OK, here are some suggestions. No overarching theme, just some books I've got sitting around. If no interest, then spin the damn wheel. Feersum Endjinn – Iain M. Banks
(1994, 311 pp.)
In a world where one can live multiple lives, Count Alandre Sessine VIII has survived seven times and is down to his last, leaving him one final shot at finding his killer. His only clues point to a conspiracy that reaches far beyond his own murder, and survival lies in discovering other fugitives who know the truth about the ultimate weapon of chaos and salvation.
The book is set on a far future Earth where the uploading of mindstates into a world-spanning computer network is commonplace, allowing the dead to be easily reincarnated, a set number of times, first physically and then virtually within the crypt. The crypt has become increasingly chaotic, causing much concern within society. The world is in crisis as the solar system is slowly drifting into an interstellar molecular cloud ("the Encroachment"), which will eventually dim and then destroy the Sun, ending life on Earth.The Corpse Exhibition – Hassan Blasim
(2014, 196 pp.)
This blistering debut by "perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive” (The Guardian) is the first major literary work about the Iraq War from an Iraqi perspective. Showing us the war as we have never seen it before, here is a world not only of soldiers and assassins, hostages and car bombers, refugees and terrorists, but also of madmen and prophets, angels and djinni, sorcerers and spirits.
Blending shocking realism with flights of fantasy, The Corpse Exhibition offers us a pageant of horrors, as haunting as the photos of Abu Ghraib and as difficult to look away from, but shot through with a gallows humor that yields an unflinching comedy of the macabre. Gripping and hallucinatory, this is a new kind of storytelling forged in the crucible of war.Slade House – David Mitchell
(2015, 238 pp.)
Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you’ll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the house’s residents—an odd brother and sister—extend a unique invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late. . . .
Spanning five decades, from the last days of the 1970s to the present, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story—as only David Mitchell could imagine it.The Little Red Chairs – Edna O’Brien
(2016, 299 pp.)
A woman discovers that the foreigner she thinks will redeem her life is a notorious war criminal.
Vlad, a stranger from the Balkans masquerading as a faith healer, settles in a small Irish village where the locals fall under his spell. One woman, Fidelma McBride, becomes so enamored that she begs him for a child. All that world is shattered when Vlad is arrested, and his identity as a war criminal is revealed.
Fidelma, disgraced, flees to England and seeks work among the other migrants displaced by wars and persecution. But it is not until she confronts him – her nemesis – that her physical and emotional journey reaches its breathtaking climax.On Black Sisters’ Street – Chika Unigwe
(2007, 258 pp.)
Four very different women have made their way from Africa to Brussels. They have come to claim for themselves the riches they believe Europe promises but when Sisi, the most enigmatic of the women, is murdered, their already fragile world is shattered.
Drawn together by tragedy, the remaining three women - Joyce, a great beauty whose life has been destroyed by war; Ama, whose dark moods manifest a past injustice; Efe, whose efforts to earn her keep are motivated by a particular zeal - slowly begin to share their stories. They are stories of terror, of displacement, of love, and of a sinister man called Dele.