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And Then There Were (N - One)

Sarah Pinsker

This shot story originally appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Issue 15, March-April 2017. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2018, edited by Rich Horton.

Read the full story for free at Uncanny Magazine.

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Ken Liu

A publishing event: Bestselling author Ken Liu selects his award-winning science fiction and fantasy tales for a groundbreaking collection--including a brand-new piece exclusive to this volume.

With his debut novel, The Grace of Kings, taking the literary world by storm, Ken Liu now shares his finest short fiction in The Paper Menagerie. This mesmerizing collection features all of Ken's award-winning and award-finalist stories, including: "The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary" (Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards), "Mono No Aware" (Hugo Award winner), "The Waves" (Nebula Award finalist), "The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species" (Nebula and Sturgeon award finalists), "All the Flavors" (Nebula award finalist), "The Litigation Master and the Monkey King" (Nebula Award finalist), and the most awarded story in the genre's history, "The Paper Menagerie" (The only story to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards).

A must-have for every science fiction and fantasy fan, this beautiful book is an anthology to savor.

Table of Contents:

Vermilion Sands

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 1

J. G. Ballard

Table of Contents:

  • Prima Belladonna - (1956)
  • The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista - (1962)
  • Cry Hope, Cry Fury! - (1967)
  • Venus Smiles - (1957)
  • Studio 5, The Stars - (1961)
  • The Cloud-Sculptors of Coral D - (1967)
  • Say Goodbye to the Wind - (1970)
  • The Screen Game - (1963)

The Power

Naomi Alderman

'She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She'd put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.'

Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light.

What if the power to hurt were in women's hands?

The world is still a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power--they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

Feed

M. T. Anderson

Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.

As Good As New

Charlie Jane Anders

From the author of the Hugo-winning "Six Months, Three Days," a new wrinkle on the old story of three wishes, set after the end of the world.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

The Time Traveler's Wife

Audrey Niffenegger

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

Afterparty

Daryl Gregory

It begins in Toronto, in the years after the smart drug revolution. Any high school student with a chemjet and internet connection can download recipes and print drugs, or invent them. A seventeen-year-old street girl finds God through a new brain-altering drug called Numinous, used as a sacrament by a new Church that preys on the underclass. But she is arrested and put into detention, and without the drug, commits suicide.

Lyda Rose, another patient in that detention facility, has a dark secret: she was one of the original scientists who developed the drug. With the help of an ex-government agent and an imaginary, drug-induced doctor, Lyda sets out to find the other three survivors of the five who made the Numinous in a quest to set things right.

The Death of Grass

John Christopher

At first the virus wiping out grass and crops is of little concern to John Custance. It has decimated Asia, causing mass starvation and riots, but Europe is safe and a counter-virus is expected any day. Except, it turns out, the governments have been lying to their people. When the deadly disease hits Britain they are left alone, and society starts to descend into barbarism. As John and his family try to make it across country to the safety of his brotherÂ’s farm in a hidden valley, their humanity is tested to its very limits.

Published in the USA as: No Blade of Grass.

Sand

Hugh Howey

Contains:

Part One: The Belt of the Buried Gods

The wind blows from east to west. It brings with it the sand, deposited in dunes, to bury and torment the unfortunate souls who live here. Life on the sand is miserable. Life below it is even worse.

Part Two: Out of No Man's Land

For every bucket of sand a man hauls, the wind brings another.
For every life that wanders out of sight, one more is born.
On the anniversary of a father lost, two brothers whisper stories in a tent.
They camp on the border of No Man's Land.
And one of them has a secret.

Part Three: Return to Danvar

An eldest daughter is a father's curse. Vic knows this. She knows she was never supposed to be the one. But her father taught her to breathe beneath the sand, taught her how to dive deep and find the treasures of the buried past. He taught her brother as well. When she hears of Danvar's discovery, it feels as though fate has slipped her by. If the rumors are to believed, that is. And while she has her doubts, her missing brother sends her on a hunt of her own. Cities are not the only things that get buried and forgotten. There are families, too.

Part Four: Thunder Due East

A family long scattered reunites as danger approaches Springston. Brother and sister rush to sound a warning, but that warning will come too late. Bombs will thunder like the pulse of a terrible god. The great dune will flow as the sea. And when a people find themselves buried beneath the sands, who in the heavens will hear their muffled pleas?

Part Five: A Rap Upon Heaven's Gate

Every generation thinks that it is special, that the great fall will occur before their time is up. Every generation is wrong. Until now.

----------------------

We live across the thousand dunes with grit in our teeth and sand in our homes. No one will come for us. No one will save us. This is our life, diving for remnants of the old world so that we may build what the wind destroys. No one is looking down on us. Those constellations in the night sky? Those are the backs of gods we see.

Ha'penny

Small Change: Book 2

Jo Walton

In 1949, eight years after the "Peace with Honor" was negotiated between Great Britain and Nazi Germany by the Farthing Set, England has completed its slide into fascist dicatorship. Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb.

The brilliant but politically compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists, of staunch King-and- Country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen, to murder Britain's Prime Minister and his new ally, Adolf Hitler.

Against a background of increasing domestic espionage and the suppression of Jews and homosexuals, an ad-hoc band of idealists and conservatives blackmail the one person they need to complete their plot, an actress who lives for her art and holds the key to the Fuhrer's death. From the ha'penny seats in the theatre to the ha'pennies that cover dead men's eyes, the conspiracy and the investigation swirl around one another, spinning beyond anyone's control.

In this brilliant companion to Farthing, Welsh-born World Fantasy Award winner Jo Walton continues her alternate history of an England that could have been, with a novel that is both an homage of the classic detective novels of the thirties and forties, and an allegory of the world we live in today.

Pilgrimage: The Book of the People

The People

Zenna Henderson

They were feared as witches and demons...

They possessed superhuman powers...

They could read minds, free objects from gravity, fly through the air...

They lived alone and outcast in an isolated canyon...

They were THE PEOPLE!

The Best We Can

Carrie Vaughn

First contact was supposed to change the course of human history. But it turns out, you still have to go to work the next morning.

This story is included in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection (2014), edited by Gardner Dozois, and Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Tor.com Short Fiction(2018), edited by Irene Gallo.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Chronopolis and Other Stories

J. G. Ballard

Sixteen of the author's own favorite science fiction stories.

Table of Contents:

  • The Voices of Time - (1960)
  • The Drowned Giant - (1964)
  • The Terminal Beach - (1964)
  • Manhole 69 - (1957)
  • Storm-Bird, Storm-Dreamer - (1966)
  • The Sound-Sweep - (1960)
  • Billenium - (1961)
  • Chronopolis - (1960)
  • Build-Up - (1957)
  • The Garden of Time - (1962)
  • End Game - (1964)
  • The Watch-Towers - (1962)
  • Now Wakes the Sea - (1963)
  • Zone of Terror - (1960)
  • The Cage of Sand - (1962)
  • Deep End - (1961)

Half a Crown

Small Change: Book 3

Jo Walton

In 1941 the European war ended in the Farthing Peace, a rapprochement between Britain and Nazi Germany. The balls and banquets of Britain's upper class never faltered, while British ships ferried “undesirables” across the Channel to board the cattle cars headed east.

Peter Carmichael is commander of the Watch, Britain's distinctly British secret police. It's his job to warn the Prime Minister of treason, to arrest plotters, and to discover Jews. The midnight knock of a Watchman is the most dreaded sound in the realm.

Now, in 1960, a global peace conference is convening in London, where Britain, Germany, and Japan will oversee the final partition of the world. Hitler is once again on British soil. So is the long exiled Duke of Windsor—and the rising gangs of "British Power" streetfighters, who consider the Government "soft," may be the former king's bid to stage a coup d'état.

Amidst all this, two of the most unlikely persons in the realm will join forces to oppose the fascists: a debutante whose greatest worry until now has been where to find the right string of pearls, and the Watch Commander himself.

The Iron Heel

Jack London

Part science fiction, part dystopian fantasy, part radical socialist tract, Jack London's The Iron Heel offers a grim depiction of warfare between the classes in America and around the globe. Originally published nearly a hundred years ago, it anticipated many features of the past century, including the rise of fascism, the emergence of domestic terrorism, and the growth of centralized government surveillance and authority. What begins as a war of words ends in scenes of harrowing violence as the state oligarchy, known as "the Iron Heel," moves to crush all opposition to its power.

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

Pym: Book 1

Edgar Allan Poe

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym is an archetypal American story of escape from home and family which traces a young man's rite of passage through a series of terrible brushes with death during a fateful sea voyage. But it also goes much deeper, as Pym encounters various interpretative dilemmas, at last leaving the reader with a broken-off ending that defies solution.

Apart from its violence and mystery, the tale calls attention to the act of writing and to the problem of representing truth. Layer upon layer of elaborate hoaxes include its author's own role of posing as ghost-writer of the narrative; Pym - his only novel - has become the key text for our understanding of Poe.

Bring the Jubilee

Ward Moore

The United States never recovered from The War for Southern Independence. While the neighboring Confederacy enjoyed the prosperity of the victor, the U.S. struggled through poverty, violence, and a nationwide depression.

The Industrial Revolution never occurred here, and so, well into the 1950s, the nation remained one of horse-drawn wagons, gaslight, highwaymen, and secret armies. This was home for Hodgins McCormick Backmaker, whose sole desire was the pursuit of knowledge. This, he felt, would spirit him away from the squalor and violence.

Disastrously, Hodgins became embroiled in the clandestine schemes of the outlaw Grand Army, from which he fled in search of a haven. But he was to discover that no place could fully protect him from the world and its dangerous realities....

Five Weeks in a Balloon

Voyages Extraordinaires: Book 1

Jules Verne

A Journey of Discovery by Three Englishmen in Africa.

One of the great "first novels" in world literature is now available in a complete, accurate English translation. Prepared by two of America's leading Verne scholars, Frederick Paul Walter and Arthur B. Evans, this edition honors not only Verne's farseeing science, but also his zest, style, and storytelling brilliance.

Initially published in 1863, Five Weeks in a Balloon was the first novel in the author's Extraordinary Voyages series. It tells the tale of a 4,000-mile balloon trip over the mysterious continent of Africa, a trip that wouldn't actually take place until well into the next century. Fusing adventure, comedy, and science fiction, Five Weeks has all the key ingredients of classic Verne: sly humor and cheeky characters, an innovative scientific invention, a tangled plot that's full of suspense and surprise, and visions of an unknown realm.

As part of the Early Classics of Science Fiction series, this critical edition features extensive notes, all the illustrations from the original French edition, and a complete Verne biography and bibliography. Five Weeks in a Balloon will be a prized addition to libraries and science fiction reading lists, and a must-read for Verne fans and steampunk connoisseurs.

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Voyages Extraordinaires: Book 3

Jules Verne

A classic of nineteenth-century French literature, this science fiction tale delves into the depths of the Earth, and by so doing, reveals the staggeringly long history of our planet.

Frameshift

Robert J. Sawyer

Geneticist Pierre Tardivel may not have long to live-he's got a fifty-fifty chance of having the gene for Huntington's disease. But if his DNA is tragic, his girlfriend's is astonishing: Molly Bond has a mutation that gives her telepathy. Both of them have attracted the interest of Pierre's boss, Dr. Burian Klimus, a senior researcher in the Human Genome Project who just might be hiding a horrific past. Avi Meyer, a dogged Nazi hunter, thinks Klimus was the monstrous "Ivan the Terrible" of the Treblinka Death Camp.

As Pierre races against the ticking clock of his own DNA to make a world-changing scientific breakthrough, Avi also races against time to bring Klimus to justice before the last survivors of Treblinka pass away.

Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind

Anne Charnock

History is storytelling. But some stories remain untold.

In fifteenth-century Italy, Paolo Uccello recognizes the artistic talent of his young daughter, Antonia, and teaches her how to create a masterpiece. The girl composes a painting of her mother and inadvertently sparks an enduring mystery.

In the present day, a copyist painter receives a commission from a wealthy Chinese businessman to duplicate a Paolo Uccello painting. Together, the painter and his teenage daughter visit China, and in doing so they begin their escape from a tragic family past.

In the twenty-second century, a painting is discovered that's rumored to be the work of Paolo Uccello's daughter. This reawakens an art historian's dream of elevating Antonia Uccello, an artist ignored by history because of her gender.

Stories untold. Secrets uncovered. But maybe some mysteries should remain shrouded.

The Art of Space Travel

Nina Allan

Sturgeon and Hugo Award nominated novelette.

The Art of Space Travel by Nina Allan is a science fiction novelette. In 2047, a first manned mission to Mars ended in tragedy. Thirty years later, a second expedition is preparing to launch. As housekeeper of the hotel where two of the astronauts will give their final press statements, Emily finds the mission intruding upon her thoughts more and more. Emily's mother, Moolie, has a message to give her, but Moolie's memories are fading. As the astronauts' visit draws closer, the unearthing of a more personal history is about to alter Emily's world forever.

This story is included in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 11 (2017), edited by Jonathan Strahan, and The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fourth Annual Collection (2017), edited by Garder Dozois.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

The Restoration Game

Ken MacLeod

There is no such place as Krassnia. Lucy Stone should know - she was born there.

In that tiny, troubled region of the former Soviet Union, revolution is brewing. Its organisers need a safe place to meet, and where better than the virtual spaces of an online game? Lucy, who works for a start-up games company in Edinburgh, has a project that almost seems made for the job: a game inspired by The Krassniad, an epic folk tale concocted by Lucy's mother Amanda, who studied there in the 1980s. Lucy knows Amanda is a spook. She knows her great-grandmother Eugenie also visited the country in the '30s, and met the man who originally collected Krassnian folklore, and who perished in Stalin's terror.

As Lucy digs up details about her birthplace to slot into the game, she finds the open secrets of her family's past, the darker secrets of Krassnia's past - and hints about the crucial role she is destined to play in The Restoration Game ...

Triton

Samuel R. Delany

Triton, the outermost moon of Neptune, was a world of absolute freedom, where every wish could be fulfilled. But for Bron Helstrom, one of Triton's elite, life had lost its meaning. There, in a world of endless possibilities, Bron began a searing odyssey to find the object of his desires.

Mr. Shivers

Robert Jackson Bennett

It is the time of the Great Depression.

Thousands have left their homes looking for a better life, a new life. But Marcus Connelly is not one of them. He searches for one thing, and one thing only. Revenge.

Because out there, riding the rails, stalking the camps, is the scarred vagrant who murdered Connelly's daughter. No one knows him, but everyone knows his name: Mr. Shivers.

In this extraordinary debut, Robert Jackson Bennett tells the story of an America haunted by murder and desperation. A world in which one man must face a dark truth and answer the question-how much is he willing to sacrifice for his satisfaction?

Brontomek!

Amorphs Universe: Book 3

Michael G. Coney

The planet of Arcadia was on the verge of economic collapse -- its human colony decimated by the Relay Effect. More and more colonists leaving for other worlds. Then the Hetherington Organisation came up with an offer the Arcadians couldn't refuse -- a five-year plan to transform the planet into a new prosperity.

Under the Skin

Michel Faber

Isserley picks up hitchhikers with big muscles. She, herself, is tiny-like a kid peering up over the steering wheel. She has a remarkable face and wears the thickest corrective lenses anyone has ever seen. Her posture is suggestive of some spinal problem. Her breasts are perfect; perhaps implants. She is strangely erotic yet somehow grotesque, vulnerable yet threatening. Her hitchhikers are a mixed bunch of men-trailer trash and travelling postgrads, thugs and philosophers. But Isserley is only interested in whether they have families and whether they have muscles. Then, it's only a question of how long she can endure her pain-physical and spiritual-and their conversation. Michel Faber's work has been described as a combination of Roald Dahl and Franz Kafka, as Somerset Maugham shacking up with Ian McEwan. At once humane and horrifying, Under the Skin takes us on a heart-thumping ride through dangerous territory-our own moral instincts and the boundaries of compassion. A grotesque and comical allegory announcing the arrival of an exciting talent, rich and assured.

The Sleeper Awakes

Frontiers of Imagination: Book 6

H. G. Wells

The Sleeper Awakes is H. G. Wells's wildly imaginative story of London in the twenty-second century and the man who by accident becomes owner and master of the world. In 1897 a Victorian gentleman falls into a sleep from which he cannot be waked. During his two centuries of slumber he becomes the Sleeper, the most well known and powerful person in the world. All property is bequeathed to the Sleeper to be administered by a Council on his behalf. The common people, increasingly oppressed, view the Sleeper as a mythical liberator whose awakening will free them from misery.

The Sleeper awakes in 2100 to a futuristic London adorned with wondrous technological trappings yet staggering under social injustice and escalating unrest. His awakening sends shock waves throughout London, from the highest meetings of the Council to the workers laboring in factories in the bowels of the city. Daring rescues and villainous treachery abound as workers and capitalists fight desperately for control of the Sleeper.

Mammoth

John Varley

Not content with investing his fortune and watching it grow, multibillionaire Howard Christian buys rare cars that he actually drives, acquires collectible toys that he actually plays with, and builds buildings that defy the imagination. But now his restless mind has turned to a new obsession: cloning a mammoth...

In a barren province of Canada, a mammoth hunter financed by Christian has made the discovery of a lifetime: an intact frozen woolly mammoth. But what he finds during the painstaking process of excavating the huge creature baffles the mind. Huddled next to the mammoth is the mummified body of a Stone Age man around 12,000 years old. And he is wearing a wristwatch.

It looks like Howard Christian is going to get his wish--and more...

The Girl in the Road

Monica Byrne

In a world where global power has shifted east and revolution is brewing, two women embark on vastly different journeys--each harrowing and urgent and wholly unexpected.

When Meena finds snakebites on her chest, her worst fears are realized: someone is after her and she must flee India. As she plots her exit, she learns of The Trail, an energy-harvesting bridge spanning the Arabian Sea that has become a refuge for itinerant vagabonds and loners on the run. This is her salvation. Slipping out in the cover of night, with a knapsack full of supplies including a pozit GPS system, a scroll reader, and a sealable waterproof pod, she sets off for Ethiopia, the place of her birth.

Meanwhile, Mariama, a young girl in Africa, is forced to flee her home. She joins up with a caravan of misfits heading across the Sahara. She is taken in by Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. They are trying to reach Addis Abba, Ethiopia, a metropolis swirling with radical politics and rich culture. But Mariama will find a city far different than she ever expected--romantic, turbulent, and dangerous.

As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama's fates are linked in ways that are mysterious and shocking to the core.

Written with stunning clarity, deep emotion, and a futuristic flair, The Girl in the Road is an artistic feat of the first order: vividly imagined, artfully told, and profoundly moving.

News from Nowhere: or, An Epoch of Rest

William Morris

News From Nowhere, one of the most significant English works on the theme of utopia, is the tale of William Guest, a Victorian who wakes one morning to find himself in the year 2102 and discovers a society that has changed beyond recognition into a pastoral paradise, in which all people live in blissful equality and contentment. A socialist masterpiece, News From Nowhere is a vision of a future free from capitalism, isolation and industrialisation.

Around the Moon

Baltimore Gun Club: Book 2

Jules Verne

After being fired out of the giant Columbiad space gun, the bullet-shaped projectile along with its three passengers, Barbicane, Nicholl and Michel Ardan, begins the five-day trip to the moon.

The Circle

Dave Eggers

The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, best-selling author of A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award.

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can't believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world--even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman's ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.