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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

Genesis

Bernard Beckett

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

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

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.

A Maze of Stars

John Brunner

Among six hundred thousand stars visited by man, sixty thousand have planets hospitable to life, six thousand have developed life and six hundred have been settled, or seeded, with humanity. A vast vessel, known simply as Ship, travels an endless route, checking in with all the settled planets, observing, offering help where it can as some flourish, some falter but all change and evolve. Unexpectedly, Ship has developed feelings and intelligence and it struggles with human-like emotions as it sees the many ways that man can evolve or devolve when left to his own devices with the one eternal constant--change.

Moderan

David R. Bunch

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 humans have been replaced by machines with an organic core.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

Table of Conents

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

The Destroyer

Tara Isabella Burton

In a futuristic, fascistic Rome, a brilliant, unstable scientist proves that she can transcend the human body's limitations. The test subject? Her own daughter. A mother-daughter mad scientist story, THE DESTROYER asks how far we'll go to secure our own legacies -- and how far we'll run to escape them.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

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

Karel Capek

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

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

RUR & War with the Newts

Karel Capek

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

The Lifecycle of Software Objects

Ted Chiang

Hugo-winning and Nebula-nominated Novella

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

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

Read this story online for free at Subterranean Press.

Our Lady of the Ice

Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Yiddish Policeman's Union meets The Windup Girl when a female PI goes up against a ruthless gangster--just as both humans and robots agitate for independence in an Argentinian colony in Antarctica.

In Argentine Antarctica, Eliana Gomez is the only female PI in Hope City--a domed colony dependent on electricity (and maintenance robots) for heat, light, and survival in the icy deserts of the continent. At the center is an old amusement park--now home only to the androids once programmed to entertain--but Hope City's days as a tourist destination are long over. Now the City produces atomic power for the mainland while local factions agitate for independence and a local mobster, Ignacio Cabrera, runs a brisk black-market trade in illegally imported food.

Eliana doesn't care about politics. She doesn't even care--much--that her boyfriend, Diego, works as muscle for Cabrera. She just wants to save enough money to escape Hope City. But when an aristocrat hires Eliana to protect an explosive personal secret, Eliana finds herself caught up in the political tensions threatening to tear Hope City apart. In the clash of backstabbing politicians, violent freedom fighters, a gangster who will stop at nothing to protect his interests, and a newly sentient robot underclass intent on a very different independence, Eliana finds her job coming into deadly conflict with Diego's, just as the electricity that keeps Hope City from freezing begins to fail...

From the inner workings of the mob to the story of a revolution to the amazing settings, this story has got it all. Ultimately, however, Our Lady of the Ice questions what it means to be human, what it means to be free, and whether we're ever able to transcend our pasts and our programming to find true independence.

The Mad Scientist's Daughter

Cassandra Rose Clarke

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

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Philip K. Dick

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

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

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

Makers

Cory Doctorow

From the New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother, a major novel of the booms, busts, and further booms in store for America.

Perry and Lester invent things-seashell robots that make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent entirely new economic systems, like the "New Work," a New Deal for the technological era. Barefoot bankers cross the nation, microinvesting in high-tech communal mini-startups like Perry and Lester's. Together, they transform the country, and Andrea Fleeks, a journo-turned-blogger, is there to document it.

Then it slides into collapse. The New Work bust puts the dot.combomb to shame. Perry and Lester build a network of interactive rides in abandoned Wal-Marts across the land. As their rides, which commemorate the New Work's glory days, gain in popularity, a rogue Disney executive grows jealous, and convinces the police that Perry and Lester's 3D printers are being used to run off AK-47s.

Hordes of goths descend on the shantytown built by the New Workers, joining the cult. Lawsuits multiply as venture capitalists take on a new investment strategy: backing litigation against companies like Disney. Lester and Perry's friendship falls to pieces when Lester gets the 'fatkins' treatment, turning him into a sybaritic gigolo.

Then things get really interesting.

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

The Warren

Brian Evenson

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

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

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

The Black Hole

Alan Dean Foster

Nearing the end of a long mission exploring deep space, the spacecraft USS Palomino is returning to Earth.

The Palomino crew discover a black hole in space with a spaceship nearby, somehow defying the hole's massive gravitational pull. The ship is identified as the long-lost USS Cygnus.

The Palomino crew cautiously boards the Cygnus and soon encounter the ship's commander, Dr. Hans Reinhardt, a brilliant scientist. Aided by a crew of faceless, black-robed android drones and his sinister-looking robot Maximilian, Reinhardt explains that he has lived all alone on the Cygnus for years.

The rest of the Palomino crew grow suspicious of the faceless drones' human-like behaviour: the crew had been lobotomized and "reprogrammed" by Reinhardt to serve him. When this is discovered, Reinhardt takes Kate prisoner, ordering his sentry robots to take her to the ship's hospital bay to be lobotomized.

Just as the process begins, Holland rescues Kate. Fearing the situation is escalating dangerously, Booth attempts to escape alone in the Palomino. Reinhardt orders the craft shot down. A meteor storm then destroys the starboard generator. Without its null-gravity bubble, the Cygnus starts to break apart under the black hole's huge gravitational forces.

Reinhardt and the Palomino survivors separately plan their escape aboard a small probe ship. The crew of the Palamino reach the probe ship, only to discover the controls locked onto a flightpath that takes them into the black hole, which takes them through a surreal hell back to Earth.

Tin Men

Christopher Golden

Economies are collapsing, environmental disasters are widespread and war the backdrop to life.

And so the military has developed a force of elite soldiers to keep the peace. A force like nothing seen before... codenamed Tin Man, soldiers are virtually transported to inhabit robot frames in war-torn countries.

When PFC Danny Kelso starts his day shift in Syria, an eerie silence welcomes him and a patrol confirms the area is totally deserted. But when a rogue electromagnetic pulse throws everything into darkness, Danny's conscious mind is trapped within his robot body.

The attack turns out to have been global - the world is facing a return to the dark ages with no electricity, no technology... no safe zones. And the Tin Men face a race against time to save not only themselves but society as we know it.

Voyage from Yesteryear

James P. Hogan

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

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!!

Keffy R. M. Kehrli

This short story originally appeared in Lightspeed, October 2013. It can also be found in the anthology Help Fund My Robot Army!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects (2014), edited by John Joseph Adams.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

The Cyberiad

Stanislaw Lem

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

The Night Sessions

Ken MacLeod

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

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

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

Arachne

Lisa Mason

Originally published in 1990, this is among the vanguard of the "cyberpunk" novels, hailed by The Boston Globe as a "cyberpunk classic." Carly Nolan, a fast-track young lawyer conducting trials at lightning speed in telespace, is suddenly plagued by terrifying "bug" in her telelink. In her search for a cure, she becomes the protege of a corrupt older attorney whose own career is spiraling out of control and the patient of Pr. Spinner, a robot therapist who covets the metaprogram of life. Fast and fun, ARACHNE explores what it means to be a sentient lifeform.

Nekropolis

Maureen F. McHugh

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Last Good Man

Linda Nagata

Scarred by war, in pursuit of truth.

Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies: robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire.

But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She's left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost.

Robot Dreams (collection)

Isaac Asimov

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

Table of Contents:

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

The Electric Lady

Janelle Monáe

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

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

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

Track Listing:

Suite IV

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

Suite V

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

Total length: 67.35

Spare Parts

Sally Rogers-Davidson

C-grade citizen of the Greater Melbourne Megalopolis, Kelty lives in a city filled with towers reaching halfway to the sky. While 'Skywalkers', the A- and B-grade citizens live above the clouds with access to all the wonders of the late 21st century, 'Subbies' like Kelty must dwell in the shadows and smog of the streets below.

When her best friend is horribly injured in an explosion at the recycle plant where they both work, Kelty is faced with the loss of a friend and a hopeless future, or the unthinkable choice of leaving everyone and everything behind to join the Space Corps. There's just one catch - first she must trade in her human body for a State-of-the-Art Cyboform.

Spare Parts was shortlisted for the 1999 Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, and chosen as a Notable Australian Children's Book for the Year 2000 by the Children's Book Council of Australia.

How to Become a Robot in 12 Easy Steps

A. Merc Rustad

Short story on the 2016 Tiptree Honor list. It first appeared online in Scigentasy #4, March 2015 and can also be found in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015, edited by Joe Hill and John Joseph Adams.

Read the story for free at Scigentasy.

The Alchemy of Stone

Ekaterina Sedia

Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets - secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. This doesn't sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart - literally.

Tower of Glass

Robert Silverberg

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

A Choice of Gods

Clifford D. Simak

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

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

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

City

Clifford D. Simak

The cities of the world are deserted and automation has invaded every aspect of human life. The robots make spaceships, the ants create huge buildings on the remains of old towns and the dogs take over the earth.

Time and Again

Clifford D. Simak

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

Tik-Tok

John Sladek

Something has gone very seriously wrong with Tik-Tok's "asimov circuits." They should keep him on the straight and narrow, following Asimov's first law of robotics: A robot shall not injure a human being, or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm. But, that's not what's happening. Although every thing looks fine from the surface, and Tik-Tok maintains the outward appearance of a mild-mannered robot, his agenda is murderously different. And, it's not just because of his artistic tendencies and sympathy for the robot rights movement, either.

Agent of the Unknown

Margaret St. Clair

Originally appeared in Ace Double D-150 (1956).

Don Haig had been content to lie around and drink in the synthetic beauty of the pleasure planetoid Fyon, until a woman came into his life. A woman more beautiful and more perfect than any other female in the galaxy. A woman who brought about a curious change in Don.

For she was a pocket-sized doll -- a very strange and miraculous puppet who shed constant tears and held powers that Don never even dreamed of.

But what Don did know was that dangerous alien forces were swiftly focussing on him and his living puppet .. and that he had to discover the doll's super-scientific secret before his own life was smashed to atoms!

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.

Mockingbird

Walter Tevis

Mockingbird is a powerful novel of a future world where humans are dying. Those that survive spend their days in a narcotic bliss or choose a quick suicide rather than slow extinction. Humanity's salvation rests with an android who has no desire to live, and a man and a woman who must discover love, hope, and dreams of a world reborn.

The future is a grim place in which the declining human population wanders, drugged and lulled by electronic bliss. It's a world without art, reading and children, a world where people would rather burn themselves alive than endure. Even Spofforth, the most perfect machine ever created, cannot bear it and seeks only that which he cannot have - to cease to be. But there is hope for the future in the passion and joy that a man and woman discover in love and in books, hope even for Spofforth. A haunting novel, reverberating with anguish but also celebrating love and the magic of a dream.

Central Station

Lavie Tidhar

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

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

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

Amped

Daniel H. Wilson

Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. The New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse creates a stunning, near-future world where technology and humanity clash in surprising ways. The result? The perfect summer blockbuster.

As he did in Robopocalypse, Daniel Wilson masterfully envisions a frightening near-future world. In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities-and rights-of "amplified" humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, twenty-nine-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as "amps." Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world-or destroy it.

Once again, Daniel H. Wilson's background as a scientist serves him well in this technologically savvy thriller that delivers first-rate entertainment, as Wilson takes the "what if" question in entirely unexpected directions. Fans of Robopocalypseare sure to be delighted, and legions of new fans will want to get "amped" this summer.

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.

The Stories of Ibis

Hiroshi Yamamoto

Even a Machine has Tales to Tell

In a world where humans a minority and androids have created their own civilization, a wandering storyteller meets the beautiful android Ibis. She tells him seven stories of human/android interaction in order to reveal the secret behind humanity's fall. The story takes place centuries in the future, where the diminished populations of humans live uncultured lives in their own colonies. They resent the androids, who have built themselves a stable and cultural society. In this brutal time, our main character travels from colony to colony as a "storyteller," one that speaks of the stories of the past. One day, he is abducted by Ibis, an android in the form of a young girl, and told of the stories created by humans in the ancient past.

The stories that Ibis speaks of are the 7 novels about the events surrounding the announcements of the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in the 20th to 21st centuries. At a glance, these stories do not appear to have any sort of connection, but what is the true meaning behind them? What are Ibis' real intentions?

The Engine at Heartspring's Center

Roger Zelazny

Nebula Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, July 1974. It can also be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction of the Year #4 (1975), edited by Terry Carr, Nebula Award Stories Ten (1975), edited by James Gunn, and The Road to Science Fiction 3: From Heinlein to Here (1979), also edited by James Gunn. It is included in the collections The Last Defender of Camelot (1980) and This Mortal Mountain (2009).

The Stepford Wives

Ira Levin

Something strange is happening in the town of Stepford where the men spend their nights doing something secret and the women act like every man's dream of a "perfect" wife. One young woman watches the dream turn into a nightmare which engulfs her best friend, and realizes that her turn is coming.

Whitechapel Gods

S. M. Peters

TWO GODS-ONE CHANCE FOR MANKIND

In Victorian London, the Whitechapel section is a mechanized, steam-driven hell, cut off and ruled by two mysterious, mechanical gods-Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock. Some years have passed since the Great Uprising, when humans rose up to fight against the machines, but a few brave veterans of the Uprising have formed their own Resistance-and are gathering for another attack. For now they have a secret weapon that may finally free them-or kill them all...

Gridlinked

Agent Cormac Series: Book 1

Neal Asher

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

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

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

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

Brontomek!

Amorphs Universe: Book 3

Michael G. Coney

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

Android: Golem

Android: Identity Trilogy: Book 1

Mel Odom

When a talented New Angeles Detective wakes up in bed with a woman whose name he can't recall, this seemingly harmless mystery indicates a much larger problem. After all, as one of the few bioroids in the New Angeles Police Department, Drake 3GI2RC isn't accustomed to forgetting... or even sleeping. But his personal issues are forced to wait when he and his human partner Shelley Nolan are assigned a high-profile murder investigation - one that will change his world! The wealthy CEO of IdentiKit, a successful android manufacturer, has been found dead in his hotel room. Now, what begins as just another murder in downtown New Angeles quickly escalates into a tangled web of intrigue, love, and betrayal, as Drake and his partner work to solve this brutal crime before the killer strikes again. Drake's investigation will lead him through the darkest corners of a conspiracy that reaches up the Beanstalk and out to the bustling industry of Mars... then right back to the woman of his dreams. Set in the dystopian future of the Android universe, Golem tells a story of murder, manipulation, and mystery in a world where humanity and technology collide.

Android: Mimic

Android: Identity Trilogy: Book 2

Mel Odom

Book Two of The Identity Trilogy Investigate the World of Android with Detective Drake 3GI2RC. n the future, the world has changed, but crime has not. Mimic is set in the gritty, cyber-noir world of Android. The story of New Angeles Detective Drake 3GI2RC continues as he navigates the tangled web of lies and corruption that lie in wait around every corner. Set in the Android universe and following the events of Golem, Mimic continues the story of New Angeles Detective Drake 3GI2RC after he has been reassigned to the moon with a new partner. Drake is not your average Bioroid. First, he's one of the New Angeles Police Department's few android cops, and second, he's haunted by the memories of another man, Simon Blake. Still struggling with questions about his identity, Drake continues to seek answers about his identity: where does his programming end, and his own personality begin?

Android: Rebel

Android: Identity Trilogy: Book 3

Mel Odom

Drake 3GI2RC is wanted for a murder he did not commit. Haunted by another mans memories, the NAPDs most infamous android cop must quickly uncover the truth of his own past. Unfortunately, his search has taken him from the familiar New Angeles streets to the politically volatile planet Mars. Will Drake find answers before he is caught in the midst of an interplanetary civil war?

Rebel is the third and final installment of The Identity Trilogy, a series based in the near-future dystopian world of Android. In it, Mel Odom concludes his tale of murder, intrigue, and what it means to be human.

The Electric Church

Avery Cates: Book 1

Jeff Somers

In the near future, the only thing growing faster than the criminal population is the Electric Church, a new religion founded by a mysterious man named Dennis Squalor. The Church preaches that life is too brief to contemplate the mysteries of the universe: eternity is required. In order to achieve this, the converted become Monks -- cyborgs with human brains, enhanced robotic bodies, and virtually unlimited life spans.

Enter Avery Cates, a dangerous criminal known as the best killer-for-hire around. The authorities have a special mission in mind for Cates: assassinate Dennis Squalor. But for Cates, the assignment will be the most dangerous job he's ever undertaken -- and it may well be his last.

The Price of the Phoenix

Bantam Star Trek Original Novels: Phoenix: Book 1

Sondra Marshak
Myrna Culbreath

CAPTAIN KIRK IS DEAD. LONG LIVE CAPTAIN KIRK.

Spock, Doctor McCoy and the other crewmen of the Starship Enterprise experience a stunning double-shock. The first, painful blow is Captain Kirk's tragic death. Then, Captain Kirk's miraculous rebirth reveals the most awesome force the Enterprise has ever encountered. Spock is forced into a desperate gamble for Kirk's human soul against Omne - the ultrahuman emperor of life beyond life, and death beyond hell.

Omne, a genius megalomaniac who seeks immortality, has discovered a way to create a perfect duplicate of a sentient creature. As part of a plot against the Federation, he lures the Enterprise to his highly-protected planet, where Captain Kirk is apparently killed while breaking the Prime Directive. When Spock returns to the planet to confront Omne about Kirk's death, he is met with not one but two living, breathing Kirks - the original and a very convincing duplicate. Aided by the unnamed Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident", Spock and the two Kirks attempt to shut down Omne and protect the balance of power.

The Fate of the Phoenix

Bantam Star Trek Original Novels: Phoenix: Book 2

Sondra Marshak
Myrna Culbreath

With the Romulans approaching the boundaries of Federation space and the Klingons threatening to break the Organian peace treaty, Captain Kirk and his crew face a new peril in the person of Omne, the powerful and twisted creator of the Phoenix process.

sequel to The Price of the Phoenix

Battlestar Galactica: Classic

Battlestar Galactica 1: Book 1

Glen A. Larson
Robert Thurston

Battleship Galactica: Flagship of the 12 Worlds' Warfleet, she was as large as a planet, yet as swift as the Starhound fighters she launched from her bays. For generations the vast ship had led the thousand-year war against the Cylon for control of the known Galaxy. Now that war was in its last phase, and 'Galactica' had one final mission, win or lose: blast through the deadly grid of the Cylon Starfleet and dash for deep space in a desperate attempt to find the legendary "Stonehenge" of the universe---the lost planet the ancient microfilms call "EARTH"...

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica 2: Book 1

Jeffrey A. Carver

Based on the SCI FI Channel's Original Series:

For forty years, the Twelve Colonies of Man experienced peace, united since the war against the man-made Cylons. The Cylons, mechanical beings created to perform the manual labor civilization required, were gone forever…or so humanity thought.

But in those years, the Cylons developed new Cylons that looked and acted like humans--with one goal in mind: to destroy all humanity! When they suddenly attacked the Twelve Worlds, humanity's extinction seemed inevitable.

Only a single warship survived the massive attack: Battlestar Galactica, the oldest ship in the fleet, ready to be decommissioned and turned into a museum. Commander William Adama, himself set to retire, had but one course: to marshal the meager forces available, a ragtag crew of misfits and green recruits, to prevent their enemy from wiping out the last vestiges of the human race. But the Cylons, stronger, smarter, and driven to destroy their creators, may just be too powerful for them and all of humanity to survive.

The Cylons' Secret

Battlestar Galactica 2: Book 2

Craig Shaw Gardner

Sometimes no news is bad news.

It's been twenty years since the end of the Cylon War. The twelve human colony worlds are rebuilding, and the Cylons...the Cylons have been just too quiet. They are nowhere to be found. The robotic race that tried to obliterate their creators has gone to parts unknown in deep space.

The aftermath of the war has created a new, illegal profession: Scavenger. Tom Zarek is one, scouring the outer settlements for valuable Cylon technologies and artifacts and usually returning empty-handed. But now, he and the crew of the Cruiser Lightning have found the Omega Station, a scientific station shrouded in secrecy beyond the edge of charted space. This is it, the big score, except something is wrong... the base is still occupied, not by humans alone; by Cylons too!

The Battlestar Galactica, one of the oldest warships in the fleet, receives the Lightning's distress call, a cryptic one-word message: "Cylons." William Adama, newly promoted to second-in-command, is worried. Most of his crew are green, new recruits, not prepared for anything but the most routine missions. And, as Adama soon discovers, this mission is anything but routine. Omega is indeed full of Cylons, but also something much more disturbing.

Sagittarius is Bleeding

Battlestar Galactica 2: Book 3

Peter David

President Laura Roslin bears a heavy burden. Since becoming the president of the twelve colonies when the Cylons brutally attacked and destroyed all but aa small remmnant of humanity's billions, she has been the voice of civil authority, counterbalancing the military leadership of Commander Adama of the Battlestar Galactica. President Roslin has been a source of inspiration the the tens of thousands who survive on Galactica and the other colonial ships. They look to her for honesty, integrity, and courage. For fairness and an evenhanded rule. And most importantly, for the prophacy she has shared with them. Earth, the fabled home of the lost colony, can be found. She has seen this in a vision which has the power of truth.

Recently, though, her dreams have been darker, of a galaxy overrun by Cylons...is she having visions of an inevitable future? Or are these terrible dreams caused by powerful medication she's taking?

More dangerously, the Midguardians, radicals who believe that the end of humanity is coming soon, have learned of Roslin's dreams and taken them as a sign. Now, the Midguardians are prepared to act.

President Roslin faces the most important decision of her life, should she tell Commander Adama about the Midguardians, and risk being imprisoned again as a traitor, or dare she keep her secret, and possibly endanger the future of the entire fleet.

Unity

Battlestar Galactica 2: Book 4

Steven Harper

A prophecy is fulfilled when Peter Attis is rescued from the Cylons in order to save humanity with "the plague of the tongue." or so it seems...

While harvesting alge for conversion into food, the beleaguered human/refugee fleet is discovered by a small group of Cylon heavy raiders. A brief battle ends with the destruction of a Cylon heavy raider. A colonial issue escape pod found floating among the debrie reveals two survivors inside: Singer Peter Attis...and his captor, a Cylon Number Eight.

Soon after Peter's liberation, people begin babbling incoherently and dropping into comas. Unwittingly, Peter has been spreading a highly contagious, nerve-deteriorating Cylon biological weapon-and he just performed for half the fleet. As Dr Gaius Baltar begins work on a cure, word starts to spread that a fanatical sect believes that Peter is the religious leader who will save humanity and that this virus is their path to salvation. They are willing to do anything to keep Baltar's vaccine from being distributed.

While the fleet is in chaos, a larger Cylon force appears. A weakend humankind, now threatened on two fronts, may be unable to defend itself...

Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner

Blade Runner

Paul M. Sammon

The 1992 release of the "Director's Cut" only confirmed what the international film cognoscenti have know all along: Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, based on Philip K. Dick's brilliant and troubling SF novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, still rules as the most visually dense, thematically challenging, and influential SF film ever made.

Future Noir is the story of that triumph.

The making of Blade Runner was a seven-year odyssey that would test the stamina and the imagination of writers, producers, special effects wizards, and the most innovative art directors and set designers in the industry.

A fascinating look at the ever-shifting interface between commerce and the art that is modern Hollywood, Future Noir is the intense, intimate, anything-but-glamerous inside account of how the work of SF's most uncompromising author was transformed into a critical sensation, a commercial success, and a cult classic.

Bot Wars

Bot Wars: Book 1

J. V. Kade

Twelve-year-old Trout St. Kroix has been searching for his missing father for the last two years, after his dad disappeared while fighting in the Bot Wars. The Bot Wars began after robots became so advanced that they revolted and demanded more workers' rights, causing the government to declare all robots terrorists and ban them from the Districts. Trout never questioned anything the government told him -- even when his own nanny bot was banished -- until a vid he posts about his missing dad goes viral and new information pops up. At first Trout is wrenched his dad might be alive, but when his brother disappears, Trout learns that nothing is what it seems... not even his own father.

Crossover

Cassandra Kresnov: Book 1

Joel Shepherd

Crossover is the first novel in a series which follows the adventures of Cassandra Kresnov, an artificial person, or android, created by the League, one side of an interstellar war against the more powerful, conservative Federation. Cassandra is an experimental design — more intelligent, more creative, and far more dangerous than any that have preceded her. But with her intellect come questions, and a moral awakening. She deserts the League and heads incognito into the space of her former enemy, the Federation, in search of a new life.

Her chosen world is Callay, and its enormous, decadent capital metropolis of Tanusha, where the concerns of the war are literally and figuratively so many light years away. But the war between the League and the Federation was ideological as much as political, with much of that ideological dispute regarding the very existence of artificial sentience and the rules that govern its creation. Cassandra discovers that even in Tanusha, the powerful entities of this bloody conflict have wound their tentacles. Many in the League and the Federation have cause to want her dead, and Cassandra’s history, inevitably, catches up with her.

Cassandra finds herself at the mercy of a society whose values preclude her own right even to exist. But her presence in Tanusha reveals other fault lines, and when Federal agents attempt to assassinate the Callayan president, she finds herself thrust into the service of her former enemies, using her lethal skills to attempt to protect her former enemies from forces beyond their ability to control. As she struggles for her place and survival in a new world, Cassandra must forge new friendships with old enemies, while attempting to confront the most disturbing and deadly realities of her own existence.

Westworld

Delos: Book 1

Michael Crichton

In a futuristic resort, wealthy patrons can visit recreations of different time periods and experience their wildest fantasies with life-like robots. But when Richard Benjamin opts for the wild west, he gets more than he bargained for when a gunslinger robot goes berserk.

Futureworld

Delos: Book 2

John Ryder Hall

It has been several years since the disaster at the Westworld resort and Delos is ready to reopen with the new "Futureworld," which is getting rave reviews. However, one of Delos's most famous critics, reporter Chuck Browning, is still not convinced that Delos has cleaned up its act, especially after an informant with inside information about Delos is murdered. Chuck teams up with fellow reporter Tracy Ballard and goes to Delos to find out why his source was killed. What they discover is beyond any of their imaginations.

Feet of Clay

Discworld: Book 19

Terry Pratchett

Royalty is like dandelions. No matter how many heads you chop off, the roots are still there underground, waiting to spring up again.

A murderer is stalking Discworld: A prowling perp who leaves behind jaunty corpses and strange-smelling tracks of curious white clay -- a grim reaper who belongs to neither the Assassins' Guild nor the Thieves' Guild.

Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Guard is determined to stop this unauthorized assassin -- and to prove it, he has hired a Dwarf to help him. With the assistance of, Corporal Cheery Littlebottom, Vimes and his men (and trolls, and such) can get to the, well, bottom of anything. Even when one of the victims is murdered with a loaf of her own Battle Bread (available in convenient throwing slices, guerrilla crumpets, and defensive bagels). And even when the investigation leads to an out-of-work golem, a vampire dragon, and a vegetarian werewolf.

Such strangeness is perfectly normal in normally perfect Ankh-Morpork, the greatest of Discworld's cities, where anything can happen and therefore, naturally, always does. But when Vimes unravels a living (and, in fact, complaining) Coat-of-Arms and finds an unexpected royal clue, he is faced with a new dilemma.

Fighting crime is one thing. But what if winning means inflicting a new King on a city that does very well, thank you, with no King at all?

Whoever created humanity left in a major design flaw. The tendency to bend at the knee...

The Caves of Steel

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 1

Isaac Asimov

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

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

The Naked Sun

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 2

Isaac Asimov

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

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

The Robots of Dawn

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 3

Isaac Asimov

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

Robots and Empire

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 4

Isaac Asimov

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

The Age Atomic

Empire State: Book 2

Adam Christopher

The Empire State is dying. The Fissure connecting the pocket universe to New York has vanished, plunging the city into a deep freeze and the populace are demanding a return to Prohibition and rationing as energy supplies dwindle. Meanwhile, in 1954 New York, the political dynamic has changed and Nimrod finds his department subsumed by a new group, Atoms For Peace, led by the mysterious Evelyn McHale. As Rad uncovers a new threat to his city, Atoms For Peace prepare their army for a transdimensional invasion. Their goal: total conquest – or destruction – of the Empire State.

The Humanoids

Galaxy Science Fiction: Book 21

Jack Williamson

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

But are they perfect servants--or perfect masters?

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

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

Hal Spacejock

Hal Spacejock: Book 1

Simon Haynes

Everyone knows a character like Hal Spacejock - he's the guy who plugs a 12-volt lantern into a mains socket and burns his house down. He's the guy who does his own plumbing and floods the neighbour's house. He's the guy who window-shops three hardware stores to save a few bucks on a hammer, then blows a hundred and twenty on a laser-guided tape measure with built-in bottle opener.

In short, Hal's your regular, everyday guy. He just happens to have a two-hundred ton spaceship ... and he's none too flash with the controls.

A Round Trip to the Year 2000: Or A Flight Through Time

Hyperion Classics of Science Fiction: Book 15

William Wallace Cook

A Round Trip to the Year 2000, or A Flight Through Time, in which various contemporary writers travel by Suspended Animation to 2000 CE, where they observe social conditions, and find themselves a popular anachronism.

This remarkable novel originally appeared in 1903 in The Argosy magazine, but was not published in book form until 1925. By then, Karel Capek's RUR had been written, and Cook's work, in which mechainical men appeared for the first time in science fiction, received little notice.

Brisk Money

L.A. Trilogy

Adam Christopher

Raymond Chandler famously hated science fiction, saying "They pay brisk money for this crap?" However, it has recently come to light that Chandler secretly wrote a series of stories and novels starring a robot detective. He then burnt all the manuscripts and went on writing his noir masterpieces. Unknown to Chandler, his housekeeper had managed to save some of these discarded manuscripts from the grate in his study, preserving the tales for future generations.

The first of these stories was recently unearthed by author Adam Christopher. On the topic of how the manuscript made its way from Chandler's study in California to Christopher's home in England, Christopher is suspiciously quiet.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Homeland

Little Brother: Book 2

Cory Doctorow

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head On

Lock In: Book 2

John Scalzi

In the standalone follow-up to Lock In, chilling near-future SF is combined with the thrill of a gritty cop procedural, snappy dialogue and technological speculation on the future world of sports.

Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent's head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are "threeps," robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden's Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real and the crowds love it.

Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

Is it an accident or murder? FBI Agents and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, are called in to uncover the truth -- and in doing so travel to the darker side of the fast-growing sport of Hilketa, where fortunes are made or lost, and where players and owners do whatever it takes to win, on and off the field.

Stars Above

Lunar Chronicles

Marissa Meyer

The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories - and secrets - that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With six stories - two of which have never before been published - and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer's novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

Contents:

  • The Keeper
  • Glitches
  • The Queen's Army
  • Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky
  • After Sunshine Passes By
  • The Princess and the Guard
  • The Little Android
  • The Mechanic
  • Something Old, Something New

Cinder

Lunar Chronicles: Book 1

Marissa Meyer

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

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

Scarlet

Lunar Chronicles: Book 2

Marissa Meyer

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

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

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...

iD: The Second Machine Dynasty

Machine Dynasties: Book 2

Madeline Ashby

Javier is a self-replicating humanoid on a journey of redemption. Javier's quest takes him from Amy's island, where his actions have devastating consequences for his friend, toward Mecha where he will find either salvation... or death.

The House That Stood Still

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 31

A. E. Van Vogt

A thrilling tale of a struggle to save Earth from Armageddon, written by one of the crucial authors of the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Disaster is quickly approaching and the only ones who know of it are Allison Stephens and a group of ancient sinister aliens. Now the aliens plan to abandon Earth and seek a new home.

Also published as "The Mating Cry" and "The Undercover Aliens"

The Technician

Polity: Book 4

Neal Asher

The Theocracy has been dead for twenty years, and the Polity rules on Masada. But the Tidy Squad consists of rebels who cannot accept the new order. Their hate for surviving theocrats is undiminished, and the iconic Jeremiah Tombs is at the top of their hitlist.

Escaping his sanatorium Tombs is pushed into painful confrontation with reality he has avoided since the rebellion. His insanity has been left uncured, because the near mythical hooder called the Technician that attacked him all those years ago, did something to his mind even the AIs fail to understand. Tombs might possess information about the suicide of an entire alien race.

The war drone Amistad, whose job it is to bring this information to light, recruits Lief Grant, an ex-rebel Commander, to protect Tombs, along with the black AI Penny Royal, who everyone thought was dead. The amphidapt Chanter, who has studied the bone sculptures the Technician makes with the remains of its prey, might be useful too.

Meanwhile, in deep space, the mechanism the Atheter used to reduce themselves to animals, stirs from slumber and begins to power-up its weapons.

Gemsigns

Revolution: Book 1

Stephanie Saulter

For years the human race was under attack from a deadly Syndrome, but when a cure was found – in the form of genetically engineered human beings, Gems – the line between survival and ethics was radically altered.

Now the Gems are fighting for their freedom, from the oppression of the companies which created them, and against the Norms, who have always seen them as slaves. The conference at which Dr Eli Walker has been commissioned to present his findings on the Gems is the key to that freedom.

But with the Gemtech companies fighting to keep the Gems enslaved, and the horrifying godgangs determined to rid the earth of these ‘unholy’ creations, the Gems are up against forces that might just be too powerful to oppose.

Robopocalypse

Robopocalypse: Book 1

Daniel H. Wilson

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

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

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

Robogenesis

Robopocalypse: Book 2

Daniel H. Wilson

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

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

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

The Complete Roderick

Roderick

John Sladek

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

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

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

Roderick

Roderick: Book 1

John Sladek

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

Roderick at Random

Roderick: Book 2

John Sladek

Here is the continuing and uproarious saga of Roderick, a robot and "learning machine" growing up in an America in the near future. The mild-mannered robot is confronted with an ever-widening cast of madcap characters who typify the artificial values endemic in modern America.

The Future Eve

Ron Miller Science Fiction Classics: Book 68

Villiers de l'lsle-Adam

The Future Eve (also translated as Tomorrow's Eve and The Eve of the Future; from the French) is a Symbolist science fiction novel by the French author Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam. Begun in 1878 and originally published in 1886, the novel is known for popularizing the term "android".

Villiers opens the novel with his main character, a fictionalized Thomas Edison, contemplating the effects of his inventions on the world and the tragedy that they were not available until his invention. Interrupted in his reverie, Edison receives a message from his friend Lord Ewald, who saved his life some years before and to whom he feels indebted.

When Ewald calls, he reveals that he is close to suicide because of his fiancée, Miss Alicia Clary. Alicia is described as being physically perfect but emotionally and intellectually empty. She will say whatever she believes others want to hear. Far from having any ambition or goals of her own, she lives her life based on what she believes is expected of her. Ewald describes his frustration with the disparity between her appearance and her self and confides that though he can have no other, she is so hopeless that he has resolved to kill himself.

Edison replies by offering to construct for Ewald a machine-woman in the form of Alicia but without any of her bothersome personality. He shows Ewald the prototype of the android, named Hadaly, and Ewald is intrigued and accepts Edison's offer. Edison reveals that he has invited Alicia to his residence at Menlo Park in order to set the process in motion. He then explains to the still somewhat doubtful Ewald how he will interact with the android and how natural it will all feel.

Ewald then presses Edison to tell him why he created Hadaly in the first place. Edison relates a long story about Mr. Edward Anderson who was tempted into infidelity by a young woman named Miss Evelyn. His indiscretion, brought about by the guile of Miss Evelyn, ruins his life completely. Edison then says that he tracked down Miss Evelyn only to discover that she was not as she appeared, rather she was horribly ugly and her beauty was entirely the work of cosmetics, wigs, and other accessories. Edison created Hadaly in an effort to overcome the flaws and artificiality of real women and create a perfect and natural woman who could bring a man true happiness. Edison then takes Ewald back to Hadaly and explains to him the exact mechanical details of her functioning: how she moves and talks and breathes and bathes, all the while explaining how natural and normal Hadaly's robotic needs are, comparing them to similar human actions and functions.

After the details of the android's functioning and construction are covered, Alicia arrives and is escorted in. Edison convinces her that she is being considered for an important theater role. Over the course of the next weeks, she poses for Edison and her exact physical likeness is duplicated and recordings of her voice are made. Eventually, Edison sends Alicia away and introduces Ewald to his android-Alicia without revealing that it is not the real thing. Ewald is very taken with her and she secretly reveals to him that she is in fact not simply an android but has been supernaturally endowed with the spirit of Sowana, Edison's mystical assistant. Ewald does not reveal this fact to Edison but instead leaves with Hadaly-Alicia-Sowana. However, before he can reach home to his new life with his new lover, Ewald's ship sinks and the android, who was traveling with the cargo, is destroyed.

Saturn's Children

Saturn's Children: Book 1

Charles Stross

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

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

Foundation's Triumph

Second Foundation Trilogy: Book 3

David Brin

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

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

The Silver Metal Lover

Silver Metal Lover: Book 1

Tanith Lee

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

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

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

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

Immortal Coil

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Jeffrey Lang

He is perhaps the ultimate human achievement: a sentient artificial life-form -- self-aware, self-determining, possessing a mind and body far surpassing that of his makers, and imbued with the potential to evolve beyond the scope of his programming. Created by one of the most brilliant and eccentric intellects the Federation has ever known, the android Data has always believed he was unique, the one true fulfillment of a dream to create children of the mind.

But is he?

Investigating the mysterious destruction of a new android created by Starfleet, Data and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise uncover startling secrets stretching back to the galaxy's dim past. That knowledge is coveted by beings who will stop at nothing to control it, and will force Data to redefine himself as he learns the hidden history of artificial intelligence.

The Light Fantastic

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Jeffrey Lang

Returning to the story begun in the novel Immortal Coil and continuing in the bestselling Cold Equations trilogy, this is the next fascinating chapter in the artificial life of one of Star Trek's most enduring characters.

He was perhaps the ultimate human achievement: a sentient artificial life-form--self-aware, self-determining, possessing a mind and body far surpassing that of his makers, and imbued with the potential to evolve beyond the scope of his programming. And then Data was destroyed.

Four years later, Data's creator, Noonien Soong, sacrificed his life and resurrected his android son, who in turn revived the positronic brain of his own artificial daughter, Lal. Having resigned his commission, the former Starfleet officer now works to make his way on an alien world, while also coming to grips with the very human notion of wanting versus having a child. But complicating Data's new life is an unexpected nemesis from years ago on the U.S.S. Enterprise--the holographic master criminal Professor James Moriarty. Long believed to be imprisoned in a memory solid, Moriarty has created a siphon into the "real" world as a being of light and thought. Moriarity wants the solid form that he was once told he could never have, and seeks to manipulate Data into finding another android body for him to permanently inhabit... even if it means evicting the current owner, and even if that is Data himself.

Mudd's Angels: or Mudd's Enterprise

Star Trek: The Original Series: Episode Novelizations: Book 13

J. A. Lawrence

This is a novel in three parts: "Mudd's Women" and "I, Mudd" are novelizations of Star Trek The Original Series TV episodes, and "The Business, as Usual, During Altercations" is a new novella written by J.A. Lawrence for this book.

In "Mudd's Women", the USS Enterprise chases an unregistered starship, a small class J cargo vessel. Fleeing, the ship approaches an asteroid belt with a Schiller Rating of 35. The small ship's peril increases further when its desperate speed causes its engines to overheat. The Enterprise rescues the pilot - who turns out to be a con man named Harry Mudd trafficking in mail-order brides.

In "I, Mudd", a crewman hijacks the Enterprise and diverts it to a planet 4 days away. Upon arrival at their altered destination, Captain Kirk and the crew discover that Harry Mudd is now ruler of a planet of androids. After capturing the Enterprise, Mudd imprisons Kirk in an attempt at revenge, intending to replace him with an android duplicate which Mudd can control.

In "The Business, as Usual, During Altercations," on Stardate 6273.6 the Enterprise is ordered to discover the reason for a sudden shortage of dilithium. The crew discovers that all the dilithium has been bought from its suppliers by a variety of companies, all headquartered on the planet Liticia. Trouble looms when Chekov realizes that Liticia is actually Mudd, the android planet where they left Harry Mudd. They arrive at Liticia to find that Mudd has been trading female androids to the miners for their dilithium. When he learns that Mudd has just fled Liticia with the dilithium, Kirk orders the Enterprise in pursuit.

republished as Mudd's Enterprise by Bantam Spectra in 1994

The Mechanical

The Alchemy Wars: Book 1

Ian Tregillis

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

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

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

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

Nightside the Long Sun

The Book of the Long Sun: Book 1

Gene Wolfe

The Whorl, a giant starship world whose origins are shrouded in legend, is ruled by strange gods and peopled by a human race changed by time.

The Early Asimov Volume 3

The Early Asimov: Book 3

Isaac Asimov

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

Contains:

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

The Foundation Trilogy

The Foundation Series

Isaac Asimov

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

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

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

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

Foundation and Earth

The Foundation Series: Book 5

Isaac Asimov

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

Prelude to Foundation

The Foundation Series: Book 6

Isaac Asimov

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

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

Forward the Foundation

The Foundation Series: Book 7

Isaac Asimov

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

Great Sky River

The Galactic Center Series: Book 3

Gregory Benford

At the center of the galaxy, a small band of humans, trapped on the barren world of Snowglade and facing extinction, discovers that they will play a new role in the order of the universe.

Life, the Universe and Everything

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book 3

Douglas Adams

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

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

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

All Systems Red

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 1

Martha Wells

A murderous android discovers itself in All Systems Red, a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial Intelligence.

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

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

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

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

The Bicentennial Man

The Positronic Robot Stories

Isaac Asimov

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

The story is included in the collections:

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

I, Robot

The Positronic Robot Stories: Book 1

Isaac Asimov

The three laws of Robotics:

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

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

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

The Positronic Man

The Positronic Robot Stories: Book 3

Robert Silverberg
Isaac Asimov

In a twenty-first century Earth where the development of the positronic brain has revolutionized the way of life, beloved household robot "Andrew" struggles with his unusual capacity for emotion and dreams of becoming human.

Robot Visions

The Positronic Robot Stories: Book 4

Isaac Asimov

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

The Collapsium

The Queendom of Sol: Book 1

Wil McCarthy

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

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

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

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

The Wellstone

The Queendom of Sol: Book 2

Wil McCarthy

For the children of immortal parents, growing up can be hard to do. A prince will forever be a prince--leaving no chance for Bascal Edward de Towaji Lutui to inherit his parents' throne. So what is an angry young blue blood to do? Punch a hole in the shadow he's been living in by rallying his equally disgruntled companions to make an improbable spaceship, busting out of the so-called summer camp in which their parents have stowed them and making a daring escape across the vastness of space. Ne'er-do-well Conrad Mursk is just along for the joyride--until he realizes this is no typical display of teenage angst. The children are rising up in an honest-to-gods revolution. And, boyo, things are going to get raw.

Twisted Metal

The Robot Wars: Book 1

Tony Ballantyne

On a world of intelligent robots who seem to have forgotten their own distant past, it is a time of war as the soldiers of Artemis City set out to conquer everything within range on the continent of Shull, killing or converting every robot they capture to their philosophy, while viewing their own wire-based minds as nothing but metal to be used or recycled for the cause.

Elsewhere, the more individualistic robots of Turing City believe they are something more than metal, but when the Artemisian robot Kavan sets out on a determined crusade to prove himself, even Turing City can’t stand against him. Increasingly tied up with Kavan’s destiny is Karel, a Turing robot with elements of Artemis’s philosophy already woven into his mind … as well as Karel’s wife Susan, and their recently created child..

Following the inevitable violence and destruction, Artemisian ambition focuses elsewhere and a journey begins towards the frozen kingdoms of the north … and towards the truth about the legendary ‘Book of Robots’, a text which may finally explain the real history of this strange world …

In a completely alien but brilliantly realized landscape, here is a powerful story of superb action, barbaric cruelty and intense emotional impact.

Blood and Iron

The Robot Wars: Book 2

Tony Ballantyne

Appointed Commander of the Emperor's Army of Sangrel, Wa-Ka-Mo-Do of Ko tries to establish relations between the existing robot population and the humans who have recently arrived on Yukawa. On the continent of Shull, Kavan forms the Uncertain Army and is marching to Artemis City. Upon discovery that the city's generals have made an alliance with the humans, he retreats to Stark where he plans the eventual overthrow of Artemis and the humans. Meanwhile, Karel is heading South, hoping to be reunited with Susan, his wife. As he walks, he hears more of the stories of the robots, and begins to understand something about his place on the world of Penrose. But with limited resources and tensions growing between robot and human it's only a matter of time before problems arise. And it's becoming more and more apparent that the humans are a lot more powerful than the robots first expected...

Sleeping Giants

The Themis Files: Book 1

Sylvain Neuvel

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

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

But some can never stop searching for answers.

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

Waking Gods

The Themis Files: Book 2

Sylvain Neuvel

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she's dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers -- and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer now than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth... and maybe even the stars.

Wetware

Ware: Book 2

Rudy Rucker

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

The Buntline Special

Weird West Tales: Book 1

Mike Resnick

The year is 1881. The United States of America ends at the Mississippi River. Beyond lies the Indian nations, where the magic of powerful Medicine Men has halted the advance of the Americans east of the river.

An American government desperate to expand its territory sends Thomas Alva Edison out West to the town of Tombstone, Arizona, on a mission to discover a scientific means of counteracting magic. Hired to protect this great genius, Wyatt Earp and his brothers.

But there are plenty who would like to see the Earps and Edison dead. Riding to their aid are old friends Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson. Against them stand the Apache wizard Geronimo and the Clanton gang. Battle lines are drawn, and the Clanton gang, which has its own reasons for wanting Edison dead, sends for Johnny Ringo, the one man who might be Doc Holliday's equal in a gunfight. But what shows up instead is The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo, returned from the dead and come to Tombstone looking for a fight.

Welcome to a West like you've never seen before, where "Bat Masterson" hails from the ranks of the undead, where electric lights shine down on the streets of Tombstone, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle to The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think again, as five-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western tale, and the West will never be the same.

The Doctor and the Kid

Weird West Tales: Book 2

Mike Resnick

This is the rip-roaring steampunk sequel to popular "The Buntline Special", filled with adventure, excitement, and more than a little gun-slinging action!

The time is 1882. With the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral behind him, the consumptive Doc Holliday makes his way to Deadwood, Colorado, where he plans to spend the rest of his short life.

But one night he gets a little too drunk and loses everything at the gaming table. He realizes that he needs to replenish his bankroll, and quick, so that he can live out his days in comfort. He considers his options and hits upon the one most likely to produce income in a hurry: he'll use his shooting skills to turn bounty hunter.

The biggest reward is for the death of the young desperado known as Billy the Kid. It's clear from the odds the Kid has faced and beaten, that he is protected by some powerful magic. Doc enlists the aid of both magic (Geronimo) and science (Thomas Edison), and goes out after his quarry.

But as he soon finds out, nothing is as easy as it looks.