NEW YORK CITY, the near future: Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician, is hired by a mysterious new financial consulting firm, FutureWorld. The business operates out of a cavernous office in the Empire State Building; Mitchell is employee number two. He is asked to calculate worst-case scenarios in the most intricate detail, and his schemes are sold to corporations to indemnify them against any future disasters. This is the cutting edge of corporate irresponsibility, and business is booming. As Mitchell immerses himself in the mathematics of catastrophe—ecological collapse, global war, natural disasters—he becomes obsessed by a culture's fears. Yet he also loses touch with his last connection to reality: Elsa Bruner, a friend with her own apocalyptic secret, who has started a commune in Maine. Then, just as Mitchell's predictions reach a nightmarish crescendo, an actual worst-case scenario overtakes Manhattan. Mitchell realizes he is uniquely prepared to profit. But at what cost? At once an all-too-plausible literary thriller, an unexpected love story, and a philosophically searching inquiry into the nature of fear, Nathaniel Rich's Odds Against Tomorrow poses the ultimate questions of imagination and civilization. The future is not quite what it used to be. An NPR Best Book of 2013
While working for a financial consulting firm that offers insurance against catastrophic events, a young mathematician becomes increasingly obsessed with doomsday scenarios until one of his worst-case scenarios unfolds in Manhattan.
New York City, the near future: Mitchell Zukor works on the cutting edge of corporate irresponsibility, and business is booming. A brilliant mathematician, he spends his days calculating worst-case scenarios for FutureWorld, a consulting firm that indemnifies corporations against potential disasters. As Mitchell immerses himself in the calculus of catastrophe, he exchanges letters with Elsa Bruner—a college crush with her own apocalyptic secret—and becomes obsessed by a culture's fears. When Mitchell's darkest predictions come true and an actual worst-case scenario engulfs Manhattan, he realizes that he is uniquely prepared to profit. But what will it cost him? Odds Against Tomorrow, hailed by Rolling Stone as "the first great climate-change novel," is an all-too-plausible literary thriller, an unexpected love story, and a philosophically searching inquiry into the nature of fear. The future is not what it used to be.
Author: Charles Williams
Publisher: Overamstel Uitgevers
Release Date: 2012-09-18
Aboard a ghost ship, sailors discover a tale of treasure, lust, and murder When the tanker finds the yacht, she is far from land, adrift in the middle of the Caribbean. No one is onboard, but the hold is stuffed with cash, the coffeepot is still warm, and a hint of perfume hangs in the air. The passengers have vanished, but the ship’s log tells a chilling story of the madness peculiar to the search for sunken riches. The journal was written by salvage diver Bill Manning, who was out of money and out of luck when he met a statuesque Swede named Shannon. She and her husband hire him to sail them to the Yucatan coast, to find a plane that went down carrying untold wealth. But a pair of gangsters is pursuing them, hoping for a crack at the treasure as well. For the sake of Shannon’s beauty Manning will chase this fortune, knowing it will take him to the height of riches, or to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea.
Author: Abraham Polonsky
Publisher: Sadanlaur Publications
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Performing Arts
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), which stars Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Ed Begley, and Gloria Grahame, is written by blacklisted screenwriter Abraham Polonsky and directed by Robert Wise. The last great film noir of the black and white era it reflects the author's strong social conscience as racial conflict is portrayed as central to the failure of a bank robbery. This publication of the complete script blends the shooting script (written before the film was shot) and the continuity script (the elements which are contained in the finished film). The critical analysis draws extensively on specially conducted interviews with Robert Wise, Harry Belafonte and Abraham Polonsky. Discussed in depth are the significance of a black protagonist within the film noir genre; the adaptation from William McGivern's novel; and the critically celebrated jazz score by John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet.
New Orleans, 1918. The birth of jazz, the Spanish flu, an ax murderer on the loose. The lives of a traumatized cop, a conflicted Mafia matriarch, and a brilliant trumpeter converge—and the Crescent City gets the rich, dark, sweeping novel it so deserves. From one of the most inventive writers of his generation, King Zeno is a historical crime novel and a searching inquiry into man’s dreams of immortality. New Orleans, a century ago: a city determined to reshape its destiny and, with it, the nation’s. Downtown, a new American music is born. In Storyville, prostitution is outlawed and the police retake the streets with maximum violence. In the Ninth Ward, laborers break ground on a gigantic canal that will split the city, a work of staggering human ingenuity intended to restore New Orleans’s faded mercantile glory. The war is ending and a prosperous new age dawns. But everything is thrown into chaos by a series of murders committed by an ax-wielding maniac with a peculiar taste in music. The ax murders scramble the fates of three people from different corners of town. Detective William Bastrop is an army veteran haunted by an act of wartime cowardice, recklessly bent on redemption. Isadore Zeno is a jazz cornetist with a dangerous side hustle. Beatrice Vizzini is the widow of a crime boss who yearns to take the family business straight. Each nurtures private dreams of worldly glory and eternal life, their ambitions carrying them into dark territories of obsession, paranoia, and madness. In New Orleans, a city built on swamp, nothing stays buried long.
One of the most original, dazzling, and critically acclaimed debut novels this year. In this debut novel, hailed by Stephen King as ?terrifying, touching, and wildly funny,? the stories of two strangers, Eugene Brentani and Mr. Schmitz, interweave. What unfolds is a bold reinvention of storytelling in which Eugene, a devotee of the reclusive and monstrous author, Constance Eakins, and Mr. Schmitz, who has been receiving ominous letters from an old friend, embark from New York for Italy, where the line between imagination and reality begins to blur and stories take on a life of their own.
Jessica Chandler and Blake Randall have a lot of unfinished business. Jessica had once idolized Blake and when the opportunity came, she had given herself to him shamelessly. She tossed his duty-bound proposal in his face. After all, she had her pride. An automobile accident took the lives of her parents and caused her many months of physical therapy and grief counseling. Although she was in a wheelchair, her torn body was healing. After several long years, Blake was ending his self-imposed exile. He realized that time away did not diminish his intense desire for Jessica. It did, however, ease the pain of her rejection. Being away from his family had cost him more than he cared to admit and he longed for their close contact. Little did Blake and Jessica know that an unexpected encounter would change the course of their lives.
Though often thought of as primarily a male vehicle, the film noir offered some of the most complex female roles of any movies of the 1940s and 1950s. Stars such as Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Tierney and Joan Crawford produced some of their finest performances in noir movies, while such lesser known actresses as Peggie Castle, Hope Emerson and Helen Walker made a lasting impression with their roles in the genre. These six women and 43 others who were most frequently featured in films noirs are profiled here, focusing primarily on their work in the genre and its impact on their careers. A filmography of all noir appearances is provided for each actress.
Author: Nathaniel Rich
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Release Date: 2005
An entertaining survey of film noir set in San Francisco covers The Maltese Falcon, Dark Passage, Woman on the Run, D.O.A., Point Blank, The Conversation, Vertigo, and The Lady from Shanghai, among others.
THE GIRL WHO WOULDN'T DIE HUNTS THE KILLER WHO SHOULDN'T EXIST. The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own." Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future. Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times. At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He's the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable-until one of his victims survives. Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth . . . THE SHINING GIRLS is a masterful twist on the serial killer tale: a violent quantum leap featuring a memorable and appealing heroine in pursuit of a deadly criminal.
Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
Release Date: 2004-06-01
The bestselling author of the classic Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt returns with a riveting new trilogy of cutting-edge science, international politics, and the real-life ramifications of global warming as they are played out in our nation’s capital—and in the daily lives of those at the center of the action. Hauntingly realistic, here is a novel of the near future that is inspired by scientific facts already making headlines. When the Arctic ice pack was first measured in the 1950s, it averaged thirty feet thick in midwinter. By the end of the century it was down to fifteen. One August the ice broke. The next year the breakup started in July. The third year it began in May. That was last year. It’s an increasingly steamy summer in the nation’s capital as Senate environmental staffer Charlie Quibler cares for his young son and deals with the frustrating politics of global warming. Charlie must find a way to get a skeptical administration to act before it’s too late—and his progeny find themselves living in Swamp World. But the political climate poses almost as great a challenge as the environmental crisis when it comes to putting the public good ahead of private gain. While Charlie struggles to play politics, his wife, Anna, takes a more rational approach to the looming crisis in her work at the National Science Foundation. There a proposal has come in for a revolutionary process that could solve the problem of global warming—if it can be recognized in time. But when a race to control the budding technology begins, the stakes only get higher. As these everyday heroes fight to align the awesome forces of nature with the extraordinary march of modern science, they are unaware that fate is about to put an unusual twist on their work—one that will place them at the heart of an unavoidable storm. With style, wit, and rare insight into our past, present, and possible future, this captivating novel propels us into a world on the verge of unprecedented change—in a time quite like our own. Here is Kim Stanley Robinson at his visionary best, offering a gripping cautionary tale of progress—and its price—as only he can tell it. From the Hardcover edition.