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Piranesi

Susanna Clarke

Piranesi's house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house-a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

Monday Begins on Saturday

Arkady Strugatsky
Boris Strugatsky

When young programmer Aleksandr Ivanovich Privalov picks up two hitchhikers while driving in Karelia, he is drawn into the mysterious world of the Scientific Research Institute of Sorcery and Wizardry, where research into magic is serious business. Where science, sorcery and socialism meet, can chaos be far behind?

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

Cory Doctorow

Alan is a middle-aged entrepeneur in contemporary Toronto, who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in a bohemian neighborhood. This naturally brings him in contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wings -- wings, moreover, which grow back after each attempt to cut them off.

Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain; his mother is a washing machine; and among his brothers are a set of Russian nesting dolls.

Now two of the three nesting dolls, Edward and Frederick, are on his doorstep -- well on their way to starvation, because their innermost member, George, has vanished. It appears that yet another brother, Davey, who Alan and his other siblings killed years ago, may have returned... bent on revenge.

Under such circumstances it seems only reasonable for Alan to involve himself with a visionary scheme to blanket Toronto with free wireless Internet connectivity, a conspiracy spearheaded by a brilliant technopunk who builds miracles of hardware from parts scavenged from the citys dumpsters. But Alans past wont leave him alone -- and Davey is only one of the powers gunning for him and all his friends.

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

The President's Brain Is Missing

John Scalzi

The question is, how can you tell the President's brain is missing? And are we sure we need it back?

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Again, Dangerous Visions

Dangerous Visions: Book 2

Harlan Ellison

The classic companion to the most essential science fiction anthology ever published. 46 original stories edited with introductions by Harlan Ellison. Featuring: John Heidenry / Ross Rocklynne / Ursula K. Le Guin / Andrew J. Offutt / Gene Wolfe / Ray Nelson / Ray Bradbury / Chad Oliver / Edward Bryant / Kate Wilhelm / James B. Hemesath / Joanna Russ / Kurt Vonnegut / T. L. Sherred / K. M. O'Donnell (Barry N. Malzberg) / H. H. Hollis / Bernard Wolfe / David Gerrold / Piers Anthony / Lee Hoffman / Gahan Wilson / Joan Bernott / Gregory Benford / Evelyn Lief / James Sallis / Josephine Saxton / Ken McCullough / David Kerr / Burt K. Filer / Richard Hill / Leonard Tushnet / Ben Bova / Dean R. Koontz / James Blish and Judith Ann Lawrence / A. Parra (y Figueredo) / Thomas M. Disch / Richard A. Lupoff / M. John Harrison / Robin Scott / Andrew Weiner / Terry Carr / James Tiptree, Jr.

Table of Contents:

  • An Assault of New Dreamers - (1972) - essay by Harlan Ellison
  • The Counterpoint of View - (1972) - shortstory by John Heidenry
  • Ching Witch! - (1972) - shortstory by Ross Rocklynne
  • The Word for World Is Forest - (1972) - novella by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • For Value Received - (1972) - shortstory by Andrew J. Offutt
  • Mathoms from the Time Closet - (1972) - shortfiction by Gene Wolfe
  • Robot's Story - (1972) - shortstory by Gene Wolfe
  • Against the Lafayette Escadrille - (1972) - shortstory by Gene Wolfe
  • Loco Parentis - (1972) - shortstory by Gene Wolfe
  • Time Travel for Pedestrians - (1972) - shortstory by Ray Nelson
  • Christ, Old Student in a New School - (1972) - poem by Ray Bradbury
  • King of the Hill - (1972) - shortstory by Chad Oliver
  • The 10:00 Report is Brought to You By... - (1972) - shortstory by Edward Bryant
  • The Funeral - (1972) - novelette by Kate Wilhelm
  • Harry the Hare - (1972) - shortstory by James B. Hemesath
  • When It Changed - (1972) - shortstory by Joanna Russ
  • The Big Space Fuck - (1972) - shortstory by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • Bounty - (1972) - shortstory by T. L. Sherred
  • Still-Life - (1972) - shortstory by Barry N. Malzberg
  • Stoned Counsel - (1972) - shortstory by H. H. Hollis
  • Monitored Dreams and Strategic Cremations - (1972) - shortfiction by Bernard Wolfe
  • The Bisquit Position - (1972) - shortstory by Bernard Wolfe
  • The Girl With Rapid Eye Movements - (1972) - shortstory by Bernard Wolfe
  • With a Finger in My I - (1972) - shortstory by David Gerrold
  • In the Barn - (1972) - novelette by Piers Anthony
  • Soundless Evening - (1972) - shortstory by Lee Hoffman
  • * - (1972) - shortstory by Gahan Wilson
  • The Test-Tube Creature, Afterward - (1972) - shortstory by Joan Bernott
  • And the Sea Like Mirrors - (1972) - shortstory by Gregory Benford
  • Bed Sheets Are White - (1972) - shortstory by Evelyn Lief
  • Tissue - (1972) - shortfiction by James Sallis
  • Elouise and the Doctors of the Planet Pergamon - (1972) - shortstory by Josephine Saxton
  • Chuck Berry, Won't You Please Come Home? - (1972) - shortstory by Ken McCullough
  • Epiphany for Aliens - (1972) - shortstory by David Kerr
  • Eye of the Beholder - (1972) - shortstory by Burt K. Filer
  • Moth Race - (1972) - shortstory by Richard Hill
  • In re Glover - (1972) - shortstory by Leonard Tushnet
  • Zero Gee - (1972) - novelette by Ben Bova
  • A Mouse in the Walls of the Global Village - (1972) - shortstory by Dean R. Koontz
  • Getting Along - (1972) - novelette by James Blish and J. A. Lawrence
  • Totenbüch - (1972) - shortstory by Parra y Figuéredo
  • Things Lost - (1972) - shortstory by Thomas M. Disch
  • With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama - (1972) - novella by Richard A. Lupoff
  • Lamia Mutable - (1972) - shortstory by M. John Harrison
  • Last Train to Kankakee - (1972) - shortstory by Robin Scott Wilson
  • Empire of the Sun - (1972) - shortstory by Andrew Weiner
  • Ozymandias - (1972) - shortstory by Terry Carr
  • The Milk of Paradise - (1972) - shortstory by James Tiptree, Jr.
  • Ed Emshwiller - (1972) - essay by Anonymous

Amatka

Karin Tidbeck

Vanja, an information assistant, is sent from her home city of Essre to the austere, wintry colony of Amatka with an assignment to collect intelligence for the government. Immediately she feels that something strange is going on: people act oddly in Amatka, and citizens are monitored for signs of subversion.

Intending to stay just a short while, Vanja falls in love with her housemate, Nina, and prolongs her visit. But when she stumbles on evidence of a growing threat to the colony, and a cover-up by its administration, she embarks on an investigation that puts her at tremendous risk.

In Karin Tidbeck's world, everyone is suspect, no one is safe, and nothing--not even language, nor the very fabric of reality--can be taken for granted. Amatka is a beguiling and wholly original novel about freedom, love, and artistic creation by a captivating new voice.

Radiomen

Eleanor Lerman

There are two themes to Radiomen. First, if there are aliens interacting with our world they are likely just as confused about who or what God is as human beings are; and second, whoever they are, they're probably just as fond of dogs as we are.

Laurie, a woman who works at a bar at Kennedy airport doesn't remember that when she was a child, she met an alien on the fire escape of a building where her uncle kept a shortwave radio. The radio is part of a universal network of repeaters maintained by an unknown alien race; they use the network to broadcast prayers into the universe.

She meets a psychic who is actually part of a Scientology-like cult called the "Blue Awareness," as well as a late-night radio host. All have their own reasons for unraveling the mystery of the lost radio network.

Laurie is given a strange dog by her neighbor, an immigrant and a member of the Dogon tribe - people who believe they were visited by aliens long ago and repeat a myth about how the aliens brought dog-like animals with them. All Dogon dogs are supposedly descended from that animal.

As conflict develops between the Blue Awareness leader and the other characters, the Dogon acts as an intermediary between the humans, who want to understand why the aliens need the radio network, and the aliens who need the humans to help them find a lost element of the universal network.

Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy

Southern Reach Trilogy

Jeff VanderMeer

In time for the holidays, a single-volume hardcover edition that brings together the three volumes of the Southern Reach Trilogy, which were originally published as paperback originals in February, May, and September 2014.

Annihilation is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, Authority is the second, and Acceptance is the third.

Area X-a remote and lush terrain-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; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died 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 months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their 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 and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to 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.

After the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the Southern Reach-the secret agency that monitors these expeditions-is in disarray. In Authority, John Rodriguez, aka "Control," is the team's newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets 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. And the consequences will spread much further than that.

It is winter in Area X in Acceptance. A new team embarks across the border on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknown-navigating new terrain and new challenges-the threat to the outside world becomes more daunting. The mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound-or terrifying.

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 Affirmation

Dream Archipelago: Book 1

Christopher Priest

Peter Sinclair is tormented by bereavement and failure. In an attempt to conjure some meaning from his life, he embarks on an autobiography, but he finds himself writing the story of another man in another, imagined, world whose insidious attraction draws him even further in...

The Skinner

Spatterjay Series: Book 1

Neal Asher

To the Line planet Spatterjay come three travellers: Janer brings the eyes of a hornet Hive mind, and an agenda he would rather not own; Erlin comes to find Ambel – the ancient sea captain who can teach her to live; and Sable Keech is a man with a vendetta he will not give up, though he has been dead for seven hundred years.

The world is mostly ocean, where all but a few visitors from the Human Polity remain safely in the island Dome. Outside, the native hoopers risk the voracious appetite of the planet’s fauna in their struggle for life and life eternal. Somewhere out there is Spatterjay Hoop himself, and monitor Keech will not rest until he can bring this legendary renegade to justice – for crimes so hideous Keech can never forget.

Pursuing rumour, Keech learns that Hoop has become something monstrous: his body roaming free on an island wilderness, whilst his living head is confined in a box on board one of the old captain's ships. Janer, the eternal tourist, is bewildered by this place where sails speak and the people just will not die, but his bewilderment turns to anger when he learns the Hive mind’s intentions. Erlin thinks she has all the time she will ever need to find the answers she requires, and could not be more wrong. And so these three travel and search, not knowing that one of the brutal Prador is about to pay a surreptitious visit, intent on exterminating witnesses to wartime atrocities, nor do they know how terrible is the price of immortality on Spatterjay.

As the fortunes of these travellers unwittingly converge, a major hell is about to erupt in this chaotic waterscape ... where minor hell is already a remorseless fact of everyday life – and death.

Living Next Door to the God of Love

Natural History: Book 2

Justina Robson

Where do you run when a world is out to get you?

AIs, Forged beings, superheroes, angels, and worlds that change in the blink of an eye - here is a richly imagined tale of ordinary redemption in an extraordinary world from one of the most provocative writers working today.

Francine is a young runaway looking to find a definition of love she can trust. In Sankhara, she finds a palace where rooms are made of bone, flowers, and the hearts of heroes. She finds a scientist mapping the territory of the human mind. She finds a boyfriend. And she finds Eros itself–incarnated in the androgynously irresistible form of Jalaeka.

But not everyone is in love with the god of love. Unity, for one, wants to assimilate Jalaeka along with every other soul in the universe. And contrary to what everyone always believes, love alone can't save the day. It will take something both more and less powerful than the human heart to save the worlds upon worlds at risk when gods collide.

"For Robson, world-building is a literary device like any other, useful for exposing buried fears and desires to the light of day, no matter how strange the sun." –New York Times Book Review

Dead Astronauts

Borne: Book 2

Jeff VanderMeer

A messianic blue fox who slips through warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission. A homeless woman haunted by a demon who finds the key to all things in a strange journal. A giant leviathan of a fish, centuries old, who hides a secret, remembering a past that may not be its own. Three ragtag rebels waging an endless war for the fate of the world against an all-powerful corporation. A raving madman who wanders the desert lost in the past, haunted by his own creation: an invisible monster whose name he has forgotten and whose purpose remains hidden.

Jeff VanderMeer's Dead Astronauts presents a City with no name of its own where, in the shadow of the all-powerful Company, lives human and otherwise converge in terrifying and miraculous ways. At stake: the fate of the future, the fate of Earth... all the Earths.

Acceptance

Southern Reach Trilogy: Book 3

Jeff VanderMeer

The third volume of the extraordinary Southern Reach trilogy.

It is winter in Area X. A new team embarks across the border, on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknown – navigating new terrain and new challenges – the threat to the outside world becomes only more daunting. In this last instalment of the Southern Reach Trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound – or terrifying.

Harrow the Ninth

The Locked Tomb: Book 2

Tamsyn Muir

She answered the Emperor's call.

She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.

In victory, her world has turned to ash.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath -- but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.

Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor's Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?

Natural History

Natural History: Book 1

Justina Robson

IMAGINE A WORLD...

Half-human, half-machine, Voyager Isol was as beautiful as a coiled scorpionand just as dangerous. Her claim that shed found a distant but habitable earthlike planet was welcome news to the rest of the Forged. But it could mean the end of what was left of the humanity whod created and once enslaved them.

IMAGINE A FATE...

It was on behalf of the "unevolved" humans that Professor Zephyr Duquesne, cultural archaeologist and historian of Earths lost worlds, was chosen by the Gaiasol military authority to uncover the truth about this second "earth." And her voyage, traveling inside the body of Isol, will take her to the center of a storm exploding across a spectrum of space and time, dimension and consciousness.

IMAGINE THE IMPOSSIBLE...

On an abandoned planet, in a wrinkle of time, Isol and Zephyr will find a gift and a curse: a power so vast that once unlocked, it will change the universe forever. With civil war looming, Zephyrs perilous journey will lead her to a past where one civilization mysteriously vanished...and another may soon follow.

Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories

China Miéville

A highly anticipated collection of short fiction listed in the Guardian's 'Essential Literary Calendar' for 2015 from one of the most exciting and original authors writing today.

The multi-award-winning China Miéville has been called 'the equal of David Mitchell or Zadie Smith' (Scotland on Sunday), whose 'inventiveness and precision is awesome' (Independent), and who writes with 'an imagination of immense power' (Guardian). In this extraordinary series of stories, defying definitions and literary stereotyping, he once again proves why he 'is one of the most interesting and promising writers to appear in the last few years in any genre' (Carlos Ruiz Zafon).

In these stories, glistening icebergs float above urban horizons; a burning stag runs wild through the city; the ruins of industry emerge unsteadily from the sea; and the abandoned generations in a decayed space-elevator look not up at the stars but down at the Earth. Ranging from portraits of childhood to chilling ghost stories, from dystopian visions to poignant evocations of uncanny love, with beautiful prose and melancholy wit, this breath-taking collection poses searching questions of what it is to be human in an unquiet world. It is a humane and unsentimental investigation of our society, our world, and ourselves.

Table of Contents:

  • Three Moments of an Explosion
  • Polynia
  • The Condition of New Death
  • The Dowager of Bees
  • In The Slopes
  • The Crawl
  • Watching God
  • The 9th Technique
  • The Rope is the World
  • The Buzzard's Egg
  • Säcken
  • Syllabus
  • Dreaded Outcome
  • After the Festival
  • The Dusty Hat
  • Escapee
  • The Bastard Prompt
  • Rules
  • Estate
  • Keep
  • A Second Slice Manifesto
  • Covehithe
  • The Junket
  • Four Final Orpheuses
  • The Rabbet
  • Listen The Birds
  • A Mount
  • The Design

Brightness Falls From the Air

Rift

James Tiptree, Jr.

They have gathered now on Damien and are about to witness the last rising of a manmade nova. They are 16 humans in a distant world about to be enveloped by an eruption of violence--horror and murder oddly complemented by a bizarre unforgiving love. But justice is not all that's about to be found. Judgment is coming and the 16 unsuspecting ones are on the threshold of the murdered star.

The Bees

Laline Paull

The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death.

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen's fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.

Thrilling, suspenseful and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees gives us a dazzling young heroine and will change forever the way you look at the world outside your window.

The Day the World Turned Upside Down

Thomas Olde Heuvelt

That day, the world turned upside down. We didn't know why it happened. Some of us wondered whether it was our fault. Whether we had been praying to the wrong gods, or whether we had said the wrong things. But it wasn't like that--the world simply turned upside down.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed Magazine.

Strata

Terry Pratchett

THE COMPANY BUILDS PLANETS.

Kin Arad is a high-ranking official of the Company. After twenty-one decades of living, and with the help of memory surgery, she is at the top of her profession. Discovering two of her employees have placed a fossilized plesiosaur in the wrong stratum, not to mention the fact it is holding a placard which reads, 'End Nuclear Testing Now', doesn't dismay the woman who built a mountain range in the shape of her initials during her own high-spirited youth.

But then came discovery of something which did intrigue Kin Arad. A flat earth was something new...

Paradox

The Nulapeiron Sequence: Book 1

John Meaney

Centuries of self-imposed isolation have transformed Nulapeiron into a world unlike any other - a world of vast subterranean cities maintained by extraordinary organic technologies. For the majority of its peoples, however such wonders have little meaning. Denied their democratic rights and restricted to the impoverished lower levels, they are subjected to the brutal law of the Logic Lords and the Oracles, supra-human beings whose ability to truecast the future maintains the status quo. But all this is about to change.

In a crowded marketplace a mysterious, beautiful woman is brutally cut down by a militia squad's graser fire. Amongst the horrified onlookers is young Tom Corcorigan. He recognizes her. Only the previous day she had presented him with a small, seemingly insignificant info-crystal. And only now, as the fire in the dying stranger's obsidian eyes fades, does he comprehend who - or what - she really was: a figure from legend, one of the fabled Pilots.

What Tom has still to discover is that his crystal holds the key to understanding mu-space, and so to freedom itself. He doesn't know it yet, but he has been given a destiny to fulfill - nothing less than the rewriting of his future, and that of his world.

Spectacularly staged, thrillingly written and set in a visionary future, Paradox places John Meaney at the forefront of science fiction in this new century.

The Troika

Stepan Chapman

troika, n. [Russ.], 1. a vehicle drawn by a team of three horses abreast. 2. the minimum coordinate set required to define a single point in three-dimensional space. 3. a jeep, a brontosaurus, and an old Mexican woman.

Beneath the glare of three purple suns, manipulated by unseen forces three travelers cross an endless desert: Alex, who wanted to be a machine, Naomi, the human corpsicle, and Eva, who escaped the whale emperor of her native land....