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Peake in the Attic?

Lovers of Mervyn Peake's unique fantasy trilogy Gormenghast are notoriously touchy, protective and defensive about this literary treasure. First, the series exists sadly only in a damaged state, its third volume not completed properly due to the author’s degeneration from Parkinson’s. Second, as the “other” seminal fantasy trilogy from mid-twentieth century, Peake’s masterpiece has always played the underdog to Tolkien’s. Fans and critics are prone to rhapsodize about what commercial fantasy fiction might look like nowadays, if only Peake had triumphed over his Inkling rival. Read more...

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.