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Daniel Weir used to be a famous - not to say infamous - rock star. Maybe still is. At thirty-one he has been both a brilliant failure and a dull success. He's made a lot of mistakes that have paid off and a lot of smart moves he'll regret forever (however long that turns out to be). Daniel Weir has gone from rags to riches and back, and managed to hold onto them both, though not much else. His friends all seem to be dead, fed up with him or just disgusted - and who can blame them? And now Daniel Weir is all alone. As he contemplates his life, Daniel realises he only has two problems: the past and the future. He knows how bad the past has been. But the future - well, the future is something else.
The 1987 publication of Iain M. Banks's Consider Phlebas helped trigger the British renaissance of radical hard science fiction and influenced a generation of New Space Opera masters. The thirteen SF novels that followed inspired an avid fandom and intense intellectual engagement while Banks's mainstream books vaulted him to the top of the Scottish literary scene. Paul Kincaid has written the first study of Iain M. Banks to explore the confluence of his SF and literary techniques and sensibilities. As Kincaid shows, the two powerful aspects of Banks's work flowed into each other, blurring a line that critics too often treat as clear-cut. Banks's gift for black humor and a honed skepticism regarding politics and religion found expression even as he orchestrated the vast, galaxy-spanning vistas in his novels of the Culture. In examining Banks's entire SF oeuvre, Kincaid unlocks the set of ideas Banks drew upon, ideas that spoke to an unusually varied readership that praised him as a visionary and reveled in the distinctive character of his works. Entertaining and broad in scope, Iain M. Banks offers new insights on one of the most admired figures in contemporary science fiction.
Dark family secrets and a long-lost love affair lie at the heart of Iain Banks's fabulous new novel. The Wopuld family built its fortune on a board game called Empire! - now a hugely successful computer game. So successful, the American Spraint Corp wants to buy the firm out. Young renegade Alban, who has been evading the family clutches for years, is run to ground and persuded to attend the forthcoming family gathering - part birthday party, part Extraordinary General Meeting - convened by Win, Wopuld matriarch and most powerful member of the board, at Garbadale, the family's highland castle. Being drawn back into the bosom of the clan brings a disconcerting confrontation with Alban's past. What drove his mother to take her own life? And is he ready to see Sophie, his beautiful cousin and teenage love? Grandmother Win's revelations wll radically alter Alban's perspective for ever.
Paisley, 1920. In the post-war decade of peace, uncomfortable new conflicts are looming. Women no longer take a back-seat in the business community and one, Fiona MacDowall, has made it clear she intends to inherit her father's furniture emporium. Her half-brother Alex, although born out of wedlock, has other ideas. But it's Alex's wife Rose who objects most. A businesswoman in her own right, she owns Harlequin, the town's grandest and most successful dressmaker's. She is sure Fiona will stop at nothing to get what she wants. And on Fiona's list is a husband and, she suspects, Rose's own business ...For their extended families and the community at large, other troubles are brewing. Irish cabinetmaker Joe McCart, employed by Alex, has recently arrived with his family - and a dark secret. His daughter's friend Rowena is the centre of another mystery - about her parentage. And sisters Caitlin and Mary, who both work at Harlequin, have their eyes on marriage. But there are people in the community who have other ideas about how people should run their lives, their marriages - and their businesses ... But it's Alex's wife Rose who objects most. A businesswoman in her own right, she owns Harlequin, the town's grandest and most successful dressmaker's. She is sure Fiona will stop at nothing to get what she wants. And on Fiona's list is a husband and, she suspects, Rose's own business . . . For their extended families and the community at large, other troubles are brewing. Irish cabinetmaker Joe McCart, employed by Alex, has recently arrived with his family - and a dark secret. His daughter's friend Rowena is the centre of another mystery - about her parentage. And sisters Caitlin and Mary, who both work at Harlequin, have their eyes on marriage. But there are people in the community who have other ideas about how people should run their lives, their marriages - and their businesses . . .
The SCM Core Text: Christian Doctrine offers an up-to-date, accessible introduction to one of the core subjects of theology. Written for second and third-year university students, it shows that Christian Doctrine is not a series of impossible claims to be clung to with blind faith. Mike Higton argues that it is, rather, a set of claims that emerge in the midst of Christian life, as Christian communities try to make enough sense of their lives and of their world to allow them to carry on. Christian communities have made sense of their own life, and the life of the wider world in which they are set, as life created by God to share in God's own life. They have seen themselves and their world as laid hold of God's life in Jesus of Nazareth, and as having the Spirit of God's own life actively at work within them. This book explores these and other central Christian doctrines, and in each case, shows how the doctrine makes sense, and how it is woven into Christian life. It will help readers to see what sense it might make to say the things that Christian doctrine says, and how that doctrine might affect the way that one looks at everything: the natural world, gossip, culture, speaking in tongues, politics, dieting, human freedom, love, High Noon, justice, computers, racism, the novels of Jane Austin, parenthood, death and fashion.
A desperate young man becomes entangled with a Scottish crime family in this “brilliant, irresistible” novel from the author of The Wasp Factory (The New York Times). Stewart Gilmour is back in Stonemouth, Scotland. An estuary town north of Aberdeen, Stonemouth has a beach that can be beautiful on a sunny day. But on a bleak day, Stonemouth seems to have nothing to offer but fog, cheap drugs, and gangsters—and a suspension bridge that promises a permanent way out. Stewart got out five years ago. He didn’t jump, he just ran—escaping the Murstons, a local family of mobsters. But now their patriarch has died, and in an uneasy truce, Stewart has returned home for the funeral. His long exile has also kept him away from Ellie Murston, and if he knows what’s good for him, he’ll avoid a reunion—and the topic of his old classmate Callum Murston’s untimely death. But once he’s back, Stewart steps squarely into the minefield of his past, and as he wrestles with feelings of guilt and loss, he makes some dark discoveries and his homecoming takes a lethal turn. A quick drop into the cold, gray Stoun is starting to look like an option worth considering. The basis for a BBC series, Stonemouth is a darkly witty, “beguiling” tale of warring clans, broken hearts, brotherhood, and the long, hard process of growing up—if you can stay alive long enough to try (The Guardian).
Iain Banks' daring new novel opens in a loft apartment in the East End, in a former factory due to be knocked down in a few days. Ken Nott is a devoutly contrarian vaguely left wing radio shock-jock living in London. After a wedding breakfast people start dropping fruits from a balcony on to a deserted carpark ten storeys below, then they start dropping other things; an old TV that doesn't work, a blown loudspeaker, beanbags, other unwanted furniture...Then they get carried away and start dropping things that are still working, while wrecking the rest of the apartment. But mobile phones start ringing and they're told to turn on a TV, because a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Centre... At ease with the volatility of modernity, Iain Banks is also our most accomplished literary writer of narrative-driven adventure stories that never ignore the injustices and moral conundrums of the real world. His new novel, displays his trademark dark wit, buoyancy and momentum.
A fascinating journey through Scotland's famous distilleries with legendary author Iain Banks No true Scotsman can resist the allure of the nation's whisky distilleries. In an absorbing voyage as interesting to non-drinkers as to true whisky connoisseurs, sci-fi and literary author Iain Banks explores the rich heritage of Scottish whisky, from the largest and most famous distilleries to the smallest, most obscure operations. Whisky is more than a drink: it's a culture, a binder that joins together people, places and products far across Scotland's rugged terrain. Switching from cars to ferries to bicycles, Banks crisscrosses his homeland, weaving an engrossing narrative from the strange people, fascinating traditions, and downright bizarre places he encounters on his journey down Scotland's great golden road.
Her eyes were black, wide as though with some sustained surprise, the skin from their outer corners to her small ears taut. Her lips were pale, and nearly too full for her small mouth, like something bled but bruised. He had never seen anyone or anything quite so beautiful in his life.' Graham Park is in love. But Sara Fitch is an enigma to him, a creature of almost perverse mystery. Steven Grout is paranoid - and with justice. He knows that They are out to get him. They are. Quiss, insecure in his fabulous if ramshackle castle, is forced to play interminable impossible games. The solution to the oldest of all paradoxical riddles will release him. But he must find an answer before he knows the question. Park, Grout, Quiss - no trio could be further apart. But their separate courses are set for collision.