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The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
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From award-winning author Ken Liu comes his much anticipated second volume of short stories. Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. This collection includes a selection of his latest science fiction and fantasy stories over the last five years, 16 of his best, plus a new novelette. In addition to these 17 selections, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories also features an excerpt from book three in the Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne.
When Clara Fitzgerald, Brighton's first female private detective, is invited to the wedding of her cousin Andrew Campbell, she expects it to be a rather dull weekend. The Campbells, however, are far from dull, with proto-feminist Peg fighting with her stepmother and Susan Campbell on the verge of suicide. Matters are not helped by the arrival of the black sheep of the family, who is determined to ruffle everyone's feathers. But on the day of the wedding, events rapidly go wrong.
It's a year and a half on from Paper Aeroplanes, and Renée is now living idyllically with her Auntie Jo. They even have geese, and Renée likes to sit and watch them, wondering if she'll ever find 'the One' - someone who will love her no matter what and be there for her no matter how bad things get. She and Flo are in their final year at school, and they've got some tough choices to make - like will they go to university? And if so where - and will they go together?
It's the mid-1990s, and 15-year-old Guernsey schoolgirls Renée and Flo are not really meant to be friends. Thoughtful, introspective and studious Flo couldn't be more different to ambitious, extroverted and sexually curious Renée. But Renée and Flo are united by loneliness and their dysfunctional families, and an intense bond is formed. Although there are obstacles to their friendship (namely Flo's jealous ex-best friend and Renée's growing infatuation with Flo's brother), 15 is an age where anything can happen.
Brighton, 1920. Clara Fitzgerald is trying to earn a little respect as the first female private detective in Brighton when Mrs Wilton turns up on her doorstep one snowy day. Struggling to get by since the war, Mrs Wilton has been convinced by an unscrupulous clairvoyant that her dead husband is trying to make contact via strange riddles that supposedly lead to hidden treasure. Clara is quickly on the case to prove the notorious clairvoyant, Mrs Greengage, is nothing more than a scam artist extorting money from Mrs Wilton.
Clara Fitzgerald is drawn to the reckless but charming Captain O'Harris and his daring attempt to cross the Atlantic in his biplane, White Buzzard. O'Harris is drawn to Brighton's first female detective because of a family mystery that has long haunted him. Can Clara discover the truth about the death of Goddard O'Harris and the reason his body mysteriously vanished?
In 1914, despite the threat of war in Europe, Pearl Gibson’s future is bright. She has secured a desirable position as a lady’s maid for Lady Ottoline Campbell. Her new role sees her transported from a life of drudgery to the Campbells' vast Scottish estate. Pearl is quickly drawn into a whirlwind of intrigue, glamour and scandal as she realises her job requires her to become her lady’s confidante as well as her maid. In the confusing world of the upper classes it is Ottoline’s cousin, Ralph, whom Pearl comes to rely on, trust - and love.
Don't look back. That's where the danger lies. With Grace left reeling from choosing between Hayden and her family, she knows she needs to accept her decision. Meanwhile, as the youngest leader of Blackwing, Hayden is coping with the demands placed on him to keep the camp alive. Can he protect his friends from their violent rivals? And should he trust himself to do the right thing? Demand loyalty. Protect your family. Trust no one.
The world is different now. There are no rules, no governments, and no guarantees that you'll be saved. Rival factions have taken over, fighting each other for survival with no loyalty to anyone but their own. At 21, Hayden has taken over Blackwing and is one of the youngest leaders in the area. In protecting his camp from starvation, raids from other factions and the threat of being kidnapped, he has enough to worry about before he finds Grace. The daughter of the head of the rival camp Greystone, she is slow to trust anyone, much less the leader of those she has been trained to kill.
There's power in stories and this is a story of power. Dead bodies aren't unusual in the alleyways of Fenest. Muggings, brawls gone bad, debts collected - Detective Cora Gorderheim has seen it all. Until she finds a Wayward man with his mouth sewn shut. As Cora pieces together the dead man's story, she's drawn into the most dangerous story in the Union of Realms: the election. All she wants is to catch the killer, but nothing is that simple in an election year.
Suzy can't wait to return to the Union of Impossible Places on the Impossible Postal Express. But when she arrives, she overhears a dastardly plan to destroy Trollville from a shadowy and unexpected villain. Suzy and her friends must race from magical cloud-worlds to secret caverns to catch the culprit, before Trollville comes crashing down....
When Tess married Drew Gold, she knew his two ex-wives were still in his life. Now Drew has planned a luxury cruise to celebrate his birthday, and all the former Mrs. Golds are coming too...Drew’s second wife, fashion editor Mona, never puts a Louboutin wrong when it comes to style. Now it's time to reclaim the only man she ever really loved...if she can tempt Drew away from Sarah Gold, his new wife for a second time. When Drew left his first wife, Sarah, for the glamorous Mona, Sarah's emotions went into hibernation. Now she's decided to shave those legs and start living again....
In the picturesque English village of Briarwych, Father David Perkins tends to his work at the local church. The shadow of war has fallen across England, and the local airbase provides a constant reminder of the horrors that have been unleashed. For Father Perkins, the struggle to provide guidance for his parishioners is an everyday battle. And then Judith Prendergast starts hearing voices in the church. A faithful and devoted woman, struggling to raise her daughter, Elizabeth, Judith takes a dim view of the happenings in Briarwych.
Suzy is surprised to find a grumpy troll building a railway through her house - especially when a gigantic steam train crashes into her hallway! This is the Impossible Postal Express, the trusty delivery service of the Union of Impossible Places, and Suzy becomes its newest recruit. And with her cursed first package, an Impossible adventure begins. Welcome to the Impossible Places.... Where there's fuzzics, not physics; where adventure meets magic; and where the journey will never, ever take you where you expect it to.
When Lyddie takes her sister to Devon to recover after a recent suicide attempt, it starts a train of events that will put their lives in grave danger. Ellie has been the victim of a professional con artist who stole her savings, then disappeared from her life. Driven by her own history of failed relationships, Lyddie vows revenge on the man who broke her sister’s heart. She assumes a false identity and begins her hunt for a man she knows to be cold, calculating and ruthless. But who is fooling whom? Can Lyddie find the justice she seeks and heal her damaged sister?
You fight, you kill, you steal, you lie...or you die. As war breaks out between Blackwing and Greystone, Grace's allegiance becomes clear. But that doesn't make her task any easier. Hayden knows that war is coming. That these raids are just the beginning, and there is something else coming for them. But can he save his camp and free himself at the same time? Welcome to the revolution.
This is the end of us all. For Hayden and Grace, the threat of war has become a reality. The world is running out of resources, driving the survivors to drastic, inhuman measures. Blackwing is the obvious target, and physical attacks from enemies are accompanied by the devastating mental turmoil that cannot be fought off with weapons. This is life impacted by war with enemies, allies and oneself. Now, not much is certain, but a few things are guaranteed: there will be pain. There will be death. There will be annihilation.