Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mystery, Science Fiction, and the Future

Death Island Style by Maggie Toussaint
Recent widow MaryBeth Cashour moved six hundred miles to escape memories of her late mother's betrayal and her husband's mysterious death. While beachcombing for seashells to use at her artsy Christmas shop, MaryBeth finds a corpse rolling in the surf on Sandy Shores Island. When detectives uncover a connection between the murdered man and MaryBeth, she's their prime suspect. It's not her fault the dead guy had one of her hand-painted Christmas sharks in his pocket--she doesn't even know him. Besides, lots of people from the Mid-Atlantic region vacation in coastal Georgia. She insists it's a coincidence he's here. The cops don't believe her. As her world comes unglued, MaryBeth strips the shellac from her memories, discovering secrets that endanger her life. But time to prove her innocence is running out faster than a riptide. The killer is crafting up a new murder--MaryBeth's.

The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vince
In a lab at the edge of the galaxy, in search of an ancient archive, scientists unwittingly unleash the Blight: this vast, destructive entity rampages through the Zones of Throught, subverting digital intelligence and devastating countless worlds and races throughout the Beyond. One ship, carrying the children of the scientists, seeks haven on an obscure world in the Slow Zone, only to find medieval kingdoms of group-animals--the Tines--at war with one another. Another ship, itself fleeing the Blight, follows their ship's distress signal to Tines World and helps end the war, saving most of the Children. Ten years later, Ravna Bergsndot, the lone surviving human adult living among the Tines, has revived most of the hundred and fifty children who remain in coldsleep. Now, Tinish packs and human beings live together in peace in the Domain. With dark alliances swirling in both human and Tinish circles, the survival of the Tines World depends on Ravna. And Ravna has enemies, unseen...awaiting their moment.

City of Bohane by Kevin Barry
Forty or so years in the future. The once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines. There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the North Rises, and the eerie bogs of the Big Nothin' that the city really lives. For years it has all been under the control of Logan Hartnett, the dapper godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang. But there's trouble in the air. They say Hartnett's old nemesis is back in town; his trusted henchmen are getting ambitious; and his missus wants him to give it all up and go straight.

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