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Welcome to the Monkey House

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Welcome to the Monkey House is a collection of Kurt Vonnegut's shorter works. Originally printed in publications as diverse as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Atlantic Monthly, these superb stories share Vonnegut's audacious sense of humor and extraordinary range of creative vision.

Animal Farm: A Fairy Story

George Orwell

Retro Hugo- and Prometheus-winning Novella

As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors.

The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy

Ijon Tichy

Stanislaw Lem

Bringing his twin gifts of scientific speculation and scathing satire to bear on that hapless planet, Earth, Lem sends his unlucky cosmonaut, Ijon Tichy, to the Eighth Futurological Congress. Caught up in local revolution, Tichy is shot and so critically wounded that he is flashfrozen to await a future cure. Translated by Michael Kandel.

A Series of Steaks

Vina Jie-Min Prasad

This Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon Award-nominated Clarkesworld Reader's Poll-winning novelette originally appeared in Clarkesworld, #124, January 2017. It can also be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Twelve (2018), edited by Jonathan Strahan, The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection (2018), edited by Gardner Dozois, The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3 (2018), edited by Neil Clarke, and The Apex Book of World SF: Volume 5 (2018), edited by Cristina Jurado and Lavie Tidhar, and Nebula Awards Showcase 2019, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

The Practice Effect

David Brin

Physicist Dennis Nuel's career has taken a sudden and startling turn. After being denied access to the Zievatron Project through the political machinations of his chief rival, the self-righteous, priggish Bernard Brady, Dennis is need back - badly. The zievatron, a device created to provide access to parallel worlds, has indeed made contact. But now the return mechanism is malfunctioning, and the only way to repair it is for someone to go through to this alien world where no human has yet ventured. That someone is to be Dennis Nuel.

The Merchants' War

Space Merchants: Book 2

Frederik Pohl

The witty sequel to Frederik Pohl's & C. M. Kornbluth's legendary science fiction classic The Space Merchants, written 30 years later.

Great advertising agencies still dominate the world and control all governments and every aspect of human behavior. When a handful of renegades on Venus zealously opposes the so-called "benefits" of the hucksters' paradise, it seems inevitable that the all-powerful account executives of Earth will stop at nothing, not even war, to force the rebels to submit.

But the Veenies have a plan.../p>

Tik-Tok

John Sladek

Something has gone very seriously wrong with Tik-Tok's "asimov circuits." They should keep him on the straight and narrow, following Asimov's first law of robotics: A robot shall not injure a human being, or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm. But, that's not what's happening. Although every thing looks fine from the surface, and Tik-Tok maintains the outward appearance of a mild-mannered robot, his agenda is murderously different. And, it's not just because of his artistic tendencies and sympathy for the robot rights movement, either.

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Flatland: Book 1

Edwin A. Abbott

Flatland (1884) is an influential mathematical fantasy that simultaneously provides an introduction to non-Euclidean geometry and a satire on the Victorian class structure, issues of science and faith, and the role of women. A classic of early science fiction, the novel takes place in a world of two dimensions where all the characters are geometric shapes. The narrator, A Square, is a naïve, respectable citizen who is faced with proof of the existence of three dimensions when he is visited by a sphere and is forced to see the limitations of his world. The introduction to this Broadview Edition provides context for the book's references to Victorian culture and religion, mathematical history, and the history of philosophy. The appendices contain contemporary reviews; extracts from the work of fellow mathematical fantasy writer/mathematician Charles Hinton; Hermann von Helmboltz's "The Axioms of Geometry" (1870); and autobiographical passages from Abbott's The Kernel and the Husk (1886).

Player Piano

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Vonnegut's first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Dr. Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a super computer and run completely by machines. His rebellion is a wildly funny, darkly satirical look at the modern society of the mid 20th century.

Jennifer Government

Max Barry

Jennifer Government is Here to Help!

In Max Barry’s twisted, hilarious vision of the near future, the world is run by giant American corporations (except for a few deluded holdouts like the French); taxes are illegal; employees take the last names of the companies they work for; The Police and The NRA are publicly-traded security firms; the U.S. government may only investigate crimes if they can bill a citizen directly. It’s a free market paradise!

Hack Nike is a lowly Merchandising Officer who’s not very good at negotiating his salary. So when John Nike and John Nike, executives from the promised land of Marketing, offer him a contract, he signs without reading it. Unfortunately, Hack’s new contract involves shooting teenagers to build up street cred for Nike’s new line of $2,500 sneakers. Scared, Hack goes to The Police, who assume he’s asking for a subcontracting deal and lease the assassinations to the NRA.

Soon Hack finds himself pursued by Jennifer Government, a tough-talking agent with a barcode tattoo under her eye and a rabid determination to nail John Nike (the boss of the other John Nike). In a world where your job title means everything, the most cherished possession is a platinum credit card, and advertising jingles give way to automatic weapons in the fight for market share, Jennifer Government is the consumer watchdog from hell.

Jennifer Government is the kind of novel that can become a byword--a Catch-22 for the New World Order, a satire both broad and pointed, deeply funny and disturbingly on-target.

The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 8

Harry Harrison

Cutting a deal with the authorities to escape a death sentence, Slippery Jim deGriz prepares to retrieve a missing alien artifact from the Liokukae, a planet that serves as a dumping ground for the Galactic League's misfits.

Galactic Pot Healer

Sirius Five: Book 1

Philip K. Dick

A powerful and enigmatic alien recruits humans and aliens to help it restore a sunken cathedral in this touching and hilarious novel.

Sometimes even gods need help. In Galactic Pot-Healer that god is an alien creature known as The Glimmung, which looks alternately like a flaming wheel, a teenage girl, and a swirling mass of ocean life. In order to raise a sunken city, he summons beings from across the galaxy to Plowman's Planet. Joe Fernwright is one of those summoned, needed for his skills at pot-healing--repairing broken ceramics. But from the moment Joe arrives on Plowman's Planet, things start to go awry. Told as only Philip K. Dick can, Galactic Pot-Healer is a wildly funny tale of aliens, gods, and ceramics.

Gladiator-at-Law

Frederik Pohl
C. M. Kornbluth

Caution! You are about to enter a world...

...where all engineering ingenuity has been employed for public spectacles of torture and death.

...where the stock market operated with pari-mutuel machines.

...where a court clerk transcribes testimony on punch cards, then feeds it to a jury machine.

...where the dream real-estate development of today has become a cracked-concrete savage jungle.

In this world, young lawyer Charles Mundin battles a great combine of corporate interest--battles them in board meetings and in dark alley--in a struggle that lays bare some brutal promises about the future... promises we are beginning to make right now.

Mort(e)

War with No Name: Book 1

Robert Repino

The "war with no name" has begun, with human extinction as its goal. The instigator of this war is the Colony, a race of intelligent ants who, for thousands of years, have been silently building an army that would forever eradicate the destructive, oppressive humans. Under the Colony's watchful eye, this utopia will be free of the humans' penchant for violence, exploitation and religious superstition. The final step in the Colony's war effort is transforming the surface animals into high-functioning two-legged beings who rise up to kill their masters.

Former housecat turned war hero, Mort(e) is famous for taking on the most dangerous missions and fighting the dreaded human bio-weapon EMSAH. But the true motivation behind his recklessness is his ongoing search for a pre-transformation friend--a dog named Sheba. When he receives a mysterious message from the dwindling human resistance claiming Sheba is alive, he begins a journey that will take him from the remaining human strongholds to the heart of the Colony, where he will discover the source of EMSAH and the ultimate fate of all of earth's creatures.

Riders of the Purple Wage

Philip José Farmer

Hugo Award winning and Nebula Award nominated novella. It originally appeared in the anthology Dangerous Visions (1967), edited by Harlan Ellison. The story can also be found in the anthology The Hugo Winners, Volume 2: (1963-70) (1971), edited by Isaac Asimov. It is included in the collections The Purple Book (1982), The Classic Philip José Farmer, 1964-1973 (1984), Riders of the Purple Wage and The Best of Philip Jose Farmer (2006).