Duncan's boss doesn't think he's cut out to be a lawyer. He isn't a pack animal. He lacks the killer instinct. But when his best friend from school barges his way back into Duncan's life, along with a full supporting cast of lawyers, ex-wives, zombies, and snow-white unicorns, it's not long before things become distinctly unsettling. Hairy, even.
It touches all our lives-our triumphs and tragedies, our proudest achievements, our most traumatic disasters. Alloyed of love and fear, death and fire, and the inscrutable acts of the gods, insurance is indeed the force that binds the universe together. Hardly surprising, therefore, that Frank Carpenter, one of the foremost magical practitioners of our age, felt himself irresistibly drawn to it. Until, that is, he met Jane, a high-flying corporate heroine with an annoying habit of falling out of trees and getting killed. Repeatedly. It's not long before Frank and Jane find themselves face to face with the greatest enigma of our times: When is a door not a door? When it's a mousetrap.
The year is 2017. Lucy Pavlov is the CEO of PavSoft Industries, home of a revolutionary operating system that every computer in the world runs on. Her personal wealth is immeasurable, her intelligence is unfathomable, and she's been voted World's Most Beautiful Woman for three years running. To put it simply - she has it all. But not everything is quite right in Lucy's life. For starters, she has no memories prior to 2015. She also keeps having run-ins with a unicorn. And to make matters even worse, a bomb is hurtling through interstellar space, headed straight for Lucy - and the planet known as Earth.
When Kayaguchiya Integrated Circuits III, a genie, is released from the aspirin bottle he's been stuck in for 14 years, there's bound to be trouble. Jane had wanted to end her life in peace, but now she's got a genie, things look up - until the apocalypse rears its ugly head.
The doughnut is a thing of beauty. A circle of fried doughy perfection. A source of comfort in trying times, perhaps. For Theo Bernstein, however, it is far, far more.Things have been going pretty badly for Theo Bernstein. An unfortunate accident at work has lost him his job (and his work involved a Very Very Large Hadron Collider, so he's unlikely to get it back). His wife has left him. And he doesn't have any money.Before Theo has time to fully appreciate the pointlessness of his own miserable existence, news arrives that his good friend Professor Pieter van Goyen, renowned physicist and Nobel laureate, has died.By leaving the apparently worthless contents of his safety deposit to Theo, however, the professor has set him on a quest of epic proportions. A journey that will rewrite the laws of physics. A battle to save humanity itself.This is the tale of a man who had nothing and gave it all up to find his destiny - and a doughnut.
J.W. Wells seemed to be a respectable establishment, but the company now paying Paul Carpenter's salary is, in fact, a deeply sinister organization with a mighty peculiar management team. Paul thought he was getting the hang of it-particularly when he fell head over heels for his strangely alluring colleague, Sophie-but death is never far away when you work at J.W. Wells. Our love-struck hero is about to discover that custard is definitely in the eye of the beholder. And that it really stings.
All Malcolm Fisher did was run over a badger. Unfortunately the badger turned out to be Ingolf, last of the giants. With his dying breath he reluctantly gave Malcolm two gifts of power and made him ruler of the world.
From the moment Homo Sapiens descended from the trees, possibly onto their heads, humanity has striven towards civilization. Fire. The Wheel. Running Away from furry things with more teeth than one might reasonably expect-all are testament to man's ultimate supremacy. It is a noble story and so, of course, complete and utter fiction. For one man has discovered the hideous truth: that humanity's ascent to civilization has been ruthlessly guided by a small gang of devious frogs. The man's name is David Perkins, and his theory is not, on the whole, widely admired, particularly not by the frogs themselves, who had invested a great deal of time and effort in keeping the whole thing quiet.
The management buy-out of Hell wasn't going quite as well as had been hoped. For a start, there had been that nasty business with the perjurors, and then came the news that the Most Wanted Man in History had escaped, and all just as the plans for the new theme park, EuroBosch, were underway.
Mild-mannered accountant Jane Doland must track down Vanderdecker, a magically immortal Dutch sea captain who, along with his crew, has been circling the globe for four hundred years.
Fifteen hundred years have passed and the Holy Grail is still missing, presumed ineffable. The knights have dumped the quest and now deliver pizzas, while the sinister financial services of the lost kingdom of Atlantis threatens the universe with fiscal Armageddon.
All is not well with the universe - cutbacks have taken their toll, and the sun is dirty and late, thanks to being 30 billion miles overdue on its next service. None of the committees can agree on anything, and extreme measures seem called for.
Included in this compilation of samples from our upcoming titles for Winter/Spring 2011 is a wide array of Science Fiction and Fantasy titles for every reader. All types of mythical beasties and villains abound-including vampire assassins stalking the canals of Venice in Jon Courtenay Grimwood's The Fallen Blade, zombie infestations everywhere in Jesse Petersen's Flip this Zombie, and, of course, a mysterious, if somewhat confused, pig in Tom Holt's hilarious Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages. Also, Gail Z. Martin returns to the world of The Summoner in a new series starting with The Sworn. Joe Abercrombie takes us down into the dirt and blood of a battlefield and shows us all the true face of heroism in The Heroes. And, finally, the urban fantasists are back with the new Matthew Swift book from Kate Griffin, The Neon Court, the next entry in Trent Jamieson's Death Works series with Managing Death, Sabina Kane's return in Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells and, a special treat, the entire Dante Valentine series in one volume from Lilith Saintcrow!
Ever been offered a promotion that seems too good to be true? The kind where you snap their arm off to accept, then wonder why all your long-serving colleagues look secretly relieved, as if they're off some strange and unpleasant hook? It's the kind of trick that deeply sinister companies like J.W. Wells & Co. pull all the time. Especially with employees who are too busy mooning over the office intern to think about what they're getting into. And it's why, right about now, Paul Carpenter is wishing he'd paid much less attention to the gorgeous Melze, and rather more to a little bit of job description small-print referring to "pest" control.
Polly is a real estate solicitor. She is also losing her mind. Someone keeps drinking her coffee. And talking to her clients. And doing her job. And when she goes to the dry cleaner's to pick up her dress for the party, it's not there. Not the dress - the dry cleaner's. And then there are the chickens who think they are people. Something strange is definitely going on - and it's going to take more than a magical ring to sort it out. From one of the funniest voices in comic fiction today comes a hilarious tale of pigs and parallel worlds.
"I was eight years old when I saw my first elf." And for unlikely hero Michael it was his last. Cruella, Michael's unfortunately named girlfriend, doesn't approve of his obsession with the little people. But the problem is that they won't leave him alone. And who can blame them when it's Michael's own stepfather who's responsible for causing them so much misery? Oh yes. Daddy George knows that elves can do so much more than gardening.
There are all kinds of products. The good ones. The bad ones. The ones that stay in the garage moldering for years until your garden gnome makes a home out of it. Most are harmless if handled properly, even if they do contain traces of peanuts. But some are not-not the ones that contain traces of magic. Chris Popham wasn't paying enough attention when he talked to his SatNav. Sure, she gave him directions, never talked back to him, and always led him to his next spot on the map with perfect accuracy. She was the best thing in his life. So was it really his fault that he didn't start paying attention when she talked to him? In his defense, that was her job. But when "Take the next right" turned into "Excuse me," that was when the real trouble started. Because sometimes a GPS isn't a GPS-sometimes it's an imprisoned soul trapped inside a metal box that will do anything it can to get free. And some products you just can't return.
This is the story of Jane who finds the novel she is working on starts to write back. She's already realized novel writing isn't such a piece of cake after all, and the world of fiction is a far more complicated place than she ever imagined.
There are many reasons why British summers are either non-existent or, alternatively, held on a Thursday. Many of these reasons are either scientific, mad, or both-but all of them are wrong, especially the scientific ones. The real reason why it rains perpetually from January 1st to December 31st is, of course, irritable Chinese Water Dragons. Karen is one such legendary creature. Ancient, noble, nearly indestructible and, for a number of wildly improbable reasons, working as a real estate agent, Karen is irritable quite a lot of the time. But now things have changed, and Karen's no longer irritable. She's furious.
This is a comedy set in the Sunnyvoyde Residential Home. Wagner got it wrong. The Twilight of the Gods isn't really that cataclysmic. After all, there's a comfy chair, a welcoming fire and three meals a day.
Something is about to go wrong. Very wrong. What do you expect if the Supreme Being decides to get away from it all for a few days, leaving his naturally inquisitive son to look after the cosmic balance of things? A minor hiccup with a human soul and a welding machine soon leads to a violent belch, and before you know it the human condition-not to mention the lemming condition-is tumbling down the slippery slope to chaos.
There was something wrong! Just as the boiling water was about to be poured on his head and the man with the red book appeared and his life flashed before his eyes, Akram the Terrible, the most feared thief in Baghdad, knew this had happened before. Many times. And he was damned if he was going to let it happen again. Just because he was a character in a story didn't mean that it always had to end this way. Meanwhile, back in Southampton, it's a bit of a shock for Michelle when she puts on her Aunt Fatima's ring and the computer and the telephone start to bitch at her for past misdemeanors. But that's nothing compared to the story that her kitchen appliances have to tell her.
Guy is a Mosquito pilot in World War II. He is surprised when his dead co-pilot apparently starts speaking to him as they are flying over Northern France. And before you can say "Bomber Harris", Guy finds himself caught up in time and travel, a search for Richard the Lionheart and a damsel.
Sculptress Bianca Wilson is a living legend. St. George is also a legend, but not living. However, when Bianca's sculpture of the patron saint and his scaly chum gets a bit too lifelike, it opens up a new can of wyrms. The dragon knows that in the battle between Good and Evil, Evil got a raw deal and is looking to set the record straight. And George (who cheated) thinks the record's just fine as it is.
Starting a new job is always stressful, but when Paul Carpenter arrives at the office of H.W. Wells he has no idea what trouble lies in store. Because he is about to discover that the apparently respectable establishment now paying his salary is in fact a front for a deeply sinister organization that has a mighty peculiar agenda. It seems that half the time his bosses are away with the fairies. But they're not, of course. They're away with the goblins.
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