The seventh Culture book from the awesome imagination of Iain M. Banks, a modern master of science fiction. It was one of the less glorious incidents of a long-ago war. It led to the destruction of two suns and the billions of lives they supported. Now, eight hundred years later, the light from the first of those ancient mistakes has reached the Culture Orbital, Masaq'. The light from the second may not. Praise for the Culture series: 'Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution' Independent on Sunday 'Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future' Guardian 'Jam-packed with extraordinary invention' Scotsman 'Compulsive reading' Sunday Telegraph The Culture series: Consider Phlebas The Player of Games Use of Weapons The State of the Art Excession Inversions Look to Windward Matter Surface Detail The Hydrogen Sonata Other books by Iain M. Banks: Against a Dark Background Feersum Endjinn The Algebraist
This critical history of Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels covers the series from its inception in the 1970s to the The Hydrogen Sonata (2012), published less than a year before Banks’ death. It considers Banks’ origins as a writer, the development of his politics and ethics, his struggles to become a published author, his eventual success with The Wasp Factory (1984) and the publication of the first Culture novel, Consider Phlebas (1987). His 1994 essay “A Few Notes on the Culture” is included, along with a range of critical responses to the 10 Culture books he published in his lifetime and a discussion of the series’ status as utopian literature. Banks was a complex man, both in his everyday life and on the page. This work aims at understanding the Culture series not only as a fundamental contribution to science fiction but also as a product of its creator’s responses to the turbulent times he lived in.
`About this coast... In the event of war it seems to me that every inch of it would be important, sand and all.' Executed in 1922 for his involvement in Irish republicanism, Childers in remembered most vividly for his ground-breaking spy novel, The Riddle of the Sands (1903). In spite of good prospects in the Foreign Office, the sardonic civil servant Carruthers is finding it hard to endure the emptiness and boredom of his life in London. He reluctantly accepts an invitation from a college friend, Davies, the shyly intrepid yachtsman, and joins him on a sailing holiday in the Baltic. The regeneration of Carruthers begins as he is initiated into the mysteries of seamanship, but the story builds in excitement as Carruthers and Davies discover a German plot to invade England. Like much contemporary British spy fiction, The Riddle of the Sands reflects the long suspicious years leading up to the First World War and the intricacy of its conception and its lucid detail make it a classic of its genre. This edition is complemented by a fine introduction which examines the novel in its political and historical context. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
The War of 1812 and the Forging of the American Navy
Author: Ronald Utt
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The War of 1812 is typically noted for a handful of events: the burning of the White House, the rise of the Star Spangled Banner, and the battle of New Orleans. But in fact the greatest consequence of that distant conflict was the birth of the U.S. Navy. During the War of 1812, America’s tiny fleet took on the mightiest naval power on earth, besting the British in a string of victories that stunned both nations. In his new book, Ships of Oak and Guns of Iron: The War of 1812 and the Birth of the American Navy, author Dr. Ronald Utt not only sheds new light on the naval battles of the War of 1812 and how they gave birth to our nation’s great navy, but tells the story of the War of 1812 through the portraits of famous American war heroes. From the cunning Stephen Decatur to the fierce David Porter, Ships of Oak and Guns of Iron relates how thousands of American men and boys gave better than they got against the British Navy. The great age of fighting sail is as rich in heroic drama as any epoch. Dr. Utt’s Ships of Oak and Guns of Iron retrieves the American chapter of that epoch from unjustified obscurity, and offers readers an intriguing chronicle of the War of 1812 as well as a unique perspective on the birth of the U.S. Navy.
Pilots and Pilotage in Britain and Northern Europe
Author: Tom Cunliffe
Publisher: Seaforth Publishing
The pilot cutters that operated around the coasts of northern Europe until the First World War were amongst the most seaworthy and beautiful craft of their size ever built, while the small number that have survived have inspired yacht designers, sailors and traditional craft enthusiasts over the last hundred years. Even in their day they possessed a charisma unlike any other working craft; their speed and close-windedness, their strength and seaworthiness, fused together into a hull and rig of particular elegance, all to guide the mariner through the rough and tortuous waters of the European seaboard, bought them an enviable reputation. This new book is both a tribute to and a minutely researched history of these remarkable vessels. The author, perhaps the most experienced sailor of the type, describes the ships themselves, their masters and crews, and the skills they needed for the competitive and dangerous work of pilotage. He explains the differences between the craft of disparate coasts – of the Scilly Isles and the Bristol Channel, of northern France, and the wild coastline of Norway – and weaves into the history of their development the stories of the men who sailed them. Written to complement the recent histories of pilot schooners and open boat pilotage, edited and written by the author, this book will be an essential addition to the libraries of historians and enthusiasts of traditional boats. As seen in the Wiltshire Times.
Few people would want to test their mettle in an ice-encrusted boat with Ernest Shackleton, sail the Straits of Magellan with Joshua Slocum, or watch with Owen Chase as an angry whale sends his ship to the bottom, thousands of miles from the nearest land. But it's quite another thing to read these true accounts while settled into a favorite chair. Shackleton and Chase persevered in the face of travails that would have given even Job pause. Their stoic accounts are stronger and more dramatic for their total lack of affection, their frankness, and their lack of ego. Their gripping stories are custom made for the imaginative reader who seeks adventure in a more controlled environment, safe and warm, and well fed. Civilized readers with their armchairs anchored firmly to the living room floor. Rich in drama and history, here are fifteen stories that will entertain, inform, and inspire--enduring stories that have attracted generations of readers. With contributions from: William Shakespeare Aaron Smith Joseph Conrad Erskine Childers Joshua Slocum James Fenimore Cooper Herman Melville Richard Henry Dana Jerome K. Jerome Edgar Allan Poe Richard Hakluyt Robert Louis Stevenson Owen Chase Ernest Shackleton