The world-famous cosmologist and #1 bestselling author of A Brief History of Time leaves us with his final thoughts on the biggest questions facing humankind.
Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues.
Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet—including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence—he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us.
Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history.
Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world.
Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Steve Rasnic Tem.
About Steve Rasnic Tem:
Steve Rasnic Tem was born in Lee County Virginia in the heart of Appalachia. He is the author of over 350 published short stories and is a past winner of the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Awards. His story collections include City Fishing, The Far Side of the Lake, and In Concert (with wife Melanie Tem). Forthcoming collections include Ugly Behavior (crime) and Celestial Inventories (contemporary fantasy). An audio collection, Invisible, is also available. His novels include Excavation, The Book of Days, Daughters, The Man In The Ceiling (with Melanie Tem), Deadfall Hotel, Blood Kin, Ubo and The Mask Shop of Doctor Blaack.
Click here to visit his official website.
About The Mask Shop of Doctor Blaack:
Fall is Laura’s favorite time of year, but this autumn, things are different. She’s a teenager now, and the season brings new changes and challenges. Laura’s decided she’s too old for trick-or-treating and wants a more grown-up Halloween experience with her friends. Unfortunately for Laura, her parents tell her she has to take her little brother, Trevor, out trick-or-treating first. When they go shopping for Halloween costumes, they stumble upon a very strange shop and its even stranger proprietor. When Trevor tries on the wrong mask, the consequences are exciting... and dangerous.
GUEST POST: Inspirations for The Mask Shop of Doctor Blaack by Steve Rasnic Tem
Juliet Kemp's The Deep and Shining Dark was published by Elsewhen Press in July 2018 (digital edition) / September 2018 (paperback edition).
Information about Juliet Kemp:
Juliet Kemp lives by the river in London, with their partners, child, dog, and too many fountain pens. They have had stories published in several anthologies and online magazines. Their employment history variously includes working as a cycle instructor, sysadmin, life model, researcher, permaculture designer, and journalist. When not writing or parenting, Juliet goes climbing, knits, reads way too much, and drinks a lot of tea.
Information about The Deep and Shining Dark:
You know something’s wrong when the cityangel turns up at your door
Magic within the city-state of Marek works without the need for bloodletting, unlike elsewhere in Teren, thanks to an agreement three hundred years ago between an angel and the founding fathers. It also ensures that political stability is protected from magical influence. Now, though, most sophisticates no longer even believe in magic or the cityangel.
But magic has suddenly stopped working, discovers Reb, one of the two sorcerers who survived a plague that wiped out virtually all of the rest. Soon she is forced to acknowledge that someone has deposed the cityangel without being able to replace it. Marcia, Heir to House Fereno, and one of the few in high society who is well-aware that magic still exists, stumbles across that same truth. But it is just one part of a much more ambitious plan to seize control of Marek.
Meanwhile, city Council members connive and conspire, unaware that they are being manipulated in a treacherous political game. A game that threatens the peace and security not just of the city, but all the states around the Oval Sea, including the shipboard traders of Salina upon whom Marek relies.
To stop the impending disaster, Reb and Marcia, despite their difference in status, must work together alongside the deposed cityangel and Jonas, a messenger from Salina. But first they must discover who is behind the plot, and each of them must try to decide whom they can really trust.
REVIEW: THE DEEP AND SHINING DARK BY JULIET KEMP
Rhys Hughes' The Honeymoon Gorillas was published by Bizarro Pulp Press in June 2018.
Information about Rhys Hughes:
Rhys Hughes was born in 1966. Tartarus Press published his first collection, Worming the Harpy, in 1995, and since that time he has published more than thirty other books. His fiction is generally fantastical and his output mainly consists of short stories, though he has published several novels. His work is frequently compared to that of Boris Vian, Flann O'Brien and R.A. Lafferty, but he cites his major influences as Italo Calvino and Donald Barthelme. His most recent books include the collections Bone Idle in the Charnel House (Hippocampus Press), Orpheus on the Underground (Tartarus Press) and Brutal Pantomimes (Egaeus Press). Fascinated by paradoxes, he incorporates them into his fiction as entertainingly as he can.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about The Honeymoon Gorillas:
Spud Gunn is the son of Hopalong Beech and Una Gunn. When his parents split up he begins his travels through the West, a place of myths, tall stories and strangeness. On his journey he has many peculiar encounters with the characters who inhabit the West and he begins to suspect that something is not quite right about the world he is living in. Could it be that this West is just a simulation? If so, for what purpose was it created? Before he finds the answer to this and other questions, he will have to evade the unusual attentions of a troupe of lethal roving actors, the schemes of fake orientals, the catastrophic effects of asteroid strikes and the fury of a giant who is one of the original gods of the West and who has been assembled from his scattered parts in order to break down the walls of existence and reveal the truths beyond.... But what does this have to do with gorillas? Rather more than it may seem to the casual eye!
REVIEW: THE HONEYMOON GORILLAS BY RHYS HUGHES
Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Ian Stuart Sharpe.
About Ian Stuart Sharpe:
Ian Sharpe was born in London, UK, and now lives in British Columbia, Canada. Having worked for the BBC, IMG, Atari and Electronic Arts, he is now CEO of a tech start up. As a child he discovered his love of books, sci-fi and sagas: devouring the works of Douglas Adams, J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and George MacDonald Fraser alongside Snorri Sturluson and Sigvat the Skald. He once won a prize at school for Outstanding Progress and chose a dictionary as his reward, secretly wishing it had been an Old Norse phrasebook. The All Father Paradox is his first novel.
About The All Father Paradox:
What if an ancient god escaped his fate... and history was thrown to the wolves?
Churchwarden Michaels thought it was just a run-of-the-mill crazy old man who stood in the graveyard, hellbent on studying the thousand-year-old Viking memorial there. But when things start changing and outright disappearing, Michaels realizes there is more to this old man than meets the eye. Now, Michaels finds himself swept up in an ancient god’s quest to escape his destiny by reworking reality, putting history - and to Michaels’s dismay, Christianity itself - to the Viking sword. In this new Vikingverse, storied heroes of mankind emerge in new and brutal guises drawn from the sagas:
A young Norse prince plots to shatter empires and claim the heavens...
A scholar exiled to the frontier braves the dangers of the New World, only to find those “new worlds” are greater than he imagined...
A captured Jötunn plants the dreams of freedom during a worlds-spanningwar...
A bold empress discovers there is a price for immortality, one her ancestors have come to collect...
With the timelines stretched to breaking point, it’s up to Churchwarden Michaels to save reality as we know it...
GUEST POST: “What's in a name?” by Ian Stuart Sharpe
Tricia Sullivan's Occupy Me was published by Titan Books in September 2018 (this novel was originally published in the UK in 2016 and is now made available to the US readers).
Information about Tricia Sullivan:
Tricia Sullivan is an award-winning writer of SF, Fantasy and YA. Her third novel, Dreaming In Smoke, won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best SF novel. Her work has encompassed cyberpunk, space opera and near-future satire. Her novels have been shortlisted for the BSFA Award, the Tiptree Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. An American, she has lived in the UK since 1995.
Information about Occupy Me:
Pearl is an angel. She works for the Resistance - an organisation dedicated to improving the world by stealth; by tiny, incremental acts of kindness. But Pearl also has wings. They blossom at moments of stress. And she is strong; an extraordinary, terrifying strength capable of breaking the fabric of reality. The Resistance can’t account for that, nor for Pearl’s mysterious origins. All anyone knows is that she appeared in a New York junkyard in the early 21st century.
Truth is, Pearl doesn’t really know what she is, let alone who she is.
Now she is on pell-mell chase across the world. In pursuit of a killer wearing another man’s body. The killer carries a briefcase that is a ragged hole in the Universe. A global conspiracy revolves around it. The nature of reality is determined by it. Pearl’s got to get the briefcase back - no matter how shocking its contents may turn out to be.
REVIEW: OCCUPY ME BY TRICIA SULLIVAN