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In the near future, Tibor Tarent, a freelance photographer, is recalled from Anatolia to Britain when his wife, an aid worker, is killed—annihilated by a terrifying weapon that reduces its target to a triangular patch of scorched earth.
A century earlier, Tommy Trent, a stage magician, is sent to the Western Front on a secret mission to render British reconnaissance aircraft invisible to the enemy.
Present day. A theoretical physicist develops a new method of diverting matter, a discovery with devastating consequences that will resonate through time.
Shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel of 2014.
written, ‘17 Sqn, La rue des bêtes, Béthune.’ Road of the beasts? I had no idea how to begin a search for such a street. I spoke no French, had no map of the town, and in any case the whole place was quiet. Few lights showed in the buildings I could see. I was starting to feel a little frightened by my situation. ‘Lieutenant-Commander Trent, sir!’ I turned sharply. A young Royal Navy officer had appeared behind me, standing to attention, saluting. ‘I apologize for not being here to meet the
unguarded to him, and the woman never spoke at all. She faced Tarent most of the time, regarding him opaquely from within her shroud. Soon after leaving the Roscoes’ house the young man spoke to pass on instructions. He said that they were taking him to London where there was an apartment he could stay in overnight. He gave Tarent a key, and told him where he should return it when he was collected the next day. He would then be driven to a debriefing office in Lincolnshire, where he would be
out in the summer of 1914 he was still there. It soon became clear that the Germans were using airplanes to threaten our army. A naval air wing was promptly set up. Frustrated by not being at sea and not receiving a posting to a ship of the line, Bartlett volunteered for the new service, learnt to fly and after a few adventures he did not describe in detail ended up here on the Western Front, keen to shoot down as many Huns as possible. He said he had been married for a year and that his wife had
could hear the sound of aero engines, starting, revving up, clattering down to silence. I did not look, could not face the idea of seeing any more planes taking off or landing. When I had at last been able to compose myself I left the room, and bracing myself against another unpleasant interview I went in search of Lieutenant-Commander Montacute. I eventually discovered he was currently leading a mission. I returned to my room. I located my written orders then penned a polite note to
exhilarating. I felt I was doing something practical to defend my country from invasion, even though every day brought more evidence that we were losing the war. One morning I was given a two-seat RWD-14 Czapla, and instructed to ferry a senior officer from Warsaw to Kielce. During the flight he told me that the German Army was advancing on Kraków from the west. After I had safely delivered him I immediately flew further south to Kraków, heading for the count’s airstrip. From the air there