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Time Is the Fire: The Best of Connie Willis

Connie Willis

This new collection by the author of Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog contains stories which have all won the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, or both - and are compulsory reading for the serious science fiction fan.

Table of Contents:

The Naked God

The Night's Dawn Trilogy: Book 3

Peter F. Hamilton

The Confederation is starting to collapse politically and economically, allowing the 'possessed' to infiltrate more worlds. Quinn Dexter is loose on Earth, destroying the giant arcologies one at a time. As Louise Kavanagh tries to track him down, she manages to acquire some strange and powerful allies whose goal does not match her own. The campaign to liberate Mortonbridge from the possessed degenerates into a horrendous land battle, the kind that hasn't been seen by humankind for six hundred years. Then some of the protagonists escape in a very unexpected direction...

Joshua Clavert and Syrinx now fly their starships on a mission to find the Sleeping God - which an alien race believes holds the key to finally overthrowing the possessed.

Tracker

Foreigner: Arc 6: Book 1

C. J. Cherryh

Tracker is the sixteenth installment of CJ Cherryh's acclaimed Foreigner series.

It's been a year of upheaval, since Bren Cameron's return from space--a year when he and the aiji-dowager, one of his most powerful atevi allies, returned home from their two-year interstellar mission to find the government overthrown and their world in chaos.

Now, at last, things are calming down; the Assassins' Guild is functioning again, working out its internal difficulties, and Bren is settling back into his routine: not as Lord of the Heavens; not--to his regret--as Lord of Najida peninsula, where his leisure estate is located; but as paidhi-aiji, an official in the atevi court.

His current ambition is to keep himself and his bodyguard out of harm's way, and to shepherd the aiji-dowager's daring new trade agreement through the appropriate legislative committees. Combined with Tabini-aiji's recent appointment of his young son Cajeiri as his official heir, Bren's workload is challenging, but at least things on the atevi world seem to be on the right track.

Something is coming, however, quietly, stealthily, just the first ominous twinkle of a new star in the heavens...

The Naked God, Part 1: Flight

The Night's Dawn Trilogy - Split Editions: Book 5

Peter F. Hamilton

Hell just went quantum . . .

The Confederation is starting to collapse politically and economically, allowing the possessed to infiltrate more worlds. Quinn Dexter is loose on Earth, destroying the giant arcologies one at a time. As Louise Kavamagh tries to track him down, she manages to acquire some strange and powerful allies whose goal does not quite match her own. The campaign to liberate Mortonridge from the possessed degenerates into a horrendous land battle of the kind which hasn't been seen by humankind for six hundred years. Then some of the protagonists escape in a very unexpected direction . . .

Joshua Calvert and Syrinx now fly their starships on a mission to find the Sleeping God - which an alien race beleives holds the key to finally overthrowing the possessed.

Abaddon's Gate

The Expanse: Book 3

James S. A. Corey

For generations, the solar system -- Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt -- was humanity's great frontier. Until now. The alien artifact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has appeared in Uranus's orbit, where it has built a massive gate that leads to a starless dark.Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artifact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.

Chaos and Order: The Gap into Madness

The Gap Cycle: Book 4

Stephen R. Donaldson

As the planetoid Thanatos Minor explodes into atoms, a specially-fitted cruiser escapes the mass destruction and hurtles into space only a step ahead of hostile pursuit. On board Trumpet are a handful of bedraggled fugitives from an outlaw world - old enemies suddenly and violently thrown together in a desperate bid for survival.

Among this unlikely crew of allies are Morn Hyland, once a UMC cop, now a prisoner to the electrodes implanted in her brain; her son, Davies, "force-grown" to adulthood by the alien Amnion and struggling to understand his true identity; the amoral space buccaneer Nick Succorso, whose most daring act of piracy could be his last; and Angus Thermopyle, unstoppable cyborg struggling to wrest control of his own mind from his UMC programmers.

Dawn

Xenogenesis: Book 1

Octavia E. Butler

Rescued from Earth's destruction, one woman is called upon to revive mankind.

Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth-the last stage of the planet's final war. Hundreds of years later Lilith awakes, deep in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft piloted by the Oankali-who arrived just in time to save humanity from extinction. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth. Now it is time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world, but life among the Oankali on the newly resettled planet will be nothing like it was before.

The Oankali survive by genetically merging with primitive civilizations-whether their new hosts like it or not. For the first time since the nuclear holocaust, Earth will be inhabited. Grass will grow, animals will run, and people will learn to survive the planet's untamed wilderness. But their children will not be human. Not exactly.

A Dark and Hungry God Arises: The Gap into Power

The Gap Cycle: Book 3

Stephen R. Donaldson

A master storyteller, Stephen R. Donaldson established a worldwide reputation with his unforgettable, critically acclaimed fantasy series The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant. Then, with The Real Story and Forbidden Knowledge, he launched a thrilling new science fiction series. Now the galactic epic continues as humanity struggles against the forces of ultimate evil--and its own dark nature.

The stage is set of confrontation at Billingate--illegal shipyard, haven for pirates and brigands, where every vice flourishes and every appetite can be sated. Gateway to the alien realm of the Amnion, the shipyard is a clearinghouse for all they require to fulfill their mutagenic plans against humanity.

It is here that the fate of Morn Hyland is to be decided amid a kaleidoscopic whirl of plot and counterplot, treachery and betrayal.

As schemes unravel to reveal yet deeper designs, Morn, Nick, Angus' lives may all be forfeit as pawns in the titanic game played our between Warden Dios, dedicated director of the UMC Police, and the Dragon, greed-driven ruler of the UMC. Here, the future of humankind hangs on the uncertain fortune of Morn Hyland in a daring novel of epic power and suspense, relentlessly gripping from first page to last.

Leviathan Wakes

The Expanse: Book 1

James S. A. Corey

Humanity has colonized the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond - but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, The Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for - and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to The Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations - and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

James S. A. Corey is a collective pseudonym for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

Tomorrow's Kin

Yesterday's Kin: Book 1

Nancy Kress

The aliens have arrived... they've landed their Embassy ship on a platform in New York Harbor, and will only speak with the United Nations. They say that their world is so different from Earth, in terms of gravity and atmosphere, that they cannot leave their ship. The population of Earth has erupted in fear and speculation.

One day Dr. Marianne Jenner, an obscure scientist working with the human genome, receives an invitation that she cannot refuse. The Secret Service arrives at her college to escort her to New York, for she has been invited, along with the Secretary General of the UN and a few other ambassadors, to visit the alien Embassy.

The truth is about to be revealed. Earth's most elite scientists have ten months to prevent a disaster--and not everyone is willing to wait.

Echo

Alex Benedict: Book 5

Jack McDevitt

A new novel of the fantastic unknown by the national bestselling author of Time Travelers Never Die.

Eccentric Sunset Tuttle spent his life searching in vain for forms of alien life. Thirty years after his death, a stone tablet inscribed with cryptic, indecipherable symbols is found in the possession of Tuttle's onetime lover, and antiquities dealer Alex Benedict is anxious to discover what secret the tablet holds. It could be proof that Tuttle had found what he was looking for. To find out, Benedict and his assistant embark on their own voyage of discovery-one that will lead them directly into the path of a very determined assassin who doesn't want those secrets revealed.

The Forge of God

Forge of God: Book 1

Greg Bear

On September 28th, a geologist working in Death valley finds a mysterious new cinder cone in very well-mapped area.

On October 1st, the government of Australia announces the discovery of an enormous granite mountain. Like the cinder cone, it wasn't there six months ago....

Something is happening to Planet Earth, and the truth is too terrifying to consider....

Ancient Shores

Ancient Shores: Book 1

Jack McDevitt

It turned up in a North Dakota wheat field: a triangle, like a shark's fin, sticking up from the black loam. Tom Lasker did what any farmer would have done. He dug it up. And discovered a boat, made of a fiberglass-like material with an utterly impossible atomic number. What it was doing buried under a dozen feet of prairie soil two thousand miles from any ocean, no one knew. True, Tom Lasker's wheat field had once been on the shoreline of a great inland sea, but that was a long time ago - ten thousand years ago.

The Real Story: The Gap into Conflict

The Gap Cycle: Book 1

Stephen R. Donaldson

Author of The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, one of the most acclaimed fantasy series of all time, master storyteller Stephen R. Donaldson returns with this exciting and long-awaited new series that takes us into a stunningly imagined future to tell a timeless story of adventure and the implacable conflict of good and evil within each of us.

Angus Thermopyle was an ore pirate and a murderer; even the most disreputable asteroid pilots of Delta Sector stayed locked out of his way. Those who didn't ended up in the lockup--or dead. But when Thermopyle arrived at Mallory's Bar & Sleep with a gorgeous woman by his side the regulars had to take notice. Her name was Morn Hyland, and she had been a police officer--until she met up with Thermopyle.

But one person in Mallorys Bar wasn't intimidated. Nick Succorso had his own reputation as a bold pirate and he had a sleek frigate fitted for deep space. Everyone knew that Thermopyle and Succorso were on a collision course. What nobody expected was how quickly it would be over--or how devastating victory would be. It was common enough example of rivalry and revenge--or so everyone thought. The REAL story was something entirely different.

In The Real Story, Stephen R. Donaldson takes us to a remarkably detailed world of faster-than-light travel, politics, betrayal, and a shadowy presence just outside our view to tell the fiercest, most profound story he has ever written.

Cuckoo's Egg

Alliance-Union: Age of Exploration: Book 3

C. J. Cherryh

They named him Thorn. They told him he was of their people, although he was so different. He was ugly in their eyes, strange, sleek-skinned instead of furred, clawless, different. Yet he was of their power class: judge-warriors, the elite, the fighters, the defenders.

Thorn knew that his difference was somehow very important -- but not important enough to prevent murderous conspiracies against him, against his protector, against his caste, and perhaps against the peace of the world. But when the crunch came, when Thorn finally learned what his true role in life was to be, that on him might hang the future of two worlds, then he had to stand alone to justify his very existence.

The Kif Strike Back

Alliance-Union: The Chanur Series: Book 3

C. J. Cherryh

When the kif seized Hilfy and Tully, hani and human crewmembers of The Pride of Chanur, they issued a challenge Pyanfar, the captain of the Pride, couldn't ignore, a challenge that would take Pyanfar and her shipmates to Mkks station and into a deadly confrontation between kif, hani, mahendo'sat, and human. And what began as a simple rescue attempt soon blossomed into a dangerous game of interstellar politics, where today's ally could become tomorrow's executioner, and where methane breathers became volatile wild cards playing for stakes no oxy breather could even begin to understand...

Chanur's Legacy

Alliance-Union: The Chanur Series: Book 5

C. J. Cherryh

Hilfy Chanur, young captain of the merchant ship Chanur's Legacy, accepts a commission from a dignitary on the planet Meetpoint to deliver a religious artifact to nearby Urtur Station. The arrangement soon becomes a tangle of interstellar intrigue as Hilfy and her crew battle kidnappers, assassins, and smooth politicians while fighting their own inborn prejudices.

Eversion

Alastair Reynolds

Doctor Silas Coade has been tasked with keeping his crew safe as they adventure across the galaxy in search of a mysterious artifact, but as things keep going wrong, Silas soon realizes that something more sinister is at work, and this may not even be the first time it's happened.

In the 1800s, a sailing ship crashes off the coast of Norway. In the 1900s, a Zepellin explores an icy canyon in Antarctica. In the far future, a spaceship sets out for an alien artifact. Each excursion goes horribly wrong. And on every journey, Dr. Silas Coade is the physician, but only Silas seems to realize that these events keep repeating themselves. And it's up to him to figure out why and how. And how to stop it all from happening again.

The Naked God, Part 2: Faith

The Night's Dawn Trilogy - Split Editions: Book 6

Peter F. Hamilton

On Earth, satanist Quinn Dexter possesses a new army of the damned, using them to initiate The Night's Dawn, the entropic annihilation of all Creation. At the same time Joshua Calvert, master of the Lady Macbeth, seeks a miracle in a haystack: the truth behind a legend that 15,000 years ago the alien Tyrathca intercepted a single message from unexplored space beyond Orion: "IT SEES THE UNIVERSE. IT CONTROLS EVERYTHING. OUR ARRIVAL WOKE IT."

Could a God be sleeping somewhere between the stars? And can Joshua possibly find this unknown Deity before The Night's Dawn devours the cosmos?

Imago

Xenogenesis: Book 3

Octavia E. Butler

Child of two species, but part of neither, a new being must find his way.

Human and Oankali have been mating since the aliens first came to Earth to rescue the few survivors of an annihilating nuclear war. The Oankali began a massive breeding project, guided by the ooloi, a sexless subspecies capable of manipulating DNA, in the hope of eventually creating a perfect starfaring race.

Jodahs is supposed to be just another hybrid of human and Oankali, but as he begins his transformation to adulthood he finds himself becoming ooloi-the first ever born to a human mother. As his body changes, Jodahs develops the ability to shapeshift, manipulate matter, and cure or create disease at will. If this frightened young man is able to master his new identity, Jodahs could prove the savior of what's left of mankind. Or, if he is not careful, he could become a plague that will destroy this new race once and for all.

The Pride of Chanur

Alliance-Union: The Chanur Series: Book 1

C. J. Cherryh

No one at Meetpoint Station had ever seen a creature like the Outsider. Naked-hided, blunt toothed and blunt-fingered, Tully was the sole surviving member of his company -- a communicative, spacefaring species hitherto unknown -- and he was a prisoner of his discoverer/ captors the sadistic, treacherous kif, until his escape onto the hani ship The Pride of Chanur.

Little did he know when he threw himself upon the mercy of The Pride and her crew that he put the entire hani species in jeopardy and imperiled the peace of the Compact itself. For the information this fugitive held could be the ruin or glory of any of the species at Meetpoint Station.

Chindi

The Academy: Book 3

Jack McDevitt

Something-or somebody-has left a series of satellites in orbit around various planets in the galaxy. Now a crew sets off to discover the origin of the satellites-and learn if mankind is no longer alone among the stars.

Forbidden Knowledge: The Gap into Vision

The Gap Cycle: Book 2

Stephen R. Donaldson

Author of The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, one of the most acclaimed fantasy series of all time, master storyteller Stephen R. Donaldson returns with the second book in his long-awaited new science fiction series--a story about dark passions, perilous alliances, and dubious heroism set in a stunningly imagined future.

Beautiful, brilliant, and dangerous, Morn Hyland is an ex-police officer for the United Mining Companies--and the target of two ruthless, powerful men. One is the charismatic ore-pirate Nick Succorso, who sees Morn as booty wrested from his vicious rival, Angus Thermopyle. thermopyle once made the mistake of underestimating Morn and now he's about to pay the ultimate price. Both men think they can possess her, but Morn is no one's trophy--and no one's pawn.

Meanwhile, withing the borders of Forbidden Space, wait the Amnioin, an alien race capable of horrific atrocities. The Amnion want something unspeakable from humanity--and they will go to unthinkable lengths to get it.

In Forbidden Knowledge, Stephen R. Donaldson spins a galaxy-wide web of intrigue, deception, and betrayal that tightens with inexorable strength around characters and readers alike.

The Wrong Stars

The Axiom: Book 1

Tim Pratt

The shady crew of the White Raven run freight and salvage at the fringes of our solar system. They discover the wreck of a centuries-old exploration vessel floating light years away from its intended destination and revive its sole occupant, who wakes with news of First Alien Contact. When the crew break it to her that humanity has alien allies already, she reveals that these are very different extra-terrestrials... and the gifts they bestowed on her could kill all humanity, or take it out to the most distant stars.

Cold Welcome

Vatta's Peace: Book 1

Elizabeth Moon

Summoned to the home planet of her family's business empire, space-fleet commander Kylara Vatta is told to expect a hero's welcome. But instead she is thrown into danger unlike any other she has faced and finds herself isolated, unable to communicate with the outside world, commanding a motley group of unfamiliar troops, and struggling day by day to survive in a deadly environment with sabotaged gear. Only her undeniable talent for command can give her ragtag band a fighting chance.

Yet even as Ky leads her team from one crisis to another, her family and friends refuse to give up hope, endeavoring to mount a rescue from halfway around the planet -- a task that is complicated as Ky and her supporters find secrets others will kill to protect: a conspiracy infecting both government and military that threatens not only her own group's survival but her entire home planet.

Chanur's Homecoming

Alliance-Union: The Chanur Series: Book 4

C. J. Cherryh

When those aliens entities called "humans" sent their first exploration ship into Compact space, the traditional power alliances of the seven Compact races were catastrophically disrupted. And, giving shelter to Tully, the only surviving human, Pyanfar Chanur and her feline hani crew were pitched into the center of a galactic maelstrom, becoming key players in a power game which could cause an intersteller war, or bring the last hope for peace between eight barely compatible alien races.

Helliconia Winter

Helliconia: Book 3

Brian W. Aldiss

A planet orbiting binary suns, Helliconia has a Great Year spanning three millennia of Earth time: cultures are born in spring, flourish in summer, then die with the onset of the generations-long winter.

The centuries-long winter of the Great Year on Helliconia is upon us, and the Oligarch is taking harsh measures to ensure the survival of the people of the bleak Northern continent of Sibornal. Behind the battle with which the novel opens lies an act of unparalleled treachery. But the plague is coming on the wings of winter and the Oligarch's will is set against it-and against the phagors, humanity's ancient enemies, who carry the plague with them.

This is the concluding volume of the Helliconia Trilogy-a monumental saga that goes beyond anything yet created by this master among today's imaginative writers.

Starplex

Robert J. Sawyer

Twenty years after the discovery of artificial wormholes launches Earth space exploration to unforeseeable heights, Starplex Director Keith Lansing investigates a mysterious vessel that soon threatens the station with intergalactic war.

Discovery is superseding understanding. And when an unknown vessel — with no windows, no seams, and no visible means of propulsion — arrives through a new wormhole, an already battle-scarred Starplex could be the starting point of a new interstellar war . . .

Forty Thousand in Gehenna

Alliance-Union: Unionside: Book 1

C. J. Cherryh

When forty thousand human colonists are abandoned for political reasons on a planet called Gehenna, and re-supply ships fail to arrive, collapse seems imminent. Yet over the next two centuries, the descendants of the original colonists survive despite all odds by entering a partnership with the planet’s native intelligence – the lizard-like, burrowing calibans.

The Black Cloud

Fred Hoyle

Earth was dying...

One fourth of its population was dead. The rest had little time to live.

A mass of interstellar matter had invaded the solar system, fling planets out of orbit and blocking off the sun. In that titanic disaster, Man had one small chance to survive: Appeal to an alien intelligence that might exist and that might - or might not - care enough to help!

The State of the Art

The Culture Cycle: Book 3

Iain M. Banks

First published in 1989 as a stand-alone novella titled The State of the Art by Mark V. Ziesing, per copyright page of the story collection also entitled The State of the Art.

Starbound

Marsbound Trilogy: Book 2

Joe Haldeman

Carmen Dula and her husband have spent six years traveling to a distant solar system that is home to the enigmatic, powerful race known as "The Others," in the hopes of finding enough common purpose between their species to forge a delicate truce.

By the time Carmen and her party return, fifty years have been consumed by relativity-and the Earthlings have not been idle, building a massive flotilla of warships to defend Earth against The Others. But The Others have their own plans.

Chanur's Venture

Alliance-Union: The Chanur Series: Book 2

C. J. Cherryh

Pyanfar Chanur thought she had seen the last of Tully, the lone human who had so disrupted the peace of Meetpoint Station and gained the Chanur clan the enmity of half a dozen races as well as their own. But Tully is back, bringing with him a priceless trade contract with human space. A contract which would mean vast power, riches, and a new hornet's nest for Pyanfar and the Pride.

Two years after the events of the previous book, Pyanfar returns to Meetpoint Station with the hani spaceship The Pride of Chanur to find her comrades Goldtooth and Tully. Goldtooth advises Pyanfar to take Tully, whom the enemy kif are hunting, and head for mahen space. The mahendo'sat, on the other hand, retrieved Tully from human space and are paving the way for a fleet of human ships to open up trade with the central Compact.

But the kif and the stsho oppose the humans' presence, for fear of losing their place and influence in the Compact. The kif are themselves involved in a power struggle: two kif leaders, Akkhtimakt and Sikkukkut, are vying for the lofty position of mekt-hakkikt. Sikkukkut draws a reluctant Pyanfar into the feud, and her association with the kif puts her at odds with the han. Then, when the kif conflict spills over into hani space, all she and Tully can do is stay alive until Goldtooth and the human ships arrive.

Earthbound

Marsbound Trilogy: Book 3

Joe Haldeman

The mysterious alien Others have prohibited humans from space travel-destroying Earth's fleet of starships in a display of unimaginable power. Now Carmen Dula, the first human to encounter Martians and then the mysterious Others, and her colleagues struggle to find a way, using nineteenthcentury technology, to reclaim the future that has been stolen from them.

The Stars are Ours!

Pax / Astra: Book 1

Andre Norton

The Stars are Ours! describes the first interstellar voyage, undertaken to escape the tyranny that rules the Earth.

Binti: Home

Binti: Book 2

Nnedi Okorafor

It's been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she found friendship in the unlikeliest of places.

And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.

But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.

After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave: Book 1

Rick Yancey

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother--or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Star Trek: The New Voyages

Bantam Star Trek Original Novels: The New Voyages: Book 1

Sondra Marshak
Myrna Culbreath

Star Trek: The New Voyages was an anthology of novellas released by Bantam Books, edited by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. It included a foreword by Gene Roddenberry and introductions to the stories by members of the original series cast.

Although published professionally under copyright, the stories contained in the anthology were all written by fans. The Acknowledgments also contained an address for manuscripts and feedback to be sent, with the intention of further volumes being produced.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword (Star Trek: The New Voyages) - (1976) - essay by Gene Roddenberry
  • Introduction: The Once and Future Voyages - (1976) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • Introduction to Ni Var - (1976) - essay by Leonard Nimoy
  • Ni Var - (1976) - shortfiction by Claire Gabriel
  • Introduction to Intersection Point - (1976) - essay by James Doohan
  • Intersection Point - (1976) - shortfiction by Juanita Coulson
  • Introduction to The Enchanted Pool - (1976) - essay by Nichelle Nichols
  • The Enchanted Pool - (1976) - shortfiction by Marcia Ericson
  • Introduction to Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited - (1976) - essay by Majel Barrett Roddenberry
  • Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited - (1976) - shortfiction by Ruth Berman
  • Introduction to The Face on the Barroom Floor - (1976) - essay by George Takei
  • The Face on the Barroom Floor - (1976) - shortfiction by Eleanor Arnason and Ruth Berman
  • Introduction to The Hunting - (1976) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • The Hunting - (1976) - shortfiction by Doris Beetem
  • Introduction to The Winged Dreamers - (1976) - essay by DeForest Kelley
  • The Winged Dreamers - (1976) - shortfiction by Jennifer Guttridge
  • Introduction to Mind-Sifter - (1976) - essay by William Shatner
  • Mind-Sifter - (1976) - shortfiction by Shirley S. Maiewski
  • Sonnet from the Vulcan: Omicron Ceti Three - (1976) - poem by Shirley Meech

Armada

Ernest Cline

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he's spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there's nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don't get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he's staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada--in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn't lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he's seeing is all too real. And his skills--as well as those of millions of gamers across the world--are going to be needed to save the earth from what's about to befall it.

It's Zack's chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can't help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn't something about this scenario seem a little... familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before--one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

Fire with Fire

Tales of the 22nd Century: Book 1

Charles E. Gannon

New Science Fiction Adventure Series! National Bestseller in trade paperback. An agent for a spy organization uncovers an alien alliance in nearby interstellar space-an alliance that will soon involve humanity in politics and war on a galactic scale.

2105, September: Intelligence Analyst Caine Riordan uncovers a conspiracy on Earth's Moon-a history-changing clandestine project-and ends up involuntarily cryocelled for his troubles. Twelve years later, Riordan awakens to a changed world. Humanity has achieved faster-than-light travel and is pioneering nearby star systems. And now, Riordan is compelled to become an inadvertent agent of conspiracy himself. Riordan's mission: travel to a newly settled world and investigate whether a primitive local species was once sentient-enough so to have built a lost civilization.

However, arriving on site in the Delta Pavonis system, Caine discovers that the job he's been given is anything but secret or safe. With assassins and saboteurs dogging his every step, it's clear that someone doesn't want his mission to succeed. In the end, it takes the broad-based insights of an intelligence analyst and a matching instinct for intrigue to ferret out the truth: that humanity is neither alone in the cosmos nor safe. Earth is revealed to be the lynchpin planet in an impending struggle for interstellar dominance, a struggle into which it is being irresistibly dragged. Discovering new dangers at every turn, Riordan must now convince the powers-that-be that the only way for humanity to survive as a free species is to face the perils directly-and to fight fire with fire.

World Without End

Bantam Star Trek Original Novels: Book 7

Joe Haldeman

Chatalia... a fantastic artificial world, inhabited by furry winged creatures with awesome powers. Here Kirk, Spock and their Enterprise mates, trapped, face terrifying death. And if by some miracle they escape, they will confront the roving killers of the Klingon Empire!

As Captain Kirk and members of his landing party are held prisoner aboard the alien planetoid, the Enterprise - ensnared in a trap - loses power and begins to descend on a collision course with the planetoid.

Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise face a foe of incredible power and intelligence - a nightmare image from humanity's past.

Captain's log, stardate 7505.6. This is being recorded by Science Officer Spock, temporarily in command.

The Enterprise is currently in orbit around an alien "starship" (actually an artificial planetoid approximately 217.352 kilometers in diameter) of unknown origin, aboard which Captain Kirk and a landing party of four are stranded. They are currently detained in a prison cell, awaiting interrogation.

Far more immediate is the condition of the Enterprise. The ship has been 'snared' by wires apparently composed of the same material as the alien craft (a substance harder than any known to Federation science) -- wires which are draining off our power reserves at an alarming rate. We appear to have the choice of remaining on board the Enterprise (and crashing to the surface of the planetoid once our power is gone), or joining the Captain inside the alien spacecraft. A fascinating dilemma.

Conquerors' Pride

Conquerors' Trilogy: Book 1

Timothy Zahn

Timothy Zahn, Hugo Award-winning author of The New York Times best-selling Star Wars trilogy, blazes a spectacular new path across the sky in an epic original novel of star-spanning action adventure, mystery and intrigue.

A long era of peace and prosperity in the interstellar Commonwealth has suddenly come to an end. Four alien starships of unknown origin have attacked, without provocation, an eight-ship Peacemaker task force, utterly destroying it in six savage minutes. The authorities claim there were no survivors. But Lord Stewart Cavanaugh, a former member of Parliament, has learned through back channels that one man may have survived to be captured by the aliens: his son, Commander Pheylan Cavanaugh.

A large-scale invasion appears imminent, and the strictest security measures are in effect... measures that Lord Cavanaugh has no choice but to defy. He recruits Adam Quinn, who once flew with the elite Copperheads--fighter pilots whose minds are literally one with their machines--to rescue his son. Quinn assembles a crack force of Copperheads to steal out of the Commonwealth security zone and snatch Pheylan Cavanaugh from the conquerors. Depending on the outcome, Quinn and his men will retum home as heroes or as the galaxy's most despised traitors--if they come home at all.