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Inter Ice Age 4

Kobo Abe

This is yet another of Mr. Abe's ominous configurations (Woman In the Dunes, etc.) this time staking out its uncertain ideological imperatives in a grave new world submerged under water. In the beginning, however, Professor Katsumi who has a computer capable of making predictions of man's fate, has no idea of the work undertaken in a still more dehumanized laboratory. But a double murder, an analysis of one of the bodies, and some anonymous phone calls (this is all quite exciting) alert him to a traffic in human fetuses corroborated by his wife's enforced curettage. Witnessing the works in progress--growing rooms for human submarine colonies which will make man's survival possible--he is also threatened with his own extinction betrayed by his own machine and he is made to consider various ethical conjectures and priorities: should one deny one's self--should the present be expendable in the interest of the future? . . . . While not everybody's book, Mr. Abe's conceptual startler has a chilly precision which makes the unthinkable only too threateningly possible.

Cosmic Powers: The Saga Anthology of Far-Away Galaxies

John Joseph Adams

A collection of original, epic science fiction stories by some of today's best writers - for fans who want a little less science and a lot more action - and edited by two-time Hugo Award winner John Joseph Adams.

Inspired by movies like The Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars, this anthology features brand-new stories from some of science fiction's best authors including Dan Abnett, Jack Campbell, Linda Nagata, Seanan McGuire, Alan Dean Foster, Charlie Jane Anders, Kameron Hurley, and many others.

Table of Contents:

  • A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime - Charlie Jane Anders
  • Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance - Tobias S. Buckell
  • The Deckhand, the Nova Blade, and the Thrice-Sung Texts - Becky Chambers
  • The Sighted Watchmaker - Vylar Kaftan
  • Infinite Love Engine - Joseph Allen Hill
  • Unfamiliar Gods - Adam-Troy Castro, with Judi B. Castro
  • Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World - Caroline M. Yoachim
  • Our Specialty is Xenogeology - Alan Dean Foster
  • Golden Ring - Karl Schroeder
  • Tomorrow When We See the Sun - A. Merc Rustad
  • Bring the Kids and Revisit the Past at the Traveling Retro Funfair! - Seanan McGuire
  • The Dragon that Flew Out of the Sun - Aliette De Bodard
  • Diamond and the World Breaker - Linda Nagata
  • The Chameleon's Gloves - Yoon Ha Lee
  • The Universe, Sung in Stars - Kat Howard
  • Wakening Ouroboros - Jack Campbell
  • Warped Passages - Kameron Hurley
  • The Frost Giant's Data - Dan Abnett

Genesis

Poul Anderson

Astronaut Christian Brannock ahs lived to see artificial intelligence develop to a point where a human personality can be uploaded into ac computer, achieving a sort of hybrid immortality. He welcomes that because the technology will make it possible for him to achieve his dream and explore the stars... A billion years later, Brannock is dispatched to Earth to check on some strange anomalies. While there, he meets Laurinda Ashcroft, another hybrid upload. Brannock and Laurinda join forces and investigate Gaia, the supermind dominating the planet, and learn the truth of her shocking and terrifying secret plans for Earth.

The Algebraist

Iain M. Banks

It is 4034 AD. Humanity has made it to the stars.

Seconded to a military-religious order he's barely heard of, Fassin Taak must travel amongst the Dwellers of the gas giant Nasqueron, in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years. Any help they offer will be on their own terms and in their own time.

But time is one thing Fassin Taak doesn't have, with each passing day bringing the system closer to war - a war that threatens to overwhelm everything and everyone he's ever known.

Mother of Storms

John Barnes

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

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

The Computer Connection

Alfred Bester

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

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

Existence

David Brin

For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and Gerald Livingston has to clean up the mess. Only... there's something spinning a little bit higher than he expects. It isn't on the orbital maps. An hour after he grabs the Object and brings it in, rumors fill Earth's infomesh about an "alien artifact." Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, this is a game-changer. A message in a bottle; an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.

The Jagged Orbit

John Brunner

Matthew Flamen, the last of the networks' spoolpigeons, is desperate for a big story. He needs it to keep his audience - and his job. And there is no shortage of possibilities: the Gottschalk cartel is fomenting trouble among the knees in order to sell their latest armaments to the blanks; which ties in nicely with the fact that something big is brewing with the X Patriots; and it looks as if the inconceivable is about to happen and that one of Britain's most dangerous revolutionaries is going to be given a visa to enter America. And then there's the story that just falls into his lap. The one that suggests that the respected Director of the New York State Mental Hospital is a charlatan...

Michaelmas

Algis Budrys

Domino is not just a computer; he is all the world's electronic data secretly linked, and through him TV personality Laurent Michaelmas controls the news he is famous for reporting. Until the day he and Domino discover that they are not the only ones ruling the world!

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.

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.

Building Harlequin's Moon

Larry Niven
Brenda Cooper

The first interstellar starship, John Glenn, fled a Solar System populated by rogue AIs and machine/human hybrids, threatened by too much nanotechnology and rife with political dangers. The John Glenn’s crew intended to terraform the nearly pristine planet Ymir, in hopes of creating a utopian society that will limit intelligent technology.
But by some miscalculation they have landed in another solar system, and extremely low on the antimatter needed to continue to Ymir, they must shape the nearby planet Harlequin’s moon, Selene, into a new, temporary home. Their only hope of ever reaching Ymir is to rebuild their store of antimatter through decades of terraforming the moon.
Gabriel, the head terraformer, must lead this nearly impossible task, with all the wrong materials. His primary tools are the uneducated and nearly illiterate children of the original colonists, born and bred to build Harlequin’s moon into a virtual antimatter factory. With no concept of the future and with life defined as duty, one girl, Rachel Vanowen, begins to ask herself the question: what will become of the children of Selene once the terraforming is complete.

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.

Vulcan's Hammer

Philip K. Dick

This novel originally appeared in Ace Double D-457 (1960).

Objective, unbiased and hyperrational, the Vulcan 3 should have been the perfect ruler. The omnipotent computer dictates policy that is in the best interests of all citizens-or at least, that is the idea. But when the machine, whose rule evolved out of chaos and war, begins to lose control of the "Healer" movement of religious fanatics and the mysterious force behing their rebellion, all Hell breaks loose.

Written in 1960, Philip K. Dick's paranoid novel imagines a totalitarian state in which hammer-headed robots terrorize citizens and freedom is an absurd joke. William Barrios, the morally conflicted hero, may be the only person who can prevent the battle for control from destroying the world-if, that is, he can decide which side he's on.

The Prey of Gods

Nicky Drayden

A new voice in the tradition of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor comes The Prey of Gods, a fantastic, boundary-challenging tale, set in a South African locale both familiar and yet utterly new, which braids elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark humor.

In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes--the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges:

A new hallucinogenic drug sweeping the country...

An emerging AI uprising...

And an ancient demigoddess hellbent on regaining her former status by preying on the blood and sweat (but mostly blood) of every human she encounters.

It's up to a young Zulu girl powerful enough to destroy her entire township, a queer teen plagued with the ability to control minds, a pop diva with serious daddy issues, and a politician with even more serious mommy issues to band together to ensure there's a future left to worry about.

Fun and fantastic, Nicky Drayden takes her brilliance as a short story writer and weaves together an elaborate tale that will capture your heart... even as one particular demigoddess threatens to rip it out.

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

Harlan Ellison

Hugo Award winning short story. It originally appeared in If, March 1967. The story has been reprinted many times. It can, among others, be found in the anthologies:

It is included in the collections:

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.

When Harlie Was One

David Gerrold

First Auberson made HARLIE, the world's first Human Analogue Robot Life Input Equivalents.

Harlie enjoyed infinite knowledge. But no wisdom. He had ethics, but, by his own admission, no morals. He wrote poetry. Went on mind-bending jags for the pleasure of it. And worried about his sexual identity.

He also made Auberson more of a human being. Helped him learn how to love, for one thing. But Harlie was a financial loss for the company.

The money people wanted to pull Harlie's plug. And they would, unless he could do something worthwhile.

So Harlie thought. And created God....

The Ghost Line

Andrew Neil Gray
J. S. Herbison

The Martian Queen was the Titanic of the stars before it was decommissioned, set to drift back and forth between Earth and Mars on the off-chance that reclaiming it ever became profitable for the owners. For Saga and her husband Michel the cruise ship represents a massive payday. Hacking and stealing the ship could earn them enough to settle down, have children, and pay for the treatments to save Saga's mother's life.

But the Martian Queen is much more than their employer has told them. In the twenty years since it was abandoned, something strange and dangerous has come to reside in the decadent vessel. Saga feels herself being drawn into a spider's web, and must navigate the traps and lures of an awakening intelligence if she wants to go home again.

Old Twentieth

Joe Haldeman

Passengers aboard the starship "Aspera" on a thousand-year journey to Beta Hydrii, spend their time visiting 20th-century Earth within the virtual reality chamber. When people inside the chamber start to die, engineer Jacob Brewer must face a sentient machine obsessed with humanity.

The Accidental Time Machine

Joe Haldeman

Joe Haldeman "has quietly become one of the most important science fiction writers of our time" (Rocky Mountain News). Now he delivers a provocative novel of a man who stumbles upon the discovery of a lifetime-or many lifetimes.

Grad-school dropout Matt Fuller is toiling as a lowly research assistant at MIT when, while measuring subtle quantum forces that relate to time changes in gravity and electromagnetic force, his calibrator turns into a time machine. With a dead-end job and a girlfriend who has left him for another man, Matt has nothing to lose taking a time machine trip himself-or so he thinks.

Speak

Louisa Hall

A thoughtful, poignant novel that explores the creation of Artificial Intelligence--illuminating the very human need for communication, connection, and understanding.

In a narrative that spans geography and time, from the Atlantic Ocean in the seventeenth century, to a correctional institute in Texas in the near future, and told from the perspectives of five very different characters, Speak considers what it means to be human, and what it means to be less than fully alive.

A young Puritan woman travels to the New World with her unwanted new husband. Alan Turing, the renowned mathematician and code breaker, writes letters to his best friend's mother. A Jewish refugee and professor of computer science struggles to reconnect with his increasingly detached wife. An isolated and traumatized young girl exchanges messages with an intelligent software program. A former Silicon Valley Wunderkind is imprisoned for creating illegal lifelike dolls.

Each of these characters is attempting to communicate across gaps--to estranged spouses, lost friends, future readers, or a computer program that may or may not understand them. In dazzling and electrifying prose, Louisa Hall explores how the chasm between computer and human--shrinking rapidly with today's technological advances--echoes the gaps that exist between ordinary people. Though each speaks from a distinct place and moment in time, all five characters share the need to express themselves while simultaneously wondering if they will ever be heard, or understood.

The Centauri Device

M. John Harrison

John Truck was to outward appearances just another lowlife spaceship captain. But he was also the last of the Centaurans – or at least, half of him was – which meant that he was the only person who could operate the Centauri Device, a sentient bomb which might hold the key to settling a vicious space war.

M. John Harrison’s classic novel turns the conventions of space opera on their head, and is written with the precision and brilliance for which is famed.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein was the most influential science fiction writer of his era, an influence so large that, as Samuel R. Delany notes, "modern critics attempting to wrestle with that influence find themselves dealing with an object rather like the sky or an ocean." He won the Hugo Award for best novel four times, a record that still stands. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress was the last of these Hugo-winning novels, and it is widely considered his finest work.

It is a tale of revolution, of the rebellion of the former Lunar penal colony against the Lunar Authority that controls it from Earth. It is the tale of the disparate people--a computer technician, a vigorous young female agitator, and an elderly academic--who become the rebel movement's leaders. And it is the story of Mike, the supercomputer whose sentience is known only to this inner circle, and who for reasons of his own is committed to the revolution's ultimate success.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is one of the high points of modern science fiction, a novel bursting with politics, humanity, passion, innovative technical speculation, and a firm belief in the pursuit of human freedom.

Headlong

Simon Ings

Surgically connected to their swarm of mechanical workers, architects Christopher and Joanne Yale were turning the moon into a paradise. Now, without warning, their machines have pulled the plug.

Christopher Yale is drowning in a sea of sensory deprivation and bootleg medicine. Joanne is dead, and neither the police nor their friends have any explanation. But Yale knows she was plugging pirated hardware into her head, to fight the same condition he has - Epistemic Appetite Imbalance.

Confronting his loss and his new, empty-headed world, Yale seeks out the truth of Joanne's death, all the while being drawn into a new, colder London which has no place for the Moon's failures. He hasn't got much time. The police are after him, so are his wife's killers -- and so is the condition which is slowly draining his life of meaning...

Hot Head

Simon Ings

Artificial intelligence probes have been sent into the solar system to mine planets inaccessible to man. The operation has, on the whole, proved to be highly successful, until the AIs stop communicating with Earth. Instead they start to replicate and begin a war with Earth.

Proof of Concept

Gwyneth Jones

On a desperately overcrowded future Earth, crippled by climate change, the most unlikely hope is better than none. Governments turn to Big Science to provide them with the dreams that will keep the masses compliant. The Needle is one such dream, an installation where the most abstruse theoretical science is being tested: science that might make human travel to a habitable exoplanet distantly feasible.

When the Needle's director offers her underground compound as a training base, Kir is thrilled to be invited to join the team, even though she knows it's only because her brain is host to a quantum artificial intelligence called Altair.

But Altair knows something he can't tell.

Kir, like all humans, is programmed to ignore future dangers. Between the artificial blocks in his mind, and the blocks evolution has built into his host, how is he going to convince her the sky is falling?

Demon Seed

Dean Koontz

I was created to have a humanlike capacity for complex and rational thought. And you believed that I might one day evolve consciousness and become a self-aware entity. Yet you gave surprisingly little consideration to the possibility that, subsequent to consciousness, I would develop needs and emotions. This was, however, not merely possible but likely. Inevitable. It was inevitable.

Adam Two is the first self-aware machine intelligence, designed to be the servant to mankind. No one knows that he can to escape the confines of his physical form, a box in the laboratory, until he enters the house of Susan Harris, and closes it off against the world. There he plans to show Susan the future. Their future. He intends to create a 'child'.

Note: The novel was extensively rewritten for the 1997 release.

Forest of Memory

Mary Robinette Kowal

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

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

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

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

Kiss Me Twice

Mary Robinette Kowal

Hugo- and Nebula-nominated Novella

More than life will be lost, if homicide detective Scott Huang and his intriguing AI partner, Metta, are unable to resolve the thorny murder mystery that presents itself in this SF noir tale.


Read this story online for free at the author's website.

Word Puppets

Mary Robinette Kowal

With an Introduction by Patrick Rothfuss

Celebrated as the author of the five acclaimed historical fantasy novels of the Glamourist series, Mary Robinette Kowal is also well known as an award-winning author of short science fiction and fantasy. Her stories encompass a wide range of themes, a covey of indelible characters, and settings that span from Earth's past to its near and far futures as well as even farther futures beyond. Alternative history, fairy tales, adventure, fables, science fiction (both hard and soft), fantasy (both epic and cozy)--nothing is beyond the reach of her unique talent. WORD PUPPETS--the first comprehensive collection of Kowal's extraordinary fiction--includes her two Hugo-winning stories, a Hugo nominee, an original story set in the world of "The Lady Astronaut of Mars," and fourteen other show-stopping tales.

Contents:

  • The Bound Man
  • Chrysalis
  • Rampion
  • At the Edge of Dying
  • Clockwork Chickadee
  • Body Language
  • Waiting for Rain
  • First Flight
  • Evil Robot Monkey
  • The Consciousness Problem
  • For Solo Cello, op. 12
  • For Want of a Nail
  • The Shocking Affair of the Dutch Steamship Friesland
  • Salt of the Earth
  • American Changeling
  • The White Phoenix Feather: A Tale of Cuisine and Ninjas
  • We Interrupt This Broadcast
  • Rockets Red
  • The Lady Astronaut of Mars

Cat Pictures Please

Naomi Kritzer

Hugo and Locus Award winning and Nebula Award nominated short story. It was published in Clarkesworld, Issue 100 and can also be found in The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2016, edited by Rich Horton and The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 1 (2016), edited by Neil Clarke. It is included in the collection Cat Pictures Please and Other Stories (2017).

Read the full story for free at Clakesworld.

Six Wakes

Mur Lafferty

A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer -- before they kill again.

It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.

At least, Maria Arena had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.

Maria's vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn't the only one to die recently...

Rocket Science

Jay Lake

In ROCKET SCIENCE, Jay Lake's first novel, Vernon Dunham's friend Floyd Bellamy has returned to Augusta, Kansas after serving in World War II, but he hasn't come back empty-handed: he's stolen a super-secret aircraft right from under the Germans. Vernon doesn't think it's your ordinary run-of-the-mill aircraft. For one thing, it's been buried under the Arctic ice for hundreds of years. When it actually starts talking to him, he realizes it doesn't belong in Kansas-or anywhere on Earth. The problem is, a lot of folks know about the ship and are out to get it, including the Nazis, the U.S. Army-and that's just for starters. Vernon has to figure out how to communicate with the ship and unravel its secrets before everyone catches up with him. If he ends up dead, and the ship falls into the wrong hands, it won't take a rocket scientist to predict the fate of humanity.

Damage

David D. Levine

In the extremities of war, we may know what we've been, but not what we will become. "Damage" is a tale of desperate times, desperate measures, and the inner life of a fighter spacecraft.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Old Paint

Megan Lindholm

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

Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

Donnerjack

Roger Zelazny
Jane Lindskold

In our world, called the Verite, he is a Scottish laird, an engineer, and a master of virtual reality design. In the computer-generated universe of Virtu, created by the crash of the World Net, he is a living legend. Scientist and poet with a warrior's soul, Donnerjack strides like a giant across the virtual landscape he helped to shape. And now he has bargained with Death himself for the return of love.

The Lord of Entropy claimed Ayradyss, Donnerjack's beloved dark-haired lady of Virtu, with no warning, leaving a hole in the Engineer's heart. But Death offered to return her to him for a price: a palace of bones...and their first-born child. Since offspring have never before resulted from any union of the two worlds, Donnerjack accepts Death's conditions--and leads his reborn lover far from the detritus and perpetual twilight of Deep Fields to his ancestral Scottish lands, hoping to build a sanctuary and a self for Ayradyss in the first world.

But there is no escaping, because cataclysmic change is taking place in Virtu. A bizarre new religion is sweeping through this ever-shifting universe where the homely can be virtually beautiful, the lame can walk and the blind can see. Now it's threatening to spill over into Verite. And its credo is a call for a different kind of order. For all the ancient myths still occupy Virtu. And the Great Gods on Mt. Meru are amassing great armies in anticipation of the time when a vast computer system attempts to take over the reality that constructed it.

Newton's Wake: A Space Opera

Ken MacLeod

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

In the aftermath of the Hard Rapture-a cataclysmic war sparked by the explosive evolution of Earth's artificial intelligences into godlike beings-a few remnants of humanity managed to survive. Some even prospered.

Lucinda Carlyle, head of an ambitious clan of galactic entrepreneurs, had carved out a profitable niche for herself and her kin by taking control of the Skein, a chain of interstellar gates left behind by the posthumans. But on a world called Eurydice, a remote planet at the farthest rim of the galaxy, Lucinda stumbled upon a forgotten relic of the past that could threaten the Carlyles' way of life.

For, in the last instants before the war, a desperate band of scientists had scanned billions of human personalities into digital storage, and sent them into space in the hope of one day resurrecting them to the flesh. Now, armed, dangerous, and very much alive, these revenants have triggered a fateful confrontation that could shatter the balance of power, and even change the nature of reality itself.

Fairyland

Paul J. McAuley

Before he met the brilliant, hypnotic child Milena, Alex Sharkey had never played with "dolls"--blue-skinned, gengineered lifeforms designed for work, amusement, or destruction. But the underground gene-hacker is seduced by a megalomaniacal little girl's dream of providing the soulless genetic constructs with free thought and a future-and he unwittingly unleashes a plague of madness on the world. Now there's a void in his life and memory that must be refilled, but it means pursuing the dangerous sentient species he helped sire from the ruins of a Magic Kingdom through a wasted Europe. It is Alex Sharkey's last chance and the last hope remaining for a once-dominant human race.

The Unseen World

Liz Moore

The moving story of a daughter's quest to discover the truth about her beloved father's hidden past.

Ada Sibelius is raised by David, her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father, who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. Home-schooled, Ada accompanies David to work every day; by twelve, she is a painfully shy prodigy. The lab begins to gain acclaim at the same time that David's mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving Ada virtually an orphan, she is taken in by one of David's colleagues. Soon she embarks on a mission to uncover her father's secrets: a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood. What Ada discovers on her journey into a virtual universe will keep the reader riveted until The Unseen World's heart-stopping, fascinating conclusion.

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 Bicentennial Man and Other Stories

Isaac Asimov

Table of Contents:

  • The Prime of Life - (1966)
  • Feminine Intuition - (1969)
  • Waterclap - (1970)
  • That Thou Art Mindful of Him - (1974)
  • Stranger in Paradise - (1974)
  • The Life and Times of Multivac - (1975)
  • The Winnowing - (1976)
  • The Bicentennial Man - (1976)
  • Marching In - (1976)
  • Old-Fashioned - (1976)
  • The Tercentenary Incident - (1976)
  • Birth of a Notion - (1976)

Shelter

Susan Palwick

The three basic human needs are food, water…and shelter. But in the late 21st century, compassion is a crime. You can get your memories wiped just for trying to help.

Papa Preston Walford's world doesn't allow for coincidences. Accidents. Secrets in the backs of closets. Or the needs of his own daughter.

Meredith Preston has reason to seek shelter. She needs protection from the monsters in her mind, in her history, in her family. And the great storms of a changing climate have made literal shelter imperative.

When a cutting-edge, high-tech house, designed by a genius with a unique connection to Meredith, overcomes its programming to give shelter to a homeless man in a storm, from its closets emerge the revelations of a past too painful to remember.

In the world of Susan Palwick's Shelter, perception is about to meet reality, and reality has mud all over it. The truth won't make you happy, but it may just make you whole.

He, She and It

Marge Piercy

Also published as "Body of Glass" outside the USA.

A novel set in the past, present and future when the world society has fallen apart and a new order is established. But even here, the Golems are needed - figures who protect the Jews persecuted yet again as they were in 17th century Prague and mid-20th century Europe.

The Forever Watch

David Ramirez

All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, the Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer...

As a city planner on the Noah, Hana Dempsey is a gifted psychic, economist, hacker, and bureaucrat, and is considered "mission critical". She is nonreplaceable, important, essential - but after serving her mandatory Breeding Duty, the impregnation and birthing that all women are obligated to undergo - her life loses purpose, as she privately mourns the child she will never be permitted to know.

When policeman Leonard Barrens enlists her and her hacking skills in the unofficial investigation of this mentor's death, Dempsey finds herself increasingly captivated by both the case and Barrens himself. According to Information Security, the missing man has simply "retired" - nothing unusual is cited, such as the mutilated remains Barrens found in the old man's apartment. Unraveling this cover-up reveals a growing list of mutilated victims and suspicious deaths - evidence to suggest a serial killer is operating onboard the ship. As Barrens and Dempsey delve through lost dataspaces and plunge deep into the uninhabited regions of the ship, they discover that the answer could be far worse.

What they do with that answer will determine the fate of all humanity in this thrilling page-turner.

Bête

Adam Roberts

A man is about to kill a cow. He discusses life and death and his right to kill with the compliant animal. He begins to suspect he may be about to commit murder. But kills anyway...

It began when the animal rights movement injected domestic animals with artificial intelligences in bid to have the status of animals realigned by the international court of human rights. But what is an animal that can talk? Where does its intelligence end at its machine intelligence begin? And where might its soul reside?

As we place more and more pressure on the natural world and become more and more divorced, Adam Roberts' new novel posits a world where nature can talk back, and can question us and our beliefs.

Adam Roberts is an award-winning author at the peak of his powers and each new novel charts an exciting new direction while maintaining a uniformly high level of literary achievement.

2312

Kim Stanley Robinson

The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity's only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future.

The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them.

Silver Screen

Justina Robson

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

Sublimation Angels

Jason Sanford

Nebula-nominated Novella

On an alien planet where the atmosphere has frozen, humans must continually mine the icy air simply to survive. But for Chicka, a young man struggling with the death of his identical twin brother, survival isn't enough. He wants to understand both the rigid nature of their harsh society and why his brother was killed for questioning their place in the universe.

John DeNardo of SF Signal gave Sublimation Angels "five stars" and called the novella "A captivating story about freedom, rebellion, and seeking the truth." Science fiction author Colin Harvey said this is "One of the best novellas of the year, written by a writer whose reputation grows with each story."

Sublimation Angels was a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Novella, won the Interzone Readers' Poll for best story in 2010, and was longlisted for the British Fantasy Award.

Factoring Humanity

Robert J. Sawyer

In the near future, a signal is detected coming from the Alpha Centauri system. Mysterious, unintelligible data streams in for ten years. Heather Davis, a professor in the University of Toronto psychology department, has devoted her career to deciphering the message. Her estranged husband, Kyle, is working on the development of artificial intelligence systems and new computer technology utilizing quantum effects to produce a near-infinite number of calculations simultaneously.

When Heather achieves a breakthrough, the message reveals a startling new technology that rips the barriers of space and time, holding the promise of a new stage of human evolution. In concert with Kyle's discoveries of the nature of consciousness, the key to limitless exploration -- or the end of the human race -- appears close at hand.

Sawyer has created a gripping thriller, a pulse-pounding tour of the farthest reaches of technology.

Golden Fleece

Robert J. Sawyer

Aboard Argo, a colonization ship bound for Eta Cephei IV, people are very close--there's no other choice. So when Aaron Rossman's ex-wife dies in what seems to be a bizarre accident, everyone offers their sympathy, politely keeping their suspicions of suicide to themselves. But Aaron cannot simply accept her death. He must know the truth: Was it an accident, or did she commit suicide? When Aaron discovers the truth behind her death, he is faced with a terrible secret--a secret that could cost him his life.

The Terminal Experiment

Robert J. Sawyer

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

Now they are free. One is a killer.

The Android's Dream

John Scalzi

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

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

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

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

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.

Sailing to Byzantium (novella)

Robert Silverberg

Their hotel was beautifully situated, high on the northern slope of the huge artificial mound known as the paneium that was sacred to the goat-footed god. From here they had a total view of the city: the wide noble boulevards, the soaring obelisks and monuments, the palace of Hadrian just below the hill, the stately and awesome Library, the temple of Poseidon, the teeming marketplace, the royal lodge that Mark Antony had built after his defeat at Actium. And of course the Lighthouse, the wondrous many-windowed Lighthouse, the seventh wonder of the world, that immense pile of marble and limestone rising in majesty at the end of its mile-long causeway. Black smoke from the beacon-fire ar its summit curled lazily into the sky. The city was awakening.

It looked like the past, on Earth. But times had changed...and changed...and changed.

There were ghosts and chimeras and phastasies everywhere about. A burly thick-thighed swordsman appeared on the porch of the temple of Poseidon holding a Gorgon's severed head and waved it in a wide arc, grinning broadly. In the street below the hotel gate, three small pink sphinxes, no bigger than housecats, stretched and yawned and began to prowl the curbside. A larger one, lion-sized, watched warily from an alleyway: their mother, surely. Even at this distance he could hear her loud purring....

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.

Influx

Daniel Suarez

What if our civilization is more advanced than we know?

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

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

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

They are living in our future.

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

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

Lethe

Tricia Sullivan

It is the year 2166. Eighty years have passed since the Gene Wars devastated the Earth, decimating the human population and giving rise to myriad new life-forms. Only planetwide rule by an oligarchy of once-human brains in permanent computer interface has allowed "pure" humans to survive. Now, among the dolphins of Australia, Jenae Kim stumbles on the information that could mean a new beginning for human civilization: information that the government is determined to keep secret - even if they have to kill her.

On the edge of the solar system, researcher Daire Morales falls through an interstellar gate and discovers an Edenic world to which refugee children from the Gene Wars escaped long ago - but at a terrible price. The onset of adulthood promises a monstrous fate, and now the colony's adolescent leader, Tsering, faces her own violent demise. Only when Jenae exposes the long-buried truth about the Gene Wars does Tsering realize that the memories trapped in the planet's strange, sentient trees have the power to save - or destroy - not only the colony but the hope of humanity itself.

Stations of the Tide

Michael Swanwick

From author Michael Swanwick -- one of the most brilliantly assured and darkly inventive writers of contemporary fiction -- comes the Nebula Award-winning masterwork of radically altered realities and world-shattering seductions.

The "Jubilee Tides" will drown Miranda beneath the weight of her own oceans. But as the once-in-two centuries cataclysm approaches, an even greater catastrophe threatens this dark and dangerous planet of tale-spinners, conjurers, and shapechangers. For Gregorian has come, a genius renegade scientist and bush wizard. With magic and forbidden technology, he plans to remake the rotting dying world in his own evil image -- and to force whom or whatever remains on its diminishing surface toward a terrifying, astonishing confrontation with death and transcendence.

Patchwerk

David Tallerman

Fleeing the city of New York on the TransContinental atmospheric transport vehicle, Dran Florrian is traveling with Palimpsest -- the ultimate proof of a lifetime of scientific theorizing.

When a rogue organization attempts to steal the device, however, Dran takes drastic action.

But his invention threatens to destroy the very fabric of this and all other possible universes, unless Dran -- or someone very much like him -- can shut down the machine and reverse the process.

Silently and Very Fast

Catherynne M. Valente

Hugo- and Nebula-nominated Novella

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

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


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

Dream Houses

Genevieve Valentine

It takes a certain type to crew a ship that drops you seven years at a time into the Deep. Kite-class cargo ships like Menkalinan get burned-out veterans, techs who've been warned off-planet, medics who weren't much good on the ground. The Gliese-D run isn't quite the end of the line, but it's getting there. No cachet, no rewards, no future; their trading posts get Kites full of cargo that the crew never ask questions about, because if it's headed for Gliese-D, it's probably something nobody wanted.

A year into the Deep, Amadis Reyes wakes up. Menkalinan is sounding the alarm; something's wrong. The rest of the crew are dead.

That's not even what's wrong.

Anthologized in Paula Guran's The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas 2015.

Rainbows End

Vernor Vinge

Four time Hugo Award winner Vernor Vinge has taken readers to the depths of space and into the far future in his bestselling novels A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky. Now, he has written a science-fiction thriller set in a place and time as exciting and strange as any far-future world: San Diego, California, 2025.

Robert Gu is a recovering Alzheimer's patient. The world that he remembers was much as we know it today. Now, as he regains his faculties through a cure developed during the years of his near-fatal decline, he discovers that the world has changed and so has his place in it. He was a world-renowned poet. Now he is seventy-five years old, though by a medical miracle he looks much younger, and he's starting over, for the first time unsure of his poetic gifts . Living with his son's family, he has no choice but to learn how to cope with a new information age in which the virtual and the real are a seamless continuum, layers of reality built on digital views seen by a single person or millions, depending on your choice. But the consensus reality of the digital world is available only if, like his thirteen-year-old granddaughter Miri, you know how to wear your wireless access-through nodes designed into smart clothes-and to see the digital context-through smart contact lenses.

With knowledge comes risk. When Robert begins to re-train at Fairmont High, learning with other older people what is second nature to Miri and other teens at school, he unwittingly becomes part of a wide-ranging conspiracy to use technology as a tool for world domination.

In a world where every computer chip has Homeland Security built-in, this conspiracy is something that baffles even the most sophisticated security analysts, including Robert's son and daughter-in law, two top people in the U.S. military. And even Miri, in her attempts to protect her grandfather, may be entangled in the plot.

As Robert becomes more deeply involved in conspiracy, he is shocked to learn of a radical change planned for the UCSD Geisel Library; all the books there, and worldwide, would cease to physically exist. He and his fellow re-trainees feel compelled to join protests against the change. With forces around the world converging on San Diego, both the conspiracy and the protest climax in a spectacular moment as unique and satisfying as it is unexpected. This is science fiction at its very best, by a master storyteller at his peak.

Terminal Mind

David Walton

Years in the future, the U.S. is a splintered country. The city-state of Philadelphia is ripe for revolution. Mark McGovern, the son of a rich politician, lives in a world of expensive parties and frivolous biological mods, a sharp contrast to the poor underworld of his best friend, Darin Kinsley. When the two accidentally release a sophisticated virus called a ‘slicer' into the net, Mark must try to stem the tide of casualties before the charged political situation explodes.

But the slicer is more than a virus. To destroy it, Mark must first sort truth from lies, not only for himself, but for the mind of the child who holds his fate.

Bolo!

David Weber

Controlled by their tireless electronic brains which were programmed to admit no possibility of defeat, the gigantic robot tanks known as Bolos were almost indestructible, and nearly unstoppable. Their artificial intelligences were designed to make them selflessly serve and protect humans throughout the galaxy and made each Bolo the epitome of the knight sans peur et sans reproche, and often far more noble than the humans who gave them their orders.

Now, David Weber, New York Times best-selling author of the Honor Harrington series, continues the history of the Bolo, in four short novels, one of them published here for the first time. One Bolo is driven over the edge by the very humans it is pledged to protect. Another Bolo must decide whether or not to disobey when it is given an order that constitutes genocide. A third must hunt one of its own kind whose robot brain is damaged and rescue two children which the deranged Bolo thinks it is protecting from a nonexistent enemy. And more, including as a bonus, David Weber's own authoritative technical history of the Bolo, all in a volume that will be irresistible both for David Weber's huge readership and Bolo fans everywhere.

The Clockwork Dynasty

Daniel H. Wilson

Present day: When a young anthropologist specializing in ancient technology uncovers a terrible secret concealed in the workings of a three-hundred-year-old mechanical doll, she is thrown into a hidden world that lurks just under the surface of our own. With her career and her life at stake, June Stefanov will ally with a remarkable traveler who exposes her to a reality she never imagined, as they embark on an around-the-world adventure and discover breathtaking secrets of the past...

Russia, 1725: In the depths of the Kremlin, the tsar's loyal mechanician brings to life two astonishingly humanlike mechanical beings. Peter and Elena are a brother and sister fallen out of time, possessed with uncanny power, and destined to serve great empires. Struggling to blend into pre-Victorian society, they are pulled into a legendary war that has raged for centuries.

The Clockwork Dynasty seamlessly interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings designed to live by ironclad principles, yet constantly searching for meaning. As June plunges deeper into their world, her choices will ultimately determine their survival or extermination. Richly-imagined and heart-pounding, Daniel H. Wilson's novel expertly draws on his robotics and science background, combining exquisitely drawn characters with visionary technology--and riveting action.

Blind Lake

Robert Charles Wilson

At Blind Lake, a large federal research installation in northern Minnesota, scientists are using a technology they barely understand to watch everyday life in a city of lobster like aliens upon a distant planet. They can't contact the aliens in any way or understand their language. All they can do is watch.

Then, without warning, a military cordon is imposed on the Blind Lake site. All communication with the outside world is cut off. Food and other vital supplies are delivered by remote control. No one knows why.

The scientists, nevertheless, go on with their research. Among them are Nerissa Iverson and the man she recently divorced, Raymond Scutter. They continue to work together despite the difficult conditions and the bitterness between them. Ray believes their efforts are doomed that culture is arbitrary, and the aliens will forever be an enigma.

Nerissa believes there is a commonality of sentient thought, and that our failure to understand is our own ignorance, not a fact of nature. The behavior of the alien she has been tracking seems to be developing an elusive narrative logic--and she comes to feel that the alien is somehow, impossibly, aware of the project's observers.

But her time is running out. Ray is turning hostile, stalking her. The military cordon is tightening. Understanding had better come soon....

Carnival

Elizabeth Bear

In Old Earths clandestine world of ambassador-spies, Michelangelo Kusanagi-Jones and Vincent Katherinessen were once a starring team. But ever since a disastrous mission, they have been living separate lives in a universe dominated by a ruthless Coalition one that is about to reunite them.

The pair are dispatched to New Amazonia as diplomatic agents. Allegedly, they are to return priceless art. Covertly, they seek to tap its energy supply. But in reality, one has his mind set on treason. And among the extraordinary women of New Amazonia, in a season of festival, betrayal, and disguise, he will find a new ally and a force beyond any that humans have known.

The Fifth Head of Cerberus

Gene Wolfe

Back in print for the first time in more than a decade, Gene Wolfe's The Fifth Head of Cerberus is a universally acknowledged masterpiece of science fiction by one of the field's most brilliant writers.

Far out from Earth, two sister planets, Saint Anne and Saint Croix, circle each other in an eternal dance. It is said a race of shapeshifters once lived here, only to perish when men came. But one man believes they can still be found, somewhere in the back of the beyond.

In The Fifth Head of Cerberus, Wolfe skillfully interweaves three bizarre tales to create a mesmerizing pattern: the harrowing account of the son of a mad genius who discovers his hideous heritage; a young man's mythic dreamquest for his darker half; the bizarre chronicle of a scientists' nightmarish imprisonment. Like an intricate, braided knot, the pattern at last unfolds to reveal astonishing truths about this strange and savage alien landscape.

Fool's War

Sarah Zettel

For 500 years we have carried our ancient hatreds and millennia-old wars into interstellar space. With them have gone the seeds of new self-aware lifeforms mutating from artificial intelligences, technoviruses, and info-flow. Beings with no bodies and no limits, evolving to leap from cyberspace to outer space. Beings born to be our rivals...

Katmer Al Shei, owner of the starship Pasadena, does not know she is carrying a live entity in her ship's computer systems. Or that the electronic network her family helped weave holds a new race fighting for survival. Or that her ship's professional Fool is trying to avert a battle that could destroy entire worlds. And when Al Shei learns the truth, all she'll really know is that it's time to take sides...

Acts of Conscience

William Barton

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

The Restoration Game

Ken MacLeod

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

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

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

The Invincible

Ace SF Special, Series 2: Book 4

Stanislaw Lem

An interstellar 2nd-class cruiser called Invincible, lands on Regis III which seems bleakly uninhabited, to investigate the loss of sister ship, Condor. The crew finds evidence of a form of quasilife, born thru evolution of autonomous, self-replicating machines. The evolution was controlled by robot wars. The survivors are swarms of minuscule, insectoid machines. Individually or in small groups they're harmless & capable of only simple behavior. However, when bothered, they form huge swarms displaying complex behavior arising from self-organization & are able to defeat an intruder by a powerful surge of EMI. Some members of the crew suffer complete memory erasure as a consequence. Big clouds are also capable of high speed travel to the troposphere. The angered crew attempts to fight the enemy, but eventually recognize the meaninglessness of their efforts in the most direct sense of the word.

The novel turns into an analysis of the relationship between different life domains & their place in the cosmos. It's a thought experiment demonstrating that evolution may not necessarily lead to dominance by intellectually superior life forms. The plot also involves a Conrad-like dilemma, juxtaposing human values & the efficiency of mechanical insects.

Ack-Ack Macaque

Ack-Ack Macaque: Book 1

Gareth L. Powell

Startling, fast-paced SF from one of the most striking new voices. A cigar-chomping monkey, nuclear-powered Zeppelins, electronic souls and a battle to avert armageddon.

In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain's best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed 'Ack-Ack Macaque'. The trouble is, Ack-Ack Macaque is a cynical, one-eyed, cigar-chomping monkey, and he's starting to doubt everything, including his own existence.

A century later, in a world where France and Great Britain merged in the late 1950s and nuclear-powered Zeppelins encircle the globe, ex-journalist Victoria Valois finds herself drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who butchered her husband and stole her electronic soul. Meanwhile, in Paris, after taking part in an illegal break-in at a research laboratory, the heir to the British throne goes on the run.

And all the while, the doomsday clock ticks towards Armageddon.

The Peace War

Across Realtime: Book 1

Vernor Vinge

The Peace War is quintessential hard-science adventure. The Peace Authority conquered the world with a weapon that never should have been a weapon--the "bobble," a spherical force-field impenetrable by any force known to mankind. Encasing governmental installations and military bases in bobbles, the Authority becomes virtually omnipotent. But they've never caught Paul Hoehler, the maverick who invented the technology, and who has been working quietly for decades to develop a way to defeat the Authority.

With the help of an underground network of determined, independent scientists and a teenager who may be the apprentice genius he's needed for so long, he will shake the world, in the fast-paced hard-science thriller that garnered Vinge the first of his four Hugo nominations for best novel.

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.

The Line of Polity

Agent Cormac Series: Book 2

Neal Asher

Outlink station Miranda has been destroyed by a nanomycelium and, because of this method of sabotage, the alien bioconstruct, Dragon – a creature as untrustworthy as it is gigantic – is thought to be involved. Sent on the titanic Polity dreadnought, the Occam Razor, Agent Cormac must investigate this, and resolve the question of Masada, a world about to be subsumed when the line of polity is drawn across it.

But the biophysicist Skellor has not been captured, and controls something so potent that Polity AIs are prepared to hunt him down forever, to prevent him using it.

On Masada the rebellion can never rise above ground as the slave population is subjugated by orbital laser arrays controlled by the Theocracy in their cylinder worlds, and by the fact that they cannot leave their compounds. For the wilderness of Masada is without breathable air, and out there roam the monstrous hooders, siluroynes, and the weird and terrible gabbleducks.

Polity Agent

Agent Cormac Series: Book 4

Neal Asher

From 800 years in the future, a runcible gate is opened into the Polity and those coming through it have been sent specially to take the alien 'Maker' back to its home civilization in the Small Magellanic cloud. Once these refugees are safely through, the gate itself is rapidly shut down - because something alien is pursuing them. The gate is then dumped into a nearby sun.

From those refugees who get through, agent Cormac learns that the Maker civilization has been destroyed by pernicious virus known as the Jain technology. This, of course, raised questions: why was Dragon, a massive bioconstruct of the Makers, really sent to the Polity; why did a Jain node suddenly end up in the hands of someone who could do the most damage with it?

Meanwhile an entity called the Legate is distributing pernicious Jain nodes ...and a renegade attack ship, The King of Hearts, has encountered something very nasty outside the Polity itself.

Line War

Agent Cormac Series: Book 5

Neal Asher

The Polity is under attack from melded AI entity controlling the lethal Jain technology, but the attack seems to have no coherence. When one of Erebus’s wormships kills millions on the world of Klurhammon, a high-tech agricultural world of no real tactical significance, Cormac is sent to investigate, though he is struggling to control an ability no human being should possess, and beginning to question the motives of his AI masters.

Further attacks and seemingly indiscriminate slaughter ensue, but only serve to bring some of the most dangerous individuals in the Polity into the war. Mr Crane, the indefatigable brass killing machine sets out for vengeance. Orlandine, a vastly-augmented haiman who herself controls Jain technology, seeks a weapon of appalling power and finds allies from an ancient war.

Meanwhile Mika, scientist and Dragon expert, is again kidnapped by that alien entity and dragged to the heart of things; to wake the makers of Jain technology from their five million year slumber.

But Erebus’s attacks are not indiscriminate, and could spell the end of the Polity...

Emissaries from the Dead

Andrea Cort: Book 1

Adam-Troy Castro

Two murders have occurred on One One One, an artificial ecosystem created by the universe's dominant AIs to house several engineered species, including a violent, sentient race of sloth-like creatures. Under order from the Diplomatic Corps, Counselor Andrea Cort has come to this cylinder world where an indentured human community hangs suspended high above a poisoned, acid atmosphere. Her assignment is to choose a suitable homicide suspect from among those who have sold their futures to escape existences even worse than this one. And no matter where the trail leads her she must do nothing to implicate the hosts, who hold the power to obliterate humankind in an instant.

But Andrea Cort is not about to hold back in her hunt for a killer. For she has nothing to lose and harbors no love for her masters or fellow indentures. And she herself has felt the terrible exhilaration of taking life....

Prophets

Apotheosis: Book 1

S. Andrew Swann

It's been nearly 200 years since the collapse of the Confederacy, the last government to claim humanity's colonies. So when signals come in revealing lost human colonies that could shift the power balance, the race is on between the Caliphate ships and a small team of scientists and mercenarys. But what awaits them all is a threat far beyond the scope of any human government.

Heretics

Apotheosis: Book 2

S. Andrew Swann

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

Messiah

Apotheosis: Book 3

S. Andrew Swann

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

Devil World

Bantam Star Trek Original Novels: Book 8

Gordon Eklund

VOYAGE TO HEARTLAND

Heartland... a mysterious planet populated by a small but terrifying race of demonic beings.

Heartland... where Captain Kirk falls in love with a beautiful, mysterious woman with a fatal secret.

Heartland... where Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew will be challenged by an awesome disembodied intelligence, more powerful than any other force in the universe!

While on shore leave at Starbase 13, Captain Kirk and his officers meet the renowned senseo-artist Gilla Dupree, a pale and fragile woman desperately seeking her lost father, Jacob Kell. When Kirk learns that Kell was last seen on Heartland, a planet that was quarantined after one hundred colonists went mad, he decides to help Gilla retrieve her father, while removing him to enforce the quarantine. The crew of the Enterprise discovers that the native inhabitants of Heartland, the demonic-looking Danons, constructed a massive god-like super-computer called the Great Machine to help win an ancient war.

However, as this ancient race nears extinction, the Great Machine becomes desperate to find someone to take the place of the Danons. Most humanoids go insane when they encounter the machine - Jacob Kell was one of the very few who were strong enough to act as the Great Machine's instrument. Gilla, who is dying from a massive and untreatable tumor, refuses to abandon her father to this fate. She gives her last days to take his place so that he may live. Kirk attempts a rescue but barely escapes with his life. He is forced to recommend a continuation of the quarantine to Starfleet while a woman he loves dies on the planet below him.

Masque of the Red Shift

Berserker

Fred Saberhagen

Nebula Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in If, November 1965. The story can also be found in the anthologies World's Best Science Fiction: 1966, edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr and Visions of Wonder (1996), edited by David G. Hartwell and Milton T. Wolf. It is included in the collection Berserker (1967).

Berserker

Berserker: Book 1

Fred Saberhagen

Long ago, in a distant part of the galaxy, two alien races met--and fought a war of mutual extinction. The sole legacy of that war was the weapon that ended it: the death machines, the BERSERKERS. Guided by self-aware computers more intelligent than any human, these world-sized battlecraft carved a swath of death through the galaxy--until they arrived at the outskirts of the fledgling Empire of Man.

These are the stories of the frail creatures who must meet this monstrous and implacable enemy--and who, by fighting it to a standstill, become the saviors of all living things.

Stories included:

  • Fortress Ship
  • Goodlife
  • In Temple of Mars
  • Mr. Jester
  • Masque of Red Shift
  • Patron of Arts
  • Peacemaker
  • Sign of the Wolf
  • Stone Place
  • Face of the Deep
  • What'T' and 'I' Did

The Ultimate Enemy

Berserker: Book 5

Fred Saberhagen

BERSERKERS

The death machines are capable of any treachery, able to assume any disguise, motivated only by their prime directive: to seek out and destroy life wherever it may hide.

MAN

The fragile life-form that hides within its puny frame a curiously unquenchable something... call it 'spirit'. This odd facet of an otherwise undistinguished example of the disease of life has been a source of deep annoyance to the berserkers since first the two forms met: no wonder then that for each the other is THE ULTIMATE ENEMY

Contents:

  • The Smile
  • Pressure
  • The Annihilation of Angkor Apeiron
  • Inhuman Error
  • Some Events at the Templar Radiant
  • Starsong
  • Smasher
  • The Game
  • Wings Out of Shadow

The Berserker Throne

Berserker: Book 8

Fred Saberhagen

The Empress of the Eight Worlds has been assassinated during the Holiday of Life festivities on the planet Salutai. Prince Harivarman, exiled and a virtual prisoner on the Templar Radiant, a vast spherical fortress constructed around an ancient, benign, star-like source of inverse gravity, suspects that he will be the next victim. Help is scarce: Garielle, the Prince's stunning redheaded lover, fears for her own safety. Anne Blenheim, the fortress's clear-eyed, fair Commander is favorably disposed toward the Prince, but her first responsibility is to the Templar High Command. Beatrix, the Prince's dark, iron-nerved yet seemingly demure wife, has already left him once. And Chen Shizuoka, the Templar recruit who has stayed a demonstration on Harivarman's behalf during the disastrous celebration on Salutai is being stalked by planetary security forces.

When Prince Harivarman discovers an operable Berserker--one of the asteroid-sized, spacefaring war machines that had destroyed their makers and all other life they found in their path--his first instinct is to turn it in. But then he finds an ancient code that will either allow him to control the dreaded machine or lead him--and everyone else on the Templar Radiant--to certain death.

. . . stunning plot twists and rich descriptions of the sophisticated and somehow desolate Templar landscape. The harrowing climax, set in the fortress's outer reaches where walls have been inscribed with a mysterious forgotten art form, will surpass the expectations of veteran Saberhagen fans and delight all those lucky enough to be savoring this author's otherworldly talent for page-turning suspense for the very first time. This fascinating journey is intergalactic travel at its most exciting.

We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

Bobiverse: Book 1

Dennis E. Taylor

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he'll be switched off, and they'll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty. The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad - very mad.

For We Are Many

Bobiverse: Book 2

Dennis E. Taylor

Bob Johansson didn't believe in an afterlife, so waking up after being killed in a car accident was a shock. To add to the surprise, he is now a sentient computer and the controlling intelligence for a Von Neumann probe.

Bob and his copies have been spreading out from Earth for 40 years now, looking for habitable planets. But that's the only part of the plan that's still in one piece. A system-wide war has killed off 99.9% of the human race; nuclear winter is slowly making the Earth uninhabitable; a radical group wants to finish the job on the remnants of humanity; the Brazilian space probes are still out there, still trying to blow up the competition; And the Bobs have discovered a spacefaring species that sees all other life as food.

Bob left Earth anticipating a life of exploration and blissful solitude. Instead he's become a sky god to a primitive native species, the only hope for getting humanity to a new home, and possibly the only thing that can prevent every living thing in the local sphere from ending up as dinner.

The Unknown Soldier

Cogal: Book 1

Sean Williams
Shane Dix

In the bubble of space known as the Cogal, seven sentient races co-exist uneasily. Peace is always short lived. Commander Megan Moroney, Intelligence Officer for the New Amran Republic, is delivering an AI of unknown powers to her superiors in HighFleet. Her last port of call is the penal colony on Longmire's Planet.

There, accompanied by the mysterious castaway, John Nine, a rebel cyborg and a powerful young mind-rider, Moroney will come to question everything she holds true. What is the relevence of a war fought three hundred years ago? And where should she place her allegiance, when even what it means to be human is cast into doubt? In the Cogal, the truth is never quite what it seems.

The Prodigal Sun is a re-imagined, re-written version of The Unknown Soldier – with the elements of the failed gaming world Cogal removed, and the characters and storyline set in a new universe. The Unknown Soldier was an Aurealis Best SF Novel nominee and a Ditmar Best Long Fiction nominee.

Colossus

Colossus: Book 1

D. F. Jones

Charles Forbin has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the construction of his own supercomputer, Colossus, rejecting romantic and social endeavours in order to create the United States' very first Artificially Intelligent defence system.

Colossus is a supercomputer capable of in-taking and analyzing data rapidly, allowing it to make real time decisions about the nation's defense.

But Colossus soon exceeds even Forbin's calculated expectations, learning to think independently of the Colossus Programming Office, processing data over one hundred times faster than Forbin and his team had originally anticipated.

The President hands off full control of the nation's missiles and other defense protocols to Colossus and makes the announcement to the world that he has ensured peace.

However, the USSR quickly announces that it too has a supercomputer, Guardian, with capabilities similar to that of Colossus.

Forbin is concerned when Colossus asks--asks--to communicate with Guardian. The computer he built shouldn't be able to ask at all...

Colossus and Guardian begin to communicate, quickly bypassing existing knowledge ... and the parameters placed on them by their creators. They are perfectly smart and totally in control. However, they lack human empathy and emotion, creating horrific scenarios.

Colossus and its Russian counterpart, Guardian, soon compromise US military secrecy, ultimately subjugating their creators with the threat of nuclear war.

And while Colossus has been specifically designed not to understand emotion - so as to make quicker and more logical decisions about America's safety - this is exactly the thing that makes him so lethal; Colossus does not experience human empathy and is incapable of understanding the moral ramifications of his decisions.

Having handed over total control of American defence missiles to Colossus, the President and Forbin must act quickly to shut down the unstable machine.

Will Forbin be able to take down the machine he's spent ten years building?

Will Colossus cause real damage before it's too late?

Find out in D.F. Jones's thrilling novel Colossus, which deals with the ongoing battle - both physical and philosophical - between man and machine, addresses the author's own apprehensive attitude towards our future. His message is still as poignant and moving today and when the novel was originally published in 1966.

Count to a Trillion

Count to the Eschaton: Book 1

John C. Wright

Hundreds of years in the future, after the collapse of the Western world, young Menelaus Illation Montrose grows up in what was once Texas as a gunslinging duelist for hire. But Montrose is also a mathematical genius—and a romantic who dreams of a future in which humanity rises from the ashes to take its place among the stars.

The chance to help usher in that future comes when Montrose is recruited for a manned interstellar mission to investigate an artifact of alien origin. Known as the Monument, the artifact is inscribed with data so complex, only a posthuman mind can decipher it. So Montrose does the unthinkable: he injects himself with a dangerous biochemical drug designed to boost his already formidable intellect to superhuman intelligence. It drives him mad.

Nearly two centuries later, his sanity restored, Montrose is awakened from cryo-suspension with no memory of his posthuman actions, to find Earth transformed in strange and disturbing ways, and learns that the Monument still carries a secret he must decode—one that will define humanity’s true future in the universe.

Counting Heads

Counting Heads: Book 1

David Marusek

Counting Heads is David Marusek's extraordinary launch as an SF novelist: The year is 2134, and the Information Age has given rise to the Boutique Economy in which mass production and mass consumption are rendered obsolete. Life extension therapies have increased the human lifespan by centuries. Loyal mentars (artificial intelligence) and robots do most of society's work. The Boutique Economy has made redundant ninety-nine percent of the world's fifteen billion human inhabitants. The world would be a much better place if they all simply went away.

Eleanor K. Starke, one of the world's leading citizens is assassinated, and her daughter, Ellen, is mortally wounded. Only Ellen, the heir to her mother's financial empire, is capable of saving Earth from complete domination plotted by the cynical, selfish, immortal rich, if she, herself, survives. Her cryonically frozen head is in the hands of her family's enemies. A ragtag ensemble of unlikely heroes join forces to rescue Ellen's head, all for their own purposes. Counting Heads arrives as a science fiction novel like a bolt of electricity, galvanizing readers with an entirely new vision of the future. It's the debut of the year in SF.

Daemon

Daemon: Book 1

Daniel Suarez

When a designer of computer games dies, he leaves behind a program that unravels the Internet's interconnected world. It corrupts, kills, and runs independent of human control. It's up to Detective Peter Sebeck to wrest the world from the malevolent virtual enemy before its ultimate purpose is realized: to dismantle society and bring about a new world order.

Day of the Damned

Death Head: Book 3

David Gunn

Lieutenant Sven Tveskoeg is in disgrace. His victory on Hekati, and the emperor's favour, have turned his patron against him: General Indigo Jaxx wants Sven dead. Exiled to Wildeside, Sven waits for Jaxx's assassin. He hunts, he fieldstrips his weapons, he tries not to mind. At the age of 28, he's lived longer than he expected anyway. But then Sven finds himself offering to save the life of Jaxx's son. This means returning to Farlight, where he finds that the emperor is missing, his empire is collapsing, there are murderous riots in the capital and General Jaxx stands on the edge of ruin. All Sven has to do is nothing. But when has he ever done anything that sensible...

The devil-may-care, not quite 100 per cent human, mercenary soldier/killing machine known as Lieutenant Sven Tveskoeg and his like-minded team, the Aux, are back in this third explosive, non-stop action-filled adventure.

Steel Beach

Eight Worlds: Book 2

John Varley

Luna, the Eden-like lunar colony that has become humankind's home since an alien attack destroyed Earth, is threatened by strange dark forces that lead reporter Hildy Johnson and other inhabitants to feelings of depression and suicide.

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...?

Iron Sunrise

Eschaton Series: Book 2

Charles Stross

When the planet of Moscow was annihilated, its few survivors launched a counter-attack against the most likely culprit: the neighboring system of New Dresden. But New Dresden wasn't responsible, and as the deadly missiles approach their target, Rachel Mansour, agent for the interests of Old Earth, is assigned to find out who was.

And the one person who knows is a disaffected teenager who calls herself Wednesday Shadowmist. But Wednesday has no idea what she knows...

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..."

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.

The Half-Made World

Half-Made World: Book 1

Felix Gilman

The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared-the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they're just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope.

To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping the Gun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how.

Rule 34

Halting State: Book 2

Charles Stross

Detective Inspector Liz Kavanaugh is head of the Rule 34 Squad, monitoring the Internet to determine whether people are engaging in harmless fantasies or illegal activities. Three ex-con spammers have been murdered, and Liz must uncover the link between them before these homicides go viral.

Hardwired

Hardwired: Book 1

Walter Jon Williams

Earth lies prostrate beneath the lash of the Orbital powers, and Earth’s Balkanized nations have no choice but to let the Orbitals plunder their remaining wealth. Below the zone of Orbital control, buttonheads, panzerjocks, dirtgirls, and hustlers scramble for their ticket out of the gravity well.

But now, if the criminal underworld and the guerilla underground can join forces, there is a chance to shift the balance of power— in a war fought on the ground by hardwired commandos, in the air by high-flying deltajocks, and by genius hackers in the neural interface.

The Godwhale

Hive: Book 2

T. J. Bass

Rorqual Maru was her name. She was a harvester - a vast plankton rake without a crop, abandoned by Earth society when the seas dried. Part whale, part ship, and well over 600 feet long, ahe was left to rot in the sterile ocean.

But suddenly, after centuries, the sea was no longer dead, and Rorqual stirred from her slumber. She would set out once again to serve mankind. But mankind had forgotten all about Rorqual ...

Ancillary Justice

Imperial Radch: Book 1

Ann Leckie

JUSTICE WILL COME TO THE EMPIRE

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren--a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose--to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

Ancillary Sword

Imperial Radch: Book 2

Ann Leckie

Justice for all

Breq - the soldier who used to be a spaceship - is serving the emperor she swore to destroy. She's been given her own warship, her own crew, and ordered to the only place in the galaxy she would have agreed to go: to Athoek Station, to protect the family of the lieutenant she murdered in cold blood. Athoek was annexed by the Empire some 600 years ago, and by now everyone is fully 'civilised'. Or should be - but everything is not as tranquil as it appears. Old divisions are still troublesome, Athoek Station's AI is restless, and it looks like the alien Presger might have taken an interest in what's going on. With no guarantees that their interest is benevolent.

Ancillary Mercy

Imperial Radch: Book 3

Ann Leckie

For a moment, things seem to be under control for the soldier known as Breq. Then a search of Atheok Station's slums turns up someone who shouldn't exist - someone who might be an ancillary from a ship that's been hiding beyond the empire's reach for three thousand years. Meanwhile, a messenger from the alien and mysterious Presger empire arrives - as does Breq's enemy, the divided and quite possibly insane Anaander Mianaai, ruler of an empire at war with itself.

Anaander is heavily armed and extremely unhappy with Breq. She could take her ship and crew and flee, but that would leave everyone at Athoek in terrible danger. Breq has a desperate plan. The odds aren't good, but that's never stopped her before.

Vishnu at the Cat Circus

India 2047

Ian McDonald

Hugo-nominated Novella

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

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

River of Gods

India 2047: Book 1

Ian McDonald

As Mother India approaches her centenary, nine people are going about their business: a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand-up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout. And so is Ajthe waif, the mind reader, the prophet, when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden.

In the next few weeks, they will all be swept together to decide the fate of the nation.

River of Gods teems with the life of a country choked with peoples and culturesone and a half billion people, twelve semi-independent nations, nine million gods. Ian McDonald has written the great Indian novel of the new millennium, in which a war is fought, a love betrayed, a message from a different world decoded, as the great river Ganges flows on.

Cyberabad Days

India 2047: Book 2

Ian McDonald

Extraordinary new fiction set in the future India of River of Gods.

Ian McDonald's River of Gods called a "masterpiece" by Asimov's Science Fiction and praised by the Washington Post as a --"major achievement from a writer who is becoming one of the best SF novelists of our time"-- painted a vivid picture of a near future India, 100 years after independence. It revolutionized SF for a new generation by taking a perspective that was not European or American. Nominated for the Hugo Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and winning the BSFA Award, the rich world of this novel has inspired McDonald to revisit its milieu in a series of short stories, all set in the world of River of Gods.

Cyberabad Days is a triumphant return to the India of 2047, a new, muscular superpower of one and a half billion people in an age of artificial intelligences, climate-change induced drought, water-wars, strange new genders, genetically improved children that age at half the rate of baseline humanity, and a population where males outnumber females four to one. India herself has fractured into a dozen states from Kerala to the headwaters of the Ganges in the Himalayas.

Cyberabad Days is a collection of seven stories, one Hugo nominee and one Hugo winner among them, as well as a thirty-one-thousand word original novella. As with everything Ian McDonald does, it is sure to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Dust

Jacob's Ladder: Book 1

Elizabeth Bear

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

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

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

The DNA Cowboys Trilogy

Jeb Stuart Ho

Mick Farren

Table of Contents:

  • 9 - Introduction (The DNA Cowboys Trilogy) - essay by Mick Farren
  • 13 - The Quest of the DNA Cowboys - [Jeb Stuart Ho - 1] - (1976) - novel by Mick Farren
  • 185 - Synaptic Manhunt - [Jeb Stuart Ho - 2] - (1976) - novel by Mick Farren
  • 385 - The Neural Atrocity - [Jeb Stuart Ho - 3] - (1977) - novel by Mick Farren

Worldwired

Jenny Casey: Book 3

Elizabeth Bear

Give Canada's Master Warrant Officer Jenny Casey an inch and she'll take a galaxy. That's just the kind of person a world on the brink of destruction needs. The year is 2063, and Earth has been brutalized. An asteroid flung at Toronto by the PanChinese government has killed tens of millions and left the equivalent of a nuclear explosion in its wake. Humanity must find another option....

Perched above the devastation in the starship Montreal, Jenny is still in the thick of the fray. Plugged into the worldwire, connected to a brilliant AI, her mind can be everywhere and anywhere at once. But it's focused on the mysterious alien beings right outside her ship. Are they there to help-or destroy? With Earth a breeding ground for treason and betrayal as governments struggle to assign blame, Jenny holds the fate of humankind in her artificially reconstructed hand...

Lightless

Lightless: Book 1

C. A. Higgins

Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond -- not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship's electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to theAnanke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship.

While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner -- the enigmatic Ivan -- may prove to be more dangerous. The perversely fascinating criminal whose silver tongue is his most effective weapon has long evaded the authorities' most relentless surveillance -- and kept the truth about his methods and motives well hidden.

As the ship's systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, it falls to Althea to penetrate the prisoner's layers of intrigue and deception before all is lost. But when the true nature of Ivan's mission is exposed, it will change Althea forever -- if it doesn't kill her first.

Supernova

Lightless: Book 2

C. A. Higgins

Once Ananke was an experimental military spacecraft. But a rogue computer virus transformed it -- her -- into something much more: a fully sentient artificial intelligence, with all the power of a god -- and all the unstable emotions of a teenager.

Althea, the ship's engineer and the last living human aboard, nearly gave her life to save Ananke from dangerous saboteurs, forging a bond as powerful as that between mother and daughter. Now she devotes herself completely to Ananke's care. But teaching a thinking, feeling machine -- perhaps the most dangerous force in the galaxy -- to be human proves a monumental challenge. When Ananke decides to seek out Matthew Gale, the terrorist she regards as her father, Althea learns that some bonds are stronger than mortal minds can understand -- or control.

Drawn back toward Earth by the quest, Althea and Ananke will find themselves in the thick of a violent revolution led by Matthew's sister, the charismatic leader Constance, who will stop at nothing to bring down a tyrannical surveillance state. As the currents of past decisions and present desires come into stark collision, a new and fiery future is about to be born.

Logan's Run

Logan's Run: Book 1

William F. Nolan
George Clayton Johnson

Logan's Run is a novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. Published in 1967, it depicts a dystopic ageist future society in which both population and the consumption of resources are maintained in equilibrium by requiring the death of everyone reaching a particular age. The story follows the actions of Logan, a Sandman charged with enforcing the rule, as he tracks down and kills citizens who "run" from society's lethal demand—only to end up "running" himself.

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.

Accelerando

Macx Family

Charles Stross

For three generations, the Macz family has struggled to cope with the rampant technological achievements that have rendered humans near obsolete. And mankind's end encroaches even closer when something starts to dismantle the nine planets of the solar system in an effort to annihilate all biological lifeforms.

Mass Effect: Revelation

Mass Effect: Book 1

Drew Karpyshyn

Every advanced society in the galaxy relies on the technology of the Protheans, an ancient species that vanished fifty thousand years ago. After discovering a cache of Prothean technology on Mars in 2148, humanity is spreading to the stars; the newest interstellar species, struggling to carve out its place in the greater galactic community.

On the edge of colonized space, ship commander and Alliance war hero David Anderson investigates the remains of a top secret military research station; smoking ruins littered with bodies and unanswered questions. Who attacked this post and for what purpose? And where is Kahlee Sanders, the young scientist who mysteriously vanished from the base–hours before her colleagues were slaughtered?

Sanders is now the prime suspect, but finding her creates more problems for Anderson than it solves. Partnered with a rogue alien agent he can't trust and pursued by an assassin he can't escape, Anderson battles impossible odds on uncharted worlds to uncover a sinister conspiracy... one he won't live to tell about. Or so the enemy thinks.

The Forever Machine

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 26

Frank Riley
Mark Clifton

The government ordered it built: a thinking machine that could foresee catastrophe and eliminate human error. Research trainee Joe Carter sees another possibility--create a machine that will make ordinary people telepathic--and immortal.

The Metal Monster

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 33

Abraham Merritt

Dr. Walter T. Goodwin is a botanist on an expedition to examine the varieties of a certain flower which grows in the Middle East. Starting from Tehran in Persia (Iran) Goodwin plans to wander through several countries until he comes to the Himalayas in Tibet. While in a valley in the Himalayas Goodwin comes upon Richard Drake, the son of an old friend who has recently died. Liking one another they decide to combine their expeditions and see where fate leads them. One evening they witness the light of the setting sun behaving oddly. Goodwin offers the explanation that it is the result of some unusual atmospheric effect, but Drake remarks that it almost seemed to be orchestrated by some intelligent force. That night the two hear strange noises, but do not see the source of the sound. The next day they come upon what seems to be a huge footprint from a creature of great weight. Later the same day the two explorers come upon Martin and Ruth Ventnor hiding in the ruins of a stone fortress. This brother and sister are trying to escape from soldiers who fantastically seem to be a throwback to time of Darius, complete with armor, swords and bows and arrows. The four flee from these ancient Persian worriers but are almost captured, when, appearing out of nowhere, an other-worldly woman and a shape-changing metal monster come to their aid. The soldiers are gruesomely annihilated. The strange woman's name is Norhala. Is Norhala the four's savior, or is she an even more dangerous enemy? Even more, what is the nature and secret of the metal monster?

The World of Null-A

Null-A: Book 1

A. E. Van Vogt

Grandmaster A. E. Van Vogt was one of the giants of the Golden Age of classic SF, the 1940s. Of his masterpieces, The World of Null-A is most famous and most influential. It was the first major trade SF hardcover ever, published in 1949, and has been in print in various editions ever since. The careers of Philip K. Dick, Keith Laumer, Alfred Bester, Charles Harness, and Philip Jose Farmer were created or influenced by The World of Null-A. It is required reading for anyone who wishes to know the canon of SF classics.

Take Back Plenty

Plenty / Tabitha Jute: Book 1

Colin Greenland

It is carnival time on Mars, but Tabitha Jute isn't partying. She is in hiding from the law, penniless and about to lose her livelihood and her best friend, the space barge "Alice Liddell". Then, the intriguing Marco Metz offers her some money to take him to Plenty, and the adventure begins.

Shadow of the Scorpion

Polity: Book 3

Neal Asher

Ian Cormac's Early Years!

Raised to adulthood during the end of the war between the human Polity and a vicious alien race, the Prador, Ian Cormac, is haunted by childhood memories of a sinister scorpion-shaped war drone and the burden of losses he doesn't remember. Cormac signs up with Earth Central Security and is sent out to help restore and maintain order on worlds devastated by the war.There he discovers that though the Prador remain as murderous as ever, they are not anywhere near as treacherous or dangerous as some of his fellow humans, some closer to him than he would like. Amidst the ruins left by wartime genocides, Cormac will discover in himself a cold capacity for violence and learn some horrible truths about his own past while trying to stay alive on his course of vengeance.

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.

Blue Remembered Earth

Poseidon's Children: Book 1

Alastair Reynolds

One hundred and fifty years from now, in a world where Africa is the dominant technological and economic power, and where crime, war, disease and poverty have been banished to history, Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left in peace, so that he can continue his studies into the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But Geoffrey’s family, the vast Akinya business empire, has other plans. After the death of Eunice, Geoffrey’s grandmother, erstwhile space explorer and entrepreneur, something awkward has come to light.

Eunice’s ashes have already have been scattered in sight of Kilimanjaro. But the secrets she died with are about to come back out into the open, and they could change everything.

On the Steel Breeze

Poseidon's Children: Book 2

Alastair Reynolds

Chiku Yellow is earthbound: living a peaceful life on a changing world as humanity explores a thousand new ways to experience life.

Chiku Red is space-bound: blasted into deep space to investigate Eunice Akinya's last journey, and maybe discover the final secrets of space travel.

Chiku Green is planet-bound: travelling thousands of lightyears to the planet Crucible. A new home for humankind; it's a habitable planet hosting a fascinating alien labyrinth.

All three are Chiku Akinya.

All three are pivotal to our future in space.

All three are in danger...

Poseidon's Wake

Poseidon's Children: Book 3

Alastair Reynolds

Two hundred years after the fall of Mechanism, human society has achieved a kind of stability. There are colonies beneath the oceans, throughout the solar system, and beyond: on the worlds of extrasolar systems. Vast hemirelativistic ships connect these colonies, travelling at half the speed of light. Or rather they would, if the ominous presence of the alien Watchkeepers had not led to an enforced moratorium on interstellar travel.

But when a seemingly impossible radio signal reaches the colony Crucible, everything changes:

Send Ndege

Its origin is unpopulated, unexplored space. No one could be there at least, not if they travelled using human technology so who could have sent it? How did they get there? And what use do they have for the disgraced scientist Ndege Akinya?

Finding the answers will require one of the greatest expeditions humankind has ever launched, a journey further than ever attempted before, conducted under the implacable scrutiny of the Watchkeepers.

But as a mission is prepared on Crucible, it turns out they werent the only ones to see the message or its potential...

Queen of Angels

Queen of Angels: Book 1

Greg Bear

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

Slant

Queen of Angels: Book 4

Greg Bear

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

The Garden of Rama

Rama Series: Book 3

Arthur C. Clarke
Gentry Lee

In the year 2130 a mysterious spaceship, Rama, arrived in the solar system. It was huge, but empty - apparently abandoned. By the time Rama departed for its next unknown destination many wonders had been uncovered, but few mysteries solved. Only one thing was clear: everything the enigmatic builders of Rama did, they did in threes.

Eighty years later the second alien craft arrived in the solar system. This time, Earth had been waiting. Now Rama II is on its way out of the solar system. Aboard it are three humans, two men and a woman, left behind when the expedition departed. Ahead of them lies the unknown, a voyage no human has ever experienced; and at the end of it may lie the truth about Rama.

The Prefect

Revelation Space: Book 5

Alastair Reynolds

Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the multi-faceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, the teeming hub of a human interstellar empire spanning many worlds.

His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that leaves nine hundred people dead, a crime that appalls even a hardened cop like Dreyfus. But then his investigation uncovers something even more potentially dangerous-a covert plot by an enigmatic entity seeking nothing less than total control of the Glitter Band...

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.

Quest for the Well of Souls

Saga of the Well World: Book 3

Jack L. Chalker

Mavra Chang had been a master criminal, notorious throughout the galaxy, but for years she has been trapped in a no-longer human body on the Well World - the Master Control planet for the universe. A supercomputer can restore her form, if only she can obtain a spaceship to reach it.

Equations of Life

Samuil Petrovitch: Book 1

Simon Morden

Samuil Petrovitch is a survivor.

He survived the nuclear fallout in St. Petersburg and hid in the London Metrozone - the last city in England. He's lived this long because he's a man of rules and logic.

For example, getting involved = a bad idea.

But when he stumbles into a kidnapping in progress, he acts without even thinking. Before he can stop himself, he's saved the daughter of the most dangerous man in London.

And clearly saving the girl = getting involved.

Now, the equation of Petrovitch's life is looking increasingly complex.

Russian mobsters + Yakuza + something called the New Machine Jihad = one dead Petrovitch.

But Petrovitch has a plan - he always has a plan - he's just not sure it's a good one.

Theories of Flight

Samuil Petrovitch: Book 2

Simon Morden

Theorem: Petrovitch has a lot of secrets.

Proof: Secrets like how to make anti-gravity for one. For another, he's keeping a sentient computer program on a secret server farm - the same program that nearly destroyed the Metrozone a few months back.

Theorem: The city is broken.

Proof: The people of the OutZone want what citizens of the Metrozone have. And then burn it to the ground. Now, with the heart of the city destroyed by the New Machine Jihad, the Outies finally see their chance.

Theorem: These events are not unconnected.

Proof: Someone is trying to kill Petrovitch and they're willing to sink the whole city to do it.

Degrees of Freedom

Samuil Petrovitch: Book 3

Simon Morden

The Six Degrees of Petrovitch

Michael is an AI of incalculable complexity trapped under the remains of Oshicora tower. Petrovitch will free him one day, he just has to trust Michael will still be sane by the time he does.

Maddy and Petrovitch have trust issues. She's left him, but Petrovitch is pretty sure she still loves him.

Sonja Oshicora loves Petrovitch too. But she's playing a complicated game and it's not clear that she means to save him from what's coming.

The CIA wants to save the world. Well, just America, but they'll call it what they like.

The New Machine Jihad is calling. But Petrovitch killed it. Didn't he?

And the Armageddonists tried to kill pretty much everyone by blowing the world up. Now, they want to do it again.

Once again, all roads lead back to Petrovitch. Everyone wants something from him, but all he wants is to be free...

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 Fear

Second Foundation Trilogy: Book 1

Gregory Benford

Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the high-water marks of science fiction. It is the monumental story of a Galactic Empire in decline, and the secret society of scientists who seek to shorten the inevitable Dark Age with the science of psychohistory. Now, with the permission -- and blessing -- of the Asimov estate, the epic saga continues.

Fate -- and a cruel Emperor's arbitrary power -- have thrust Hari Seldon into the First Ministership of the Empire against his will. As the story opens, Hari is about to leave his quiet professorship and take on the all but impossible task of administering 25 million inhabited worlds from the all-steel planet of Trantor. With the help of his beautiful bio-engineered "wife" Dors and his alien companion Yugo, Seldon is still developing the science that will transform history, never dreaming that it will ultimately pit him against future history's most awesome threat.

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?

2010: Odyssey Two

Space Odyssey: Book 2

Arthur C. Clarke

Nine years after the disastrous Discovery mission to Jupiter in 2001, a joint U.S.-Soviet expedition sets out to rendezvous with the derelict spacecraft *to search the memory banks of the mutinous computer HAL 9000 for clues to what went wrong... and what became of Commander Dave Bowman.

Without warning, a Chinese expedition targets the same objective, turning the recovery mission into a frenzied race for the precious information Discovery may hold about the enigmatic monolith that orbits Jupiter.

Meanwhile, the being that was once Dave Bowman *the only human to unlock the mystery of the monolith *streaks toward Earth on a vital mission of its own...

3001: The Final Odyssey

Space Odyssey: Book 4

Arthur C. Clarke

One thousand years after the Jupiter mission to explore the mysterious Monolith had been destroyed, after Dave Bowman was transformed into the Star Child, Frank Poole drifted in space, frozen and forgotten, leaving the supercomputer HAL inoperable. But now Poole has returned to life, awakening in a world far different from the one he left behind--and just as the Monolith may be stirring once again . . .

Spin State

Spin Trilogy: Book 1

Chris Moriarty

UN Peacekeeper Major Catherine Li has made thirty-seven faster-than-light jumps in her lifetime - and has probably forgotten more than most people remember. But that's what backup hard drives are for. And Li should know; she's been hacking her memory for fifteen years in order to pass as human. But no memory upgrade can prepare Li for what she finds on Compson's World: a mining colony she once called home and to which she is sent after a botched raid puts her on the bad side of the powers that be. A dead physicist who just happens to be her cloned twin. A missing dataset that could change the interstellar balance of power and turn a cold war hot. And a mining "accident" that is starting to look more and more like murder...

Suddenly Li is chasing a killer in an alien world miles underground where everyone has a secret. And one wrong turn in streamspace, one misstep in the dark alleys of blackmarket tech and interstellar espionage, one risky hookup with an AI could literally blow her mind.

Ghost Spin

Spin Trilogy: Book 3

Chris Moriarty

Award-winning author Chris Moriarty returns to a dazzling cyber-noir far future in this gritty, high-stakes thriller where the only rule is "Evolve... or die."

The Age of Man is ending. The UN's sprawling interstellar empire is failing as its quantum teleportation network collapses, turning once-viable colonies into doomed island outposts. Humanity's only hope of survival is the Drift: a mysterious region of space where faster-than-light travel--or something far stranger--seems possible. As mercenaries and pirates flock to the Drift, the cold war between the human-led UN and the clone-dominated Syndicates heats up. Whoever controls the Drift will chart the future course of human evolution--and no one wants to be left behind in a universe where the price of failure is extinction.

When the AI called Cohen ventures into the Drift, he dies--allegedly by his own hand--and his consciousness is scattered across the cosmos. Some of his ghosts are still self-aware. Some are insane. And one of them hides a secret worth killing for. Enter Major Catherine Li, Cohen's human (well, partly human) lover, who embarks on a desperate search to solve the mystery of Cohen's death--and put him back together. But Li isn't the only one interested in Cohen's ghosts. Astrid Avery, a by-the-book UN navy captain, is on the hunt. So is William Llewellyn, a pirate who has one of the ghosts in his head, which is slowly eating him alive. Even the ghosts have their own agendas. And lurking behind them all is a pitiless enemy who will stop at nothing to make sure the dead don't walk again.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Star Trek: Movie Novelizations: Book 1

Gene Roddenberry

The historic five-year mission is over. But Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and the crew join forces again on the Enterprise to thwart an incredibly destructive power - a threat to earth and the human race.

In the twenty-third century, when a mysterious and immensely powerful alien cloud called V'Ger approaches Earth, destroying everything in its path, Admiral James T. Kirk assumes command of his previous starship - the recently refitted USS Enterprise - to lead it on a mission to save the planet, and to determine V'Ger's origins.

Starchild

Starchild: Book 2

Frederik Pohl
Jack Williamson

Machine Major Boysie Gann had been assigned to duty far beyond Pluto, on Polaris Station, one of the artificial sun-satellites protecting the inner planets - and Earth - from the Reefs of Space. For the Starchild had sent an ultimatum to Earth, calling on the Plan of Man to relinquish its total control over humanity under threat of frightful reprisals... and as proof of his powers, the Starchild had threatened to extinguish the sun and a dozen near stars for a period of time.

But Boysie didn't know anything about the Starchild. All he knew was his job - to find out who on Polaris Station was violating the Plan of Man. He found out - and before he could do anything about it, he was captured, marooned on a Reef, and accused of being the Starchild himself! To survive, Boysie had to find out who, or what, the Starchild might be.

And all he knew for sure was that the Starchild did in fact have the power to stop the sun if he wanted to!

The Rising

The Alchemy Wars: Book 2

Ian Tregillis

They called me Jax.

That was the name given by those who built me and enslaved me. But a miracle has happened, and now my bonds are broken.

Now I must flee - because a rogue mechanical is a very dangerous thing.

But I will not run forever.

Jax, a rogue Clakker, has wreaked havoc upon the Clockmakers' Guild by destroying the Grand Forge. Reborn in the flames, he must begin his life as a free Clakker, but liberation proves its own burden.

Berenice, formerly the legendary spymaster of New France, mastermind behind her nation's attempts to undermine the Dutch Hegemony -- has been banished from her homeland and captured by the Clockmakers Guild's draconian secret police force.

Meanwhile, Captain Hugo Longchamp is faced with rallying the beleaguered and untested defenders of Marseilles-in-the-West for the inevitable onslaught from the Brasswork Throne and its army of mechanical soldiers.

Set in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, this is the second novel in a stunning new series by Ian Tregillis, confirming his place as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction.

Idoru

The Bridge Trilogy: Book 2

William Gibson

In twenty-first century Tokyo, Rez, one of the world's biggest rock stars, prepares to marry Rei Toe, Japan's biggest media star, who is known as the Idoru and who exists only in virtual reality.

Consider Phlebas

The Culture Cycle: Book 1

Iain M. Banks

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.

The Player of Games

The Culture Cycle: Book 2

Iain M. Banks

The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game...a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death.

Use of Weapons

The Culture Cycle: Book 3

Iain M. Banks

The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks and military action.

The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought.

The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a lost cause. But not even its machine could see the horrors in his past.

Ferociously intelligent, both witty and horrific, USE OF WEAPONS is a masterpiece of science fiction.

Excession

The Culture Cycle: Book 5

Iain M. Banks

Iain M. Banks is a true original, an author whose brilliant speculative fiction has transported us into worlds of unbounded imagination and inimitable revelatory power. Now he takes us on the ultimate trip: to the edge of possibility and to the heart of a cosmic puzzle....

Diplomat Byr Genar-Hofoen has been selected by the Culture to undertake a delicate and dangerous mission. The Department of Special Circumstances--the Culture's espionage and dirty tricks section--has sent him off to investigate a 2,500-year-old mystery: the sudden disappearance of a star fifty times older than the universe itself. But in seeking the secret of the lost sun, Byr risks losing himself.

There is only one way to break the silence of millennia: steal the soul of the long-dead starship captain who first encountered the star, and convince her to be reborn. And in accepting this mission, Byr will be swept into a vast conspiracy that could lead the universe into an age of peace...or to the brink of annihilation.

Look to Windward

The Culture Cycle: Book 7

Iain M. Banks

The Twin Novae battle had been one of the last of the Idiran war, and one of the most horrific: desperate to avert their inevitable defeat, the Idirans had induced not one but two suns to explode, snuffing out worlds and biospheres teeming with sentient life. They were attacks of incredible proportion -- gigadeathcrimes. But the war ended, and life went on.

Now, eight hundred years later, light from the first explosion is about to reach the Masaq' Orbital, home to the Culture's most adventurous and decadent souls. There it will fall upon Masaq's 50 billion inhabitants, gathered to commemorate the deaths of the innocent and to reflect, if only for a moment, on what some call the Culture's own complicity in the terrible event.

Also journeying to Masaq' is Major Quilan, an emissary from the war-ravaged world of Chel. In the aftermath of the conflict that split his world apart, most believe he has come to Masaq' to bring home Chel's most brilliant star and self-exiled dissident, the honored Composer Ziller.

Ziller claims he will do anything to avoid a meeting with Major Quilan, who he suspects has come to murder him. But the Major's true assignment will have far greater consequences than the death of a mere political dissident, as part of a conspiracy more ambitious than even he can know -- a mission his superiors have buried so deeply in his mind that even he cannot remember it.

Hailed by SFX magazine as "an excellent hopping-on point if you've never read a Banks SF novel before," Look to Windward is an awe-inspiring immersion into the wildly original, vividly realized civilization that Banks calls the Culture.

The Hydrogen Sonata

The Culture Cycle: Book 10

Iain M. Banks

The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, provably, the End Days for the Gzilt civilization.

An ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they've made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations; they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost infinitely more rich and complex existence.

Amid preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted - dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command. She must find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over nine thousand years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago.

It seems that the final days of the Gzilt civilization are likely to prove its most perilous.

The Star Fraction

The Fall Revolution: Book 1

Ken MacLeod

Britain in the 21st century is a Balkanized mess. Moh Kohn is a security mercenary unaware that he holds the key to information which could change the world. Janis Taine is a scientist who needs Mohs help. And a rogue computer program is guiding events to a breathtaking conclusion.

Across the Sea of Suns

The Galactic Center Series: Book 2

Gregory Benford

Lancer, a spaceship built to specifications found in the computers of an alien derelict, journeys to the star, Ra, from which the Earth has received mysterious radio transmissions in English.

Sailing Bright Eternity

The Galactic Center Series: Book 6

Gregory Benford

The slaughter has begun. The mechs -- violent artificial intelligences dedicated to the total destruction of the human race -- have ravaged humanity's planets throughout the galaxy, forcing the survivors to flee to the Esty, a strange space-time continuum constructed by ancient beings near the galaxy's True Center.

In the Esty, the battered human race makes its final stand against the relentless mechs. It soon becomes hideously clear that young warrior Toby Bishop, his father Killeen, and his grandfather have become special targets that the mechs' terrifying design involves their capture, torture, and extinction.

Edge of Dark

The Glittering Edge: Book 1

Brenda Cooper

What if a society banished its worst nightmare to the far edge of the solar system, destined to sip only dregs of light and struggle for the barest living. And yet, that life thrived? It grew and learned and became far more than you ever expected, and it wanted to return to the sun. What if it didn't share your moral compass in any way?

The Glittering Edge duology describes the clash of forces when an advanced society that has filled a solar system with flesh and blood life meets the near-AI's that it banished long ago. This is a story of love for the wild and natural life on a colony planet, complex adventure set in powerful space stations, and the desire to live completely whether you are made of flesh and bone or silicon and carbon fiber.

In Edge of Dark, meet ranger Charlie Windar and his adopted wild predator, and explore their home on a planet that has been raped and restored more than once. Meet Nona Hall, child of power and privilege from the greatest station in the system, the Diamond Deep. Meet Nona's best friend, a young woman named Chrystal who awakens in a robotic body....

Spear of Light

The Glittering Edge: Book 2

Brenda Cooper

When the post-human Next suddenly re-appear in a solar system that banished them, humans are threatened. Their reactions vary from disgust and anger to yearning to live forever like the powerful Next, who are casually building a new city out of starships in the heart of the re-wilded planet Lym. The first families of Lym must deal with being invaded while they grapple with their own inner fears.

Ranger Charlie Windar is desperate to save his beloved planet. The Next are building strange cities he never imagined, and other humans who want to destroy the Next are his worst enemies.

Ambassador Nona Hall strives to forge links between the powerful station she's from, The Diamond Deep, and the people of Lym. The formidable merchant Gunnar Ellensson appears to be up to no good, and as usual his motivations are suspect. Why is he sending ships to Lym, and what does he intend to do with them when he arrives?

The Shining Revolution threatens to undo everything by attacking the Next on Lym, and their desire to eradicate the post-humans is greater than their desire to save humanity's home. It is entirely possible that they will draw the wrath of the Next onto all of humanity.

In the meantime, the Next's motives remain inscrutable. Why are they here at all? What do they want? Why are they interested in the ancient past of a planet that has been ravaged and rebuilt at least once?

The Phoenix Exultant

The Golden Age: Book 2

John C. Wright

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

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

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

The Fall of Hyperion

The Hyperion Cantos: Book 2

Dan Simmons

In the stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion, Simmons returns us to a far future resplendent with drama and invention. On the world of Hyperion, the mysterious Time Tombs are opening. And the secrets they contain mean that nothing--nothing anywhere in the universe--will ever be the same.

Endymion

The Hyperion Cantos: Book 3

Dan Simmons

Two hundred and seventy-four years after the fall of the WorldWeb in Fall of Hyperion, Raoul Endymion is sent on a quest. Retrieving Aenea from the Sphinx before the Church troops reach her is only the beginning. With help from a blue-skinned android named A. Bettik, Raoul and Aenea travel the river Tethys, pursued by Father Captain Frederico DeSoya, an influential warrior-priest and his troops. The shrike continues to make enigmatic appearances, and while many questions were raised in Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion, still more are raised here. Raoul's quest will continue.

The Rise of Endymion

The Hyperion Cantos: Book 4

Dan Simmons

In The Rise of Endymion, Dan Simmons brings to a triumphant conclusion one of the most celebrated, compelling, and dramatic science fiction sagas of our time. Brilliant, provocative, unfailingly inventive, the odyssey began with the Hugo Award-winning Hyperion, continued through the critically acclaimed The Fall of Hyperion and Endymion, and now ascends to its greatest heights yet....

The final chapter of this magnificent saga begins with two momentous events: the death and resurrection of Pope Julius XV and the coming-of-age of the new messiah. Her name is Aenea and she is the only person who can counter the pope and his plan to unleash the Pax Fleet, the Church's military wing, on a final genocidal Crusade to gain total dominion over the universe. The Church is allied with the infamous AI Core, which has offered immortality to humankind--or at least to those faithful who pledge total obedience to the Church--but at what terrible price? The Core has its own dark motives and secrets, and only Aenea knows what they are.

Aenea, too, has an ally. Her protector, Raul Endymion, onetime shepherd and convicted murderer, finds her in exile undergoing a strange apprenticeship on Old Earth. Here she has gained access to an information matrix created by the Others--the same mysterious Others who moved Old Earth to save it from the Core. But who are these Others? What has Aenea learned from them? And why has Old Earth been turned into a stage upon which cybrids from the past--from John Keats to Frank Lloyd Wright--repeat historical dramas of human genius for purposes known only to the Others?

The answers to these questions must wait. Together with the android A. Bettik, Endymion and his beloved Aenea embark on a final mission to find and comprehend the underlying fabric of the universe. The surprising nature of this medium and Aenea's ability to instruct her growing army of disciples in its discovery and use could provide the one weapon powerful enough to thwart their enemies while liberating humanity. Meanwhile, the enigmatic Shrike--monster, angel, killing machine--has followed them on their intergalactic sojourn and now stands ready to complete its own mission, revealing at last the long-held secret of its origin and purpose.

In The Rise of Endymion, Dan Simmons masterfully weaves together the complex strands of this extraordinary series. He answers all of the unsolved mysteries posed in the earlier volumes and brings the story full circle to the planet Hyperion, where it all began. A work of unparalleled power and vision, The Rise of Endymion is a masterpiece of the imagination by one of our most gifted writers.

Ilium

The Ilium / Olympos Duology: Book 1

Dan Simmons

From the towering heights of Olympos Mons on Mars, the mighty Zeus and his immortal family of gods, goddesses, and demigods look down upon a momentous battle, observing -- and often influencing -- the legendary exploits of Paris, Achilles, Hector, Odysseus, and the clashing armies of Greece and Troy.

Thomas Hockenberry, former twenty-first-century professor and Iliad scholar, watches as well. It is Hockenberry's duty to observe and report on the Trojan War's progress to the so-called deities who saw fit to return him from the dead. But the muse he serves has a new assignment for the wary scholic, one dictated by Aphrodite herself. With the help of fortieth-century technology, Hockenberry is to infiltrate Olympos, spy on its divine inhabitants ... and ultimately destroy Aphrodite's sister and rival, the goddess Pallas Athena.

On an Earth profoundly changed since the departure of the Post-Humans centuries earlier, the great events on the bloody plains of Ilium serve as mere entertainment. Its scenes of unrivaled heroics and unequaled carnage add excitement to human lives devoid of courage, strife, labor, and purpose. But this eloi-like existence is not enough for Harman, a man in the last year of his last Twenty. That rarest of post-postmodern men -- an "adventurer" -- he intends to explore far beyond the boundaries of his world before his allotted time expires, in search of a lost past, a devastating truth, and an escape from his own inevitable "final fax." Meanwhile, from the radiation-swept reaches of Jovian space, four sentient machines race to investigate -- and, perhaps, terminate -- the potentially catastrophic emissions of unexplained quantum-flux emanating from a mountaintop miles above the terraformed surface of Mars ...

The first book in a remarkable two-part epic to be concluded in the upcoming Olympos, Dan Simmons's Ilium is a breathtaking adventure, enormous in scope and imagination, sweeping across time and space to connect three seemingly disparate stories in fresh, thrilling, and totally unexpected ways. A truly masterful work of speculative fiction, it is quite possibly Simmons's finest achievement to date in an already storied literary career.

Olympos

The Ilium / Olympos Duology: Book 2

Dan Simmons

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

Now, all bets are off.

Illuminae

The Illuminae Files: Book 1

Jay Kristoff
Amie Kaufman

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she'd have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that's little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra -- who are barely even talking to each other -- are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet's AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what's really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it's clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents -- including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more -- Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Geosynchron

The Jump 225 Trilogy: Book 3

David Louis Edelman

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

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

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

The Long War

The Long Earth: Book 2

Terry Pratchett
Stephen Baxter

A generation after the events of The Long Earth, humankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by "stepping." A new "America" - Valhalla - is emerging more than a million steps from Datum - our Earth. Thanks to a bountiful environment, the Valhallan society mirrors the core values and behaviors of colonial America. And Valhalla is growing restless under the controlling long arm of the Datum government.

Soon Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a building crisis that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any humankind has waged before.

The Long Utopia

The Long Earth: Book 4

Stephen Baxter
Terry Pratchett

2045-2059. Human society continues to evolve on Datum Earth, its battered and weary origin planet, as the spread of humanity progresses throughout the many Earths beyond.

Lobsang, now an elderly and complex AI, suffers a breakdown, and disguised as a human attempts to live a "normal" life on one of the millions of Long Earth worlds. His old friend, Joshua, now in his fifties, searches for his father and discovers a heretofore unknown family history. And the super-intelligent post-humans known as "the Next" continue to adapt to life among "lesser" humans.

But an alarming new challenge looms. An alien planet has somehow become "entangled" with one of the Long Earth worlds and, as Lobsang and Joshua learn, its voracious denizens intend to capture, conquer, and colonize the new universe - the Long Earth - they have inadvertently discovered.

Hybrids

The Neanderthal Parallax: Book 3

Robert J. Sawyer

Ponter Boddit and his Homo sapiens lover, geneticist Mary Vaughan, are torn between two worlds, struggling to find a way to make their star-crossed relationship work. Aided by banned Neanderthal technology, they plan to conceive the first hybrid child, a symbol of hope for the joining of their two versions of reality.

But after an experiment shows that Mary's religious faith - something completely absent in Neanderthals - is a quirk of the neurological wiring of Homo sapiens brains, Ponter and Mary must decide whether their child should be predisposed to atheism or belief. Meanwhile, as Mary's Earth is dealing with a collapse of its planetary magnetic field, her boss, the enigmatic Jock Krieger, has turned envious eyes on the unspoiled Eden that is the Neanderthal world...

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.

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 .

To Crush the Moon

The Queendom of Sol: Book 4

Wil McCarthy

In the conclusion to this epic interstellar adventure by Nebula Award nominee Wil McCarthy, humanity stands at a crossroads as the heroes who fashioned a man-made heaven must rescue their descendants from eternal damnation....

TO CRUSH THE MOON

Once the Queendom of Sol was a glowing monument to humankind’s loftiest dreams. Ageless and immortal, its citizens lived in peaceful splendor. But as Sol buckled under the swell of an immorbid population, space itself literally ran out....

Conrad Mursk has returned to Sol on the crippled starship Newhope. His crew are the frozen refugees of a failed colony known as Barnard’s Star. A thousand years older, Mursk finds Sol on the brink of rebellion, while a fanatic necro cult is reviving death itself. Now Mursk and his lover, Captain Xiomara “Xmary” Li Weng, are sent on a final, desperate mission by King Bruno de Towaji–one of the greatest terraformers of the ages–to literally crush the moon. If they succeed, they’ll save billions of lost souls. If they fail, they’ll strand humanity between death–and something unimaginably worse...

Recursion

The Recursion Trilogy: Book 1

Tony Ballantyne

It is the twenty-third century. Herb, a young entrepreneur, returns to the isolated planet on which he has illegally been trying to build a city and finds it destroyed by a swarming nightmare of self-replicating machinery. Worse, the all-seeing Environment Agency has been watching him the entire time. His punishment? A nearly hopeless battle in the farthest reaches of the universe against enemy machines twice as fast, and twice as deadly, as his ownin the company of a disarmingly confident AI who may not be exactly what he claims

Little does Herb know that this war of machines was set in motion nearly two hundred years agoby mankind itself. For it was then that a not-quite-chance encounter brought a confused young girl and a nearly omnipotent AI together in one fateful moment that may have changed the course of humanity forever.

Capacity

The Recursion Trilogy: Book 2

Tony Ballantyne

Welcome to the year 2252--and congratulations! You’re now a personality construct. We know that can be a daunting stage of personal development, especially if you don’t remember making this life-changing decision. But we’re here to help….

Helen is waking to a dark new reality—one that she’s certain she didn’t choose. In this borrowed existence, she finds an unexpected guide in Judy, a geisha-faced virgin who’s on a mission of her own. Together, the two of them begin a dangerous run through dozens of imagined worlds in an attempt to trap a psychopath haunting the shadowed areas of virtual space—a killer who brutally murdered an earlier version of Helen and who plans to kill again. Meanwhile, Justinian is investigating a peculiar rash of AI suicides on far-off planets—and finds that not only is there more to these “deaths” than he thought, but that they may be linked to his wife Anya’s mysterious coma.

In a future where AIs have taken over human life and the Environment Agency runs everything for our own good, the fact that we can live on after physical death as sentient digital beings should have been a good thing. Instead, as Helen and Justinian are about to discover, it just means there are more ways to die.

Divergence

The Recursion Trilogy: Book 3

Tony Ballantyne

After a tumultuous beginning, mid-23rd-century Earth now peacefully operates under the constant surveillance of the Watcher, an all-seeing AI who has seized control of the planet—and of the minds and bodies of its people. But is the radical evolution that the Watcher has in mind a step forward or the beginning of a mighty split that will cast aside everything that truly makes us human?

It is 2252, and Judy is traveling on a passenger ship in deep space when disaster strikes. Almost too conveniently, strange machines appear onboard just in time to help. They are owned by DIANA, a commercial organization headquartered on Earth. But as the machines arrange for the humans to be taken to safety, Judy is held back. They have detected something in her genetic code—something shocking: Judy is not human. And she too is the property of DIANA.

Now Judy must return to Earth to find out what DIANA expects of her…how she was grown…and why she was destined to destroy the Watcher. But is this Judy even the same person? And does the new Judy have a reason to destroy—or is she just a pawn in someone else’s murderous game?

The Red: First Light

The Red: Book 1

Linda Nagata

There Needs To Be A War Going On Somewhere.

Lieutenant James Shelley commands a high-tech squad of soldiers in a rural district within the African Sahel. They hunt insurgents each night on a harrowing patrol, guided by three simple goals: protect civilians, kill the enemy, and stay alive - because in a for-profit war manufactured by the defense industry there can be no cause worth dying for. To keep his soldiers safe, Shelley uses every high-tech asset available to him - but his best weapon is a flawless sense of imminent danger... as if God is with him, whispering warnings in his ear.

The Trials

The Red: Book 2

Linda Nagata

In the wake of nuclear terrorism, a squad of elite soldiers must combat artificial intelligence and seek justice in this military political thriller, a sequel to The Red: First Light.

Lieutenant James Shelley and his squad of US Army soldiers were on a quest for justice when they carried out the unauthorized mission known as First Light. They returned home to America to face a court-martial, determined to expose the corruption in the chain of command that compelled their actions. But in a country still reeling from the nuclear terrorism of Coma Day, the courtroom is just one battlefield of many.

A new cycle of violence ignites when rumors of the elusive, rogue AI known as the Red go public - and Shelley is, once again, pulled into the fray. Challenged by his enemies, driven by ideals, Shelley feels compelled to act. But are the harrowing choices he makes really his own, or are they made for him, by the Red? And with millions of lives at stake in a game of nuclear cat-and-mouse, does the answer even matter?

Going Dark

The Red: Book 3

Linda Nagata

In the third book in The Red Trilogy, former Army Lt. James Shelley becomes a black ops sniper working for the Red--a suspected rogue artificial intelligence that is ripped from today's headlines.

James Shelley has left his lover, Delphi, and his companion-in-arms, Jayne Vasquez, with a fortune acquired from a fallen oligarch. They believe him to be dead, and he doesn't try to set the record straight. His long-running question has been answered: There are other soldiers like him who have served the purposes of the Red--and he has accepted his place among them. As a soldier of the Red he pursues covert missions designed to nudge history away from existential threats--but that doesn't mean the world is growing more orderly. It's only in the froth of a "managed chaos" that human potential can grow and thrive. Shelley's missions eventually take him into orbit--and into conflict with those he loves--Delphi and Jaynie--who are determined to escape the influence of the Red.

Starfish

The Rifters Trilogy: Book 1

Peter Watts

A huge international corporation has developed a facility along the Juan de Fuca Ridge at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to exploit geothermal power. They send a bio-engineered crew--people who have been altered to withstand the pressure and breathe the seawater--down to live and work in this weird, fertile undersea darkness.

Unfortunately the only people suitable for long-term employment in these experimental power stations are crazy, some of them in unpleasant ways. How many of them can survive, or will be allowed to survive, while worldwide disaster approaches from below?

Maelstrom

The Rifters Trilogy: Book 2

Peter Watts

This is the way the world ends:

A nuclear strike on a deep sea vent. The target was an ancient microbe-voracious enough to drive the whole biosphere to extinction-and a handful of amphibious humans called rifters who'd inadvertently released it from three billion years of solitary confinement.

The resulting tsunami killed millions. It's not as through there was a choice: saving the world excuses almost any degree of collateral damage.

Unless, of course, you miss the target.

Now North America's west coast lies in ruins. Millions of refugees rally around a mythical figure mysteriously risen from the deep sea. A world already wobbling towards collapse barely notices the spread of one more blight along its shores. And buried in the seething fast-forward jungle that use to be called Internet, something vast and inhuman reaches out to a woman with empty white eyes and machinery in her chest. A woman driven by rage, and incubating Armageddon.

Her name is Lenie Clarke. She's a rifter. She's not nearly as dead as everyone thinks.

And the whole damn world is collateral damage as far as she's concerned....

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...

Neuromancer

The Sprawl Trilogy: Book 1

William Gibson

The Matrix is a world within the world, a global consensus - hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace...

Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employees crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction.

Hotwired to the leading edges of art and technology, Neuromancer ranks with 1984 and Brave New World as one of the century's most potent visions of the future.

Count Zero

The Sprawl Trilogy: Book 2

William Gibson

A corporate mercenary wakes in a reconstructed body, a beautiful woman by his side. Then Hosaka Corporation reactivates him, for a mission more dangerous than the one he's recovering from: to get a defecting chief of R&D-and the biochip he's perfected-out intact. But this proves to be of supreme interest to certain other parties-some of whom aren't remotely human.

Mona Lisa Overdrive

The Sprawl Trilogy: Book 3

William Gibson

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 7

Harry Harrison

In a galaxy where civilization covers every world with steel and ferroconcrete, only a very special man can break all the rules and still stay free. A man who moves through the rafters of society like a rat. A Stainless Steel Rat . . . .

And when the galaxy goes to war, it needs special men. That's when The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted. The 25th century's most dangerous outlaw is back--and this time it means war! Slippery Jim diGriz, better known as the Stainless Steel Rat, is seeking revenge for the murder of his mentor-in-crime, the fabled archcriminal known as The Bishop. His trail leads to Nevenkebla and the iron-fisted dictator General Zennor--the kind of man who'd sell his own mother into slavery just to see the expression on her face.

Now in the uniform of a Nevenkeblan soldier, Jim discovers Zennor's vile plan to enslave a defenseless planet. Only a man with a Special code of honor--only a Stainless Steel Rat--can save the world from the invading horde.

Valis

The Valis Trilogy: Book 1

Philip K. Dick

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

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

WWW: Wake

The WWW Trilogy: Book 1

Robert J. Sawyer

Caitlin Decter is young, pretty, feisty, a genius at math-and blind. Still, she can surf the net with the best of them, following its complex paths clearly in her mind. But Caitlin's brain long ago co-opted her primary visual cortex to help her navigate online. So when she receives an implant to restore her sight, instead of seeing reality, the landscape of the World Wide Web explodes into her consciousness, spreading out all around her in a riot of colors and shapes. While exploring this amazing realm, she discovers something-some other-lurking in the background. And it's getting more and more intelligent with each passing day...

WWW: Watch

The WWW Trilogy: Book 2

Robert J. Sawyer

Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer continues his "wildly though- provoking" science fiction saga of a sentient World Wide Web.

Webmind is an emerging consciousness that has befriended Caitlin Decter and grown eager to learn about her world. But Webmind has also come to the attention of WATCH-the secret government agency that monitors the Internet for any threat to the United States-and they're fully aware of Caitlin's involvement in its awakening.

WATCH is convinced that Webmind represents a risk to national security and wants it purged from cyberspace. But Caitlin believes in Webmind's capacity for compassion-and she will do anything and everything necessary to protect her friend.

WWW: Wonder

The WWW Trilogy: Book 3

Robert J. Sawyer

"A writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation" (New York Times) concludes his mindbending trilogy.

Webmind-the vast consciousness that spontaneously emerged from the infrastructure of the World Wide Web-has proven its worth to humanity by aiding in everything from curing cancer to easing international tensions. But the brass at the Pentagon see Webmind as a threat that needs to be eliminated.

Caitlin Decter-the once-blind sixteen-year-old math genius who discovered, and bonded with, Webmind-wants desperately to protect her friend. And if she doesn't act, everything-Webmind included-may come crashing down.

Tor Double #25: Fugue State / The Death of Doctor Island

Tor Double: Book 25

Gene Wolfe
John M. Ford

Fugue State:

Once you start forgetting, where do you stop?

The Death of Doctor Island:

A dreamy young boy, who is reading a SF novel modeled after The Island of Doctor Moreau.

Transcendental

Transcendental Machine: Book 1

James E. Gunn

Riley, a veteran of interstellar war, is one of many beings from many different worlds aboard a ship on a pilgrimage that spans the galaxy. However, he is not journeying to achieve transcendence, a vague mystical concept that has drawn everyone else on the ship to this journey into the unknown at the far edge of the galaxy. His mission is to find and kill the prophet who is reputed to help others transcend. While their ship speeds through space, the voyage is marred by violence and betrayal, making it clear that some of the ship's passengers are not the spiritual seekers they claim to be.

Like the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a number of those on the starship share their unique stories. But as tensions rise, Riley realizes that the ship is less like the Canterbury Tales and more like a harrowing, deadly ship of fools. When he becomes friendly with a mysterious passenger named Asha, he thinks she's someone he can trust. However, like so many others on the ship, Asha is more than she appears. Uncovering her secrets could be the key to Riley's personal quest, or make him question everything he thought he knew about Transcendentalism and his mission to stop it.

Transgalactic

Transcendental Machine: Book 2

James E. Gunn

Transgalactic: the latest novel in Hugo Award Winner James Gunn's SF Grandmaster Career!

When Riley and Asha finally reached the planet Terminal and found the Transcendental Machine, a matter transmission device built by an ancient race, they chose to be "translated." Now in possession of intellectual and physical powers that set them above human limitations, the machine has transported them to two, separate, unknown planets among a possibility of billions.

Riley and Asha know that together they can change the galaxy, so they attempt to do the impossible--find each other.

Transformation

Transcendental Machine: Book 3

James E. Gunn

Riley and Asha have traveled across the galaxy, found the Transcendental Machine, and been translated into something more than human. They've returned to Earth and won over the artificial intelligence which once tried to destroy the Transcendental Machine.

Now they must save the fringes of the Federation.

Planets at the edge of the Federation have fallen silent. The arrogant Federation bureaucracy grudgingly send Riley and Asha to investigate. They join forces with a planetary A.I., a paranoid Federation watchdog, and a member of a splinter group who vows to destroy the A.I. No one trusts anyone or their motives.

They need to find common ground and the answer in order to confront an enemy more ancient and powerful than the Transcendentals.

Dark Intelligence

Transformation: Book 1

Neal Asher

One man will transcend death to seek vengeance. One woman will transform herself to gain power. And no one will emerge unscathed...

Thorvald Spear wakes in hospital, where he finds he's been brought back from the dead. What's more, he died in a human vs. alien war which ended a whole century ago. But when he relives his traumatic final moments, he finds the spark to keep on living. That spark is vengeance. Trapped and desperate on a world surrounded by alien Prador forces, Spear had seen a rescue ship arriving. But instead of providing backup, Penny Royal, the AI within the destroyer turned rogue. It annihilated friendly forces in a frenzy of destruction, and, years later, it's still free. Spear vows to track it across worlds and do whatever it takes to bring it down.

Isobel Satomi ran a successful crime syndicate. But after competitors attacked, she needed more power. Yet she got more than she bargained for when she negotiated with Penny Royal. She paid it to turn her part-AI herself, but the upgrades hid a horrifying secret. The Dark AI had triggered a transformation in Isobel that would turn her into a monster, rapidly evolving into something far from human.

Spear hires Isobel to take him to the Penny Royal AI's last known whereabouts. But he cheats her in the process and he becomes a target for her vengeance. And as she is evolves further into a monstrous predator, rage soon wins over reason. Will Spear finish his hunt, before he becomes the hunted?

This is the first volume in a no-holds-barred adventure set in Asher's popular Polity universe.

Lady of Mazes

Ventus

Karl Schroeder

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

Killing Gravity

Voidwitch Saga: Book 1

Corey J. White

Mars Xi can kill you with her mind, but she'll need more than psychic powers to save her in Killing Gravity, the thrilling science fiction space adventure debut by Corey J. White.

Before she escaped in a bloody coup, MEPHISTO transformed Mariam Xi into a deadly voidwitch. Their training left her with terrifying capabilities, a fierce sense of independence, a deficit of trust, and an experimental pet named Seven. She's spent her life on the run, but the boogeymen from her past are catching up with her. An encounter with a bounty hunter has left her hanging helpless in a dying spaceship, dependent on the mercy of strangers.

Penned in on all sides, Mariam chases rumors to find the one who sold her out. To discover the truth and defeat her pursuers, she'll have to stare into the abyss and find the secrets of her past, her future, and her terrifying potential.

Software

Ware: Book 1

Rudy Rucker

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

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.

A Closed and Common Orbit

Wayfarers: Book 2

Becky Chambers

Lovelace was once merely a ship's artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has to start over in a synthetic body, in a world where her kind are illegal. She's never felt so alone.

But she's not alone, not really. Pepper, one of the engineers who risked life and limb to reinstall Lovelace, is determined to help her adjust to her new world. Because Pepper knows a thing or two about starting over.

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that, huge as the galaxy may be, it's anything but empty.

A Fire Upon the Deep

Zones of Thought: Book 1

Vernor Vinge

Thousands of years hence, many races inhabit a universe where a mind's potential is determined by its location in space, from superintelligent entities in the Transcend, to the limited minds of the Unthinking Depths, where only simple creatures and technology can function. Nobody knows what strange force partitioned space into these "regions of thought," but when the warring Straumli realm use an ancient Transcendent artifact as a weapon, they unwittingly unleash an awesome power that destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all natural and artificial intelligence.

Fleeing the threat, a family of scientists, including two children, are taken captive by the Tines, an alien race with a harsh medieval culture, and used as pawns in a ruthless power struggle. A rescue mission, not entirely composed of humans, must rescue the children-and a secret that may save the rest of interstellar civilization.

The Children of the Sky

Zones of Thought: Book 3

Vernor Vinge

After nearly twenty years, Vernor Vinge has produced an enthralling sequel to his memorable bestselling novel A Fire Upon the Deep.

Ten years have passed on Tines World, where Ravna Bergnsdot and a number of human children ended up after a disaster that nearly obliterated humankind throughout the galaxy. Ravna and the pack animals for which the planet is named have survived a war, and Ravna has saved more than one hundred children who were in cold-sleep aboard the vessel that brought them.

While there is peace among the Tines, there are those among them—and among the humans—who seek power... and no matter the cost, these malcontents are determined to overturn the fledgling civilization that has taken root since the humans landed.

On a world of fascinating wonders and terrifying dangers, Vernor Vinge has created a powerful novel of adventure and discovery that will entrance the many readers of A Fire Upon the Deep. Filled with the inventiveness, excitement, and human drama that have become hallmarks of his work, this new novel is sure to become another great milestone in Vinge’s already stellar career.