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Anathem

Neal Stephenson

Fraa Erasmas is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside "saecular" world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent's walls. Three times during history's darkest epochs violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside-the Extramuros-for the last of the terrible times was long, long ago.

Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fraas and suurs prepare to venture beyond the concent's gates-at the same time opening them wide to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fraa, Erasmas eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected." But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the brink of cataclysmic change.

Powerful unforeseen forces jeopardize the peaceful stability of mathic life and the established ennui of the Extramuros-a threat that only an unsteady alliance of saecular and avout can oppose-as, one by one, Erasmas and his colleagues, teachers, and friends are summoned forth from the safety of the concent in hopes of warding off global disaster. Suddenly burdened with a staggering responsibility, Erasmas finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world-as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of the planet... and beyond.

This Day All Gods Die: The Gap into Ruin

The Gap Cycle: Book 5

Stephen R. Donaldson

Stephen R. Donaldson's thrilling Gap series--The Real Story, Forbidden Knowledge, A Dark and Hungry God Arises, and Chaos and Order--introduced us to an adventure as vast as the galaxy and unpredictable as the human heart. It is the work of a storytelling genius with more than ten million copies of his books in print worldwide. Now in this dark, intense story, Donaldson delivers the thrilling conclusion to one of the most powerful science fiction stories ever told.

The countdown has begun. The battleworn crew of Trumpet is in disarray, as they attempt to pursue the pirate ship Soar and her captain Sorus Chatelaine. With one crew member infected by the Amnion and another stranded in the vacuum of space, all their hopes lie with Angus Thermopyle, once a bloodthirsty pirate, now a cyborg working against his will for the United Mining Companies Police--the strongest, most rapacious force in all of human space. As Angus, Morn Hyland, and her force-grown son Davies race for home across the vast reaches of forbidden space, they have no way of knowing that the final confrontation between Warden Dios and The Dragon has begun. Or that the fate of all humankind hangs in the balance.

The Eye with Which the Universe Beholds Itself

Apollo Quartet: Book 2

Ian Sales

For fifteen years, Earth has had a scientific station on an exoplanet orbiting Gliese 876, humanity's only presence outside the Solar System. But a new and powerful telescope at L5 can detect no evidence of Phaeton Base, even though it should be able to do so. So the US has sent Colonel Bradley Elliott, USAF, to investigate. Twenty years before, Elliott was the first, and to date only, man to land on the Martian surface. What he discovered there gave the US the stars, but it might also be responsible for the disappearance of Phaeton Base...

Then Will the Great Ocean Wash Deep Above

Apollo Quartet: Book 3

Ian Sales

It is April 1962. The Korean War has escalated and the US is struggling to keep the Russians and Chinese north of the 38th parallel. All the men are away fighting, but that doesn't mean the Space Race is lost. NASA decides to look elsewhere for its astronauts: the thirteen women pilots who passed the same tests as the original male candidates. These are the Mercury 13: Jerrie Cobb, Janey Hart, Myrtle Cagle, Jerri Sloan, Jan Dietrich, Marion Dietrich, Bernice Steadman, Wally Funk, Sarah Gorelick, Gene Nora Stumbough, Jean Hixson, Rhea Hurrle and Irene Leverton. One of these women will be the first American in space. Another will be the first American to spacewalk. Perhaps one will even be the first human being to walk on the Moon. Beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, deep in the Puerto Rico Trench north of San Juan, lies a film bucket from a KH-4 Corona spy satellite. It should have been caught in mid-air by a C-130 from the 6549th Test Group. That didn't happen. So the US Navy bathyscaphe Trieste II must descend twenty thousand feet to retrieve the bucket, down where light has never reached and the pressure is four tons per square inch. But there is more in the depths than anyone had expected, much more. This is not our world. But it very nearly was.

The Dark Forest

Remembrance of Earth's Past: Book 2

Cixin Liu

Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion—in just four centuries' time. The aliens' human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike. Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown. Luo Ji, an unambitious Chinese astronomer and sociologist, is baffled by his new status. All he knows is that he's the one Wallfacer that Trisolaris wants dead.

Translated by Joel Martinsen

Note: first published in China in 2008.

Caliban's War

The Expanse: Book 2

James S. A. Corey

We are not alone.

The alien protomolecule is clear evidence of an intelligence beyond human reckoning. No one knows what exactly is being built on Venus, but whatever it is, it is vast, powerful, and terrifying.

When a creature of unknown origin and seemingly impossible physiology attacks soldiers on Ganymede, the fragile balance of power in the Solar System shatters. Now, the race is on to discover if the protomolecule has escaped Venus, or if someone is building an army of super-soldiers.

Jim Holden is the center of it all. In spite of everything, he's still the best man for the job to find out what happened on Ganymede. Either way, the protomolecule is loose and Holden must find a way to stop it before war engulfs the entire system.

CALIBAN'S WAR is an action-packed space adventure following in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed Leviathan Wakes.

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

Death's End

Remembrance of Earth's Past: Book 3

Cixin Liu

Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. Earth enjoys unprecedented prosperity due to the infusion of Trisolaran knowledge. With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to co-exist peacefully as equals without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But the peace has also made humanity complacent.

Cheng Xin, an aerospace engineer from the early 21st century, awakens from hibernation in this new age. She brings with her knowledge of a long-forgotten program dating from the beginning of the Trisolar Crisis, and her very presence may upset the delicate balance between two worlds. Will humanity reach for the stars or die in its cradle?

Pandora's Star

Commonwealth Saga: Book 1

Peter F. Hamilton

Critics have compared the engrossing space operas of Peter F. Hamilton to the classic sagas of such sf giants as Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert. But Hamilton's bestselling fiction--powered by a fearless imagination and world-class storytelling skills--has also earned him comparison to Tolstoy and Dickens. Hugely ambitious, wildly entertaining, philosophically stimulating: the novels of Peter F. Hamilton will change the way you think about science fiction. Now, with Pandora's Star, he begins a new multivolume adventure, one that promises to be his most mind-blowing yet.

The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some four hundred light-years in diameter, contains more than six hundred worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over one thousand light-years away, a star... vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears. Since the location is too distant to reach by wormhole, a faster-than-light starship, the Second Chance, is dispatched to learn what has occurred and whether it represents a threat. In command is Wilson Kime, a five-time rejuvenated ex-NASA pilot whose glory days are centuries behind him.

Opposed to the mission are the Guardians of Selfhood, a cult that believes the human race is being manipulated by an alien entity they call the Starflyer. Bradley Johansson, leader of the Guardians, warns of sabotage, fearing the Starflyer means to use the starship's mission for its own ends,.

Pursued by a Commonwealth special agent convinced the Guardians are crazy but dangerous, Johansson flees. But the danger is not averted. Aboard the Second Chance, Kime wonders if his crew has been infiltrated. Soon enough, he will have other worries. A thousand light-years away, something truly incredible is waiting: a deadly discovery whose unleashing will threaten to destroy the Commonwealth... and humanity itself.

Could it be that Johansson was right?

Judas Unchained

Commonwealth Saga: Book 2

Peter F. Hamilton

Peter F. Hamilton's superbly imagined, cunningly plotted interstellar adventures are conceived on a staggeringly epic scale and filled with fully realized human and alien characters as complex as they are engaging. No mere world builder, Hamilton creates entire universes–and he does so with irresistible flair and intelligence. His previous novel, the acclaimed Pandora's Star, introduced the Intersolar Commonwealth, a star-spanning civilization of the twenty-fourth century. Robust, peaceful, and confident, the Commonwealth dispatched a ship to investigate the mystery of a disappearing star, only to inadvertently unleash a predatory alien species that turned on its liberators, striking hard, fast, and utterly without mercy.

The Prime are the Commonwealth's worst nightmare. Coexistence is impossible with the technologically advanced aliens, who are genetically hardwired to exterminate all other forms of life. Twenty-three planets have already fallen to the invaders, with casualties in the hundreds of millions. And no one knows when or where the genocidal Prime will strike next.

Nor are the Prime the only threat. For more than a hundred years, a shadowy cult, the Guardians of Selfhood, has warned that an alien with mind-control abilities impossible to detect or resist–the Starflyer–has secretly infiltrated the Commonwealth. Branded as terrorists, the Guardians and their leader, Bradley Johansson, have been hunted by relentless investigator Paula Myo. But now evidence suggests that the Guardians were right all along, and that the Starflyer has placed agents in vital posts throughout the Commonwealth–agents who are now sabotaging the war effort. Is the Starflyer an ally of the Prime, or has it orchestrated a fight to the death between the two species for its own advantage?

Caught between two deadly enemies, one a brutal invader striking from without, the other a remorseless cancer killing from within, the fractious Commonwealth must unite as never before.

This will be humanity's finest hour–or its last gasp.

Firebird

Alex Benedict: Book 6

Jack McDevitt

Forty-one years ago the renowned physicist Chris Robin vanished. Before his disappearance, his fringe science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies.

Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath discover that Robin had several interstellar yachts flown far outside the planetary system where they too vanished. And following Robin's trail into the unknown puts Benedict and Kolpath in danger...

Dangerous Visions

Dangerous Visions: Book 1

Harlan Ellison

Anthologies seldom make history, but Dangerous Visions is a grand exception. Harlan Ellison's 1967 collection of science fiction stories set an almost impossibly high standard, as more than a half dozen of its stories won major awards - not surprising with a contributors list that reads like a who's who of 20th-century SF.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword 1-The Second Revolution - (1967) - essay by Isaac Asimov
  • Foreword 2-Harlan and I - (1967) - essay by Isaac Asimov
  • Thirty-Two Soothsayers - (1967) - essay by Harlan Ellison
  • Evensong - (1967) - shortstory by Lester del Rey
  • Flies - (1967) - shortstory by Robert Silverberg
  • The Day After the Day the Martians Came - (1967) - shortstory by Frederik Pohl
  • Riders of the Purple Wage - (1967) - novella by Philip José Farmer
  • The Malley System - (1967) - shortstory by Miriam Allen deFord
  • A Toy for Juliette - shortstory by Robert Bloch
  • The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World - novelette by Harlan Ellison
  • The Night That All Time Broke Out - (1967) - shortstory by Brian W. Aldiss
  • The Man Who Went to the Moon - Twice - (1967) - shortstory by Howard Rodman
  • Faith of Our Fathers - novelette by Philip K. Dick
  • The Jigsaw Man - (1967) - shortstory by Larry Niven
  • Gonna Roll the Bones - novelette by Fritz Leiber
  • Lord Randy, My Son - (1967) - shortstory by Joe L. Hensley
  • Eutopia - (1967) - novelette by Poul Anderson
  • Incident in Moderan - (1967) - shortstory by David R. Bunch
  • The Escaping - (1967) - shortstory by David R. Bunch
  • The Doll-House - (1967) - shortstory by James Cross
  • Sex and/or Mr. Morrison - shortstory by Carol Emshwiller
  • Shall the Dust Praise Thee? - (1967) - shortstory by Damon Knight
  • If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister? - (1967) - novella by Theodore Sturgeon
  • What Happened to Auguste Clarot? - (1967) - shortstory by Larry Eisenberg
  • Ersatz - (1967) - shortstory by Henry Slesar
  • Go, Go, Go, Said the Bird - (1967) - shortstory by Sonya Dorman
  • The Happy Breed - shortstory by John Sladek
  • Encounter with a Hick - (1967) - shortstory by Jonathan Brand
  • From the Government Printing Office - (1967) - shortstory by Kris Neville
  • Land of the Great Horses - shortstory by R. A. Lafferty
  • The Recognition - shortstory by J. G. Ballard
  • Judas - (1967) - shortstory by John Brunner
  • Test to Destruction - (1967) - novelette by Keith Laumer
  • Carcinoma Angels - (1967) - shortstory by Norman Spinrad
  • Auto-da-Fé - (1967) - shortstory by Roger Zelazny
  • Aye, and Gomorrah... - (1967) - shortstory by Samuel R. Delany

The Golden Apples of the Sun

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury is a modern cultural treasure. His disarming simplicity of style underlies a towering body of work unmatched in metaphorical power by any other American storyteller. And here, presented in a new trade edition, are thirty-two of his most famous tales--prime examples of the poignant and mysterious poetry which Bradbury uniquely uncovers in the depths of the human soul, the otherwordly portraits of outré fascination which spring from the canvas of one of the century's great men of imagination.

From a lonely coastal lighthouse to a sixty-million-year-old safary, from the pouring rain of Venus to the ominous silence of a murder scene, Ray Bradbury is our sure-handed guide not only to surprising and outrageous manifestations of the future, but also to the wonders of the present that we could never have imagined on our own.

Table of Contents:

  • The Fog Horn - (1951)
  • The Pedestrian - (1951)
  • The April Witch - (1952)
  • The Wilderness - (1952)
  • The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl - (1948)
  • Invisible Boy - (1945)
  • The Flying Machine - (1953)
  • The Murderer - (1953)
  • The Golden Kite, the Silver Wind - (1953)
  • I See You Never - (1947)
  • Embroidery - (1951)
  • The Big Black and White Game - (1945)
  • A Sound of Thunder - (1952)
  • The Great Wide World Over There - (1952)
  • Powerhouse - (1948)
  • En la Noche - (1952)
  • Sun and Shadow - (1953)
  • The Meadow - (1953)
  • The Garbage Collector - (1953)
  • The Great Fire - (1949)
  • Hail and Farewell - (1953)
  • The Golden Apples of the Sun - (1953)

Zima Blue and Other Stories

Alastair Reynolds

Reynolds' pursuit of truth is not limited to wide-angle star smashing - not that stars don't get pulverised when one character is gifted (or cursed) with an awful weapon by the legendary Merlin. Reynolds' protagonists find themselves in situations of betrayal, whether by a loved one's accidental death, as in 'Signal to Noise', or by a trusted wartime authority, in 'Spirey and the Queen'. His fertile imagination can resurrect Elton John on Mars in 'Understanding Space and Time' or make prophets of the human condition out of pool-cleaning robots in the title story. But overall, the stories in ZIMA BLUE represent a more optimistic take on humanity's future, a view that says there may be wars, there may be catastrophes and cosmic errors, but something human will still survive.

Table of Content:

  • Introduction - (2006) - essay by Paul J. McAuley
  • The Real Story - (2002) - novelette
  • Beyond the Aquila Rift - (2005) - novelette
  • Enola - (1991) - short story
  • Signal to Noise - (2006) - novelette
  • Cardiff Afterlife - (2008) - short story
  • Hideaway [Merlin] - (2000) - novelette
  • Minla's Flowers [Merlin] - (2007) - novella
  • Merlin's Gun [Merlin] - (2000) - novelette
  • Angels of Ashes - (1999) - novelette
  • Spirey and the Queen - (1996) - novelette
  • Understanding Space and Time - (2005) - novelette
  • Digital to Analogue - (1992) - short story
  • Everlasting - (2004) - short story
  • Zima Blue - (2005) - short story

The Gone World

Thomas Sweterlitsch

March 9th, 1997: A family murdered, a daughter missing. All evidence points to a dangerous suspect: ex-Navy SEAL Patrick Mursult, who has vanished without a trace. NCIS Special Agent Shannon Moss is determined to take down Mursult and bring the girl home. But Moss isn't only up against the clock -- working together with the FBI, the case runs against walls of uncooperative witnesses and a lack of solid leads. Spanning the coal towns and mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, every moment without a break in the case brings everyone involved closer to tragedy.

Shannon Moss, however, is one of the few federal agents with clearance to investigate strands of the multiverse -- to experience possible futures that grow out of the circumstances of the present.

April 19th, 2014: Moss arrives seventeen years in the future to question witnesses whose lives have changed far from their fears and tensions that had made them so reticent to talk about the killing of the Mursult family when it was close at hand. Filling in details of the long past case, Moss learns the terrible truth about Mursult and the fate of the missing girl.

Moss returns to the present with the information she needs to close the case, but at what cost? Every decision she makes, every plot she unravels, has terrifying consequences -- consequences she sees with every trip to a new future.

Eon

The Way Series: Book 1

Greg Bear

The 21st century was on the brink of nuclear confrontation when the 300 kilometer-long stone flashed out of nothingness and into Earth's orbit. NASA, NATO, and the UN sent explorers to the asteroid's surface...and discovered marvels and mysteries to drive researchers mad.

For the Stone was from space--but perhaps not our space; it came from the future--but perhaps not our future; and within the hollowed asteroid was Thistledown. The remains of a vanished civilization. A human--English, Russian, and Chinese-speaking--civilization. Seven vast chambers containing forests, lakes, rivers, hanging cities...

And museums describing the Death; the catastrophic war that was about to occur; the horror and the long winter that would follow. But while scientists and politicians bickered about how to use the information to stop the Death, the Stone yielded a secret that made even Earth's survival pale into insignificance.

Century Rain

Alastair Reynolds

Three hundred years in the future, Verity Auger is a specialist in the archaeological exploration of Earth, rendered uninhabitable after the technological catastrophe known as the Nanocaust. After a field-trip to goes badly wrong, Verity is forced to redeem herself by participating in a dangerous mission, for which her expertise in invaluable.

Using a backdoor into an unstable alien transit system, Auger's faction has discovered something astonishing at the far end of a wormhole: mid twentieth-century Earth, preserved like a fly in amber. Is it a window into the past, a simulation, or something else entirely?

CENTURY RAIN is not just a time-travel story, nor a tale of alternate history. Part hard SF thriller, part interstellar adventure, part noir romance, CENTURY RAIN is something altogether stranger.

Yellow Blue Tibia

Adam Roberts

Russia, 1946. With the Nazis recently defeated, Stalin gathers half a dozen of the top Soviet science fiction authors in a dacha in the countryside. Convinced that the defeat of America is only a few years away-and equally convinced that the Soviet Union needs a massive external threat to hold it together-Stalin orders the writers to compose a massively detailed and highly believable story about an alien race poised to invade the earth. The little group of writers gets down to the task and spends months working until new orders come from Moscow to immediately halt the project. The scientists obey and live their lives until, in the aftermath of Chernobyl, the survivors gather again, because something strange has happened: the story they invented in 1946 is starting to come true.

The Three-Body Problem

Remembrance of Earth's Past: Book 1

Cixin Liu

Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.

Translation by Ken Liu.

Timelike Infinity

The Xeelee Sequence: Book 2

Stephen Baxter

First there were good times: humankind reached glorious heights, even immortality. Then there were bad times: Earth was occupied by the faceless, brutal Qax. Immortality drugs were confiscated, the human spirit crushed. Earth became a vast factory for alien foodstuffs.

Into this new dark age appears the end of a tunnel through time. Made from exotic matter, it is humanity's greatest engineering project in the pre-Qax era, where the other end of the tunnel remains anchored near Jupiter. When a small group of humans in a makeshift craft outwit the Qax to escape to the past through the tunnel, it is not to warn the people of Earth against the Qax, who are sure to follow them. For these men and women from the future are themselves dangerous fanatics in pursuit of their own bizarre quantum grail.

Michael Poole, architect of the tunnel, must boldly confront the consequences of his genius.

Timelike Infinity: the strange region at the end of time where the Xeelee, owners of the universe, are waiting...

The Andromeda Strain

Andromeda Strain: Book 1

Michael Crichton

The United States government stands warned that sterilization procedures for returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. When a probe satellite falls to the earth two years later, and lands in a desolate area of northeastern Arizona, the bodies that lie heaped and flung across the ground, have faces locked in frozen surprise. The terror has begun.

Superposition

Varcolac: Book 1

David Walton

Jacob Kelley's family is turned upside down when an old friend turns up, waving a gun and babbling about an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker... apparently murdered the night he appeared at Jacob's house. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial.

As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter. With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.

Night Without Stars

The Chronicle of the Fallers: Book 2

Peter F. Hamilton

After centuries trapped inside the Void, the planet Bienvenido--along with its inhabitants, both human and Faller--has been expelled into normal space. But the survivors are millions of light-years from the Commonwealth, which knows nothing of their existence. As the two races plunge into mortal conflict for sole possession of the planet, the humans seem destined to lose--despite the assistance of the mysterious Warrior Angel, who possesses forbidden Commonwealth technology.

With the Fallers' numbers growing, and their ability to mimic humans allowing them to infiltrate all levels of society, it's only a matter of time before they surge to victory. Then, on a routine space flight, Major Ry Evine inadvertently frees a captive vessel that crash-lands on Bienvenido carrying the last, best hope for human survival: a baby. But a far from ordinary one.

The child not only ages at a remarkable rate but demonstrates knowledge and abilities far beyond those of Bienvenido's humans. Hunted by Fallers and humans alike, she is a crucial link to humanity's lost past--and a glorious future already almost out of reach.

Protector

Known Space: Book 5

Larry Niven

Phssthpok the Pak had been traveling for most of his thirty-two thousand years. His mission: save, develop, and protect the group of Pak breeders sent out into space some two and a half million years before...

Brennan was a Belter, the product of a fiercely independent, somewhat anarchic society living in, on, and around an outer asteroid belt. The Belters were rebels, one and all, and Brennan was a smuggler. The Belt worlds had been tracking the Pak ship for days -- Brennan figured to meet that ship first...

He was never seen again -- at least not by those alive at the time.

Yesterday's Kin

Yesterday's Kin

Nancy Kress

Nebula-nominated novella

Aliens have landed in New York. After several months of no explanations, they finally reveal the reason for their arrival.

The news is not good.

Geneticist Marianne Jenner is having a career breakthrough, yet her family is tearing itself apart. Her children Elizabeth and Ryan constantly bicker, agreeing only that an alien conspiracy is in play. Her youngest, Noah, is addicted to a drug that keeps temporarily changing his identity. The Jenner family could not be further apart. But between the four of them, the course of human history will be forever altered.

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

Anthologized in Paula Guran's The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas 2015.

The Gods Themselves

Isaac Asimov

Only a few know the terrifying truth--an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, a lunar-born human intuitionist who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun. They know the truth--but who will listen? They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy--but who will believe? These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to the Earth's survival.

Annihilation

Southern Reach Trilogy: Book 1

Jeff VanderMeer

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers--they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding--but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

The Gripping Hand

The Moties: Book 2

Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle

Robert Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read." The San Francisco Chronicle declared that "as science fiction, The Mote in God's Eye is one of the most important novels ever published." Now Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, award winning authors of such bestsellers as Footfall and The Legacy of Heorot, return us to the Mote, and to the universe of Kevin Renner and Horace Bury, of Rod Blaine and Sally Fowler.

There, 25 years have passed since humanity quarantined the mysterious aliens known as Moties within the confines of their own solar system. They have spent a quarter century analyzing and agonizing over the deadly threat posed by the only aliens mankind has ever encountered-- a race divided into distinct biological forms, each serving a different function. Master, Mediator, Engineer. Warrior. Each supremely adapted to its task, yet doomed by millions of years of evolution to an inescapable fate. For the Moties must breed-- or die. And now the fragile wall separating them and the galaxy beyond is beginning to crumble.

Authority

Southern Reach Trilogy: Book 2

Jeff VanderMeer

In the second volume of the Southern Reach Trilogy, questions are answered, stakes are raised, and mysteries are deepened...

Following the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in 'Annihilation', the second book of the Southern Reach trilogy introduces John Rodriguez, the new head of the government agency responsible for the safeguarding of Area X. His first day is spent grappling with the fall-out from the last expedition. Area X itself remains a mystery. But, as instructed by a higher authority known only as The Voice, the self-styled Control must battle to 'put his house in order'.

From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the mysteries of Area X begin to reveal themselves--and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he's promised to serve.

Undermined and under pressure to make sense of everything, Rodriguez retreats into his past in a labyrinthine search for answers. Yet the more he uncovers, the more he risks, for the secrets of the Southern Reach are more sinister than anyone could have known.

Earth Unaware

Ender's Universe: First Formic War: Book 1

Orson Scott Card
Aaron Johnston

The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador's telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it's hard to know what to make of it. It's massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light.

El Cavador has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big for the ship. There are claim-jumping corporate ships bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems...not important.

They're wrong. It's the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. The first Formic War is about to begin.

Radio Free Albemuth

Philip K. Dick

In Radio Free Albemuth, his last novel, Philip K. Dick morphed and recombined themes that had informed his fiction from A Scanner Darkly to VALIS and produced a wild, impassioned work that reads like a visionary alternate history of the United States. Agonizingly suspenseful, darkly hilarious, and filled with enough conspiracy theories to thrill the most hardened paranoid, Radio Free Albemuth is proof of Dick's stature as our century's greatest science fiction writer.

Earth Awakens

Ender's Universe: First Formic War: Book 3

Orson Scott Card
Aaron Johnston

The story of The First Formic War continues in Earth Awakens.

Nearly 100 years before the events of Orson Scott Card's bestselling novel Ender's Game, humans were just beginning to step off Earth and out into the Solar System. A thin web of ships in both asteroid belts; a few stations; a corporate settlement on Luna. No one had seen any sign of other space-faring races; everyone expected that First Contact, if it came, would happen in the future, in the empty reaches between the stars. Then a young navigator on a distant mining ship saw something moving too fast, heading directly for our sun.

When the alien ship screamed through the solar system, it disrupted communications between the far-flung human mining ships and supply stations, and between them and Earth. So Earth and Luna were unaware that they had been invaded until the ship pulled into Earth orbit, and began landing terra-forming crews in China. Politics and pride slowed the response on Earth, and on Luna, corporate power struggles seemed more urgent than distant deaths. But there are a few men and women who see that if Earth doesn't wake up and pull together, the planet could be lost.

Humans

The Neanderthal Parallax: Book 2

Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer, the award-winning and bestselling writer, hits the peak of his powers in Humans, the second book of The Neanderthal Parallax, his trilogy about our world and parallel one in which it was the Homo sapiens who died out and the Neanderthals who became the dominant intelligent species. This powerful idea allows Sawyer to examine some of the deeply rooted assumptions of contemporary human civilization dramatically, by confronting us with another civilization, just as morally valid, that has made other choices. In Humans, Neanderthal physicist Ponter Boddit, a character you will never forget, returns to our world and to his relationship with geneticist Mary Vaughan, as cultural exchanges between the two Earths begin.

As we see daily life in another present-day world, radically different from ours, in the course of Sawyer's fast-moving story, we experience the bursts of wonder and enlightenment that are the finest pleasures of science fiction. Humans is one of the best SF novels of the year, and The Neanderthal Parallax is an SF classic in the making.

The Ophiuchi Hotline

Eight Worlds: Book 1

John Varley

After the effortless capture of Earth by vastly superior aliens, humanity is forced to fight for existence on the Moon and other lumps of airless rock. The invention of the Hotline -- a constant stream of data from a star in the constellation Ophiuchus -- facilitates survival and enables the development of amazing new technologies.

Then, after 400 years, humanity's unknown helpers send a bill for their services... and suddenly everything is threatened once again.

The Ophiuchi Hotline was John Varley's first novel, and it received nominations for both the Hugo and Nebula awards he later won both for his book Persistence of Vision.

All Flesh Is Grass

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 38

Clifford D. Simak

The strange but beautiful purple blossoms now grew wild in his backyard. One day Brad Carter tripped and fell into an alternate world, a world peopled by these very flowers.

Ultima

Proxima: Book 2

Stephen Baxter

The astonishing new SF novel from multi-award winning author Stephen Baxter - a dizzying exploration of alternate universes and deep time.

Fresh from his latest collaboration with Terry Pratchett on the Long Earth sequence Stephen Baxter now returns to the mysteries and challanges first hinted at in his acclaimed novel PROXIMA.

In PROXIMA we discovered ancient alien artifacts on the planet of Per Ardua - hatches that allowed us to step across light years of space as if we were stepping into another room. The universe opened up to us. Now in ULTIMA the consequences of this new freedom make themselves felt. And we discover that there are minds in the universe that are billions of years old and they have a plan for us. For some of us. But as we learn the true nature of the universe we also discover that we have countless pasts all meeting in this present and that our future is terrifyingly finite. It's time for us to fight to take back control.

This is grand scale, big idea SF of the best possible sort. It is set to build on the massive success of PROXIMA and define Stephen Baxter's work going forward.

Earth Afire

Ender's Universe: First Formic War: Book 2

Orson Scott Card
Aaron Johnston

One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. This is the story of the First Formic War.

Victor Delgado beat the alien ship to Earth, but just barely. Not soon enough to convince skeptical governments that there was a threat. They didn't believe that until space stations and ships and colonies went up in sudden flame.

And when that happened, only Mazer Rackham and the Mobile Operations Police could move fast enough to meet the threat.

Sphere

Michael Crichton

In the middle of the South Pacific, a thousand feet below the surface of the water, a huge vessel is discovered resting on the ocean floor. It is a spaceship of phenomenal dimensions, apparently undamaged by its fall from the sky. And, most startling, it appears to be at least three hundred years old.

But even more fantastic—and frightening—is what waits inside . . .

Hammerfall

The Gene Wars: Book 1

C. J. Cherryh

Marak has suffered the madness his entire life. He is a prince and warrior, strong and shrewd and expert in the ways of the desert covering his planet. In the service of his father, he has dedicated his life to overthrowing the Ila, the mysterious eternal dictator of his world. For years he has successfully hidden the visions that plague him -- voices pulling him eastward, calling Marak, Marak, Marak, amid mind-twisting visions of a silver tower. But when his secret is discovered, Marak is betrayed by his own father and forced to march in an endless caravan with the rest of his world's madmen to the Ila's city of Oburan.

Instead of death, Marak finds in Oburan his destiny, and the promise of life -- if he can survive what is surely a suicidal mission. The Ila wants him to discover the source of the voices and visions that afflict the mad. Despite the danger sof the hostile desert, tensions within the caravan, and his own excruciating doubts, Marak miraculously reaches his goal -- only to be given another, even more impossible mission by the strange people in the towers.

According to these beings who look like him yet act differently than anyone he has ever known, Marak has a slim chance to save his world's people from the wrath of Ila's enemies. But to do so, he must convince them all -- warring tribes, villagers, priests, young and old, as well as the Ila herself -- to follow him on an epic trek across the burning desert before the hammer of the Ila's foes falls from the heavens above.

Empress of the Sun

Everness: Book 3

Ian McDonald

World-hopping, high-action adventure starring a smart boy with computer skills and a tough girl who pilots a blimp

The airship Everness makes a Heisenberg Jump to an alternate Earth unlike any her crew has ever seen. Everett, Sen, and the crew find themselves above a plain that goes on forever in every direction without any horizon. There they find an Alderson Disc, an astronomical megastructure of incredibly strong material reaching from the orbit of Mercury to the orbit of Jupiter.

Then they meet the Jiju, the dominant species on a plane where the dinosaurs didn't die out. They evolved, diversified, and have a twenty-five million year technology head-start on humanity. War between their kingdoms is inevitable, total and terrible.

Everness has jumped right into the midst of a faction fight between rival nations, the Fabreen and Dityu empires. The airship is attacked, but then defended by the forces of the Fabreen, who offers theEverness crew protection. But what is the true motive behind Empress Aswiu's aid? What is her price?

The crew of the Everness is divided in a very alien world, a world fast approaching the point of apocalypse.

Raising Caine

Tales of the 22nd Century: Book 3

Charles E. Gannon

Caine Riordan, reluctant diplomatic and military intelligence operative, has just finished playing his part repulsing the Arat Kur's and Hkh'Rkh's joint invasion of Earth.

But scant hours after the attackers surrender, the mysterious but potentially helpful Slaasriithi appeal to Caine to shepherd a diplomatic mission on a visit to their very alien worlds. The possible prize: a crucial alliance in a universe where the fledgling Consolidated Terran Republic has very few friends.

But Caine and his legation aren't the only ones journeying into the unknown reaches of Slaasriithi space. A group of renegade K'tor are following them, hoping to destroy humanity's hopes for a quick alliance. And that means finding and killing Caine Riordan.

Assuming that the bizarre and dangerous Slaasriithi lifeforms don't do it first.

The Last Theorem

Arthur C. Clarke
Frederik Pohl

The final work from the brightest star in science fiction's galaxy. Arthur C Clarke, who predicted the advent of communication satellites and author of 2001: A Space Odyssey completes a lifetime career in science fiction with a masterwork.

30 light years away, a race known simply as the One Point Fives are plotting a dangerous invasion plan, one that will wipe humankind off the face of the Earth...

Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, a young astronomy student, Ranjit Subramanian, becomes obsessed with a three-hundred-year-old theorem that promises to unlock the secrets of the universe. While Ranjit studies the problem, tensions grow between the nations of the world and a UN taskforce headed up by China, America and Russia code-named Silent Thunder begins bombing volatile regimes into submission.

On the eve of the invasion of Earth a space elevator is completed, helped in part by Ranjit, which will herald a new type of Olympics to be held on the Moon. But when alien forces arrive Ranjit is forced to question his own actions, in a bid to save the lives of not just his own family but of all of humankind.

Co-written with fellow grand master Frederik Pohl, The Last Theorem not only provides a fitting end to the career one of the most famous names in science fiction but also sets a new benchmark in contemporary prescient science fiction. It tackles with ease epic themes as diverse as third world poverty, the atrocities of modern warfare in a post-nuclear age, space elevators, pure mathematics and mankind's first contact with extra-terrestrials.