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Robot Uprisings

Daniel H. Wilson
John Joseph Adams

Humans beware. As the robotic revolution continues to creep into our lives, it brings with it an impending sense of doom. What horrifying scenarios might unfold if our technology were to go awry? From self-aware robotic toys to intelligent machines violently malfunctioning, this anthology brings to life the half-formed questions and fears we all have about the increasing presence of robots in our lives. With contributions from a mix of bestselling, award-winning, and up-and-coming writers, and including a rare story by "the father of artificial intelligence," Dr. John McCarthy, Robot Uprisings meticulously describes the exhilarating and terrifying near-future in which humans can only survive by being cleverer than the rebellious machines they have created.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword by Daniel H. Wilson
  • Complex God by Scott Sigler
  • Cycles by Charles Yu
  • Lullaby by Anna North
  • Eighty Miles an Hour All the Way to Paradise by Genevieve Valentine
  • Executable by Hugh Howey
  • The Omnibot Incident by Ernest Cline
  • Epoch by Cory Doctorow
  • Human Intelligence by Jeff Abbott
  • The Golden Hour by Julianna Baggott
  • Sleepover by Alastair Reynolds
  • Seasoning by Alan Dean Foster
  • Nanonauts! In Battle with Tiny Death-subs! by Ian McDonald
  • Of Dying Heroes and Deathless Deeds by Robin Wasserman
  • The Robot and the Baby by John McCarthy
  • We are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War by Seanan McGuire
  • Spider the Artist by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Small Things by Daniel H. Wilson

Assemblers of Infinity

Doug Beason
Kevin J. Anderson

It is the twenty-first century. Earth's space program is thriving, with a colony in place in the Moon. And then an incredible discovery is made on the lunar farside. A massive structure is being erected by living machines--microscopically small, intelligent, unstoppable, consuming whatever they touch. All who come near them die horribly. Meanwhile, the mysterious structure continues to grow, expand, take shape. And its creators begin to multiply....

Is this the first strike in an alien invasion from the stars? Or has human nanotech experimentation gone awry, triggering a long-predicted disaster? As riots rage across a panicked Earth, scientists on Earth and on the Moon race to learn the truth before humanity's home is engulfed by the voracious machines and its inhabitants perish in the most terrifying plague ever known.

Company Town

Madeline Ashby

They call it Company Town--a Family-owned city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes.

Meet Hwa. One of the few in her community to forego bio-engineered enhancements, she's the last truly organic person left on the rig. But she's an expert in the arts of self-defence, and she's been charged with training the Family's youngest, who has been receiving death threats--seemingly from another timeline.

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city's stability--serial killer? Or something much, much worse...

Blood Music

Greg Bear

An amazing breakthrough in genetic engineering made by Vergil Ulam is considered too dangerous for further research, but rather than destroy his work, he injects himself with his creation and walks out of his lab, unaware of just quite how his actions will change the world. Author Greg Bear's treatment of the traditional tale of scientific hubris is both suspenseful and a compelling portrait of a new intelligence emerging amongst us, irrevocably changing our world.

Blood Music (novelette)

Greg Bear

Hugo and Nebula Award winning novelette. It originally appeared in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1983. It has been expanded to the full novel Blood Music (1985) and has been reprinted many times. It can be found in the anthologies:

It is included in the collections Tangents (1989) and The Collected Stories of Greg Bear (2002).

Read the full story for free at the Baen website.

Moxyland

Lauren Beukes

A frighteningly persuasive, high-tech fable, this novel follows the lives of four narrators living in an alternative futuristic Cape Town, South Africa.

Kendra, an art-school dropout, brands herself for a nanotech marketing program; Lerato, an ambitious AIDS baby, plots to defect from her corporate employers; Tendeka, a hot-headed activist, is becoming increasingly rabid; and Toby, a roguish blogger, discovers that the video games he plays for cash are much more than they seem.

On a collision course that will rewire their lives, this story crackles with bold and infectious ideas, connecting a ruthless corporate-apartheid government with video games, biotech attack dogs, slippery online identities, a township soccer school, shocking cell phones, addictive branding, and genetically modified art. Taking hedonistic trends in society to their ultimate conclusions, this tale paints anything but a forecasted utopia, satirically undermining the reified idea of progress as society's white knight.

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.

Permutation City

Greg Egan

The story of a man with a vision - immortality : for those who can afford it is found in cyberspace. Permutation city is the tale of a man with a vision - how to create immortality - and how that vision becomes something way beyond his control. Encompassing the lives and struggles of an artificial life junkie desperate to save her dying mother, a billionaire banker scarred by a terrible crime, the lovers for whom, in their timeless virtual world, love is not enough - and much more - Permutation city is filled with the sense of wonder.

Midnight Robber

Nalo Hopkinson

Prisoner of New Half-Way Tree

It's Carnival time and the Caribbean-colonized planet of Toussaint is celebrating with music, dance, and pageantry. Masked "Midnight Robbers" waylay revelers with brandished weapons and spellbinding words. But to young Tan-Tan, the Robber Queen is simply a favorite costume to wear at the festival -- until her power-corrupted father commits an unforgivable crime.

Suddenly, both father and daughter are thrust into the brutal world of New Half-Way Tree. Here monstrous creatures from folklore are real, and the humans are violent outcasts in the wilds. Here Tan-Tan must reach into the heart of myth -- and become the Robber Queen herself. For only the Robber Queen's legendary powers can save her life... and set her free.

Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriot

Project Itoh

Solid Snake is a soldier and part of a worldwide nanotechnology network known as the Sons of the Patriots. Time is running out for Snake though, as he will soon succumb to the FOXDIE virus, but not before spreading the disease to nearly everyone he encounters, in essence becoming a walking biological weapon. Snake will need every advantage he can get, as the SOP network is about to be hacked by his old enemy Liquid Ocelot, and whoever controls SOP controls the world.

The Cusanus Game

Wolfgang Jeschke

Biologist Domenica Ligrina fears her planet is dying. She might be right.

An atomic disaster near the French-German border has contaminated Northern Europe with radioactivity. Economic and political calamities are destroying the whole planet. Human DNA is mutating, plant species are going extinct, and scientists are feverishly working on possible solutions. It becomes increasingly apparent that the key to future salvation lies in the past. In 2052 a secret research facility in the Vatican is recruiting scientists for a mission to restore the flora of the irradiated territories. The institute claims to have time travel. When Domenica’s sometime-lover tells her that he knows her future but that she must decide her own fate, she enlists despite his ambiguous warning.

The Middle Ages hold Domenica spellbound. She immerses herself in the mysteries, puzzles, and peculiarities of a culture foreign to her, though she risks changing the past with effects far more disastrous than radiation poisoning. Perhaps there is more than one Domenica, and more than one catastrophe

In the tradition of Stanislaw Lem and Philip K. Dick, Wolfgang Jeschke's The Cusanus Game is a novel of future disaster in Europe by the grand master of German science fiction.

The Summer Prince

Alaya Dawn Johnson

A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that's sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June's best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government's strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson.

Forest of Memory

Mary Robinette Kowal

Katya deals in Authenticities and Captures, trading on nostalgia for a past long gone. Her clients are rich and they demand items and experiences with only the finest verifiable provenance. Other people's lives have value, after all.

But when her A.I. suddenly stops whispering in her ear she finds herself cut off from the grid and loses communication with the rest of the world.

The man who stepped out of the trees while hunting deer cut her off from the cloud, took her A.I. and made her his unwilling guest.

There are no Authenticities or Captures to prove Katya's story of what happened in the forest. You'll just have to believe her.

Old Paint

Megan Lindholm

This story was originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, July 2012. It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection (2013), edited by Gardner Dozois and Year's Best SF 18 (2013), edited by David G. Hartwell.

Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

The Regular

Ken Liu

Nebula-nominated Novella

"The Regular" by Ken Liu seamlessly blends futuristic technology into detective noir. It shares the tropes of the typical pulpish P.I. novel; the main character has a shattered family and a contentious relationship with law enforcement. It's also got one of the most interesting speculative elements in the book; while most of the stories deal with replaced limbs and body systems and such -- what we tend to visualize when we think "cyborg" -- one of several available "upgrades" in this story is a Regulator, which stabilizes adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin for optimal emotional performance. It's dependence on this device that puts a twist on the typical P.I. addiction narrative, and it's the ocean of grief that threatens to overwhelm detective Ruth that gives her the wisdom to overcome desperate odds when all the electronic advancements on Earth can't help her.
(synopsis by The Skiffy and Fanty Show)


Read this story online for free at Neil Clarke's Forever magazine (mobi or epub).

The Dervish House

Ian McDonald

It begins with an explosion. Another day, another bus bomb. Everyone it seems is after a piece of Turkey. But the shockwaves from this random act of 21st century pandemic terrorism will ripple further and resonate louder than just Enginsoy Square.

Welcome to the world of The Dervish House; the great, ancient, paradoxical city of Istanbul, divided like a human brain, in the great, ancient, equally paradoxical nation of Turkey. The year is 2027 and Turkey is about to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its accession to the European Union; a Europe that now runs from the Arran Islands to Ararat. Population pushing one hundred million, Istanbul swollen to fifteen million; Turkey is the largest, most populous and most diverse nation in the EU, but also one of the poorest and most socially divided. It's a boom economy, the sweatshop of Europe, the bazaar of central Asia, the key to the immense gas wealth of Russia and Central Asia.

Gas is power. But it's power at a price, and that price is emissions permits. This is the age of carbon consciousness: every individual in the EU has a card stipulating individual carbon allowance that must be produced at every CO2 generating transaction. For those who can master the game, who can make the trades between gas price and carbon trading permits, who can play the power factions against each other, there are fortunes to be made. The old Byzantine politics are back. They never went away.

The ancient power struggled between Sunni and Shia threatens like a storm: Ankara has watched the Middle East emerge from twenty-five years of sectarian conflict. So far it has stayed aloof. A populist Prime Minister has called a referendum on EU membership. Tensions run high. The army watches, hand on holster. And a Galatasary Champions' League football game against Arsenal stokes passions even higher.

The Dervish House is seven days, six characters, three interconnected story strands, one central common core--the eponymous dervish house, a character in itself--that pins all these players together in a weave of intrigue, conflict, drama and a ticking clock of a thriller.

Stone

Adam Roberts

Sprung from a prison in the centre of a star the universe's last criminal is employed to kill the population of a planet. It is a crime that will tear apart an interstellar utopia. Keeping ahead of detection and preparing the crime the killer voyages to numerous worlds and hones the instincts required for murder. And wonders who is behind the contract. Roberts' new novel is an extraordinary fusing of ideas, exotic locations, personal drama and an enquiry into the nature of crime in a society that thinks it has forgotten how to commit it.

The Diamond Age

Neal Stephenson

Decades into our future, a stone's throw from the ancient city of Shanghai, abrilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth has just broken therigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful neoVictorians. He's made anillicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called A Young LadysIllustrated Primer Commissioned by an eccentric duke for his grandchild,stolen for Hackworth's own daughter, the Primer's purpose is to educateand raise a girl capable of thinking for herself. It performs its functionsuperbly. Unfortunately for Hackworth, his smuggled copy has fallen into thewrong hands.

Young Nell and her brother Harv are thetes--members of the poor, tribelessclass. Neglected by their mother, Harv looks after Nell. When he and his gangwaylay a certain neo-Victorian--John Percival Hackworth-- in the seamy streetsof their neighborhood, Harv brings Nell something special: the Primer.

Following the discovery of his crime, Hackworth begins an odyssey of his own.Expelled from the neo-Victorian paradise, squeezed by agents of ProtocolEnforcement on one side and a Mandarin underworld crime lord on the other, hesearches for an elusive figure known as the Alchemist. His quest and Nell'swill ultimately lead them to another seeker whose fate is bound up with thePrimer-- a woman who holds the key to a vast, subversive informationnetwork that is destined to decode and reprogram the future of humanity.

Influx

Daniel Suarez

What if our civilization is more advanced than we know?

Are smart phones really humanity's most significant innovation since the moon landings? Or can something else explain why the bold visions of the 20th century - fusion power, genetic enhancements, artificial intelligence, cures for common disease, extended human life, and a host of other world-changing advances - have remained beyond our grasp? Why has the high-tech future that seemed imminent in the 1960's failed to arrive?

Perhaps it did arrive... but only for a select few.

Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they've been working toward for years: a device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics - the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring. This Bureau of Technology Control uses the advanced technologies they have harvested over the decades to fulfill their mission.

They are living in our future.

Presented with the opportunity to join the BTC and improve his own technology in secret, Grady balks, and is instead thrown into a nightmarish high-tech prison built to hold rebellious geniuses like himself. With so many great intellects confined together, can Grady and his fellow prisoners conceive of a way to usher humanity out of its artificial dark age?

And when they do, is it possible to defeat an enemy that wields a technological advantage half a century in the making?

A Bridge of Years

Robert Charles Wilson

A secluded Pacific Northwest cottage becomes a door to the past for Tom Winter, who travels back to the New York City of 1962, followed by a human killing machine that he alone must stop.

Acts of Conscience

William Barton

When Gaetan's forgotten investments turn him into the sole owner of a faster-than-light spaceship, he flees his pathetic life and heads to planet Green Heaven to seek out the adventure and excitement he's craved. Instead, his journey reveals only the intergalactic depredations of men just like himself--brutal rapes, senseless killing, eradication of cultures and ecologies. He also discovers an ancient alien civilization contemplating the eradication of humanity. What's an honest antihero to do?

Prey

Michael Crichton

Prey is a novel by Michael Crichton based on a nano-robotic threat to human-kind, first published in hardcover in November 2002 and as a paperback in November 2003 by HarperCollins. Like Jurassic Park, the novel serves as a cautionary tale about developments in science and technology; in this case, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. The book features relatively new advances in the computing/scientific community, such as artificial life, emergence (and by extension, complexity), genetic algorithms, and agent-based computing.

The Restoration Game

Ken MacLeod

There is no such place as Krassnia. Lucy Stone should know - she was born there.

In that tiny, troubled region of the former Soviet Union, revolution is brewing. Its organisers need a safe place to meet, and where better than the virtual spaces of an online game? Lucy, who works for a start-up games company in Edinburgh, has a project that almost seems made for the job: a game inspired by The Krassniad, an epic folk tale concocted by Lucy's mother Amanda, who studied there in the 1980s. Lucy knows Amanda is a spook. She knows her great-grandmother Eugenie also visited the country in the '30s, and met the man who originally collected Krassnian folklore, and who perished in Stalin's terror.

As Lucy digs up details about her birthplace to slot into the game, she finds the open secrets of her family's past, the darker secrets of Krassnia's past - and hints about the crucial role she is destined to play in The Restoration Game ...

Up Against It

M. J. Locke

Jane Navio is the resource manager of Phoecea, an asteroid colony poised on the knife-edge of hard vacuum and unforgiving space. A mishap has dumped megatons of water and methane out the colony's air lock, putting the entire human population at risk.

Jane discovers that the crisis may have been engineered by the Martian crime syndicate, as a means of executing a coup that will turn Phocaea into a client-state. And if that wasn't bad enough, an AI that spawned during the emergency has gone rogue…and there's a giant x-factor in the form of the transhumanist Viridian cult that lives in Phocaea's bowels.

Jane's in the prime of her career—she's only a bit over a century old—but the conflict between politics and life-support is tearing her apart. To save her colony and her career, she's going to have to solve several mysteries at once—a challenge that will put her up against all the difficulties, contradictions, and awkward compromises entailed in the human colonization of outer space.

Android: Free Fall

Android: Book 1

William Keith, Jr.

It is the future, and while the world has changed, crime has not. When an influential lawyer is brutally murdered at the top of the Beanstalk, a towering exo-atmospheric elevator serving as Earth's hub of interplanetary trade, Detective Rick Harrison reluctantly accepts the case. Harrison's investigation soon leads him from the sprawling megapolis of New Angeles to the distant moon base of Heinlein, where he searches for clues amongst an uncooperative assortment of bioroids, clones, and disgruntled human laborers. But Harrison quickly finds himself at the center of an ever-deepening conspiracy, and is faced with the one question he never expected: What is the true definition of humanity?

Free Fall is the first novel based on Fantasy Flight Games's Android, conveying a dystopian world of technology and corruption. This rich universe is masterfully brought to life by a New York Times Bestselling author.

Heretics

Apotheosis: Book 2

S. Andrew Swann

Adam, an AI creation of an alien race, prepares to launch a conquest that has been centuries in the making, and if he succeeds he will rule over all humankind-over all sentient life-forms-as a God.

Messiah

Apotheosis: Book 3

S. Andrew Swann

The last stand against the self-proclaimed God, Adam, has retreated to the anarchic planet Bakunin-a world besieged by civil war. Humanity's last hope lies with Nickolai Rajasthan, a Moreau who believes that the human race that created his kind is already damned beyond redemption.

Be My Enemy

Everness: Book 2

Ian McDonald

Everett Singh has escaped with the Infundibulum from the clutches of Charlotte Villiers and the Order, but at a terrible price. His father is missing, banished to one of the billions of parallel universes of the Panoply of All Worlds, and Everett and the crew of the airship Everness have taken a wild Heisenberg jump to a random parallel plane. Everett is smart and resourceful, and from the refuge of a desolate frozen Earth far beyond the Plenitude, where he and his friends have gone into hiding, he makes plans to rescue his family. But the villainous Charlotte Villiers is one step ahead of him.

The action traverses three different parallel Earths: one is a frozen wasteland; one is just like ours, except that the alien Thryn Sentiency has occupied the Moon since 1964, sharing its technology with humankind; and one is the embargoed home of dead London, where the remnants of humanity battle a terrifying nanotechnology run wild. Across these parallel planes of existence, Everett faces terrible choices of morality and power. But he has the love and support of Sen, Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth, and the rest of the crew of Everness as he learns that the deadliest enemy isn't the Order or the world-devouring nanotech Nahn - it's himself.

Empress of the Sun

Everness: Book 3

Ian McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

Fantastic Voyage

Fantastic Voyage: Book 1

Isaac Asimov

Four men and a woman are reduced to a microscopic fraction of their original size, sent in a miniaturized atomic sub through a dying man's carotid artery to destroy a blood clot in his brain. If they fail, the entire world will be doomed.

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.

Vishnu at the Cat Circus

India 2047

Ian McDonald

Hugo-nominated Novella

Vishnu at the Cat Circus is a novella set in the same world as Ian McDonald's 2004 novel River of Gods. It depicts a futuristic India in 2047, a century after its independence from Britain, characterized both by ancient traditions and advanced technologies such as artificial intelligences, robots and nanotechnology.

The genetically-improved Vishnu looks back on his life, in a story of a sibling rivalry with some very unexpected results.

Dust

Jacob's Ladder: Book 1

Elizabeth Bear

On a broken ship orbiting a doomed sun, dwellers have grown complacent with their aging metal world. But when a serving girl frees a captive noblewoman, the old order is about to change....

Ariane, Princess of the House of Rule, was known to be fiercely cold-blooded. But severing an angel’s wings on the battlefield-even after she had surrendered-proved her completely without honor. Captive, the angel Perceval waits for Ariane not only to finish her off-but to devour her very memories and mind. Surely her gruesome death will cause war between the houses-exactly as Ariane desires. But Ariane’s plan may yet be opposed, for Perceval at once recognizes the young servant charged with her care.

Rien is the lost child: her sister. Soon they will escape, hoping to stop the impending war and save both their houses. But it is a perilous journey through the crumbling hulk of a dying ship, and they do not pass unnoticed. Because at the hub of their turning world waits Jacob Dust, all that remains of God, following the vapor wisp of the angel. And he knows they will meet very soon.

Chill

Jacob's Ladder: Book 2

Elizabeth Bear

Sometimes the greatest sin is survival. The generation ship Jacob’s Ladder has barely survived cataclysms from without and within. Now, riding the shock wave of a nova blast toward an uncertain destiny, the damaged ship-the only world its inhabitants have ever known-remains a war zone. Even as Perceval, the new captain, struggles to come to terms with the traumas of her recent past, the remnants of rebellion aboard the ship still threaten the crew’s survival.

Yet as Perceval’s relatives Tristen and Benedick play a deadly game of cat and mouse in pursuit of a traitor through a vast ship that is renewing itself in strange and dangerous ways, an even more insidious threat is building in a place no one ever thought to look. And this implacable enemy could change the face of the ship forever if a ragtag band of heroes cannot stop it.

Grail

Jacob's Ladder: Book 3

Elizabeth Bear

Rife with intrigue and betrayal, heroism and sacrifice, Grail brings Elizabeth Bear’s brilliant space opera to a triumphant conclusion.

At last the generation ship Jacob’s Ladder has arrived at its destination: the planet they have come to call Grail. But this habitable jewel just happens to be populated already: by humans who call their home Fortune. And they are wary of sharing Fortune-especially with people who have genetically engineered themselves to such an extent that it is a matter of debate whether they are even human anymore. To make matters worse, a shocking murder aboard the Jacob’s Ladder has alerted Captain Perceval and the angel Nova that formidable enemies remain hidden somewhere among the crew.

On Grail-or Fortune, rather-Premier Danilaw views the approach of the Jacob’s Ladder with dread. Behind the diplomatic niceties of first-contact protocol, he knows that the deadly game being played is likely to erupt into full-blown war-even civil war. For as he strives to chart a peaceful and prosperous path forward for his people, internal threats emerge to take control by any means necessary.

Hammered

Jenny Casey: Book 1

Elizabeth Bear

Once Jenny Casey was somebody's daughter. Once she was somebody's enemy. Now the former Canadian special forces warrior lives on the hellish streets of Hartford, Connecticut, in the year 2062. Racked with pain, hiding from the government she served, running with a crime lord so she can save a life or two, Jenny is a month shy of fifty, and her artificially reconstructed body has started to unravel. But she is far from forgotten. A government scientist needs the perfect subject for a high-stakes project and has Jenny in his sights. Suddenly Jenny Casey is a pawn in a furious battle, waged in the corridors of the Internet, on the streets of battered cities, and in the complex wirings of her half-man-made nervous system. And she needs to gain control of the game before a brave new future spins completely out of control.

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...

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....

Vast

Nanotech Succession: Book 3

Linda Nagata

Aboard Null Boundary, a giant starship thousands of years old, four survivors of an ancient alien war are making a desperate journey: Lot, son of a fiery prophet and carrier of an insidious virus that spreads a cultlike religious mania among those it infects; Urban, Lot's boyhood friend from the city of Silk, and a man in search of challenge and adventure; Clemantine, cast adrift when her world was destroyed, and yearning for revenge; and Nikko, sometimes a living man, but always the ship's disembodied mind.

They are bound for unknown territory. Ahead of them loom vast, lightless clouds of dust and gas where stars are born, and where the alien Chenzeme are believed to live. The Chenzeme are an enigmatic race whose automated warships have ravaged the living worlds of the galaxy's Orion arm for millions of years. But why? Null Boundary's crew is driven to find out--though in their quest to discover the source of the Chenzeme, they must also explore the terrible truth of their own past, the meaning of revenge, and the price each one of them is willing to pay for survival. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Nexus

Nexus 5: Book 1

Ramez Naam

Mankind gets an upgrade

In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link humans together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.

When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he's thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage - for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.

From the halls of academe to the halls of power, from the headquarters of an elite US agency in Washington DC to a secret lab beneath a top university in Shanghai, from the underground parties of San Francisco to the illegal biotech markets of Bangkok, from an international neuroscience conference to a remote monastery in the mountains of Thailand - Nexus is a thrill ride through a future on the brink of explosion.

Postsingular

Postsingular: Book 1

Rudy Rucker

It all begins next year in California. A maladjusted computer industry billionaire and a somewhat crazy US President initiate a radical transformation of the world through sentient nanotechnology; sort of the equivalent of biological artificial intelligence. At first they succeed, but their plans are reversed by Chu, an autistic boy. The next time it isn't so easy to stop them. Most of the story takes place in a world after a heretofore unimaginable transformation, where all the things look the same but all the people are different (they're able to read each others' minds, for starters). Travel to and from other nearby worlds in the quantum universe is possible, so now our world is visited by giant humanoids from another quantum universe, and some of them mean to tidy up the mess we've made. Or maybe just run things.

Slant

Queen of Angels: Book 4

Greg Bear

In the sixth decade of the twenty-first century, Earth has been transformed. Nanotechnology has been perfected, giving humans the ability to change their environment and themselves down to the cellular level. And the study of the mind has brought a revolution in human psychotherapy and artificial intelligence. It's a sane and perfect world. Almost.

Chasm City

Revelation Space: Book 2

Alastair Reynolds

Tanner Mirabel was a security specialist who never made a mistake - until the day a woman in his care was blown away by Argent Reivich, a vengeful young postmortal. Tanner's pursuit of Reivich takes him across light-years of space to Chasm City, the domed human settlement on the otherwise inhospitable planet of Yellowstone.

But Chasm City is not what it was. The one-time high-tech utopia has become a Gothic nightmare: a nanotechnological virus has corrupted the city's inhabitants as thoroughly as it has the buildings and machines. Before the chase is done, Tanner will have to confront truths which reach back centuries, towards deep space and an atrocity history barely remembers.

The Nanotech War

Star Trek: Voyager

Steven Piziks

Throughout human history, mankind has turned its goals and dreams toward exploration. With wagon trains, ships, satellites and starships, humanity has chosen to seek out the new frontier, to explore new worlds, and to go where no human has gone before-even to the furthest reaches of the Delta Quadrant. There, Captain Janeway and the crew of the Starship Voyager have discovered many strange and wondrous civilizations...but few as alien as the Chiar.

An advanced and scientific people who have made great strides with nanotechnology, the Chiar expanded internally rather than externally. Every inch of their planet is crawling with the tiniest bits and pieces of artifical intelligence imaginable, working in concert as the new lifeblood of this mechanical world. The people themselves are inseparable from their nanites, which layer their skin and provide extra limbs or senses as required.

Caught up in a bitter civil conþict, some Chiar will try to take advantage of their meeting with the crew of Starship Voyager. They imagine that their homegrown nanites can harness the incredible power of the deadly Borg, and instead set in motion an experiment that goes devastatingly out of control.

Germline

Subterrene War: Book 1

T. C. McCarthy

Germline (n.) the genetic material contained in a cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation. Also: secret military program to develop genetically engineered super-soldiers (slang).

War is Oscar Wendell's ticket to greatness. A reporter for The Stars and Stripes, he has the only one way pass to the front lines of a brutal war over natural resources buried underneath the icy, mineral rich mountains of Kazakhstan.

But war is nothing like he expected. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds of meters below the surface. The genetics-the germline soldiers-are the key to winning this war, but some inventions can't be un-done. Some technologies can't be put back in the box.

Kaz will change everything, not least Oscar himself. Hooked on a dangerous cocktail of adrenaline and drugs, Oscar doesn't find the war, the war finds him.

All Tomorrow's Parties

The Bridge Trilogy: Book 3

William Gibson

Rydell is on his way back to near-future San Francisco. A stint as a security man in an all-night Los Angeles convenience store has convinced him his career is going nowhere, but his friend Laney, phoning from Tokyo, says there's more interesting work for him in Northern California. And there is, although it will eventually involve his former girlfriend, a Taoist assassin, the secrets Laney has been hacking out of the depths of DatAmerica, the CEO of the PR firm that secretly runs the world and the apocalyptic technological transformation of, well, everything. William Gibson's new novel, set in the soon-to-be-fact world of "Virtual Light" and "Idoru", completes a stunning, brilliantly imagined trilogy about the post-Net world.

Hammerfall

The Gene Wars: Book 1

C. J. Cherryh

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

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

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

Mercury

The Grand Tour: Book 8

Ben Bova

The planet closest to our Sun, Mercury is a rocky, barren, heat-scorched world. But there are those who hope to find wealth in its desolation.

Saito Yamagata thinks Mercury's position makes it an ideal place to generate power to propel starships into deep space. Astrobiologist Victor Molina thinks the water at Mercury's poles may harbor evidence of life. Bishop Elliot Danvers has been sent by the Earth-based "New Morality" to keep close tabs on Molina.

But all three of these men are blissfully unaware of their shared history, and of how it connects to the collapse of Mance Bracknell's geosynchronous space elevator a generation ago. Now they're about to find out, because Mance is determined to have his revenge...

Farside

The Grand Tour: Book 12

Ben Bova

Farside, the side of the Moon that never faces Earth, is the ideal location for an astronomical observatory. It is also the setting for a tangled web of politics, personal ambition, love, jealousy, and murder.

Telescopes on Earth have detected an Earth-sized planet circling a star some thirty light-years away. Now the race is on to get pictures of that distant world, photographs and spectra that will show whether or not the planet is truly like Earth, and if it bears life.

Farside will include the largest optical telescope in the solar system as well as a vast array of radio antennas, the most sensitive radio telescope possible, insulated from the interference of Earth's radio chatter by a thousand kilometers of the Moon's solid body.

Building the Farside observatory is a complex, often dangerous task. On the airless surface of the Moon, under constant bombardment of hard radiation and infalling micrometeoroids, builders must work in cumbersome spacesuits and use robotic machines as much as possible. Breakdowns - mechanical and emotional - are commonplace. Accidents happen, some of them fatal.

What they find stuns everyone, and the human race will never be the same.

The Silent War

The Grand Tour: The Asteroid Wars: Book 3

Ben Bova

When corporations go to war, standard business practice goes out the window. Astro Corporation is led by indomitable Texan Pancho Lane, Humphries Space Systems by the rich and ruthless Martin Humphries, and their fight is over nothing less than resources of the Asteroid Belt itself. As fighting escalates, the lines between commerce and politics, boardroom and bedroom, blur--and the keys to victory will include physics, nanotechnology, and cold hard cash.

As they fight it out, the lives of thousands of innocents hang in the balance, including the rock rats who make their living off the asteroids, and the inhabitants of Selene City on Earth's moon. As if matters weren't complicated enough, the shadowy Yamagata corporation sets its sights on taking advantage of other people's quarrels, and space pirate Lars Fuchs decides it's time to make good on his own personal vendetta.

It's a breakneck finale that can end only in earth's salvation--or the annihilation of all that humankind has ever accomplished in space.

Olympos

The Ilium / Olympos Duology: Book 2

Dan Simmons

Beneath the gaze of the gods, the mighty armies of Greece and Troy met in fierce and glorious combat, scrupulously following the text set forth in Homer's timeless narrative. But that was before one observer -- Twenty-first Century scholar Thomas Hockenberry -- stirred the bloody brew; before an enraged Achilles joined forces with his archenemy Hector; and before the fleet-footed mankiller turned his murderous wrath on Zeus, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Apollo, and the entire pantheon of divine manipulators.

Now, all bets are off.

Infoquake

The Jump 225 Trilogy: Book 1

David Louis Edelman

How far should you go to make a profit? Infoquake, the debut novel by David Louis Edelman, takes speculative fiction into alien territory: the corporate boardroom of the far future. Its a stunning trip through the trenches of a technological war fought with product demos, press releases, and sales pitches.

Natch is a master of bio/logics, the programming of the human body. He's clawed and scraped his way to the top of the bio/logics market using little more than his wits. Now his sudden notoriety has brought him to the attention of Margaret Surina, the owner of a mysterious new technology called MultiReal. Only by enlisting Natch's devious mind can Margaret keep MultiReal out of the hands of High Executive Len Borda and his ruthless armies.

To fend off the intricate net of enemies closing in around him, Natch and his apprentices must accomplish the impossible. They must understand this strange new technology, run through the product development cycle, and prepare MultiReal for release to the public all in three days.

Meanwhile, hanging over everything is the specter of the infoquake, a lethal burst of energy that's disrupting the bio/logic networks and threatening to send the world crashing back into the Dark Ages.

With Infoquake, David Louis Edelman has created a fully detailed world that's both as imaginative as Dune and as real as today's Wall Street Journal.

MultiReal

The Jump 225 Trilogy: Book 2

David Louis Edelman

David Louis Edelman's debut novel Infoquake was called "the love child of Donald Trump and Vernor Vinge" and hailed as the best science fiction debut of 2006.

The story continues with MultiReal, the stunning second book in the Jump 225 trilogy. Natch has just won his first battle with the Defense and Wellness Council for control of MultiReal technology. But now the Council has unleashed the ruthless cunning of Lieutenant Executive Magan Kai Lee. Lee decides that if Natch's company can't be destroyed from without, it must be destroyed from within.

As black code continues to eat away at Natch's sanity, he faces a mutiny from his own apprentices, a legal onslaught from the government, and the return of enemies old and new. In desperation, the entrepreneur turns to some unlikely allies: a radical politician with an agenda of his own, and a childhood enemy to whom he has done a terrible wrong.

Natch's struggle will take him from the halls of power in Melbourne to the ruined cities of the diss. Hanging in the balance is the fate of MultiReal, a technology that could end the tyranny of the Council forever--or give the Council the ultimate weapon of oppression.

Geosynchron

The Jump 225 Trilogy: Book 3

David Louis Edelman

The Defense and Wellness Council is enmeshed in full-scale civil war between Len Borda and the mysterious Magan Kai Lee. Quell has escaped from prison and is stirring up rebellion in the Islands with the aid of a brash young leader named Josiah. Jara and the apprentices of the Surina/Natch MultiReal Fiefcorp still find themselves fighting off legal attacks from their competitors and from Margaret Surina's unscrupulous heirs - even though MultiReal has completely vanished.

The quest for the truth will lead to the edges of civilisation, from the tumultuous society of the Pacific Islands to the lawless orbital colony of 49th Heaven; and through the deeps of time, from the hidden agenda of the Surina family to the real truth behind the Autonomous Revolt that devastated humanity hundreds of years ago.

Meanwhile, Natch has awakened in a windowless prison with nothing but a haze of memory to clue him in as to how he got there. He's still receiving strange hallucinatory messages from Margaret Surina and the nature of reality is buckling all around him. When the smoke clears, Natch must make the ultimate decision - whether to save a world that has scorned and discarded him, or to save the only person he has ever loved: himself.

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.

Beggars and Choosers

The Sleepless: Book 2

Nancy Kress

In Beggars and Choosers, Kress returns to the same future world created in her earlier work, an America strangely altered by genetic modifications...

Most of the world is on the verge of collapse, overburdened by a population of jobless drones and racked by the results of irresponsible genetic research and nanotechnology. Will the world be saved? And for whom?