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Reborn

The Anderson Project: Book 1

Ken Liu

One of three stories inspired by the same painting by Richard Anderson. Anthologized in The Anderson Project.

Ken Liu is among the most prominent new award-winning SF writers of the last decade, and this vision of a really uncanny alien invasion set in Boston, MA, is a stunner, with echoing reverberations, of love, identity, resistance and revolution.

This story can also be found in the anthology Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Tor.com Short Fiction (2018), edited by Irene Gallo, and Not One of Us: Stories of Aliens on Earth (2018), edited by Neil Clarke.


Read this story online for free at Tor.com.

Ender's Game

Ender's Universe: Ender Wiggin: Book 1

Orson Scott Card

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cutyoung Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

Lilith's Brood

Xenogenesis

Octavia E. Butler

Butler’s acclaimed Xenogenesis trilogy about humanity’s struggle for survival after nuclear apocalypse, and the alien race that could save the world—or destroy it.

The newest stage in human evolution begins in outer space. Survivors of a cataclysmic nuclear war awake to find themselves being studied by the Oankali, tentacle-covered galactic travelers whose benevolent appearance hides their surprising plan for the future of mankind. The Oankali arrive not just to save humanity, but to bond with it—crossbreeding to form a hybrid species that can survive in the place of its human forebears, who were so intent on self-destruction. Some people resist, forming pocket communities of purebred rebellion, but many realize they have no choice. The human species inevitably expands into something stranger, stronger, and undeniably alien.

The Complete Robot

The Positronic Robot Stories

Isaac Asimov

The complete collection of Isaac Asimov's classic Robot stories.In these stories, Asimov creates the Three Laws of Robotics and ushers in the Robot Age - when Earth is ruled by master-machines and when robots are more human than mankind.The Complete Robot is the ultimate collection of timeless, amazing and amusing robot stories from the greatest science fiction writer of all time, offering golden insights into robot thought processes. Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics were programmed into real computers thirty years ago at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - with suprising results. Readers of today still have many surprises in store...

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (The Complete Robot) - (1982) - essay
  • Some Non-Human Robots - (1982) - essay
  • A Boy's Best Friend - (1975) - short story
  • Sally - (1953) - short story
  • Someday - (1956) - short story
  • Some Immobile Robots - (1982) - essay
  • Point of View - (1975) - short story
  • Think! - (1977) - short story
  • True Love - (1977) - short story
  • Some Metallic Robots - (1982) - essay
  • Robot AL-76 Goes Astray - (1942) - short story
  • Victory Unintentional - (1942) - short story
  • Stranger in Paradise - (1974) - novelette
  • Light Verse - (1973) - short story
  • Segregationist - (1967) - short story
  • Robbie - (1940) - short story
  • Some Humanoid Robots - (1982) - essay
  • Let's Get Together - (1957) - short story
  • Mirror Image - (1972) - short story
  • The Tercentenary Incident - (1976) - short story
  • Powell and Donovan - (1982) - essay
  • First Law - (1956) - short story
  • Runaround - (1942) - novelette
  • Reason - (1941) - short story
  • Catch That Rabbit - (1944) - short story
  • Susan Calvin - (1982) - essay
  • Liar! - (1941) - short story
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed - (1951) - short story
  • Lenny - (1958) - short story
  • Galley Slave - (1957) - novelette
  • Little Lost Robot - (1947) - novelette
  • Risk - (1955) - novelette
  • Escape! - (1945) - short story
  • Evidence - (1946) - novelette
  • The Evitable Conflict - (1950) - novelette
  • Feminine Intuition - (1969) - novelette
  • Two Climaxes - (1982) - essay
  • --That Thou Art Mindful of Him! - (1974) - novelette
  • The Bicentennial Man - (1976) - novelette
  • A Last Word - (1982) - essay

Mockingbird

Walter Tevis

Mockingbird is a powerful novel of a future world where humans are dying. Those that survive spend their days in a narcotic bliss or choose a quick suicide rather than slow extinction. Humanity's salvation rests with an android who has no desire to live, and a man and a woman who must discover love, hope, and dreams of a world reborn.

The future is a grim place in which the declining human population wanders, drugged and lulled by electronic bliss. It's a world without art, reading and children, a world where people would rather burn themselves alive than endure. Even Spofforth, the most perfect machine ever created, cannot bear it and seeks only that which he cannot have - to cease to be. But there is hope for the future in the passion and joy that a man and woman discover in love and in books, hope even for Spofforth. A haunting novel, reverberating with anguish but also celebrating love and the magic of a dream.

Exit Strategy

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 4

Martha Wells

BSFA Award-nominated Novella and Prometheus Award-nominated series

Murderbot wasn't programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right?

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah--its former owner (protector? friend?)--submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit.

But who's going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue?

And what will become of it when it's caught?

Waking Gods

The Themis Files: Book 2

Sylvain Neuvel

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she's dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers -- and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer now than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth... and maybe even the stars.

Ender's Shadow

Ender's Universe: Ender's Shadow: Book 1

Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card brings us back to the very beginning of his brilliant Ender Quartet, with a novel that allows us to reenter that world anew.

With all the power of his original creation, Card has created a parallel volume to Ender's Game, a book that expands and compliments the first, enhancing its power, illuminating its events and its powerful conclusion.

The human race is at War with the "Buggers", an insect-like alien race. The first battles went badly, and now as Earth prepares to defend itself against the imminent threat of total destruction at the hands of an inscrutable alien enemy, all focus is on the development and training of military geniuses who can fight such a war, and win.

The long distances of interstellar space have given hope to the defenders of Earth--they have time to train these future commanders up from childhood, forging then into an irresisible force in the high orbital facility called the Battle School.

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School he was just the best of the best. In this new book, card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean--the one who became Ender's right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers.

Bean's past was a battle just to survive. He first appeared on the streets of Rotterdam, a tiny child with a mind leagues beyond anyone else's. He knew he could not survive through strength he used his tactical genius to gain acceptance into a children's gang, and then to help make that gang a template for success for all the others. He civilized them, and lived to grow older.

Bean's desperate struggle to live, and his success, brought him to the attention of the Battle School's recruiters, those people scouring the planet for leaders, tacticians, and generals to save Earth from the threat of alien invasion. Bean was sent into orbit, to the Battle School. And there he met Ender….

The Positronic Man

The Positronic Robot Stories: Book 3

Robert Silverberg
Isaac Asimov

In a twenty-first century Earth where the development of the positronic brain has revolutionized the way of life, beloved household robot "Andrew" struggles with his unusual capacity for emotion and dreams of becoming human.

The Electric Church

Avery Cates: Book 1

Jeff Somers

In the near future, the only thing growing faster than the criminal population is the Electric Church, a new religion founded by a mysterious man named Dennis Squalor. The Church preaches that life is too brief to contemplate the mysteries of the universe: eternity is required. In order to achieve this, the converted become Monks -- cyborgs with human brains, enhanced robotic bodies, and virtually unlimited life spans.

Enter Avery Cates, a dangerous criminal known as the best killer-for-hire around. The authorities have a special mission in mind for Cates: assassinate Dennis Squalor. But for Cates, the assignment will be the most dangerous job he's ever undertaken -- and it may well be his last.

Kiln People

David Brin

In a perilous future where disposable duplicate bodies fulfill every legal and illicit whim of their decadent masters, life is cheap. No one knows that better than Albert Morris, a brash investigator with a knack for trouble, who has sent his own duplicates into deadly peril more times than he cares to remember.

But when Morris takes on a ring of bootleggers making illegal copies of a famous actress, he stumbles upon a secret so explosive it has incited open warfare on the streets of Dittotown.

Dr. Yosil Maharal, a brilliant researcher in artificial intelligence, has suddenly vanished, just as he is on the verge of a revolutionary scientific breakthrough. Maharal's daughter, Ritu, believes he has been kidnapped-or worse. Aeneas Polom, a reclusive trillionaire who appears in public only through his high-priced platinum duplicates, offers Morris unlimited resources to locate Maharal before his awesome discovery falls into the wrong hands.

To uncover the truth, Morris must enter a shadowy, nightmare world of ghosts and golems where nothing -and no one-is what they seem, memory itself is suspect, and the line between life and death may no longer exist.

City

Clifford D. Simak

The cities of the world are deserted and automation has invaded every aspect of human life. The robots make spaceships, the ants create huge buildings on the remains of old towns and the dogs take over the earth.

Great Sky River

The Galactic Center Series: Book 3

Gregory Benford

At the center of the galaxy, a small band of humans, trapped on the barren world of Snowglade and facing extinction, discovers that they will play a new role in the order of the universe.

Makers

Cory Doctorow

From the New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother, a major novel of the booms, busts, and further booms in store for America.

Perry and Lester invent things-seashell robots that make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent entirely new economic systems, like the "New Work," a New Deal for the technological era. Barefoot bankers cross the nation, microinvesting in high-tech communal mini-startups like Perry and Lester's. Together, they transform the country, and Andrea Fleeks, a journo-turned-blogger, is there to document it.

Then it slides into collapse. The New Work bust puts the dot.combomb to shame. Perry and Lester build a network of interactive rides in abandoned Wal-Marts across the land. As their rides, which commemorate the New Work's glory days, gain in popularity, a rogue Disney executive grows jealous, and convinces the police that Perry and Lester's 3D printers are being used to run off AK-47s.

Hordes of goths descend on the shantytown built by the New Workers, joining the cult. Lawsuits multiply as venture capitalists take on a new investment strategy: backing litigation against companies like Disney. Lester and Perry's friendship falls to pieces when Lester gets the 'fatkins' treatment, turning him into a sybaritic gigolo.

Then things get really interesting.

Download this book for free from the author's website.

Ring Around the Sun

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 28

Clifford D. Simak

This novel is set in a future world where the equipment of ordinary, everyday life has become indestructible; there are everlasting lightbulbs and infallible cars, but no-one knows where they have come from.

Head On

Lock In: Book 2

John Scalzi

In the standalone follow-up to Lock In, chilling near-future SF is combined with the thrill of a gritty cop procedural, snappy dialogue and technological speculation on the future world of sports.

Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent's head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are "threeps," robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden's Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real and the crowds love it.

Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

Is it an accident or murder? FBI Agents and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, are called in to uncover the truth -- and in doing so travel to the darker side of the fast-growing sport of Hilketa, where fortunes are made or lost, and where players and owners do whatever it takes to win, on and off the field.

Xenocide

Ender's Universe: Ender Wiggin: Book 3

Orson Scott Card

The war for survival of the planet Lusitania will be fought in the hearts of a child named Gloriously Bright.

On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequininos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought.

Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus that kills all humans it infects, but which the pequininos require in order to become adults. The Startways Congress so fears the effects of the descolada, should it escape from Lusitania, that they have ordered the destruction of the entire planet, and all who live there. The Fleet is on its way, a second xenocide seems inevitble.

Ender in Exile

Ender's Universe: Ender Wiggin

Orson Scott Card

After twenty-three years, Orson Scott Card returns to his acclaimed best-selling series with the first true, direct sequel to the classic Ender's Game.

In Ender's Game, the world's most gifted children were taken from their families and sent to an elite training school. At Battle School, they learned combat, strategy, and secret intelligence to fight a dangerous war on behalf of those left on Earth. But they also learned some important and less definable lessons about life.

After the life-changing events of those years, these children-now teenagers-must leave the school and readapt to life in the outside world.

Having not seen their families or interacted with other people for years-where do they go now? What can they do?

Ender fought for humanity, but he is now reviled as a ruthless assassin. No longer allowed to live on Earth, he enters into exile. With his sister Valentine, he chooses to leave the only home he's ever known to begin a relativistic-and revelatory-journey beyond the stars.

What happened during the years between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead? What did Ender go through from the ages of 12 through 35? The story of those years has never been told. Taking place 3000 years before Ender finally receives his chance at redemption in Speaker for the Dead, this is the long-lost story of Ender.

For twenty-three years, millions of readers have wondered and now they will receive the answers. Ender in Exile is Orson Scott Card's moving return to all the action and the adventure, the profound exploration of war and society, and the characters one never forgot.

On one of these ships, there is a baby that just may share the same special gifts as Ender's old friend Bean....

A Mirror for Observers

Edgar Pangborn

In their attitude towards the Planet Earth, the Martians had long been divided into two camps: the Observers, benevolent 'meddlers' in human affairs; and the rebellious Abdicators, who sought the Earth's collapse.

But it wasn't until the extraordinary matter of the Earth-Boy, Angelo Pontevecchio, that the enmity between these two factions came to a definite head.

It started as a contest of wills, waged between two opposing Martians for the soul of a single human child.

And before the end, it threatened all life on both Earth and Mars.

Of Men and Monsters

William Tenn

Giant, technologically superior aliens have conquered Earth, but humankind survives - even flourishes in a way. Men and women live, like mice, in burrows in the massive walls of the huge homes of the aliens, and scurry about under their feet, stealing from them. A complex social and religious order has evolved, with women preserving knowledge and working as healers, and men serving as warriors and thieves. For the aliens, men and women are just a nuisance, nothing more than vermin. Which, ironically, may just be humankind's strength and point the way forward.

Lagoon

Nnedi Okorafor

When a massive object crashes into the ocean off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria's most populous and legendary city, three people wandering along Bar Beach (Adaora, the marine biologist- Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa- Agu, the troubled soldier) find themselves running a race against time to save the country they love and the world itself... from itself. Lagoon expertly juggles multiple points of view and crisscrossing narratives with prose that is at once propulsive and poetic, combining everything from superhero comics to Nigerian mythology to tie together a story about a city consuming itself.

At its heart a story about humanity at the crossroads between the past, present, and future, Lagoon touches on political and philosophical issues in the rich tradition of the very best science fiction, and ultimately asks us to consider the things that bind us together--and the things that make us human.

There was no time to flee. No time to turn. No time to shriek. And there was no pain. It was like being thrown into the stars.

To Marry Medusa

Theodore Sturgeon

Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Theodore Sturgeon reinvents the alien invasion novel with this heart-stopping story of a malevolent, galaxy-consuming hive mind and its surprising human host

Drunk, angry, abusive, and pathetic, Dan Gurlick exists at the very lowest level of human civilization, sleeping in junkyard cars and scrounging through garbage cans for his dinner. But his last rotting meal contains something unexpected: a spore that originated from a galaxy many light-years away. First, Dan eats the spore, then, the spore eats Dan; and the homeless alcoholic becomes a host for the Medusa. An insatiable alien hive mind, the Medusa has already consumed the life forms of a billion planets. Now, it hungers for the dominant species of Earth. But to do so, it must somehow unite the planet's intelligent creatures into a single shared consciousness: an assignment the miserable wretch Dan may prove surprisingly capable of carrying out.

To Marry Medusa is suspenseful, inventive, and surprisingly compassionate; a vibrant and unforgettable exploration of what it means to be more—or less—than human.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Theodore Sturgeon including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the University of Kansas's Kenneth Spencer Research Library and the author's estate, among other sources.

originally published in 1958 as The Cosmic Rape.

The Mount

Carol Emshwiller

Charley is an athlete. He wants to be painted crossing the finish line, in his racing silks, with a medal around his neck. But Charley isn't a runner. He is a human mount, the property of one of the alien invaders called Hoots. Charley hasn't seen his mother in years, and his father is hiding out in the mountains with the other Free Humans. The Hoots own the world, but the humans want it back. Charley knows how to be a good mount-now he's going to have to learn how to be a human being.

This remarkable novel, winner of the 2002 Philip K. Dick Award, should be read by every fan of speculative fiction, teenagers and adults alike.

Amped

Daniel H. Wilson

Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. The New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse creates a stunning, near-future world where technology and humanity clash in surprising ways. The result? The perfect summer blockbuster.

As he did in Robopocalypse, Daniel Wilson masterfully envisions a frightening near-future world. In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities-and rights-of "amplified" humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, twenty-nine-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as "amps." Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world-or destroy it.

Once again, Daniel H. Wilson's background as a scientist serves him well in this technologically savvy thriller that delivers first-rate entertainment, as Wilson takes the "what if" question in entirely unexpected directions. Fans of Robopocalypseare sure to be delighted, and legions of new fans will want to get "amped" this summer.