Category Archives: infinity plus

New from Eric Brown: The Fall of Tartarus (first ebook edition)

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ebtfotIn myth Tartarus was the lowest region of hell. In reality it is a world about to die…

I’d heard many a tale about Tartarus Major, how certain continents were technological backwaters five hundred years behind the times; how the Church governed half the planet with a fist of iron, and yet how, across scattered islands and sequestered lands, a thousand bizarre and heretic cults prospered too.

I’d heard how a lone traveller was hardly safe upon the planet’s surface, prey to wild animals and cut-throats. Most of all I’d heard that Tartarus was a dying world, one that would be annihilated when its sun exploded in the magnificent stellar suicide of a supernova.

These are the stories of the people who are leaving Tartarus, those have decided to stay and those who are arriving on the planet for the apocalypse.

This ebook edition also features an afterword by the author.

“Eric Brown spins a terrific yarn” SFX

“This is the rediscovery of wonder” Stephen Baxter on Helix

“SF suffused with a cosmopolitan and literary sensibility” Paul McAuley

“British writing with a deft, understated touch: wonderful” New Scientist

Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboApple – Smashwords

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Shahrukh Husain’s A Restless Wind: “A rare glimpse of what life may or may not be like for modern Indian royalty.”

Over at The Asian Writer Shahrukh Husain talks about the background to her novel A Restless Wind:

“The story had been gestating since I was a teenager fascinated by the family events of a close relative, the Sufism, a certain annual festival held in the grounds of the house that I’ve renamed Qila. That house and its backyard community played a massive part in the formation of my values. There was a solidarity there, a unity, that transcended barriers and survived all the tittle-tattle, minor resentments and disagreements to be expected in all normal communities…”

Accompanying the interview, there’s a lovely review:

“Husain deftly handles a feast of characters and twisting plots. This is a cleverly written, challenging novel which asks the question what does it mean to be happy and fulfilled? … A rare glimpse of what life may or may not be like for modern Indian royalty. A fascinating read.”

~

The book:

arestlesswind-fbgraphic

 

Zara Hamilton leads an apparently charmed life as a human rights lawyer in London – but she is haunted by questions about her past. Why did her mother disappear? What made her college sweetheart, the Maharaja of Trivikrampur, abandon her? Why did her husband renege on a plan to return to her native India? And why has she avoided visiting her much-loved family home in Qila, Trivikrampur? After ten years as a Muslim in Britain, bereft of a homeland, Zara finally seeks the answers. When she returns to Qila, her world is shatteringly different, her aristocratic family mired in complications and far-right politics on the rise. Amid the unrest of a changing nation, Zara seeks the key to her mother’s secret as contemporary resentments clash with a harmonious past.

Buy this ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UK

Buy this book in print (ISBN: 1515075699): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
~

A Restless Wind piques the reader’s interest from the very beginning with fine details and a strong and engaging protagonist.” The Deccan Herald

“A fascinating emotional narrative of an expatriate, A Restless Wind intertwines the old with the new in modern India.” Muneeza Shamsie, Newsline (Pakistan)

“When India Exotic meets India Embattled a great new transcontinental heroine is born. Husain has put the characters together with great care. But it is Zara who is the novel’s anchor and her confusion over her identity propels the plot.” Kaveree Bamzai, India Today

“One intriguing trait of Husain’s narration is its delicately filigreed details. Her descriptions are graphic, colourful and semiotically nuanced. The semiotized narrative brings home to the reader the contrasted cultural set-ups, or, in phenomenological terms, the conflicting ‘lifeworlds’ that the different characters in the novel inhabit.” Arnab Bhattacharya, The Telegraph, India

~

Shahrukh Husain writes fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She has written four themed retellings of folklore and myth for Virago and worked on scripts commissioned by Merchant-Ivory and Buena Vista among others. Currently, she is developing TV projects for SKY, KUDOS and BENDIT FILMS while working on her second novel.

She is a practising analytical psychotherapist and has worked extensively with asylum-seekers and PTSD survivors.

She was born in Karachi, Pakistan and divides her time between northwest London and East Sussex.


New from infinity plus: No Grave for a Fox, and Muezzinland: the author’s edition

Following the success earlier this year of Beautiful Intelligence, Stephen Palmer’s fast-paced philosophical thriller exploring the emergence and nature of artificial sentience, infinity plus closes 2015 with two more titles from this author: No Grave for a Fox, a short novel set a few years after the close of Beautiful Intelligence; and a new edition of Muezzinland, the author’s preferred text of the third in this novel sequence.

No Grave for a Fox by Stephen Palmer

No Grave For A Fox by Stephen PalmerAvailable in print and ebook formats, 20 December 2015
http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/book.php?book=spngfaf

Ebook: Amazon US – Amazon UK – Barnes and Noble – Kobo – Apple – Smashwords

Print (ISBN: 1519390874): Amazon US – Amazon UK – CreateSpace – and other booksellers

In Beautiful Intelligence Stephen Palmer told a global story of artificial intelligence in a fractured, dangerous future, overseen by the eyes of the nexus. Now in No Grave For A Fox he continues the tale, returning to Kid Indigo, the mysterious AI last seen isolated and disorientated in the ruins of Seattle.

The year is 2110. In Africa, water and food shortages force many people to exist hand-to-mouth, including a couple of itinerant street musicians, Ibrahim and Elodie. When a Japanese dog appears one evening at a gig, Elodie befriends it, but soon the lives of the couple are entangled with both the dog and enigmatic nexus wizard Zouhair Fox.

Soon the trio find themselves taking part in a nexus revolution that threatens to cover Africa, and perhaps the whole world.

The short novel, No Grave For A Fox, is a second fast-paced, philosophical thriller that takes the reader across the globe through a post-oil world of danger, surprise and possibility.

“…a thrilling chase across a ravaged Europe, a burgeoning North Africa and balkanised US, interleaving excellent action set-pieces with fascinating philosophising on the nature of consciousness. A gripping read to the poignant last line.” The Guardian, on Beautiful Intelligence

“A bracingly imaginative novel… a rich, complex vision of a relatively near future which in some ways is familiar, in others, startlingly alien… a work which looks to a diverse global future with excitement and verve.” Gary Dalkin, Amazing Stories, on Beautiful Intelligence

“Palmer is a writer of unique and remarkable imagination.” Teresa Edgerton, SFF Chronicles

 

Muezzinland: the author’s edition by Stephen Palmer

Muezzinland: the author's edition by Stephen PalmerAvailable in print and ebook formats, 20 December 2015
http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/book.php?book=spamuez

Ebook: : Amazon US – Amazon UK – Barnes and Noble – Kobo – Apple – Smashwords

Print (ISBN: 1519391862): Amazon US – Amazon UK – CreateSpace – and other booksellers

Two sisters on the run, both pursued by their mother. But when this mother is the Empress of Ghana and one of the most powerful people in the world, it is no ordinary chase. And life has changed in the mid twenty second century. The aether is a telepathic cyberspace. Biochips augment human brains. AIs, concepts, even symbols can be dangerous.

Mnada is heir to the Ghanaian throne, yet something has been done to her brain that has made her insane, something to send her fleeing north across jungle and desert towards the mysterious place called Muezzinland.

Nshalla is relegated to the status of puppet, ignored, yet also part of her mother’s plan; she follows her sister’s flight, determined to discover the truth behind Muezzinland.

And the Empress herself, possessing the most modern technology with which to recapture her daughters – androids, morphic tools, orbital stations, all powered by a ruthless will. But not even she can predict what might happen should the family be reunited, least of all if it is inside Muezzinland…

Set in a vivid and fascinating future, Muezzinland is a tour de force of the imagination from the author of Beautiful Intelligence and No Grave for a Fox.

An earlier version of this novel was first published in 2003. This 2015 edition is the author’s preferred text.

“…a tour de force in imagining possibilities that lie beyond our information age… If you enjoy the full immersion experience of neo-magic, you’ll [like] Muezzinland.” Gwyneth Jones, New York Review Of SF

“…succeeds when many other similar attempts to fuse the mythic and the modern fail… in Muezzinland, the hybrid thrives, creating a compelling and cohesive vision… It’s an unusual and successful combination.” Matrix

“While the plot can be read as a relatively straightforward thriller, the book as a whole is considerably more than this. It succeeds in integrating the elements of myth and high technology, producing something of a hybrid that feels right.” Vector

 

Details of all infinity plus books can be found at http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/


Extract: Hell’s Ditch by Simon Bestwick

Hell's Ditch by Simon BestwickThe dream never changes: a moonless, starless night without end. The road she walks is black, bordered with round, white pebbles or nubs of polished bone; she can’t tell which but they’re the only white in the darkness, marking her way through the night.

In dreams and nightmares, Helen walks the Black Road. It leads her back from the grave, back from madness, back towards the man who caused the deaths of her family: Tereus Winterborn, Regional Commander for the Reapers, who rule the ruins of a devastated Britain.

On her journey, she gathers her allies: her old mentor Darrow, the cocky young fighter Danny, emotionally-scarred intelligence officer Alannah and Gevaudan Shoal, last of the genetically-engineered Grendelwolves.

Winterborn will stop at nothing to become the Reapers’ Supreme Commander; more than anything he seeks the advantage that will help him achieve that goal. And in the experiments of the obsessed scientist Dr Mordake, he thinks he has found it.

To Winterborn, Project Tindalos is a means to ultimate power; to Mordake, it’s a means to roll back the devastation of the War and restore his beloved wife to the living. But neither Winterborn nor Mordake understand the true nature of the forces they are about to unleash. Forces that threaten to destroy everything that survived the War, unless Helen and her allies can find and stop Project Tindalos in time.

*

Extract: Hell’s Ditch by Simon Bestwick

No sound. Somehow that’s the worst part of it: the silence.

She can’t even hear her footsteps click on the Black Road’s cobbles. Normally, when she finds herself walking of nights, when she sleeps, that sound’s the one bit of company she has. Now even that’s gone.

Colour begins bleeding into the night. Or at least grey does. It fills up the space on either side of the road, then covers the road itself. She feels it, soft and cushioning, underfoot.

The sky lightens. The sky, too, is ash. Somewhere beyond it there might be a sun, but it’s no more than a rumour of light. In the distance, the City, or what’s left of it. It’s only recognisable because it breaks the horizon in the right spot.

She stops and looks about. All is ashes. Here and there, the crumbling remains of a tree, a body, a gun stick clear of the dead grey carpet. Then she sees motion. Things crawling. They’re people, she realises. Or they were. It’s hard to be sure what they are now. The ash coats them – their clothes, their skin. And many of them are incomplete, missing fingers, hands or entire limbs, sections of faces stripped away. She can’t tell where their flesh ends and the dust begins, especially as they crawl in it, flounder in it, sink into it, some vanishing from sight to never rise again. Their faces – their faces are wads of ash and dust, with black gaping holes for mouths and eyes.

And the worst thing, the worst, worst thing, is the absence of sound. When those faces lift and gape wider to howl their prayers and agony to the uncaring, dying sky, she sees chests and shoulders heave as they try to scream. But there’s nothing. One figure kneels and screams and screams as its hands dissolve into streams of ash, waving the diminishing stumps of its arms about as if to extinguish the invisible fires devouring it.  But there’s no sound. It tries to rise, trips and falls into the ash. A grey cloud billows up. When it settles, the figure has broken apart like a toppled statue, its fragments either crumbling into or being swallowed up by the soft blanket that is the end of everything. A couple of the pieces are still moving.

Darkness falling, over her and them; an end to this at last? But no, in the distance the sky is still grimily pale. And this darkness has its edge, its contours. A shape. It’s the shadow of something vast and alive.

Slowly she turns and stares upwards. She doesn’t want to, but, as is common in dreams, she can’t stop herself.  She looks up and sees something vast and hunched and black blotting out the sky, sees its huge head turn and tilt downwards, feels whatever serves it for eyes come to bear on her.

She wants to wake up. She wants to wake up. But she’s still there, staring up at it from the plain of ash as the black shape leans down towards her, a scream building in her throat she knows will go unheard.

And then there’s one sound. Just one. The hiss of a wind through stone; the great shape’s whisper of its name:

Tindalos.

*

Simon Bestwick is the author of Tide Of Souls, The Faceless and Black Mountain. His short fiction has appeared in Black Static and Best Horror Of The Year, and been collected in A Hazy Shade Of Winter, Pictures Of The Dark, Let’s Drink To The Dead and The Condemned.

Website: www.simonbestwick.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Simon-Bestwick/373730462654091
Twitter: @GevaudanShoal


New: A Restless Wind by Shahrukh Husain

arestlesswind-fbgraphic

restlesswind-ebook-coverZara Hamilton leads an apparently charmed life as a human rights lawyer in London – but she is haunted by questions about her past. Why did her mother disappear? What made her college sweetheart, the Maharaja of Trivikrampur, abandon her? Why did her husband renege on a plan to return to her native India? And why has she avoided visiting her much-loved family home in Qila, Trivikrampur? After ten years as a Muslim in Britain, bereft of a homeland, Zara finally seeks the answers. When she returns to Qila, her world is shatteringly different, her aristocratic family mired in complications and far-right politics on the rise. Amid the unrest of a changing nation, Zara seeks the key to her mother’s secret as contemporary resentments clash with a harmonious past.

Buy this ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon Canada – FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Buy this book in print (ISBN: 1515075699): Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaCreateSpace – and other booksellers
~
A Restless Wind piques the reader’s interest from the very beginning with fine details and a strong and engaging protagonist.” The Deccan Herald

“A fascinating emotional narrative of an expatriate, A Restless Wind intertwines the old with the new in modern India.” Muneeza Shamsie, Newsline (Pakistan)

“When India Exotic meets India Embattled a great new transcontinental heroine is born. Husain has put the characters together with great care. But it is Zara who is the novel’s anchor and her confusion over her identity propels the plot.” Kaveree Bamzai, India Today

“One intriguing trait of Husain’s narration is its delicately filigreed details. Her descriptions are graphic, colourful and semiotically nuanced. The semiotized narrative brings home to the reader the contrasted cultural set-ups, or, in phenomenological terms, the conflicting ‘lifeworlds’ that the different characters in the novel inhabit.” Arnab Bhattacharya, The Telegraph, India

~
Shahrukh Husain writes fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She has written four themed retellings of folklore and myth for Virago and worked on scripts commissioned by Merchant-Ivory and Buena Vista among others. Currently, she is developing TV projects for SKY, KUDOS and BENDIT FILMS while working on her second novel.

She is a practising analytical psychotherapist and has worked extensively with asylum-seekers and PTSD survivors.

She was born in Karachi, Pakistan and divides her time between northwest London and East Sussex.


Publication day for Robert Holdstock and Garry Kilworth’s The Ragthorn, winner of the World Fantasy Award

Published today in book form for the first time:
The Ragthorn by Robert Holdstock and Garry Kilworth

The Ragthorn by Robert Holdstock and Garry Kilworth

“I am placing this entry at the beginning of my edited journal for reasons that will become apparent. Time is very short for me now, the final part of the ritual draws near… I cannot pretend that I am not frightened.”

There were these two British writers, one lived in the country, the other in the city. The country writer loved to visit the city and partake of brandy and Greek kebabs in the local hostelry. The city writer liked to visit the country and guzzle ale and barbecued steak under the apple trees. The two writers needed an excuse for these indulgences, and so they invented one, and this excuse was called “collaborating on a story” … It soon emerged that the story was to be about a legendary tree, which they both vaguely recalled from the tales their grandfathers used to tell them of mystery and myth. Soon they were delving with suppressed excitement into old documents at the British Museum and began to come up with some frightening discoveries.

The first of these finds was in studying the original text, in Anglo-Saxon, of the Old English poem “The Dream of the Rood”. The marrying of the “tree” (crucifixion cross) and the “thorn” (a runic character) was too elaborately regular to be an accident of metre or alliterative language. Other discoveries followed, and the story gradually surfaced, like a dark secret from its burial mound.

The Ragthorn: a dark and unsettling World Fantasy Award-winning novella by Robert Holdstock and Garry Kilworth.

Also included in this volume, two bonus stories: “The Fabulous Beast” by Garry Kilworth, and “The Charisma Trees” by Robert Holdstock.

Buy this ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboApple – Smashwords

Buy this book in print (ISBN: 1512281255): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers

Robert Holdstock:
‘Britain’s best fantasist … these are the visions of a real artist.’ – The Times
‘Our finest living mythmaker. His narratives – intense, exuberant, earthy, passionate, dense with metaphor – are new trails through the ancient forest of our imaginations. An essential writer.’ – Stephen Baxter
‘No other author has so successfully captured the magic of the wildwood.’ – Michael Moorcock
‘A new expression of the British genius for true fantasy.’ – Alan Garner, on Mythago Wood

Garry Kilworth:
‘Garry Kilworth is arguably the finest writer of short fiction today, in any genre.’ – New Scientist
‘Kilworth is one of the most significant writers in the English language.’ – Fear Magazine
‘Probably one of the finest writers of short stories Britain has ever produced.’ – Bookstove Online
‘Kilworth is a master of his trade.’ – Punch Magazine


New: Beautiful Intelligence by Stephen Palmer

Beautiful Intelligence by Stephen Palmer

~

AI or BI? Artificial intelligence or beautiful intelligence?

The race to create a sentient machine is headed by two teams, led by former researchers at Ichikawa Laboratories, who escape the regime there – and each other – to pursue their own dreams in the world beyond Japan.

Leonora Klee is creating a single android with a quantum computer brain, whose processing power has never before been achieved.

Manfred Klee is creating a group of individuals, none of them self-aware, in the hope that they will raise themselves to consciousness.

But with a Japanese chase team close on their heels, will either be successful before they are trapped and caught?

Beautiful Intelligence is a fast-paced, philosophical thriller that confronts questions of how we will create artificial sentience, and whether it will be beautiful.

“A supremely odd yet deeply rewarding experience…” Jason Pettus, CCLAP

“Stephen Palmer is a find.” Time Out

“Stephen Palmer is a writer you should read. His work is unique, original, sometimes challenging, always fresh and sometimes barking…” Amazing Stories

Cover by Steve Jones
Published: 01 Jul 2015

Buy this ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwords

Buy this book in print (ISBN: 1511550627): Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaCreateSpace – and other booksellers


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