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Welcome to the libraries’ News Blog! Here you’ll find reviews of new books, information about what’s happening at our libraries, and any breaking author news. We’ll also keep you up to date with exciting book award shortlists and prize announcements as they come to us, so check back often!

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Central Library talk: volunteering in the Pacific with VSA

Come along to the VSA talk at the Central Library on 19th of August at 5:30pm on the ground floor. Laurie Williams is keen to share his experience of volunteering with VSA in the Pacific and making a change to the local community.

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VSA (Volunteer Services Abroad|Te Tūao Tāwāhi) is New Zealand’s largest and most experienced volunteering agency working in international development. Kiwi volunteers share skills with people in the wider Pacific to help them build a better future for themselves and their children. Their work covers wide area include agriculture, law, education, health, public sanitation, management, business development, sports development and communications.

1VSA speaker Laurie Williams:
Before volunteering for VSA, Laurie worked in both primary and secondary education as a school principal in both New Zealand and Tonga. He also worked as an education consultant in both the Middle East and Tonga.  Laurie initially worked with VSA on a School Leadership Project with three head teachers in the Solomon Islands. He helped them to develop their role as school leaders. He was subsequently assigned to King George VI National Secondary School, as Senior Adviser, to work with the senior management team to develop, implement and improve good school practices. In 2012, the Ministry of Education, Human Resources and Development offered him the opportunity to lead the school as acting Principal.  This was followed by a series of short term assignments with the Ministry to strengthen the governance of their two secondary schools.

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An evening with suspense/thriller writer Michael Robotham

It is with much pleasure that Wellington City Libraries will be hosting an evening with popular Australian suspense/thriller writer Michael Robotham on Thursday 27th August 2015 at 6.00pm on the ground floor, Central Library, 65 Victoria Street.

He started his career as a journalist in Sydney, later moving to the United Kingdom where he worked for several national newspapers, finally becoming a features editor. From 1996 he became a ghost writer, collaborating on over fifteen ‘autobiographies’.

Syndetics book coverHis first novel titled, The Suspect was published in 2002 and became an instant best-seller, translated into 22 languages.
A recipient of many awards for crime writing, he has published a further 9 novels. Life and Death published in 2014 has now been followed by his most recent titled, Close your Eyes.

Syndetics book coverWe invite you to join us and the many readers who enjoy Michael’s work at the Central Library on the 27th August 2015. Michael will speak about his work, and will be available for questions. This is free event but we recommend booking. Please RSVP to Linda Bruce by phone: 801 4065 or email: Linda.Bruce@wcc.govt.nz.

Māori Language Week – competition for teens!

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Māwhai Tuhituhi online Te Reo writing competition for Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori

Hei whakanui i Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2015, kei te mahi pakiwaitara tuhituhi ā-ipurangi Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui, ā, ka taea e koe e tō kura rānei he taonga te wini.

Kua oti kē i te kaituhi rongonui haere nei a Paora Tibble, te whiti tuatahi te tuhituhi, ā, māu e āpiti atu ō tuhituhi ki te pakiwaitara ia rā, hei te 27-31 o Hūrae.

Ka whiriwhirihia kotahi te whiti ia rā (tae atu ki te 200 kupu), mai i ia reanga, ka mutu hoki ngā pakiwaitara hei te ahiahi o te Paraire te 31 o Hūrae.

Ko ngā Reanga: (Kura Tuarua) te Tau 9-13

Ka whiwhi taonga te toa kaituhi, ā, mō te kura e nui ana te takiuru mai : he haki hei hoko pukapuka

Kia whai wāhi koe ki te wini, tūhono mai ā-ipurangi ka tuhituhi mai rā: wcl.govt.nz/mawhaituhi

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To celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2015, Wellington City Libraries are weaving an online story, with the chance for you and your school to win a cool prize.

Well-known author, Paora Tibble, will write the first paragraph but we need you to continue the story each day, from 27-31 July.

A paragraph (up to 200 words) will be selected each day to continue the story, and the stories will finish on Friday afternoon, 31 July.

Age Group is: Year 9-13 high school students

A prize will be awarded to an overall winner, (Samsung 7” lite tablet) and book vouchers ( worth $250.00) for the school with the most entries.

For your chance to win, join us online and weave your story: wcl.govt.nz/mawhaituhi

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New Contemporary Fiction for July

This month’s selection of recently received new contemporary fiction promises to have something for all readers. From Victorian England to labour camps in China, from Germany to the Republic of Georgia, Newfoundland, Canada to San Francisco, the choice of this fiction is as exciting as the stories told.

Syndetics book coverSweetland / Michael Crummey.
“For twelve generations, the inhabitants of a remote island in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, they are facing resettlement. They have each been offered a generous compensation package to leave the island for good. There’s just one proviso: everyone must go. Gradually, all of the residents surrender to the inevitable. All of the residents, that is, but one: old Moses Sweetland. Motivated in part by a sense of history and belonging, and concerned that his somewhat eccentric great-nephew will wilt on the mainland, Moses resists the coercion of family and friends in order to hold onto the only place he’s ever called home. As his options dwindle, Moses Sweetland concocts a scheme to remain the island’s only living resident.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSophie and the Sibyl : a Victorian romance / Patricia Duncker.
“Berlin, September 1872. The Duncker brothers, Max and Wolfgang, own a thriving publishing business in the city. Clever, irresponsible Max is as fond of gambling and brothels as the older, wiser, Wolfgang is of making a profit. When Max’s bad habits get out of hand, Wolfgang sends him to the Spa town of Homburg, to dance attendance upon a celebrity author, the enigmatic Sibyl, also known as George Eliot. Enthralling and intelligent, she soon has Max bewitched. Yet Wolfgang has an ulterior motive: he wants his brother to consider Sophie von Hahn, daughter of a wealthy family friend, as a potential wife. At first, Max is lured by Sophie’s beauty and his affectionate memories of their shared childhood. But Sophie proves to be nothing like the vision of angelic domesticity Max was expecting.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fixer : a novel / Joseph Finder.
“When former investigative reporter Rick Hoffman loses his job, fiancée, and apartment, his only option is to move back into, and renovate, the home of his miserable youth, now empty and in decay since the stroke that put his father in a nursing home. As Rick starts to pull apart the old house, he makes an electrifying discovery, millions of dollars hidden in the walls. It’s enough money to completely transform Rick’s life and everything he thought he knew about his father. Yet the more of his father’s hidden past that Rick brings to light, the more dangerous his present becomes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe museum of things left behind / Seni Glaister.
“As part of Lizzie Holmesworth’s Duke of Edinburgh gold program, she visits Vallerosa, a secluded inland country, cut off from the rest of Europe except by a single railway track. Due to a simple misunderstanding she is mistaken for a member of the British royal family and, as a result, is allowed into the lives and hearts of the Vallerosan people. This young girl’s interactions with its people begin to heal a dysfunctional nation, and bring great changes to many of the country’s inhabitants, not least their ruler.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe four books / Yan Lianke ; translated from the Chinese by Carlos Rojas.
“In the ninety-ninth district of a sprawling reeducation compound, freethinking artists and academics are detained to strengthen their loyalty to Communist ideologies. Here, the Musician and her lover, the Scholar, along with the Author and the Theologian, are forced to carry out grueling physical work and are encouraged to inform on each other for dissident behavior. The prize: winning the chance at freedom. They’re overseen by preadolescent supervisor, the Child, who delights in reward systems and excessive punishments. When agricultural and industrial production quotas are raised to an unattainable level, the ninety-ninth district dissolves into lawlessness. And then, as inclement weather and famine set in, they are abandoned by the regime and left alone to survive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTightrope / Simon Mawer.
“Marian Sutro has survived Ravensbruck and is back in dreary 1950s London trying to pick up the pieces of her pre-war life. Returned to an England she barely knows and a post-war world she doesn’t understand Marian searches for something on which to ground the rest of her life. Family and friends surround her and a young RAF officer attempts to bring her the normality’s of love and affection but she is haunted by her experiences and by the guilt of knowing that her contribution to the war effort helped lead to the development of the Atom Bomb. When a mysterious Russian diplomat emerges from the shadows to draw her into the ambiguities and uncertainties of the Cold War she sees a way to make amends for the past and to renew the excitement of her double life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWaiting for the electricity : a novel / Christina Nichol.
“In the republic of Georgia, the Communists are long gone, replaced by something much more confusing.There are no jobs in the cities, and when there are jobs, employees aren’t compensated. And when they are compensated, it’s because the jobs are not strictly scrupulous. When Slims discovers an application for an American small business internship programme sponsored by Hillary Clinton, he knows that he has found his calling. Slims’ dreams of bringing opportunity and the American dream to his homeland, even as his friends and relatives embrace decadence and a staggering array of unsavoury business practices. But when he finally gets to America he sees what reform and progress look like up close, suddenly, his loud, bickering family and his anguished, joyful country no longer seem so grim.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInvasion of Privacy / Christopher Reich
“On a remote, dusty road forty miles outside of Austin, Texas, FBI agent Joe Grant and a confidential informant are killed in a deadly shootout. Left to pick up the pieces is Mary Grant, Joe’s young wife and mother of their two daughters. The official report places blame for the deaths on Joe’s shoulders, but the story just doesn’t add up and Mary has too many troubling questions that need answers. How did Joe’s final voice mail, containing a cryptic warning for Mary, recorded moments before the fatal shooting, disappear without a trace from her phone? Stonewalled by the FBI, Mary will be drawn into a deadly conspiracy that puts her in the crosshairs of the richest and most powerful men in America and the newest and most terrifying surveillance system known to man.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoo : a novel / Neil Smith.
“It is the first week of school in 1979, and Oliver “Boo” Dalrymple,ghostly pale eighth grader; aspiring scientist; social pariah,is standing next to his locker, reciting the periodic table. The next thing he knows, he finds himself lying in a strange bed in a strange land. He is a new resident of a place called Town, an afterlife exclusively for thirteen-year-olds. Soon Boo is joined by Johnny Henzel, a fellow classmate, who brings with him a piece of surprising news about the circumstances of the boys’ deaths. To Boo’s great surprise, the qualities that made him an outcast at home win him friends; and he finds himself capable of a joy he has never experienced. But there is a darker side to life after death and as Boo and Johnny attempt to learn what happened that fateful day, they discover a disturbing truth that will have profound repercussions for both of them.” (Adapted from Syndetics sunmmary)

Syndetics book coverOstland / David Thomas.
“In wartime Berlin the brilliant, idealistic young detective Georg Heuser joins the Murder Squad in the midst of the biggest manhunt the city has ever seen. A killer is slaughtering women on S-Bahn trains and leaving their battered bodies by the tracks. Heuser must confront evil eye-to-eye to track down the murderer. Soon after the case is solved, with the winds of world war stirring, Heuser is promoted by the SS and ultimately sent off to oversee the systematic murder of tens of thousands of Jews in the conquered region to the east the Nazis call Ostland . Nearly twenty years after the end of the war Heuser thinks his diabolical past has been forgotten, but an enterprising young lawyer, Paula Siebert, searching through Soviet archives, discovers evidence of Heuser’s wartime crimes. Siebert is haunted by one question: how could a once decent man have become a sadistic monster?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Two talks: Ngā kōrero o Te Whanganui-a-Tara, the forming of this land – an iwi perspective

As well as a story competition for Teens (Māwhai Tuhituhi – test your language skills!), we have two special talks on next week at the Central Library to celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.

We’re very lucky to have two speakers from Mana Whenua (Kura Moeahu and Neavin Broughton), who will present their stories beginning with the pūrākau of Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

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Both talks are on the topic of a “Sense of Place – the forming of this land: an iwi perspective”.

Tuesday 28 July, 12:30-1:30pm (Central Library)

Kura Moeahu: A sense of place; a bilingual korero: mai i ngā taniwha

He kōrero beginning with the story of Ngake and Whātaitai (bilingual).

Thursday 30 July, 12:30-1:30pm (Central Library)

Neavin Broughton: A sense of place: he whakaaro ano

He kōrero beginning with the story of Kupe (bilingual).

So, drop in to the Ground Floor of the Central Library next Tuesday or Thursday lunchtime to listen to Neavin Broughton and Kura Moeahu talk about how Wellington was formed and the meaning behind place names for mountains, rivers and our beautiful harbour. All welcome! A Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2015 event – nau mai, haere mai.

New Graphic Novels for July

This month’s selection of new Graphic novels includes the first volumes of two new series and the anthology High Water, showcasing eleven of New Zealand’s best graphic artists.

Syndetics book coverMagneto [1] : infamous / writer, Cullen Bunn ; artists, Gabriel Hernandez Walta & Javier Hernandez.
“Once most feared mutant mastermind on the planet, Magneto is no longer the man he was. After allying with Cyclops and the X-Men, he became a pawn. Determined to fight for mutantkind’s survival on his own terms, Magneto sets out to regain what he’s lost. Magneto will safeguard the future of the mutant race by hunting down each and every threat that would see his kind extinguished and bloody his hands that they may never be a threat again. But as horrors from his past loom large and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents pursue him, will Magneto become the villain he once was?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA second chance at Sarah / created & written by Neil Druckmann ; art by Joysuke Wong.
“Johnny couldn’t be happier with his life. He has a beautiful wife and a baby on the way. But once the baby is born, tragedy strikes. Sarah slips into a mysterious coma which no doctor can diagnose. Johnny discovers that Sarah dabbled in the occult when she was younger and made a deal with a demon; she is now in a coma because her soul has been ‘collected’. Desperate to free her from limbo, he makes his own deal with the demon and goes back in time to stop Sarah’s initial deal.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHigh water / editing: Damon Keen.
“Change is coming. With a mixture of sardonic wit and unsettling insight, eleven of New Zealand’s best comic artists speculate on the looming threat of climate change and what it means for us, our children, and our future as a species” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKinski / written and drawn by Gabriel Hardman.
“A salesman’s self-styled mission to save a puppy from its neglectful owners escalates into a righteous crusade in this quirky crime thriller.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverC.O.W.L. Volume 1, Principles of power / story, Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel ; art, Rod Reis ; additional art issue 4, Stéphane Perger.
“Welcome to the “Chicago Organized Workers League”,the world’s first Super-Hero Labor Union! While C.O.W.L. once stood as a beacon of hope against an epidemic of organized crime and an unbeatable “brotherhood” of Super-Villains, the union now faces its fiercest foe yet, a disillusioned public. In targeting the last of the great villains, C.O.W.L. attempts to prove its value to the world and to each other, while staving off villainy from both outside and inside its offices.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe sculptor / Scott McCloud.
“David Smith is giving his life for his art–literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn’t making it any easier.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAlone forever : the singles collection / by Liz Prince.
“Liz Prince’s , finally brings her popular webcomic to printed form, Alone Forever explores the joys of flying solo, free to focus on what really matters: comics, punk rock, and cute boys with beards.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDrumhellar. Volume one, Badlands and bad trips / Riley Rossmo, story, art, colors ; Alex Link, script.
“When shock-induced visions drive Drum Hellar, a detective specializing in the paranormal, to a small town in South Dakota, he finds himself up against a flesh-hungry bog-man, their mutual ex-girlfriend (actually a werewolf?), and a demon that’s stolen his arsenal of psychedelics. Then things start to get weird. With his ghostly sidekick Harold, who has powers so mysterious even he doesn’t understand them, Drum Hellar sets out on this weird, and wicked adventure. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDoctors / Dash Shaw.
“Dr. Cho is the creator of the Charon, a device that allows his staff to take the form of a memory in a dead patients’ consciousness’s, and bring them back to life, with one catch: the experience is traumatic and the process kills them again soon thereafter. But for some bereaved, the opportunity is priceless. So when Bell is killed in a random accident, her daughter hires Dr. Cho’s team to bring her back. But what if Bell didn’t want to come back? The dying unconsciously create the afterlife they want, or feel they deserve, in their minds before everything fades to black. Isn’t that better than the reality, and no less meaningful than life itself? (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSaint Cole / a novel by Noah Van Sciver.
” Saint Cole depicts four days in the life of a twenty-eight-year-old suburbanite named Joe, who works at a pizzeria to support his girlfriend Nicole and their infant child, and then Nicole invites her troubled mother to move into their two-bedroom apartment until she lands on her feet again. Joe reacts by retreating into alcohol: he wants out, and he’s angry. He’s in a position to act rashl, and he does.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Sound & Vision: New CDs

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection. To reserve these items click on the title link below, and to find out a bit more about them click on the cover images…

Of Monsters and Men – Beneath the skin.
Franz Ferdinand – Sparks.
Fotheringay – Nothing more: the collected Fotheringay.

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New Classical Vocal Music

This week we highlight some ensemble vocal offerings, and some Grieg piano music.

ClassicalrecentJul15b1Lutheran Masses, Bach. Performed by Bach Collegium, Japan (Masaaki Suzuki, director).
“The Reformation’s fundamental alterations to traditional forms of church service, had, by Bach’s time, resulted in German churches Latin yielding to the country’s own language. To a limited extent, however, the Latin mass text did remain in use in the Protestant church in particular the Kyrie and Gloria sections. Termed Missa to differentiate them from complete settings, these pieces are often referred to now as ‘Lutheran Masses’. Bach’s famous Mass in B minor began its existence as a work of this type, and four other examples from Bach’s pen have survived. Newly performed and recorded by Bach Collegium Japan under the direction of Masaaki Suzuki, the Missae BWV 235 and 236 are here combined with four separate settings of the Sanctus. Two of these are original works, whereas BWV 241, and possibly also 240, is an arrangement of another composers setting. The ‘KyrieChriste’ BWV Anh 26 is an example of how Bach used music by other composers, in this case by his Neapolitan contemporary Francesco Durante.” (amazon.com)

Te Deum, Arvo Pärt. Performed by the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Peter Dijkstra, director).
Our favourite Estonian composer is back. The Te Deum (first performed in 1985) calls for three choirs, prepared piano, string orchestra and tape. The Pilgrim’s Song (Wallfahrtslied) here is the version for men’s choir, while the Berliner Messe (1992 version for string orchestra) completes this compilation.

ClassicalrecentJul15b3Madrigali, Volume 1: Cremona, Monteverdi. Performed by Les Arts Florissants (Paul Agnew, director).
“Recordings made at the Cité de la musique on the occasion of the complete Monteverdi madrigal cycle presented in partnership with the Cité de la musique/Philharmonie de Paris and the theatre de Caen.” (cover). This volume includes Books one to three (1587 to 1592). The set will have three volumes in total, each dedicated to a city of significance to the composer.

Also recently added: Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, and Lyric Pieces, performed by Javier Perianes.

New Mysteries for July

There is a great array of characters filling the pages in this selection of the newly received mystery fiction. From serial killers, to vicars, painters to mathematicians, and of course the usual steadfast Private Investigators and Police Detectives. Highly recommended is Swedish writer David Lagercrantz’s mystery titled The Fall of Man in Wilmslow.

Syndetics book coverLives lost / Britta Bolt.
“Pieter Posthumus is enjoying a quiet drink in his favourite bar when the screaming starts. A minute later, the owner of the guesthouse next door rushes in: one of her tenants has been murdered. Marloes, the guesthouse owner, is an odd but kind soul. Posthumus cannot believe it when she is arrested, for both her tenant Zig’s murder and another death several years before. He knows there are questions unanswered: what is the link between the two cases? Why people are so keen to think Marloes is guilty? And why did Zig paint just one picture every year, a copy of a Dutch master, but with one peculiar twist?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe gentle art of murder / Jeanne M. Dams.
“Murder threatens to disturb the creativeness of Sherebury’s art college. One late-summer’s evening, before the beginning of the new term, Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired police detective Alan Nesbitt, are guests at Sherebury University art department’s drinks party to introduce the new teaching assistant, sculptress Gillian Roberts However, tragedy strikes on a tour of the sculpture department, when the lift breaks down and a corpse is discovered at the bottom of the lift shaft. Dorothy and Alan become involved in the ensuing investigation, putting their local knowledge and sleuthing skills to good use once again. But when another member of the art faculty goes missing and someone receives threatening phone calls, it seems the killer still has something to hide and may very well strike again.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe burning man / Christopher Fowler.
“London is under siege. A banking scandal has filled the city with violent protests, and as the anger in the streets detonates, a young homeless man burns to death after being caught in the crossfire between rioters and the police. But all is not as it seems; an opportunistic killer is using the chaos to exact revenge, but his intended victims are so mysteriously chosen that the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to find a way of stopping him. Using their network of eccentric contacts, elderly detectives Arthur Bryant and John May hunt down a murderer who adopts incendiary methods of execution. But they soon find their investigation taking an apocalyptic turn as the case comes to involve the history of mob rule, corruption, rebellion, punishment and the legend of Guy Fawkes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA good way to go / Peter Helton.
“On his first day back at work following his suspension, DI McLusky finds himself in the midst of a major murder enquiry when a body is discovered in the canal at Netham Lock. Chained, weighted down, tied to a buoy by the neck, it has all the hallmarks of a premeditated, ritualistic killing. As he questions those who knew the victim in an attempt to uncover the dead woman’s secrets, McLusky’s investigations are disrupted by the discovery of a second body. Bound and gagged like the first, but there are differences. If McLusky could only work out what connects the victims, he would be one step closer to catching the killer, and preventing more deaths.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe truth will out / Jane Isaac.
“Eva is horrified when she witnesses an attack on her best friend. She calls an ambulance and forces herself to flee Hampton, fearing for her own safety. DCI Helen Lavery leads the investigation into the murder. With no leads, no further witnesses and no sign of forced entry, the murder enquiry begins. Slowly, the pieces of the puzzle start to come together. But as Helen inches towards solving the case, her past becomes caught up in her present. Someone is after them both. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what they want. And as the net starts to close around them, can Helen escape her own demons as well as helping Eva to escape hers?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Fall of Man in Wilmslow / David Lagercrantz ; translated from the Swedish by George Goulding.
“June 8, 1954. Alan Turing, the visionary mathematician, is found dead at his home in sleepy Wilmslow, dispatched by a poisoned apple. Taking the case, Detective Constable Leonard Corell quickly learns Turing is a convicted homosexual. Confident it’s a suicide, he is nonetheless confounded by official secrecy over Turing’s war record. What is more, Turing’s sexuality appears to be causing alarm among the intelligence services, could he have been blackmailed by Soviet spies? Stumbling across evidence of Turing’s genius, and sensing an escape from a narrow life, Corell soon becomes captivated by Turing’s brilliant and revolutionary work, and begins to dig deeper. But in the paranoid, febrile atmosphere of the Cold War, loose cannons cannot be tolerated. As his innocent curiosity fast takes him far out of his depth, Corell realises he has much to learn about the dangers of forbidden knowledge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSignature kill / David Levien.
“A young woman’s body is found on a side street in Indianapolis, horrifyingly arranged. Meanwhile, Frank Behr, who is down on his luck and virtually broke, takes on a no-win case to locate a single mother’s wayward daughter who’s been missing for many months. Suddenly Behr feels the two cases may be connected, but he is years removed from his life as a legitimate police officer and has few friends left on the force. His relentless focus has always been his greatest strength and his deepest flaw. As the death toll rises, it becomes clear Indianapolis has a serial killer in its midst, an invisible average Joe who passes beneath the radar but commits unspeakable acts. Frank Behr’s pursuit will lead him to a dark place, and ultimately to a devastating decision from which he will not be able to turn back.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA Demon summer / G. M. Malliet.
“Someone has been trying to poison the 15th Earl of Lislelivet. Since Lord Lislelivet has a gift for making enemies, no one, particularly his wife,finds this too surprising. What is surprising is that the poison was discovered in a fruitcake made and sold by the Handmaids of St. Lucy of Monkbury Abbey. The powerful Lord complains loudly to the local bishop, who asks Father Max Tudor, vicar of Nether Monkslip and former MI5 agent, to investigate. Just as Max comes to believe the poisoning was accidental, a body is discovered in the cloister well.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe killing of Bobbi Lomax / Cal Moriarty.
“Halloween 1983. Bobbi Lomax was the first to die; the bomb killed the prom queen on her own front lawn. Just moments later, one of the nails from the city’s second bomb forced its way into the brain of property investor Peter Gudsen, killing him almost instantly. The third bomb didn’t quite kill Clark Houseman. Hovering on the brink, the rare books dealer turns out to be Detectives Sinclair and Alvarez’s best hope of finding out what linked these unlikely victims, and who wanted them dead and why. But can they find the bomber before he kills again?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInto the night / Jake Woodhouse.
“A woman is pushed in front of a train by a man in police uniform. And a body is left on a rooftop, its hands scorched and head missing. Another day in Amsterdam: Western Europe’s murder capital. The killer announces to the world that this is merely the beginning. The man tasked with stopping the body count is Inspector Jaap Rykel. But as Jaap searches the beheaded body for clues as to its identity, what he finds makes his blood run cold. Why on earth are there pictures of himself and his home saved on the victim’s phone.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Science Fiction and Fantasy for July

There is as always a great variation of theme in this month’s selection from the recently received new titles. From space warfare, to teleportation, human-alien encounters to genetic engineering, the paranormal to dystopias. Highly recommended is the first volume in the Jubliee Cycle, by Eli K. P. William, titled Cash crash jubilee.

Syndetics book coverBlood of the cosmos / Kevin J. Anderson.
“This is the second book in the Saga of Shadows trilogy, an epic space opera of the titanic conflict of several galactic civilizations against a life-destroying force of shadows, a dark cosmic force that has swept through the undercurrents of the human interstellar empire. The humans and Ildirans, having narrowly escaped annihilation at the hands of the Shana Rei and their robot allies, are desperate to find a way to combat the black cloud of antimatter of the Shana Rei. The mysterious alien Gardeners, who had helped them previously, turn out to be a disaster in disguise and because of them, the world tree forests are again in danger. The allies believing they have found a way to stop their dreaded enemies, a new weapon is tested, but it’s a horrible failure, throwing the human race and its allies to the brink of extinction.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCash crash jubilee / Eli K. P. William.
“In a near future Tokyo, every action, from blinking to sexual intercourse, is intellectual property owned by corporations that charge licensing fees. A BodyBank computer system implanted in each citizen records their movements from moment to moment, and connects them to the audio-visual overlay of the ImmaNet. Amon Kenzaki works as a Liquidator for the Global Action Transaction Authority. His job is to capture bankrupt citizens, remove their BodyBank, and banish them to BankDeath Camps where they are forever cut off from the action-transaction economy. Everything seems to be going well for Amon, until he is asked to cash crash a charismatic politician and model citizen, and soon after is charged for an incredibly expensive action called “jubilee” that he is sure he never performed. To restore balance to his account, Amon must unravel the secret of jubilee, but quickly finds he is asking dangerous questions about the system to which he’s devoted his life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe water knife / Paolo Bacigalupi.
“The American Southwest has been decimated by drought, Nevada and Arizona skirmish over dwindling shares of the Colorado River, while California watches. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in Phoenix, Las Vegas water knife Angel Velasquez is sent to investigate. With a wallet full of identities and a tricked-out Tesla, Angel arrows south, hunting for answers that seem to evaporate as the heat index soars and the landscape becomes more and more oppressive. There, Angel encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist who knows far more about Phoenix’s water secrets than she admits, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas migrant who dreams of escaping north to those places where water still falls from the sky. As bodies begin to pile up and bullets start flying, the three find themselves pawns in a game far bigger, more corrupt, and dirtier than any of them could have imagined.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLeviathan / Jack Campbell.
“Two Syndicate Worlds star systems have fallen prey to a mysterious fleet of warships a fleet controlled entirely by artificial intelligence that is now targeting Alliance space. The warships are no mystery to Geary. They were developed by his government to ensure security, but malfunctioned. If the Syndics learn the truth, the war with the Alliance will resume with a vengeance. As the government attempts to conceal the existence of the AI warships and its role in their creation Geary pursues them, treading a fine line between mutiny and obedience. But it soon becomes clear that his fleet is no match for the firepower of the machine-piloted armada.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fold / Peter Clines.
“The folks in Mike Erikson’s small New England town would say he’s just your average, everyday guy, the life he’s chosen may not be much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but Mike is content with his quiet and peaceful existence. That is, until an old government friend presents him with an irresistible mystery–one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: it seems that a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device that could make teleportation a reality. But something is very wrong with the project. The personalities of the scientists who work on it are changing. People are dying. And reality itself seems to be warping. Mike soon learns that the machine is not at all what it appears to be and that its creators may have opened a doorway to something horrible that lurks just outside our world’s borders.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEnd of days / Susan Ee.
“The last book in the End of Days trilogy. After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all. When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other? ‘(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFrom a drood to a kill / Simon R. Green.
“Some call me Shaman Bond, but I was born Eddie Drood, the latest in a long line of folks who chase monsters out of closets for a living to keep humanity safe from all that is dark, demonic, and just downright evil. Needless to say, we’ve made our fair share of enemies over the centuries-and made some questionable bargains. In exchange for the power to fight the forces of darkness, my parents signed over their souls. They’re not the only ones who’ve made deals with Heaven, Hell, and every otherworldly realm in between, but now the bill’s due for several big names in the supernatural community, including my girl, Molly. The rules are simple: get from one side of the pocket dimension to the other and kill your competitors. The winner’s debt is paid in full, and the losers get themselves permanently lost, body and soul, forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe book of Phoenix / Nnedi Okorafor.
“Phoenix was grown and raised among other genetic experiments in New York’s Tower 7. She is an “accelerated woman”,only two years old but with the body and mind of an adult, Phoenix’s abilities far exceed those of a normal human. Still innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world, she is content living in her room speed reading e-books, running on her treadmill, and basking in the love of Saeed, another biologically altered human of Tower 7. Then one evening, Saeed witnesses something so terrible that he takes his own life. Devastated by his death and Tower 7′s refusal to answer her questions, Phoenix finally begins to realize that her home is really her prison, and she becomes desperate to escape. But Phoenix’s escape, and her destruction of Tower 7, is just the beginning of her story.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGlorious angels / Justina Robson.
“On a world where science and magic are hard to tell apart, a stranger arrives in a remote town with news of political turmoil to come. And a young woman learns that she must free herself from the role she has accepted” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSeveneves / Neal Stephenson.
“Five thousand years later after a catastrophic event rendered the Earth a ticking time bomb, the progeny of a handful of outer space explorers, seven distinct races now three billion strong, embark on yet another audacious journey: to return to Earth.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)


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