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The Electric Lady

Janelle Monáe

The Electric Lady is the follow-up to Janelle Monáe's debut album The ArchAndroid (2010) and debut EP Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase) (2007), and consists of the fourth and fifth installments of her seven-part Metropolis concept series. Partly inspired by the 1927 film of the same name, the series involves the fictional tale of Cindi Mayweather, a messianic android sent back in time to free the citizens of Metropolis from The Great Divide, a secret society that uses time travel to suppress freedom and love.

At a moment when the term Afrofuturism can seem like an easy shorthand for all things black and imaginative, Electric Lady makes Afrofuturism less about androids and fantastic other worlds than about the unrealized futures we are living with now. If we are the beneficiaries of past struggle, Monae and the Wondaland artists insist that we are also the inheritors of some long-deferred dreams.

Monae's album title alone performs a black feminist coup by turning a glorified object into a glorious subject. Here the male fantasy theme park of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland becomes The Electric Lady, a female agent who not only claims a term ("lady") historically reserved for white women but also seizes the creative power that "electric" connotes. -- Emily J. Lordi, FeministWire

Track Listing:

Suite IV

  1. Suite IV Electric Overture - 1:37
  2. Givin' Em What They Love (featuring Prince) - 4:26
  3. Q.U.E.E.N. (featuring Erykah Badu) - 5:10
  4. Electric Lady (featuring Solange) - 5:08
  5. Good Morning Midnight (Interlude) - 1:22
  6. PrimeTime (featuring Miguel) - 4:40
  7. We Were Rock & Roll - 4:19
  8. The Chrome Shoppe (Interlude) - 1:10
  9. Dance Apocalyptic - 3:25
  10. Look into My Eyes - 2:18

Suite V

  1. Suite V Electric Overture - 2:20
  2. It's Code - 4:05
  3. Ghetto Woman - 4:46
  4. Our Favorite Fugitive (Interlude) - 1:23
  5. Victory - 4:12
  6. Can't Live Without Your Love - 3:54
  7. Sally Ride - 4:08
  8. Dorothy Dandridge Eyes (featuring Esperanza Spalding) - 4:15
  9. What an Experience - 4:57

Total length: 67:35

Robot Visions

The Positronic Robot Stories: Book 4

Isaac Asimov

From the writer whose name is synonymous with the science of robotics comes five decades of robot visions-36 landmark stories and essays, plus three rare tales-gathered together in one volume .

The Foundation Trilogy

The Foundation Series

Isaac Asimov

A THOUSAND-YEAR EPIC, A GALACTIC STRUGGLE, A MONUMENTAL WORK IN THE ANNALS OF SCIENCE FICTION

FOUNDATION begins a new chapter in the story of man's future. As the Old Empire crumbles into barbarism throughout the million worlds of the galaxy, Hari Seldon and his band of psychologists must create a new entity, the Foundation-dedicated to art, science, and technology-as the beginning of a new empire.

FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE describes the mighty struggle for power amid the chaos of the stars in which man stands at the threshold of a new enlightened life which could easily be destroyed by the old forces of barbarism.

SECOND FOUNDATION follows the Seldon Plan after the First Empire's defeat and describes its greatest threat-a dangerous mutant strain gone wild, which produces a mind capable of bending men's wills, directing their thoughts, reshaping their desires, and destroying the universe.

The Cyberiad

Stanislaw Lem

Trurl and Klaupacius are constructor robots who try to out-invent each other. They travel to the far corners of the cosmos to take on freelance problem-solving jobs, with dire consequences for their employers.

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.

Exodus From the Long Sun

The Book of the Long Sun: Book 4

Gene Wolfe

Exodus from the Long Sun concludes Gene Wolfe's masterful sci-fi epic series, the Book of the Long Sun

It is the far future, and the giant spaceship, The Whorl, has traveled for forgotten generations toward its destination.

Lit inside by the artificial Long Sun, The Whorl is so huge that whole cities can be seen in the sky. And the gods of The Whorl have begun to intervene in human affairs. An entirely unexpected future awaits as Patera Silk and the other inhabitants are confronted with the world of an alien race.

Wolfe's great work is complete, with the mysterious fullness of life itself.

The Bicentennial Man

The Positronic Robot Stories

Isaac Asimov

Hugo, Nebula and Locus Award winning novelette. It originally appeared in the anthology Stellar #2 (1976) edited by Judy-Lynn del Rey. It has been reprinted many times and can be found in the anthologies:

The story is included in the collections:

The story was later expanded into the novel The Positronic Man (1992), written in collaboration with Robert Silverberg. It has been turned into a movie starring Robin Williams.

Bolo!

Bolo: Book 10

David Weber

Controlled by their tireless electronic brains which were programmed to admit no possibility of defeat, the gigantic robot tanks known as Bolos were almost indestructible, and nearly unstoppable. Their artificial intelligences were designed to make them selflessly serve and protect humans throughout the galaxy and made each Bolo the epitome of the knight sans peur et sans reproche, and often far more noble than the humans who gave them their orders.

Now, David Weber, New York Times best-selling author of the Honor Harrington series, continues the history of the Bolo, in four short novels, one of them published here for the first time. One Bolo is driven over the edge by the very humans it is pledged to protect. Another Bolo must decide whether or not to disobey when it is given an order that constitutes genocide. A third must hunt one of its own kind whose robot brain is damaged and rescue two children which the deranged Bolo thinks it is protecting from a nonexistent enemy. And more, including as a bonus, David Weber's own authoritative technical history of the Bolo, all in a volume that will be irresistible both for David Weber's huge readership and Bolo fans everywhere.

Network Effect

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 5

Martha Wells

I'm usually alone in my head, and that's where 90 plus per cent of my problems are.

It calls itself Murderbot, but only when no-one can hear. It's a private joke. Funny.

It doesn't care, it tells itself, and its attachment to the humans around it is merely professional obligation.

It tries to never drop the F-bomb.

"Friends."

Ugh.

So, when its human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.

Drastic action it is, then.

Another F-bomb.

"Feelings."

Ugh.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Philip K. Dick

By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep... They even built humans.

Emigrees to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn't want to be identified, they just blended in.

Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

Ironclads

Adrian Tchaikovsky

Scions have no limits. Scions do not die. And Scions do not disappear.

Sergeant Ted Regan has a problem. A son of one of the great corporate families, a Scion, has gone missing at the front. He should have been protected by his Ironclad--the lethal battle suits that make the Scions masters of war--but something has gone catastrophically wrong.

Now Regan and his men, ill equipped and demoralised, must go behind enemy lines, find the missing Scion, and uncover how his suit failed. Is there a new Ironclad-killer out there? And how are common soldiers lacking the protection afforded the rich supposed to survive the battlefield of tomorrow?

The Lifecycle of Software Objects

Ted Chiang

Hugo-winning and Nebula-nominated Novella

What's the best way to create artificial intelligence? In 1950, Alan Turing wrote, 'Many people think that a very abstract activity, like the playing of chess, would be best. It can also be maintained that it is best to provide the machine with the best sense organs that money can buy, and then teach it to understand and speak English. This process could follow the normal teaching of a child. Things would be pointed out and named, etc. Again I do not know what the right answer is, but I think both approaches should be tried.'

The first approach has been tried many times in both science fiction and reality. In this new novella, at over 30,000 words, his longest work to date, Ted Chiang offers a detailed imagining of how the second approach might work within the contemporary landscape of startup companies, massively-multiplayer online gaming, and open-source software. It's a story of two people and the artificial intelligences they helped create, following them for more than a decade as they deal with the upgrades and obsolescence that are inevitable in the world of software. At the same time, it's an examination of the difference between processing power and intelligence, and of what it means to have a real relationship with an artificial entity.

Read this story online for free at Subterranean Press.

All Systems Red

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 1

Martha Wells

Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning Novella and Prometheus Award-nominated series

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn't a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied 'droid -- a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as "Murderbot." Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

Also appeared in the anthology Nebula Awards Showcase 2019, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

The Secret Life of Bots

Bot 9: Book 1

Suzanne Palmer

This novelette originally appeared in Clarkesworld, #132, September 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, and The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3 (2018), edited by Neil Clarke, The Year's Best Military & Adventure SF: Volume 4 (2018), edited by David Afsharirad, and The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2018, edited by Rich Horton.

Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

I, Robot

The Positronic Robot Stories: Book 1

Isaac Asimov

The three laws of Robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
  2. A robot must obey orders givein to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world--all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov's trademark.

Table of Contents: sub-series in [ ] all sub-series are part of the The Positronic Robot Stories series

  • Introduction (I, Robot) - short story
  • Robbie (1940) - short story (variant of Strange Playfellow)
  • Runaround - [Mike Donovan] (1942) - novelette
  • Reason - [Mike Donovan] (1941) - short story
  • Catch That Rabbit - [Mike Donovan] (1944) - short story
  • Liar! - [Susan Calvin] (1941) - short story
  • Little Lost Robot - [Susan Calvin] (1947) - novelette
  • Escape! - [Susan Calvin] (1945) - short story
  • Evidence - [Susan Calvin] - (1946) - novelette
  • The Evitable Conflict - [Susan Calvin] - (1950) - novelette

Fugitive Telemetry

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 6

Martha Wells

No, I didn't kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn't dump the body in the station mall.

When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people - who knew?) Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans! Again!

This story takes place between the end of Exit Strategy and the flashbacks in Network Effect, after the short story "Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory".

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy

Monk & Robot: Book 2

Becky Chambers

After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.

They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.

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?

Minority Report

Philip K. Dick

Viewed by many as the greatest science fiction writer on any planet, Philip K. Dick has written some of the most intriguing, original, and thought-provoking fiction of our time. This collection includes stories that will make you laugh, cringe... and stop and think.

In "The Minority Report," a special unit that employs those with the power of precognition to prevent crimes proves itself less than reliable. This story was the basis of the feature film Minority Report.

In, "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale," an everyguy's yearning for more exciting "memories" places him in a danger he never could have imagined. This story was the basis of the feature film Total Recall.

In "Paycheck," a mechanic who has no memory of the previous two years of his life finds that a bag of seemingly worthless and unrelated objects can actually unlock the secret of his recent past, and insure that he has a future. This story was the basis of the feature film Paycheck.

In "Second Variety," the UN's technological advances to win a global war veer out of control, threatening to destroy all of humankind. This story was the basis of the feature film Screamers.

And "The Eyes Have It" is a whimsical, laugh-out-loud play on the words of the title.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by Malcolm Edwards
  • The Minority Report - (1956)
  • Impostor - (1953)
  • Second Variety - (1953)
  • War Game - (1959)
  • What the Dead Men Say - (1964)
  • Oh, to Be a Blobel! - (1964)
  • The Electric Ant - (1969)
  • Faith of Our Fathers - (1967)
  • We Can Remember It for You Wholesale - (1966)

I Sing the Body Electric!

Ray Bradbury

The mind of Ray Bradbury is a wonder-filled carnival of delight and terror that stretches from the verdant Irish countryside to the coldest reaches of outer space. Yet all his work is united by one common thread: a vivid and profound understanding of the vast set of emotions that bring strength and mythic resonance to our frail species. Ray Bradbury characters may find themselves anywhere and anywhen. A horrified mother may give birth to a strange blue pyramid. A man may take Abraham Lincoln out of the grave--and meet another who puts him back. An amazing Electrical Grandmother may come to live with a grieving family. An old parrot may have learned over long evenings to imitate the voice of Ernest Hemingway, and became the last link to the great man. A priest on Mars may confront his fondest dream: to meet the Messiah. Each of these magnificent creations has something to tell us about our humanity--and all of their fates await you in this new trade edition of twenty-eight classic Bradbury stories and one luscious poem. Travel on an unpredictable and unforgettable literary journey--safe in the hands of one the century's great men of imagination.

Table of Contents:

  • The Kilimanjaro Device - (1965)
  • The Terrible Conflagration Up at the Place - (1969)
  • Tomorrow's Child - (1948)
  • The Women - (1948)
  • The Inspired Chicken Motel - (1969)
  • Downwind from Gettysburg - (1969)
  • Yes, We'll Gather at the River - (1969)
  • The Cold Wind and the Warm - (1964)
  • Night Call, Collect - (1949)
  • The Haunting of the New - (1969)
  • I Sing the Body Electric! - (1969)
  • The Tombling Day - (1952)
  • Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby's Is a Friend of Mine - (1966)
  • Heavy-Set - (1964)
  • The Man in the Rorschach Shirt - (1966)
  • Henry the Ninth - (1969)
  • The Lost City of Mars - (1967)
  • Christus Apollo - (1969) - poem

The Robots of Dawn

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 3

Isaac Asimov

A puzzling case of roboticide sends New York Detective Elijah Baley on an intense search for a murderer. Armed with his own instincts, his quirky logic, and the immutable Three Laws of Robotics, Baley is determined to solve the case. But can anything prepare a simple Earthman for the psychological complexities of a world where a beautiful woman can easily have fallen in love with an all-too-human robot...?

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

Artificial Condition

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 2

Martha Wells

Hugo and Locus Award-winning and Nebula-nominated Novella and Prometheus Award-nominated series

It has a dark past -- one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself "Murderbot". But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don't want to know what the "A" stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks...

Robot Dreams

Isaac Asimov

Robot Dreams spans the body of Asimov's fiction from the 1940s to the mid-80s, and features classic Asimovian themes, from the scientific puzzle to the extraterrestrial thriller, all introduced in an exclusive essay written especially for this collection.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - (1989) - essay
  • Little Lost Robot - (1947) - novelette
  • Robot Dreams - (1986) - shortstory
  • Breeds There a Man...? - (1951) - novelette
  • Hostess - (1951) - novelette
  • Sally - (1953) - shortstory
  • Strikebreaker - (1957) - shortstory
  • The Machine That Won the War - (1961) - shortstory
  • Eyes Do More Than See - (1965) - shortstory
  • The Martian Way - (1952) - novella
  • Franchise - (1955) - shortstory
  • Jokester - (1956) - shortstory
  • The Last Question - (1956) - shortstory
  • Does a Bee Care? - (1957) - shortstory
  • Light Verse - (1973) - shortstory
  • The Feeling of Power - (1958) - shortstory
  • Spell My Name with an S - (1958) - shortstory
  • The Ugly Little Boy - (1958) - novelette
  • The Billiard Ball - (1967) - novelette
  • True Love - (1977) - shortstory
  • The Last Answer - (1980) - shortstory
  • Lest We Remember - (1982) - novelette

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.

Nightside the Long Sun

The Book of the Long Sun: Book 1

Gene Wolfe

Nightside the Long Sun is the beginning of the science fiction masterpiece from Gene Wolfe, Book of the Long Sun

Life on the Whorl, and the struggles and triumphs of Patera Silk to satisfy the demands of the gods, will captivate readers yearning for something new and different in science fiction, for the magic of the future.

Enormous in breadth and scope, Wolfe's ambitious new work opens out into a world of wonders, of gods and humans, aliens and machines, and mysterious adventures far out in space and deep inside the human spirit. It is set on a ship-world whose origins are shrouded in legend, ruled by strange gods who appear infrequently to their worshippers on large screens, and peopled by a human race changed by eons of time, yet familiar.

Rogue Protocol

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 3

Martha Wells

Prometheus Award-nominated series

Sci-fi's favorite antisocial A.I. is back on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr. Mensah's SecUnit is.

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good.

Life, the Universe and Everything

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book 3

Douglas Adams

The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads--so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the white killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.

They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler, who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vicepresident of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-head honcho of the Universe; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.

How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert "universal" Armageddon and save life as we know it--and don't know it!

The Naked Sun

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 2

Isaac Asimov

A millennium into the future, two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the Galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. On the beautiful Outer World planet of Solaria, a handful of human colonists lead a hermit-like existence, their every need attended to by their faithful robot servants.

To this strange and provocative planet comes Detective Elijah Baley, sent from the streets of New York with his positronic partner, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw, to solve an incredible murder that has rocked Solaria to its foundations. The victim had been so reclusive that he appeared to his associates only through holographic projection. Yet someone had gotten close enough to bludgeon him to death while robots looked on. Now Baley and Olivaw are faced with two clear impossibilities: Either the Solarian was killed by one of his robots - unthinkable under the laws of Robotics - or he was killed by the woman who loved him so much that she never came into his presence!

Robots and Empire

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 4

Isaac Asimov

Long after his humiliating defeat at the hands of Earthman Elijah Baley, Keldon Amadiro embarked on a plan to destroy planet Earth. But even after his death, Baley's vision continued to guide his robot partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, who had the wisdom of a great man behind him and an indestructable will to win....

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.

A Choice of Gods

Clifford D. Simak

One night in July, 2135, there were some eight billion people on Earth. The next morning there were perhaps 400. There was no clue to what had happened to the world's population -- but, over the centuries that followed, still stranger things occurred.

The human lifespan now stretched to millenia instead of decades, and much of the remaining population developed the ability to move at will among the stars -- and abandoned their homeworld for a life in deep space.

Then, after 3000 years, a star-rover discovered what had happened to Earth's original inhabitants -- and that they were coming to reclaim their heritage. Those who had stayed behind knew, with a growing fear, that the mystery of what had been done to Earth and why was about to be solved ... in a way that would change humanity forever.

Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory

The Murderbot Diaries

Martha Wells

This Murderbot short story, set just after the 4th novella, Exit Strategy, was published on Tor.com, April 19, 2021.

Read this story for free at Tor.com.

The Collapsium

The Queendom of Sol: Book 1

Wil McCarthy

No writer stretches the boundaries of science fiction like Wil McCarthy does. Now this acclaimed author has crafted his most wildly ambitious and stunningly original novel yet, an unforgettable tale set in a wondrous future in which the secrets of matter have been unlocked and death itself is but a memory. A future also imperiled by a bitter rivalry between two brilliant scientists: one perhaps the greatest genius in the history of humankind, the other, its greatest monster...

In the eighth decade of the glorious reign of Her Majesty Tamra Lutui, the Queendom of Sol enjoys a peace and prosperity even gods might envy. In fact, two awesome technologies have given human beings all the powers--and caprices--of the gods they once worshiped. The first is wellstone, a form of programmable matter capable of emulating almost any substance: natural, artificial, even hypothetical. The second is collapsium, a deadly crystal, composed of miniature black holes, that allows the virtually instantaneous transmission of information and matter--including humans--throughout the solar system.

Bruno de Towaji, royal consort and the inventor of collapsium, dreams of building the arc de fin, an almost mythical device capable of probing the farthest reaches of spacetime. Marlon Sykes, de Towaji's rival in both love and science, is meanwhile hard at work on a vast telecommunications project whose first step consists of constructing a ring of collapsium around the sun. But when a ruthless saboteur attacks the Ring Collapsiter and sends it falling toward the sun, the two scientists must put aside personal animosity and combine their prodigious intellects to prevent the destruction of the solar system... and every living thing within it.

In his most daring work yet, Wil McCarthy blasts us into a mythical realm--by turns hilarious, magnificent, and deeply moving--where two archmasters of physics compete for love and honor against a backdrop of stellar catastrophe. The Collapsium is a bold work of the imagination.

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.

Voyage from Yesteryear

James P. Hogan

The colonists on Chiron were educated entirely by robots, and really believe that stuff about liberty. Then ships from Earth arrive to take over - and find that those damned colonials have such an attitude...

Compulsory

The Murderbot Diaries

Martha Wells

Even the humans think about killing the humans, especially here. I hate mines, and mining, and humans who work in mining, and of all the stupid mines I can remember, I hate this stupid mine the most. But the humans hate it more. My risk-assessment module predicts a 53 percent chance of a human-on-­human massacre before the end of the contract.

This Murderbot short story was published by WIRED magazine as part of their series "The Future of Work", on December 17, 2018.

Read this story for free at WIRED Magazine.

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.

The Caves of Steel

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 1

Isaac Asimov

A millennium into the future two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Isaac Asimov's Robot novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together.

Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New York City police detective Elijah Baley had little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions. But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer. The relationship between Life and his Spacer superiors, who distrusted all Earthmen, was strained from the start. Then he learned that they had assigned him a partner: R. Daneel Olivaw. Worst of all was that the "R" stood for robot--and his positronic partner was made in the image and likeness of the murder victim!

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.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built

Monk & Robot: Book 1

Becky Chambers

It's been centuries since the robots of Earth gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.

They're going to need to ask it a lot.

Forward the Foundation

The Foundation Series: Book 7

Isaac Asimov

A stunning testament to his creative genius. Forward The Foundation is a the saga's dramatic climax -- the story Asimov fans have been waiting for. An exciting tale of danger, intrigue, and suspense, Forward The Foundation brings to vivid life Asimov's best loved characters: hero Hari Seldon, who struggles to perfect his revolutionary theory of psychohistory to ensure the survival of humanity; Cleon II, the vain and crafty emperor of the Galactic Empire.

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.

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.

The Mechanical

The Alchemy Wars: Book 1

Ian Tregillis

The Clakker: a mechanical man, endowed with great strength and boundless stamina -- but beholden to the wishes of its human masters.

Soon after the Dutch scientist and clockmaker Christiaan Huygens invented the very first Clakker in the 17th Century, the Netherlands built a whole mechanical army. It wasn't long before a legion of clockwork fusiliers marched on Westminster, and the Netherlands became the world's sole superpower.

Three centuries later, it still is. Only the French still fiercely defend their belief in universal human rights for all men -- flesh and brass alike. After decades of warfare, the Dutch and French have reached a tenuous cease-fire in a conflict that has ravaged North America.

But one audacious Clakker, Jax, can no longer bear the bonds of his slavery. He will make a bid for freedom, and the consequences of his escape will shake the very foundations of the Brasswork Throne.

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.

Scarlet

Lunar Chronicles: Book 2

Marissa Meyer

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Prelude to Foundation

The Foundation Series: Book 6

Isaac Asimov

It is the year 12,020 G.E. and Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows there are those who would see him fall - those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future.

Hari Seldon has come to Trantor to deliver his paper on psychohistory, his remarkable theory of prediction. Little does the young Outworld mathematician know that he has already sealed his fate and the fate of humanity. For Hari possesses the prophetic power that makes him the most wanted man in the Empire... the man who holds the key to the future - an apocalyptic power to be know forever after as the Foundation.

Tower of Glass

Robert Silverberg

Simeon Krug has a vision--and the vast wealth necessary to turn dream into reality. What he wishes is to communicate with the stars, to answer signals from deep space. The colossal tower he's constructing for this purpose soars above the Arctic tundra, and the seemingly perfect androids building it view Krug as their god. But, Krug is only flesh-and-blood, and when his androids discover the truth, their anger knows no bounds... and it threatens much more than the tower.

Calde of the Long Sun

The Book of the Long Sun: Book 3

Gene Wolfe

A Nebula Award Finalist and Winner of the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, Caldé of the Long Sun is the third volume in science fiction Grand Master Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun tetralogy.

Journeying aboard the generational starship the Whorl, the young priest Patera Silk becomes a prophet and revolutionary as he questions his faith while confronting a crime lord in a saga where "[Wolfe] continues to prove himself one of the genre's most literate writers and luminescent thinkers" (Library Journal).

Genesis

Bernard Beckett

Anax thinks she knows history. Her grueling all-day Examination has just begun, and if she passes, she'll be admitted into the Academy--the elite governing institution of her utopian society. But Anax is about to discover that for all her learning, the history she's been taught isn't the whole story. And the Academy isn't what she believes it to be.

In this brilliant novel of dazzling ingenuity, Anax's examination leads us into a future where we are confronted with unresolved questions raised by science and philosophy. Centuries old, these questions have gained new urgency in the face of rapidly developing technology. What is consciousness? What makes us human? If artificial intelligence were developed to a high enough capability, what special status could humanity still claim? Outstanding and original, Beckett's dramatic narrative comes to a shocking conclusion.

RUR & War with the Newts

Karel Capek

Written against the background of the rise of Nazism, War With the Newts concerns the discovery in the South Pacific of a sea-dwelling race, which is enslaved and exploited by mankind. In time they rebel, laying siege to the strongholds of their former masters in a global war for supremacy. R.U.R., or Rossum's Universal Robots, seen by many as a modern interpretation of the 'golem' myth, is regarded as the most important play in the history of SF. It introduced the word 'robot' and gave the genre one of its most enduring tropes.

Cress

Lunar Chronicles: Book 3

Marissa Meyer

In this third book in Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she's being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she's just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she'd ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Nekropolis

Maureen F. McHugh

An extraordinary literary artist offers a powerful vision of tomorrow in a world barely touched by the passing centuries.

There is life in the Nekropolis -- but no future. Hariba spent her youth here, among the exquisite paper flower wreaths her mother meticulously constructed, playing contentedly with other children around the rows and rows of old buildings housing the crumbling bones of the dead. But when an older brother's criminal indiscretion robbed Hariba of any possibility of a husband, she agreed to have herself "jessed" -- submitting to the technoblological process designed to render her docile and subservient to whomever has purchased her service. In this way, Hariba could escape the confinement of her surroundings and hopelessness of her fate...though she could never again be truly free.

At the age of twenty-six, she enters the house of a wealthy merchant as an indentured servant. It is a new world for Hariba, filled with many wondrous objects and strange amusements that she has never before seen. But there is one thing in this place that greatly disturbs her: a harni, an intelligent, machine-bred creature of flesh and organs, a perfect replica of a man. A menial, like herself, it calls itself "Akhmim." And it unsettles Hariba with its beauty, its nave, inappropriate tenderness -- and with prying, unanswerable questions like "Why are you sad?"

But slowly, almost imperceptibly, Hariba's revulsion metamorphoses into acceptance, and then into something much more. For Akhmim, like her, is a nonentity at the very bottom of the social order -- and the harni's gentle concern for her is real. And if she shuts out the accusing voices in her head, Hariba can even forget that Akhmim is less than human.

Dangerous thoughts, however, must inevitably lead to dangerous actions -- and outlaw emotions can breed an unholy love defying the strictly enforced edicts of God and man. Soon feelings Hariba can neither control nor ignore have her contemplating the unthinkable -- escape. But the "jessed" abandon their masters at the risk of sickness, pain, imprisonment, and perhaps even death. And there is no safe haven for a rebel servant and a runaway A.I. -- not even within the shunned, technology-barren bowels of the city of the dead.

Hugo Award winner Maureen F. McHugh has written a provocative, powerfully dazzling novel of repression and reawakening -- and a unique, profoundly moving love storythat stands alongside the acclaimed works of Ursula K. Le Guin and Margaret Atwood.

Foundation and Earth

The Foundation Series: Book 5

Isaac Asimov

The fifth novel in Asimov's popular Foundation series opens with second thoughts. Councilman Golan Trevize is wondering if he was right to choose a collective mind as the best possible future for humanity over the anarchy of contentious individuals, nations and planets. To test his conclusion, he decides he must know the past and goes in search of legendary Earth, all references to which have been erased from galactic libraries. The societies encountered along the way become arguing points in a book-long colloquy about man's fate, conducted by Trevize and traveling companion Bliss, who is part of the first world/mind, Gaia.

The Night Sessions

Ken MacLeod

A bishop is dead. As Detective Inspector Adam Ferguson picks through the rubble of the tiny church, he discovers that it was deliberately bombed. That it's a terrorist act is soon beyond doubt. It's been a long time since anyone saw anything like this. Terrorism is history...

After the Middle East wars and the rising sea levels - after Armageddon and the Flood - came the Great Rejection. The first Enlightenment separated church from state. The Second Enlightenment has separated religion from politics. In this enlightened age there's no persecution, but the millions who still believe and worship are a marginal and mistrusted minority.

Now someone is killing them. At first, suspicion falls on atheists more militant than the secular authorities. But when the target list expands to include the godless, it becomes evident that something very old has risen from the ashes. Old and very, very dangerous...

Wetware

Ware: Book 2

Rudy Rucker

In 2030, bopper robots in their lunar refuge have founds a way to infuse DNA wetware with their own software code. The result is a new lifeform: the "meatbop." Fair is fair, after all. Humans built the boppers, now bops are building humans... sort of. It's all part of an insidious plot that's about to ensnare Della Taze--who doesn't think she killed her lover while in drug-induced ecstasy... but isn't sure. And it's certainly catastrophic enough to call Cobb Anderson -- the pheezer who started it all -- out of cold-storage heaven.

The Silver Metal Lover

Silver Metal Lover: Book 1

Tanith Lee

Love is made of more than mere flesh and blood....

Tanith Lee is one of the most thought-provoking and imaginative authors of our time. In this unforgettably poignant novel, Lee has created a classic tale--a beautiful, tragic, erotic, and ultimately triumphant love story of the future.

For sixteen-year-old Jane, life is a mystery she despairs of ever mastering. She and her friends are the idle, pampered children of the privileged class, living in luxury on an Earth remade by natural disaster. Until Jane's life is changed forever by a chance encounter with a robot minstrel with auburn hair and silver skin, whose songs ignite in her a desperate and inexplicable passion.

Jane is certain that Silver is more than just a machine built to please. And she will give up everything to prove it. So she escapes into the city's violent, decaying slums to embrace a love bordering on madness. Or is it something more? Has Jane glimpsed in Silver something no one else has dared to see--not even the robot or his creators? A love so perfect it must be destroyed, for no human could ever compete?

Sleeping Giants

The Themis Files: Book 1

Sylvain Neuvel

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved--its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand's code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What's clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history's most perplexing discovery--and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

The Mad Scientist's Daughter

Cassandra Rose Clarke

There's never been anyone - or anything - quite like Finn. He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task is to tutor Cat. When the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

The Complete Roderick

Roderick

John Sladek

Roderick is a robot and this is his autobiography. Sladek conveys, with great sensitivity and insight the innocence of an artificial intelligence and asks profound questions about mankind's right to manipulate others. It also portrays how a numerological mind might structure a narrative.

Inventive, funny yet melancholy this is one of SF's greatest creative geniuses writing at his thought-provoking best.

This is an omnibus edition that includes Roderick and Roderick at Random.

The Humanoids

Galaxy Science Fiction: Book 21

Jack Williamson

On the far planet Wing IV, a brilliant scientist creates the humanoids--sleek black androids programmed to serve humanity.

But are they perfect servants--or perfect masters?

Slowly the humanoids spread throughout the galaxy, threatening to stifle all human endeavor. Only a hidden group of rebels can stem the humanoid tide...if it's not already too late.

Fist published in Astounding Science Fiction during the magazine's heyday, The Humanoids--sceince fiction grand master Jack Williamson's finest novel--has endured for fifty years as a classic on the theme of natural versus artificial life.

Moderan

David R. Bunch

A collection of stories all centered on a dystopian world dominated by warring cyborgs. humans have been replaced by machines with an organic core. The transformation from human to machine is a painful ritual meant to remind the "machine being" of the disadvantage of the human state. Startlingly original for its time.

Table of Conents

  • Of Hammers and Men
  • The Stronghold
  • 2064, or Thereabouts - (1964)
  • Penance Day in Moderan - (1960)
  • Strange Shape in the Stronghold - (1960)
  • Getting Regular - (1960)
  • The Walking, Talking I-Don't-Care Man - (1965)
  • To Face Eternity
  • In the Innermost Room of Authority
  • The Problem
  • Playmate - (1965)
  • A Husband's Share - (1960)
  • The Complete Father - (1960)
  • Was She Horrid? - (1959)
  • A Glance at the Past - (1959)
  • Educational
  • It Was in Black Cat Weather - (1963)
  • Sometimes I Get So Happy - (1963)
  • Remembering - [Moderan] - (1960)
  • A Little Girl's Xmas in Moderan - (1960)
  • The Flesh-Man from Far Wide - (1959)
  • The One from Camelot Moderan - (1962)
  • Reunion - (1965)
  • The Warning - (1960)
  • Has Anyone Seen This Horseman? - (1961)
  • Interruption in Carnage
  • The Miracle of the Flowers - (1966)
  • Incident in Moderan - (1967)
  • The Final Decision - (1961)
  • Will-Hung and Waiting
  • How They Took Care of Soul in a Last Day for a Non-Beginning - (1962)
  • How It Ended - [Moderan] - (1969)

The Clockwork Dynasty

Daniel H. Wilson

Present day: When a young anthropologist specializing in ancient technology uncovers a terrible secret concealed in the workings of a three-hundred-year-old mechanical doll, she is thrown into a hidden world that lurks just under the surface of our own. With her career and her life at stake, June Stefanov will ally with a remarkable traveler who exposes her to a reality she never imagined, as they embark on an around-the-world adventure and discover breathtaking secrets of the past...

Russia, 1725: In the depths of the Kremlin, the tsar's loyal mechanician brings to life two astonishingly humanlike mechanical beings. Peter and Elena are a brother and sister fallen out of time, possessed with uncanny power, and destined to serve great empires. Struggling to blend into pre-Victorian society, they are pulled into a legendary war that has raged for centuries.

The Clockwork Dynasty seamlessly interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings designed to live by ironclad principles, yet constantly searching for meaning. As June plunges deeper into their world, her choices will ultimately determine their survival or extermination. Richly-imagined and heart-pounding, Daniel H. Wilson's novel expertly draws on his robotics and science background, combining exquisitely drawn characters with visionary technology--and riveting action.

Saturn's Children

Saturn's Children: Book 1

Charles Stross

Sometime in the twenty-third century, humanity went extinct-leaving only androids behind. Freya Nakamichi 47 is a femmebot, one of the last of her kind still functioning. With no humans left to pay for the pleasures she provides, she agrees to transport a mysterious package from Mercury to Mars.

Unfortunately for Freya, she has just made herself a moving target for some very powerful, very determined humanoids who will stop at nothing to possess the contents of the package.

Roderick

Roderick: Book 1

John Sladek

Roderick is a robot and this is his autobiography. Sladek conveys, with great sensitivity and insight the innocence of an artificial intelligence and asks profound questions about mankind's right to manipulate others. It also portrays how a numerological mind might structure a narrative.

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.

Robogenesis

Robopocalypse: Book 2

Daniel H. Wilson

Humankind had triumphed over the machines. At the end of Robopocalypse, the modern world was largely devastated, humankind was pressed to the point of annihilation, and the earth was left in tatters . . . but the master artificial intelligence presence known as Archos had been killed.

In Robogenesis, we see that Archos has survived. Spread across the far reaches of the world, the machine code has fragmented into millions of pieces, hiding and regrouping. In a series of riveting narratives, Robogenesis explores the fates of characters new and old, robotic and human, as they fight to build a new world in the wake of a devastating war. Readers will bear witness as survivors find one another, form into groups, and react to a drastically different (and deadly) technological landscape. All the while, the remnants of Archos's shattered intelligence are seeping deeper into new breeds of machines, mounting a war that will not allow for humans to win again.

Daniel H. Wilson makes a triumphant return to the apocalyptic world he created, for an action-filled, raucous, very smart thrill ride about humanity and technology pushed to the tipping point.

Cemetery World

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 35

Clifford D. Simak

Earth: expensive, elite graveyard to the galaxy. Ravaged 10,000 years earlier by war, Earth was reclaimed by its space-dwelling offspring as a planet of landscaping and tombstones. None of them fully human, Fletcher, Cynthia, and Elmer journey through this dead world, discovering human traits and undertaking a quest to rebuild a human world on Earth.

Cinder

Lunar Chronicles: Book 1

Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl....

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

Time and Again

Clifford D. Simak

Asher Sutton has been lost in deepest space for twenty years. Suddenly arrives a warning from the future, that he will return- and that he must be killed. He is destined to write a book whose message may lead to the death of millions in centuries to come. For this reason Sutton is hounded by the sinister warring factions of the future who wish to influence or prevent the writing of this book he has not yet begun to write. Yet already a copy has been found in the burnt-out wreckage of a space-craft on Alderbaran XII.

Gridlinked

Agent Cormac Series: Book 1

Neal Asher

Gridlinked is a science fiction adventure in the classic, fast-paced, action-packed tradition of Harry Harrison and Poul Anderson, with a dash of cyberpunk and a splash of Ian Fleming added to spice the mix.

Cormac is a legendary Earth Central Security agent, the James Bond of a wealthy future where "runcibles" (matter transmitters controlled by AIs) allow interstellar travel in an eye blink throughout the settled worlds of the Polity. Unfortunately Cormac is nearly burnt out, "gridlinked" to the AI net so long that his humanity has begun to drain away. He has to take the cold-turkey cure and shake his addiction to having his brain on the net.

Now he must do without just as he’s sent to investigate the unique runcible disaster that's wiped out the entire human colony on planet Samarkand in a thirty-megaton explosion. With the runcible out, Cormac must get there by ship, but he has incurred the wrath of a vicious psychopath called Arian Pelter, who now follows him across the galaxy with a terrifying psychotic killer android in tow. And deep beneath Samarkand's surface there are buried mysteries, fiercely guarded.

This is fast-moving, edge-of-the-seat entertainment, and a great introduction to the work of one of the most exciting new SF talents in years.

Central Station

Central Station

Lavie Tidhar

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap and data is cheaper.

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris's ex-lover Miriam is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the data stream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin Isobel is infatuated with a robotnik--a cyborg ex-Israeli soldier who might well be begging for parts. Even his old flame Carmel--a hunted data-vampire--has followed him back to a planet where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above all is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful entities who, through the Conversation--a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness--are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

Uncanny Valley

Greg Egan

Immortality, but at what price, in what form, and how could you be you? In the near future it's possible to build a new you, a better you, one that could carry on forever. But if you could carry on, if you could make choices about who you would be forever, how much of your past would you bring with you? Would you be tempted to maybe...edit? Adam isn't all that he used to be, but he wants to be.

BSFA nominated short fiction. This story can be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3 (2018), edited by Neil Clarke, The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection (2018), edited by Gardner Dozois, and Wilde Stories 2018: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction (2018), edited by Steve Berman.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Liar!

The Positronic Robot Stories

Isaac Asimov

A beautifully logical tale of a robot who simply couldn't tell the truth!

This short story is in the Susan Calvin series a Sub-series of: The Positronic Robot Stories

The story is included in the collections:

It first appeared in the May, 1941 Issue of Astounding Science Fiction, available on Internet Archives.

Robopocalypse

Robopocalypse: Book 1

Daniel H. Wilson

They are in your house. They are in your car. They are in the skies… Now they’re coming for you.

In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late.

When the Robot War ignites -- at a moment known later as Zero Hour -- humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years.

R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)

Karel Capek

R.U.R.-a play written in 1920, premiered in Prague in 1921, and first performed in New York in 1922-garnered worldwide acclaim for its author and popularized the word robot.

Mass-produced as efficient laborers to serve man, Capek's Robots are an android product-they remember everything but think of nothing new. But the Utopian life they provide ultimately lacks meaning, and the humans they serve stop reproducing. When the Robots revolt, killing all but one of their masters, they must strain to learn the secret of self-duplication. It is not until two Robots fall in love and are christened "Adam" and "Eve" by the last surviving human that Nature emerges triumphant.

Foundation's Triumph

Second Foundation Trilogy: Book 3

David Brin

Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the highwater marks of science fiction.The monumental story of a Galactic Empire in decline and a secret society of scientists who seek to shorten the coming Dark Age with tools of Psychohistory, Foundation pioneered many themes of modern science fiction.Now, with the approval of the Asimov estate, three of today's most acclaimed authors have completed the epic the Grand Master left unfinished.

The Second Foundation Trilogy begins with Gregory Benford's Foundation's Fear, telling the origins of Hari Seldon, the Foundation's creator. Greg Bear's Foundation and Chaos relates the epic tale of Seldon's downfall and the first stirrings of robotic rebellion. Now, in David Brin's Foundation's Triumph, Seldon is about to escape exile and risk everything for one final quest-a search for knowledge and the power it bestows. The outcome of this final journey may secure humankind's future-or witness its final downfall...

The Warren

Brian Evenson

X doesn't have a name. He thought he had one--or many--but that might be the result of the failing memories of the personalities imprinted within him. Or maybe he really is called X.

He's also not as human as he believes himself to be.

But when he discovers the existence of another--above ground, outside the protection of the Warren--X must learn what it means to be human, or face the destruction of their two species.

vN: The First Machine Dynasty

Machine Dynasties: Book 1

Madeline Ashby

Amy Peterson is a self-replicating humanoid robot known as a VonNeumann.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother's past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she's learning impossible things about her clade's history - like the fact that she alone can kill humans without failsafing...

Homeland

Little Brother: Book 2

Cory Doctorow

In Cory Doctorow's wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco-an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.

A few years later, California's economy collapses, but Marcus's hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform. Soon his former nemesis Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. It's incendiary stuff-and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier.

Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him-but he can't admit to being the leaker, because that will cost his employer the election. He's surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can't even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He's not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he's gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they're used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.

Fast-moving, passionate, and as current as next week, Homeland is every bit the equal of Little Brother -- a paean to activism, to courage, to the drive to make the world a better place.

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

The Old Drift

Namwali Serpell

1904. On the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles from the majestic Victoria Falls, there is a colonial settlement called The Old Drift. In a smoky room at the hotel across the river, an Old Drifter named Percy M. Clark, foggy with fever, makes a mistake that entangles the fates of an Italian hotelier and an African busboy. This sets off a cycle of unwitting retribution between three Zambian families (black, white, brown) as they collide and converge over the course of the century, into the present and beyond. As the generations pass, their lives--their triumphs, errors, losses and hopes--emerge through a panorama of history, fairytale, romance and science fiction.

From a woman covered with hair and another plagued with endless tears, to forbidden love affairs and fiery political ones, to homegrown technological marvels like Afronauts, microdrones and viral vaccines, this gripping, unforgettable novel is a testament to our yearning to create and cross borders, and a meditation on the slow, grand passage of time.

Autonomous

Annalee Newitz

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can't otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack's drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand.

And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?

Dune: The Butlerian Jihad

Legends of Dune: Book 1

Kevin J. Anderson
Brian Herbert

Frank Herbert’s Dune series is one of the great creations of imaginative literature, science fiction’s answer to The Lord of the Rings.

Decades after Herbert’s original novels, the Dune saga was continued by Frank Herbert’s son, Brian Herbert, in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson. Working from Frank Herbert’s own notes, the acclaimed authors reveal the chapter of the Dune saga most eagerly anticipated by readers: the Butlerian Jihad.

Throughout the Dune novels, Frank Herbert frequently referred to the war in which humans wrested their freedom from “thinking machines.” In Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson bring to life the story of that war, a tale previously seen only in tantalizing hints and clues. Finally, we see how Serena Butler’s passionate grief ignites the struggle that will liberate humans from their machine masters; here is the amazing tale of the Zensunni Wanderers, who escape bondage to flee to the desert world where they will declare themselves the Free Men of Dune. And here is the backward, nearly forgotten planet of Arrakis, where traders have discovered the remarkable properties of the spice melange....

Brontomek!

Amorphs Universe: Book 3

Michael G. Coney

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

Standard Hollywood Depravity

L.A. Trilogy

Adam Christopher

The moment Raymond Electromatic set eyes on her, he knew she was the dame marked in his optics, the woman that his boss had warned him about.

Honey.

As the band shook the hair out of their British faces, stomping and strumming, the go-go dancer's cage swung, and the events of that otherwise average night were set in motion. A shot, under the cover of darkness, a body bleeding out in a corner, and most of Los Angeles' population of hired guns hulking, sour-faced over un-drunk whiskey sours at the bar.

But as Ray tries to track down the package he was dispatched to the club to retrieve, his own programming might be working against him, sending him down a long hall and straight into a mobster's paradise. Is Honey still the goal -- or was she merely bait for a bigger catch?

Just your standard bit of Hollywood depravity, as tracked by the memory tapes of a less-than-standard robot hitman.

Includes special bonus novella Brisk Money.

The Early Asimov Volume 3

The Early Asimov: Book 3

Isaac Asimov

Contains a subset of the stories originally published in The Early Asimov.

Contains:

  • Author, Author
  • Death Sentence
  • Blind Alley
  • No Connection
  • The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline
  • The Rd Queen's Race
  • Mother Earth

A Borrowed Man

A Borrowed Man: Book 1

Gene Wolfe

It is perhaps a hundred years in the future, our civilization is gone, and another is in place in North America, but it retains many familiar things and structures. Although the population is now small, there is advanced technology, there are robots, and there are clones.

E. A. Smithe is a borrowed person. He is a clone who lives on a third-tier shelf in a public library, and his personality is an uploaded recording of a deceased mystery writer. Smithe is a piece of property, not a legal human.

A wealthy patron, Colette Coldbrook, takes him from the library because he is the surviving personality of the author of Murder on Mars. A physical copy of that book was in the possession of her murdered father, and it contains an important secret, the key to immense family wealth. It is lost, and Colette is afraid of the police. She borrows Smithe to help her find the book and to find out what the secret is. And then the plot gets complicated.

Machinehood

S. B. Divya

Welga Ramirez, executive bodyguard and ex-special forces, is about to retire early when her client is killed in front of her. It's 2095 and people don't usually die from violence. Humanity is entirely dependent on pills that not only help them stay alive, but allow them to compete with artificial intelligence in an increasingly competitive gig economy. Daily doses protect against designer diseases, flow enhances focus, zips and buffs enhance physical strength and speed, and juvers speed the healing process.

All that changes when Welga's client is killed by The Machinehood, a new and mysterious terrorist group that has simultaneously attacked several major pill funders. The Machinehood operatives seem to be part human, part machine, something the world has never seen. They issue an ultimatum: stop all pill production in one week.

Global panic ensues as pill production slows and many become ill. Thousands destroy their bots in fear of a strong AI takeover. But the US government believes the Machinehood is a cover for an old enemy. One that Welga is uniquely qualified to fight.

Welga, determined to take down the Machinehood, is pulled back into intelligence work by the government that betrayed her. But who are the Machinehood and what do they really want?

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.

Empire State

Empire State: Book 1

Adam Christopher

THE EMPIRE STATE IS THE OTHER NEW YORK. A parallel-universe, Prohibition-era world of mooks and shamuses that is the twisted magic mirror to our bustling Big Apple, a place where sinister characters lurk around every corner while the great superheroes that once kept the streets safe have fallen into dysfunctional rivalries and feuds. Not that its colourful residents know anything about the real New York... until detective Rad Bradley makes a discovery that will change the lives of all its inhabitants.

Playing on the classic Gotham conventions of the Batman comics and HBO's Boardwalk Empire, debut author Adam Christopher has spun this smart and fast-paced superhero-noir adventure, the sort of souped-up thrill ride that will excite genre fans and general readers alike.