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Mother of Storms

John Barnes

In the middle of the Pacific, a gigantic hurricane accidentally triggered by nuclear explosions spawns dozens more in its wake.A world linked by a virtual-reality network experiences the devastation first hand, witnessing the death of civilization as we know it and the violent birth of an emerging global consciousness.

Vast in scope, yet intimate in personal detail, Mother of Storms is a visionary fusion of cutting-edge cyberspace fiction and heart-stopping storytelling in the grand tradition, filled with passion, tragedy, and the triumph of the human spirit.

The Computer Connection

Alfred Bester

Alfred Bester's first science fiction novel since The Stars My Destination was a major event. A fast-moving adventure story set in Earth's future. A band of immortals - as charming a bunch of eccentrics as you'll ever come across - recruit a new member, the brilliant Cherokee physicist Sequoya Guess. Dr. Guess, with group's help, gain control of Extro, the supercomputer that controls all mechanical activity on Earth. They plan to rid Earth of political repression and to further Guess's researches - which may lead to a great leap in human evolution to produce a race of supermen. But Extro takes over Guess instead and turns malevolent. The task of the merry band suddenly becomes a fight in deadly earnest for the future of Earth.

Sequoya Guess, whom they love, must be killed. And how do you kill an immortal?

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.

Engineman

Eric Brown

The Enginemen once pushed the Bigships through the Nada Continuum, using the power of their minds to propel the ships at faster-than-light speeds. Now the Kielor Vincicoff gates, which twist space and bring distant planets closer, have made both the men and their ships redundant.

Contains the novel and the following stories (other editions may vary):

  • The Girl Who Died for Art and Lived
  • The Phoenix Experiment
  • Big Trouble Upstairs
  • The Star of Epsilon
  • The Time-Lapsed Man
  • The Pineal Zen Equation
  • The Art of Acceptance
  • Elegy Perpetuum

The City and the Stars

Arthur C. Clarke

Men had built cities before, but never such a city as Diaspar; for millennia its protective dome shutout the creeping decay and danger of the world outside. Once, it held powers that rules the stars. But then, as legend had it, The invaders came, driving humanity into this last refuge. It takes one man, A Unique to break through Diaspar's stifling inertia, to smash the legend and discover the true nature of the Invaders.

Tron: A Novel

Brian Daley

Denied Acces to a program he created, computer expert Alan Bradley seeks out Flynn, a video game virtuoso who is the only man cleaver enough to outwit the powerful Master Control Program

Flynn's effeorts are in vain. The Master Control Program shoots him into an incredible electron world, where computer programs are the alter-egos of their programmers, and where video games are battles of life and death.

It is here that Flynn finds TRON, the alter-ego of Alan Bradley and the only program who can overthrow the Master Control. The video wizard and the electronic program join forces in a battle to decide whether man or machine will control the system.

The Rapture of the Nerds

Charles Stross
Cory Doctorow

Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.

Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick that it obscures the sun.

The splintery metaconsciousness of the solar-system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirtside, but its minds sometimes wander... and when that happens, it casually spams Earth's networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies that emulsify whole industries, cultures, and spiritual systems. A sane species would ignore these get-evolved-quick schemes, but there's always someone who'll take a bite from the forbidden apple.

So until the overminds bore of stirring Earth's anthill, there's Tech Jury Service: random humans, selected arbitrarily, charged with assessing dozens of new inventions and ruling on whether to let them loose. Young Huw, a technophobic, misanthropic Welshman, has been selected for the latest jury, a task he does his best to perform despite an itchy technovirus, the apathy of the proletariat, and a couple of truly awful moments on bathroom floors.

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

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Cory Doctorow

Jules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies - and to realize his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World.

Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long-ago twentieth century. Now in the care of a network of volunteer "ad-hocs" who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest high-tech touches.

Now, though, it seems the "ad hocs" are under attack. A new group has taken over the Hall of the Presidents and is replacing its venerable audioanimatronics with new, immersive direct-to-brain interfaces that give guests the illusion of being Washington, Lincoln, and all the others. For Jules, this is an attack on the artistic purity of Disney World itself.

Worse: it appears this new group has had Jules killed. This upsets him. (It's only his fourth death and revival, after all.) Now it's war: war for the soul of the Magic Kingdom, a war of ever-shifting reputations, technical wizardry, and entirely unpredictable outcomes.

Bursting with cutting-edge speculation and human insight, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom reads like Neal Stephenson meets Nick Hornby: a coming-of-age romantic comedy and a kick-butt cybernetic tour de force.

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

Axiomatic

Greg Egan

From junkies who drink at the time-stream to love affairs in time-reversed galaxies; from gene-altered dolphins that converse only in limericks to the program that allows you to design your own child; from the brain implants called axiomatics to the strange attractors that spin off new religions, Greg Egan's future is frighteningly close to our own present.

A Trace of Memory

Keith Laumer

From the Ruins of Stonehenge to the Starships of Vallon he sought the secret of a trace of memory. When the man named Legion signed on as a soldier of fortune he did not expect to end up as the master of a private island nor to cower in ancient druid pits nor fight for his life in the great hall of Okk-Hamiloth, on a planet galaxies away.

Electric Forest

Tanith Lee

The world called Indigo turned upside down for Magdala Cled one unexpected morning. From being that world's only genetic misfit, the shunned outcast of an otherwise ideal society, she became the focus of attention for mighty forces. Once they had installed her in the midst of the Electric Forest, with its weird trees and its super-luxurious private home, Magdala awoke to the potentials which were opening up all about her. And to realize also the peril that now seemed poised above Indigo...which only she, the hated one, could possible circumvent.

Noumenon

Marina J. Lostetter

In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth's solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go?

Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He's discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics, and proposes the creation of a deep-space mission to find out whether the star is a weird natural phenomenon, or something manufactured.

The journey will take eons. In order to maintain the genetic talent of the original crew, humankind's greatest ambition--to explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy--is undertaken by clones. But a clone is not a perfect copy, and each new generation has its own quirks, desires, and neuroses. As the centuries fly by, the society living aboard the nine ships (designated Convoy Seven) changes and evolves, but their mission remains the same: to reach Reggie's mysterious star and explore its origins--and implications.

A mosaic novel of discovery, Noumenon--in a series of vignettes--examines the dedication, adventure, growth, and fear of having your entire world consist of nine ships in the vacuum of space. The men and women, and even the AI, must learn to work and live together in harmony, as their original DNA is continuously replicated and they are born again and again into a thousand new lives. With the stars their home and the unknown their destination, they are on a voyage of many lifetimes--an odyssey to understand what lies beyond the limits of human knowledge and imagination.

Kafka on the Shore

Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami gives us a novel every bit as ambitious and expansive as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has been acclaimed both here and around the world for its uncommon ambition and achievement, and whose still-growing popularity suggests that it will be read and admired for decades to come.

This magnificent new novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch the reader. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle--yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.

Extravagant in its accomplishment, Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world's truly great storytellers at the height of his powers.

Shade's Children

Garth Nix

The Key to Survival Rests in the Hands of Shade's Children

In a futuristic urban wasteland, evil Overlords have decreed that no child shall live a day past his fourteenth birthday. On that Sad Birthday, the child is the object of an obscene harvest resulting in the construction of a machinelike creature whose sole purpose is to kill.

The mysterious Shade -- once a man, but now more like the machines he fights -- recruits the few children fortunate enough to escape. With luck, cunning, and skill, four of Shade's children come closer than any to discovering the source of the Overlords' power -- and the key to their downfall. But the closer the children get, the more ruthless Shade seems to become ...

Fight Club

Chuck Palahniuk

An underground classic since its first publication in 1996, Fight Club is now recognized as one of the most original and provocative novels published in this decade. Chuck Palahniuk's darkly funny first novel tells the story of a godforsaken young man who discovers that his rage at living in a world filled with failure and lies cannot be pacified by an empty consumer culture. Relief for him and his disenfranchised peers comes in the form of secret after-hours boxing matches held in the basements of bars. Fight Club is the brainchild of Tyler Durden, who thinks he has found a way for himself and his friends to live beyond their confining and stultifying lives. But in Tyler's world there are no rules, no limits, no brakes.

Silver Screen

Justina Robson

When Ray Croft dies he leaves behind a mystery that can only be solved by Anjuli O'Connell who has the memory of a machine. It's a mystery whose solution brings into question what it really means to be human. And it will reveal who Ray really was. Will Anjuli go through with it?

Perfect State

Brandon Sanderson

Hugo-nominated Novella

God-Emperor Kairominas is lord of all he surveys. He has defeated all foes, has united the entire world beneath his rule, and has mastered the arcane arts. He spends his time sparring with his nemesis, who keeps trying to invade Kai's world.

Except for today. Today, Kai has to go on a date.

Forces have conspired to require him to meet with his equal – a woman from another world who has achieved just as much as he has. What happens when the most important man in the world is forced to have dinner with the most important woman in the world?

Mindscan

Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer's Hominids, the first volume of his bestselling Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, won the 2003 Hugo Award, and its sequel, Humans, was a 2004 Hugo nominee. Now he's back with a pulse-pounding, mind-expanding standalone novel, rich with his signature philosophical and ethical speculations, all grounded in cutting-edge science.

Jake Sullivan has cheated death: he's discarded his doomed biological body and copied his consciousness into an android form. The new Jake soon finds love, something that eluded him when he was encased in flesh: he falls for the android version of Karen, a woman rediscovering all the joys of life now that she's no longer constrained by a worn-out body either.

But suddenly Karen's son sues her, claiming that by uploading into an immortal body, she has done him out of his inheritance. Even worse, the original version of Jake, consigned to die on the far side of the moon, has taken hostages there, demanding the return of his rights of personhood. In the courtroom and on the lunar surface, the future of uploaded humanity hangs in the balance. Mindscan is vintage Sawyer -- a feast for the mind and the heart.

The Terminal Experiment

Robert J. Sawyer

To test his theories of immortality and life after death, Dr. Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality. The first has all knowledge of physical existence edited out, to simulate life after death. The second is without knowledge of aging or death, to simulate immortality. The third is unmodified, a control.

Now they are free. One is a killer.

The Android's Dream

John Scalzi

A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most... unusual... way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony.

To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinare, who with the help of Brian Javna, a childhood friend turned artificial intelligence, scours the earth looking for the rare creature. And they find it, in the unknowing form of Robin Baker, pet store owner, whose genes contain traces of the sheep DNA.

But there are others with plans for the sheep as well: Mercenaries employed by the military. Adherents of a secret religion based on the writings of a 21st century science fiction author. And alien races, eager to start a revolution on their home world and a war on Earth.

To keep our planet from being enslaved, Harry will have to pull off the greatest diplomatic coup in history, a grand gambit that will take him from the halls of power to the lava-strewn battlefields of alien worlds. There's only one chance to get it right, to save the life of Robin Baker -- and to protect the future of humanity.

Glasshouse

Charles Stross

When Robin wakes up in a clinic with most of his memories missing, it doesn't take him long to discover that someone's trying to kill him. It's the twenty-seventh century, when interstellar travel is by teleport gate and conflicts are fought by network worms that censor refugees' personalities-including Robin's earlier self.

On the run from unknown enemies, he volunteers to participate in a unique experimental polity, the Glasshouse, constructed to simulate a preaccelerated culture. Participants are assigned anonymized identities: it looks like the ideal hiding place for a posthuman on the run. But in this escape-proof environment, Robin will undergo an even more radical change, placing him at the mercy of the experimenters-and at the mercy of his own unbalanced psyche.

Dreaming in Smoke

Tricia Sullivan

Kalypso Deed is a shotgun, riding the interface between the AI Ganesh and human scientists who solve problems through cyberassisted Dreams. But she's young and a little careless; she'd rather mix drinks and play jazz. Azamat Marcsson is a colorless statistician: middle-aged, boring, and obsessed with microorganisms. A first-class nonentity--until one of his Dreams implodes, taking Kalypso with it.

Now Ganesh is crashing, and nothing could be worse. For on the planet T'nane, it is the AI alone that keeps the colonists alive, eking out a grim existence in an environment inimical to human life. To save the colony, Kalypso must persuade Marcsson to finish the Dream that is destroying Ganesh. But Marcsson has gone mad, and T'nane itself has plans for them both that will alter their minds--and their world--forever.

Grand Jeté (The Great Leap)

Rachel Swirsky

Nebula-nominated Novella

"Grand Jeté (The Great Leap)" explores three narratives, all bound together: a young girl dying of cancer, her father the tinkerer who has built an artificial version of her to continue her life, and the artificial version--the "new child"--Ruth. It's a complex story about loss and survival, thickly woven with Jewish cultural context and history; while the whole "brain-map AI to continue the life of a dying person (or replace them)" trope itself isn't fresh, the dynamics of this family and their handling of it are.
(synopsis by Brit Mandelo at Tor.com)


Read this story online for free at Subterranean Press.

Genetic Soldier

George Turner

Returning to an overpopulated Earth after an unsuccessful, seven-century search for habitable planets, the crew of the starship Search is confronted by a hostile, anarchistic Earth culture that resists their peaceful overtures.

Silently and Very Fast

Catherynne M. Valente

Hugo- and Nebula-nominated Novella

Fantastist Catherynne M. Valente takes on the folklore of artificial intelligence in this brand new, original novella of technology, identity, and an uncertain mechanized future.

Neva is dreaming. But she is not alone. A mysterious machine entity called Elefsis haunts her and the members of her family, back through the generations to her great-great grandmother-a gifted computer programmer who changed the world. Together Neva and Elefsis navigate their history and their future, an uneasy, unwilling symbiote. But what they discover in their dreamworld might change them forever...


Read this story online for free at Clarkesworld: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

The Persistence of Vision (collection)

John Varley

Genetic engineering, sex changes, arcane pleasures, computer technology, and communication beyond the five senses are among the topics treated in nine stories by an acclaimed new science-fiction writer.

Contents:

The Cookie Monster

Vernor Vinge

Hugo and Locus Award winning and Nebula Award nominated novella. It originally appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October 2003. The story can also be found in the anthologies Science Fiction: The Best of 2003, edited by Karen Haber and Jonathan Strahan, The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-First Annual Collection (2004), edited by Gardner Dozois and Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology (2012), edited by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly.

True Names

Vernor Vinge

Hugo and Nebula Award nominated novella. It originally appeared in the anthology Binary Star No. 5 (1981). It can also be found in the anthologies Visions of Wonder (1996), edited by David G. Hartwell and Milton T. Wolf and True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier (2001) edited by James Frenkel. It was published as a sepperate novella in 1984 and is included in the collection True Names... and Other Dangers (1987).

Sleeper

Jo Walton

History is a thing we make--in more senses than one. And from more directions.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

The Jonah Kit

Ian Watson

When a young Russian boy disappears from a top-secret research establishment, and turns up in Tokyo, he presents a major problem for American security officials. The youth appears to be part of a sophisticated experiment--and to have the mind of a supposedly dead astronaut perfectly imprinted on his own. And, the boy claims the tests have been extended to a whale. As these strange events unfold, other cataclysmic events begin to occur too: a groundbreaking Nobel Prize winner proves that what we perceive as the universe is nothing more than a ghost of the real thing. Then the whales begin singing their death-mantra throughout the world's oceans.

A Borrowed Man

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.

Home Fires

Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe takes us to a future North America at once familiar and utterly strange. A young man and woman, Skip and Chelle, fall in love in college and marry, but she is enlisted in the military, there is a war on, and she must serve her tour of duty before they can settle down. But the military is fighting a war with aliens in distant solar systems, and her months in the service will be years in relative time on Earth. Chelle returns to recuperate from severe injuries, after months of service, still a young woman but not necessarily the same person-while Skip is in his forties and a wealthy businessman, but eager for her return.

Still in love (somewhat to his surprise and delight), they go on a Caribbean cruise to resume their marriage. Their vacation rapidly becomes a complex series of challenges, not the least of which are spies, aliens, and battles with pirates who capture the ship for ransom. There is no writer in SF like Gene Wolfe and no SF novel like Home Fires.

Archetype

Archetype: Book 1

M. D. Waters

Introducing a breathtakingly inventive futuristic suspense novel about one woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe.

Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.

Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which...

Bridesicle

Bridesicle

Will McIntosh

Eighty years after her death in a car accident, Mira awakens in a "dating center". The patrons of the dating center are lonely men seeking wives, and dead women in cryogenic storage. A male patron can revive a female patron's head and interview her -- and, if he doesn't like her, press a button to immediately return her to storage. As various suitors reject her, and the years go by, Mira's only chance to avoid being frozen forever is to convince a total stranger that she loves him enough that he should pay for her full revival.

This Hugo Award-winnning and Nebula Award-nominated short story was originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, January 2009, and can also be found in Nebula Awards Showcase 2011, edited by Kevin J. Anderson.

Listen to a podcast of this story at EscapePod.

The Dosadi Experiment

ConSentient: Book 2

Frank Herbert

Generations of a tormented human-alien people, caged on a toxic planet, conditioned by constant hunger and war-this is the Dosadi Experiment, and it has succeeded too well. For the Dosadi have bred for Vengeance as well as cunning, and they have learned how to pass through the shimmering God Wall to exact their dreadful revenge on the Universe that created them.

Ubik

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 63

Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick's searing metaphysical comedy of death and salvation is a tour de force of panoramic menace and unfettered slapstick, in which the departed give business advice, shop for their next incarnation, and run the continual risk of dying yet again.

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 68

Philip K. Dick

The Three Stigmata hid a secret that could transform the world - or end it...

When the mysterious Palmer Eldritch returned from a distant galaxy, he claimed to have brought a gift for mankind. Chew-Z was a drug capable of transporting people into an illusory world, a world the could linger in for years wihout losing a second of Earth time. For the lonely colonists living out their dreary term on Mars, here was the ultimate trip, a pastime that could deliver immortality, wish fulfillment... the twin-power over time and space.

But in return, Palmer Eldritch exacted a terrible price. He would enter, control and be a god in everyone's private universe - a universe from which there was no escape, not even death...

Voice of the Whirlwind

Hardwired: Book 2

Walter Jon Williams

Steward is a Beta— a clone. In his memories, he’s an elite commando for an orbital policorp— but because his Alpha never did a brain-scan update, Steward’s memories are fifteen years out of date . . . and in those fifteen years, everything has changed.

An interstellar war destroyed the company that held his allegiance. His wife has divorced him, along with the second wife that he can’t even remember. Most of his comrades died in a useless battle on a world called Sheol, and those who survived are irrevocably scarred. An alien race has arrived and become the center of a complex and deadly intrigue.

And someone has murdered him.

Legion of the Damned

Legion of the Damned: Book 1

William C. Dietz

In the future, the terminally ill can prolong life by surrendering their consciousness to a cybernetic life form that is then recruited into the notorious Legion of the Damned, an elite fighting unit charged with protecting humanity.

Time Pressure

Lifehouse: Book 2

Spider Robinson

When a beautiful girl appeared in a globe of blue light in a snowbound forest and said she had come back in time, Sam thought it was the most wonderful thing that could possibly happen. But then he began to notice sinister things about her, and thought he would have to kill her to save the present. Except that there was a third possibility, and that really was the most wonderful thing that could possibly happen...

Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome

Lock In

John Scalzi

A new near-future science fiction novella by John Scalzi, one of the most popular authors in modern SF. Unlocked traces the medical history behind a virus that will sweep the globe and affect the majority of the world's population, setting the stage for Lock In, the next major novel by John Scalzi.

Read this story online for free at Tor.com.

Lock In

Lock In: Book 1

John Scalzi

Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselvs "locked in"-fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus.

One per cent doesn't seem like a lot. But in the United States, that's 1.7 million people "locked in"... including the President's wife and daughter.

Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can restore the ability to control their own bodies to the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, "The Agora," in which the locked-in can interact with other humans, both locked-in and not. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, meaning that from time to time, those who are locked in can "ride" these people and use their bodies as if they were their own.

This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse....

The Night Mayor

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 24

Kim Newman

Truro Daine, a dangerous criminal who has been confined to imprisonment, escapes his incarceration by inventing a computer-generated dream world, which he rules as the Night Mayor.

This first novel is a highly entertaining and imaginative journey between fact, fiction, and fantasy in the depths of a city where it is always two-thirty in the morning and always raining. "The conventions of film noir are lovingly exploited in this entertaining novel".--New York Times Book Review.

The Mind Cage

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 34

A. E. Van Vogt

David Marin risks his career to defend Wade Trask, a scientist being tried for sedition, but when Trask switches their brains, Marin finds himself branded an enemy of the state.

The Bohr Maker

Nanotech Succession: Book 1

Linda Nagata

It is the most powerful technology known to humanity, microscopically small, allowing its user to control and change other's moods and emotions, and even to reprogram his or her own genetic structure. Its potential as the ultimate weapon or an instrument of peace has led to its ban by the Commonwealth.

Someone has stolen this outlaw technology, the Bohr Maker, from the secret files of the Commonwealth Police, at the command of a man with a genetic time bomb coded into his DNA. Nikko Jiang-Tibayan has only weeks to live, and he will do anything to stay only weeks to live, and he will do anything to stay alive, even if it means the end of life as we know it.

But then the Bohr Maker falls into the hands of a beautiful young woman in the poverty-stricken slums of Sunda. Its technology will make her both fugitive and messiah. The object of frantic searches by a walking dead man and a high-tech police force, the Maker holds the key to the total destruction of humanity -- or its miraculous rebirth....

The End of All Things

Old Man's War: Book 6

John Scalzi

Humans expanded into space... only to find a universe populated with multiple alien species bent on their destruction. Thus was the Colonial Union formed, to help protect us from a hostile universe. The Colonial Union used the Earth and its excess population for colonists and soldiers. It was a good arrangement... for the Colonial Union. Then the Earth said: no more.

Now the Colonial Union is living on borrowed time - a couple of decades at most, before the ranks of the Colonial Defense Forces are depleted and the struggling human colonies are vulnerable to the alien species who have been waiting for the first sign of weakness, to drive humanity to ruin. And there's another problem: A group, lurking in the darkness of space, playing human and alien against each other - and against their own kind - for their own unknown reasons.

In this collapsing universe, CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson and the Colonial Union diplomats he works with race against the clock to discover who is behind attacks on the Union and on alien races, to seek peace with a suspicious, angry Earth, and keep humanity's union intact... or else risk oblivion, and extinction - and the end of all things.

Table of Contents:

  • The Life of the Mind - novella
  • This Hollow Union - novella
  • Can Long Endure - novella
  • To Stand or Fall - novella
  • An Alternate "The Life of the Mind": Deleted and Alternate Scenes - novella

City of Golden Shadow

Otherland: Book 1

Tad Williams

The first volume in this mesmerizing story takes readers to the near-future, when a global conspiracy threatens to sacrifice the Earth for the promise of a far more exclusive place--Otherland, a universe where any fantasy can be made real.

Queen of Angels

Queen of Angels: Book 1

Greg Bear

Los Angeles 2047, a city on the eve of the Binary Millennium. Public Defender Mary Choy faces her toughest assignment yet - to bring back Emanuel Goldsmith, acclaimed poet turned mass killer, from the heart of a Caribbean island that is about to explode in revolution.

Altered Carbon

Takeshi Kovacs Series: Book 1

Richard K. Morgan

In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats "existence" as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning....

Broken Angels

Takeshi Kovacs Series: Book 2

Richard K. Morgan

Fifty years after the events of ALTERED CARBON, Takeshi Kovacs is serving as a mercenary in the Procterate-sponsored war to put down Joshuah Kemp's revolution on the planet Sanction IV. He is offered the chance to join a covert team chasing a prize whose value is limitless -- and whose dangers are endless.

Here is a novel that takes mankind to the brink. A breakneck-paced crime thriller, ALTERED CARBON took its readers deep into the universe Morgan had so compellingly realised without ever letting them escape the onward rush of the plot. BROKEN ANGELS melds SF, the war novel and the spy thriller to take the reader below the surface of this future and lay bare the treacheries, betrayals and follies that leave man so ill-prepared for the legacy he has been given: the stars. This is SF at its dizzying best: superb, yet subtle, world-building; strong yet sensitive characterisation; awesome yet believable technology, thilling yet profound writing. Richard Morgan is set to join the genre's world-wide elite.

Woken Furies

Takeshi Kovacs Series: Book 3

Richard K. Morgan

Takeshi Kovacs has come home. Home to Harlan's World. An ocean planet with only 5% of its landmass poking above the dangerous and unpredictable seas. Try and get above the weather in anything more sophisticated than a helicopter and the Martian orbital platforms will burn you out of the sky. And death doesn't just wait for you in the seas and the skies.

On land, from the tropical beaches and swamps of Kossuth to the icy, machine-infested wastes of New Hokkaido the hard won gains of the Quellist revolution have been lost. The First Families, the corporations and the Yakuza have a stranglehold on everything. Embarked on a journey of implacable retribution for a lost love, Kovacs is blown off course and into a maelstrom of political intrigue and technological mystery as the ghosts of Harlan's World and his own violent past rise to claim their due. Quellcrist Falconer is back from the dead, they say, and hunting her down for the First Families is a savage young Envoy called Kovacs who's been in storage.

The Queen of Air and Darkness (collection)

The Collected Short Works of Poul Anderson: Book 2

Poul Anderson

Table of Contents:

  • Editor's Introduction (Rick Katze)
  • Poul Anderson by Mike Resnick
  • The Queen of Air and Darkness
  • Jennifer's Lament
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Cradle Song
  • Operation Afreet
  • On Imaginary Science
  • Upon the Occasion of Being Asked at a Court of Love to Declare That About His Lady Which Pleases Him the Most
  • The Longest Voyage
  • Brave to Be a King
  • Midsummer Song
  • Christa McAuliffe
  • Brake
  • Jennifer's Song
  • The Hardness of Hard Science Fiction
  • The Burning Bridge
  • Veleda Speaks
  • Science Fiction and History
  • A World Called Maanerek
  • The Pirate
  • To Build a World
  • Say It with Flowers
  • My Object All Sublime
  • Innocent at Large
  • Route Song of the Winged Folk
  • The Corkscrew of Space
  • A Little Knowledge
  • Marque and Reprisal
  • Uncleftish Beholding
  • The Critique of Impure Reason
  • Science and Creation
  • Of the Sea
  • Epilogue
  • Tanka

We Can Remember It for You Wholesale

The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick: Book 5

Philip K. Dick

Many thousands of readers consider Philip K. Dick the greatest science fiction mind on any planet. Since his untimely death in 1982, interest in Dick's works has continued to mount and his reputation has been further enhanced by a growing body of critical attention. The Philip K. Dick Award is now given annually to a distinguished work of science fiction, and the Philip K. Dick Society is devoted to the study and promulgation of his works.

This collection includes all of the writer's earliest short and medium-length fiction (including some previously unpublished stories) covering the years 1952-1955. These fascinating stories include We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, The Cookie Lady, The World She Wanted, and many others.

Also Printed as The Little Black Box.

Surface Detail

The Culture Cycle: Book 9

Iain M. Banks

It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters.

It begins with a murder.

And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.

Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture.

Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful though it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. With the assistance of one of its most powerful - and arguably deranged - warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on. A war - brutal, far-reaching - is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead, and it's about to erupt into reality.

It started in the realm of the Real and that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives and affect entire civilizations, but at the center of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.

SURFACE DETAIL is Iain M. Banks' new Culture novel, a breathtaking achievement from a writer whose body of work is without parallel in the modern history of science fiction.

The Golden Age

The Golden Age: Book 1

John C. Wright

The Golden Age is Grand Space Opera, a large-scale SF adventure novel in the tradition of A. E. Van vogt and Roger Zelazny, with perhaps a bit of Cordwainer Smith enriching the style. It is an astounding story of super science, a thrilling wonder story that recaptures the excitements of SF's golden age writers.

The Golden Age takes place 10,000 years in the future in our solar system, an interplanetary utopian society filled with immortal humans. Within the frame of a traditional tale-the one rebel who is unhappy in utopia-Wright spins an elaborate plot web filled with suspense and passion.

Phaethon, of Radamanthus House, is attending a glorious party at his family mansion to celebrate the thousand-year anniversary of the High Transcendence. There he meets first an old man who accuses him of being an impostor and then a being from Neptune who claims to be an old friend. The Neptunian tells him that essential parts of his memory were removed and stored by the very government that Phaethon believes to be wholly honorable. It shakes his faith. He is an exile from himself.

And so Phaethon embarks upon a quest across the transformed solar system--Jupiter is now a second sun, Mars and Venus terraformed, humanity immortal--among humans, intelligent machines, and bizarre life forms that are partly both, to recover his memory, and to learn what crime he planned that warranted such preemptive punishment. His quest is to regain his true identity.

The Golden Age is one of the major, ambitious SF novels of the year and the international launch of an important new writer in the genre.

The Phoenix Exultant

The Golden Age: Book 2

John C. Wright

The Phoenix Exultant is a continuation of the story begun in The Golden Age and like it, a grand space opera in the tradition of Jack Vance and Roger Zelazny (with a touch of Cordwainer Smith-style invention).

At the conclusion of the first book, Phaethon of Radamanthus House, was left an exile from his life of power and privilege. Now he embarks upon a quest across the transformed solar system--Jupiter is a second sun, Mars and Venus terraformed, humanity immortal--among humans, intelligent machines, and bizarre life forms, to recover his memory, to regain his place in society and to move that society away from stagnation and toward the stars. And most of all Phaethon's quest is to regain ownership of the magnificent starship, the Phoenix Exultant, the most wonderful ship ever built, and fly her to the stars.

The Phoenix Exultantis an astounding story of super science, a thrilling wonder story that recaptures the verve of SF's golden age writers It is a suitably grand and stirring fulfillment of the promise shown in The Golden Age and confirms John C. Wright as a major new talent in the field. He concludes the Golden Age trilogy in The Golden Transcendence.

The Quantum Thief

The Quantum Thief Trilogy: Book 1

Hannu Rajaniemi

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself.

Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed ...

The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future - a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.

The Fractal Prince

The Quantum Thief Trilogy: Book 2

Hannu Rajaniemi

"The good thing is, no one will ever die again. The bad thing is, everyone will want to."

A physicist receives a mysterious paper. The ideas in it are far, far ahead of current thinking and quite, quite terrifying. In a city of "fast ones," shadow players, and jinni, two sisters contemplate a revolution. And on the edges of reality a thief, helped by a sardonic ship, is trying to break into a Schrödinger box for his patron. In the box is his freedom. Or not.

Jean de Flambeur is back. And he's running out of time.

In Hannu Rajaniemi's sparkling follow-up to the critically acclaimed international sensation The Quantum Thief, he returns to his awe-inspiring vision of the universe...and we discover what the future held for Earth.

The Causal Angel

The Quantum Thief Trilogy: Book 3

Hannu Rajaniemi

With his infectious love of storytelling in all its forms, his rich characterization and his unrivaled grasp of thrillingly bizarre cutting-edge science, Hannu Rajaniemi swiftly set a new benchmark for Science Fiction in the 21st century. Now, with his third novel, he completes the tale of the many lives, and minds, of gentleman rogue Jean de Flambeur.

Influenced as much by the fin de siècle novels of Maurice leBlanc as he is by the greats of SF, Rajaniemi weaves intricate, warm capers through dazzling science, extraordinary visions of a wild future,and deep conjectures on the nature of reality and story.

In The Causal Angel we will discover the ultimate fates of Jean, his employer Miele, the independently minded ship Perhonnen, and the rest of a fractured and diverse humanity flung throughout the solar system.

Mona Lisa Overdrive

The Sprawl Trilogy: Book 3

William Gibson

William Gibson, author of the extraordinary multiaward-winning novel Neuromancer, has written his most brilliant and thrilling work to date... The Mona Lisa Overdrive.

Enter Gibson's unique world--lyric and mechanical, erotic and violent, sobering and exciting--where multinational corporations and high tech outlaws vie for power, traveling into the computer-generated universe known as cyberspace.

Into this world comes Mona, a young girl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is on a collision course with internationally famous Sense/Net star Angie Mitchell.

Since childhood, Angie has been able to tap into cyberspace without a computer.

Now, from inside cyberspace, a kidnapping plot is masterminded by a phantom entity who has plans for Mona, Angie, and all humanity, plans that cannot be controlled... or even known.

And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yazuka, the powerful Japanese underworld, whose leaders ruthlessly manipulate people and events to suit their own purposes... or so they think.

Valis

The Valis Trilogy: Book 1

Philip K. Dick

Valis is the first book in Philip K. Dick's incomparable final trio of novels (the others being are The Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer).

This disorienting and bleakly funny work is about a schizophrenic hero named Horselover Fat; the hidden mysteries of Gnostic Christianity; and reality as revealed through a pink laser. Valis is a theological detective story, in which God is both a missing person and the perpetrator of the ultimate crime.

Lady of Mazes

Ventus

Karl Schroeder

Karl Schroeder returns to the same distant future in which Ventus was set, but employing a broader canvas, to tell the story of Teven Coronal, a ringworld with a huge multiplicity of human civilizations. Brilliant but troubled Livia Kodaly is Teven's only hope against invaders both human and superhuman who would destroy its fragile ecologies and human diversity.

Software

Ware: Book 1

Rudy Rucker

It was Cobb Anderson who built the"boppers"--the first robots with real brains. Now, in 2020, Cobb is just another aged "pheezer" with a bad heart, drinking and grooving an the old tunes in Florida retirement hell. His "bops" have came a long way, though, rebelling against their subjugation to set up their own society an the moon. And now they're offering creator Cobb immortality but at a stiff price: his body his soul... and his world.

Zer0es

Zer0es: Book 1

Chuck Wendig

An exhilarating thrill-ride through the underbelly of cyber espionage in the vein of David Ignatius's The Director and the television series Leverage, CSI: Cyber, and Person of Interest, which follows five iconoclastic hackers who are coerced into serving the U.S. government.

An Anonymous-style rabble rouser, an Arab spring hactivist, a black-hat hacker, an old-school cipherpunk, and an online troll are each offered a choice: go to prison or help protect the United States, putting their brains and skills to work for the government for one year.

But being a white-hat doesn't always mean you work for the good guys. The would-be cyberspies discover that behind the scenes lurks a sinister NSA program, an artificial intelligence code-named Typhon, that has origins and an evolution both dangerous and disturbing. And if it's not brought down, will soon be uncontrollable.

Can the hackers escape their federal watchers and confront Typhon and its mysterious creator? And what does the government really want them to do? If they decide to turn the tables, will their own secrets be exposed--and their lives erased like lines of bad code?

Combining the scientific-based, propulsive narrative style of Michael Crichton with the eerie atmosphere and conspiracy themes of The X-Files and the imaginative, speculative edge of Neal Stephenson and William Gibson, Zer0es explores our deep-seated fears about government surveillance and hacking in an inventive fast-paced novel sure to earn Chuck Wendig the widespread acclaim he deserves.