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Land of Laughs
by Jonathan Carroll
For school teacher Thomas Abby there was no writer equal to Marshall France, a legendary author of children's books who hid himself away in the small town of Galen and died of a heart attack at the age of forty-four. Tom and his girlfriend Saxony, wanting to write France's biography, arrive in Galen, where they discover the writer's fiercely protective daughter Anna is waiting for them. Before long, they realize that this idyllic little town and its inhabitants both human and animal are not quite what they seem: France's magic has spread beyond the printed page...
"I can't remember when I've been so blown away by a fantasy novel."
|Also by Carroll:
Sleeping in Flame
Outside the Dog Museum
The Heidelberg Cylinder
Bones of the Moon
by Spider Robinson
Callahan's Law: Shared pains lessened, shared joy increased (and bad puns are always appreciated).
Callahan's Place is the neighborhood tavern to all of time and space, where the regulars are anything but. Pull up a chair, grab a glass of your favorite, and listen to the stories spun by time travelers, cybernetic aliens, telepaths... and a bunch of regular folks on a mission to save the world, one customer at a time.
"If one were given the task of creating Spider Robinson from scratch, the best way to do it would be to snatch James Joyce from history, force-feed him Marx Brother's films and good jazz for the better part of a decade, then turn him loose on a world badly in need of a look at itself."
|Also by Robinson:
edited by Terri Windling
Bodertown. Once a normal American city, now a perilous nexus between the World and returned Elfland. From the banks of the addictive Mad River to the all-night clublands where young elves and humans fight and play, all the way up to the glittering Dragon's Tooth Hill, where high society seals itself away from the streets this is no city to trifle with.
Bordertown. A place of hidden magic, flamboyant artists, runaway teenagers, and pagan motorcycle gangs. The city you always knew was there.
Bordertown. It's an attitude and a state of mind. It's elfin light and human sweat. It will never let you go.
|Also edited by Windling:
Life on the Border
by Steve Erickson
In a world of cataclysm and unraveled time where desert has overtaken Los Angeles and buried its freeways, and a strange darkness has flooded Europe and set its streets on fire a young woman's face, a misbegotten childhood in a Parisian brothel, and the fragment of a lost movie masterpiece are the only clues in a man's search for his past. Days Between Stations is a stunning, now classic dream-spec of the Twentieth Century that is by turns beautiful and obsessed, haunted and hallucinated, in which lives erotically collide, the past ambushes the future, and forbidden secrets intercut with each other like the frames of a film.
|Also by Erickson
Tours of the Black Clock
Color of Magic
by Terry Pratchett
The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett's maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.
"Pratchett has now moved beyond the limits of humorous fantasy, and should be recognized as one of the more significant contemporary English language satirists."
"Truly original. ... Discworld is more complicated and satisfactory than Oz. ... Has the energy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the inventiveness of Alice in Wonderland. ... Brilliant!"
|Also by Pratchett:
The Light Fantastic
Good Omens with Neil Gaiman
by Dennis Danvers
Nemo's mother and father left him behind to enter "the Bin" joining twelve billion uploaded personalities who live in crime-free, disease-free and deathless virtual societies. Now Nemo is 21 and on a rare, reluctant visit to the parents who abandoned flesh and bone for cyber-utopia, Nemo has met the perfect woman: a new Bin arrival named Justine, a beautiful pop singer who dreams other people's dreams in the virtual night. Justine has no body to return to and Nemo the renegade has sworn never to sacrifice his own; to live, age, and die in a bleak earthly hell. Because, as an outsider, he may enter the Bin for short periods of time, but if he ever decides to stay... there will be no way out again.
|Also by Danvers:
End of Days
by Lindsey Davis
One fine day, A.D. 70, comely blonde Sosia Camillina quite literally runs into Marcus Didius Falco on the steps of the Forum. It seems Sosia is on the lam from a couple of street toughs, and after a quick and dirty rescue, P.I. Falco wants to know why.
Falco finds out that Sosia, the niece of a highly placed senator, holds the secret to a stockpile of silver pigs ingots intended for no good use. Hoping for future favors from Sosia's powerful uncle, Falco embarks on an intricate case of smuggling, murder, and treason that reaches into the palace itself. And if he does not tread lightly, the treacherous puzzle of the silver pigs could buy him a one way ticket to his own funeral pyre...
|Also by Davis:
Shadows in Bronze
Venus in Copper
|Also by Pinkwater:
Fat Men From Space
The Snark Out Boys and
the Avocado of Death
The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
by Meredith Pierce
Aeriel is kidnapped by the Darkangel, swept up into his dozen black wings and carried to his desert keep. There she is to serve his brides thirteen pitiful creatures who were once beautiful women, before the Darkangel drained away their souls. Aeriel would free them, but now that she, too, is one of the Darkangel's captives, she can do no other than obey even when she knows she must destroy him.
For when he has found his final bride, he will come fully into his sinister powers. Aeriel must kill him first, even though deep within him is a spark of goodness that makes her love him a spark that could redeem even his evil.
|Also by Pierce::
A Gathering of Gargoyles
The Pearl of the Soul
of the World
The Woman Who Loved Reindeer
Hoboken Chicken Emergency
by D. Manus Pinkwater
Arthur Bobwicz's family likes to celebrate Thanksgiving in the traditional way, including the turkey. This year something goes wrong the butcher loses the order for the Bobwicz's turkey and Arthur can't find a bird for dinner in all of Hoboken. Things look bad until Arthur meets a mad professor with a live 266-pound chicken.
Arthur's mother is unwilling to cook the 266-pound chicken, which is fine with Arthur who has grown fond of the bird. He names her Henrietta.
Henrietta's appearance unsettles the population of Hoboken; then makes them fearful, and finally causes a panic. Reason and good will save the day as the citizens cooperate to reunite Arthur and Henrietta in a heartwarming story of a boy and a chicken facing life in the big city.
|Also by Pinkwater:
Fat Men From Space
The Snark Out Boys and
the Avocado of Death
by Connie Willis
For Kivrin, preparing for on-site study of one of the deadliest eras of humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be retrieved.
But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin barely of age herself finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history's darkest hours.
Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering, and the indomitable will of the human spirit.
|Also by Willis:
To Say Nothing of the Dog
by Larry Niven
"I myself have dreamed up an intermediate step between Dyson Spheres and planets. Build a ring ninety three million miles in radius one Earth orbit which would make it six hundred million miles long. If we have the mass of Jupiter to work with, and if we make it a million miles wide, we get a thickness of about a thousand meters. The Ringworld would thus be much sturdier than a Dyson Sphere. There are other advantages. We can spin it for gravity. A rotation on its axis of seven hundred seventy miles per second would give the Ringworld one gravity outward. We wouldn't even have to have a roof over it. Put walls a thousand miles high at each rim, aim it at the sun, and very little air will leak over the edges.
The thing is roomy enough: three million times the area of Earth. It will be some time before anyone complains of the crowding..."
|Also by Niven:
The Ringworld Engineers
World of Ptavvs
Game of Thrones
by George R.R. Martin
In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of Epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who came together in a time of grim omens. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
|Also by Martin:
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
Dying of the Light
by Tad Williams
A war fueled by the dark powers of sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard for Prestor John, the High King, slayer of the dread dragon Shurakai, lies dying. And with his death, an ancient evil will at last be unleashed, as the Storm King, undead ruler of the elvishlike Sithi, seeks to regain his lost realm through pact with one human of royal blood. Driven by spell-inspired jealousy and hate, prince will fight prince, while around them the very land begins to die.
Only a small, scattered group, the League of the Scroll, recognizes the true danger awaiting Osten Ard. And to Simon will go the task of spearheading the quest for the solution to a riddle that offers the only hope of salvation, a riddle of long-lost swords of power... and a quest that will see him fleeing and facing enemies straight out of a legend-maker's worst nightmare.
|Also by Williams
of the Dying Earth
by Jack Vance
Travel into the future: to an earth with a dwindling sun that meekly fills a dark blue sky; an earth that is on the brink of dying out; an earth where science and magic mean the same thing; an earth populated with vibrant, interesting people and creatures that are unaware of the fate their planet has in store for them.
"A dim place, ancient beyond knowledge. Once it was a tall world of cloudy mountains and bright rivers, and then sun was a white blazing ball. Ages of rain and wind have beaten and rounded the granite, and the sun is feeble and red. The continents have suck and risen. A million cities have lifted towers, have fallen to dust. In the place of the old peoples a few thousand strange souls live. There is evil on Earth, evil distilled by time. ... Earth is dying. ..."
from The Dying Earth
|Also by Vance:
The Demon Princes
by Frank Herbert
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.
A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.
|Also by Herbert:
Children of Dune
You Want to Be a Wizard
by Diane Duane
Something stopped Nita's hand as it ran along the bookshelf. She looked and found that one of the books had a loose thread at the top of its spine. It was one of those So you want to books books, a series on careers. So you want to be a Pilot, and a Scientist, A Writer. But this one said, So You Want to Be a Wizard. I don't believe this, Nita thought. She shut the book and stood there, holding it in her hand, confused, amazed, suspicious and delighted! If it was a joke, it was a great one. But if it wasn't...
|In the Same Series:
A Wizard Abroad
by William Gibson
Case was the sharpest data-thief in the Matrix, until an ex-employer crippled his nervous system. Now a new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run against an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence. Case is ready for the silicon-quick, bleakly prophetic adventure that upped the ante on an entire genre of fiction...
"The quintessence of cyberpunk."
Washington Post Book World
"Freshly imagined, compellingly detailed, and chilling in its implications."
New York Times
|Also by Gibson:
The Difference Engine
by Roger Zelazny
Earth is long since dead. On a colony planet, a band of men has gained control of technology, made themselves immortal, and now rule their world as the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Only one dares to oppose them: he who was once Siddartha and is now Mahasamatman. Binder of Demons. Lord of Light.
In a distinguished career which produced many bold, award winning works, this towering tale of invention and adventure may be Roger Zelazny's single most brilliant achievement.
|Also by Zelazny:
The Great Book of Amber
A Night in the Lonesome October
by Elizabeth Hand
Like all new students, Katherine Sweeny makes new friends at the University of the Archangels and St. John the Divine. But these are not ordinary friends; like everything at the Divine, they are mysterious and colorful. There is Angelica, so beautiful she turns both men's and women's heads; Oliver, a drugged out Wildean aesthete too holy to get mugged in the worst neighborhoods; and Annie, who's common sense masks uncommon desires. For all of them, college is a time to experiment with sex, to explore the limits of friendship; a time of freedom and discovery.
Until Sweeny makes the wrong discovery.
|Also by Hand:
by Phillip Pullman
Lyra's greatest adventure would begin closer to home the day she heard hushed talk of an extraordinary particle. Microscopic in size, the magical Dust found only in the vast Arctic expanse of the North was rumored to possess profound properties that could unite the whole universe.
Catapulted into the heart of a terrible struggle, Lyra was forced to seek aid from clans, gyptians, and formidable armored bears. And as she journeyed into unbelievable danger, she had not the faintest clue that she alone was destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle...
|Others in the series:
The Subtle Knife
The Amber Spyglass
Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.
|Others in the series:
H.P and the Chamber of Secrets
H.P. and the Prisoner of Azcaban
by Edward Gorey
Fifteen books by Edward Gorey filled to the brim with dark and mysterious drawings and stories of the heroine if a forgotten nineteenth century novel and a morbid affliction of toes.
|Also by Gorey:
The Haunted Looking Glass
(ghost stories chosen by Gorey)
The Haunted Tea Cosy
by Michael Ende
Bastion Balthazar Bux is shy, awkward, and certain;y not heroic. His only escape is reading books. When Bastion happens upon an old book called The Neverending Story, he's swept into the magical world of Fantastica so much that he finds he has actually become a character in the story! And when he realizes that this mysteriously enchanted world is in great danger, he also discovers that he has been the one chosen to save it. Can Bastian overcome the barrier between reality and his imagination in order to save Fantastica?
|Also by Ende:
Jim Knopf and Lukas
the Engine Driver
Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
by Phillip K. Dick
It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill. Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment: find them and then ... "retire" them. Trouble was, the androids all looked and acted exactly like humans, and then did not want to die.
The movie Bladerunner was based on this book.
|Also by PKD:
Man in the High Castle
by Alan Garner
The Owl Service is a stack of grimy old plates adorned with intricate flowery patterns. When Alison traces the patterns onto paper, she discovers they can be fitted together to create owls... owls that disappear when no one is watching.
The Owl Service reignites a legend in the Welsh valley where Alison, Roger, and Gwyn are vacationing for the summer, a tragic tale of a start-crossed romance and a woman's unspeakable punishment.
The Owl Service is a dark key that unlocks the past and forces Alison, Roger, and Gwyn to reenact the tragic love story a story that has repeated itself for generations... and that has always ended in disaster.
|Also by Garner:
The Stine Book Quartet
by Tim Burton
Jack Skellington is the mastermind behind Halloween but lately he's grown tired of the same old frights. So when he stumbles through a magical door and discovers Christmas Town a place filled with twinkling lights, happy people, and gaily wrapped presents he longs to be part of the cheer. That's when he comes up with a perfect plan: this year the Halloween gang will deliver Christmas with Jack himself in Santa's starring role!
Written and illustrated by Tim Burton, one of the leading visionaries in the film world, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a wonderfully irreverant and charmingly conceived fantasy and one sure to please readers year-round.
|Also by Burton:
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy
by Garth Nix
Ever since she was a tiny child, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won't stay dead. But now her father, the Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world.
Though her journey begins alone, she soon finds companion: Mogget, whose seemingly harmless feline form hides a powerful spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. With threats on all sides and only each other to trust, the three must travel deep into the Old Kingdom, toward a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own hidden destiny.
|Also by Nix:
Lirael (sequel to Sabriel)