought a beautiful, brutal world to vivid, absorbing life.
She awoke in an alley to the splash of rain. She was naked, a foot-long gash in her back was still bleeding, and her identity implant was gone. Lore Van Oesterling had been the daughter of one of the world's most powerful families...and now she was nobody, and she had to hide.<P><P> Then out of the rain walked Spanner, predator and thief, who took her in, cared for her wound, and taught her how to reinvent herself again and again. No one could find Lore now: not the police, not her family, and not the kidnappers who had left her in that alley to die. She had escaped...but the cost of her newfound freedom was crime and deception, and she paid it over and over again, until she had become someone she loathed.<P> Lore had a choice: She could stay in the shadows, stay with Spanner...and risk losing herself forever. Or she could leave Spanner and find herself again by becoming someone else: stealing the identity implant of a dead woman, taking over her life, and creating a new future.<P> But to start again, Lore required Spanner's talents -- Spanner, who needed her and hated her, and who always had a price. And even as Lore agreed to play Spanner's game one final time, she found that there was still the price of being a Van Oesterling to be paid. Only by confronting her family, her past, and her own demons could Lore meld together who she had once been, who she had become, and the person she intended to be...<P> Nebula Award Winner
With Stay, Nicola Griffith has written her most accomplished and searing work. She juxtaposes beauty and brutality in a stunning amalgam of pyrotechnic noir poetry to match James Ellroy, lush meditativeness that recalls Barbara Kingsnlver, and hard-boiled moral conviction worthy of Andrew Vachss. And she develops her hero, Aud, bristling with emotional complexity and barely suppressed violence, into one of the most fascinating protagonists in fiction today. Stay opens with Aud, normally the epitome of cool-under-fire contained competence, disintegrating with grief and guilt over the violent death of her lover. These emotions are new to her, and she has moved deep into the North Carolina woods, away from people, afraid of what she might do if pushed. Into her refuge comes her oldest friend asking an impossible favor: to track down his missing fiancee, a woman Aud despises. The police won't take his concern seriously, and Aud-an ex-cop whose sense of right and wrong has little respect for the law-is the only person he can turn to for help. But to follow the woman's trail to New York City, she must leave the shelter of her trees and confront a series of physical, moral, and emotional challenges that she has been dodging for weeks, months, and years. None of her choices are easy. Stay is a dazzling showcase for Griffith's literary talent. She layers an array of different elements-urban tension and pastoral beauty, complex characters and white-knuckled narrative suspense, lyric prose and visceral violence-into a novel of depth, subtlety, and riveting noir storytelling.