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Man in the Iron Mask

The Man in the Iron Mask, by Alexander Dumas, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: New introductions commissioned from today’s top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader’s viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader’s understanding of these enduring works. France in the 1660s is a boiling cauldron of plots and counter-plots as King Louis XIV struggles to extend his power and transform himself into the “Sun King.” Locked within the dreaded Bastille prison may be his enemies’ ultimate weapon: an anonymous prisoner forced to wear an iron mask so that none may see his face—and learn his astonishing secret. But soon the famed d’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers are swept into the action—but not on the same side! Will they actually be forced to fight each other? As much a tale of mystery and political intrigue as a swashbuckling adventure, The Man in the Iron Mask is the final novel in Alexandre Dumas’s series of d’Artagnan romances. The story follows the heroic young man from the country who, along with his three comrades, becomes a powerful influence on the course of French history. Yet what seems to be the most fantastic aspect of the story is based on fact. During Louis XIV’s reign, a mysterious masked prisoner did dwell in the Bastille and his identity remains a question to this day. Barbara T. Cooper is Professor of French at the University of New Hampshire. A member of the editorial boards of Nineteenth-Century French Studies and Les Cahiers Alexandre Dumas, she specializes in nineteenth-century French drama and in works by Dumas.

The Mammoth Book

For years, The Year’s Best Science Fiction has been the most widely read short science fiction anthology of its kind. Now, after twenty-one annual collections, comes the ultimate in science fiction anthologies, The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year’s Best Science Fiction, in which legendary editor Gardner Dozois selects the very best short stories for this landmark collection. Contributors include: * Stephen Baxter * Greg Bear * William Gibson * Terry Bisson * Pat Cadigan * Ted Chiang * John Crowley * Tony Daniel * Greg Egan * Molly Gloss * Eileen Gunn * Joe Haldeman * James Patrick Kelly * John Kessel * Nancy Kress * Ursula K. Le Guin * Ian R. MacLeod * David Marusek * Paul McAuley * Ian McDonald * Maureen F. McHugh * Robert Reed * Mike Resnick * Geoff Ryman * William Sander * Lucius Shepard * Robert Silverberg * Brian Stableford * Bruce Sterling * Charles Stross * Michael Swanwick * Steven Utley * Howard Waldrop * Walter Jon Williams * Connie Willis * Gene Wolfe
With work spanning two decades, The Best of the Best stands as one of the ultimate science fiction anthologies ever published.
xi • Foreword (The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year’s Best Science Fiction) • essay by Robert Silverberg
xvii • Preface (The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year’s Best Science Fiction) • essay by Gardner Dozois
1 • Blood Music • (1983) • novelette by Greg Bear
19 • A Cabin on the Coast • (1984) • shortstory by Gene Wolfe
28 • Salvador • (1984) • shortstory by Lucius Shepard
42 • Trinity • (1984) • novella by Nancy Kress
78 • Flying Saucer Rock and Roll • (1985) • novelette by Howard Waldrop (aka Flying Saucer Rock & Roll)
93 • Dinner in Audoghast • (1985) • shortstory by Bruce Sterling
103 • Roadside Rescue • (1985) • shortstory by Pat Cadigan
109 • Snow • (1985) • shortstory by John Crowley
121 • The Winter Market • (1985) • novelette by William Gibson
137 • The Pure Product • (1986) • novelette by John Kessel
152 • Stable Strategies for Middle Management • (1988) • shortstory by Eileen Gunn
162 • Kirinyaga • [Kirinyaga • 2] • (1988) • novelette by Mike Resnick
177 • Tales from the Venia Woods • [Roma Eterna] • (1989) • shortstory by Robert Silverberg
191 • Bears Discover Fire • (1990) • shortstory by Terry Bisson
199 • Even the Queen • (1992) • shortstory by Connie Willis
213 • Guest of Honor • (1993) • novelette by Robert Reed
238 • None So Blind • (1994) • shortstory by Joe Haldeman
246 • Mortimer Gray’s History of Death • (1995) • novella by Brian Stableford (aka Mortimer Gray’s “History of Death”)
293 • The Lincoln Train • (1995) • shortstory by Maureen F. McHugh
303 • Wang’s Carpets • (1995) • novelette by Greg Egan
328 • Coming of Age in Karhide • [Hainish] • (1995) • novelette by Ursula K. Le Guin
342 • The Dead • (1996) • shortstory by Michael Swanwick
352 • Recording Angel • (1996) • shortstory by Ian McDonald
363 • A Dry, Quiet War • (1996) • novelette by Tony Daniel
380 • The Undiscovered • (1997) • novelette by William Sanders
400 • Second Skin • (1997) • shortstory by Paul J. McAuley
418 • Story of Your Life • (1998) • novella by Ted Chiang
454 • People Came from Earth • (1999) • shortstory by Stephen Baxter
464 • The Wedding Album • [Cathy] • (1999) • novella by David Marusek
502 • 10 to 16 to 1 • (1999) • novelette by James Patrick Kelly (aka 1016 to 1)
520 • Daddy’s World • (1999) • novelette by Walter Jon Williams
541 • The Real World • [Silurian Tales] • (2000) • shortstory by Steven Utley
561 • Have Not Have • (2001) • novelette by Geoff Ryman
577 • Lobsters • [Macx Family] • (2001) • novelette by Charles Stross
597 • Breathmoss • (2002) • novella by Ian R. MacLeod
647 • Lambing Season • (2002) • shortstory by Molly Gloss

The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New SF

Hugo Award-winning editor Gardner Dozois’ annual anthology has long been considered the standard by which other best-of-the-year SF collections are judged. After two decades’ worth of superlative science fiction, Dozois now presents a retrospective compilation culling from the last 20 years.

Here under one banner is some of the finest work by the genre’s leading authors, with a star-studded list of contributors that features among others: Stephen Baxter, Greg Bear, William Gibson, Terry Bisson, Greg Egan, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Reed, Robert Silverberg, Bruce Sterling , Charles Stross, Michael Swanwick, Gene Wolfe.

A number of the selections are now considered classics. Some notable stories include:

‘Blood Music’, Greg Bear’s Hugo-winning exploration of nanotechnology.

‘Bears Discover Fire’, Terry Bisson’s tongue-in-cheek consideration of future ursine evolution.

‘The Left Hand of Darkness’, Ursula K. Le Guin’s coming-of-age SF tale.

‘The Winter Market’, in which William Gibson returns to the subject that made him a cultural icon, cyberpunk.

With work spanning two decades, this is the most significant science fiction short story anthology published in years.


The closest thing the field has to a single ‘canon-forming’ volume. Strange Horizons Dozois has gathered together a stunning array of the best in shorter SF. Publishers Weekly There is no one better qualified to edit this book. If Gardner Dozois says these are the best of the best, you can bet the farm on it. Mike Resnick The brilliant from the brilliant

Making Toast

SUMMARY: When his daughter Amy collapsed and died at the age of thirty-eight from an undiagnosed heart condition, Roger Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, left their home on Long Island to move in with their son-in-law and their three young grandchildren. Reeling from Amy’s death, they had to quickly re-accustom themselves to the world of bedtime stories, talking toys and non-stop questions, as they began to reconstruct their family, guiding six-year-old Jessica, four-year-old Sammy and one-year-old James through the pain and confusion of grief. Marvelling at the strength of his son-in-law, Harris, a surgeon, and the patience and skill of his wife, a former nursery school teacher, Roger attended each day to ‘the one household duty I have mastered’ – preparing the children’s morning toast. With wit, warmth and insight, Roger Rosenblatt peels back the layers of this most personal of losses to create both a tribute to his late daughter and a moving testament to familial love.

Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat

EDITORIAL REVIEW: **A remarkable cat. A special gift. A life-changing journey.** They thought he was just a cat. When Oscar arrived at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rhode Island he was a cute little guy with attitude. He loved to stretch out in a puddle of sunlight and chase his tail until he was dizzy. Occasionally he consented to a scratch behind the ears, but only when it suited him. In other words, he was a typical cat. Or so it seemed. It wasn’t long before Oscar had created something of a stir. Apparently, this ordinary cat possesses an extraordinary gift: he knows instinctively when the end of life is near. Oscar is a welcome distraction for the residents of Steere House, many of whom are living with Alzheimer’s. But he never spends much time with them–until they are in their last hours. Then, as if this were his job, Oscar strides purposely into a patient’s room, curls up on the bed, and begins his vigil. Oscar provides comfort and companionship when people need him most. And his presence lets caregivers and loved ones know that it’s time to say good-bye. Oscar’s gift is a tender mercy. He teaches by example: embracing moments of life that so many of us shy away from. *Making Rounds with Oscar* is the story of an unusual cat, the patients he serves, their caregivers, and of one doctor who learned how to listen. Heartfelt, inspiring, and full of humor and pathos, this book allows readers to take a walk into a world rarely seen from the outside, a world we often misunderstand. **Praise for *Making Rounds With Oscar*** “I love this book — Oscar has much to teach us about empathy and courage. I couldn’t put it down.” -Sarah Gruen, author of *Water for Elephants* “At its heart, Dosa’s search is more about how people cope with death than Oscar’s purported ability to predict it.” -*The Associated Press* “Beautifully written, heartwarming […] Told with profound insight and great respect for all involved, this is more than just a cat story (although it will appeal to fans of Vicki Myron’s Dewey).” -*Library Journal* “You’ll be moved.” -*People*

Make Your Move

Make Your Move (Harlequin Blaze Series #542) by Samantha Hunter
Jodie Patterson’s posh bakery is all about satisfying cravings. Her signature aphrodisiac cookies have been flying off the shelves…and giving Jodie some delicious ideas of her own.
Behind his owlish glasses, Jodie’s business partner, Dr. Dan Ellison, is the male equivalent of the Naughty Professor. Jodie is more than ready to indulge her fantasies with this wolf-in-geek’s-clothing as long as they set some ground rules: sex is sex, business is business and nothing will change. Yeah, right! After that first addictive kiss, it’s time to see if they can *really *satisfy each other’s appetites….

Magic terror: seven tales Review

Peter Straub is a fine sorcerer of horror whose bag of tricks includes stories of pure, unadulterated horror ( and ), as well as more subtle tales of psychological suspense ( and ). Now Straub conjures up Magic Terror, a collection of seven deeply disturbing tales that display his entire range.

“Bunny Is Good Bread” is without a doubt the most haunted tale of all, a harrowing account of a childhood from hell. The scary hero Fee was so traumatized as a 5-year-old by abuse from his father that he disconnects himself from the real world and lives as if in a film. Why? “If you forgot you were in a movie, your own feelings would tear you into bloody rags.” Ever since the day Fee watches his mother die a horrible death, he’s been tormented: “He was one-half dead himself; half of him belonged to his dead mother.”

Fee is not the only character to be struck by a dark epiphany, a life-changing moment. In the lyrical “Porkpie Hat,” a famous jazz musician recounts the ghoulish Halloween encounter that charted the course of his destiny, and in the twisted fairy tale “Ashputtle,” a fantasy-inclined “princess” seeks retribution for a traumatic incident many years before.

In Straub’s world, horror appears in different disguises–the dark mask of child abuse and the bloodied cloak of war (“The Ghost Village”). Regardless of how it shows itself, the effects will haunt long after lights out. –Naomi Gesinger

From Publishers Weekly

The war-numbed soldier who asks, “Just suppose…,that you were forced to confront extreme experience directly, without any mediation?” speaks for all of the spiritually traumatized souls who navigate the harrowingly rendered hells of these seven tales of suspense and horror. Straub (Mr. X) effortlessly plumbs the hearts and minds of a range of well-developed charactersAincluding a reflective assassin for hire, a five-year-old victim of domestic violence, an aging black jazz musician and a pompous Wall Street financial adviserAto locate epiphanic moments when their lives careened “out of the ordinary” and into the path of deforming private tragedy. In “Ashputtle,” an implied murderess blames her crimes on an emotionally deprived childhood in which she imagines herself a modern Cinderella victimized by her cruel stepsisters. “Bunny Is Good Bread,” an unnerving portrait of the psychopath as a young boy, follows young Fee Bandolier as he maladjusts to an unbearably gothic home situation in which his father has beaten his mother into a coma. “Porkpie Hat” is related as an alcoholic saxophonist’s confession of a childhood brush with witchcraft, murder and miscegenation that continues to inform his blues-haunted music. In several of the talesAmost notably “The Haunted Village,” which links to the novel Koko (1988) and stories from his previous collection, Houses Without Doors (1990)AStraub skillfully evokes the supernatural to suggest the dislocating effect of intense psychological upset. Mixing stark realism with black comedy, and reverberating with echoes of Conrad, Melville and the Brothers Grimm, these excursions to the dark side of life set a high standard for the literature of contemporary magic terror. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Magic Seeds

Willie Chandran is a man who has allowed one identity after another to be thrust upon him. In his early forties, after a peripatetic life, he succumbs to the encouragement of his sister – and his own listlessness – and joins an underground movement in India. But years of revolutionary campaigns and then prison convince him that the revolution ‘had nothing to do with what we were fighting for’, and he feels himself further than ever ‘from his own history’.
When he returns to Britain where, thirty years before, his wanderings began, Willie encounters a country that has turned its back on its past and, like him, has become detached from its own history. He endures the indignities of a culture dissipated by reform and compromise until, in a moment of grotesque revelation – a tour de force of parodic savagery from our most visionary of writers – Willie comes to an understanding that might finally allow him to release his true self.
This book is the second volume of Half A Life, but can be read alone.

Magic on the Storm

SUMMARY: Allison Beckstrom is committed to her work tracing illegal spells. Now, there’s an apocalyptic storm bearing down on Portland, and when it hits, all the magic in the area will turn unstable and destructive. To stop it from taking out the entire city, Allie and her lover, the mysterious Zayvion Jones, must work with the Authority-the enigmatic arbiters of all things magic-and take a stand against a magical wildstorm that will obliterate all in its path…

Magic in the Shadows

SUMMARY: Allison Beckstrom’s magic has taken its toll on her, physically marking her and erasing her memories — including those of the man she supposedly loves. But lost memories aren’t the only things preying on Allie’s thoughts. Her late father, the prominent businessman — and sorcerer — Daniel Beckstrom, has somehow channeled himself into her very mind. With the help of The Authority, a secret organization of magic users, she hopes to gain better control over her own abilities — and find a way to deal with her father.

Made of Honor

EDITORIAL REVIEW: **Once, twice, ten times a bridesmaid!** I, Dana Rose, do solemnly swear to say “I won’t” the next time someone asks me to be in their wedding party. My weak will has gained me a closet full of unflattering bridesmaids’ dresses in various sizes to accommodate my ever-fluctuating waistline. As if that isn’t enough, the past is paying me a most unwelcome visit (my prodigal brother, my back-stabbing sis). Then there’s Mr. Practically Perfect, the ex who not only married someone else, but opened the business of *our* dreams — right across from my new shop! It’s no wonder I’ve got problems! I’m thankful I’ve got my friends, the Sassy Sisterhood, to rely on . . . **The Sassy Sisterhood: They get by with a little help from their friends.**

Madame Bovary: Provincial Ways

A literary event: one of the world’s most celebrated novels, in a magnificent new translation Seven years ago, Lydia Davis brought us an award-winning, rapturously reviewed new translation of Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way that was hailed as “clear and true to the music of the original” (Los Angeles Times) and “a work of creation in its own right” (Claire Messud, Newsday). Now she turns her gifts to the book that redefined the novel as an art form. Emma Bovary is the original desperate housewife. Beautiful but bored, she is married to the provincial doctor Charles Bovary yet harbors dreams of an elegant and passionate life. Escaping into sentimental novels, she finds her fantasies dashed by the tedium of her days. Motherhood proves to be a burden; religion is only a brief distraction. In an effort to make her life everything she believes it should be, she spends lavishly on clothes and on her home and embarks on two disappointing affairs. Soon heartbroken and crippled by debts, Emma takes drastic action with tragic consequences for her husband and daughter. When published in 1857, Madame Bovary was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for its heroine. Today the novel is considered the first masterpiece of realist fiction. Flaubert sought to tell the story objectively, without romanticizing or moralizing (hence the uproar surrounding its publication), but whereas he was famously fastidious about his literary style, many of the English versions seem to tell the story in their own style. In this landmark translation, Lydia Davis honors the nuances and particulars of a style that has long beguiled readers of French, giving new life in English to Flaubert’s masterwork.