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The Boat of a Million Years

Poul Anderson

Others have written SF on the theme of immortality, but in The Boat of a Million Years, Poul Anderson made it his own. Early in human history, certain individuals were born who live on, unaging, undying, through the centuries and millenia. We follow them through over 2000 years, up to our time and beyond-to the promise of utopia, and to the challenge of the stars.

A milestone in modern science fiction, a New York Times Notable Book on its first publication in 1989, this is one of a great writer's finest works.

Weaveworld

Clive Barker

Set in contemporary England, two friends discover a secret magical world and are drawn into a battle between good and evil.

Looking Backward, 2000-1887

Edward Bellamy

Originally published in 1888, this prophetic work revolves around Julian West, a man who falls asleep near the end of the 19th century and wakes up in the year 2000. More than a brilliant visionary's view of the future, it is a guidebook that has stimulated some of the greatest thinkers of the modern age.

Triton

Samuel R. Delany

Triton, the outermost moon of Neptune, was a world of absolute freedom, where every wish could be fulfilled. But for Bron Helstrom, one of Triton's elite, life had lost its meaning. There, in a world of endless possibilities, Bron began a searing odyssey to find the object of his desires.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Cory Doctorow

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

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

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

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

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

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

Herland: and Selected Stories

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

A collection of stories by the author of The Yellow Wallpaper features the complete text of "Herland" and such short stories as ""Mrs. Elder's Idea"" and "The Unexpected."

On the eve of World War I, an all-female society is discovered somewhere in the distant reaches of the earth by three male explorers who are now forced to re-examine their assumptions about women's roles in society.

The Man in the Moone

Francis Godwin

Arguably the first work of science fiction in English, Francis Godwin's The Man in the Moone was published in 1638, pseudonymously and posthumously.

The novel, which tells the story of Domingo Gonsales, a Spaniard who flies to the moon by geese power and encounters an advanced lunar civilization of Christians who live in a Utopian state.

The work had an enormous impact on the European imagination for centuries after its initial publication, due to its discussion of advanced ideas about astronomy and cosmology. The novel is an important example of both popular fiction and scientific speculation.

The Listeners

James E. Gunn

After fifty-one long years of patient waiting, the message has finally arrived. They have dedicated their lives to trying to decipher the eerie silence that resounds from space and now there is finally a sound after decades of quiet. In the beginning there is a hail of celebration, the Project has finally produced results, but then the questions begin. What does the message mean? Could it be 'we come in peace' or 'get ready for world domination'?

The message baffles Earth. Only one man has the power to make the decision and it could mean intergalactic warfare if he makes the wrong choice. Director MacDonald holds in his hands the fate of Earth, the universe and the Project, which is dedicated to answering questions that have plagued humanity for centuries. Will he make the correct choice?

The Glass Bead Game

Hermann Hesse

The final novel of Hermann Hesse, for which he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946, The Glass Bead Game is a fascinating tale of the complexity of modern life as well as a classic of modern literature.

Set in an unspecified future, The Glass Bead Game is the story of Joseph Knecht, who has been raised in Castalia, the remote place his society has provided for the intellectual elite to grow and flourish. Since childhood, Knecht has been consumed with mastering the Glass Bead Game, which requires a synthesis of aesthetics and scientific arts, such as mathematics, music, logic, and philosophy, which he achieves in adulthood, becoming a Magister Ludi (Master of the Game).

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...

Always Coming Home

Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin's Always Coming Home is a major work of the imagination from one of America's most respected writers of science fiction. More than five years in the making, it is a novel unlike any other. A rich and complex interweaving of story and fable, poem, artwork, and music, it totally immerses the reader in the culture of the Kesh, a peaceful people of the far future who inhabit a place called the Valley on the Northern Pacific Coast.

The Birthday of the World and Other Stories

Ursula K. Le Guin

Six of these tales are set in the author's signature world of the Ekumen, a world made familiar in her award-winning novel The Left Hand of Darkness. The title story was hailed by Publisher's Weekly as "remarkable... a standout." Paradises Lost is a mesmerizing novella of space exploration and the pursuit of happiness. These stories explore complex social interactions, troublesome issues of gender and sex, and the meaning of transformation, religion, and history.

Contents:

  • Coming of Age in Karhide by Sov Thade Tage em Ereb, of Rer, in Karhide, on Gethen
  • The Matter of Seggri
  • Unchosen Love
  • Mountain Ways
  • Solitude
  • Old Music and the Slave Women
  • The Birthday of the World
  • Paradises Lost

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Ursula K. Le Guin

Hugo Award winning short story. It originally appeared in the anthology New Dimensions III (1973), edited by Robert Silverberg. The story has been reprinted many times. It can be found in the anthologies:

The story is included in the collections The Wind's Twelve Quarters (1975), Outer Space, Inner Lands (2012), The Wind's Twelve Quarters & The Compass Rose (2015) and The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin (2016).

Return From the Stars

Stanislaw Lem

Hal Bregg is an astronaut who returns from a space mission in which only 10 biological years have passed for him, while 127 years have elapsed on earth. He finds that the earth has changed beyond recognition, filled with human beings who have been medically neutralized. How does an astronaut join a civilization that shuns risk?

News from Nowhere: or, An Epoch of Rest

William Morris

News From Nowhere, one of the most significant English works on the theme of utopia, is the tale of William Guest, a Victorian who wakes one morning to find himself in the year 2102 and discovers a society that has changed beyond recognition into a pastoral paradise, in which all people live in blissful equality and contentment. A socialist masterpiece, News From Nowhere is a vision of a future free from capitalism, isolation and industrialisation.

Midas World

Frederik Pohl

Table of Contents:

  • The Fire-Bringer
  • The Midas Plague - (1954)
  • The Servant of the People - (1982)
  • The Man Who Ate the World - (1956)
  • The Farmer on the Dole - (1982)
  • The Lord of the Skies
  • The New Neighbors - (1983)

Stone

Adam Roberts

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

When It Changed

Joanna Russ

This story, about an all-female society suddenly faced with the presence of men, is one of the most famous tales in science fiction.

It has been collected in The Zanzibar Cat (1983) and anthologized in Again, Dangerous Visions (1972), Nebula Award Stories 8 (1973), The New Women of Wonder (1978), The Best of the Nebulas (1989), The Road to Science Fiction 3: From Heinlein to Here (1979), Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology (2015) and The Big Book of Science Fiction (2016).

Read this story online for free at the Sci Fiction archive.

The New Utopian Politics of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed

Peter Stillman

The Dispossessed has been described by political thinker Andre Gorz as 'The most striking description I know of the seductions--and snares--of self-managed communist or, in other words, anarchist society.' To date, however, the radical social, cultural, and political ramifications of Le Guin's multiple award-winning novel remain woefully under explored.

Editors Laurence Davis and Peter Stillman right this state of affairs in the first ever collection of original essays devoted to Le Guin's novel. Among the topics covered in this wide-ranging, international and interdisciplinary collection are the anarchist, ecological, post-consumerist, temporal, revolutionary, and open-ended utopian politics of The Dispossessed. The book concludes with an essay by Le Guin written specially for this volume, in which she reassesses the novel in light of the development of her own thinking over the past 30 years.

Hollow World

Michael J. Sullivan

The future is coming…for some, sooner than others.

Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man, who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but faced with a terminal illness he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. He could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began…but only if he can survive Hollow World.

Welcome to the future and a new science fiction thriller from the bestselling author of The Riyria Revelations.

The Gate to Women's Country

Sheri S. Tepper

Classic fantasy from the amazing Sheri S. Tepper. Women rule in Women's Country. Women live apart from men, sheltering the remains of civilization They have cut themselves off with walls and by ordinance from marauding males. Waging war is all men are good for. Men are allowed to fight their barbaric battles! amongst themselves, garrison against garrison. For the sake of his pride, each boy child ritualistically rejects his mother when he comes of age to be a warrior. But all the secrets of civilization are strictly the possession of women. Naturally, there are men who want to know what the women know! And when Stavia meets Chernon, the battle of the sexes begins all over again. Foolishly, she provides books for Chernon to read. Before long, Chernon is hatching a plan of revenge against women!

Palimpsest

Catherynne M. Valente

In the Cities of Coin and Spice and In the Night Garden introduced readers to the unique and intoxicating imagination of Catherynne M. Valente. Now she weaves a lyrically erotic spell of a place where the grotesque and the beautiful reside and the passport to our most secret fantasies begins with a stranger's kiss....

Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world is the city of Palimpsest. To get there is a miracle, a mystery, a gift, and a curse-a voyage permitted only to those who've always believed there's another world than the one that meets the eye. Those fated to make the passage are marked forever by a map of that wondrous city tattooed on their flesh after a single orgasmic night. To this kingdom of ghost trains, lion-priests, living kanji, and cream-filled canals come four travelers: Oleg, a New York locksmith; the beekeeper November; Ludovico, a binder of rare books; and a young Japanese woman named Sei. They've each lost something important-a wife, a lover, a sister, a direction in life-and what they will find in Palimpsest is more than they could ever imagine.

The Persistence of Vision (novella)

John Varley

Hugo, Nebula and Locus award nominated novella. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March 1978. The story can also be found in the anthologies:

It is half of Tor Double #29: Nanowire Time / The Persistence of Vision and is included in the collections The Persistence of Vision (1979) and The John Varley Reader (2004).

A Modern Utopia

H. G. Wells

The premise of the novel is that there is a planet (for "No less than a planet will serve the purpose of a modern Utopia") exactly like Earth, with the same geography and biology. Moreover, on that planet "all the men and women that you know and I" exist "in duplicate." They have, however, "different habits, different traditions, different knowledge, different ideas, different clothing, and different appliances." (Not however, a different language: "Indeed, should we be in Utopia at all, if we could not talk to everyone?")

To this planet "out beyond Sirius" the Owner of the Voice and the botanist are translated, imaginatively, "in the twinkling of an eye... We should scarcely note the change. Not a cloud would have gone from the sky." Their point of entry is on the slopes of the Piz Lucendro in the Swiss Alps.

The adventures of these two characters are traced through eleven chapters. Little by little they discover how Utopia is organized. It is a world with "no positive compulsions at all... for the adult Utopian--unless they fall upon him as penalties incurred."

The Owner of the Voice and the botanist are soon required to account for their presence. When their thumbprints are checked against records in "the central index housed in a vast series of buildings at or near Paris," both discover they have doubles in Utopia. They journey to London to meet them, and the Owner of the Voice's double is a member of the Samurai, a voluntary order of nobility that rules Utopia. "These samurai form the real body of the State."

Running through the novel as a foil to the main narrative is the botanist's obsession with an unhappy love affair back on Earth. The Owner of the Voice is annoyed at this undignified and unworthy insertion of earthly affairs in Utopia, but when the botanist meets the double of his beloved in Utopia the violence of his reaction bursts the imaginative bubble that has sustained the narrative and the two men find themselves back in early-twentieth-century London.

H. G. Wells Complete Short Story Omnibus

H. G. Wells

This collection of short stories by H. G. Wells is the most comprehensive yet, and showcases the hugely fertile imagination of the great author, whose ideas and storylines remain hugely relevant to this day.

Note: This is a leather-bound collectors edition available for pre-order only.

Men Like Gods

H. G. Wells

"Men Like Gods" is a 1922 novel written by H. G. Wells. It features a utopian parallel universe.

The hero of the novel, Mr. Barnstaple, is a depressive journalist in the newspaper "The Liberal." At the beginning of the story, Mr. Barnstaple, as well as a few other Englishmen, are accidentally transported to the parallel world of Utopia.

Utopia is like an advanced Earth, although it had been quite similar to Earth in the past in a period known to Utopians as the "Days of Confusion." Utopia is a utopian world: it has a utopian socialist world government, advanced science, and even pathogens have been eliminated and predators are almost tamed.

Barnstaple is confounded and confused by the utopian attitudes: "where is your government ?" he asks. "our government is in our education" is the answer. Barnstaple gradually loses his Victorian English narcissism. For instance, Wells makes comments on personal responsibility when Barnstaple sees a person slaving over a rose garden at high altitude and asks, "Why don't you hire a gardener?" The answer is, "The working class has vanished from utopia years ago! He who loves the rose must then serve that rose." Barnstaple is changed by those experiences and he loses his Eurocentric view of the world and starts to really get the idea of the place. As this conversion starts to take place, Utopians begin to fall ill.

This, however, means that the newly arrived Earthlings pose a grave threat to Utopians, as the latter's immune system has become weak; and the Earthlings have to be quarantined until a solution is found. They resent this isolation and some of them plot to take over Utopia...

Islandia

Austin Tappan Wright

Austin Tappan Wright left the world a wholly unsuspected legacy. After he died in a tragic accident, among this distinguished legal scholar's papers were found thousands of pages devoted to a staggering feat of literary creation--a detailed history of an imagined country complete with geography, genealogy, literature, language and culture. As detailed as J.R.R. Tolkien's middle-earth novels, Islandia has similarly become a classic touchstone for those concerned with the creation of imaginary worlds in the utopian tradition.

Lord of the Flies

William Golding

William Golding's classic novel of primitive savagery and survival is one of the most vividly realized and riveting works in modern fiction. The tale begins after a plane wreck deposits a group of English school boys, aged six to twelve on an isolated tropical island. Their struggle to survive and impose order quickly evolves from a battle against nature into a battle against their own primitive instincts. Golding's portrayal of the collapse of social order into chaos draws the fine line between innocence and savagery.

Woman on the Edge of Time

Marge Piercy

Connie Ramos, a woman in her mid-thirties, has been declared insane. But Connie is overwhelmingly sane, merely tuned to the future, and able to communicate with the year 2137. As her doctors persuade her to agree to an operation, Connie struggles to force herself to listen to the future and its lessons for today....

Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift

In Gulliver's Travels, the narrator represents himself as a reliable reporter of the fantastic adventures he has just experienced. But how far can we rely on a narrator who has been impersonated by someone else? The work purports to be a travel book, and describes the shipwrecked Gulliver's encounters with the inhabitants of four extraordinary places: Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the country of the Houyhnhnms. An extraordinarily skillful blend of fantasy and realism makes Gulliver's Travels by turns hilarious, frightening, and profound. Swift's alter ego plays tricks on us, and our gullibility uncovers one of the world's most disturbing satires of the human condition.

Commune 2000 A.D.

Bat Hardin: Book 1

Mack Reynolds

Commune 2000 A.D. depicts a North America in which 90 percent of the population is unemployed and on government assistance, and yet everyone leads a comfortable lifestyle, with plenty of food, beautiful spacious housing, efficient public transportation, and an array of electronic devices. Crime and envy are almost entirely eliminated. There is no pollution and the landscape has been restored, with factories and highways underground. Computers and automation make this utopia possible. In fact, every year people take an intelligence/aptitude test, and the government computers select the best individuals for the tiny number of jobs available.

The fact that everyone has a middle class income and lifestyle without working allows them to leave the cities and band together into communes of the like-minded (a commune of homosexuals, a commune of artists, a commune of people who like to get high on drugs every day, etc.) The main character, a graduate student in the social sciences, is tasked by his graduate adviser to write his thesis on the communes, and he travels from commune to commune, interviewing communards and taking notes.

The Towers of Utopia

Bat Hardin: Book 2

Mack Reynolds

Imagine a future in which the US government builds colossal self-contained cities to house anyone who wishes to live there. it is a virtual paradise except...

SHYLER-DEME IS UNDER SEIGE!

The enemy has no face. It does not show on the scanners. It avoids the world's most sophisticated surveillance system. But it leaves a wake of profitless crime and motiveless murder...

And puts the future of mankind's paradise-on-earth in peril!

Ginga

Bone Street Rumba

Daniel José Older

Between her obscenely muscular new capoeira teacher, her crush going off with a new girl in their favorite park, and trigonometry homework, Kia figures she has enough going on without some creepy ghost causing car crashes and hit-and-runs in her neighborhood. Carlos Delacruz, the half-dead half-resurrected soulcatcher for the New York Council of the Dead, would love to keep her out of it, but things don't usually go the way he intends. From the world of Daniel José Older's immensely popular Bone Street Rumba series.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Star Maker

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 13

Olaf Stapledon

Widely regarded as one of the true classics of science fiction, Star Maker is a poetic and deeply philosophical work. This 1937 successor to Last and First Men offers another entrancing speculative history of the future. The story details the mental journey of an unnamed narrator who is transported not only to other worlds but also other galaxies, intelligent star clusters, mingles amoung alien races and continues on to parallel universes, until he eventually becomes part of the "cosmic mind."

First published in 1937, Olaf Stapledon's descriptions of alien life are a political commentary on human life in the turbulent inter-war years. The book challenges preconceived notions of intelligence and awareness, and ultimately argues for a broadened perspective that would free us from culturally ingrained thought and our inevitable anthropomorphism.

This is the first scholarly edition of a book that influenced such writers as C.S. Lewis, Doris Lessing, and Arthur C. Clarke. Jorge Luis Borges called this work "a prodigious novel."

The Coming Race

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 19

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Secrets Lie Within The Earth

"Tell me frankly what you saw in that chasm: I am sure it was something strange and terrible. Confide in me."

The engineer long endeavoured to evade my inquiries. But at last, he spoke.

"I will tell you all. A steady brilliant light. I left the cage and clambered down. As I drew nearer and nearer to the light, the chasm became wider, and at last I saw, to my unspeakable amaze, a broad level road at the bottom of the abyss, illumined as far as the eye could reach by what seemed artificial gas-lamps placed at regular intervals, as in the thoroughfare of a great city; and I heard confusedly at a distance a hum as of human voices. I know, of course, that no rival miners are at work in this district. Whose could be those voices? What human hands could have levelled that road and marshalled those lamps?"

"You will descend again?"

"I ought, yet I feel as if I durst not."

A Door into Ocean

Elysium Cycle: Book 1

Joan Slonczewski

Thousands of years in the future in a distant part of the galaxy, lies the planet Shora, entirely covered by a world-spanning ocean. The huge and complex ecosystem of Shora is inhabited by the Sharers, an all female race who reproduce by parthenogensis, without males. The Sharers are immensely sophisticated in the life sciences, but have eschewed all unnatural technology. Over millennia of isolation, they have developed a complex philosophical and ethical system, idealistic, communal, and pacifist...

So begins a war, protracted and graphic, in which one side cannot fight because the concept is inconceivable in their philosophy...

The Great Romance: A Rediscovered Utopian Adventure

Frontiers of Imagination: Book 56

The Inhabitant

The Great Romance, a two-volume novella published under the pseudonym "The Inhabitant," was one of the outstanding late nineteenth-century works of utopian science fiction. Volume 1 was a possible model for Edward Bellamy's phenomenally successful Looking Backward, while volume 2 was assumed lost for over a century until uncovered in the Hocken Library in Dunedin, New Zealand. Together these volumes represent a remarkable piece of science fiction writing as they proffer one of the first serious considerations of the colonization of other planets and the impact of human beings on an alien culture. Here, for the first time, readers encounter descriptions of spacesuits and airlocks, space shuttles and planetary rovers, interplanetary colonization and cross-species miscegenation.

Behind these genre-defining elements is the story of John Hope, who, by means of a sleeping elixir, awakes to a utopian community in a distant future--a "kingdom of thought" where the struggle for existence has been eliminated and humanity operates under an unwritten law of civility and harmony, aided by telekinesis that inerrantly reveals all wrong-doers. Since only two of the probably three volumes are extant, the tale ends with a chilling cliffhanger. In his introduction Dominic Alessio discusses the cutting-edge aspects of this work and its significance in both the realm of science fiction and the history and culture of its day.

The Year 3000: A Dream

Frontiers of Imagination: Book 61

Paolo Mantegazza

First published in 1897, The Year 3000 is the most daring and original work of fiction by the prominent Italian anthropologist Paolo Mantegazza. A futuristic utopian novel, the book follows two young lovers who, as they travel from Rome to the capital of the United Planetary States to celebrate their "mating union," encounter the marvels of cultural and scientific advances along the way. Intriguing in itself, The Year 3000 is also remarkable for both its vision of the future (predicting an astonishing array of phenomena from airplanes, artificial intelligence, CAT scans, and credit cards to controversies surrounding divorce, abortion, and euthanasia) and the window it opens on fin de siècle Europe.

Published here for the first time in English, this richly annotated edition features an invaluable introductory essay that interprets the intertextual and intercultural connections within and beyond Mantegazza's work. For its critical contribution to early science fiction and for its insights into the hopes, fears, and clash of values in the Western world of both Mantegazza's time and our own, this book belongs among the visionary giants of speculative literature.

Mizora: A World of Women

Frontiers of Imagination: Book 68

Mary E. Bradley Lane

The book's full title is Mizora: A Prophecy: A Mss. Found Among the Private Papers of Princess Vera Zarovitch: Being a True and Faithful Account of her Journey to the Interior of the Earth, with a Careful Description of the Country and its Inhabitants, their Customs, Manners, and Government.

What would happen to our culture if men ceased to exist? Mary E. Bradley Lane explores this question in Mizora, the first known feminist utopian novel written by a woman.

Vera Zarovitch is a Russian noblewoman--heroic, outspoken, and determined. A political exile in Siberia, she escapes and flees north, eventually finding herself, adrift and exhausted, on a strange sea at the North Pole. Crossing a barrier of mist and brilliant light, Zarovitch is swept into the enchanted, inner world of Mizora. A haven of music, peace, universal education, and beneficial, advanced technology, Mizora is a world of women.

Mizora appeared anonymously in the Cincinnati Commercial in 1880 and 1881. Mary E. Bradley Lane concealed from her husband her role in writing the controversial story.

Has also been published as Mizora: A Prophecy.

Dandelion Wine

Green Town: Book 1

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury's moving recollection of a vanished golden era remains one of his most enchanting novels. Dandelion Wine stands out in the Bradbury literary canon as the author's most deeply personal work, a semi-autobiographical recollection of a magical small-town summer in 1928.

Twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding knows Green Town, Illinois, is as vast and deep as the whole wide world that lies beyond the city limits. It is a pair of brand-new tennis shoes, the first harvest of dandelions for Grandfather's renowned intoxicant, the distant clang of the trolley's bell on a hazy afternoon. It is yesteryear and tomorrow blended into an unforgettable always. But as young Douglas is about to discover, summer can be more than the repetition of established rituals whose mystical power holds time at bay. It can be a best friend moving away, a human time machine who can transport you back to the Civil War, or a sideshow automaton able to glimpse the bittersweet future.

Come and savor Ray Bradbury's priceless distillation of all that is eternal about boyhood and summer.

The Inner House

Greenhill Science Fiction Series: Book 1

Walter Besant

An excerpt of a review from The Unpopular Review, Volume 10, December, 1918:

...WHEN we come to The Inner House by Sir Walter Besant, we find a Utopia that strikes at the very root of the Utopian idea, -- man's desire for a society without drawbacks. To Sir Walter, all Utopias are bad. The craving for them is most harmful. For man to follow the line of least resistance all through life, and to encounter no obstacles in his path, would result in a moral flabbiness that would mean his downfall. The working effect of a society in which there is no struggle for existence is pictured in the Inner House with convincing probability. Hardships are unknown, and the citizens, having overcome all dissatisfaction with conditions, are left in torpor and apathy, stupid and sluggish, for lack of any "large and liberal discontent."

In the land of The Inner House there is no more death or pain. The physicians of the House of Life have made the Great Discovery, how to abolish both pain and death. The result is that Religion and Love have perished from the land. How could Religion survive the removal of Death? "We fear not Death and, therefore, need no religion," the people say. "Without the certainty of parting, Religion droops and dies.... He who is immortal and commands the secrets of Nature so that he shall neither die, nor grow old, nor become feeble nor fall into any disease, feels no necessity for any religion." Love too disappears. But one thing kills Love. It cannot live long while the face and form know no change. Only at the price of abandoning the Great Discovery can Love be revived. The people rise up and throw off their effortless existence, for the sake of the Greater Discovery, "that to all things earthly there must come an end." The inhabitants realize in regard to their loved ones that "the very reason why they clasp them is because they die."

Utopias have their uses; The Inner House is needed to show their possible abuses, and it stands out as the great warning to all Utopians.

The Shape of Things to Come

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 5

H. G. Wells

A prescient look at humankind's future

When a diplomat dies in the 1930s, he leaves behind a book of "dream visions" he has been experiencing, detailing events that will occur on Earth for the next 200 years. This fictional account of the future (similar to Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon) proved prescient in many ways, as Wells predicts events such as World War II, the rise of chemical warfare, and climate change.

Three Hundred Years Hence

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 13

Mary Griffith

Three Hundred Years Hence is a utopian science fiction novel by author Mary Griffith. It is the first known utopian novel written by an American woman.

In Three Hundred Years Hence envisiones a feminist future in the year 2135.

The book is set in Philadelphia.

The main character, Edgar Hastings, leaves on a business trip but is frozen in a snow storm.

Thee hundred years later, he is discovered, thawed out and wakes up. He finds the improvements taken place since his accident amazing. The improved conditions are due entirely to the changes that took place when all females were given an education.

The Crystal Button or, Adventures of Paul Prognosis in the Forty-Ninth Century

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 16

Chauncey Thomas

About the Book (written by David Hartwell): The utopia Chauncey Thomas describes in The Crystal Button may seem a remarkable vision for a late nineteenth-century Boston carriage-manufacturer writing in his spare time.

His hero, Paul Prognosis, goes into a coma for ten years after an accident and dreams that he is in the city of Tone (new Boston) in 4872, three thousand years in the future. It is a highly sanitized, perfectly organized world with sumptuous architecture - colonnades, triumphal arches, facades alive with sculptured decorations. Paul is filled with wonder by the way things work, and much of the novel is devoted to the operations of pure science - Tone's subway system for example, in which electricity and compressed air are the energy sources for rapid transit.

Unlike most utopian novelists Thomas does not moralize, though he faces an awkward paradox in the combination of stability and technology: everything must be changed but also remain permanent. All through the novel there are hints of unresolved anxieties which culminates when the comet Veda appears off schedule and destroys the ordered world of Tone, returning Paul to consciousness in the present.

The Land of the Changing Sun

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 18

Will N. Harben

The Land of the Changing Sun (1894), is a Lost-World tale featuring an Underground society named Alpha, which the author seems to have conceived of as a Utopia; founded 200 years earlier under the Arctic - in caverns, however, not inside a Hollow Earth - by a group of inventive Englishmen, it is lit and heated by an artificial sun, which moves on tracks and changes colour pleasingly. A cruel Eugenic regime causes the exiling of any person deemed defective. Intruding magma threatens this world, and its inhabitants decide to evacuate Alpha in advanced submarines.

Venus Plus X

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 22

Theodore Sturgeon

Charlie Johns has been snatched from his home on 61 North 34th Street and delivered to the strange future world of Ledom. Here, violence is a vague and improbable notion. Technology has triumphed over hunger, overpopulation, pollution, even time and space. But there is a change Charlie finds even more shocking: gender is a thing of the past. Venus Plus X is Theodore Sturgeon's brilliant evocation of a civilization for whom tensions between male and female and the human preoccupation with sex no longer exist.

As Charlie Johns explores Ledom and its people, he finds that the human precepts he holds dear are profane in this new world. But has Charlie learned all there is to know about this advanced society? And why are the Ledom so intent on gaining Charlie's approval? Unsettling, compelling, and no less than visionary, here is science fiction at its boldest: a novel whose wisdom and lyricism make it one of the most original and insightful speculations on gender ever produced.

Solar Lottery

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 33

Philip K. Dick

Originally appeared in Ace Double D-103 (1955).

The operating principle was random selection: positions of public power were decided by a sophisticated lottery. Everyone had a chance, everyone could live in hope that they would be chosen to be the boss, the Quizmaster. But with the power came the game - the assassination game - which everyone could watch on TV. Would the new man be good enough to avoid his chosen killer? Which made for fascinating and exciting viewing, compelling enough to distract the public's attention while the Big Five industrial complexes run the world, the solar system and the people, unnoticed and completely unopposed. Then, in 2203, with the choice of a member of a maverick cult as Quizmaster, the system developed a little hitch...

The Steel Crocodile

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 35

D. G. Compton

Human crisis in a computer world.

Rear cover synopsis:

"Bohn, the omnipotent computer whose flashing circuits and messianic pronouncements dictate what tomorrow will--or will not--be.

But Matthew Oliver is flesh and blood and full of questions--not nearly as certain as the machine he's appointed to serve.

And the right hand of science seldom knows what the left hand is doing..."

The Female Man

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 56

Joanna Russ

It's influenced William Gibson and been listed as one of the ten essential works of science fiction. Most importantly, Joanna Russ's THE FEMALE MAN is a suspenseful, surprising and darkly witty chronicle of what happens when Jeannine, Janet, Joanna, and Jael--four alternate selves from drastically different realities--meet.

The Dispossessed

Hainish Cycle: Book 5

Ursula K. Le Guin

Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian mother planet, Urras, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.

The Memory of Earth

Homecoming: Book 1

Orson Scott Card

High above the planet Harmony, the Oversoul watches. Its task, programmed so many millennia ago, is to guard the human settlement on this planet--to protect this fragile remnant of Earth from all threats. To protect them, most of all, from themselves.

The Oversoul has done its job well. There is no war on Harmony. There are no weapons of mass destruction. There is no technology that could lead to weapons of war. By control of the data banks, and subtle interference in the very thoughts of the people, the artificial intelligence has fulfilled its mission.

But now there is a problem. In orbit, the Oversoul realizes that it has lost access to some of its memory banks, and some of its power systems are failing. And on the planet, men are beginning to think about power, wealth, and conquest.

Underground Man

Hyperion Classics of Science Fiction: Book 4

Gabriel Tarde

A post-apocalyptic tale that chronicles man's shedding of his restricting nature and the realization of his perfection through the evolution of group cooperation and herd behavior.

When the sun suddenly dies, the remaining populations on earth are forced to move their societies underground. Like Noah and his ark full of animals and plants, they take with them their most valuable items for rebuilding their new world also: paintings, bronzes, violins, and books of poetry. After a few centuries of subterranean slaughter, somehow the inevitable victors emerge: secular saintly aesthetes who create a romantic neo-troglodytical artistic utopia through the prodigious use of prophylactics and capital punishment. And love.

Darkness and the Light

Hyperion Classics of Science Fiction: Book 23

Olaf Stapledon

In this work written in 1941, at the most frightening point of World War II, Stapledon projects two separate futures for humanity, depending not on the outcome of that particular conflict but on the failure or success of a future "Tibetan Renaissance" to influence the temper and ideology of the militaristic Russian and Chinese empires that threaten it. One of the futures involves worldwide Chinese imperialism and subsequent degeneration and extinction of the human race, unable to defend itself against speedily evolving rats. The other ends in overthrowing the empires and creation of a worldwide socialist utopia.

Looking Backward, from the Year 2000

Julian West: Book 1

Mack Reynolds

A reprise of Edward Bellamy's classic Utopian novel, displaying Reynolds ideas about the politics and economics of an energy-affluent society

Equality: In the Year 2000

Julian West: Book 2

Mack Reynolds

In this sequel to: Looking Backward, from the Year 2000 -

Julian West had been put into a hypnotic trance and placed in a sealed room. Then the house burned down and he was forgotten... until he awoke 40 years later. It was the year 2000, and it seem like Utopia....

Utopian and Science Fiction by Women: Worlds of Difference

Liverpool SF Studies: Book 3

Jane L. Donawerth
Carol A. Kolmerten

This collection of eleven original essays speaks to common themes and strategies in women's writing about their different worlds, from Margaret Cavendish's seventeenth-century "Blazing World of the North Pole" to the men less' islands of the French writer Scudery to the eighteenth and nineteenth-century utopias of Shelley and Gaskell, and science fiction pulps, finishing with the more contemporary feminist fictions of Le Guin, Wittig, Piercy and Mitchison.

Contents:

  • "There Goes the Neighborhood": Octavia Butler's Demand for Diversity in Utopias - (1994) - essay by Michell Erica Green
  • Consider Her Ways: The Cultural Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Pragmatopian Stories, 1908-1913 - (1994) - essay by Carol Farley Kessler
  • Difference and Sexual Politics in Naomi Mitchison's Solution Three - (1994) - essay by Sarah LeFanu
  • Gaskell's Feminist Utopia: The Cranfordians and the Reign of Goodwill - (1994) - essay by Rae Rosenthal
  • Islands of Felicity: Women Seeing Utopia in Seventeenth-Century France - (1994) - essay by Ruth Carver Capasso
  • Mothers and Monsters in Sarah Robinson Scott's Millenium Hall - (1994) - essay by Linda Dunne
  • Science Fiction by Women in the Early Pulps, 1926-1930 - (1994) - essay by Jane L. Donawerth
  • Subjectivity as Feminist Utopia - (1994) - essay by Jean Pfaelzer
  • Texts and Contexts: American Women Envision Utopia, 1890-1920 - (1994) - essay by Carol A. Kolmerten
  • The Frozen Landscape in Women's Utopian and Science Fiction - (1994) - essay by Naomi Jacobs
  • The Subject of Utopia: Margaret Cavendish and Her Blazing-World - (1994) - essay by Lee Cullen Khanna
  • Foreword (Utopian and Science Fiction by Women) - (1994) - essay by Susan Gubar

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Her Progress Towards Utopia and Selected Writings

Liverpool SF Studies: Book 5

Carol Farley Kessler
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The focus of this work is how Charlotte Perkins Gilman developed as a writer and how she imagined a full-blown utopia for women. It offers a fresh reading of Gilman's fiction and fills a void in Gilman scholarship, in feminist utopian scholarship and in American literary studies.

Very Different Story: Studies on the Fiction of Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Liverpool SF Studies: Book 14

Jill Rudd
Val Gough

Almost all Gilman's work asserts optimistically the possibility for utopian change, yet ironically she is probably most widely celebrated for her darkly tragic story The Yellow Wallpaper. The focus of this essay collection is Gilman's utopianism. Her best-known and critically addressed novel is Herland, and several contributors revisit it in order to deepen our understanding of the complexity of Gilman's utopian vision. The lesser-known Moving the Mountain - deserving of more attention than it has received - is the subject of a full essay, and other essays explore utopian ideas in Gilman's short stories.

Narrating Utopia: Ideology, Gender, Form in Utopian Literature

Liverpool SF Studies: Book 19

Chris Ferns

Utopian societies exhibit a variety of ways of organizing the financial, political and emotional relationships between people. For all this diversity, however, one thing that exhibits far less variation is the story, the framing narrative that accounts for how the narrator reaches the more perfect society and obtains the opportunity to witness its distinctive excellences. Narrating Utopia is about that story, the curious hybrid of the traveler's tale and the classical dialogue that emerges in the Renaissance, but whose outlines remain clearly apparent even in some of the most recent utopian writing.

All Flesh Is Grass

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 38

Clifford D. Simak

The strange but beautiful purple blossoms now grew wild in his backyard. One day Brad Carter tripped and fell into an alternate world, a world peopled by these very flowers.

The History of a Voyage to the Moon

Ron Miller Science Fiction Classics: Book 11

Chrysostom Trueman

The tale itself is divided into two parts.

In "The Voyage", the protagonists learn how to create a new Power Source - an Antigravity element capable of propelling the Spaceship they have had constructed by an eccentric Inventor - and travel to the Moon.

In part two, "The Ideal Life", they discover a Utopia inhabited by "amnesiac reincarnations of select Earthmen", four feet tall, communitarian, pacific. Transportation is via giant roc-like birds. The protagonists, in strong contrast to the behaviour of most visitors to other worlds in the nineteenth century, neither leave nor destroy the world they have discovered.

To Mars via the Moon: An Astronomical Story

Ron Miller Science Fiction Classics: Book 18

Mark Wicks

To Mars Via the Moon: An Astronomical Story (1911) recounts the construction of a Spaceship capable of taking its bereaved solitary builder first to the Moon and then to Mars, which is described in accordance with the theories of Percival Lowell; here he finds a Utopia, and the Reincarnation of his dead son. He remains on Mars.

Aleriel: or, A Voyage to Other Worlds

Ron Miller Science Fiction Classics: Book 28

W. S. Lach-Szyrma

Aleriel is a series of interplanetary fictions, featuring the travels around the solar system of the winged Venusian Aleriel, during the course of which Aleriel - who has been passing as a hunchback to disguises his wings - describes Venus as a Utopia of the unfallen; in the second part of the tale, Aleriel returns to Venus, and sends back missives describing life on further planets.

Contents:

  • Aleriel: or A Voyage to Other Worlds - [Aleriel] - (1883) - novel
  • Letters from the Planets: By Our Roving Commissioner - [Aleriel] - (1887) - shortstory
  • Letters from the Planets: Letter the Second - [Aleriel] - (1887) - shortstory
  • Letters from the Planets: From Our Roving Correspondent - [Aleriel] - (1887) - shortstory
  • Letters from the Planets: IV. From Our Roving Correspondent - [Aleriel] - (1887) - shortstory
  • Letters from the Planets: Canal Life on Mars - [Aleriel] - (1890) - shortstory

A Trip To Venus

Ron Miller Science Fiction Classics: Book 32

John Munro

A Trip to Venus (1897) is an account of a journey by Spaceship - powered by a new Antigravity as a sustaining Power Source - to an idyllic Utopia on Venus, with a brief excursion to Mercury.

Adrift in the Stratosphere

Ron Miller Science Fiction Classics: Book 41

Professor A. M. Low

Adrift in the Stratosphere, aimed at a juvenile audience, has a young protagonists accidentally take off in a professor's experimental Spaceship and they soon find themselves attacked by irrationally hostile Martians with various Rays and a madness-inducing Basilisk radio broadcast; there are subsequent tours of Utopias set on space Islands.

Matter

The Culture Cycle: Book 8

Iain M. Banks

In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one man it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one - maybe two - people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.

Only the sister is not what she once was; Djan Seriy Anaplian has changed almost beyond recognition to become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilizations throughout the greater galaxy.

Concealing her new identity - and her particular set of abilities - might be a dangerous strategy, however. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter.

The Giver

The Giver Trilogy: Book 1

Lois Lowry

Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

The Golden Age

The Golden Age: Book 1

John C. Wright

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

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

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

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

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

The Just City

The Just City / Thessaly: Book 1

Jo Walton

Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future--all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past.

The student Simmea, born an Egyptian farmer's daughter sometime between 500 and 1000 A.D, is a brilliant child, eager for knowledge, ready to strive to be her best self. The teacher Maia was once Ethel, a young Victorian lady of much learning and few prospects, who prayed to Pallas Athene in an unguarded moment during a trip to Rome--and, in an instant, found herself in the Just City with grey-eyed Athene standing unmistakably before her.

Meanwhile, Apollo--stunned by the realization that there are things mortals understand better than he does--has arranged to live a human life, and has come to the City as one of the children. He knows his true identity, and conceals it from his peers. For this lifetime, he is prone to all the troubles of being human.

Then, a few years in, Sokrates arrives--the same Sokrates recorded by Plato himself--to ask all the troublesome questions you would expect. What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell.

The Philosopher Kings

The Just City / Thessaly: Book 2

Jo Walton

From acclaimed, award-winning author Jo Walton: Philosopher Kings, a tale of gods and humans, and the surprising things they have to learn from one another. Twenty years have elapsed since the events of The Just City. The City, founded by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, organized on the principles espoused in Plato's Republic and populated by people from all eras of human history, has now split into five cities, and low-level armed conflict between them is not unheard-of.

The god Apollo, living (by his own choice) a human life as "Pythias" in the City, his true identity known only to a few, is now married and the father of several children. But a tragic loss causes him to become consumed with the desire for revenge. Being Apollo, he goes handling it in a seemingly rational and systematic way, but it's evident, particularly to his precocious daughter Arete, that he is unhinged with grief.

Along with Arete and several of his sons, plus a boatload of other volunteers--including the now fantastically aged Marsilio Ficino, the great humanist of Renaissance Florence--Pythias/Apollo goes sailing into the mysterious Eastern Mediterranean of pre-antiquity to see what they can find--possibly the man who may have caused his great grief, possibly communities of the earliest people to call themselves "Greek." What Apollo, his daughter, and the rest of the expedition will discover... will change everything.

Pacific Edge

Three Californias: Book 3

Kim Stanley Robinson

2065: In a world that has rediscovered harmony with nature, the village of El Modena, California, is an ecotopia in the making. Kevin Claiborne, a young builder who has grown up in this "green" world, now finds himself caught up in the struggle to preserve his community's idyllic way of life from the resurgent forces of greed and exploitation.

Tor Double #33: Bwana / Bully!

Tor Double: Book 33

Mike Resnick

Bwana:

On the planet Kirinyaga, the descendants of the Kikuyu have resurrected the unspoiled ways of their African ancestors. And like their long-lost savannahs of ancient Earth, the grasslands of Kirinyaga harbor lethal beasts of prey. The chief, Koinnage, hires a hunter to reduce the swelling population of predatory hyena. But in the view of Koriba, aging mundumugu to the tribe, no beast of prey could pose a greater threat to the Kikuyu than the mighty offworld hunter brought in - over his strenuous objections - to slay those beasts.

Bully!:

In March 1909, Theodore Roosevelt went on a safari to central Africa. In this fictionalized account of that trip, Mike Resnick takes us on an amusing "what-if" with Roosevelt deciding to "liberate" the native Africans from Belgian rule and to set up a model democratic state in the heart of Africa.

Extras

Uglies: Book 4

Scott Westerfeld

Extras, the final book in the Uglies series, is set a couple of years after the "mind-rain," a few earth-shattering months in which the whole world woke up. The cure has spread from city to city, and the pretty regime that kept humanity in a state of bubbleheadedness has ended. Boundless human creativity, new technologies, and old dangers have been unleashed upon the world. Culture is splintering, the cities becoming radically different from each other as each makes its own way into this strange and unpredictable future...

One of the features of the new world is that everyone has a "feed," which is basically their own blog/myspace/tv channel. The ratings of your feed (combined with how much the city interface overhears people talking about you) determines your social status--so everyone knows at all times how famous they are.

As Scott Westerfeld explored the themes of extreme beauty in the first three Uglies books, now he takes on the world's obsession with fame and popularity. And how anyone can be an instant celebrity.

The Begum's Millions

Voyages Extraordinaires: Book 18

Jules Verne

When two European scientists unexpectedly inherit an Indian rajah's fortune, each builds an experimental city of his dreams in the wilds of the American Northwest. France-Ville is a harmonious urban community devoted to health and hygiene, the specialty of its French founder, Dr. François Sarrasin. Stahlstadt, or City of Steel, is a fortress-like factory town devoted to the manufacture of high-tech weapons of war. Its German creator, the fanatically pro-Aryan Herr Schultze, is Verne's first truly evil scientist. In his quest for world domination and racial supremacy, Schultze decides to showcase his deadly wares by destroying France-Ville and all its inhabitants.

Both prescient and cautionary, The Begum's Millions is a masterpiece of scientific and political speculation and constitutes one of the earliest technological utopia/dystopias in Western literature. This Wesleyan edition features notes, appendices, and a critical introduction as well as all the illustrations from the original French edition.

This work has also been published under the name The Begum's Fortune.