By: Philip K. Dick (1928-1982)
Beyond Lies the Wub & The Skull
Two stories in the inimitable Philip Dick style. What is a Wub? A 400 pound slovenly, fat, ungainly, drooling animal that looks like a cross between a walrus and an enormous hog? Well, yes that is pretty much what he looks like and for 50 cents, a good bargain no matter how he tastes. The hungry spaceship crew expect to find out. Of course the Wub may not entirely agree but it doesn't have much to say about it. The second story, The Skull, is a skilful mesh of time travel, unscrupulous governments, prisoners, and religion. With an assassin thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!
The Eyes Have It & Tony and the Beetles
Aliens have invaded the earth! Horrible one celled creatures disguised as normal human beings ! Well, at least that is what it seems to the author. Yes, The Eyes Have It is a whimsical story, making gentle fun of certain writing styles, but only a topflight science-fictionist like Philip Dick , we thought, could have written this story, in just this way. Tony and the Beetles takes place far in the future when Earth's enormous colonial empire is well established but the question is, how long can it last? 10 year old Tony grows up fast when history catches up with the human race. A sobering look at human history .. and our probable future. Two very different stories but both entertaining.
By: Ivan S. Turgenev
The title of the novella is almost an adequate summary in itself. The “boy-meets-girl-then-loses-her” story is universal but not, I think, banal – despite a surprise ending which notoriously turns out to be very little of a surprise. “First Love” is given its originality and poignancy by Turgenev’s mastery of the piercing turning-point (akin to Joyce’s “epiphanies”) that transforms the character’s whole being, making a tragic outcome inevitable. Even the nature symbolism is rescued from triteness by lovely poetic similes – e...
Fathers and Sons
The fathers and children of the novel refers to the growing divide between the two generations of Russians, and the character Yevgeny Bazarov has been referred to as the “first Bolshevik”, for his nihilism and rejection of the old order. Turgenev wrote Fathers and Sons as a response to the growing cultural schism that he saw between liberals of the 1830s/1840s and the growing nihilist movement. Both the nihilists (the “sons”) and the 1830s liberals sought Western-based social change in Russia...
The Diary of a Superfluous Man
Turgenev’s shy hero, Tchulkaturin, is a representative example of a Russian archetype – the “superfluous man”, a sort of Hamlet not necessarily dignified with the title Prince: an individual of comfortable means leading a dreary existence, without purpose and led on by events which may, as in this story, engulf him. The novella takes the form of a diary started by Tchulkaturin in the shock of being diagnosed as having a terminal illness. The journal entries cover a period of two weeks, leading to his death...
By: E. Pauline Johnson (1861-1913)
|The Moccasin Maker
By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)
The War in the Air
War in the Air was written during a prolific time in H. G. Wells's writing career. Having withdrawn from British politics to spend more time on his own ideas, he published twelve books between 1901 and 1911, including this one. while many British citizens were surprised by the advent of World War I, Wells had already written prophetically about such a conflict. War in the Air predicted use of airplanes in modern war.
In the Days of the Comet
William ("Willie") is a student living in the British town of Clayton. As a Socialist, he tries to move power from the upper class to the working class. Interestingly, in a fictitious confrontation Britain declares war on Germany. Willie falls in love with Nettie, but when she elopes with an upper-class man, Willie resolves to kill them both. Throughout the novel there is present in the sky a large comet which gives off a green glow. As Willie prepares to shoot the lovers, two battleships appear and begin shelling the coast, causing Willie to nearly lose his targets...
The History of Mr. Polly
A funny and touching account of the imaginative Mr. Polly who, bored and trapped in his conventional life, makes a U-turn--and changes everything.H.G. Wells’ early life as the son of a semi-insolvent shopkeeper and as a draper’s apprentice fueled his novels of the lower middle class: The Wheels of Chance (1896), Kipps (1905), and The History of Mr. Polly (1910). These works evoke the desperation of apprentices, clerks, and small traders in their monotonous toil behind shop counters. And, like Mr...
Tono-Bungay is a realist semi-autobiographical novel. It is narrated by George Ponderevo, a science student who is drafted in to help with the promotion of Tono-Bungay, a harmful stimulant disguised as a miraculous cure-all, the creation of his uncle Edward. The quack remedy Tono-Bungay seems to have been based upon the patent medicines Carter's Little Liver Pills and Dr. Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People.... As the tonic prospers, George experiences a swift rise in social status, elevating him to riches and opportunities that he had never imagined, nor indeed desired...
A Modern Utopia
H. G. Wells's proposal for social reform was the formation of a world state, a concept that would increasingly preoccupy him throughout the remainder of his life. One of his most ambitious early attempts at portraying a world state was A Modern Utopia (1905). A Modern Utopia was intended as a hybrid between fiction and 'philosophical discussion'. Like most utopists, he has indicated a series of modifications which in his opinion would increase the aggregate of human happiness. Basically, Wells' idea of a perfect world would be if everyone were able to live a happy life...
|When the Sleeper Wakes
H. G. Wells is best known for his science fiction, but some of his greatest works were in other genres. The Passionate Friends is a love story. It also is a story about dreams, despair, jealousy, sex, the struggle against social convention, the future of civilization, and much much more. It is written by a father to his son, "not indeed to the child you are now, but to the man you are going to be." He writes it so that one day, perhaps when he is dead, his grown son can read it and rediscover him as a friend and equal...
|The Research Magnificent
|Soul of a Bishop
By: Thomas Bulfinch (1796-1867)
Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable
Bulfinch’s Mythology, first published in 1855, is one of the most popular collections of mythology of all time. It consists of three volumes: The Age of Fable, The Age of Chivalry, and Legends of Charlemagne. This is a recording of the tenth edition of the first volume, The Age of Fable. It contains many Greek and Roman myths, including simplified versions of The Iliad and The Odyssey, as well as a selection of Norse and “eastern” myths. Thomas Bulfinch’s goal was to make the ancient myths accessible to a wide audience, and so it is suitable for children.
The Age of Chivalry, or Legends of King Arthur
Thomas Bulfinch (July 15, 1796 – May 27, 1867) explains the his work is “an attempt tell the stories of mythology in such a manner as to make them a source of amusement. We have endeavored to tell them correctly, according to the ancient authorities, so that when the reader finds them referred to he may not be at a loss to recognize the reference. Thus we hope to teach mythology not as a study, but as a relaxation from study; to give our work the charm of a story-book, yet by means of it to impart a knowledge of an important branch of education...
The Legends of Charlemagne
Bulfinch (July 15, 1796 - May 27, 1867) explains the his work is "an attempt tell the stories of mythology in such a manner as to make them a source of amusement. We have endeavored to tell them correctly, according to the ancient authorities, so that when the reader finds them referred to he may not be at a loss to recognize the reference. Thus we hope to teach mythology not as a study, but as a relaxation from study; to give our work the charm of a story-book, yet by means of it to impart a knowledge of an important branch of education...
By: Sax Rohmer (1883-1959)
Private detective Paul Harley investigates a mysterious case involving voodoo, vampirism, and macabre murder in the heart of London. The first book in the Paul Harley series, written by Sax Rohmer, author of The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu.
The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu
Burmese Commisioner Nayland Smith and his faithful friend Dr Petrie continue their fight against the evil genius of Dr Fu-Manchu when they seek to save the good doctor’s lost love and protect the British Empire from disaster when their malignant enemy returns to England.
The Hand of Fu-Manchu
Further adventures of Nayland Smith and Doctor Petrie as they continue their battles against the evil genius, Dr Fu-Manchu.
The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu
The first of the Fu-Manchu novels this story follows the two characters who are set against the machinations of the insidious doctor.
The Quest of the Sacred Slipper
Cavanagh becomes involved in the adventurous search for a precious relic in the mysterious East. (Introduction by Laineyben)
|The Devil Doctor
|Tales of Chinatown
By: Émile Zola (1840-1902)
Émile François Zola (French pronunciation: [emil zɔˈla]) (2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was an influential French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism. More than half of Zola’s novels were part of a set of twenty novels about a family under the Second Empire collectively known as Les Rougon-Macquart. L’Assommoir (1877) is the seventh novel in the series. Usually considered one of Zola’s masterpieces, the novel—a harsh and uncompromising study of alcoholism and poverty in the working-class districts of Paris—was a huge commercial success and established Zola’s fame and reputation throughout France and the world.
An unsatisfied wife kills her weak husband in order to carry on a sordid affair with another man. However, her selfish plans are spoiled when her husband continues to haunt her. This is often said to be Zola's first great novel.
The Flood, trans. by an unknown translator
A well-to-do French farm family is destroyed by a flood. The story, thrilling to the very end, is told from the point of view of the family’s 70-year-old patriarch. The story speaks of the helplessness of mankind in the face of the forces of nature.
|The Fat and the Thin
|Four Short Stories By Emile Zola
|The Fête At Coqueville 1907
By: Aphra Behn (1640-1689)
Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave
Aphra Behn was the first woman writer in England to make a living by her pen, and her novel Oroonoko was the first work published in English to express sympathy for African slaves. Perhaps based partly on Behn’s own experiences living in Surinam, the novel tells the tragic story of a noble slave, Oroonoko, and his love Imoinda. The work was an instant success and was adapted for the stage in 1695 (and more recently by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1999). Behn’s work paved the way for women...
By: Edmondo De Amicis (1846-1908)
|Cuore (Heart) An Italian Schoolboy's Journal
By: Philip Jose Farmer (b. 1918)
The Green Odyssey
Alan Green is a space traveler stranded on a barbaric planet who has been taken slave and made a consort to an insipid and smelly queen. His slave-wife, though beautiful and smart, nags him constantly. He’s given up hope of ever returning to Earth when he hears of two astronauts who have been captured in a kingdom on the other side of the planet, and sets out on an action-packed journey on a ship sailing across vast grasslands on rolling pin-like wheels in a desperate scheme to save them and return home. Due to the non-renewal of its copyright, this book is in the public domain.
Rastignac The Devil
French colonists on a planet ruled by reptiles and amphibians are forced to wear living “skins” that subdue aggression and enforce vegetarianism. As children, Rastignac and his reptile friend Mapfarity force themselves to become carnivores and begin a protein fueled journey that causes Rastignac to develop a Philosophy of Violence. When a spaceship from Earth crashes in the ocean, Rastignac and company must put their philosophy to the test. - Rastignac The Devil was first published in the May 1954 issue of Fantastic Universe Magazine.
By: Frank Stockton (1834-1902)
This book presents a number of short, comedic sketches of a country life in middle America in the late 1800s. The hilarious twists and turns endear our adorable, naive married couple to the reader; and the orphan servant Pomona – dear, odd, funny Pomona! – is the focus of several of the stories. Imagine a honeymoon in a lunatic asylum, and you’ve got Rudder Grange!
Pomona and Jone of Rudder Grange fame travel to England and Scotland. Along the way, Pomona tangles with wild pigs, haymaking, hotels great and small, Pullman cars, comparison-makers, and a Duchess. She makes two matches and – in her usual, unorthodox way – stag hunts and attends a knighting. Pomona is as hilarious as ever, if a bit more rounded off on the edges.
By: Joseph Sheridan LeFanu (1814-1873)
Published in 1872, Carmilla is an early work in the vampire literature genre and is incidentally one of the most influential of its type. The gothic novella accounts the tale of Laura, a young woman who becomes susceptible to the friendship and seductive charms of the mysterious Carmilla. A gripping tale of coincidence, mystery, compulsion, dark romance, and deception, Le Fanu’s classic is regarded as having paved the way for modern takes on vampires. Narrated by Laura, the novel opens with a recount of her childhood, as she depicts growing up in a beautiful, yet solitary castle encompassed by a forest in Styria, Austria...
By: Booth Tarkington
A Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Alice Adams chronicles the attempts of a lower middle class American midwestern family at the turn of the 20th century to climb the social ladder. The eponymous heroine is at the heart of the story, a young woman who wants a better place in society and a better life. As Gerard Previn Meyer has stated, “Apart from being the contribution to social history its author conceived it to be, [Alice Adams] is something more, that something being what has attracted to it so large a public: its portrait of a (despite her faults) ‘lovable girl’.”
A Tale of Youth and Summer Time and the Baxter Family Especially William
Penrod for girls in the form of Florence, the bratty younger cousin of luminous Julia Atwater, enlivens this romantic comedy set in Tarkington's Indiana of the early 20th Century.
Join Penrod Schofield and his wistful dog Duke, in a hilarious romp through turn of the century Indianapolis, chronicling his life, loves, and mostly the trouble he gets into.
Penrod and Sam
Follow more of the hilarious life of the boy Penrod Schofield, his friends Sam Williams, Herman, Verman, Georgie, Maurice, and the love of his life, Marjorie Jones.
The Turmoil is the first novel in the ‘Growth’ trilogy, which also includes The Magnificent Ambersons (1918) and The Midlander (1923, retitled National Avenue in 1927). In 1942 Orson Welles directed a film version based on volume 2, also titled “The Magnificent Ambersons.” The trilogy traces the growth of the United States through the declining fortunes of three generations of the aristocratic Amberson family in a fictional Mid-Western town, between the end of the Civil War and the early part of the 20th century, a period of rapid industrialization and socio-economic change in America...
|The Gentleman from Indiana
|The Two Vanrevels
|His Own People
By: Gideon Wurdz (b. 1875)
The Foolish Dictionary
“The Foolish Dictionary” was written by “Gideon Wurdz” and was published in 1904. According to the beginning of the book, it is “An exhausting work of reference to un-certain English words, their origin, meaning, legitimate and illegitimate use…” This a a short but amusing dictionary which “redefines” words in some interesting ways. Funny and sometimes bizarre observations are sprinkled throughout. In keeping with the policy to read, rather than attempt to rewrite, books – even those with offensive content – nothing has been omitted...
By: William Shuler Harris (b. 1865)
Life in a Thousand Worlds
A jolly romp, which could be perhaps be described as Gulliver’s Travels Through Our Solar System and Beyond, as written by a great admirer of C. S. Lewis, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, after one too many mugs of cocoa. Includes some thought on alien philosophies and how to apply them to moral and social problems here on Planet Earth.
By: Heinrich Hoffmann (1809-1894)
Struwwelpeter: Merry Tales and Funny Pictures
Struwwelpeter (Slovenly Peter) is an illustrated collection of humorous children’s poems describing ludicrous and usually violent punishments for naughty behavior. Hoffmann, a Frankfurt physician, wanted to buy a picture book for his son for Christmas in 1844. Not impressed by what the stores had to offer, he instead bought a notebook and wrote his own stories and pictures. While Struwwelpeter is somewhat notorious for its perceived brutal treatment of the erring children, it has been influential on many later children’s books, most notably Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Hienrich Hoffmann was a German psychiatrist and doctor. He had written poetry and sketches for his son, and was persuaded to have a collection of these printed.The stories were not perceived as cruel or overly moral by Hoffmann's contemporaries.This American version contains a few of the stories from the original German "Struwwelpeter" publication.
By: Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897)
Tartarin of Tarascon
It tells the burlesque adventures of Tartarin, a local hero of Tarascon, a small town in southern France, whose invented adventures and reputation as a swashbuckler finally force him to travel to a very prosaic Algiers in search of lions. Instead of finding a romantic, mysterious Oriental fantasy land, he finds a sordid world suspended between Europe and the Middle East. And worst of all, there are no lions left.
|The Immortal Or, One Of The "Forty." (L'immortel) - 1877
|Tartarin De Tarascon
|Tartarin On The Alps