An enticing collection of tales told in the fabulist and metafiction traditions, Lost Cantos of the Ouroboros Caves embraces a cyclical movement of renewal, like the ancient ouroboros motif itself, in which artfully rendered answers always give rise to perplexing new questions. Maggie Schein’s stories introduce medicine men, monks, immortals, witches, seekers, and souls in various stages of their cycles in and out of lived life, as well as the occasional talking animal, all searching for meaning and for connections to one another through storytelling. Each fable is a meditation on love, death, growth, pain, identity, self, spirit, cruelty, beauty, and the natural order, as seen from the perspectives of the primal, the celestial, or the spiritual. Rooted in the archetypes of mythology and philosophy, Schein’s lost cantos are stories about the events that make up our lives and our deaths. She makes deft use of familiar forms and universal symbols to explore anew through narrative those questions and experiences that have always vexed us about our confounding existence and the speculative possibilities that abound within and beyond the moral coil. Schein’s tales ask us to reconsider what it means to live and to die, to be simultaneously a creature of magic and the mundane, of the extraordinary and the all-too-ordinary. The result is a delicate but potent collection of alluring fables for the modern reader, recalling classical stories and myths of days long past and asking once more the questions that continue to haunt us. This expanded edition adds three new fables not included in the original edition as well as new illustrations for all eleven stories from artist Jonathan Hannah.
Author: Maggie Schein
Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press
Prophetic dreams have haunted Dan Tenney since childhood, foretelling him of a life-changing event that is soon to take place. But before he can learn the meaning of his visions, he is attacked by a shadowy group of extremists: the Brotherhood of the Grail. Finding sanctuary underground, an ancient relic comes into his possession and Dan begins to understand the path his visions have laid out before him. His quest will be fraught with an otherwordly people and an event that could tip the balance in favour of human existence—or disastrously against it. The mysterious Brotherhood will do everything in their power to prevent Dan from fulfilling his destiny as the Bearer of Ouroboros.
Author: Patricia Leslie
Publisher: Odyssey Books via PublishDrive
25th century humanity has colonized space and achieved technological immortality through advances in medical science and nanotechnology. After a war with sentient artificial persons, a treaty has made it illegal to force them into service for any reason. As a result, this extremely risk-averse and fragile society is faced with a dilemma that had long been absent: some must give up their immortality so that others may live. To answer this call, volunteers create an elite all-human rescue team to handle emergencies and disasters both planetside and in deep space. The story follows that team's leader, Commander John Mitchell, a man who struggles with a rare condition - The Ouroboros Effect - triggered by the trauma of losing his wife and daughter in a failed rescue attempt. John believes that his technology and training can keep him alive, but he will come to find that his greatest dangers lie within.
Author: D. Juliano
Publisher: Mindful Elements Library In
For a thousand years, the immortal Shashavani have hidden from the world in the halls of their mountain fortress, amassing great stores of knowledge in a haven of academic tranquility. And while Doctor Varanus has never found tranquility much to her taste, even she cannot deny that the peace and quiet make for a pleasant diversion following the chaos of her recent adventures in London. Having left the horrors of bloodshed and wellness behind her, Varanus has thrown herself headlong into the study of the Shashavani condition, determined to learn the secrets of their undying power. But all is not as it seems in the House of Shashava. As winter snow covers the Shashavani valley and chokes the mountain passes, sinister events are unfolding in the shadows. Whispers of conspiracy echo through the halls. Soon loyalties will be tested and friendships betrayed. Blood will flow. For upon the frozen steppe, an ancient evil stirs and turns its gaze toward the House of Shashava, hungering for power and revenge. As darkness descends, one question remains: Do you serve the Winter King?
Author: G.D. Falksen
Publisher: Wildside Press LLC
It is 1899, and Doctor Varanus is in Prague with her mentor Iosef, both still recovering from the scars of the Shashavani civil war. Iosef has found a reprieve from grief in the study of the so-called “Black Goat” cults, aided by a charming Prussian nobleman and a mysterious bookseller. Under other circumstances, Varanus might regard Iosef’s fascination with occult philosophies as troublingly superstitious, but she has greater concerns. Her wayward son Friedrich has taken up residence in Prague as well, and in the company of artists, revolutionaries, and other such rabble-rousers. As Varanus endeavors to carry on her research and drag Friedrich back into respectable society, she discovers something sinister may be at work in the Kingdom of Bohemia. Could there be more to Iosef’s occult studies than he or his new friends realize? Truth or fantasy, a shadow looms over Prague, threatening to drag Varanus and all she holds dear into the darkness of an unending night . . .
Author: G.D. Falksen
Publisher: Wildside Press LLC
The New York Times film critic shows why we need criticism now more than ever Few could explain, let alone seek out, a career in criticism. Yet what A.O. Scott shows in Better Living Through Criticism is that we are, in fact, all critics: because critical thinking informs almost every aspect of artistic creation, of civil action, of interpersonal life. With penetrating insight and warm humor, Scott shows that while individual critics--himself included--can make mistakes and find flaws where they shouldn't, criticism as a discipline is one of the noblest, most creative, and urgent activities of modern existence. Using his own film criticism as a starting point--everything from his infamous dismissal of the international blockbuster The Avengers to his intense affection for Pixar's animated Ratatouille--Scott expands outward, easily guiding readers through the complexities of Rilke and Shelley, the origins of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones, the power of Marina Abramovich and 'Ode on a Grecian Urn.' Drawing on the long tradition of criticism from Aristotle to Susan Sontag, Scott shows that real criticism was and always will be the breath of fresh air that allows true creativity to thrive. "The time for criticism is always now," Scott explains, "because the imperative to think clearly, to insist on the necessary balance of reason and passion, never goes away."
How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth
Author: A. O. Scott
Category: Literary Criticism
World Fantasy Award-Winner First time available in an e-book edition "Rich and regal." —The New York Times Young Sybel, the heiress of powerful wizards, needs the company of no-one outside her gates. In her exquisite stone mansion, she is attended by exotic, magical beasts: Riddle-master Cyrin the boar; the treasure-starved dragon Gyld; Gules the Lyon, tawny master of the Southern Deserts; Ter, the fiercely vengeful falcon; Moriah, feline Lady of the Night. Sybel only lacks the exquisite and mysterious Liralen, which continues to elude her most powerful enchantments. But Sybel's solitude is to be shattered when a desperate soldier arrives bearing a mysterious child. Soon Sybel will discover that the world of men is full of love, deceit, and the temptations of vast power.
Author: Patricia A. McKillip
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
"A remarkable piece of invention, a flight from the world of the familiar and the real into the exotic universe of dream and desire." —New York Times Book Review When a light aircraft crashes into the Thames at Shepperton, the young pilot who struggles to the surface minutes later seems to have come back from the dead. Within hours everything in the dormitory suburb is transformed. Vultures invade rooftops, luxuriant tropical vegetation overruns the quiet avenues, and the local inhabitants are propelled by the young man’s urgent visions through ecstatic sexual celebrations toward an apocalyptic climax. In this characteristically inventive novel Ballard displays to devastating effect the extraordinary imagination that has established him as one of the twentieth century’s most visionary writers.
Author: J. G. Ballard
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Haven Moore can't control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother's house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was. In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves, before all is lost and the cycle begins again.
Author: Kirsten Miller
Category: Young Adult Fiction
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Vanity Fair, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Refinery 29, Men's Journal, Ploughshares, Lit Hub, Book Riot, Los Angeles Magazine, Powells, BookPage and Kirkus Reviews The much-anticipated first novel from a Story Prize-winning “5 Under 35” fiction writer. In 2012, Claire Vaye Watkins’s story collection, Battleborn, swept nearly every award for short fiction. Now this young writer, widely heralded as a once-in-a-generation talent, returns with a first novel that harnesses the sweeping vision and deep heart that made her debut so arresting to a love story set in a devastatingly imagined near future: Unrelenting drought has transfigured Southern California into a surreal, phantasmagoric landscape. With the Central Valley barren, underground aquifer drained, and Sierra snowpack entirely depleted, most “Mojavs,” prevented by both armed vigilantes and an indifferent bureaucracy from freely crossing borders to lusher regions, have allowed themselves to be evacuated to internment camps. In Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon, two young Mojavs—Luz, once a poster child for the Bureau of Conservation and its enemies, and Ray, a veteran of the “forever war” turned surfer—squat in a starlet’s abandoned mansion. Holdouts, they subsist on rationed cola and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise. The couple’s fragile love somehow blooms in this arid place, and for the moment, it seems enough. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins. They head east, a route strewn with danger: sinkholes and patrolling authorities, bandits and the brutal, omnipresent sun. Ghosting after them are rumors of a visionary dowser—a diviner for water—and his followers, who whispers say have formed a colony at the edge of a mysterious sea of dunes. Immensely moving, profoundly disquieting, and mind-blowingly original, Watkins’s novel explores the myths we believe about others and tell about ourselves, the double-edged power of our most cherished relationships, and the shape of hope in a precarious future that may be our own. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Claire Vaye Watkins
"The greatest and most convincing writer of 'invented worlds' that I have read." — J. R. R. Tolkien. Written in the best traditions of Homeric epics, Eddison's masterpiece recounts compelling tales of warriors and witches.
Author: E. R. Eddison
Publisher: Courier Corporation