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Press Start to Play

Daniel H. Wilson
John Joseph Adams

IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE!
TAKE THIS.

You are standing in a room filled with books, faced with a difficult decision. Suddenly, one with a distinctive cover catches your eye. It is a groundbreaking anthology of short stories from award-winning writers and game-industry titans who have embarked on a quest to explore what happens when video games and science fiction collide.

From text-based adventures to first-person shooters, dungeon crawlers to horror games, these twenty-six stories play with our notion of what video games can be - and what they can become - in smart and singular ways. With a foreword from Ernest Cline, bestselling author of Ready Player One,Press Start to Play includes work from: Daniel H. Wilson, Charles Yu, Hiroshi Sakurazaka, S.R. Mastrantone, Charlie Jane Anders, Holly Black, Seanan McGuire, Django Wexler, Nicole Feldringer, Chris Avellone, David Barr Kirtley,T.C. Boyle, Marc Laidlaw, Robin Wasserman, Micky Neilson, Cory Doctorow, Jessica Barber, Chris Kluwe, Marguerite K. Bennett, Rhianna Pratchett, Austin Grossman, Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu, Catherynne M. Valente, Andy Weir, and Hugh Howey.

Your inventory includes keys, a cell phone, and a wallet. What would you like to do?

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  • Foreword - Ernest Cline
  • Introduction - John Joseph Adams
  • God Mode - short story by Daniel H. Wilson
  • NPC - short story by Charles Yu
  • Respawn - short story by Hiroshi Sakurazaka (translated by Nathan Collins)
  • Desert Walk - short story by S.R. Mastrantone
  • Rat Catcher's Yellows - short story by Charlie Jane Anders
  • 1Up - short story by Holly Black
  • Survival Horror - short story by Seanan McGuire
  • REAL - short story by Django Wexler
  • Outliers - short story by Nicole Feldringer
  • - short story by Chris Avellone
  • Save Me Plz - short story by David Barr Kirtley (reprint)
  • The Relive Box - novelette by T.C. Boyle (reprint)
  • Roguelike - short story by Marc Laidlaw
  • All of the People in Your Party Have Died - novelette by Robin Wasserman
  • RECOIL! - short story by Micky Neilson
  • Anda's Game - novelette by Cory Doctorow (reprint)
  • Coma Kings - short story by Jessica Barber (reprint)
  • Stats - short story by Marguerite K. Bennett
  • Please Continue - short story by Chris Kluwe
  • Creation Screen - short story by Rhianna Pratchett
  • The Fresh Prince of Gamma World - short story by Austin Grossman
  • Gamer's End - short story by Yoon Ha Lee
  • The Clockwork Soldier - short story by Ken Liu (reprint)
  • Killswitch - short story by Catherynne M. Valente (reprint)
  • Twarrior - short story by Andy Weir
  • Select Character - short story by Hugh Howey

The Ghost in the Shell: Five New Short Stories

Toh EnJoe
Tow Ubukata
Gakuto Mikumo
Kafka Asagiri
Yoshinobu Akita

Neither a utopia nor a dystopia, it's still a world of nations at strife, as dominated by corporations as ever. Technology hasn't made humans nearly obsolete, but rather bettered us, if you will, attaching to our bodies and even brains as enhancements--for those who can afford it.

Comics artist Shirow Masamune's vision of our coming society, animated to global acclaim and finally the basis of a major Hollywood production, branches out in five original stories by some of the most beloved SF novelists working in Japan today. A standalone collection, it requires no familiarity with the franchise to be enjoyed but is indispensable for fans for its thoughtful exploration of the series' implications.

While reality may never become virtual, it will be increasingly networked and augmented. Navigate herein age-old questions about man that will return, not so ironically, in full force: What is the self? Is there such a thing as the soul?

The Power

Naomi Alderman

'She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She'd put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.'

Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light.

What if the power to hurt were in women's hands?

The world is still a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power--they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

Greybeard

Brian W. Aldiss

The sombre story of a group of people in their fifties who face the fact that there is no younger generation coming to replace them; instead nature is rushing back to obliterate the disaster they have brought on theselves.

The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood

In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

The Heart Goes Last

Margaret Atwood

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around--and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in... for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their "civilian" homes.

At first, this doesn't seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one's head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan's life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.

The Guardians

Richard Austin

Unknown to most American's, there is a plan for the day after. Before the dust of World War III has settled, Project Guardian moves into action. America's secret weapon is a four-man elite survival team, armed with awesome combat skills, equipped with the most devastating personal weaponry ever devised, trained to hair-trigger tautness, and entrusted with freedom's last hope: the top secret Blueprint for Renewal.

First step: get the new President safely out of ravaged Washington, across a thousand miles of chaos, and into the impregnable midwestern fortress known as Heartland.

A tall order, even for a bunch of hardcore heroes.

Pump Six and Other Stories

Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi's debut collection demonstrates the power and reach of the science fiction short story. Social criticism, political parable, and environmental advocacy lie at the center of Paolo's work. Each of the stories herein is at once a warning, and a celebration of the tragic comedy of the human experience.

The eleven stories in Pump Six represent the best Paolo's work, including the Hugo nominee "Yellow Card Man," the nebula and Hugo nominated story "The People of Sand and Slag," and the Sturgeon Award-winning story "The Calorie Man."

Table of Contents:

The Calorie Man

Paolo Bacigalupi

Sturgeon Award winning and Hugo Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October-November 2005. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection (2006), edited by Gardner Dozois, Science Fiction: The Very Best of 2005 (2006) edited by Jonathan Strahan, and Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology (2007), edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel. It is included in the collection Pump Six and Other Stories (2008) and is included as an extra in some editions of the novel The Windup Girl (2009).

The Doubt Factory

Paolo Bacigalupi

In this page-turning contemporary thriller, National Book Award Finalist and New York Times bestselling author Paolo Bacigalupi explores the timely issue of how public information is distorted for monetary gain, and how those who exploit it must be stopped.

Everything Alix knows about her life is a lie. At least that's what a mysterious young man who's stalking her keeps saying. But then she begins investigating the disturbing claims he makes against her father. Could her dad really be at the helm of a firm that distorts the truth and covers up wrongdoing by hugely profitable corporations that have allowed innocent victims to die? Is it possible that her father is the bad guy, and that the undeniably alluring criminal who calls himself Moses--and his radical band of teen activists--is right? Alix has to make a choice, and time is running out, but can she truly risk everything and blow the whistle on the man who loves her and raised her?

The Water Knife

Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi, New York Times-Bestselling author and National Book Award Finalist, dives once again onto our uncertain future with his first thriller for adults since his multi-award winning debut phenomenon The Windup Girl.

In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel "cuts" water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents.

With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other's hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

The Windup Girl

Paolo Bacigalupi

What Happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits? And what happens when said bio-terrorism forces humanity to the cusp of post-human evolution? In The Windup Girl, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi returns to the world of "The Calorie Man" (Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award-winner, Hugo Award nominee, 2006) and "Yellow Card Man" (Hugo Award nominee, 2007) in order to address these questions.

Yellow Card Man

Paolo Bacigalupi

Hugo and Sturgeon Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, December 2006. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume One (2007), edited by Jonathan Strahan, and The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection (2007), edited by Gardner Dozois. It is included in the collection Pump Six and Other Stories (2008) and as an extra in some editions of the novel The Windup Girl (2009).

High-Rise

J. G. Ballard

Within the concealing walls of an elegant forty-storey tower block, the affluent tenants are hell-bent on an orgy of destruction. Cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on 'enemy' floors and the once-luxurious amenities become an arena for technological mayhem!In this classic visionary tale, human society slips into violent reverse as the inhabitants of the high-rise, driven by primal urges, recreate a world ruled by the laws of the jungle.

Transition

Iain M. Banks

There is a world that hangs suspended between triumph and catastrophe, between the dismantling of the Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers, frozen in the shadow of suicide terrorism and global financial collapse. Such a world requires a firm hand and a guiding light. But does it need the Concern: an all-powerful organization with a malevolent presiding genius, pervasive influence and numberless invisible operatives in possession of extraordinary powers?

Among those operatives are Temudjin Oh, of mysterious Mongolian origins, an un-killable assassin who journeys between the peaks of Nepal, a version of Victorian London and the dark palaces of Venice under snow; Adrian Cubbish, a restlessly greedy City trader; and a nameless, faceless state-sponsored torturer known only as the Philosopher, who moves between time zones with sinister ease. Then there are those who question the Concern: the bandit queen Mrs. Mulverhill, roaming the worlds recruiting rebels to her side; and Patient 8262, under sedation and feigning madness in a forgotten hospital ward, in hiding from a dirty past.

There is a world that needs help; but whether it needs the Concern is a different matter.

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.

Achilles' Choice

Steven Barnes
Larry Niven

The gods of Olympus offered a fateful choice to the warrior, Achilles--a short, glorious life, or a long, dull one.

Achilles chose glory.

This is the story of the Eleventh Olympiad in the late 21st century--a contest not only for glory but for survival--and of the woman who dared to compete for the highest stakes of all.

The future of humanity.

Saturn's Race

Steven Barnes
Larry Niven

The future is a strange and dangerous place. Chaz Kato can testify to that. He is a citizen of Xanudu, a city-sized artificial island populated by some of the wealthiest men and women on future Earth. A place filled with hidden wonders and dark secrets of technology gone awry. Lenore Myles is a student when she travels to Xanadu and becomes involved with Chaz Kato. She is shocked when she uses Kato's access codes to uncover the grizzly truth behind Xandu's glittering facade.

Not knowing who to trust, Lenore finds herself on the run. Saturn, a mysterious entity, moves aggressively to break the security breach. With interests of the world's wealthiest people at stake, and powerful technology at it's fingertips, Saturn, puts Lenore racing for her life, against a truly formidable foe.

The Descent of Anansi

Larry Niven
Steven Barnes

It's the American Revolution all over again. But this time it's a ragtag band of space colonists vs. the United States. And the fate of the world hangs by a thread - 200 miles above the Earth.

Lexicon

Max Barry

At an exclusive training school at an undisclosed location outside Washington, D.C., students are taught to control minds, to wield words as weapons. The very best graduate as "poets" and enter a nameless organization of unknown purpose. Recruited off the street, whip-smart Emily Ruff quickly learns the one key rule: never allow another person to truly know you. Emily becomes the school's most talented prodigy, until she makes the catastrophic mistake of falling in love.

Blood Music (novelette)

Greg Bear

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

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

Read the full story for free at the Baen website.

Dead Lines: A Novel of Life… After Death

Greg Bear

For the last two years, Peter Russell has mourned the death of one of his twin daughters--who was just ten when she was murdered. Recent news of his best friend's fatal heart attack has now come as another devastating blow. Divorced, despondent, and going nowhere in his career, Peter fears his life is circling the drain. Then Trans comes along. The brainchild of an upstart telecom company, Trans is (as its name suggests) a transcendent marvel: a sleek, handheld interpersonal communication device capable of flawless operation anywhere in the world, at any time. "A cell phone, but not"--transmitting with crystal clarity across a newly discovered, never-utilized bandwidth... and poised to spark a new-technology revolution. When its creators offer Peter a position on their team, it should be a golden opportunity for him. If only he wasn't seemingly going mad.

Everywhere Peter turns, inexplicable apparitions are walking before him or reaching out in torment. After a chilling encounter with his own lost child he begins to grasp the terrifying truth: Trans is a Pandora's box that has tapped into a frequency not of this world... but of the next. And now, via this open channel to oblivion, the dead have gained access to the living. For Peter, and for humankind, a long, shadowy night of the soul has descended, bringing with it the stuff of a horrifying nightmare from which they may never awaken.

Vitals

Greg Bear

Blending fierce, fast plots with vivid characters and mind-bending ideas, Greg Bear has mastered a powerful alchemy of suspense, science, and action in his gripping thrillers. Darwin's Radio was hailed across the country as one of the best books of the year. His newest novel, Vitals, begins with a harrowing descent to a netherworld at the very bottom of the sea - and then explodes to the surface in sheer terror.

Hal Cousins is one of a handful of scientists nearing the most sought after discovery in human history: the key to short-circuiting the aging process. Fueled by a wealth of research, an overdose of self-confidence, and the money of influential patrons to whom he makes outrageous promises, Hal experiments with organisms living in the hot thermal plumes in the ocean depths. But as he journeys beneath the sea, his other world is falling apart.

Across the country, scientists are being inexplicably murdered - including Hal's identical twin brother, who is also working to unlock the key to immortality. Hal himself barely eludes a cold-blooded attack at sea, and when he returns home to Seattle, he finds himself walking into an eerie realm where voices speak to him from the dead... where a once-brilliant historian turned crackpot is leading him on a deadly game of hide-and-seek... and where the beautiful, rich widow of his twin is more than willing to pick up the pieces of Hal's life - and take him places he's never been before.

Suddenly Hal is trapped inside an ever-twisting maze of shocking revelations. For he is not the first person to come close to ending aging forever - and those who came before him will stop at nothing to keep the secret to themselves. Now every person on earth is at risk of being made an unsuspecting player in one man's spectacular and horrifying master plan.

From the bottom of Russia's Lake Baikal to a billionaire's bionic house built into the cliffs of the Washington seashore, from the darkest days of World War II and the reign of Josef Stalin to the capitalist free-for-all that is the United States, Vitals tells an astounding tale of the most unimaginable scientific secret of all - exposed by the quest for immortality itself...

Zoo City

Lauren Beukes

WHERE NO ONE ELSE DARE VENTURE...

Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty online 419 scam habit – and a talent for finding lost things. But when her latest client, a little old lady, turns up dead and the cops confiscate her lastpaycheck, she's forced to take on her least favourite kind of job: missing persons.

An astonishing second novel from the author of the highly-acclaimed Moxyland.

A Woman's Place

Rex Denver Borough

In this novel of action and suspense, a number of modern political figures can be recognized in thinly veiled characters. Katherine Jenkins is a Congresswoman drafted to run for president by the American Coalition Party, a group with strong ties to the Women's Movement. Her race for this office, opposed by powerful forces in labor and the religious Right, will keep readers pressing onward to learn the outcome.

Transhuman

Ben Bova

Six-time Hugo Award-winner Ben Bova presents Transhuman.

Luke Abramson, a brilliant cellular biologist who is battling lung cancer, has one joy in life, his ten-year-old granddaughter, Angela. When he learns that Angela has an inoperable brain tumor and is given less than six months to live, Abramson wants to try a new enzyme, Mortality Factor 4 (MORF4), that he believes will kill Angela's tumor.

However, the hospital bureaucracy won't let him do it because MORF4 has not yet been approved by the FDA. Knowing that Angela will die before he can get approval of the treatment, Abramson abducts Angela from the hospital with plans to take her to a private research laboratory in Oregon.

Luke realizes he's too old and decrepit to flee across the country with his sick granddaughter, chased by the FBI. So he injects himself with a genetic factor that will stimulate his body's production of telomerase, an enzyme that has successfully reversed aging in animal tests.

As the chase weaves across the country from one research facility to another, Luke begins to grow physically younger, stronger. He looks and feels the way he did thirty or forty years ago. Yet his lung cancer is not abating; if anything the tumors are growing faster.

And Angela is dying.

The Long Tomorrow

Leigh Brackett

One of the original novels of post-nuclear holocaust America, The Long Tomorrow is considered by many to be one of the finest science fiction novels ever written on the subject. The story has inspired generations of new writers and is still as mesmerizing today as when it was originally written.

Len and Esau are young cousins living decades after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization as we know. The rulers of the post-war community have forbidden the existence of large towns and consider technology evil.

However Len and Esau long for more than their simple agrarian existence. Rumors of mythical Bartorstown, perhaps the last city in existence, encourage the boys to embark on a journey of discovery and adventure that will call into question not only firmly held beliefs, but the boys' own personal convictions.

Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury

Nowadays firemen start fires. Fireman Guy Montag loves to rush to a fire and watch books burn up. Then he met a seventeen-year old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid, and a professor who told him of a future where people could think. And Guy Montag knew what he had to do....

Chimpanzee

Darin Bradley

Unemployment has ravaged the U.S. economy. People struggle everywhere, exhausted by the collapse that destroyed their lives. Benjamin Cade is an expert in cognition, and before the flatlined economy caught up to him, he earned his living as a university instructor. Now, without income, he joins the millions defaulting on their loans — in his case, the money he borrowed to finance his degrees. But there are consequences.

Using advances in cognitive science and chemical therapy, Ben's debtors can reclaim their property — his education. The government calls the process "Repossession Therapy." The data Ben's repossession will yield is invaluable to those improving the "indexing" technology — a remarkable medical advance that has enabled the effective cure of all mental disorders. By disassembling his mind, doctors will gain the expertise to assist untold millions.

But Ben has no intention of losing his mind without a fight, so he begins teaching in the park, distributing his knowledge before it's gone in a race against ignorance. And somewhere in Ben's confusing takedown, Chimpanzee arrives. Its iconography appears spray-painted around town. Young people in rubber chimpanzee masks start massive protests. As Ben slowly loses himself, the Chimpanzee movement seems to grow. And all fingers point to Ben.

Earth

David Brin

It's fifty years from tomorrow, and a black hole has accidentally fallen into the Earth's core. A team of scientists frantically searches for a way to prevent the mishap from causing harm, only to discover another black hole already feeding relentlessly at the core - one that could destroy the entire planet within two years.

But some even argue that the only way to save the Earth is to let its human inhabitants become extinct: to let the million-year evolutionary clock rewind and start all over again.

From an underground lab in New Zealand to a space station in Low Earth Orbit, from an endangered species conservation ark in Africa to a home in New Orleans, EARTH is a gripping novel peopled with extraordinary characters and abundant with challenging new ideas. Above all, it is an impassioned testament about our own responsibility to our endangered planet.

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.

Kiln People

David Brin

In a perilous future where disposable duplicate bodies fulfill every legal and illicit whim of their decadent masters, life is cheap. No one knows that better than Albert Morris, a brash investigator with a knack for trouble, who has sent his own duplicates into deadly peril more times than he cares to remember.

But when Morris takes on a ring of bootleggers making illegal copies of a famous actress, he stumbles upon a secret so explosive it has incited open warfare on the streets of Dittotown.

Dr. Yosil Maharal, a brilliant researcher in artificial intelligence, has suddenly vanished, just as he is on the verge of a revolutionary scientific breakthrough. Maharal's daughter, Ritu, believes he has been kidnapped-or worse. Aeneas Polom, a reclusive trillionaire who appears in public only through his high-priced platinum duplicates, offers Morris unlimited resources to locate Maharal before his awesome discovery falls into the wrong hands.

To uncover the truth, Morris must enter a shadowy, nightmare world of ghosts and golems where nothing -and no one-is what they seem, memory itself is suspect, and the line between life and death may no longer exist.

The Postman

David Brin

This is the story of a lie that became the most powerful kind of truth. A timeless novel as urgently compelling as War Day or Alas, Babylon, David Brin's The Postman is the dramatically moving saga of a man who rekindled the spirit of America through the power of a dream, from a modern master of science fiction.

He was a survivor--a wanderer who traded tales for food and shelter in the dark and savage aftermath of a devastating war. Fate touches him one chill winter's day when he borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker to protect himself from the cold. The old, worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope, and with it he begins to weave his greatest tale, of a nation on the road to recovery.

Night of the Animals: A Novel

Bill Broun

In this imaginative debut, the tale of Noah's Ark is brilliantly recast as a story of fate and family, set in a near-future London.

Over the course of a single night in 2052, a homeless man named Cuthbert Handley sets out on an astonishing quest: to release the animals of the London Zoo. When he was a young boy, Cuthbert's grandmother had told him he inherited a magical ability to communicate with the animal world--a gift she called the Wonderments. Ever since his older brother's death in childhood, Cuthbert has heard voices. These maddening whispers must be the Wonderments, he believes, and recently they have promised to reunite him with his lost brother and bring about the coming of a Lord of Animals... if he fulfills this curious request.

Cuthbert flickers in and out of awareness throughout his desperate pursuit. But his grand plan is not the only thing that threatens to disturb the collective unease of the city. Around him is greater turmoil, as the rest of the world anxiously anticipates the rise of a suicide cult set on destroying the world's animals along with themselves.

Meanwhile, Cuthbert doggedly roams the zoo, cutting open the enclosures, while pressing the animals for information about his brother. Just as this unlikely yet loveable hero begins to release the animals, the cult's members flood the city's streets. Has Cuthbert succeeded in harnessing the power of the Wonderments, or has he only added to the chaos--and sealed these innocent animals' fates?

Night of the Animals is an enchanting and inventive tale that explores the boundaries of reality, the ghosts of love and trauma, and the power of redemption.

Winter

Simon Brown

Sydney, Australia dominates world trade after a 30-year nuclear winter. Few citizens share the benefits and are kept in line by a brutal Security Department. Harry Beatle, once head of Security, is called back to hunt down an old rogue colleague. But Harry finds himself fighting for his own survival.

The Sheep Look Up

John Brunner

An enduring classic, this book offers a dramatic and prophetic look at the potential consequences of the escalating destruction of Earth.

In this nightmare society, air pollution is so bad that gas masks are commonplace. Infant mortality is up, and everyone seems to suffer from some form of ailment. The water is polluted, and only the poor drink from the tap. The government is ineffectual, and corporate interests scramble to make a profit from water purifiers, gas masks, and organic foods.

Environmentalist Austin Train is on the run. The Trainites, environmental activists and sometime terrorists, want him to lead their movement. The government wants him in jail, or preferably, executed. The media wants a circus. Everyone has a plan for Train, but Train has a plan of his own.

The Shockwave Rider

John Brunner

He Was The Most Dangerous Fugitive Alive, But He Didn't Exist!

Nickie Haflinger had lived a score of lifetimes...but technically he didn't exist. He was a fugitive from Tarnover, the high-powered government think tank that had educated him. First he had broken his identity code -- then he escaped.

Now he had to find a way to restore sanity and personal freedom to the computerized masses and to save a world tottering on the brink of disaster.

He didn't care how he did it...but the government did. That's when his Tarnover teachers got him back in their labs...and Nickie Haflinger was set up for a whole new education!

The Deep Sea Diver's Syndrome

Serge Brussolo

In The Deep Sea Diver's Syndrome, lucid dreamers called mediums dive into their dreams to retrieve ectoplasms--sticky blobs with curiously soothing properties that are the only form of art in the world. The more elaborate the dream, the better the ectoplasm.

David Sarella is a medium whose dream identity is a professional thief. With his beautiful accomplice Nadia, he breaks into jewelry stores and museums, lifts precious diamonds, and when he wakes, the loot turns into ectoplasms to be sold and displayed.

Only the dives require an extraordinary amount of physical effort, and as David ages, they become more difficult. His dream world -- or is it the real world? -- grows unstable. Any dive could be his last, forever tearing him away from Nadia and their high-octane, Bond-like adventures.

David decides to go down one final time, in the deepest, most extravagant dive ever attempted. But midway through, he begins to lose control, and the figures in the massive painting he's trying to steal suddenly come to life... and start shooting.

Arctic Rising

Tobias S. Buckell

Global warming has transformed the Earth, and it's about to get even hotter. The Arctic Ice Cap has all but melted, and the international community is racing desperately to claim the massive amounts of oil beneath the newly accessible ocean.

Enter the Gaia Corporation. Its two founders have come up with a plan to roll back global warming. Thousands of tiny mirrors floating in the air can create a giant sunshade, capable of redirecting heat and cooling the earth's surface. They plan to terraform Earth to save it from itself-but in doing so, they have created a superweapon the likes of which the world has never seen.

Anika Duncan is an airship pilot for the underfunded United Nations Polar Guard. She's intent on capturing a smuggled nuclear weapon that has made it into the Polar Circle and bringing the smugglers to justice.

Anika finds herself caught up in a plot by a cabal of military agencies and corporations who want Gaia Corporation stopped. But when Gaia Corp loses control of their superweapon, it will be Anika who has to decide the future of the world. The nuclear weapon she has risked her life to find is the only thing that can stop the floating sunshade after it falls into the wrong hands.

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!

The Girl in the Road

Monica Byrne

In a world where global power has shifted east and revolution is brewing, two women embark on vastly different journeys--each harrowing and urgent and wholly unexpected.

When Meena finds snakebites on her chest, her worst fears are realized: someone is after her and she must flee India. As she plots her exit, she learns of The Trail, an energy-harvesting bridge spanning the Arabian Sea that has become a refuge for itinerant vagabonds and loners on the run. This is her salvation. Slipping out in the cover of night, with a knapsack full of supplies including a pozit GPS system, a scroll reader, and a sealable waterproof pod, she sets off for Ethiopia, the place of her birth.

Meanwhile, Mariama, a young girl in Africa, is forced to flee her home. She joins up with a caravan of misfits heading across the Sahara. She is taken in by Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. They are trying to reach Addis Abba, Ethiopia, a metropolis swirling with radical politics and rich culture. But Mariama will find a city far different than she ever expected--romantic, turbulent, and dangerous.

As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama's fates are linked in ways that are mysterious and shocking to the core.

Written with stunning clarity, deep emotion, and a futuristic flair, The Girl in the Road is an artistic feat of the first order: vividly imagined, artfully told, and profoundly moving.

Fools

Pat Cadigan

With brain-suckers and body-snatchers around, not even your own identity is safe. When Marva, a Method actress, wakes up in a hologram pool in a club with new clothes, lots of money and a memory of murder, she knows something is wrong.

Synners

Pat Cadigan

First published in 1991, this cyberpunk classic won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and was shortlisted for the Nebula Award

Synners are synthesizers--not machines, but people. They take images from the brains of performers, and turn them into a form which can be packaged, sold, and consumed. This book is set in a world where new technology spawns new crime before it hits the streets. The line between technology and humanity is hopelessly slim; the human mind and the external landscape have fused to the point where any encounter with reality is incidental. This classic novel from one of the founders and mainstays of the cyberpunk movement.

Corsair

James L. Cambias

In the early 2020s, two young, genius computer hackers, Elizabeth Santiago and David Schwartz, meet at MIT, where Schwartz is sneaking into classes, and have a brief affair. David is amoral and out for himself, and soon disappears. Elizabeth dreams of technology and space travel and takes a military job after graduating.

Nearly ten years later, David is setting himself to become a billionaire by working in the shadows under a multiplicity of names for international thieves, and Elizabeth works in intelligence preventing international space piracy. With robotic mining in space becoming a lucrative part of Earth's economy, shipments from space are dropped down the gravity well into the oceans.

David and Elizabeth fight for dominance of the computer systems controlling ore drop placement in international waters. If David can nudge a shipment 500 miles off its target, his employers can get there first and claim it legally in the open sea. Each one intuits that the other is their real competition but can't prove it. And when Elizabeth loses a major shipment, she leaves government employ to work for a private space company to find a better way to protect shipments. But international piracy has very high stakes and some very evil players. And both Elizabeth and David end up in a world of trouble.

Saturn Run

John Sandford
Ctein

The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope -- something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don't decelerate. Spaceships do.

A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out.

The race is on, and an remarkable adventure begins -- an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond.

A Highly Unlikely Scenario: or a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World

Rachel Cantor

In the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It's a boring job, but he likes it — there's a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn't like it when you go off script.

Meanwhile, Leonard's sister keeps disappearing on secret missions with her "book club," leaving him to take care of his nephew, which means Leonard has to go outside. And outside is where the trouble starts.

A dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can't save the world with pizza coupons.

Containment: Children of Occam

Christian Cantrell

The colony on Venus was not built because the destruction of Earth was possible, but because it was inevitable...

A brilliant young scientist and one of the first humans born on Venus, Arik works tirelessly to perfect the science of artificial photosynthesis, a project crucial to the future of his home, V1. The colony was built on the harsh Venusian surface by the Founders, the first humans to establish a permanent extraterrestrial settlement. Arik's research becomes critical when he awakens from an unexplained, near-fatal accident and learns that his wife is three months pregnant. Unless Arik's research uncovers a groundbreaking discovery, V1's oxygen supply will not be able to support the increase in population that his baby represents.

As Arik works against time, he begins to untangle the threads of his accident, which seem inextricably linked to what lies outside the protective walls of V1--a world where the caustic atmosphere and extreme heat make all forms of known life impossible. For its entire existence, Arik's generation has been expected to help solve the problems of colonization. But as Arik digs deeper and deeper, he discovers alarming truths about the planet that the Founders have kept hidden. With growing urgency and increasing peril, Arik finds himself on a journey that will push him to the limits of his intelligence and take him beyond the unimaginable.

Killing Time

Caleb Carr

Meet Dr. Gideon Wolfe, expert criminologist of the new millenium. A professor at New York's John Jay University in the year 2023, he lives in an era that has seen plague, a global economic crash, and the 2018 assassination of President Emily Forrester. In this turbulent new world order, Wolfe's life and everything he knows are turned upside down when the widow of a murdered special-effects wizard enters his office.

The widow hands him a silver disc from her husband's safety deposit box, hoping that Wolfe's expertise in history and criminology will compel him to track down her husband's killers. The disc contains footage of President Forrester's assassination, the same video that has been broadcast countless times on TV and over the internet-with one crucial, shocking difference: This version shows that before the video was released, it was altered with sinister special effects.

This explosive discovery will lead Gideon Wolfe on an electrifying journey from a criminal underworld of New York to the jungles of Africa and on a quest to find the truth in an age when all information can be manipulated. With this novel, Carr has boldly established a new genre-future history-combining the best elements of mystery and thrillers with unique historical insight. Breathtakingly suspenseful,Killing Time unfolds as the work of a master novelist.

An Anglo-American Alliance: A Serio-Comic Romance and Forecast of the Future

Gregory Casparian

The novel is set in the future of 1960 and depicts a world that is geopolitically broadly similar to that of 1906, with Britain and the U.S. as the world's major colonial powers. The novel follows the romance of two young upper-class women, the Briton Aurora Cunningham and the American Margaret MacDonald, who attend the same ladies' seminary in Cornwall and pursue a secret romantic relationship.

The Yiddish Policemen's Union

Michael Chabon

For sixty years, Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a "temporary" safe haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel. Proud, grateful, and longing to be American, the Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant, gritty, soulful, and complex frontier city that moves to the music of Yiddish. For sixty years they have been left alone, neglected and half-forgotten in a backwater of history. Now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end: once again the tides of history threaten to sweep them up and carry them off into the unknown.

But homicide detective Meyer Landsman of the District Police has enough problems without worrying about the upcoming Reversion. His life is a shambles, his marriage a wreck, his career a disaster. He and his half-Tlingit partner, Berko Shemets, can't catch a break in any of their outstanding cases. Landsman's new supervisor is the love of his lifeand also his worst nightmare. And in the cheap hotel where he has washed up, someone has just committed a murderright under Landsman's nose. Out of habit, obligation, and a mysterious sense that it somehow offers him a shot at redeeming himself, Landsman begins to investigate the killing of his neighbor, a former chess prodigy. But when word comes down from on high that the case is to be dropped immediately, Landsman soon finds himself contending with all the powerful forces of faith, obsession, hopefulness, evil, and salvation that are his heritageand with the unfinished business of his marriage to Bina Gelbfish, the one person who understands his darkest fears.

At once a gripping whodunit, a love story, an homage to 1940s noir, and an exploration of the mysteries of exile and redemption, The Yiddish Policemen's Union is a novel only Michael Chabon could have written.

In Absence of Fear

Celeste Chaney

After years of terrorist attacks, murders and kidnappings, citizens of the State vote to enact the Protector Program. A predictive policing system, it signals the dawn of the New Era. Passive iD chips are implanted in every citizen's wrist, providing convenience and protection.

The chips enable users to unlock homes, start cars, transact in stores, and monitor their health. They also collect data. Specially designed risk prediction algorithms parse and analyze user data to predict individual levels of threat, aiding the predictive policing program and eradicating crime in most cities.

Marus Winde has worked for the State's Intelligence Annex since the inception of the New Era. As Senior Algorithm Architect, no one is more dedicated to the predictive policing program. No one has greater trust in its proficiencies.

That is, until his young son vanishes inexplicably in broad daylight in the safest city in the world.

As Marus works to reconcile the program's deficiencies and unravel the mystery of his son's disappearance, he discovers that the system he helped build is not only imperfect, but corruptible, and that even the greatest of technological advancements can't replicate human intuition.

Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind

Anne Charnock

History is storytelling. But some stories remain untold.

In fifteenth-century Italy, Paolo Uccello recognizes the artistic talent of his young daughter, Antonia, and teaches her how to create a masterpiece. The girl composes a painting of her mother and inadvertently sparks an enduring mystery.

In the present day, a copyist painter receives a commission from a wealthy Chinese businessman to duplicate a Paolo Uccello painting. Together, the painter and his teenage daughter visit China, and in doing so they begin their escape from a tragic family past.

In the twenty-second century, a painting is discovered that's rumored to be the work of Paolo Uccello's daughter. This reawakens an art historian's dream of elevating Antonia Uccello, an artist ignored by history because of her gender.

Stories untold. Secrets uncovered. But maybe some mysteries should remain shrouded.

Story of Your Life

Ted Chiang

This story can be found in Starlight 2, The Big Book of Science Fiction and Stories of Your Life and Others.

Adapted into the movie The Arrival in 2016.

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.

And Again

Jessica Chiarella

Would you live your life differently if you were given a second chance? Hannah, David, Connie, and Linda--four terminally ill patients--have been selected for the SUBlife pilot program, which will grant them brand-new, genetically perfect bodies that are exact copies of their former selves--without a single imperfection. Blemishes, scars, freckles, and wrinkles have all disappeared, their fingerprints are different, their vision is impeccable, and most importantly, their illnesses have been cured.

But the fresh start they've been given is anything but perfect. Without their old bodies, their new physical identities have been lost. Hannah, an artistic prodigy, has to relearn how to hold a brush; David, a Congressman, grapples with his old habits; Connie, an actress whose stunning looks are restored after a protracted illness, tries to navigate an industry obsessed with physical beauty; and Linda, who spent eight years paralyzed after a car accident, now struggles to reconnect with a family that seems to have built a new life without her. As each tries to re-enter their previous lives and relationships they are faced with the question: how much of your identity rests not just in your mind, but in your heart, your body?

The Rise of Io

Wesley Chu

Ella Patel -- thief, con-artist and smuggler -- is in the wrong place at the wrong time. One night, on the border of a demilitarized zone run by the body-swapping alien invaders, she happens upon a man and woman being chased by a group of assailants. The man freezes, leaving the woman to fight off five attackers at once, before succumbing. As she dies, to both Ella and the man's surprise, the sparkling light that rises from the woman enters Ella, instead of the man. She soon realizes she's been inhabited by Io, a low-ranking Quasing who was involved in some of the worst decisions in history. Now Ella must now help the alien presence to complete her mission and investigate a rash of murders in the border states that maintain the frail peace.

With the Prophus assigned to help her seemingly wanting to stab her in the back, and the enemy Genjix hunting her, Ella must also deal with Io's annoying inferiority complex. To top it all off, Ella thinks the damn alien voice in her head is trying to get her killed. And if you can't trust the voices in your head, who can you trust?

The Fountains of Paradise

Arthur C. Clarke

Vannemar Morgan's dream is to link Earth to the stars with the greatest engineering feat of all time;a 24,000-mile-high space elevator. But first he must solve a million technical, political, and economic problems while allaying the wrath of God. For the only possible site on the planet for Morgan's Orbital Tower is the monastery atop the Sacred Mountain of Sri Kanda. And for two thousand years, the monks have protected Sri Kanda from all mortal quests for glory. Kings and princes who have sought to conquer the Sacred Mountain have all died.Now Vannemar Morgan may be next.

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune-and remarkable power-to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved-that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt-among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life-and love-in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.

A quest for the ultimate prize.

A Matter of Time

Glen Cook

May 1975. St. Louis. In a snow-swept street, a cop finds the body of a man who died fifty years ago. It's still warm.

July 1866, Lidice, Bohemia: A teenage girl calmly watches her parents die as another being takes control of her body.

August 2058, Prague: Three political rebels flee in to the past, taking with them a terrible secret.

As past, present, and future collide, one man holds the key to the puzzle. And if he doesn't fit it together, the world he knows will fall to pieces. It's just A Matter of Time.

Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better World

Ed Finn
Kathryn Cramer

Inspired by New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson, an anthology of stories, set in the near future, from some of today's leading writers, thinkers, and visionaries that reignites the iconic and optimistic visions of the golden age of science fiction.

In his 2011 article "Innovation Starvation," Neal Stephenson argued that we--the society whose earlier scientists and engineers witnessed the airplane, the automobile, nuclear energy, the computer, and space exploration--must reignite our ambitions to think boldly and do Big Stuff. He also advanced the Hieroglyph Theory which illuminates the power of science fiction to inspire the inventive imagination: "Good SF supplies a plausible, fully thought-out picture of an alternate reality in which some sort of compelling innovation has taken place."

In 2012, Arizona State University established the Center for Science and the Imagination to bring together writers, artists, and creative thinkers with scientists, engineers, and technologists to cultivate and expand on "moon shot ideas" that inspire the imagination and catalyze real-world innovations.

Now comes this remarkable anthology uniting twenty of today's leading thinkers, writers, and visionaries--among them Cory Doctorow, Gregory Benford, Elizabeth Bear, Bruce Sterling, and Neal Stephenson--to contribute works of "techno-optimism" that challenge us to dream and do Big Stuff. Engaging, mind-bending, provocative, and imaginative, Hieroglyph offers a forward-thinking approach to the intersection of art and technology that has the power to change our world.

Contents:

  • Foreword (Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future) - essay by Lawrence M. Krauss
  • Preface: Innovation Starvation (Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future) - essay by Neal Stephenson
  • Introduction: A Blueprint for Better Dreams - essay by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer
  • Atmosphaera Incognita - (2013) - shortfiction by Neal Stephenson
  • Girl in Wave: Wave in Girl - shortfiction by Kathleen Ann Goonan
  • By the Time We Get to Arizona - shortfiction by Madeline Ashby
  • The Man Who Sold the Moon - shortfiction by Cory Doctorow
  • Johnny Appledrone vs. the FAA - shortfiction by Lee Konstantinou
  • Degrees of Freedom - shortfiction by Karl Schroeder
  • Two Scenarios for the Future of Solar Energy - shortfiction by Annalee Newitz
  • A Hotel in Antarctica - shortfiction by Geoffrey A. Landis
  • Periapsis - shortfiction by James L. Cambias
  • The Man Who Sold the Stars - (2013) - shortfiction by Gregory Benford
  • Entanglement - shortfiction by Vandana Singh
  • Elephant Angels - shortfiction by Brenda Cooper
  • Covenant - shortfiction by Elizabeth Bear
  • Quantum Telepathy - shortfiction by Rudy Rucker
  • Transition Generation - shortfiction by David Brin
  • The Day it All Ended - shortfiction by Charlie Jane Anders
  • Tall Tower - shortfiction by Bruce Sterling
  • Science and Science Fiction: An Interview With Paul Davies - interview of Paul Davies (1946-) - interview by unknown

State of Fear

Michael Crichton

When a group of eco-terrorists engage in a global conspiracy to generate weather-related natural disasters, it's up to environmental lawyer Peter Evans and his team to uncover the subterfuge.

From Tokyo to Los Angeles, from Antarctica to the Solomon Islands, Michael Crichton mixes cutting-edge science and action-packed adventure, leading readers on an edge-of-your-seat ride while offering up a thought-provoking commentary on the issue of global warming. A deftly-crafted novel in true Crichton style, State of Fear is an exciting, stunning tale that not only entertains and educates, but will make you think.

Dark Matter

Blake Crouch

"Are you happy with your life?"

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend."

In this world he's woken up to, Jason's life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that's the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could've imagined -- one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human -- a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we'll go to claim the lives we dream of.

Beasts

John Crowley

Painter is a leo - part man, part lion - the result of one of man's genetic experiments, a powerful, beautiful, enigmatic creature deemed a 'failure' to be be hunted down. But Painter has two advantages in this world of small bickering nation states and political accommodation and compromise: his own strength and integrity, and the guile of Reynard, another of man's experiments, a subtle and potent intriguer, a king-maker...

If Then

Matthew de Abaitua

James has a scar in the back of his head. It's where he was wounded in the Battle of Suvla Bay on August 1915. Or is the scar the mark of his implant that allows the Process to fill his mind with its own reality?

In IF, the people of a small English town cling on after everything fell apart under the protection of the Process, the computer system that runs every aspect of their lives. But sometimes people must be evicted from the town. That's the job of James, the bailiff. While on patrol, James discovers the replica of a soldier from the First World War wandering the South Downs. This strange meeting begins a new cycle of evictions in the town, while out on the rolling downland, the Process is methodically growing the soldiers and building the weapons required to relive a long lost battle.

In THEN, it is August 1915, at the Battle of Suvla Bay in the Dardanelles campaign. Compared to the thousands of allied soldiers landing on this foreign beach, the men of the 32nd Field Ambulance are misfits and cranks of every stripe: a Quaker pacifist, a freethinking padre, a meteorologist, and the private (once a bailiff) known simply as James. Exposed to constant shellfire and haunted by ghostly snipers, the stretcher-bearers work day and night on the long carry of wounded men. One night they stumble across an ancient necropolis, disturbed by an exploding shell. What they discover within this ancient site will make them question the reality of the war and shake their understanding of what it means to be human...

Dhalgren

Samuel R. Delany

In Dhalgren, perhaps one of the most profound and bestselling science fiction novels of all time, Samuel R. Delany has produced a novel "to stand with the best American fiction of the 1970s" (Jonathan Lethem).

Bellona is a city at the dead center of the United States. Something has happened there.... The population has fled. Madmen and criminals wander the streets. Strange portents appear in the cloud-covered sky. And into this disaster zone comes a young man-poet, lover, and adventurer-known only as the Kid. Tackling questions of race, gender, and sexuality, Dhalgren is a literary marvel and groundbreaking work of American magical realism.

Triton

Samuel R. Delany

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

A Scanner Darkly

Philip K. Dick

Bob Arctor is a dealer of the lethally addictive drug Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, Fred takes on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D - which Arctor takes in massive doses - gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize he is narcing on himself.

Caustically funny, eerily accurate in its depiction of junkies, scam artists, and the walking brain-dead, Philip K. Dick's industrial-grade stress test of identity is as unnerving as it is enthralling.

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

Philip K. Dick

On October 11 the television star Jason Taverner is so famous that 30 million viewers eagerly watch his prime-time show. On October 12 Jason Taverner is not a has-been but a never-was -- a man who has lost not only his audience but all proof of his existence. And in the claustrophobic betrayal state of Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, loss of proof is synonymous with loss of life.

Taverner races to solve the riddle of his disappearance", immerses us in a horribly plausible Philip K. Dick United States in which everyone -- from a waiflike forger of identity cards to a surgically altered pleasure -- informs on everyone else, a world in which omniscient police have something to hide. His bleakly beautiful novel bores into the deepest bedrock self and plants a stick of dynamite at its center.

Time Out of Joint

Philip K. Dick

Time Out of Joint is Philip K. Dick’s classic depiction of the disorienting disparity between the world as we think it is and the world as it actually is.

The year is 1998, although Ragle Gumm doesn’t know that. He thinks it’s 1959. He also thinks that he served in World War II, that he lives in a quiet little community, and that he really is the world’s long-standing champion of newspaper puzzle contests. It is only after a series of troubling hallucinations that he begins to suspect otherwise. And once he pursues his suspicions, he begins to see how he is the center of a universe gone terribly awry.

Camp Concentration

Thomas M. Disch

Louis Sacchetti is a poet and pacifist imprisoned for refusing to enlist in the war against Third World guerillas. Sacchetti and the other inmates are used in perverse scientific experiments, and Sacchetti is infected with a germ that raises intelligence to incredible heights while causing decay and death.

Runtime

S. B. Divya

The Minerva Sierra Challenge is a grueling spectacle, the cyborg's Tour de France. Rich thrill-seekers with corporate sponsorships, extensive support teams, and top-of-the-line exoskeletal and internal augmentations pit themselves against the elements in a day-long race across the Sierra Nevada.

Marmeg Guinto doesn't have funding, and she doesn't have support. She cobbled her gear together from parts she found in rich people's garbage and spent the money her mother wanted her to use for nursing school to enter the race. But the Minerva Challenge is the only chance she has at a better life for herself and her younger brothers, and she's ready to risk it all.

Runtime is S. B. Divya's exciting science fiction debut.

Eastern Standard Tribe

Cory Doctorow

Art is a member of the Eastern Standard Tribe, a secret society bound together by a sleep schedule. Around the world, those who wake and sleep on East Coast time find common cause with one another, cooperating, conspiring, to help each other out, coordinated by a global network of Wi-Fi, instant messaging, ubiquitous computing, and a shared love of Manhattan-style bagels.

Or perhaps not. Art is, after all, in the nuthouse. He was put there by a conspiracy of his friends and loved ones, fellow travelers from EST hidden in the bowels of Greenwich Mean Time, spies masquerading as management consultants who strive to mire Europe in oatmeal-thick bureaucracy.

Eastern Standard Tribe is a story of madness and betrayal, of society after the End of Geography, of the intangible factors that define us as a species, as a tribe, as individuals. Scathing, bitter, and funny, EST examines the immutable truths of time, of sunrise and sunset of societies smashed and rebuilt in the storm of instant, ubiquitous communication.

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

For the Win

Cory Doctorow

In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual "gold," jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world's poorest countries, where countless "gold farmers," bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of "General Robotwalla." In Shenzen, heart of China's industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power-including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister's people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once-a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation.

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

Makers

Cory Doctorow

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

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

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

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

Then things get really interesting.

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

Pirate Cinema

Cory Doctorow

Trent McCauley is sixteen, brilliant, and obsessed with one thing: making movies on his computer by reassembling footage from popular films he downloads from the net. In the dystopian near-future Britain where Trent is growing up, this is more illegal than ever; the punishment for being caught three times is that your entire household’s access to the internet is cut off for a year, with no appeal.

Trent's too clever for that too happen. Except it does, and it nearly destroys his family. Shamed and shattered, Trent runs away to London, where he slowly he learns the ways of staying alive on the streets. This brings him in touch with a demimonde of artists and activists who are trying to fight a new bill that will criminalize even more harmless internet creativity, making felons of millions of British citizens at a stroke.

Things look bad. Parliament is in power of a few wealthy media conglomerates. But the powers-that-be haven’t entirely reckoned with the power of a gripping movie to change people’s minds...

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

The Man Who Sold the Moon

Cory Doctorow

Sturgeon Award nominated novella. It originally appeared in the anthology Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better World (2014), edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer. The story is also included in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection (2015), edited by Gardner Dozois, and Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2016), edited by Sandra Kasturi and Jerome Stueart.

Read this story for free at boingboing.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

Harlan Ellison

First published in 1967 and re-issued in 1983, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream contains seven stories with copyrights ranging from 1958 through 1967. This edition contains the original introduction by Theodore Sturgeon and the original foreword by Harlan Ellison, along with a brief update comment by Ellison that was added in the 1983 edition.

Among Ellison's more famous stories, two consistently noted as among his very best ever are the title story and the volume's concluding one, "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes". Since Ellison himself strongly resists categorization of his work, we won't call them science fiction, or SF, or speculative fiction or horror or anything else except compelling reading experiences that are sui generis. They could only have been written by Harlan Ellison and they are incomparably original.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: The Mover, the Shaker - (1967) - essay by Theodore Sturgeon
  • Foreword: How Science Fiction Saved Me from a Life of Crime - (1967) - essay by Harlan Ellison
  • I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream - (1967) - shortstory
  • Big Sam Was My Friend - (1958) - shortstory
  • Eyes of Dust - (1959) - shortstory
  • World of the Myth - (1964) - novelette
  • Lonelyache - (1964) - shortstory
  • Delusion for a Dragon Slayer - (1966) - shortstory
  • Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes - (1967) - novelette

Benefits

Zoë Fairbairns

It is summer... a heat wave... tense, uneasy days in the city.

There are ominous signs of political turbulence in the dying years of the twentieth century. Welfare benefits for women are under attack from a government struggling for survival. But women fight back. They begin to organize, using unorthodox weapons... Feminism has become a threat to the social order.

Lynn Byers, trying to decide whether to have a baby, accepts neither her friends' dreams of worldwide feminist revolution nor the government's demand for a return to 'womanly duties'. But as desperate politicians use increasingly savage methods of control, she can no longer stand aside and watch.

About Time

Jack Finney

About Time offers a delightful return to the world of time travel and light comedy that distinguished Jack Finney's all-time classic Time and Again. The protagonists of these twelve stories are well-meaning but at odds with their surroundings and their lives. The time to which they escape--through time travel--doesn't always fulfill their expectations in the way they had hoped, but sometimes, they can still find their dreams.

Contents:

  • The Third Level - (1950)
  • I Love Galesburg in the Springtime - (1986)
  • Such Interesting Neighbors - (1951)
  • The Coin Collector - (1960)
  • Of Missing Persons - (1955)
  • Lunch-Hour Magic - (1986)
  • Where the Cluetts Are - (1962)
  • The Face in the Photo - (1962)
  • I'm Scared - (1951)
  • Home Alone - (1961)
  • Second Chance - (1956)
  • Hey, Look at Me! - (1962)

The New Mother

Eugene Fischer

Tiptree Award winning and Nebula-nominated Novella

This story follows a pregnant reporter writing an article about the social implications of a sexually transmitted infection that renders men sterile and women parthenogenetic.

Read this story online for free at Medium.com.

Fallen Angels

Michael Flynn
Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle

As the world reels under the sudden onslaught of the new ice age, the lunatic fringe of the environmental movement controls the U.S. government. Abandoned by Earth, the space colonies must replenish their air supply by scoopships diving into the atmosphere -- but Alex and Gordon's ship was hit by a missile, sending them tumbling out of the sky to be hunted by authorities who want them dead or alive. . . . But wait! There is one pro-tech group left on Earth: science fiction fandom! How they get our guys from the permafrost to orbit in twenty incredibly difficult stages -- and why they bother -- is the story of two very "Fallen Angels."

Dark Star

Alan Dean Foster

In the mid twenty-first century, mankind has reached a point in its technological advances to enable colonization of the far reaches of the universe. DARK STAR is a futuristic scout ship traveling far in advance of colony ships. Armed with Exponential Thermosteller Bombs, it prowls the darkest reaches of space on a mission to seek out and destroy unstable planets ahead of the colonist.

But there is one obstacle that its crew members did not count on -- one of the ship's thinking and talking bombs is lodged in the bay, threatening to destroy the entire ship and crew!

Sagramanda: A Novel of Near-Future India

Alan Dean Foster

Set in Sagramanda, city of 100 million, this is the story of Taneer, a scientist who has absconded with his multinational corporation's secret project code and who is now on the run from both the company and his father. Depahli, the fabulously beautiful woman from the "untouchable class" would die for him, just as surely as his father would like to kill him for shaming the very traditional family for such a relationship. Chalcedony "Chal" Schneemann doesn't want to kill Taneer, if he doesn't have to, but it wouldn't upset him terribly much if it came to it, and he'll stop at nothing to recover the stolen property for the company that pays him very, very well to solve big problems discreetly and quickly. Sanjay Ghosh, a poor farmer-turned-merchant in the big city of Sagramanda would like to help Taneer unload his stolen items, for the $30 million dollars his 3 percent fee is worth. Jena Chalmette, a crazy French woman pledged to Kali, simply wants to kill for the glory of her god, and she's very good at it. Chief Inspector Keshu Singh would like to put this sword-wielding serial killer away as quickly as possible before the media gets a hold of the story.

Then there's a man-eating tiger, come in from the nearby jungle reserve and just looking for his next meal.

A fast-paced and gripping techno-thriller set in an India just around the corner from today.

Alas, Babylon

Pat Frank

Hailed by critics, this classic disaster novel about a nuclear holocaust in the United States--now available in a limited Olive Edition--continues to resonate with readers as strongly today as when it was first published in 1959 at the height of the Cold War.

"Alas, Babylon..."

Those fateful words heralded the end. When the unthinkable nightmare of nuclear holocaust ravaged the United States, it was instant death for tens of millions of people; for survivors, it was a nightmare of hunger, sickness, and brutality. Overnight, a thousand years of civilization were stripped away.

But for one small Florida town, spared against all the odds, the struggle was just beginning, as men and women of all ages and races found the courage to join together and push against the darkness.

Gene Mapper

Taiyo Fujii

In a world without hunger, knowledge is power and biology a weapon...

In a future where reality has been augmented and biology itself has been hacked, the world's food supply is genetically modified, superior, and vulnerable. When gene mapper Hayashida discovers that his custom rice plant has experienced a dysgenic collapse, he suspects sabotage. Hayashida travels Asia to find himself in Ho Chi Minh City with hired-gun hacker Kitamura at his side--and in mortal danger--as he pushes ever nearer to the heart of the mystery.

Movement

Nancy Fulda

This story was nominated for the 2011 Hugo and Nebula awards.

When her concerned parents investigate a treatment that could change her life forever, Hannah's world is thrown into turmoil. Unable to speak -- at least not in ways most people can understand -- Hannah struggles to face the question of who she really is, and who she wishes to become.

Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, March 2011. The story can also be found in the Nebula Awards Showcase 2013, edited by Catherine Asaro.

Read the full story for free at the author's website.

The Many Selves of Katherine North

Emma Geen

When we first meet Kit, she's a fox.

Nineteen-year-old Kit works for the research department of Shen Corporation as a phenomenaut. She's been "jumping"--projecting her consciousness, through a neurological interface--into the bodies of lab-grown animals made for the purpose of research for seven years, which is longer than anyone else at ShenCorp, and longer than any of the scientists thought possible. She experiences a multitude of other lives--fighting and fleeing as predator and prey, as mammal, bird, and reptile--in the hope that her work will help humans better understand the other species living alongside them.

Her closest friend is Buckley, her Neuro--the computer engineer who guides a phenomenaut through consciousness projection. His is the voice, therefore, that's always in Kit's head and is the thread of continuity that connects her to the human world when she's an animal. But when ShenCorp's mission takes a more commercial--and ominous--turn, Kit is no longer sure of her safety. Propelling the reader into the bodies of the other creatures that share our world, The Many Selves of Katherine North takes place in the near future but shows us a dazzling world far, far from the realm of our experience.

The Calcutta Chromosome

Amitav Ghosh

From Victorian lndia to near-future New York, The Calcutta Chromosome takes readers on a wondrous journey through time as a computer programmer trapped in a mind-numbing job hits upon a curious item that will forever change his life. When Antar discovers the battered I.D. card of a long-lost acquaintance, he is suddenly drawn into a spellbinding adventure across centuries and around the globe, into the strange life of L. Murugan, a man obsessed with the medical history of malaria, and into a magnificently complex world where conspiracy hangs in the air like mosquitoes on a summer night.

Burning Chrome (collection)

William Gibson

Best-known for his seminal sf novel Neuromancer, William Gibson is actually best when writing short fiction. Tautly-written and suspenseful, Burning Chrome collects 10 of his best short stories with a preface from Bruce Sterling, now available for the first time in trade paperback. These brilliant, high-resolution stories show Gibson's characters and intensely-realized worlds at his absolute best, from the chip-enhanced couriers of "Johnny Mnemonic" to the street-tech melancholy of "Burning Chrome."

Table of Contents:

  • Preface - essay by Bruce Sterling
  • Johnny Mnemonic - (1981) - shortstory
  • The Gernsback Continuum - (1981) - shortstory
  • Fragments of a Hologram Rose - (1977) - shortstory
  • The Belonging Kind - (1981) - shortstory by John Shirley and William Gibson
  • Hinterlands - (1981) - shortstory
  • Red Star, Winter Orbit - (1983) - novelette by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
  • New Rose Hotel - (1984) - shortstory
  • The Winter Market - (1985) - novelette
  • Dogfight - (1985) - novelette by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson
  • Burning Chrome - (1982) - novelette

Johnny Mnemonic (short story)

William Gibson

Nebula Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in Omni, May 1981. The story can also be found in the anthologies Nebula Award Stories Seventeen (1983), edited by Joe Haldeman, The Second Omni Book of Science Fiction (1984), edited by Ellen Datlow, and The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF (1994), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer as well as the collections Burning Chrome (1986), and Johnny Mnemonic (1995).

Tin Men

Christopher Golden

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

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

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

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

The Word Exchange

Alena Graedon

A dystopian novel for the digital age, The Word Exchange offers an inventive, suspenseful, and decidedly original vision of the dangers of technology and of the enduring power of the printed word.

In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted "death of print" has become a reality. Bookstores, libraries, newspapers, and magazines are things of the past, and we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but also have become so intuitive that they hail us cabs before we leave our offices, order takeout at the first growl of a hungry stomach, and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called the Word Exchange.

Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language (NADEL), where Doug is hard at work on the last edition that will ever be printed. Doug is a staunchly anti-Meme, anti-tech intellectual who fondly remembers the days when people used email (everything now is text or videoconference) to communicate—or even actually spoke to one another, for that matter. One evening, Doug disappears from the NADEL offices, leaving a single written clue: ALICE. It's a code word he devised to signal if he ever fell into harm's way. And thus begins Anana's journey down the proverbial rabbit hole...

Joined by Bart, her bookish NADEL colleague, Anana's search for Doug will take her into dark basements and subterranean passageways; the stacks and reading rooms of the Mercantile Library; and secret meetings of the underground resistance, the Diachronic Society. As Anana penetrates the mystery of her father's disappearance and a pandemic of decaying language called "word flu" spreads, The Word Exchange becomes a cautionary tale that is at once a technological thriller and a meditation on the high cultural costs of digital technology.

Afterparty

Daryl Gregory

It begins in Toronto, in the years after the smart drug revolution. Any high school student with a chemjet and internet connection can download recipes and print drugs, or invent them. A seventeen-year-old street girl finds God through a new brain-altering drug called Numinous, used as a sacrament by a new Church that preys on the underclass. But she is arrested and put into detention, and without the drug, commits suicide.

Lyda Rose, another patient in that detention facility, has a dark secret: she was one of the original scientists who developed the drug. With the help of an ex-government agent and an imaginary, drug-induced doctor, Lyda sets out to find the other three survivors of the five who made the Numinous in a quest to set things right.

Slow River

Nicola Griffith

She awoke in an alley to the splash of rain. She was naked, a foot-long gash in her back was still bleeding, and her identity implant was gone. Lore Van de Oest was the daughter of one of the world's most powerful families...and now she was nobody.

Then out of the rain walked Spanner, an expert data pirate who took her in, cared for her wounds, and gave her the freedom to reinvent herself again and again. No one could find Lore if she didn't want to be found: not the police, not her family, and not the kidnappers who had left her in that alley to die. She had escaped...but she paid for her newfound freedom in crime, deception, and degradation--over and over again.

Lore had a choice: She could stay in the shadows, stay with Spanner...and risk losing herself forever. Or she could leave Spanner and find herself again by becoming someone else: stealing the identity implant of a dead woman, taking over her life, and inventing her future.

But to start again, Lore required Spanner's talents--Spanner, who needed her and hated her, and who always had a price. And even as Lore agreed to play Spanner's games one final time, she found that there was still the price of being a Van de Oest to be paid. Only by confronting her past, her family, and her own demons could Lore meld together who she had once been, who she had become, and the person she intended to be....

The Tomorrow People

Judith Merril

"The Tomorrow People," was penned by well known author, Judith Merril, who spins a chilling sci-fi tale. Something on Mars was killing people! An ill-fated expedition to the Red Planet vanished without so much as a trace. On another expedition, only one man came back alive. That man was Johnny Wendt, and he was the only man to ever set foot on Mars and return to tell about it. His knowledge could prove to be decisive in the desperate East-West race for outer space superiority. Unfortunately, Johnny Wendt didn't know just exactly what it was that made Mars a death trap...and he didn't know that he'd brought it back with him!

The Immortals

James E. Gunn

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF IMMORTALITY?

For nomad Marshall Cartwright, the price is knowing that he will never grow old. That he will never contract a disease, an infection, or even a cold. That because he will never die, he must surrender the right to live.

For Dr. Russell Pearce, the price is eternal suspicion. He appreciates what synthesizing the elixir vitae from the Immortal's genetic makeup could mean for humankind. He also fears what will happen should Cartwright's miraculous blood fall into the wrong hands.

For the wealthy and powerful, no price is too great. Immortality is now a fact rather than a dream. But the only way to achieve it is to own it exclusively. And that means hunting down and caging the elusive Cartwright, or one of his offspring.

The Immortals, James Gunn's masterpiece about a human fountain of youth, collects the author's classic short stories that ran in elite science-fiction magazines throughout the 1950s. All-new material accompanies this updated edition, including an introduction from renowned science-fiction writer Greg Bear, a preface from Gunn himself, and "Elixir," Gunn's new short story that introduced Dr. Pearce to another Immortal in the May 2004 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Factmagazine.

Camouflage

Joe Haldeman

Two aliens have wandered Earth for centuries. The Changeling has survived by adapting the forms of many different organisms. The Chameleon destroys anything or anyone that threatens it.

Now, a sunken relic that holds the key to their origins calls to them to take them home--but the Chameleon has decided there's only room for one.

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.

The Coming

Joe Haldeman

From the depths of space comes a startling message: "We're Coming."

On the brink of war and hysteria, Earth must prepare for the arrival. But the question still remains as to who-or what-will actually arrive...

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.

Tigerman

Nick Harkaway

Sergeant Lester Ferris is a good man in need of a rest. After a long career of being shot at, he's about to be retired. The mildly larcenous, backwater island of Mancreu is the ideal place to serve out his time, a former British colony in legal limbo, belching toxic clouds of waste and facing imminent destruction by an international community concerned for their own safety. The perfect place for Lester is also the perfect location for a multinational array of shady businesses. Hence the Black Fleet of illicit ships lurking in the bay: spy stations, arms dealers, offshore hospitals, money-laundering operations, drug factories and torture centers. None of which should be a problem, since Lester's brief is to sit tight and turn a blind eye.

Meanwhile, he befriends a brilliant, Internet-addled street kid with a comic-book fixation who will need a new home when the island dies. When Mancreu's fragile society erupts in violence, Lester must be more than just an observer: he has no choice but to rediscover the man of action he once was, and find out what kind of hero the island--and the boy--will need.

From the award-winning author of Angelmaker and The Gone-Away World, Tigerman is a novel at once deeply heartfelt and headlong thrilling--about parenthood, friendship and secret identities, about heroes of both the super and the everyday kind.

Make Room! Make Room!

Harry Harrison

The world is crowded. Far too crowded. Its starving billions live on lentils, soya beans, and -if they’re lucky-the odd starving rat.

In a New York City groaning under the burden of 35 million inhabitants, detective Andy Rusch is engaged in a desperate and lonely hunt for a killer everyone has forgotten. For even in a world such as this, a policeman can find himself utterly alone....

Acclaimed on its original publication in 1966, Make Room! Make Room! was adapted into the movie Soylent Green in 1973, starring Charlton Heston along with Edward G. Robinson in his last role.

The Wall

Marlen Haushofer

First published to acclaim in Germany, The Wall chronicles the life of the last surviving human on earth, an ordinary middle-aged woman who awakens one morning to find that everyone else has vanished. Assuming her isolation to be the result of a military experiment gone awry, she begins the terrifying work of survival and self-renewal. This novel is at once a simple and moving tale and a disturbing meditation on humanity.

The Ouroboros Wave

Jyouji Hayashi

Ninety years from now, a satellite detects a nearby black hole scientists dub Kali for the Hindu goddess of destruction. Humanity embarks on a generations-long project to tap the energy of the black hole, and found colonies on planets across the solar system. Earth and Mars and the moons Europa (Jupiter) and Titan (Uranus) develop radically different societies, with only Kali, that swirling vortex of destruction and creation, and the hated but crucial Artificial Accretion Disk Development association (AADD) in common.

Double Star

Robert A. Heinlein

One minute, down and out actor Lorenzo Smythe was -- as usual -- in a bar, drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes. Then a space pilot bought him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knew, he was shanghaied to Mars.

Suddenly he found himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who had been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians was at stake -- failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. And Smythe's own life was on the line -- for if he wasn't assassinated, there was always the possibility that he might be trapped in his new role forever!

Friday

Robert A. Heinlein

Friday is her name... She is as thoroughly resourceful as she is strikingly beautiful. She is one of the best interplanetary agents in the business. And she is an Artificial Person... the ultimate glory of genetic engineering.

Friday... not since Valentine Michael Smith, hero of the bestselling Stranger in a Strange Land, has Robert Heinlein created a more captivating protagonist... in a novel every bit as entertaining and exciting as this Grand Master of science fiction, now in his seventy-fifth year, has given us over his four-decade career.

Friday is a secret courier. She is employed by a man known to her only as "Boss." Operating from and over a near-future Earth, in which North America has become Balkanized into dozens of independent states, where culture has become bizarrely vulgarized and chaos is the happy norm, she finds herself on shuttlecock assignment at Boss's seemingly whimsical behest. From New Zealand to Canada, from one to another of the new states of America's disunion, she keeps her balance nimbly with quick, expeditious solutions to one calamity and scrape after another. Desperate for human identity and relationships, she is never sure whether she is one step ahead of, or one step behind, the ultimate fate of the human race.

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.

The Past Through Tomorrow

Robert A. Heinlein

For the first time, all 21 stories, novellas and novels forming Heinlein's monumental Future History are collected together here in paperback. The great achievement of this meticulous architct-of-the-future's life work lies in his unique gift to a hopeful mankind---our sturggles and our history are glorified by this extension into the far future.

  • "Life-Line", 1939; a month before "Misfit"
  • "Misfit", 1939
  • "The Roads Must Roll", 1940
  • "Requiem", 1940
  • "'If This Goes On—'", 1940
  • "Coventry", 1940
  • "Blowups Happen", 1940
  • "Universe", 1941
  • "Methuselah's Children", 1941; extended and published as a novel, 1958
  • "Logic of Empire", 1941
  • "'—We Also Walk Dogs'", 1941
  • "Space Jockey", 1947
  • "'It's Great to Be Back!'", 1947
  • "The Green Hills of Earth", 1947
  • "Ordeal in Space", 1948
  • "The Long Watch", 1948
  • "Gentlemen, Be Seated!", 1948
  • "The Black Pits of Luna", 1948
  • "Delilah and the Space Rigger", 1949
  • "The Man Who Sold the Moon", 1950
  • "The Menace From Earth", 1957
  • "Searchlight", 1962

Empty Cities of the Full Moon

Howard V. Hendrix

In a dramatically altered near-future, the world's newest technology resurrects a plague of apparent global madness that not only destroys ten thousand years of urban civilization, but also creates a world under the sway of the full moon--and a human race transformed in astonishing ways.

The Green Brain

Frank Herbert

In an overpopulated world seeking living room in the jungles, the International Ecological Organization was systematically exterminating the voracious insects which made these areas uninhabitable. Using deadly foamal bombs and newly developed vibration weapons, men like Joao Martinho and his co-workers fought to clear the green hell of the Mato Grosso.

But somehow those areas which had been completely cleared were becoming reinfested, despite the impenetrable vibration barriers. And tales came out of the jungles... of insects mutated to incredible sizes... of creatures who seemed to be men, but whose eyes gleamed with the chitinous sheen of insects....

A fascinating examination of the fragile balance between consciousness, man and insect from one of the best-loved science fiction creators of all time

The White Plague

Frank Herbert

What if women were an endangered species?

It begins in Ireland, but soon spreads throughout the entire world: a virulent new disease expressly designed to target only women. As fully half of the human race dies off at a frightening pace and life on Earth faces extinction, panicked people and governments struggle to cope with the global crisis. Infected areas are quarantined or burned to the ground. The few surviving women are locked away in hidden reserves, while frantic doctors and scientists race to find a cure. Anarchy and violence consume the planet.

The plague is the work of a solitary individual who calls himself the Madman. As government security forces feverishly hunt for the renegade scientist, he wanders incognito through a world that will never be the same. Society, religion, and morality are all irrevocably transformed by the White Plague.

The Ship

Antonia Honeywell

Welcome to London, but not as you know it.

Oxford Street burned for three weeks. The British Museum is occupied by ragtag survivors. The Regent's Park camps have been bombed. The Nazareth Act has come into force. If you can't produce your identity card, you don't exist.

Lalla, sixteen, has grown up sheltered from the new reality by her visionary father, Michael Paul. But now the chaos has reached their doorstep. Michael has promised to save them. His escape route is a ship big enough to save five hundred people. But only the worthy will be chosen.

Once on board, as day follows identical day, Lalla's unease grows. Where are they going? What does her father really want? What is the price of salvation?

Submission

Michel Houellebecq

In a near-future France, François, a middle-aged academic, is watching his life slowly dwindle to nothing. His sex drive is diminished, his parents are dead, and his lifelong obsession -- the ideas and works of the nineteenth-century novelist Joris-Karl Huysmans -- has led him nowhere. In a late-capitalist society where consumerism has become the new religion, François is spiritually barren, but seeking to fill the vacuum of his existence.

And he is not alone. As the 2022 Presidential election approaches, two candidates emerge as favourites: Marine Le Pen of the Front National, and Muhammed Ben Abbes of the nascent Muslim Fraternity. Forming a controversial alliance with the mainstream parties, Ben Abbes sweeps to power, and overnight the country is transformed. Islamic law comes into force: women are veiled, polygamy is encouraged and, for François, life is set on a new course.

Submission is both a devastating satire and a profound meditation on isolation, faith and love. It is a startling new work by one of the most provocative and prescient novelists of today.

Zero World

Jason M. Hough

Technologically enhanced superspy Peter Caswell has been dispatched on a top-secret assignment unlike any he's ever faced. A spaceship that vanished years ago has been found, along with the bodies of its murdered crew -- save one. Peter's mission is to find the missing crew member, who fled through what appears to be a tear in the fabric of space. Beyond this mysterious doorway lies an even more confounding reality: a world that seems to be Earth's twin.

Peter discovers that this mirrored world is indeed different from his home, and far more dangerous. Cut off from all support, and with only days to complete his operation, Peter must track his quarry alone on an alien world. But he's unprepared for what awaits on the planet's surface, where his skills will be put to the ultimate test -- and everything he knows about the universe will be challenged in ways he never could have imagined.

Includes the complete bonus novella The Dire Earth, a prequel to the bestselling sci-fi adventure The Darwin Elevator.

The Wanderers

Meg Howrey

In an age of space exploration, we search to find ourselves.

In four years, aerospace giant Prime Space will put the first humans on Mars. Helen Kane, Yoshihiro Tanaka, and Sergei Kuznetsov must prove they're the crew for the historic voyage by spending seventeen months in the most realistic simulation ever created. Constantly observed by Prime Space's team of "Obbers," Helen, Yoshi, and Sergei must appear ever in control. But as their surreal pantomime progresses, each soon realizes that the complications of inner space are no less fraught than those of outer space. The borders between what is real and unreal begin to blur, and each astronaut is forced to confront demons past and present, even as they struggle to navigate their increasingly claustrophobic quarters--and each other.

Astonishingly imaginative, tenderly comedic, and unerringly wise, The Wanderers explores the differences between those who go and those who stay, telling a story about the desire behind all exploration: the longing for discovery and the great search to understand the human heart.

Not on Fire, but Burning: A Novel

Greg Hrbek

Twenty-year-old Skyler saw the incident out her window: Some sort of metallic object hovering over the Golden Gate Bridge just before it collapsed and a mushroom cloud lifted above the city. Like everyone, she ran, but she couldn't outrun the radiation, with her last thoughts being of her beloved baby brother, Dorian, safe in her distant family home.

Flash forward to a post-incident America, where the country has been broken up into territories and Muslims have been herded onto the old Indian reservations in the west, even though no one has determined who set off the explosion that destroyed San Francisco. Twelve-year old Dorian dreams about killing Muslims and about his sister--even though Dorian's parents insist Skyler never existed. Are they still shell-shocked, trying to put the past behind them... or is something more sinister going on?

Meanwhile, across the street, Dorian's neighbor adopts a Muslim orphan from the territories. It will set off a series of increasingly terrifying incidents that will lead to either tragedy or redemption for Dorian, as he struggles to prove that his sister existed--and was killed by a terrorist attack.

Not on Fire, but Burning is unlike anything you're read before--not exactly a thriller, not exactly sci-fi, not exactly speculative fiction, but rather a brilliant and absorbing adventure into the dark heart of an America that seems ripped from the headlines. But just as powerfully, it presents a captivating hero: A young boy driven by love to seek the truth, even if it means his deepest beliefs are wrong.

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley's tour de force, Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a "utopian" future-where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment.

Memory of Water

Emmi Itäranta

Global warming has changed the world’s geography and its politics. Wars are waged over water, and China rules Europe, including the Scandinavian Union, which is occupied by the power state of New Qian. In this far north place, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio is learning to become a tea master like her father, a position that holds great responsibility and great secrets. Tea masters alone know the location of hidden water sources, including the natural spring that Noria’s father tends, which once provided water for her whole village.

But secrets do not stay hidden forever, and after her father’s death the army starts watching their town—and Noria. And as water becomes even scarcer, Noria must choose between safety and striking out, between knowledge and kinship.

Imaginative and engaging, lyrical and poignant, Memory of Water is an indelible novel that portrays a future that is all too possible.

Interface

Neal Stephenson
George F. Jewsbury

A near-future thriller in which a shadowy coalition bent on controlling the world economy attempts to manipulate the president of the United States through the use of a computer bio-chip implanted in his brain.

Stephen Bury is a collective pseudonym for authors Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George.

Life

Gwyneth Jones

"Life" is a richly textured fictional biography of the brilliant Anna Senoz, a scientist who makes a momentous discovery about the X and Y chromosomes. Anna's discovery provokes widespread sexual rage and impacts cruelly on her career, her marriage, and her child. Ultimately, Anna faces a challenge that the practice of science alone cannot meet.

When She Woke

Hillary Jordan

Hannah Payne's life has been devoted to church and family. But after she's convicted of murder, she awakens in a new body to a nightmarish new life. She finds herself lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes - criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime - is a sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red for the crime of murder. The victim, says the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love.

A powerful reimagining of The Scarlet Letter, When She Woke is a timely fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of the not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated, and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith and love.

Spaceman of Bohemia

Jaroslav Kalfar

Orphaned as a boy, raised in the Czech countryside by his doting grandparents, Jakub Procházka has risen from small-time scientist to become the country's first astronaut. When a dangerous solo mission to Venus offers him both the chance at heroism he's dreamt of, and a way to atone for his father's sins as a Communist informer, he ventures boldly into the vast unknown. But in so doing, he leaves behind his devoted wife, Lenka, whose love, he realizes too late, he has sacrificed on the altar of his ambitions.

Alone in Deep Space, Jakub discovers a possibly imaginary giant alien spider, who becomes his unlikely companion. Over philosophical conversations about the nature of love, life and death, and the deliciousness of bacon, the pair form an intense and emotional bond. Will it be enough to see Jakub through a clash with secret Russian rivals and return him safely to Earth for a second chance with Lenka?

Flowers for Algernon (novelette)

Daniel Keyes

Hugo Award winning story. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1959 and was reprinted in the October 1979 and May 2000 editions of that magazine. The story has been reprinted many times. It can be found in the anthologies:

The story would later be expanded to the full novel Flowers for Algernon (1966), which went on to win a Nebula Award.

Interstellar: The Official Movie Novelization

J. Gregory Keyes

THE END OF EARTH WILL NOT BE THE END OF US

From acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, this is the chronicle of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage. At stake are the fate of a planet... Earth... and the future of the human race.

The Fireman

Joe Hill

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it's Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies--before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she's discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob's dismay, Harper wants to live--at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads--armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn't as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter's jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted... and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman's secrets before her life--and that of her unborn child--goes up in smoke.

The Long Walk

Stephen King

On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as The Long Walk. If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying.

The Mist

Stephen King

The day after a strange and mysterious storm, the citizens of a small town find themselves besieged by throngs of strange, horrifying, and deadly creatures.

The Running Man

Stephen King

In the year 2025, the best men don't run for President, they run for their lives....

Ben Richards is out of work and out of luck. His eighteen-month-old daughter is sick, and neither Ben nor his wife can afford to take her to a doctor. For a man with no cash and no hope from the poor side of town, there's only one thing to do: become a contestant on one of the Network's Games, shows where you can win more money than you've ever dreamed of--or die trying. Now, Ben's going prime-time on the Network's highest-rated viewer participation show. And he's about to become prey for the masses....

Solomon's Knife

Victor Koman

Dr. Evelyn Fletcher is a surgeon caught in a maelstrom of controversy. She has secretly devised a surgical procedure that could alter the lives of millions. When the beautiful and successful Valerie Dalton walks into Fletcher's office for a routine abortion, the doctor realizes that she has found the perfect experimental subject.

Karen Chandler and her husband sought pregnancy for years with no success. They greet Fletcher's offer of a radically new procedure as a miracle. Karen, with no hesitation, agrees to undergo the clandestine surgery.

When little Renata is born and then falls deathly ill, only one person can save her life - a woman who does not even know her daughter exists. Under a barrage of media scrutiny, Valerie Dalton must face the courts with her lover in an unprecedented custody battle. Ultimately, she plumbs the depths of her shattered soul to find the answer to the conflict that rages within her and all society.

Solomon's Knife is a masterful and fiery mixture of medical thriller and courtroom drama that fuses every facet of the most violently debated issue of our age. The reality it foreshadows is only years - perhaps months - away.

The Flicker Men: A Novel

Ted Kosmatka

A quantum physicist shocks the world with a startling experiment, igniting a struggle between science and theology, free will and fate, and antagonizing forces not known to exist

Eric Argus is a washout. His prodigious early work clouded his reputation and strained his sanity. But an old friend gives him another chance, an opportunity to step back into the light.

With three months to produce new research, Eric replicates the paradoxical double-slit experiment to see for himself the mysterious dual nature of light and matter. A simple but unprecedented inference blooms into a staggering discovery about human consciousness and the structure of the universe.

His findings are celebrated and condemned in equal measure. But no one can predict where the truth will lead. And as Eric seeks to understand the unfolding revelations, he must evade shadowy pursuers who believe he knows entirely too much already.

The Games

Ted Kosmatka

This stunning first novel from Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist Ted Kosmatka is a riveting tale of science cut loose from ethics. Set in an amoral future where genetically engineered monstrosities fight each other to the death in an Olympic event, The Games envisions a harrowing world that may arrive sooner than you think.

Silas Williams is the brilliant geneticist in charge of preparing the U.S. entry into the Olympic Gladiator competition, an internationally sanctioned bloodsport with only one rule: no human DNA is permitted in the design of the entrants. Silas lives and breathes genetics; his designs have led the United States to the gold in every previous event. But the other countries are catching up. Now, desperate for an edge in the upcoming Games, Silas’s boss engages an experimental supercomputer to design the genetic code for a gladiator that cannot be beaten.

The result is a highly specialized killing machine, its genome never before seen on earth. Not even Silas, with all his genius and experience, can understand the horror he had a hand in making. And no one, he fears, can anticipate the consequences of entrusting the act of creation to a computer’s cold logic.

Now Silas races to understand what the computer has wrought, aided by a beautiful xenobiologist, Vidonia João. Yet as the fast-growing gladiator demonstrates preternatural strength, speed, and-most disquietingly-intelligence, Silas and Vidonia find their scientific curiosity giving way to a most unexpected emotion: sheer terror.

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.

The Lady Astronaut of Mars

Mary Robinette Kowal

A Finalist for the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Novelette. Thirty years ago, Elma York led the expedition that paved the way to life on Mars. For years she's been longing to go back up there, to once more explore the stars. But there are few opportunities for an aging astronaut, even the famous Lady Astronaut of Mars. When her chance finally comes, it may be too late. Elma must decide whether to stay with her sickening husband in what will surely be the final years of his life, or to have her final adventure and plunge deeper into the well of space.


Read this story online for free at Tor.com.

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

California

Edan Lepucki

The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they've left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable despite the isolation and hardships they face. Consumed by fear of the future and mourning for a past they can't reclaim, they seek comfort and solace in one other. But the tentative existence they've built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she's pregnant.

Terrified of the unknown but unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses its own dangers. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust.

A gripping and provocative debut novel by a stunning new talent,California imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind's dark nature and irrepressible resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.

Gun, With Occasional Music

Jonathan Lethem

Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems-not the least of which are the rabbit in his waiting room and the trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is an ominous place where evolved animals function as members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage. In this brave new world, Metcalf has been shadowing the wife of an affluent doctor, perhaps falling a little in love with her at the same time. But when the doctor turns up dead, our amiable investigator finds himself caught in the crossfire in a futuristic world that is both funny-and not so funny.

The Boys from Brazil

Ira Levin

The classic thriller of Dr. Josef Mengele's nightmarish plot to restore the Third Reich.

Alive and hiding in South America, the fiendish Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele gathers a group of former colleagues for a horrifying project--the creation of the Fourth Reich. Barry Kohler, a young investigative journalist, gets wind of the project and informs famed Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman, but before he can relay the evidence, Kohler is killed.

Thus Ira Levin opens one of the strangest and most masterful novels of his career. Why has Mengele marked a number of harmless aging men for murder? What is the hidden link that binds them? What interest can they possibly hold for their killers: six former SS men dispatched from South America by the most wanted Nazi still alive, the notorious "Angel of Death"? One man alone must answer these questions and stop the killings--Lieberman, himself aging and thought by some to be losing his grip on reality.

Moon of Ice

Brad Linaweaver

What if Hitler had not lost the Second World War?

After developing his own atom bomb, Hitler conquered most of Europe and Russia but reached a stalemate with America. In the ensuing cold war, Germany suffers renewed inflation and is stifled by an overstratified bureaucracy while America prospers but devolves into a fractured country of rugged individualists. This warped mirror image of our world is seen through the eyes of New York editor Alan Whittmore and through two of his publications.

Thirty years after the war's end, Hilda Goebbels, the daughter of Hitler's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and now a world-famous anarchist, threatens to release her father's long-suppressed diaries - revealing the bizarre fantasies at the core of Nazi doctrine, which could destroy the Reich.

The Wandering Earth: Classic Science Fiction Collection

Cixin Liu

"The Wandering Earth" is a collection of short stories by Cixin Liu, China's most acclaimed contemporary science-fiction author. Unabashedly classic in the great tradition of Asimov and Clarke, Cixin Liu's science-fiction is firmly rooted in the cosmic.

Cixin Liu uses the unique perspective of science-fiction to take us on a journey into this majestic, desolate cosmos. He gives us the chance to reacquaint ourselves with the fundamental truth that in the face of a vast universe we are no more than a speck of dust; That the Earth is just another celestial body – And an extremely vulnerable one at that. The flash of a gamma-ray burst or the blast of a nearby supernova could, at any moment, reduce our cherished home to nothing but ashes. It can be terrifying to contemplate the end of our world and stories that describe such destruction can be disturbing. At the same time however, they can leave us feeling not only entertained, but exhilarated and inspired. Maybe, they can even give us a chance to renew our love of life.

Most stories found in the "The Wandering Earth" collection take us to a sci-fi vision of Earth's end. But here, there are no Hollywood aliens, descending from the depths of space to blow up our cities. In these futures, the dangers humanity faces are much stranger and whimsical than that. The unexpected calamities that befall his richly detailed worlds are only eclipsed by humanity's epic, but always plausible, attempts to escape destruction.

In all this peril and doom, Cixin Liu always feels for humanity. His stories are full of a deep love for all of Earth's peoples. But even this love does not escape reflection and even ridicule when viewed through his unrelenting cosmic lens. No matter how dearly one loves the Earth, humanity and all its cultures, there is no avoiding the cold, hard truth that they mean absolutely nothing when viewed against the vastness of the universe. But even an infinite universe could not change the simple fact that we are worthy of love, that we need love. It is this twist that lies at the very heart of the stories in this collection.

The Regular

Ken Liu

Nebula-nominated Novella

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


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

The Iron Heel

Jack London

Part science fiction, part dystopian fantasy, part radical socialist tract, Jack London's The Iron Heel offers a grim depiction of warfare between the classes in America and around the globe. Originally published nearly a hundred years ago, it anticipated many features of the past century, including the rise of fascism, the emergence of domestic terrorism, and the growth of centralized government surveillance and authority. What begins as a war of words ends in scenes of harrowing violence as the state oligarchy, known as "the Iron Heel," moves to crush all opposition to its power.

Days

James Lovegrove

Originally published to unprecedented and widespread praise ('exceptional brilliance' INTERZONE, 'sharp funny and brutal' THE TIMES) DAYS has been described as a cross between JG Ballard and even Jonathan Swift. It describes one day in the life of the Days gigastore, a massive shop seven storeys high and 2.5 kilometres on a side. Within its walls you can buy anything and everything. But there is a price to be paid. A savagely funny satire on a society obsessed with consumption DAYS paints a picture of a future that is just around the corner. This is a remarkable feat of visionary writing; blackly funny, lyrical and tightly plotted. It has affirmed James Lovegrove's position as one of the key writers of fantastic fiction in the UK today.

Song of Time

Ian R. MacLeod

A man lies half-drowned on a Cornish beach at dawn in the furthest days of this century. The old woman who discovers him, once a famous concert violinist, is close to death herself... or a new kind of life she can barely contemplate.

Does death still exist at all, or has it finally been obliterated? And who is this strange man she's found? Is he a figure returned from her past, a new messiah, or an empty vessel? Is he God, or the Devil?

The Execution Channel

Ken MacLeod

Fighting has spread across the Middle East and Central Asia to the borders of China. In the US, refugees from climate-change disaster subsist in FEMA camps. Images of official executions circulate on the Internet like al Qaeda videos. State agencies sponsor conspiracy theories as cover-ups. As the troops of the last superpower stand astride the last of the oil, China and Russia aren't the only states considering their options: certain nations of Old Europe are quietly preparing for the worst.

James Travis is a middle-aged middle manager in a software company. He has a son in the army, a daughter in a peace-protest camp outside a USAF base, and a compromising relationship with a foreign intelligence service. When his cover is blown hours before a nuclear explosion destroys the base, Travis, his son, and his daughter are all in serious trouble. And as the spooks and disinformation specialists focus their efforts on his capture, Travis knows that all it will take is one mistake and his only memorial will be another grainy video on... The Execution Channel.

Station Eleven

Emily St. John Mandel

An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, from the author of three highly-acclaimed previous novels.

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

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.

Moonfall

Jack McDevitt

It's the 21st century, and all is right with the world. Or so it seems.

Vice President Charlie Haskell, who will travel anywhere for a photo op, is about to cut the ribbon for the just-completed American Moonbase. The first Mars voyage is about to leave high orbit, with a woman at the helm. Below, the world is marveling at a rare solar eclipse.

But all that is right is about to go disastrously wrong when an amateur astronomer discovers a new comet. Named for its discover, Tomikois a "sun-grazer,"an interstellar wanderer with a hundred times the mass and ten times the speed of other comets. And it is headed straight for our moon.

In less than five days, if scientists' predictions are right, Tomiko will crash into the moon, shattering it into a cloud of superheated gas, dust, and huge chunks of rock that will rain down on the earth, causing chaos and killer storms, possibly tidal waves inundating entire cities... or worse: a single apocalyptic worldwide "extinction event."

In the meantime, the population of Moonbase must be evacuated by a hastily assembled fleet of shuttle rockets. There isn't room, or time enough, for everyone. And the vice president, who rashly promised to be last off ("I will lock the door and turn off the lights"), is trying to figure out how to get away without eating his words.

Time Travelers Never Die

Jack McDevitt

When physicist Michael Shelborne mysteriously vanishes, his son Shel discovers that he had constructed a time travel device. Fearing his father may be stranded in time-or worse-Shel enlists the aid of Dave MacElroy, a linguist, to accompany him on the rescue mission.

Their journey through history takes them from the enlightenment of Renaissance Italy through the American Wild West to the civil-rights upheavals of the 20th century. Along the way, they encounter a diverse cast of historical greats, sometimes in unexpected situations. Yet the elder Shelborne remains elusive.

And then Shel violates his agreement with Dave not to visit the future. There he makes a devastating discovery that sends him fleeing back through the ages, and changes his life forever.

Brasyl

Ian McDonald

Think Bladerunner in the tropics... Be seduced, amazed, and shocked by one of the world's greatest and strangest nations. Past, present, and future Brazil, with all its color, passion, and shifting realities, come together in a novel that is part SF, part history, part mystery, and entirely enthralling.

Three separate stories follow three main characters: Edson is a self-made talent impressario one step up from the slums in a near future Sao Paulo of astonishing riches and poverty. A chance encounter draws Edson into the dangerous world of illegal quantum computing, but where can you run in a total surveillance society where every move, face, and centavo is constantly tracked.

Marcelina is an ambitious Rio TV producer looking for that big reality TV hit to make her name. When her hot idea leads her on the track of a disgraced World Cup soccer goalkeeper, she becomes enmeshed in an ancient conspiracy that threatens not just her life, but her very soul.

Father Luis is a Jesuit missionary sent into the maelstrom of 18th-century Brazil to locate and punish a rogue priest who has strayed beyond the articles of his faith and set up a vast empire in the hinterland. In the company of a French geographer and spy, what he finds in the backwaters of the Amazon tries both his faith and the nature of reality itself to the breaking point.

Three characters, three stories, three Brazils, all linked together across time, space, and reality in a hugely ambitious story that will challenge the way you think about everything.

The Dervish House

Ian McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

After the Apocalypse: Stories

Maureen F. McHugh

In her new collection, Story Prize finalist Maureen F. McHugh delves into the dark heart of contemporary life and life five minutes from now and how easy it is to mix up one with the other. Her stories are post-bird flu, in the middle of medical trials, wondering if our computers are smarter than us, wondering when our jobs are going to be outsourced overseas, wondering if we are who we say we are, and not sure what we'd do to survive the coming zombie plague.

Contents:

China Mountain Zhang

Maureen F. McHugh

'I am Zhang, alone with my light, and in that light I think for a moment that I am free.' Imagine a world: a sinocentric world where Chinese Marxism has vanquished the values of capitalism and Lenin is the prophet of choice. A cybernetic world where the new charioteers are flyers, human-powered kites dancing in the skies over New York in a brief grab at glory. A world where the opulence of Beijing marks a new cultural imperialism, as wealthy urbanites flirt with interactive death in illegal speakeasies, and where Arctic research stations and communes on Mars are haunted by their own fragile dangers.

A world of fear and hope, of global disaster and slow healing, where progress can only be found in the cracks of a crumbling hegemony. The world of Zhang. An anti-hero who's still finding his way, treading a path through a totalitarian order - a path that just might make a difference.

Nekropolis

Maureen F. McHugh

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

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

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

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

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

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

Malevil

Robert Merle

Malevil is a powerful, provocative story of a new world after a nuculear holocaust.

The Host

Stephenie Meyer

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading 'soul' who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

The City & the City

China Miéville

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Bes el, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger. Borlu must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other.

Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell

From David Mitchell, the Booker Prize nominee, award-winning writer and one of the featured authors in Granta's "Best of Young British Novelists 2003" issue, comes his highly anticipated third novel, a work of mind-bending imagination and scope.

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation -- the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity's dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.

The Bone Clocks

David Mitchell

Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as "the radio people," Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics--and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly's life, affecting all the people Holly loves--even the ones who are not yet born.

A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list--all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

The Speed of Dark

Elizabeth Moon

In the near future, disease will be a condition of the past. Most genetic defects will be removed at birth; the remaining during infancy. Unfortunately, there will be a generation left behind. For members of that missed generation, small advances will be made. Through various programs, they will be taught to get along in the world despite their differences. They will be made active and contributing members of society. But they will never be normal.

Lou Arrendale is a member of that lost generation, born at the wrong time to reap the awards of medical science. Part of a small group of high-functioning autistic adults, he has a steady job with a pharmaceutical company, a car, friends, and a passion for fencing. Aside from his annual visits to his counselor, he lives a low-key, independent life. He has learned to shake hands and make eye contact. He has taught himself to use "please" and "thank you" and other conventions of conversation because he knows it makes others comfortable. He does his best to be as normal as possible and not to draw attention to himself.

But then his quiet life comes under attack. It starts with an experimental treatment that will reverse the effects of autism in adults. With this treatment Lou would think and act and be just like everyone else. But if he was suddenly free of autism, would he still be himself? Would he still love the same classical music–with its complications and resolutions? Would he still see the same colors and patterns in the world–shades and hues that others cannot see? Most importantly, would he still love Marjory, a woman who may never be able to reciprocate his feelings? Would it be easier for her to return the love of a "normal"?

There are intense pressures coming from the world around him–including an angry supervisor who wants to cut costs by sacrificing the supports necessary to employ autistic workers. Perhaps even more disturbing are the barrage of questions within himself. For Lou must decide if he should submit to a surgery that might completely change the way he views the world... and the very essence of who he is.

Thoughtful, provocative, poignant, unforgettable, The Speed of Dark is a gripping exploration into the mind of an autistic person as he struggles with profound questions of humanity and matters of the heart.

Market Forces

Richard K. Morgan

From the award-winning author of Altered Carbon and Broken Angels a turbocharged new thriller set in a world where killers are stars, media is mass entertainment, and freedom is a dangerous proposition...

A coup in Cambodia. Guns to Guatemala. For the men and women of Shorn Associates, opportunity is calling. In the superheated global village of the near future, big money is made by finding the right little war and supporting one side against the otherin exchange for a share of the spoils. To succeed, Shorn uses a new kind of corporate gladiator: sharp-suited, hard-driving gunslingers who operate armored vehicles and follow a Samurai code. And Chris Faulkner is just the man for the job.

He fought his way out of London's zone of destitution. And his kills are making him famous. But unlike his best friend and competitor at Shorn, Faulkner has a side that outsiders cannot see: the side his wife is trying to salvage, that another womana porn star turned TV news reporteris trying to exploit. Steeped in blood, eyed by common criminals looking for a shot at fame, Faulkner is living on borrowed time. Until he's given one last shot at getting out alive....

News from Nowhere: or, An Epoch of Rest

William Morris

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

The Philosopher's Apprentice

James Morrow

A brilliant philosopher with a talent for self-destruction, Mason Ambrose gratefully accepts an offer no starving ethicist could refuse. He must travel to a private tropical island and tutor Londa Sabacthani, a beautiful, brilliant adolescent who has lost both her memory and her moral sense in a freak accident. Londa's soul is an empty vessel - and Mason's job will be to fill it.

But all is not as it seems on Isla de Sangre. Londa's reclusive mother is secretly sheltering a second child whose conscience is a blank slate. Even as the mystery deepens, Mason confronts a frightening question: What will happen when Londa, her head crammed with lofty ideals and her bank account filled to bursting, ventures out to remake our fallen world in her own image?

The Wave

Walter Mosley

Errol is awakened again by a strange prank caller asking for him by name and claiming to be his father who has been dead for several years. It feels like a surreal call from the grave, until Erroll hears the unmistakable sound of a handset being put down on a table. Curious, and not a little unnerved, he sneaks into the graveyard where his father is buried. What he finds there will change his life forever. But once Errols been touched by the Wave, a presence infecting the planet, can anything be the same again?

The Last Good Man

Linda Nagata

Scarred by war, in pursuit of truth.

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

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

Footfall

Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle

They first appear as a series of dots on astronomical plates, heading from Saturn directly toward Earth. Since the ringed planet carries no life, scientists deduce the mysterious ship to be a visitor from another star.

The world's frantic efforts to signal the aliens go unanswered. The first contact is hostile: the invaders blast a Soviet space station, seize the survivors, and then destroy every dam and installation on Earth with a hail of asteriods.

Now the conquerors are descending on the American heartland, demanding servile surrender--or death for all humans.

Oath of Fealty

Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle

In the near future, Los Angeles is an all but uninhabitable war zone, racked by crime, violence, pollution and poverty. But above the blighted city, a Utopia has arisen: Todos Santos, a thousand-foot high single-structured city, designed to use state-of-the-art technology to create a completely human-friendly environment, offering its dwellers everything they could want in exchange for their oath of allegiance and their constant surveillance.

But there are those who want to see the utopia destroyed, whose answer to tomorrow's best and brightest hope is mindless violence.

And they have just entered Todos Santos. . . .

The Next Continent

Issui Ogawa

Humanity is returning to the moon, but this time the mission is Japanese, and in private hands for commercial purposes. The year is 2025 and Otaba General Construction—a firm that has built structures to survive the Antarctic and the Sahara—has received its most daunting challenge yet. Sennosuke Touenji, the chairman of one of the world's largest leisure conglomerates, wants a moon base fit for civilian use, and he wants his granddaughter Tae to be his eyes and ears on the harsh lunar surface. Tae and Otaba engineer Aomine head to the moon where adventure, trouble, and perhaps romance await.

The Shadow Speaker

Nnedi Okorafor

Driven by vengeance. Destined for peace. Niger, West Africa, 2070: After fifteen-year old Ejii witnesses her father's beheading, her world shatters. In an era of mind-blowing technology and seductive magic, Ejii embarks on a mystical journey to track down her father's killer. With a newfound friend by her side, Ejii comes face to face with an earth turned inside out--and with her own magical powers. But Ejii soon discovers that her travels across the sands of the Sahara have a greater purpose. Her people need to be protected from a force seeking to annihilate them. And Ejii may be just the hero to do it. This futuristic, fantastical adventure heralds a bright new talent on the YA fantasy scene.

Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey

Chuck Palahniuk

Buster "Rant" Casey just may be the most efficient serial killer of our time. A high school rebel, Rant Casey escapes from his small town home for the big city where he becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his short, violent life. With hilarity, horror, and blazing insight, Rant is a mind-bending vision of the future, as only Chuck Palahniuk could ever imagine.

Emergence

David R. Palmer

This is the saga of Candy Smith-Foster, a brilliant, witty girl on the verge of womanhood, survivor of a bionuclear war that destroyed most of humanity, first of a new stage in human evolution--homo post hominem. EMERGENCE is the story of her turbulent odyssey across a scarred America seeking others of her kind and a new future for the people of Earth.

Version Control

Dexter Palmer

Rebecca Wright has reclaimed her life, finding her way out of her grief and depression following a personal tragedy years ago. She spends her days working in customer support for the internet dating site where she first met her husband. But she has a strange, persistent sense that everything around her is somewhat off-kilter: she constantly feels as if she has walked into a room and forgotten what she intended to do there; on TV, the President seems to be the wrong person in the wrong place; her dreams are full of disquiet.

Meanwhile, her husband's decade-long dedication to his invention, the causality violation device (which he would greatly prefer you not call a "time machine") has effectively stalled his career and made him a laughingstock in the physics community. But he may be closer to success than either of them knows or can possibly imagine.

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.

The Necessary Beggar

Susan Palwick

Praised as "a deeply felt, deeply moving tale . . . chilling and finely tuned" (Publishers Weekly), Susan Palwick's first novel Flying in Place won widespread acclaim for its haunting exploration of a troubled childhood. Now, after a decade, Palwick returns with the powerful tale of a family cast out of an idyllic realm, learning to live in our own troubled world--an exciting and insightful examination of humanity in the spirit of Ursula Le Guin's The Disposessed and Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.

Lémabantunk, the Glorious City, is a place of peace and plenty. But it is also a land of swift and severe justice. Young Darroti has been accused of the murder of a highborn woman who had chosen the life of a Mendicant, a holy beggar whose blessing brings forgiveness. Now his entire family must share his shame, and his punishment--exile to an unknown world.

Grieving for the life they have left behind, Darroti and his family find themselves in a hostile land--an all-too-familiar American future, a country under attack in a world torn by hatred and war. There, each tries to cope in their own way. Some will surrender to despair. Some will strive to preserve the old ways. Some will be lured by the new world's temptations. And some, sustained by extraordinary love, will find a way to heal the family's grief and give them hope.

Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance

Paul Park

Nebula-nominated Novella

A Confederate veteran revisits a haunted battleground outside of Petersburg, Virginia. Many years later, his great-grandson returns obsessively to a mansion (now a museum) in southern Vermont, the scene of an unsolved murder. In the late eighteenth century, in eastern Connecticut, a separatist minister receives a visit from a flying saucer, while, coincidentally, a young officer takes the stand at his own court-martial in 1919. Not a hundred and fifty years further on, a beautiful young woman self-destructs in New York State, while two hundred miles and a mere generation away, an old woman dances on a cold Rhode Island beach.

In Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance, Paul Park braids these and other seemingly mutually exclusive strands, and the resulting text, part memoir and part fiction, could serve as a last will and testament not only for Park himself, but also for John Crowley and Elizabeth Hand, old friends who, through a series of oversights, have guided it towards publication.

Revision

Andrea Phillips

Mira is a trust fund baby playing at making it on her own as a Brooklyn barista. When Benji, her tech startup boyfriend, dumps her out of the blue, she decides a little revenge vandalism is in order. Mira updates his entry on Verity, Benji's Wikipedia-style news aggregator, to say the two have become engaged. Hours later, he shows up at her place with an engagement ring. Chalk it up to coincidence, right?

Soon after, Benji's long-vanished co-founder Chandra shows up asking for Mira's help. She claims Verity can nudge unlikely events into really happening -- even change someone's mind. And Chandra insists that Verity -- and Mira's newly minted fiance -- can't be trusted.

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 Fall

R. J. Pineiro

In R. J. Pineiro's The Fall, a sci-fi thriller, a man jumps from the upper-most reaches of the atmosphere and vanishes, ending up on an alternate Earth where he died five years earlier.

Jack Taylor has always been an adrenaline junkie. As a federal contractor, he does dangerous jobs for the government that fall out of the realm of the SEALS and the Marines. And this next job is right up his alley. Jack has been assigned to test an orbital jump and if it works, the United States government will have a new strategy against enemy countries.

Despite Jack's soaring career, his personal life is in shambles. He and his wife Angela are both workaholics and are on the verge of getting a divorce. But the night before his jump, Jack and Angela begin to rekindle their romance and their relationship holds promise for repair. Then comes the day of Jack's big jump. He doesn't burn up like some predicted--instead, he hits the speed of sound and disappears.

Jack wakes up in an alternate universe. One where he died during a mission five years earlier and where Angela is still madly in love with him. But in this world, his boss, Pete, has turned to the dark side, is working against him, and the government is now on his tail. Jack must return to his own world but the only way for him to do that is to perform another orbital jump. This time is more difficult though--no one wants to see him go.

Jack's adrenaline is contagious--The Fall will keep readers on the edges of their seats, waiting to find out what crazy stunt Jack will perform next and to learn the fate of this charming, daredevil hero.

Salvage and Demolition

Tim Powers

Richard Blanzac, a San Francisco-based rare book dealer, opens a box of consignment items and encounters the unexpected: there, among an assortment of literary rarities, he discovers a manuscript in verse, an Ace Double Novel, and a scattering of very old cigarette butts. These commonplace objects serve as catalysts for an extraordinary -- and unpredictable -- adventure.

Without warning, Blanzac finds himself traversing a "circle of discontinuity" that leads from the present day to the San Francisco of 1957. Caught up in that circle are an ancient Sumerian deity, a forgotten Beat-era poet named Sophie Greenwald, and an apocalyptic cult in search of the key to absolute non-existence.

One of the frequently referenced items in this story is an Ace Double published in, or just before, 1957 with Seconds of Arc on one side and What Vast Image on the flip side. Both stories are by Daniel Gropeshaw. Later in the story, we learn the author name is an anagram, and a pseudonym, for Sophia Greenwald. While Salvage and Demolition author Tim Powers often weaves his stories around established facts, Sophia Greenwald and her stories are apparently fictional.

Page 6 of the Subterranean Press edition has a black and white photograph of the contents of a cardboard box that includes a copy of the Ace Double Seconds of Arc by "Daniel Gropeshaw." The cover on the book shown in the photograph is the same as the one for the story A Man Called Destiny in the Ace Double D-311. The photograph also shows the book's spine with What Vast Image being visible as the other title, though the artist forgot to flip it. Page 13 describes the flip side of the fictional Ace Double as "green and yellow -- giant lizards chasing men in a jungle with What Vast Image in lurid lettering across the top." This description does not match the flip side of Ace D-311. Assuming it's not entirely fictional, the author may be describing the cover of The Mind Monsters on the Ace double G-602 or Eye of the Monster on the Ace Double F-147.

Fugue for a Darkening Island

Christopher Priest

Fugue - a glimpse into the future of Britain.

At a time when the country is caught by civil conflict between a right-wing government and the liberal element, a third group arrives – refugee Africans from a continent devastated by nuclear attack. The country is ripe for a three-way civil war. Total breakdown in communications quickly follows and a nightmare situation grips the community.

Alan Whitman, the central character of this frightening story, represents the view of the man-in-the-street. How will he cope with this situation when he has opted out all his life, from political, personal and moral decisisons?

Dark Future: Route 666

David Pringle

Table of Contents:

  • 5 - Route 666 - (1990) - novella by Kim Newman [as by Jack Yeovil ]
  • 59 - Kid Zero and Snake Eyes - (1990) - shortstory by Brian Stableford [as by Brian Craig ]
  • 73 - Ghost Town - (1990) - novelette by Neil Jones
  • 101 - Duel Control - (1990) - novelette by Myles Burnham
  • 127 - Thicker Than Water - (1990) - novelette by Brian Stableford [as by Brian Craig ]
  • 159 - Maverick Son - (1990) - novelette by Neil McIntosh
  • 183 - Four-Minute Warning - (1990) - novelette by Myles Burnham
  • 209 - Only in the Twilight - (1990) - novelette by Brian Stableford [as by Brian Craig ]
  • 231 - Uptown Girl - (1990) - novelette by William King

The Doomsday Equation

Matt Richtel

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author of A Deadly Wandering comes a pulse-pounding technological thriller - as ingenious as the works of Michael Crichton and as urgent and irresistible as an episode of 24 - in which one man has three days to prevent annihilation: the outbreak of World War III.

Computer genius Jeremy Stillwater has designed a machine that can predict global conflicts and ultimately head them off. But he's a stubborn guy, very sure of his own genius, and has wound up making enemies, and even seen his brilliant invention discredited.

There's nowhere for him to turn when the most remarkable thing happens: his computer beeps with warning that the outbreak of World War III is imminent, three days and counting.

Alone, armed with nothing but his own ingenuity, he embarks on quest to find the mysterious and powerful nemesis determined to destroy mankind. But enemies lurk in the shadows waiting to strike. Could they have figured out how to use Jeremy, and his invention, for their own evil ends?

Before he can save billions of lives, Jeremy has to figure out how to save his own...

The Stone War

Madeleine E. Robins

John Tietjen loves New York City like life itself. But while he's out of town at a conference, confused reports come out of the city. Millions of refugees are streaming out, each bearing contradictory tales of fire, earthquake, explosions, collapse.Making his perilous way back, he gathers a few survivors and establishes a shelter. But the full nature of the catastrophe is still unclear. As he re-homesteads the city he loves, and wonders whether help from outside will ever come, John will come face-to-face with the terrible truth, and with his unique chance to redeem it.

Antarctica

Kim Stanley Robinson

A stark and inhospitable place, its landscape poses a challenge to survival; yet its strange, silent beauty has long fascinated scientists and adventurers. Now Antarctica faces an uncertain future. The international treaty that protects the continent is about to dissolve, clearing the way for Antarctica's resources and eerie beauty to be plundered. As politicians and corporations move to determine its fate from half a world away, radical environmentalists carry out a covert campaign of sabotage to reclaim the land. The winner of this critical battle will determine the future for this last great wilderness....

New York 2140

Kim Stanley Robinson

The waters rose, submerging New York City.

But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever.

Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.

Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides.

And how we too will change.

Venice Drowned

Kim Stanley Robinson

Nebula Award nominated short story. It was originally published in the anthology Universe 11 (1981), edited by Terry Carr. It can also be found in the anthologies, The Best Science Fiction of the Year #11 (1982), edited by Terry Carr, Nebula Award Stories Seventeen (1985), edited by Joe Haldeman and Drowned Worlds (2016), edtied by Jonathan Strahan. It is included in the collections The Planet on the Table (1986), Remaking History and Other Stories (1994), Vinland the Dream and Other Stories (2002) and The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson (2010).

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?

Spare Parts

Sally Rogers-Davidson

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

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

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

Depth

Lev A. C. Rosen

When the polar ice caps melted, America's East Coast became an underwater graveyard - except for New York City. Today, a million people make their home among the skyscrapers poking through the ocean waves. A million people who like to live by their own rules - including Simone Pierce, one of the best private investigators in the city.

It starts out as a routine surveillance job: cheating husband, attractive blonde. Something feels off, though, and when the husband turns up floating in the water with a hole in him, the cops like Simone for the murder. If she can just find the blonde, she'll clear her name, but instead she stumbles onto a strange network of power brokers and art collectors, all looking for a treasure that can't possibly exist. As she struggles to find the murderer, Simone is only sure of one thing: she can't trust anybody, not even herself, because the city she grew up in might have more secrets than even she knows.

Feature Development for Social Networking

Benjamin Rosenbaum

Critically acclaimed and Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominated author Benjamin Rosenbaum makes his first appearance on Tor.com with an epistolary storyof a sort. Rosenbaum is a software developer by trade, which gives him precisely the right background to think through the implications of how fantastical tropes might alter a familiar technology that many of us use every day. Not to mention the fact that he and his family play a ton of Pandemic, and that all of his friends had already written zombie stories, and he was feeling a bit left out . Whatever the genesis, the result is a delightful and cheeky look into an all-too-plausible future.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Echea

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Asimov-winning, Hugo-, Nebula-, Sturgeon-, and Locus-nominated Novelette

Sarah thinks she has the perfect family. She and her husband decide to share that perfection with Echea, an orphan from the Moon Wars. But after Sarah adopts Echea, she realizes that Echea has problems. Serious problems. Problems that might change Sarah's entire family. Forever.

A hauntingly unforgettable story about the choices parents must make for their children, "Echea" won the Asimov's and Homer Readers' Choice Awards and placed as a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and Locus awards.

Millennium Babies

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Hugo-winning Novelette

From the moment of her birth, Brooke Cross was a loser. Conceived to win a First Baby of the Millennium contest, Brooke came five minutes late. Her mother never let her forget it. So Brooke, estranged from her mother, became a history professor and tries to live in obscurity. Until Professor Eldon Franke recruits her for a study of Millennium Babies, a study that will change her life.

Recovering Apollo 8

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Sidewise-winning and Hugo-nominated Novella

In a world where Apollo 8 veered tragically off course, the event sent the astronauts, and the space program, hurtling into space, lost and helpless. The tragedy so affected eight-year-old Richard Johansenn that he dedicates his life -- and the fortune he amasses along the way -- to recovering the capsule. But Richard's quest proves more complicated than a simple recovery mission, causing him to question the meaning of life, the meaning of death and the heroisms in between.

Snipers

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Carnival Sniper - as famous as Jack The Ripper. And like Jack The Ripper, never caught, his identity lost to history.

In 1913, the Carnival Sniper terrorized Vienna, murdering the famous and not-so-famous alike. Police Detective Johann Runge never caught the Sniper and his failure defined the rest of his life.

In 2005, bestselling crime writer Sofie Branstadter receives permission to use modern forensic investigative techniques on the Sniper's victims. She believes she can figure out the identity of the Sniper, but she needs the help of Runge's great-grandson, classical pianist Anton Runge.

Together, the two of them plunge into a world of scientific evidence and fantastic clues, all leading to one unbelievable conclusion.

Sleep Donation

Karen Russell

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Swamplandia!, and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, an imaginative and haunting novella about an insomnia epidemic set in the near future.

A crisis has swept America. Hundreds of thousands have lost the ability to sleep. Enter the Slumber Corps, an organization that urges healthy dreamers to donate sleep to an insomniac. Under the wealthy and enigmatic Storch brothers the Corps’ reach has grown, with outposts in every major US city. Trish Edgewater, whose sister Dori was one of the first victims of the lethal insomnia, has spent the past seven years recruiting for the Corps. But Trish’s faith in the organization and in her own motives begins to falter when she is confronted by “Baby A,” the first universal sleep donor, and the mysterious “Donor Y.”

Sleep Donation explores a world facing the end of sleep as we know it, where “Night Worlds” offer black market remedies to the desperate and sleep deprived, and where even the act of making a gift is not as simple as it appears.

Fragment

Craig Russell

When avalanching glaciers thrust a massive Antarctic ice sheet into the open ocean, the captain of an atomic submarine must risk his vessel to rescue the survivors of a smashed polar research station; in Washington the President's top advisor scrambles to spin the disaster to suit his master's political aims; and meanwhile two intrepid newsmen sail south into the storm-lashed Drake Passage to discover the truth.

Onboard the submarine, as the colossal ice sheet begins its drift toward South America and the world begins to take notice, scientists uncover a secret that will threaten the future of America's military power and change the fate of humanity.

And beneath the human chaos one brave Blue Whale fights for the survival of his species.

Air

Geoff Ryman

When the UN decides to test the radical new technology Air, Mae is boiling laundry and chatting with elderly Mrs Tung. The massive surge of Air energy swamps them, and when the test is finished, Mrs Tung is dead, and Mae has absorbed her 90 years of memories. Rocked by the unexpected deaths and disorientation, the UN delays fully implementing Air, but Mae sees at once that her way of life is ending. Half-mad, struggling with information overload, the resentment of much of the village, and a complex family situation, she works fiercely to learn what she needs to ride the tiger of change.

The Child Garden

Geoff Ryman

In the city of the future, humans photosynthesize, viruses educate people, organics have replaced electronics... and almost no one lives past forty. In the city of the future, Milena is resistant to the viruses. She is barred from the Consensus. She has Bad Grammar. In the city of the future, Milena feels alone. In the city of the future, Milena meets Rolfa, the huge and hirsute Genetically Engineered Polar Woman. And might, just might, find a place for herself after all...

Super Extra Grande

Yoss

With playfulness and ingenuity in the tradition of Douglas Adams, the Cuban science fiction master Yoss delivers a space opera of intergalactic proportions with Super Extra Grande, the winner of the 20th annual UPC Science Fiction Award in 2011.

Set in a distant future, after the invention of faster-than-light space travel has propelled a still-immature mankind into the far corners of the Milky Way, the novel features creatures of immense variety--amoebas that cover entire worlds, sensual females that feed on substances from their males' reproductive systems, talking reptiles, and other creations drawn from the classics of Cuban and international science fiction--all of which serve as colleagues, fellow adventurers, sex partners, teachers, or members of the military high command in the Galactic Community governing this part of the universe. Our protagonist, Jan Amos Sangan Dongo, has a special role in this otherworldly menagerie: He is a veterinarian who specializes in treating enormous animals across the galaxy. When a colonial conflict threatens the fragile peace between the Galaxy's seven intelligent species, Dr. Sangan must embark on a daring mission to enter a gigantic creature and find two swallowed ambassadors--who also happen to be his competing love interests.

Coupling his own extensive studies in (earthly) biology with his vast curiosity and wild imagination, Yoss brings us a rare specimen in the richly parodic tradition of Cuban science fiction.

Calculating God

Robert J. Sawyer

Calculating God is the new near-future SF thriller from the popular and award-winning Robert J. Sawyer. An alien shuttle craft lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. A six-legged, two-armed alien emerges, who says, in perfect English, "Take me to a paleontologist."

It seems that Earth, and the alien's home planet, and the home planet of another alien species traveling on the alien mother ship, all experienced the same five cataclysmic events at about the same time (one example of these "cataclysmic events" would be the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs). Both alien races believe this proves the existence of God: i.e. he's obviously been playing with the evolution of life on each of these planets.

From this provocative launch point, Sawyer tells a fast-paced, and morally and intellectually challenging, SF story that just grows larger and larger in scope. The evidence of God's universal existence is not universally well received on Earth, nor even immediately believed. And it reveals nothing of God's nature. In fact. it poses more questions than it answers.

When a supernova explodes out in the galaxy but close enough to wipe out life on all three home-worlds, the big question is, Will God intervene or is this the sixth cataclysm?

Calculating God is SF on the grand scale.

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.

Flashforward

Robert J. Sawyer

A scientific experiment begins, and as the button is pressed, the unexpected occurs: everyone in the world goes to sleep for a few moments while everyone's consciousness is catapulted more than twenty years into the future. At the end of those moments, when the world reawakens, all human life is transformed by foreknowledge.

Frameshift

Robert J. Sawyer

Geneticist Pierre Tardivel may not have long to live-he's got a fifty-fifty chance of having the gene for Huntington's disease. But if his DNA is tragic, his girlfriend's is astonishing: Molly Bond has a mutation that gives her telepathy. Both of them have attracted the interest of Pierre's boss, Dr. Burian Klimus, a senior researcher in the Human Genome Project who just might be hiding a horrific past. Avi Meyer, a dogged Nazi hunter, thinks Klimus was the monstrous "Ivan the Terrible" of the Treblinka Death Camp.

As Pierre races against the ticking clock of his own DNA to make a world-changing scientific breakthrough, Avi also races against time to bring Klimus to justice before the last survivors of Treblinka pass away.

Quantum Night

Robert J. Sawyer

Experimental psychologist Jim Marchuk has developed a flawless technique for identifying the previously undetected psychopaths lurking everywhere in society. But while being cross-examined about his breakthrough in court, Jim is shocked to discover that he has lost his memories of six months of his life from twenty years previously--a dark time during which he himself committed heinous acts.

Jim is reunited with Kayla Huron, his forgotten girlfriend from his lost period and now a quantum physicist who has made a stunning discovery about the nature of human consciousness. As a rising tide of violence and hate sweeps across the globe, the psychologist and the physicist combine forces in a race against time to see if they can do the impossible--change human nature--before the entire world descends into darkness.

Rollback

Robert J. Sawyer

Dr. Sarah Halifax decoded the first-ever radio transmission received from aliens. Thirty-eight years later, a second message is received and Sarah, now 87, may hold the key to deciphering this one, too... if she lives long enough.

A wealthy industrialist offers to pay for Sarah to have a rollback-a hugely expensive experimental rejuvenation procedure. She accepts on condition that Don, her husband of sixty years, gets a rollback, too. The process works for Don, making him physically twenty-five again. But in a tragic twist, the rollback fails for Sarah, leaving her in her eighties.

While Don tries to deal with his newfound youth and the suddenly vast age gap between him and his wife, Sarah struggles to do again what shed done once before: figure out what a signal from the stars contains.

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.

Triggers

Robert J. Sawyer

On the eve of a secret military operation, an assassin's bullet strikes President Seth Jerrison. He is rushed to the hospital, where surgeons struggle to save his life.

At the same hospital, researcher Dr. Ranjip Singh is experimenting with a device that can erase traumatic memories.

Then a terrorist bomb detonates. In the operating room, the president suffers cardiac arrest. He has a near-death experience-but the memories that flash through Jerrison's mind are not his memories.

It quickly becomes clear that the electromagnetic pulse generated by the bomb amplified and scrambled Dr. Singh's equipment, allowing a random group of people to access one another's minds.

And now one of those people has access to the president's memories- including classified information regarding the upcoming military mission, which, if revealed, could cost countless lives. But the task of determining who has switched memories with whom is a daunting one- particularly when some of the people involved have reason to lie...

Metatropolis

John Scalzi

Five original tales set in a shared urban future-from some of the hottest young writers in modern SF

A strange man comes to an even stranger encampment... a bouncer becomes the linchpin of an unexpected urban movement... a courier on the run has to decide who to trust in a dangerous city... a slacker in a "zero-footprint" town gets a most unusual new job...and a weapons investigator uses his skills to discover a metropolis hidden right in front of his eyes.

Welcome to the future of cities. Welcome to Metatropolis.

More than an anthology, Metatropolis is the brainchild of five of science fiction's hottest writers-Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Karl Schroeder, and project editor John Scalzi--who combined their talents to build a new urban future, and then wrote their own stories in this collectively-constructed world. The results are individual glimpses of a shared vision, and a reading experience unlike any you've had before.

Replica

Lauren Oliver

Two girls, two stories, one epic novel.

From Lauren Oliver, New York Times best-selling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity. Replica contains two narratives in one: Lyra's story and Gemma's story. The stories can be listened to separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey.

Lyra's story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects - Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72 - manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family's past and discovers her father's mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Using a downloadable enhancement, listeners can decide how they would like to listen to the audiobook, as with the print version. They can listen to the story of Gemma or Lyra straight through first, followed by the other girl's story, or they can move between chapters in Lyra's and Gemma's sections. No matter how it is listened to, Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.

Journey Beyond Tomorrow

Robert Sheckley

Once man had ruled Earth. His intelligence and skill had multiplied his power a billion times. He was supreme..........

But that was long ago, before technology had become master of its creator. Now a monstruous tyranny had risen, its shadow falling over every moment of every life..........

How could Jones hope to defeat this overwhelming force? What chance had one lone man against the vast tidal wave of unreason about to swallow up all mankind?

JOURNEY BEYOND TOMORROW, tells the tale of a Picaresque journey through an imagined future taken by a naive and innocent man unprepared for the wonders and oddities he encounters. Sheckley examines the present through the distorting lens of a future wonderfully skewed from and yet darkly, hilariously similar to our own world.

Also published under the title The Journey of Joenes.

The Screwfly Solution

Raccoona Sheldon
James Tiptree, Jr.

This Nebula-winning and Hugo-nominated novelette was collected in Out of the Everywhere and Other Extraordinary Visions (1981) and Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (1990) and anthologized in The 1978 Annual World's Best SF (1978), Nebula Winners Thirteen (1980), and Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology (2015).


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

Born With the Dead: Three Novellas

Robert Silverberg

For Born with the Dead:

His wife was among the rekindled dead now. He'd heard that she was on a plane to Zanzibar with five other rekindled dead. As a "warm" he was not really allowed to make contact with her. The dead liked to stay in their cold-cities. But he'd loved her so much when she was alive, he just had to try.

Contents:

  • Born with the Dead - (1974) - novella by Robert Silverberg
  • Thomas the Proclaimer - (1972) - novella by Robert Silverberg
  • Going - (1971) - novella by Robert Silverberg

The Alien Years

Robert Silverberg

It Was The Worst of Times...

Fifteen feet tall, the Entities land in cities across Earth. Ignoring humankind, they wall themselves in impenetrable enclaves, enslaving a few willing collaborators with their telepathic PUSH. Then they plunge humans into a new Dark Age without electricity, allowing us to live--but no longer as a dominant species.

But a few refuse to submit to fate, including the Carmichael family, whose patriarch, an aging colonel devoted to resistance, will inspire a daring new generation of dissidents. United in spirit, these diverse rebels--an aging hippie, a cold-blooded Muslim assassin, a prodigal son, and a renegade hacker--will carry on the colonel's legacy as they attempt to kill the mysterious Prime Entity and free the planet.

The Masks of Time

Robert Silverberg

Vornan-19 fell from the sky, naked, and landed on the Spanish steps in Rome on Christmas afternoon toward the end of the Millennium. And for Leo Garfield things would never be the same. For he is an acknowledged expert in the time reversal properties of sub-atomic particles... and Vornan-19 claims to come from far in the future. Whether or not he is telling the truth, a nervous and edgy world accepts the charming and magnetically charismatic Vornan as some kind of messiah. Even Garfield and his fellow scientists fall under Vornan's spell. But, has he really traveled across time -- or is he just a charlatan and a fraud?

The Stochastic Man

Robert Silverberg

Lew Nichols is in the business of stochastic prediction. A mixture of sophisticated analysis and inspired guesswork, it is the nearest man can get to predicting the future. And Nichols is very good at it. So good that he is soon indispensable to Paul Quinn, the ambitious and charismatic mayor of New York whose sights are firmly set on the presidency. But there is nothing paranormal about stochastic prediction: Nichols can't actually see the future. However, Martin Carvajal apparently can and he offers to help Nichols do so too. It's an offer Nichols can't resist, even though he can clearly see the devastating impact that knowing in advance every act of his life has on Carvajal. For Carvajal has even seen his own death.

Flashback

Dan Simmons

The United States is near total collapse. But 87% of the population doesn't care: they're addicted to flashback, a drug that allows its users to re-experience the best moments of their lives. After ex-detective Nick Bottom's wife died in a car accident, he went under the flash to be with her; he's lost his job, his teenage son, and his livelihood as a result.

Nick may be a lost soul but he's still a good cop, so he is hired to investigate the murder of a top governmental advisor's son. This flashback-addict becomes the one man who may be able to change the course of an entire nation turning away from the future to live in the past.

A provocative novel set in a future that seems scarily possible, FLASHBACK proves why Dan Simmons is one of our most exciting and versatile writers.

The Blood of Angels

Johanna Sinisalo

The phenomenon of colony-collapse disorder, the sudden mass disappearance of bees, has become so widespread that much of the world – although not, as yet, Finland – is facing agricultural and ecological disaster.

Amateur beekeeper Orvo, devastated by the recent death of his eco-warrior son, finds two of his hives deserted and begins to fear that the 'epidemic' has reached Scandinavia. Then, in the attic of the old barn, he makes a mystical and frightening discovery: a pathway to a parallel world. Is it a hallucination stimulated by sorrow and loss – or is it something very real and connected with the bees' disappearance? His research teaches him that in practically every culture bees are viewed as half-supernatural messengers that can travel between worlds and are associated with resurrection and the afterlife. He begins to wonder if this portal could reunite him with his dead son and whether he can himself escape the ecological meltdown of this world.

The Blood of Angels reworks the Orpheus myth while analysing modern man's need to deny his mortality and raise himself above the rest of nature, to compare himself to the angels – but at what price?

The Abyss Surrounds Us

Emily Skrutskie

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She's been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the giant, genetically engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas's first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas's dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup and teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

Marrow Island

Alexis M. Smith

What would you give to save the thing you love the most?

It has been twenty years since Lucie Bowen left the islands. Twenty years ago, the May Day Quake set loose catastrophic waves along the west coast, from Alaska to California, shattering thousands of lives. Twenty years ago, Lucie's father disappeared in an explosion at the Marrow Island oil refinery, a tragedy that destroyed the island's ecosystem and sent Lucie and her mother to the mainland to start anew. Twenty years ago, Lucie and her best friend, Katie, were just Puget Sound children, tucked up under their desks, hovering under mylar sheets, hoping to survive.

Now, Katie writes with strange and miraculous news. Marrow Island is no longer uninhabitable, no longer abandoned. She is part of a community, a mysterious Colony, that has, somehow, conjured life again from Marrow's soil. Lucie returns. Her journalist instincts tell her there's more to the Colony and their charismatic leader--a former nun with an all-consuming plan--than its members want her to know. The island's astonishing rebirth seems to have come at great cost--perhaps to the colonists themselves. As she uncovers their secrets, will Lucie endanger more than their mission? What price will she pay for the truth?

I was always a part of you, and you were always a part of me, Katie writes. And in this marvelously spun story Alexis Smith reaches into the depths of our connections to our pasts, our loved ones, our devotions. Our choices may bring us to the brink, but within our promises to each other and our hopes for the future, at the intersection of science and faith and grace, there may well be miracles in the making.

Forge of the Elders

L. Neil Smith

This is an omnibus edition of First Time the Charm (variant of Contact and Commune), Second to One (variant of Converse and Conflict), and Third Among Equals.

Just when the 21st century thought it was safe to throw Marxism on the ash heap of history once and for all, a worldwide economic collapse suddenly made freedom seem less desirable than security, and the Total State turned out to be the comeback kid. In the US, where the power elite had long shown heartfelt affection for collectivism and making the trains (nationalized, of course) run on time, communism had a second coming. Which meant that Earth was now the Red Planet. The few holdouts and counterrevolutionaries would be dealt with in good time.

Of course, collectivization only made the worldwide depression worse. But then the People's Astronomers noticed an asteroid with unusual spectrographic properties, seemingly a treasure trove of valuable minerals that might rejuvenate the Earth's economy. So three aged NASA shuttles were pulled out of mothballs. crewed by a team of handpicked misfits whom no one would miss, and sent to the asteroid.

However, someone else was there first, under an airtight canopy made by genetically engineered trees. And they weren't human, even if they were from Earth. The Elders were "nautiloids," like intelligent giant squids in Volkswagen-sized shells, from a parallel universe where they were Earth's dominant species. Worst of all, they were CAPITALISTS!

Arkwright

Allen Steele

Written by a highly regarded expert on space travel and exploration, Allen Steele's Arkwright features the precision of hard science fiction with a compelling cast of characters. In the vein of classic authors such as Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke, Nathan Arkwright is a seminal author of the twentieth century. At the end of his life he becomes reclusive and cantankerous, refusing to appear before or interact with his legion of fans. Little did anyone know, Nathan was putting into motion his true, timeless legacy.

Convinced that humanity cannot survive on Earth, his Arkwright Foundation dedicates itself to creating a colony on an Earth-like planet several light years distant. Fueled by Nathan's legacy, generations of Arkwrights are drawn together, and pulled apart, by the enormity of the task and weight of their name.

This is classic, epic science fiction and engaging character-driven storytelling, which will appeal to devotees of the genre as well as fans of current major motion pictures such as Gravity and Interstellar.

Cryptonomicon

Neal Stephenson

In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse - mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy - is assigned to detachment 2702. It is an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists, and some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. The mission of Watrehouse and Detatchment 2702-commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe-is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy's fabled Enigma code. It is a game, a cryptographic chess match between Waterhouse and his German counterpart, translated into action by the gung-ho Shaftoe and his forces.

Fast-forward to the present, where Waterhouse's crypto-hacker grandson, Randy, is attempting to create a "data haven" in Southeast Asia - a place where encrypted data can be stored and exchanged free of repression and scrutiny. As governments and multinationals attack the endeavor, Randy joins forces with Shaftoe's tough-as-nails grandaughter, Amy, to secretly salvage a sunken Nazi sumarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat. But soon their scheme brings to light a massive conspiracy with its roots in Detachment 2702 linked to an unbreakable Nazi code called Arethusa. And it will represent the path to unimaginable riches and a future of personal and digital liberty...or to universal totalitarianism reborn.

Reamde

Neal Stephenson

In 1972, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, fled to the mountains of British Columbia to avoid the draft. A skilled hunting guide, he eventually amassed a fortune by smuggling marijuana across the border between Canada and Idaho. As the years passed, Richard went straight and returned to the States after the U.S. government granted amnesty to draft dodgers. He parlayed his wealth into an empire and developed a remote resort in which he lives. He also created T'Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of fans around the world.

But T'Rain's success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player's electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game's virtual universe-and Richard is at ground zero.

Zodiac

Neal Stephenson

Sangamon Taylor's a New Age Sam Spade who sports a wet suit instead of a trench coat and prefers Jolt from the can to Scotch on the rocks. He knows about chemical sludge the way he knows about evil -- all too intimately. And the toxic trail he follows leads to some high and foul places. Before long Taylor's house is bombed, his every move followed, he's adopted by reservation Indians, moves onto the FBI's most wanted list, makes up with his girlfriend, and plays a starring role in the near-assassination of a presidential candidate.

Closing the case with the aid of his burnout roomate, his tofu-eating comrades, three major networks, and a range of unconventional weaponry, Sangamon Taylor pulls off the most startling caper in Boston Harbor since the Tea Party. As he navigates this ecological thriller with hardboiled wit and the biggest outboard motor he can get his hands on, Taylor reveals himself as one of the last of the white-hatted good guys in a very toxic world.

Distraction

Bruce Sterling

From Bruce Sterling, bestselling author of Heavy Weather and Holy Fire, comes this startling, disturbing, and darkly comic vision of the future of America. It is the story of a once great nation coming apart at the seams while an unending spectacle of politics, science, sex, and corruption has everyone too busy to notice....

It's November 2044, an election year, and the state of the Union is a farce. The federal government is broke, cities are privately owned, the military is shaking down citizens in the streets, and Wyoming is on fire. The last place anyone expects to find an answer is the nation's capital.

Washington has become a circus and no one knows that better than Oscar Valparaiso. A master political spin doctor, Oscar has been in the background for years, doing his best to put the proper spin on anything that comes up. Now he wants to do something quite unusual in politics. He wants to make a difference. But Oscar has a skeleton in his closet: a grotesque and unspeakable scandal that haunts his personal life.

He has one unexpected ally: Dr. Greta Penninger. She is a gifted neurologist at the bleeding edge of the neural revolution. Together Oscar and Greta know the human mind inside and out. And they are about to use that knowledge to spread a very powerful message: that it's a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It's an idea whose time has come...again. And once again so have its enemies: every technofanatic, government goon, and reactionary laptop assassin in America.

Like all revolutionaries, Oscar and Greta might not survive to change the world, but they're determined to put a new spin on it.

Islands in the Net

Bruce Sterling

In the high-tech twenty-first century, a family of "corporate associates" descends into an underworld of data pirates and bootleg biogenetics to discover the identity of new-order terrorists.

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?

Starship & Haiku

S. P. Somtow

The Millennial War left a sullen void where civilization once stood. But then the whales began their song -- a mysterious song that resounded throughout the polluted seas and told an ancient heartbreaking tale that moved the survivors to revive and honored ritual...

Lightborn

Tricia Sullivan

Lightborn, better known as 'shine', is a mind-altering technology that has revolutionised the modern world. It is the ultimate in education, self-improvement and entertainment - beamed directly into the brain of anyone who can meet the asking price. But in the city of Los Sombres, renegade shine has attacked the adult population, resulting in social chaos and widespread insanity in everyone past the age of puberty. The only solution has been to turn off the Field and isolate the city.

Trapped within the quarantine perimeter, fourteen-year-old Xavier just wants to find the drug that can keep his own physical maturity at bay until the army shuts down the shine. That's how he meets Roksana, mysteriously impervious to shine and devoted to helping the stricken. As the military invades street by street, Xavier and Roksana discover that there could be hope for Los Sombres - but only if Xavier will allow a lightborn cure to enter his mind. What he doesn't know is that the shine in question has a mind of its own ...

Bones of the Earth

Michael Swanwick

World-renowned paleontologist Richard Leyster's universe changedforever the day a stranger named Griffin walked into his office with a remarkable job offer... and an ice cooler containing the head of a freshly killed Stegosaurus. For Leyster and a select group of scientific colleagues an impossible fantasy has come true: the ability to study dinosaurs up close, in their own era and milieu. But tampering with time and paradox can have disastrous effects on the future and the past alike, breeding a violent new strain of fundamentalist terror -- and, worse still, encouraging brilliant rebels like Dr. Gertrude Salley to toy with the working mechanisms of natural law, no matter what the consequences. And when they concern the largest, most savage creatures that ever walked the Earth, the consequences may be too horrifying to imagine...

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Thomas Sweterlitsch

Yesterday cannot last forever...

A decade has passed since the city of Pittsburgh was reduced to ash.

While the rest of the world has moved on, losing itself in the noise of a media-glutted future, survivor John Dominic Blaxton remains obsessed with the past. Grieving for his wife and unborn child who perished in the blast, Dominic relives his lost life by immersing in the Archive—a fully interactive digital reconstruction of Pittsburgh, accessible to anyone who wants to visit the places they remember and the people they loved.

Dominic investigates deaths recorded in the Archive to help close cases long since grown cold, but when he discovers glitches in the code surrounding a crime scene—the body of a beautiful woman abandoned in a muddy park that he's convinced someone tried to delete from the Archive—his cycle of grief is shattered.

With nothing left to lose, Dominic tracks the murder through a web of deceit that takes him from the darkest corners of the Archive to the ruins of the city itself, leading him into the heart of a nightmare more horrific than anything he could have imagined.

Grand Jeté (The Great Leap)

Rachel Swirsky

Nebula-nominated Novella

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


Read this story online for free at Subterranean Press.

The Man Who Fell to Earth

Walter Tevis

T.J. Newton is an extraterrestrial who goes to Earth on a desperate mission of mercy. But instead of aid, Newton discovers loneliness and despair that ultimately ends in tragedy.

Broken Time

Maggy Thomas

Siggy Lindquist is a janitor at The Institute, home to the galaxy's deadliest criminals. When two of the most dangerous inmates take a twisted interest in Siggy, she becomes caught in a potential war between two races--a war that only a forgotten secret from her past can prevent...

Join

Steve Toutonghi

What if you could live multiple lives simultaneously, have constant, perfect companionship, and never die? That's the promise of Join, a revolutionary technology that allows small groups of minds to unite, forming a single consciousness that experiences the world through multiple bodies. But as two best friends discover, the light of that miracle may be blinding the world to its horrors.

Chance and Leap are jolted out of their professional routines by a terrifying stranger -- a remorseless killer who freely manipulates the networks that regulate life in the post-Join world. Their quest for answers -- and survival -- brings them from the networks and spire communities they've known to the scarred heart of an environmentally ravaged North American continent and an underground community of the "ferals" left behind by the rush of technology.

The Year of the Quiet Sun

Wilson Tucker

It was a top secret government project, its funds coming quietly from the Bureau of Standards, its orders directly from the President. The project's goal was to survey the future.

The survey would be made in person, by use of the newly-developed Time Displacement Vehicle. Three specially trained men would be sent to the year 2000, and they would return with invaluable data about the problems to be faced by the government in decades to come.

It seemed almost routine at first. But when the survey team reached their target they found a savage land... an awesome world they may have made, and they had to wonder if any would return to tell about it.

The Insects of Love

Genevieve Valentine

The Insects of Love, by Genevieve Valentine, is a dream-like science fiction/fantasy puzzle about two sisters and several possible realities. The only certainty is that one sister gets a tattoo and disappears into the desert. The surviving sister is obsessed with insects and believes her sister has left her clues as to her disappearance.


Read this story online for free at Tor.com.

Borne

Jeff VanderMeer

"Am I a person?" Borne asked me.
"Yes, you are a person," I told him. "But like a person, you can be a weapon, too."

In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company--a biotech firm now derelict--and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech.

One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump--plant or animal?--but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts--and definitely against Wick's wishes--Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford.

"He was born, but I had borne him."

But as Borne grows, he begins to threaten the balance of power in the city and to put the security of her sanctuary with Wick at risk. For the Company, it seems, may not be truly dead, and new enemies are creeping in. What Borne will lay bare to Rachel as he changes is how precarious her existence has been, and how dependent on subterfuge and secrets. In the aftermath, nothing may ever be the same.

The Best We Can

Carrie Vaughn

First contact was supposed to change the course of human history. But it turns out, you still have to go to work the next morning.

This story is anthologized in Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection (2014)

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Fast Times at Fairmont High

Vernor Vinge

Hugo Award winning novella.

In a near future where wireless mind links and wearable computers blur the line between artificial reality and "real" reality, it's final exam time at San Diego's Fairmont Junior High. Juan Orozco and his friends have a killer idea for their off-line project. But can a bunch of 13-year-olds really figure out the secret of what's going on at Torrey Pines Park?

The story originally appeared in the collection The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge (2001). It can also be found in the anthology The Hard SF Renaissance (2002), edtied by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer.

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.

True Names

Vernor Vinge

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

Opalite Moon

Denise Vitola

When three members of a secret sect called the Opalite are found murdered, Ty Merrick, a female detective and lycanthrope, must venture into the dark fringes of a corrupt society, a place where the normal and the supernatural collide, to uncover the truth.

Player Piano

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Vonnegut's first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a super computer and run completely by machines. His rebellion is a wildly funny, darkly satirical look at modern society.

Infinite Jest: A Novel

David Foster Wallace

A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the pursuit of happiness in America. Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are.

Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human - and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.

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.

Wikihistory

Desmond Warzel

This short story originally appeared in Abyss & Apex #24, Fourth Quarter 2007.

International Association of Time Travelers: Members' Forum
Subforum: Europe--Twentieth Century--Second World War Page 263

Read the full story for free at Abyss & Apex or Tor.com.

Gold Fame Citrus: A Novel

Claire Vaye Watkins

Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Vanity Fair, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Refinery 29, Men's Journal, Ploughshares, Lit Hub, Book Riot, Los Angeles Magazine, Powells, BookPage and Kirkus Reviews

The much-anticipated first novel from a Story Prize-winning "5 Under 35" fiction writer.

In 2012, Claire Vaye Watkins's story collection, Battleborn, swept nearly every award for short fiction. Now this young writer, widely heralded as a once-in-a-generation talent, returns with a first novel that harnesses the sweeping vision and deep heart that made her debut so arresting to a love story set in a devastatingly imagined near future:

Unrelenting drought has transfigured Southern California into a surreal, phantasmagoric landscape. With the Central Valley barren, underground aquifer drained, and Sierra snowpack entirely depleted, most "Mojavs," prevented by both armed vigilantes and an indifferent bureaucracy from freely crossing borders to lusher regions, have allowed themselves to be evacuated to internment camps. In Los Angeles' Laurel Canyon, two young Mojavs--Luz, once a poster child for the Bureau of Conservation and its enemies, and Ray, a veteran of the "forever war" turned surfer--squat in a starlet's abandoned mansion. Holdouts, they subsist on rationed cola and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise.

The couple's fragile love somehow blooms in this arid place, and for the moment, it seems enough. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins. They head east, a route strewn with danger: sinkholes and patrolling authorities, bandits and the brutal, omnipresent sun. Ghosting after them are rumors of a visionary dowser--a diviner for water--and his followers, who whispers say have formed a colony at the edge of a mysterious sea of dunes.

Immensely moving, profoundly disquieting, and mind-blowingly original, Watkins's novel explores the myths we believe about others and tell about ourselves, the double-edged power of our most cherished relationships, and the shape of hope in a precarious future that may be our own.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope

Claire North

My name is Hope Arden, and you won't know who I am. But we've met before - a thousand times.

It started when I was sixteen years old. A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger.

No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit, you will never remember who I am.

That makes my life difficult. It also makes me dangerous.

The Martian

Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Deep Freeze

H. Walter Whyte

BORN AGAIN! -- When wealthy Dennis Miton found that even all his money could not find a cure for his terminal illness he did the next best thing, he had himself frozen until one future day when it was assured a medical break-through would take place. What Minton did not count on, however, was that he would be 'thawed' in the twenty-first century, where he would find a society totally changed, except in one dramatic respect -- greed. The problems he thought he had left some forty years earlier were still there -- the aftermath of a grasping wife, greed, crime and jealousy.

How one man deals with problems all of us can only imagine is the sardonic thrust of DEEP FREEZE. Some of it is funny, some of it is tragic, all of the story is intriguing and entertaining, and just the slightest bit perceptive as we have a chance to see ourselves as others might sometime during the next century -- after we are dead.

The Memoirist

Neil Williamson

In a future dominated by omnipresent surveillance, why are so many powerful people determined to wipe a poignant gig by a faded rock star from the annals of history? What are they so afraid of?

When Rhian is hired to write the memoirs of Elodie Eagles, former singer with politically charged electro-rock band The HitMEBritneys, she has no idea of the dangerous path she is treading, nor the implications of her discoveries, which may well alter the course of human history...

A Letter from the Clearys

Connie Willis

Nebula Award winning short story. It originally appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, July 1982. The story can also be found in the anthologies The 1983 Annual World's Best SF, edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Arthur W. Saha, The Nebula Awards #18, edited by Robert Silverberg and New Skies: An Anthology of Today's Science Fiction (2003), edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden. It is included in the collections Fire Watch (1985), The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories (2007) and Time Is the Fire: The Best of Connie Willis (2013).

Bellwether

Connie Willis

Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennet O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions.

Crosstalk

Connie Willis

In the not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. And Briddey Flannigan is delighted when her boyfriend, Trent, suggests undergoing the operation prior to a marriage proposal -- to enjoy better emotional connection and a perfect relationship with complete communication and understanding. But things don't quite work out as planned, and Briddey finds herself connected to someone else entirely -- in a way far beyond what she signed up for.

It is almost more than she can handle -- especially when the stress of managing her all-too-eager-to-communicate-at-all-times family is already burdening her brain. But that's only the beginning. As things go from bad to worse, she begins to see the dark side of too much information, and to realize love -- and communication -- are far more complicated than she ever imagined.

Fire Watch (collection)

Connie Willis

Winner of six Nebula and five Hugo awards, Connie Willis is one of the most acclaimed and imaginative authors of our time. Her startling and powerful works have redefined the boundaries of contemporary science fiction. Here in one volume are twelve of her greatest stories, including double award-winner "Fire Watch," set in the universe of Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog, in which a time-traveling student learns one of history's hardest lessons. In "A Letter from the Clearys," a routine message from distant friends shatters the fragile world of a beleaguered family. In "The Sidon in the Mirror," a mutant with the unconscious urge to become other people finds himself becoming both killer and victim. Disturbing, revealing, and provocative, this remarkable collection of short fiction brings together some of the best work of an incomparable writer whose ability to amaze, confound, and enlighten never fails.

Table of Contents

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....

The Affinities

Robert Charles Wilson

In our rapidly-changing world of "social media", everyday people are more and more able to sort themselves into social groups based on finer and finer criteria. In the near future of Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities, this process is supercharged by new analytic technologies--genetic, brain-mapping, behavioral. To join one of the twenty-two Affinities is to change one's life. It's like family, and more than family. Your fellow members aren't just like you, and they aren't just people who are likely to like you. They're also the people with whom you can best cooperate in all areas of life--creative, interpersonal, even financial.

At loose ends both professional and personal, young Adam Fisk takes the suite of tests to see if he qualifies for any of the Affinities, and finds that he's a match for one of the largest, the one called Tau. It's utopian--at first. Problems in all areas of his life begin to simply sort themselves out, as he becomes part of a global network of people dedicated to helping one another--to helping him.

But as the differing Affinities put their new powers to the test, they begin to rapidly chip away at the power of governments, of global corporations, of all the institutions of the old world. Then, with dreadful inevitability, the different Affinities begin to go to war--with one another.

What happens next will change Adam, and his world, forever.

The Chronoliths

Robert Charles Wilson

Scott Warden is a man haunted by the past-and soon to be haunted by the future.

In early twenty-first-century Thailand, Scott is an expatriate slacker. Then, one day, he inadvertently witnesses an impossible event: the violent appearance of a 200-foot stone pillar in the forested interior. Its arrival collapses trees for a quarter mile around its base, freezing ice out of the air and emitting a burst of ionizing radiation. It appears to be composed of an exotic form of matter. And the inscription chiseled into it commemorates a military victory--sixteen years in the future.

Shortly afterwards, another, larger pillar arrives in the center of Bangkok-obliterating the city and killing thousands. Over the next several years, human society is transformed by these mysterious arrivals from, seemingly, our own near future. Who is the warlord "Kuin" whose victories they note?

Scott wants only to rebuild his life. But some strange loop of causality keeps drawing him in, to the central mystery and a final battle with the future.

Underground Airlines

Ben H. Winters

It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred.

A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four." On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right--with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.

A mystery to himself, Victor suppresses his memories of his childhood on a plantation, and works to infiltrate the local cell of a abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines. Tracking Jackdaw through the back rooms of churches, empty parking garages, hotels, and medical offices, Victor believes he's hot on the trail. But his strange, increasingly uncanny pursuit is complicated by a boss who won't reveal the extraordinary stakes of Jackdaw's case, as well as by a heartbreaking young woman and her child who may be Victor's salvation. Victor himself may be the biggest obstacle of all--though his true self remains buried, it threatens to surface.

Victor believes himself to be a good man doing bad work, unwilling to give up the freedom he has worked so hard to earn. But in pursuing Jackdaw, Victor discovers secrets at the core of the country's arrangement with the Hard Four, secrets the government will preserve at any cost.

Underground Airlines is a ground-breaking novel, a wickedly imaginative thriller, and a story of an America that is more like our own than we'd like to believe.

A Borrowed Man

Gene Wolfe

It is perhaps a hundred years in the future, our civilization is gone, and another is in place in North America, but it retains many familiar things and structures. Although the population is now small, there is advanced technology, there are robots, and there are clones.

E. A. Smithe is a borrowed person. He is a clone who lives on a third-tier shelf in a public library, and his personality is an uploaded recording of a deceased mystery writer. Smithe is a piece of property, not a legal human.

A wealthy patron, Colette Coldbrook, takes him from the library because he is the surviving personality of the author of Murder on Mars. A physical copy of that book was in the possession of her murdered father, and it contains an important secret, the key to immense family wealth. It is lost, and Colette is afraid of the police. She borrows Smithe to help her find the book and to find out what the secret is. And then the plot gets complicated.

Home Fires

Gene Wolfe

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

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

Ghost in the Shell 2 - Innocence: After The Long Goodbye

Masaki Yamada

Part man, but mostly machine, Batou is the toughest son of a bitch employed by a mysterious agency known as Section 9. When terrorists come to town, Batou straps on a battery of high-tech weaponry and goes to work.

But even a hulking cyborg like Batou has a sensitive side. After all these years, he still mourns the loss of his partner, Maj. Motoko Kusanagi. And now his beloved basset hound Gabriel has mysteriously disappeared. To complicate matters even further, he's having reoccurring dreams about a son he never had. Combating violent insurgents is one thing; getting in touch with your feelings is totally different. Suddenly, Batou must grapple with the thing he understands the least: his own humanity!

Expanding on the concepts explored in the movie, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Masaki Yamada's novel also stands as a wholly original piece of work not tethered directly to any Ghost in the Shell continuity. Say hello to After The Long Goodbye--highly recommended for readers looking for science fiction with a soul.

Embedded

Dan Abnett

HE'D DO ANYTHING TO GET A STORY. When journalist Lex Falk gets himself chipped into the brain of a combat soldier, he thinks he has the ultimate scoop - a report from the forbidden front line of a distant planetary war, live to the living rooms of Earth. When the soldier is killed, however, Lex has to take over the body and somehow get himself back to safety once more... broadcasting all the way.

Heart-stopping combat science fiction from the million-selling Warhammer 40,000 author.

Feed

M. T. Anderson

Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.

Jennifer Government

Max Barry

Jennifer Government is Here to Help!

In Max Barry’s twisted, hilarious vision of the near future, the world is run by giant American corporations (except for a few deluded holdouts like the French); taxes are illegal; employees take the last names of the companies they work for; The Police and The NRA are publicly-traded security firms; the U.S. government may only investigate crimes if they can bill a citizen directly. It’s a free market paradise!

Hack Nike is a lowly Merchandising Officer who’s not very good at negotiating his salary. So when John Nike and John Nike, executives from the promised land of Marketing, offer him a contract, he signs without reading it. Unfortunately, Hack’s new contract involves shooting teenagers to build up street cred for Nike’s new line of $2,500 sneakers. Scared, Hack goes to The Police, who assume he’s asking for a subcontracting deal and lease the assassinations to the NRA.

Soon Hack finds himself pursued by Jennifer Government, a tough-talking agent with a barcode tattoo under her eye and a rabid determination to nail John Nike (the boss of the other John Nike). In a world where your job title means everything, the most cherished possession is a platinum credit card, and advertising jingles give way to automatic weapons in the fight for market share, Jennifer Government is the consumer watchdog from hell.

Jennifer Government is the kind of novel that can become a byword--a Catch-22 for the New World Order, a satire both broad and pointed, deeply funny and disturbingly on-target.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell

Thought Police. Big Brother. Orwellian. These words have entered our vocabulary because of George Orwell's classic dystopian novel, 1984. The story of one man's nightmare odyssey as he pursues a forbidden love affair through a world ruled by warring states and a power structure that controls not only information but also individual thought and memory, 1984 is a prophetic, haunting tale.

More relevant than ever before, 1984 exposes the worst crimes imaginable-the destruction of truth, freedom, and individuality. With a new forward by Thomas Pynchon.

Beauty Queens

Libba Bray

From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.

Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to emall. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

The Passion of New Eve

Angela Carter

This story follows Evelyn, a young Englishman, along a journey through mythology and sexuality. It is a story of how he learns to be a woman, first in the brutal hands of Zero, the ragtime Nietzsche, then through the ancient Tristessa, the beautiful ghost of Hollywood past.

Prey

Michael Crichton

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

The Andromeda Strain

Michael Crichton

The United States government stands warned that sterilization procedures for returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. When a probe satellite falls to the earth two years later, and lands in a desolate area of northeastern Arizona, the bodies that lie heaped and flung across the ground, have faces locked in frozen surprise. The terror has begun.

Arslan

M. J. Engh

A Classic of Political Science Fiction

One of the classic political novels, an SF vision of low-tech world conquest. Arslan is a young Asian general who conquers the world in a week without firing a shot and shortly thereafter sets up his headquarters in a small town in Illinois.

The Machine Stops: And Other Stories

E. M. Forster

The Machine Stops is a science fiction short story by E. M. Forster. The story is about a world in which many humans have lost the ability to live on the surface, and live underground. The story predicted a few technological and social innovations, such as the cinematophote (television) and videoconferencing.

The Gone-Away World

Nick Harkaway

There couldn't be a fire along the Jorgmund Pipe. It was the last thing the world needed. But there it was, burning bright on national television. The Pipe was what kept the Livable Zone safe from the bandits, monsters and nightmares the Go Away War had left in its wake. The fire was a very big problem.

Enter Gonzo Lubitsch and his friends, the Haulage & HazMat Emergency Civil Freebooting Company, a team of master troubleshooters who roll into action when things get particularly hot. They helped build the Pipe. Now they have to preserve it—and save humanity yet again. But this job is not all it seems. It will touch more closely on Gonzo's life, and that of his best friend, than either of them can imagine. And it will decide the fate of the Gone-Away World.

The Children of Men

P. D. James

In 2021, with the human race becoming extinct because of the infertility of all males, Oxford historian Theodore Faron is drawn into the schemes of an unlikely group of revolutionaries out to save society.

The Rapture

Liz Jensen

An electrifying story of science, faith, love, and self-destruction in a world on the brink.

It is a June unlike any other before, with temperatures soaring to asphyxiating heights. All across the world, freak weather patterns—and the life-shattering catastrophes they entail—have become the norm. The twenty-first century has entered a new phase.

But Gabrielle Fox's main concern is a personal one: to rebuild her life after a devastating car accident that has left her disconnected from the world, a prisoner of her own guilt and grief. Determined to make a fresh start, and shake off memories of her wrecked past, she leaves London for a temporary posting as an art therapist at Oxsmith Adolescent Secure Psychiatric Hospital, home to one hundred of the most dangerous children in the country. Among them: the teenage killer Bethany Krall.

Despite two years of therapy, Bethany is in no way rehabilitated and remains militantly nonchalant about the bloody, brutal death she inflicted on her mother. Raised in evangelistic hellfire, the teenager is violent, caustic, unruly, and cruelly intuitive. She is also insistent that her electroshock treatments enable her to foresee natural disasters—a claim which Gabrielle interprets as a symptom of doomsday delusion.

But as Gabrielle delves further into Bethany's psyche, she begins to note alarming parallels between her patient's paranoid disaster fantasies and actual incidents of geological and meteorological upheaval—coincidences her professionalism tells her to ignore but that her heart cannot. When a brilliant physicist enters the equation, the disruptive tension mounts—and the stakes multiply. Is the self-proclaimed Nostradamus of the psych ward the ultimate manipulator or a harbinger of global disaster on a scale never seen before? Where does science end and faith begin? And what can love mean in "interesting times"?

With gothic intensity, Liz Jensen conjures the increasingly unnerving relationship between the traumatized therapist and her fascinating, deeply calculating patient. As Bethany's warnings continue to prove accurate beyond fluke and she begins to offer scientifically precise hints of a final, world-altering cataclysm, Gabrielle is confronted with a series of devastating choices in a world in which belief has become as precious - and as murderous—as life itself.

Why Do Birds

Damon Knight

It is the early 21st century, and Ed Stone says he's been in suspended animation since the 1930s--put there by aliens who have sent him on a mission: convince the nations of the world to build a massive vault, in which humanity's billions will lie in suspension and survive the Earth's impending destruction. And, the strangest thing of all is everybody believes him.

V For Vendetta

Alan Moore
David Lloyd

A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V FOR VENDETTA takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet.

In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts. It's a gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.

The Road

Cormac McCarthy

The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

Dragonhaven

Robin McKinley

Jake Mendoza lives at the Makepeace Institute of Integrated Dragon Studies in Smokehill National Park. Smokehill is home to about two hundred of the few remaining draco australiensis, which is extinct in the wild. Keeping a preserve for dragons is controversial: detractors say dragons are extremely dangerous and unjustifiably expensive to keep and should be destroyed. Environmentalists and friends say there are no records of them eating humans and they are a unique example of specialist evolution and must be protected. But they are up to eighty feet long and breathe fire.

On his first overnight solo trek, Jake finds a dragon--a dragon dying next to the human she killed. Jake realizes this news could destroy Smokehill-- even though the dead man is clearly a poacher who had attacked the dragon first, that fact will be lost in the outcry against dragons.

But then Jake is struck by something more urgent--he sees that the dragon has just given birth, and one of the babies is still alive. What he decides to do will determine not only their futures, but the future of Smokehill itself.

Generosity

Richard Powers

Richard Powers, one of America's most important novelists, moves to Atlantic Books. "Generosity" is Richard Powers' most exuberantly brilliant book yet, in which he dares to imagine what might happen when science discovers the genes for happiness...

When Russell Stone becomes the teacher of a young Algerian woman with a disturbingly luminous presence, he is both entranced and troubled. How can this refugee from terror radiate such bliss? Is it possible to be so open and alive without coming to serious harm? Thassa's joyful personality comes to the attention of the notorious geneticist and advocate for genomic enhancement, Thomas Kurton, whose research has enabled him to announce his discovery of the genetic underpinnings of happiness. Thassa's congenital optimism is severely tested by the growing media circus.

Devoured by the public as a living prophecy, her genetic secret will transform both Russell and Kurton, as well as the world at large.

"Generosity" is fast, funny and finally magical. In his most exuberant and exhilaratingly brilliant book yet, Richard Powers asks his readers to consider the big questions facing humankind as it learns of the genetic map underlying every aspect of our existence.

The Testament of Jessie Lamb

Jane Rogers

A rogue virus that kills pregnant women has been let loose in the world, and nothing less than the survival of the human race is at stake.

Some blame the scientists, others see the hand of God, and still others claim that human arrogance and destructiveness are reaping the punishment they deserve. Jessie Lamb is an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl living in extraordinary times. As her world collapses, her idealism and courage drive her toward the ultimate act of heroism. She wants her life to make a difference. But is Jessie heroic? Or is she, as her scientist father fears, impressionable, innocent, and incapable of understanding where her actions will lead?

Set in a world irreparably altered by an act of biological terrorism, The Testament of Jessie Lamb explores a young woman's struggle to become independent of her parents. As the certainties of her childhood are ripped apart, Jessie begins to question her parents' attitudes, their behavior, and the very world they have bequeathed her.

Super Sad True Love Story

Gary Shteyngart

The author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart has risen to the top of the fiction world. Now, in his hilarious and heartfelt new novel, he envisions a deliciously dark tale of America’s dysfunctional coming years—and the timeless and tender feelings that just might bring us back from the brink.

In a very near future—oh, let’s say next Tuesday—a functionally illiterate America is about to collapse. But don’t that tell that to poor Lenny Abramov, the thirty-nine-year-old son of an angry Russian immigrant janitor, proud author of what may well be the world’s last diary, and less-proud owner of a bald spot shaped like the great state of Ohio. Despite his job at an outfit called Post-Human Services, which attempts to provide immortality for its super-rich clientele, death is clearly stalking this cholesterol-rich morsel of a man. And why shouldn’t it? Lenny’s from a different century—he totally loves books (or “printed, bound media artifacts,” as they’re now known), even though most of his peers find them smelly and annoying. But even more than books, Lenny loves Eunice Park, an impossibly cute and impossibly cruel twenty-four-year-old Korean American woman who just graduated from Elderbird College with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness.

After meeting Lenny on an extended Roman holiday, blistering Eunice puts that Assertiveness minor to work, teaching our “ancient dork” effective new ways to brush his teeth and making him buy a cottony nonflammable wardrobe. But America proves less flame-resistant than Lenny’s new threads. The country is crushed by a credit crisis, riots break out in New York’s Central Park, the city’s streets are lined with National Guard tanks on every corner, the dollar is so over, and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Undeterred, Lenny vows to love both Eunice and his homeland. He’s going to convince his fickle new love that in a time without standards or stability, in a world where single people can determine a dating prospect’s “hotness” and “sustainability” with the click of a button, in a society where the privileged may live forever but the unfortunate will die all too soon, there is still value in being a real human being.

Wildly funny, rich, and humane, Super Sad True Love Story is a knockout novel by a young master, a book in which falling in love just may redeem a planet falling apart.

The Highest Frontier

Joan Slonczewski

One of the most respected writers of hard SF, it has been more than ten years since Joan Slonczewski's last novel. Now she returns with a spectacular tour de force of the college of the future, in orbit. Jennifer Ramos Kennedy, a girl from a rich and politically influential family (a distant relation descended from the famous Kennedy clan), whose twin brother has died in an accident and left her bereft, is about to enter her freshman year at Frontera College.

Frontera is an exciting school built with media money, and a bit from tribal casinos too, dedicated to educating the best and brightest of this future world. We accompany Jenny as she proceeds through her early days at school, encountering surprises and wonders and some unpleasant problems. The Earth is altered by global warming, and an invasive alien species called ultraphytes threatens the surviving ecosystem. Jenny is being raised for great things, but while she's in school she just wants to do her homework, go on a few dates, and get by. The world that Jenny is living in is one of the most fascinating and creative in contemporary SF, and the problems Jenny faces will involve every reader, young and old.

The Wall Around Eden

Joan Slonczewski

In the wake of the Death Year's atomic holocaust, an alien invasion imposes a kind of peace upon the survivors of a shattered Earth until a small community of Quakers decides to confront the saviors with their own version of resistance.

The Machine

James Smythe

Haunting memories defined him. The machine took them away. She vowed to rebuild him. From the author of The Testimony comes a Frankenstein for the twenty-first century.

Beth lives alone on a desolate housing estate near the sea. She came here to rebuild her life following her husband’s return from the war. His memories haunted him but a machine promised salvation. It could record memories, preserving a life that existed before the nightmares.

Now the machines are gone. The government declared them too controversial, the side-effects too harmful. But within Beth’s flat is an ever-whirring black box. She knows that memories can be put back, that she can rebuild her husband piece by piece.

Diva

Mark W. Tiedemann

Hall runs the most prestigious production company for the benefit of the Subscription Class, whose members expect only the best, only the most exclusive, and who are guaranteed it by a barrier of security that keeps the unwashed masses very firmly Outside. When he is contacted by an aging diva who wants him to produce her farewell show, Hall sees this as the crowning achievement of his career--until he learns of her conditions and needs.

Suddenly he is faced with violating the very rules that make Subscription Class Society what it is, in order to maintain the elaborate fiction of its promise of only the best. In a society where reputation is everything, stepping outside even in a good cause is a tremendous risk. But Hall finds himself more and more disenchanted with the whole charade, and is prepared to take more than a few modest chances to do something spectacular....

Realtime

Mark W. Tiedemann

From Mark W. Tiedemann, the bestselling author of the Isaac Asimov's Robot Mysteries Mirage and Chimera, comes a thrilling new mystery!

America in 2050 is a very different place. In the wake of a triumphant isolationist movement and a massive depression, state's rights supersede federal authority on all levels, and in the subsequent balkanization of economy, class, and politics, getting anything done in the "national interest" is a tortuous, nearly impossible task.

For Grant Voczek and Reva Cassonare, working for different, normally uncooperative agencies, overcoming these barriers takes on a personal edge when a Treasury agent is found murdered in St. Louis. They must work together to find the killers -- and the reason behind the killing. What they discover leads them through a maze of political and corporate collusion involving currency fraud, graft, and the systematic harvesting of people who cannot defend themselves because they do not legally exist. For Grant and Reva, failure would not be simply unacceptable -- failure would be a felony of conscience.

A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess

In this nightmare vision of a not-too-distant future, fifteen-year-old Alex and his three friends rob, rape, torture and murder - for fun. Alex is jailed for his vicious crimes and the State undertakes to reform him - but how and at what cost?

A Certain Magical Index 1

A Certain Magical Index: Book 1

Kazuma Kamachi

A certain unlikely hero...

Touma Kamijou has the worst luck imaginable... Sure he's a citizen of Academy City, a scientific marvel of the modern world where superhuman abilities are artificially cultivated and commonplace, but when it comes to paranormal talent, Kamijou's been classified a Level Zero-a loser, basically. Oh, he does have one trick up his sleeve (literally), but even that's more trouble than it's worth.

When Kamijou encounters a delusional young girl convinced she's a nun and raving about being chased by evil sorcerers, he's eager to send her on her way and get back to failing his studies. Fate, it would seem though, has other ideas, and he suddenly finds himself caught up in a supernatural intrigue with a girl named "Index" at the center!

Science and magic collide in this first volume of one of the most popular light novel series ever penned!

A Certain Magical Index 2

A Certain Magical Index: Book 2

Kazuma Kamachi

A certain unlikely hero...

In Academy City, where superhuman abilities are scientific reality, Touma Kamijou is trying to reconstruct a life for himself, but that's easier said than done with a girl by his side with the arcane knowledge of 103,000 grimoires rattling around in her brain...

Now seemingly inextricably caught up in a world where magic is reality, Kamijou learns that a certain shrine maiden is being held captive in one of Academy City's cram schools. Can Touma ally himself with a sorcerer who has on more than one occasion tried to do him in? The only thing we knows for sure is that he really does have rotten luck...

A Certain Magical Index 3

A Certain Magical Index: Book 3

Kazuma Kamachi

Touma Kamijou is the unluckiest boy in Academy City. Having settled the magical side of his problems for a while, the scientific side of things starts to heat up when Touma's rival-turned-friend Mikoto meets her own clone. That's only the beginning of a chain of events that leads Touma and Mikoto to face their deadliest foe yet.

A Certain Magical Index 4

A Certain Magical Index: Book 4

Kazuma Kamachi

Touma Kamijou has gotten permission to leave Academy City and goes on a beach vacation with his family. But somehow now his mother is Index, Index is Pierce Aogami, Kaori Kanzaki is Stiyl Magnus, Stiyl is a crusty old sea dog, Misaka's little sister is the sea dog's son, and Misaka is Toma's little sister - and a certain magical spell is to blame for everything! Toma's caught in the midst of the mysterious Angel's Fall spell in the latest volume of the smash-hit light novel series.

A Certain Magical Index 5

A Certain Magical Index: Book 5

Kazuma Kamachi

August 31. The day Accelerator meets a strange girl in a back alley and he's sure he's seen her somewhere before. The day Mikoto Misaka finds herself asked on a date by a very pleasant young man. That same day, Touma Kamijou awakes with an especially unlucky feeling. The reason: He's just realized he has completely forgotten to do any of his summer homework. Three characters, three stories, and one last day of summer vacation!

A Certain Magical Index 6

A Certain Magical Index: Book 6

Kazuma Kamachi

It's the first day of a new semester in Academy City. The day a mysterious transfer student appears at Touma Kamijou's school. The day Index makes her first friend. The day Mikoto Misaka meets Index for the first time and, caught between them, Kamijou again meets with misfortune. The day Kuroko Shirai witnesses the entire incident and becomes rather jealous of Kamijou. It's also the day Academy City is attacked by a certain magician. Transfer students, friends, and magicians--as magic and science clash and Academy City declares a state of emergency, Touma Kamijou's tale truly begins!

A Certain Magical Index 7

A Certain Magical Index: Book 7

Kazuma Kamachi

A legendary tome known as The Book of the Law, which describes how to summon an angel, has been stolen--and the nun who knows how to decipher it has been kidnapped. All of which should be completely irrelevant to high school student Touma Kamijou, who's still whiling away his time in Academy City. Except his famously terrible luck gets him involved in the rescue operation, and if he thought school life was bad enough, wait until he gets a taste of church politics!

A Certain Magical Index 8

A Certain Magical Index: Book 8

Kazuma Kamachi

Tokiwadai Middle School--a place bathed in the envious gazes of all the schoolgirls in Academy City. Every single one of its female students is a proper young lady, and none more so than Mikoto Misaka. Kuroko--a Level Four teleporter and a member of Judgment, the organization that preserves public order in the city--knows this all too well. She invites her darling Misaka out to go shopping, but that's just the beginning of what ends up being a very, very long day, one in which she sees Misaka's true form and may wish she hadn't...

A Certain Magical Index 9

A Certain Magical Index: Book 9

Kazuma Kamachi

The Daihasei Festival--a huge athletics festival attended by every school in Academy City, where the superpowered students attending these institutions gather to compete in a wide variety of competitions. And of course, Touma Kamijou is participating. His terrible luck is still in full effect--he's gnawed on by a famished Index, castigated by a representative of the festival management committee, and zapped mid-competition by none other than Mikoto Misaka. But Academy city's about to have a much bigger problem--and her name is Oriana Thomson.

A Certain Magical Index 10

A Certain Magical Index: Book 10

Kazuma Kamachi

Seven days have passed since the start of the Daihasei Festival, one of the biggest events of Academy City. Everyone is participating--Seiri Fukiyose is helping coordinate the games, Komoe Tsukuyomi dresses for the part as she cheers for her students, and of course, famous Mikoto Misaka is blowing away the competition. Even Kamijou has appearances!

But a shadow has fallen across the celebrations: The Croce di Pietro. This magical artifact threatens the livelihoods of everyone Kamijou holds dear so he dashes off to try and bring Academy City back from the brink. But Oriana Thompson, the magician known as Route Disturb, and the Roman Catholic Church are determined to bring the bastion of science to its knees. Kamijou is going to need all the help he can get-and some luck for once wouldn't hurt!

A Certain Magical Index 11

A Certain Magical Index: Book 11

Kazuma Kamachi

Now that the Daihasei Festival has ended, life returns to normal for the boy who knows nothing but misfortune, Touma Kamjiou. But in a stroke of unbelievably good luck, Kamijou manages to snag two tickets for a getaway overseas trip! He and the sister, Index, make their way to pearl of the Adriatic, Venezia, where maybe the two will even have romantic rendezvous and many heart throbbing events. But is everything really going Kamijou's way, or is there something more to this too-good-to-be-true adventure...

Challenge the Hellmaker

Ace SF Special, Series 2: Book 6

Walt Richmond
Leigh Richmond

Challenge the Hellmaker is an intriguing new novel by a husband and wife team of scientists.

Drawing on their exhaustive knowledge and imagination they have conjured up a near-future world dominated by the repressive U.N. Security Corps. The last barrier to its total dictatorship is a small group of international scientists isolated on a space station miles above the Earth... and the Hellmaker.

First Activation

Activation: Book 1

Darren Wearmouth
Marcus Wearmouth

Brothers Harry and Jack leave Manchester for New York City for their annual weekend getaway. But upon arrival, they find a silent, deserted JFK, where the few ground crew they can spot have all been slaughtered.

Harry and Jack are military veterans, but they've never encountered anything like this.

As they witness the carnage and stumble across murderous madmen in a post-apocalyptic New York City, it becomes clear that escape is the only option--that is, if there is anywhere sane to escape to...

The 47North edition is a revised edition: This edition of First Activation includes editorial revisions.

Alien Nation

Alien Nation

Alan Dean Foster

The time--a future closer than we know. Where groups of extraterrestrial aliens have become familiar members of our society.

The place--Los Angeles. Still a town of fast times and hard crime, touching every life form inside the city limits.

The cops--Sykes, earthman, and Francisco, alien. Facing a menace meaner than the meanest streets on their beat. Fighting an enemy as terrifying as the darkest forces in a vast, unfathomable universe. Battling back with the best--and the deadliest--of both their worlds.

The Day of Descent

Alien Nation: Book 1

Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Judith Reeves-Stevens

Los Angeles, the present. Rookie detective Matt Sikes begins his first murder investigation and stumbles onto a deadly conspiracy that threatens his life, his daughter and his world. At the same time, onboard a nightmarish starship hurtling toward the Earth's sun, Stangya Soren'tzahh-- a courageous Tenctonese slave destined to become Detective George Francisco-- is swept into his peoples' last desperate struggle for freedom against the ruthless and mysterious Overseers. When the great ship lands on Earth, the future of the Tenctonese and all humanity depends on two unlikely heroes, Matt and George-- who must work together for the first time to prevent a disaster that could destrroy both their peoples.

Dark Horizon

Alien Nation: Book 2

K. W. Jeter

On July 31, 1991, the final episode of "Alien Nation, "Green Eyes" aired, ending the series with a blockbuster finale and an exciting cliffhanger.

In "Green Eyes" the Newcomers were faced with a deadly new bacteria created by a ruthless group of humans called Purists, who were determined to rid the Earth of the alien Tenctonese. As the story closed, all of the "Alien Nation characters were in crisis, and the Francisco family was infected with the bacteria, facing certain death.

This story was never resolved... until now. "Dark Horizon" was a two-hour "Alien Nation script commissioned by Twentieth Century Fox. The story would have resolved the cliffhanger and kicked off "Alien Nation's second seacon. With the final cancellation of the series, the script was put away and fans were left with their questions unanswered. Pocket Books is now proud to present a novelization by critically acclaimed science fiction author K. W. Jeter, of the entire action-packed story that began with "Green Eyes" and ended with "Dark Horizon."

As the story opens, George Francisco and Matthew Sikes stand watch over George's family, while the Earth faces a new threat. A ruthless Overseer has come from space to recover the Tenctonese slaves, and he will stop at nothing to see that the Newcomers-- as well as the entire human race-- are enslaved forever.

Body and Soul

Alien Nation: Book 3

Peter David

While investigating the truth behind the reports of the birth of the first half-human, half-Tenctonese child, Matthew Sikes finds himself increasing drawn to his Tenctonese friend, Cathy.

The Change

Alien Nation: Book 4

Barry B. Longyear

"The Change" is one of a small number of scripts developed by the producers and staff of "Alien Nation" -- scripts never televised because of the show's early demise. A piece of history for "Alien Nation" fans, "the Change" provides an incredible glimpse at an "Alien Nation" story that never was.

Critically acclaimed science fiction novelist Barry B. Longyear brings to life an exciting story in which Newcomer police detective George Francisco undergoes a startling metamorphosis that will either mean his death or the beginning of a new life. In the midst of this time of change, George must also face a vicious, unstoppable killer from his past who has sworn a deadly revenge on George and everyone he cares for...

Slag Like Me

Alien Nation: Book 5

Barry B. Longyear

Detective Matthew Sikes and his Newcomer partner George Francisco must track down a missing human journalist, named Micky Cass, who has gone undercover as a Newcomer to expose racism and discrimination against the Tenctonese. From the beginning, the journalist's articles about his experiences ignited fierce controversy. When Micky Cass disappears, the controversy explodes and violence wracks the city. It is now up to Sikes and Francisco to solve a case that has the entire city caught in a grip of hate.

Finally, as the city burns, Matt Sikes must go undercover as a Newcomer and place himself at the center of the worst violence Los Angeles has ever known...

Passing Fancy

Alien Nation: Book 6

David Spencer

In an all-new "Alien Nation novel, a chance encounter with a mysterious woman from his past propels Detective Matt Sikes into an investigation of a lethal Newcomer drug, and forces the woman he loves to risk her life for someone she's never even met. Meanwhile, tension mounts between Sikes and his Newcomer partner, George Francisco, as each is forced to deal with the range of emotions evoked by this unusual case. As they delve deeper into the intricate maze of L.A.'s illegal drug market, Fransicso and Sikes discover that some Newcomers will do anything to assimilate into human society-- even face the horrifying and deadly consequences that could destroy them all.

Extreme Prejudice

Alien Nation: Book 7

L. A. Graf

On a business trip to Pittsburgh, detective Matthew Sikes and his Newcomer partner, George Francisco, stumble on what appears to be an unusual homicide. It isn't long before the case leads them to a frightening world of abuse and violence that set in motion the series of horrifying murders born of an unremiting hate-- murders that target only the innocent. With bodies piling up and time running out, Sikes and Francisco must race against the clock to stop the killing-- and face a terrifying monster from beyond the stars!

Cross of Blood

Alien Nation: Book 8

K. W. Jeter

The pregnancy of Newcomer Cathy Frankel by her human boyfriend, Matt Sikes, ignites tensions city-wide as extremist groups who fear the implications of the birth of the first half-human/half-Newcomer child threaten Cathy's safety. The danger escalates when the medical facility treating Cathy is attacked, forcing her into seclusion. Meanwhile, George Francisco is drawn into a Newcomer cult headed by a mysterious messianic figure. Obsessed with the cult, George quits the police force to devote all his time to his new religion. Now with his partner gone, Sikes must defend his newborn baby from a hostile band of criminals determined to destroy anyone who's different-- even an innocent child.

Of Scions and Men

American Scions: Book 1

Courtney Sloan

Geopolitical babysitting while arresting preternatural killers - it's just the daily grind for Scion Rowan Brady.

Brash and sarcastic, Rowan has sold her life, her career and her very blood to the controlling paranormal ruling class of America, all to make sure her kid brother can eat. Now she uses her powers as a scion to kick the ass of any preternatural creature idiotic enough to break the rules and prey upon humanity without a license. All it costs her is her freedom and a pint or two per week to her new Master.

But juggling her job and duties becomes even tougher when she is tasked with keeping a contingency of diplomats from Canada from getting gnawed on. However, negotiations for an International Blood Exchange are interrupted when bodies start showing up. Now Rowan must rely on her talent and wit to defend the society she despises to save the lives she's sworn to protect.

But as she stumbles into the truth, she chances becoming a target of not only these killers, but of her own government. With shifters, ghosts, vampires and psychics all watching her, can she stop the killings before she is silenced?

Ancient Shores

Ancient Shores: Book 1

Jack McDevitt

It turned up in a North Dakota wheat field: a triangle, like a shark's fin, sticking up from the black loam. Tom Lasker did what any farmer would have done. He dug it up. And discovered a boat, made of a fiberglass-like material with an utterly impossible atomic number. What it was doing buried under a dozen feet of prairie soil two thousand miles from any ocean, no one knew. True, Tom Lasker's wheat field had once been on the shoreline of a great inland sea, but that was a long time ago - ten thousand years ago.

Becoming Alien

Becoming Alien: Book 1

Rebecca Ore

Living on a chicken farm in backwater American, forced to help his older brother run an illegal drug operation, Tom was going nowhere fast. Then an extraterrestial ship crashed on his farm, and he managed to save one alien from the wreck - Mica, a cadet of the multi-species Federation.

Communicating largely through pictures, the two form an odd friendship and Tom decides to become a Federation cadet! A test case to see if humans could ever be considered for membership. As the lone human among the alien race, Tom's survival was not assured. And if he fell prey to fear and prejudice, Earth would be condemned to eternal quarantine!

Infidel

Bel Dame Apocrypha: Book 2

Kameron Hurley

The only thing worse than war is revolution. Especially when you're already losing the war...

Nyx used to be a bel dame, a government-funded assassin with a talent for cutting off heads for cash. Now she's babysitting diplomats to make ends meet and longing for the days when killing was a lot more honorable.

When Nyx's former bel dame "sisters" lead a coup against the government that threatens to plunge the country into civil war, Nyx is tasked with bringing them in. The hunt takes Nyx and her inglorious team of mercenaries to one of the richest, most peaceful, and most contaminated places on the planet - a country wholly unprepared to host a battle waged by the world's deadliest assassins.

In a rotten nation of sweet-tongued politicians, giant bugs, and renegade shape shifters, Nyx will forge unlikely allies and rekindle old acquaintances. And the bodies she leaves scattered across the continent this time... may include her own.

Because no matter where you go or how far you run in this world, one thing is certain: the bloody bel dames will find you. 

Bending the Landscape: Horror

Bending the Landscape: Book 3

Stephen Pagel
Nicola Griffith

Bending the Landscape: Horror brings together a tantalizing slew of truly horrifying tales guaranteed to provoke, entertain, and inspire fear in even the most seasoned horror aficionado. World-renowned fantasy author Nicola Griffith and fantasy publisher Stephen Pagel have compiled an exciting array of never-before-published stories, from both talented newcomers and award-winning genre veterans.

In Kraig Blackwelder's "Coyote Love," a man wakes up in a stranger's bed, not knowing how he got there, after a drunken night out. Terror ensues as the reader is shown just how far a person is willing to go to deny reality. In "The WereSlut of Avenue A," Leslie What shows us that change is not always a good thing, as we witness what may or not be a transformation into something inhuman. These stories, written by writers both gay and straight, incite fear and spur thought, transporting the reader into realms of shock and dread.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - (2001) - essay by Nicola Griffith and Stephen Pagel
  • Coyote Love - (2001) - shortstory by Kraig Blackwelder
  • Explanations Are Clear - (2001) - novelette by L. Timmel Duchamp
  • What Are You Afraid Of? - (2001) - shortstory by Simon Sheppard
  • The Lost Homeland - (2001) - novelette by Cynthia Ward
  • The Man Who Picks the Chamomile - (2001) - shortstory by Mark McLaughlin
  • Love on a Stick - (2001) - novelette by Carrie Richerson
  • Triangle - (2001) - shortstory by Ellen Klages
  • Memorabilia - (2001) - novelette by Holly Wade Matter
  • Blood Requiem - (1995) - shortstory by Gary Bowen
  • In the Days Still Left - (2001) - novelette by Brian A. Hopkins and James Van Pelt
  • Broken Canes - (2001) - shortstory by Alexi Smart
  • Keep the Faith - (2001) - shortstory by A. J. Potter
  • The WereSlut of Avenue A - (2001) - shortstory by Leslie What
  • Kindred - (2001) - novelette by Alexis Glynn Latner
  • 'Til Death - (2001) - shortstory by Barbara Hambly
  • If I Could See Lazarus Rising - (2001) - novelette by Kathleen O'Malley
  • The Waltz of the Epileptic Penguins - (2001) - shortstory by Keith Hartman
  • Passing - (2001) - novelette by Mark W. Tiedemann

Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner

Blade Runner

Paul M. Sammon

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

Future Noir is the story of that triumph.

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

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

Bridesicle

Bridesicle

Will McIntosh

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

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

Listen to a podcast of this story at EscapePod.

Love Minus Eighty

Bridesicle

Will McIntosh

In the future, love is complicated and death is not necessarily the end. Love Minus Eighty follows several interconnected people in a disquieting vision of romantic life in the century to come.

There's Rob, who accidentally kills a jogger, then sacrifices all to visit her in a cryogenic dating facility, seeking forgiveness but instead falling in love.

Veronika, a shy dating coach, finds herself coaching the very woman who is stealing the man she loves.

And Mira, a gay woman accidentally placed in a heterosexual dating center near its inception, desperately seeks a way to reunite with her frozen partner as the years pass.

In this daring and big-hearted novel based on the Hugo-winning short story, the lovelorn navigate a word in which technology has reached the outer limits of morality and romance.

A Better World

Brilliance Saga: Book 2

Marcus Sakey

The brilliants changed everything.

Since 1980, 1% of the world has been born with gifts we’d only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person’s most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional...and the rest of us.

Now a terrorist network led by brilliants has crippled three cities. Supermarket shelves stand empty. 911 calls go unanswered. Fanatics are burning people alive.

Nick Cooper has always fought to make the world better for his children. As both a brilliant and an advisor to the president of the United States, he’s against everything the terrorists represent. But as America slides toward a devastating civil war, Cooper is forced to play a game he dares not lose—because his opponents have their own vision of a better world.

And to reach it, they’re willing to burn this one down.

Infomocracy

Centenal Cycle: Book 1

Malka Older

It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line.

With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time, when so many have so much to gain?

Infomocracy is Malka Older's debut novel.

Chaga

Chaga: Book 1

Ian McDonald

On the trail of the mystery of Saturn's disappearing moons, network journalist Gaby McAslan find herself in Aftrica researching the Kilimanjaro Event: a meteor which landed in Kenya causing the striking African landscape to give way to something equally beautiful – and indescribably alien. Dubbed the Chaga, the alien flora destroys all man-made materials, and moulds human flesh, bone and spirit to its own designs. And when Gaby McAsland finds the first man to survive the Chaga's changes, she realizes it has its own plans for humankind.

Published in the US as Evolution's Shore.

Kinsman

Chet Kinsman: Book 1

Ben Bova

All Kinsman wanted was the moon...

It was the threshold to space and the stars, to new industries, new worlds, and a new destiny for mankind. It was vital that the United States establish a Moon colony - and Chet Kinsman was determined to lead it.

But the opposition was fierce, well-financed, and politically powerfull. To fight and win, Kinsman would have to use - to betray and perhaps destroy - the woman he loved, his oldest friend, and - if it came to that - himself.

A stirring novel of character and human confilic as well as adventurous technology, Kinsman brings to vivid life the near-future epic of the newest and widest frontier of all.

Circuit

Circuit: Book 1

Melinda M. Snodgrass

The setting is the moon, where newfound industrial strength gives the frontier communities a chance to show independence from the Earth nations that established them. A leading constitutionalist and friend of the U.S. president, Justice Cabot Huntington is sent in to regain control. The stiff-necked judge looks forward to writing precedents for space law, but when his first decision leads to the death of Soviet miners he must reevaluate his position and acknowledge his own complicity in the deadly power struggle that comes to implicate both the Russian and American leaders in the miners' murders.

Snodgrass's idealistic portrait of the spacers is appealing if broad and rather simple, and the protests against martial law, the courtroom theatrics and the spacegoing shootouts keep the action boiling.

Circuit Breaker

Circuit: Book 2

Melinda M. Snodgrass

Judge Cabot Huntington becomes caught in the middle of a conflict between ruthless, corrupt industrial powers on Earth and a group of proud, determined colonists over newly discovered diamond mines on Mars.

Final Circuit

Circuit: Book 3

Melinda M. Snodgrass

Judge Cabot Huntingdon, dodging impeachment, is hiding among the Belters. The Fifteenth Circuit Court has been suspended, leaving those who live in the belt, on Mars, or on the Moon, on their own. In those territories there is no judicial system approved by Earth, and therefore no judicial buffer against Earth's assaults.

Now terrorists in the Belt have hijacked a spaceship carrying antimatter and are threatening the Earth with it.

It's clearly going to be tough for Judge Cabot to keep the Earth and the Belt from each other's necks, notwithstanding the dubious "help" of his well-connected family.

They Shall Have Stars

Cities in Flight: Book 1

James Blish

Also published as Year 2018!

2018 AD. The time of the Cold Peace, worse even than the Cold War. The bureaucratic regimes that rule from Washington and Moscow are indistinguishable in their passion for total repression. But in the West, a few dedicated individuals still struggle to find a way out of the trap of human history. Behind the screen of official research their desperate project is nearing completion...

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.

This Is Not a Game

Dagmar Shaw: Book 1

Walter Jon Williams

Imagine a game with no boundaries - waiting in a parking lot, sitting at your computer, walking down the street. You could be called at any moment - and you'd better be ready.

This is not a game.

This is a novel of greed, betrayal, and social networking.

Darwin's Radio

Darwin: Book 1

Greg Bear

Greg Bear's powerfully written, brilliantly inventive novels combine cutting-edge science and unforgettable characters, illuminating dazzling new technologies--and their dangers. Now, in Darwin's Radio, Bear draws on state-of-the-art biological and anthropological research to give us an ingeniously plotted thriller that questions everything we believe about human origins and destiny--as civilization confronts the next terrifying step in evolution.

A mass grave in Russia that conceals the mummified remains of two women, both with child--and the conspiracy to keep it secret... A major discovery high in the Alps: the preserved bodies of a prehistoric family--the newborn infant possessing disturbing characteristics... A mysterious disease that strikes only pregnant women, resulting in miscarriage. Three disparate facts that will converge into one science-shattering truth.

Molecular biologist Kaye Lang, a specialist in retroviruses, believes that ancient diseases encoded in the DNA of humans can again come to life. But her theory soon becomes chilling reality. For Christopher Dicken--a "virus hunter" at the Epidemic Intelligence Service--has pursued an elusive flu-like disease that strikes down expectant mothers and their offspring. The shocking link: something that has slept in our genes for millions of years is waking up.

Now, as the outbreak of this terrifying disease threatens to become a deadly epidemic, Dicken and Lang, along with anthropologist Mitch Rafelson, must race against time to assemble the pieces of a puzzle only they are equipped to solve. An evolutionary puzzle that will determine the future of the human race... If a future exists at all.

A fiercely intelligent, utterly enthralling novel of adventure and ideas, genetics and evolution, a fast-paced thriller that is grounded in the timeless human themes of struggle, loss, and redemption, Darwin's Radio is sure to become one of the most talked-about books of the year.

Darwin's Children

Darwin: Book 2

Greg Bear

Greg Bear's Nebula Award–winning novel, Darwin's Radio, painted a chilling portrait of humankind on the threshold of a radical leap in evolution - one that would alter our species forever. Now Bear continues his provocative tale of the human race confronted by an uncertain future, where "survival of the fittest" takes on astonishing and controversial new dimensions.

DARWIN'S CHILDREN

Eleven years have passed since SHEVA, an ancient retrovirus, was discovered in human DNA - a retrovirus that caused mutations in the human genome and heralded the arrival of a new wave of genetically enhanced humans. Now these changed children have reached adolescence... and face a world that is outraged about their very existence. For these special youths, possessed of remarkable, advanced traits that mark a major turning point in human development, are also ticking time bombs harboring hosts of viruses that could exterminate the "old" human race.

Fear and hatred of the virus children have made them a persecuted underclass, quarantined by the government in special "schools," targeted by federally sanctioned bounty hunters, and demonized by hysterical segments of the population. But pockets of resistance have sprung up among those opposed to treating the children like dangerous diseases - and who fear the worst if the government's draconian measures are carried to their extreme.

Scientists Kaye Lang and Mitch Rafelson are part of this small but determined minority. Once at the forefront of the discovery and study of the SHEVA outbreak, they now live as virtual exiles in the Virginia suburbs with their daughter, Stella - a bright, inquisitive virus child who is quickly maturing, straining to break free of the protective world her parents have built around her, and eager to seek out others of her kind.

But for all their precautions, Kaye, Mitch, and Stella have not slipped below the government's radar. The agencies fanatically devoted to segregating and controlling the new-breed children monitor their every move - watching and waiting for the opportunity to strike the next blow in their escalating war to preserve "humankind" at any cost.

Directive 51

Directive 51: Book 1

John Barnes

Heather O'Grainne is the Assistant Secretary in the Office of Future Threat Assessment, investigating rumors surrounding something called "Daybreak." The group is diverse and radical, and its members have only one thing in common-their hatred for the "Big System" and their desire to take it down.

Now, seemingly random events simultaneously occurring around the world are in fact connected as part of Daybreak's plan to destroy modern civilization-a plan that will eliminate America's top government personnel, leaving the nation no choice but to implement its emergency contingency program... Directive 51.

Insurgent

Divergent Trilogy: Book 2

Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you-or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves-and herself-while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable-and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Allegiant

Divergent Trilogy: Book 3

Veronica Roth

What if your whole world was a lie?

What if a single revelation - like a single choice - changed everything?

What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times best-selling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of listeners in Divergent and Insurgent.

Dream Park

Dream Park: Book 1

Larry Niven
Steven Barnes

They were all playing games.... but one of them was playing for keeps.

Chet Henderson was playing at revenge, an to boost his flagging reputation as a Lore-master.

Richard Lopez was playing to prove this his earlier successes as a Gamemaster were no fluke.

Ollie and Gwen and Mary-em and Tony were playing because it made them feel alive.

Alex Griffin was playing to protect Dream Park's darkest secret.

In Dream Park, everyone plays. But if some win, some have to lose. And losing can be a matter of life or death.

The Barsoom Project

Dream Park: Book 2

Larry Niven
Steven Barnes

Welcome to Dream Park-an amusement park where nothing is what it seems-except murder.

The California Voodoo Game

Dream Park: Book 3

Larry Niven
Steven Barnes

Dream Park, the ultimate in amusement parks, was about to embark on the greatest Game ever: the California Voodoo Game. Across the world bets were being placed; fortunes and reputations hung in the balance. Gaming careers would be made--or destroyed. And the most advanced software package ever invented was going to be tested.

But one of the players was a murderer--and worse. Only Alex Griffin, head of Dream Park Security, and Game Master Tony McWhirter guessed the extent of the treachery tainting the Game. Somehow, they had to catch the killer--but above all, the Game must go on....

Options

Eight Worlds

John Varley

Hugo and Nebula Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in the anthology Universe 9 (1979), edited by Terry Carr. It can also be found in the anthologies The 1980 Annual World's Best SF, edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Arthur W. Saha, and The Best Science Fiction of the Year #9 (1980). It is included in the collections Blue Champagne (1986) and The John Varley Reader (2004).

Dies the Fire

Emberverse I: Book 1

S. M. Stirling

The Change occurred when an electrical storm centered over the island of Nantucket produced a blinding white flash that rendered all electronic devices and fuels inoperable. What follows is the most terrible global catastrophe in the history of the human race-and a Dark Age more universal and complete than could possibly be imagined.

Empire

Empire: Book 1

Orson Scott Card

The American Empire has grown too fast, and the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point. The war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war, though most people just want to be left alone.

The battle rages between the high-technology weapons on one side, and militia foot-soldiers on the other, devastating the cities, and overrunning the countryside. But the vast majority, who only want the killing to stop, and the nation to return to more peaceful days, have technology, weapons and strategic geniuses of their own.

When the American dream shatters into violence, who can hold the people and the government together? And which side will you be on?

Orson Scott Card is a master storyteller, who has earned millions of fans and reams of praise for his previous science fiction and fantasy novels. Now he steps a little closer to the present day with this chilling look at a near future scenario of a new American Civil War.

Hidden Empire

Empire: Book 2

Orson Scott Card

The war of words between right and left collapsed into a shooting war, and raged between the high-technology weapons on each side, devastating cities and overrunning the countryside.

At the close of Empire, political scientist and government adviser Averell Torrent had maneuvered himself into the presidency of the United States.  And now that he has complete power at home, he plans to expand American imperial power around the world.

Opportunity comes quickly.  There’s a deadly new plague in Africa, and it is devastating the countryside and cities.  President Torrent declares American solidarity with the victims, but places all of Africa in quarantine until a vaccine is found or the disease burns itself out.  And he sends Captain Bartholomew Coleman, Cole to his friends, to run the relief operations and protect the American scientists working on identifying the virus.  If Cole and his team can avoid dying of the plague, or being cut down by the weapons of fearful African nations, they might do some good.  Or they might be out of the way for good.

Lockdown

Escape from Furnace: Book 1

Alexander Gordon Smith

Furnace Penitentiary: The world's most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth's surface. Convicted of a murder he didn't commit, sentenced to life without parole, "new fish" Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prision is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison.

Together with a bunch of inmates - some innocent kids who have been framed. Others cold-blooded killers - Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace's deeper, darker purpose, Alex's actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that's hidden from the eyes of the world.

Solitary

Escape from Furnace: Book 2

Alexander Gordon Smith

Alex tried to escape.

he had the perfect plan.

He was almost free. Even felt the cool, clean air on his face.

Then the dogs came.

Now he is locked in a place so gruesome - so hellish - that escape does not even matter.

He just wants to survive.

Shadrach in the Furnace

Frontiers of Imagination: Book 59

Robert Silverberg

In the twenty-first century, a battered world is ruled by a crafty old tyrant, Genghis II Mao IV Khan. The Khan is ninety-three years old, his life systems sustained by the skill of Mordecai Shadrach, a brilliant young surgeon whose chief function is to replace the Khan's worn-out organs. Within the vast tower-complex, the most advanced equipment is dedicated to three top-priority projects, each designed to keep the Khan immortal. Most sinister of these is Project Avatar, by which the Khan's mind and persona are to be transferred to a younger body.

Shadrach makes the unsettling discovery that it is his body that is to be used. His friends beg him to flee, but he refuses to panic.Instead, and with startling composure, he evolves a dangerous plan that could change the face of the earth or, if it backfires, mean the end of life.

"Shadrach in the Furnace" is at once a broad, sweeping novel and a harsh, abrasive, irreverent book about a life-and-death battle between two titans - one the epitome of evil, the other a paragon of idealism - in a society pushed to extremes.

Prelude to Space

Galaxy Science Fiction: Book 3

Arthur C. Clarke

Here is the compelling story of the launching of Prometheus -- Earth's first true spaceship -- and of the men who made it happen.

Dirk Alexson:
Chronicler of the greatest space adventure of all time, he was chosen to immortalize the incredible story of the men and their heroic mission.

Sir Robert Derwent:
Direct-General of Interplanetary -- London Headquarters for the international space-flight project -- he was the man who got the mission off the ground and into the pages of history.

Professor Maxton:
The world's leading atomic engineer, he designed the huge ship's drive units and he waited with the rest of the world to see if the project would be a success.

Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex: The Lost Memory

GITS-SAC: Book 1

Junichi Fujisaku

Since being formed as a shadow peacekeeping organization, Section 9 has faced almost countless adversaries both in the real world and in cyberspace, but none like "The Awakened," a group of terrorists who seem to have the ability to take over the minds and bodies of almost anyone and use them to commit crimes against the state, leaving their pawns unaware of who was controlling them. When Major Motoko Kusanagi is able to capture one of the boys used as a pawn she hacks into his cyberbrain to find out who the ringleader is, but what she discovers will take her and the operatives of Section 9 on a journey deep into the heart of cyberspace, and the answers she finds will shake Section 9 to its core.

Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex: Revenge Of The Cold Machines

GITS-SAC: Book 2

Junichi Fujisaku

2030 Tokyo: While patrolling Tokyo's post-World War III refugee zones Togusa, the newest member of Section 9, discovers that one of the most powerful cyber-criminals his squad has ever faced has plans to kill their leader, Section 9 Chief Daisuke Aramaki, in one of three stories in this collection, and it will take all of the members of Section 9 to stop him. The action heats up in the stories "Double Targets," "First Love, Last Love" and "Revenge of the Cold Machines".

Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex: White Maze

GITS-SAC: Book 3

Junichi Fujisaku

The year is 2030. Advances in robotics and cyberbrain technology have transformed the world into a miraculous place where almost anything is possible - even the melding of humans and machines. In this not-too-distant future, the crimes of flesh and metal are investigated by Section 9, an elite counterterrorist squad headed by Chief Aramaki and his cyborg sidekick, Major Motoko Kusanagi. When dead bodies, drained of blood and with two bite marks on their necks, start turning up on the streets of Tokyo, it isn't long before the entire city is in a panic. As Major Kusanagi and the other members of Section 9 investigate the killings they begin to wonder - is the killer a real vampire or something much worse? In a dark world of murder, where cyberbrain hacks and treacherous conspiracies reach to the furthest heights of government, Section 9 is all that stands between the people and anarchy.

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..."

334

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 39

Thomas M. Disch

334, the city street address of a place where time pivots forward and backward, is the setting of a unique odyssey through human history.

Dr. Bloodmoney: or, How We Got Along After the Bomb

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 52

Philip K. Dick

Dr. Bloodmoney is a post-nuclear-holocaust masterpiece filled with a host of Dick's most memorable characters: Hoppy Harrington, a deformed mutant with telekinetic powers; Walt Dangerfield, a selfless disc jockey stranded in a satellite circling the globe; Dr. Bluthgeld, the megalomaniac physicist largely responsible for the decimated state of the world; and Stuart McConchie and Bonnie Keller, two unremarkable people bent the survival of goodness in a world devastated by evil. Epic and alluring, this brilliant novel is a mesmerizing depiction of Dick's undying hope in humanity.

The Game-Players of Titan

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 62

Philip K. Dick

Philip K Dick's classic dystopian novel set in the future where the remaining human survivors on Earth must gamble for their future with aliens from Titan, one of the moons circling Saturn.

Roaming the pristine landscape of Earth, cared for by machines and aliens, the few remaining humans alive since the war with Titan play Bluff, allowing them to win or lose property and also form new marriages in order to maximise the remote chance some pairings will produce a child. When Pete Garden, a particularly suicidal member of the Pretty Blue Fox game-playing group, loses his current wife and his deed to Berkeley, he stumbles upon a far bigger, more sinister version of the game.

The telepathic, slug-like Vugs of Titan are the players and at stake is the Earth itself. The Game-Players of Titan is a brilliantly conceived vision of a future dystopia, full of imaginative detail, moments of pure humour and thought-provoking musings on the nature of perception, as the seemingly straightforward narrative soon turns into a tumultuous nightmare of delusion, precognition and conspiracy.

Halting State

Halting State: Book 1

Charles Stross

In the year 2018, Sergeant Sue Smith of the Edinburgh constabulary is called in on a special case. A daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates, a dot-com startup company that's just been floated on the London stock exchange. The suspects are a band of marauding orcs, with a dragon in tow for fire support, and the bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four. For Smith, the investigation seems pointless. But she soon realizes that the virtual world may have a devastating effect in the real one-and that someone is about to launch an attack upon both...

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.

The Last Policeman

Hank Palace: Book 1

Ben H. Winters

What's the point in solving murders if we're all going to die soon, anyway?

Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There's no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He's investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.

The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. As Palace's investigation plays out under the shadow of 2011GV1, we're confronted by hard questions way beyond "whodunit." What basis does civilization rest upon? What is life worth? What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?

Countdown City

Hank Palace: Book 2

Ben H. Winters

The Last Policeman received the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original--along with plenty of glowing reviews.

Now Detective Hank Palace returns in Countdown City, the second volume of the Last Policeman trilogy. There are just 77 days before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Palace is out of a job. With the Concord police force operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank's days of solving crimes are over... until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband.

Brett Cavatone disappeared without a trace—an easy feat in a world with no phones, no cars, and no way to tell whether someone’s gone "bucket list" or just gone. With society falling to shambles, Hank pieces together what few clues he can, on a search that leads him from a college-campus-turned-anarchist-encampment to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia fend off "impact zone" refugees.

Countdown City presents another fascinating mystery set on brink of an apocalypse--and once again, Hank Palace confronts questions way beyond "whodunit." What do we as human beings owe to one another? And what does it mean to be civilized when civilization is collapsing all around you?

World of Trouble

Hank Palace: Book 3

Ben H. Winters

Critically acclaimed author Ben H. Winters delivers this explosive final installment in the Edgar Award winning Last Policeman series.

With the doomsday asteroid looming, Detective Hank Palace has found sanctuary in the woods of New England, secure in a well-stocked safe house with other onetime members of the Concord police force. But with time ticking away before the asteroid makes landfall, Hank's safety is only relative, and his only relative--his sister Nico--isn't safe. Soon, it's clear that there's more than one earth-shattering revelation on the horizon, and it's up to Hank to solve the puzzle before time runs out... for everyone.

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.

Under the Empyrean Sky

Heartland Trilogy: Book 1

Chuck Wendig

Fear the Corn.

Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It's the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow – and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables. But Cael's tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He's sick of the mayor's son besting Cael's crew in the scavenging game. And he's worried about losing Gwennie – his first mate and the love of his life – forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry-angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn't seem upset about any of it.

When Cael and his crew discover a secret, illegal garden, he knows it’s time to make his own luck... even if it means bringing down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and changing life in the Heartland forever.

Blightborn

Heartland Trilogy: Book 2

Chuck Wendig

Cael McAvoy is on the run. He’s heading toward the Empyrean to rescue his sister, Merelda, and to find Gwennie before she’s lost to Cael forever. With his pals, Lane and Rigo, Cael journeys across the Heartland to catch a ride into the sky. But with Boyland and others after them, Cael and his friends won’t make it through unchanged.

Gwennie’s living the life of a Lottery winner, but it’s not what she expected. Separated from her family, Gwennie makes a bold move-one that catches the attention of the Empyrean and changes the course of an Empyrean man’s life.

The crew from Boxelder aren’t the only folks willing to sacrifice everything to see the Empyrean fall. The question is: Can the others be trusted?

They’d all better hurry. Because the Empyrean has plans that could ensure that the Heartland never fights back again.

Chuck Wendig’s riveting sequel to Under the Empyrean Sky plunges readers into an unsettling world of inequality and destruction, and fleshes out a cast of ragtag characters all fighting for survival and, ultimately, change.

The Harvest

Heartland Trilogy: Book 3

Chuck Wendig

It's been a year since the Saranyu flotilla fell from the sky, and life in the Heartland has changed. Gone are the Obligations and the Harvest Home festivals. In their place is a spate of dead towns, the former inhabitants forced into mechanical bodies to serve the Empyrean - and crush the Heartland.

When Cael awakens from a Blightborn sleep, miles away from the world he remembers, he sets out across the Heartland to gather his friends for one last mission. As the mechanicals, a war flotilla, and a pack of feral Empyrean girls begin to close in on the Heartland, there isn't much time to make their next move. But if they can uncover a secret weapon in time, Cael and his friends might just find themselves with the power to save the world - or destroy it - resting in their hands.

Podkayne of Mars

Heinlein Juveniles: Book 14

Robert A. Heinlein

A classic tale from the Grandmaster of Science Fiction.

Podkayne Fries, born and raised on Mars, has just one ambition: to earn her wings as a starship pilot and rise through the ranks to command deep-space explorations. The opportunity to travel aboard the Tricorn- on an interstellar journey to Venus and Earth in the company of her diplomat uncle-is a dream come true.

Poddy's idea of diplomacy is keeping the peace with her troublesome brother, Clark, but she's about to learn some things about war and peace. Because her uncle is the Ambassador from Mars to the Three Planets Conference, which makes him-and his niece and nephew-potential targets for any radicals looking to sabotage the negotiations between three worlds.

The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy

Ijon Tichy

Stanislaw Lem

Bringing his twin gifts of scientific speculation and scathing satire to bear on that hapless planet, Earth, Lem sends his unlucky cosmonaut, Ijon Tichy, to the Eighth Futurological Congress. Caught up in local revolution, Tichy is shot and so critically wounded that he is flashfrozen to await a future cure. Translated by Michael Kandel.

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.

Something Coming Through

Jackaroo: Book 1

Paul J. McAuley

The aliens are here. And they want to help. The extraordinary new project from one of the country's most acclaimed and consistently brilliant SF novelists of the last 30 years.

The Jackaroo have given humanity 15 worlds and the means to reach them. They're a chance to start over, but they're also littered with ruins and artifacts left by the Jackaroo's previous clients.

Miracles that could reverse the damage caused by war, climate change, and rising sea levels. Nightmares that could for ever alter humanity - or even destroy it.

Chloe Millar works in London, mapping changes caused by imported scraps of alien technology. When she stumbles across a pair of orphaned kids possessed by an ancient ghost, she must decide whether to help them or to hand them over to the authorities. Authorities who believe that their visions point towards a new kind of danger.

And on one of the Jackaroo's gift-worlds, the murder of a man who has just arrived from Earth leads policeman Vic Gayle to a war between rival gangs over possession of a remote excavation site.

Something is coming through. Something linked to the visions of Chloe's orphans, and Vic Gayle's murder investigation. Something that will challenge the limits of the Jackaroo's benevolence...

Hammered

Jenny Casey: Book 1

Elizabeth Bear

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

Julian: A Christmas Story

Julian Comstock

Robert Charles Wilson

Hugo- and Sturgeon-nominated Novella

This dystopian speculative fiction novella is told from the perspective of teenager Adam Hazzard, who lives in the rural town of Williams Ford, in the state of Athabaska (today a region in Canada, but in the story, a part of the greater United States) in 2172, at a time when technology has regressed to 19th century levels. The story deals with his relationship with his friend Julian Comstock (later in life called Julian Conqueror or Julian the Agnostic), an aristocratic boy of his age with radical beliefs about God, science, and evolution, notably his beliefs in DNA and the Moon Landings, in defiance of the omnipresent and theocratic Church of the Dominion of Jesus Christ on Earth, which came about as a result of the end of oil in the 21st century, a time which was later interpreted as a Biblical Tribulation.

Julian is the nephew of the President, Deklan Comstock, and it is rumored that Deklan may send Julian to fight in the Labrador War against the European powers, in order to quiet dissent against him that his family does not care about the soldiers. The story centers on how Adam and Julian will avoid the coming draft and remain alive despite Julian's beliefs.

This novella was expanded into the novel Julian Comstock, A Story of the 22nd Century.

This novella is available online by permission of the author and publisher here (pdf) and here (html).

Touched by an Alien

Kitty Katt: Book 1

Gini Koch

How can a sexy marketing manager join forces with an Alpha Centauri male in Armani to save the planet-using hairspray, a Mont Blanc pen, and rock n' roll?

Easy...

She's Touched by an Alien

Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt steps into the middle of what appears to be a domestic dispute turned ugly. And it only gets uglier when the man turns into a winged monster, straight out of a grade-Z horror movie, and goes on a killing spree. Though Kitty should probably run away, she springs into action to take the monster down.

In the middle of the chaos a handsome hunk named Jeff Martini appears, sent by the "agency" to perform crowd control. He's Kitty's kind of guy, no matter what planet he's from. And from now on, for Kitty, things are going to be sexy, dangerous, wild, and out of this world.

Life As We Knew It

Last Survivors: Book 1

Susan Beth Pfeffer

I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald's still would be open.

High school sophomore Miranda's disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, the way "one marble hits another." The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the continents, and volcanic ash is blocking out the sun? As August turns dark and wintry in northeastern Pennsylvania, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in a year's worth of journal entries, this heart-pounding story chronicles Miranda's struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all—hope—in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world. An extraordinary series debut!

Mindkiller

Lifehouse: Book 1

Spider Robinson

Wireheads, addicted to an electric current led into the pleasure centers of the brain, are the new junkies. Karen, a former wirehead who barely escaped death by pleasure, is determined to bring down those who sell the wireheading equipment, but she and her lover Joe intead turn up evidence of a shadowy global conspiracy - not to control the world, but to keep anyone from realizing that the masters of mind control have been controllling us all for some time now...

Lifehouse

Lifehouse: Book 3

Spider Robinson

June Bellamy had gone for a walk in a park - and came back with memories missing. She didn't know that, but her partner could tell because she'd told her answering machine about strange people in the park. Now June and Paul are on the run from insidious superhumans who can edit their memories and track them down no matter where or how well they hide. They are desperate - but not nearly as desperate as their pursuers...

Little Brother

Little Brother: Book 1

Cory Doctorow

Marcus, a.k.a "w1n5t0n," is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school's intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they're mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

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

Homeland

Little Brother: Book 2

Cory Doctorow

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

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

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

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

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

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

Married with Zombies

Living with the Dead: Book 1

Jesse Petersen

A heartwarming tale of terror in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.Meet Sarah and David.Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they're on the verge of divorce and going to couples' counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things - the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client's throat.Meet the Zombies.Now, Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn't mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don't eat their brains, they might just kill each other.

Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome

Lock In

John Scalzi

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

Read this story online for free at Tor.com.

Head On

Lock In: Book 2

John Scalzi

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

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

Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

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

Luna: New Moon

Luna: Book 1

Ian McDonald

Having woven intricate and gripping plots around thought provoking looks at the future of countries like India, Brazil and Turkey, Ian McDonald now turns his attention to the moon. Luna is a gripping thriller about five corporate families caught in a bitter battle for supremacy in the harsh environment of the moon. It's very easy to die on the moon but with its vast mineral wealth its also easy to make your fortune. This is SF that will be perfect for fans of Kim Stanley Robinson and Ken Macleod alike.

Told over two volumes this will do for the moon what the award winning River of Gods did for India, the award-winning Brasyl for Brazil and the award winning The Dervish House for Turkey - it will give it a vibrant, extraordinary and believable future.

Luna: Wolf Moon

Luna: Book 2

Ian McDonald

A Dragon is dead.

Corta Helio, one of the five family corporations that rule the Moon, has fallen. Its riches are divided up among its many enemies, its survivors scattered. Eighteen months have passed .

The remaining Helio children, Lucasinho and Luna, are under the protection of the powerful Asamoahs, while Robson, still reeling from witnessing his parent's violent deaths, is now a ward--virtually a hostage-- of Mackenzie Metals. And the last appointed heir, Lucas, has vanished of the surface of the moon.

Only Lady Sun, dowager of Taiyang, suspects that Lucas Corta is not dead, and more to the point--that he is still a major player in the game. After all, Lucas always was the Schemer, and even in death, he would go to any lengths to take back everything and build a new Corta Helio, more powerful than before. But Corta Helio needs allies, and to find them, the fleeing son undertakes an audacious, impossible journey--to Earth.

In an unstable lunar environment, the shifting loyalties and political machinations of each family reach the zenith of their most fertile plots as outright war erupts.

Luna: Wolf Moon continues Ian McDonald's saga of the Five Dragons.

iD: The Second Machine Dynasty

Machine Dynasties: Book 2

Madeline Ashby

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

The Year of the Flood

MaddAddam Sequence: Book 2

Margaret Atwood

The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners--a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life--has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God's Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible.

Have others survived? Ren's bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers...

Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo'hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move. They can't stay locked away...

Manifold: Time

Manifold: Book 1

Stephen Baxter

The year is 2010. More than a century of ecological damage, industrial and technological expansion, and unchecked population growth has left the Earth on the brink of devastation. But as the world's governments turn inward, one man dares to gamble on a bolder, brighter future. That man--Reid Malenfant--has a very different solution to the problems plaguing the planet: the exploration and colonization of space.

Battling national sabotage and international outcry, Malenfant's bootstrap company builds a spacecraft, plots its course, and trains the genetically enhanced Sheena 5 for her one-way journey. As apocalyptic riots sweep the globe, Malenfant launches the rocket. But Sheena has plans of her own. And even as she sets them in motion, the situation on Earth grows more desperate and violent.

Now Malenfant--together with a brilliant but disturbed mathematician, a child prodigy, and his ex-wife--must gamble the very existence of time and space on a single desperate throw of the dice. The odds are a trillion to one against him...

Or are they?

Marsbound

Marsbound Trilogy: Book 1

Joe Haldeman

Young Carmen Dula and her family are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime - they're going to Mars.

Once on the Red Planet, however, Carmen realizes things are not so different from Earth. There are chores to do, lessons to learn, and oppressive authority figures to rebel against. And when she ventures out into the bleak Mars landscape alone one night, a simple accident leads her to the edge of death until she is saved by an angel—an angel with too many arms and legs, a head that looks like a potato gone bad, and a message for the newly arrived human inhabitants of Mars:

We were here first.

On Wings of Song

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 4

Thomas M. Disch

Named one of science fiction's 100 best books by noted genre editor David Pringle, Thomas M. Disch's On Wings of Song is at once allegory, social satire, political fable, and brilliantly written science fiction of the ultimate out-of-body experience. In Disch's dazzlingly imagined future America, Daniel Weinraub dreams of escaping the repressive midwest of the mid-twenty-first century through an electronic device with which the user takes flight into cyberspace when activated with a quasi-musical code called "The Symphonette." Daniel's adventures take him from Iowa's God-fearing police state and its "correctional" labor camps for the sinful to Manhattan's mean streets and "cyberspatial flight paths."

Beyond Apollo

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 12

Barry N. Malzberg

A two-man mission to Venus fails and is aborted. When it returns, the Captain is missing and the other astronaut, Harry M. Evans, is unable to explain what has happened. Or, conversely, he has too many explications. His journal of the expedition -- compiled in the mental institution to which NASA has embarrassedly committed him -- offers contradictory stories: he murdered the Captain, mad Venusian invaders murdered the Captain, the Captain vanished, no one was murdered and the Captain has returned in Evans' guise....

As the explanations pyramid and as the supervising psychiatrist's increasingly desperate efforts to get a straight story fail, it becomes apparent that Evans's madness and his inability to explain what happened are expressions of humanity's incompetence at the enormity of space exploration.

The Moon is Hell!

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 19

John W. Campbell, Jr.

Contents:

  • 9 - The Moon Is Hell! - novel by John W. Campbell, Jr.
  • 147 - The Elder Gods - (1973) - novella by John W. Campbell, Jr. and Arthur J. Burks

Voyage

NASA Trilogy: Book 1

Stephen Baxter

The story of the US manned space programme of the 1970s and 1980s - as it should have happened. Kennedy is shot in 1963, but not killed, only invalided and forced to retire. Under his uniting influence, the first manned Ares probe lifts off for Mars in 1986.

Native Tongue

Native Tongue Trilogy: Book 1

Suzette Haden Elgin

Called "fascinating" by the New York Times upon its first publication in 1984, Native Tongue won wide critical praise and cult status, and has often been compared to the futurist fiction of Margaret Atwood. Set in the twenty-second century, the novel tells of a world where women are once again property, denied civil rights and banned from public life. Earth’s wealth depends on interplanetary commerce with alien races, and linguists -—a small, clannish group of families -—have become the ruling elite by controlling all interplanetary communication. Their women are used to breed perfect translators for all the galaxies’ languages.

Nazareth Chornyak, the most talented linguist of the family, is exhausted by her constant work translating for trade organizations, supervising the children’s language education, running the compound, and caring for the elderly men. She longs to retire to the Barren House, where women past childbearing age knit, chat, and wait to die. What Nazareth comes to discover is that a slow revolution is going on in the Barren Houses: there, word by word, women are creating a language of their own to free them from men’s control.

Orbital Decay

Near Space: Book 1

Allen Steele

Winner of the Locus Best First Novel Award

Popeye Hooker knows that space isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. A former fisherman who takes a job building low orbital stations to escape a failed relationship, he finds that in space, construction work is still a grind. And when they aren’t building the space stations that will usher humanity into the stars, Sam Sloane and the rest of the beamjacks get high, blast the Grateful Dead, and stare through telescopes at the world they left behind. But life in orbit is about to get much more interesting.

Nestled among the life support equipment that keeps them alive and the entertainment systems that keep them happy, the beamjacks find something astonishing. Turns out, their home isn’t just a space station — it’s a giant antenna designed to spy on every inhabitant of Earth. It’s the greatest privacy invasion ever perpetrated, and the beamjacks won’t stand for it.

They may not be pioneers, but these roughnecks are about to become revolutionaries.

Clarke County, Space

Near Space: Book 2

Allen Steele

Sheriff John Bigthorn's job of keeping the peace on "Clarke County," Earth's first orbiting space colony, seems simple enough--until a frantic young woman fleeing her gangster boyfriend seeks refuge there, bringing with her a secret that holds the key to the colony's destruction or liberation.

Countdown

Newsflesh

Mira Grant

Hugo-nominated Novella

"Countdown" is the first novella set in the world of Feed, and tracks the early days of the Rising, from well-meaning medical research to the dead beginning to walk. Meet the accidental creators of the zombie apocalypse, and ask yourself for the first time: When will you Rise?

The year is 2014, the year everything changed. We cured cancer. We cured the common cold. We died.

This is the story of how we rose.

Republished in 2012 by Subterranean Press as When Will You Rise? Stories to End the World, including the unrelated Mira Grant short story, "Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box".

San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats

Newsflesh

Mira Grant

Hugo-nominated Novella

It was the summer of 2014, and the true horrors of the Rising were only just beginning to reveal themselves. Fans from all over the world gathered in San Diego, California for the annual comic book and media convention, planning to forget about the troubling rumors of new diseases and walking dead by immersing themselves in a familiar environment. Over the course of five grueling days and nights, it became clear that the news was very close to home... and that most of the people who picked up their badges would never make it out alive.

Feed

Newsflesh: Book 1

Mira Grant

In 2014, two experimental viruses--a genetically engineered flu strain designed by Dr. Alexander Kellis, intended to act as a cure for the common cold, and a cancer-killing strain of Marburg, known as "Marburg Amberlee"--escaped the lab and combined to form a single airborne pathogen that swept around the world in a matter of days. It cured cancer. It stopped a thousand cold and flu viruses in their tracks.

It raised the dead.

Millions died in the chaos that followed. The summer of 2014 was dubbed "The Rising," and only the lessons learned from a thousand zombie movies allowed mankind to survive. Even then, the world was changed forever. The mainstream media fell, Internet news acquired an undeniable new legitimacy, and the CDC rose to a new level of power.

Set twenty years after the Rising, the Newsflesh trilogy follows a team of bloggers, led by Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they search for the brutal truths behind the infection. Danger, deceit, and betrayal lurk around every corner, as does the hardest question of them all:

When will you rise?

When Senator Peter Ryman of Wisconsin decides to take a team of bloggers along on his run for the White House, Georgia and Shaun Mason are quick to submit their application. They, along with their friend Georgette "Buffy" M. are selected, and view this as the chance to launch their careers to a whole new level... that is, if they can survive the campaign trail.”

Deadline

Newsflesh: Book 2

Mira Grant

Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has.

But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.

Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.

Blackout

Newsflesh: Book 3

Mira Grant

Rise up while you can. - Georgia Mason

The year was 2014. The year we cured cancer. The year we cured the common cold. And the year the dead started to walk. The year of the Rising.

The year was 2039. The world didn't end when the zombies came, it just got worse. Georgia and Shaun Mason set out on the biggest story of their generation. The uncovered the biggest conspiracy since the Rising and realized that to tell the truth, sacrifices have to be made.

Now, the year is 2041, and the investigation that began with the election of President Ryman is much bigger than anyone had assumed. With too much left to do and not much time left to do it in, the surviving staff of After the End Times must face mad scientists, zombie bears, rogue government agencies-and if there's one thing they know is true in post-zombie America, it's this:

Things can always get worse.

BLACKOUT is the conclusion to the epic trilogy that began in the Hugo-nominated FEED and the sequel, DEADLINE.

Nexus

Nexus 5: Book 1

Ramez Naam

Mankind gets an upgrade

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

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

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

Crux

Nexus 5: Book 2

Ramez Naam

Six months have passed since the release of Nexus 5. The world is a different, more dangerous place.

In the USA, the freedom fighters of the Post-Human Liberation Front use Nexus to turn men and women into human time bombs aimed at the President and his allies.

The first blows in the war between human and posthuman have been struck.

Apex

Nexus 5: Book 3

Ramez Naam

Global unrest spreads as mass protests advance throughout the US and China, Nexus-upgraded riot police battle against upgraded protestors, and a once-dead scientist plans to take over the planet's electronic systems. The world has never experienced turmoil of this type, on this scale.They call them the Apex - humanity's replacement. They're smarter, faster, better. And infinitely more dangerous.

Humanity is dying. Long live the Apex.

One Second After

One Second After: Book 1

William R. Forstchen

New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real... a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages... A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies.

Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future... and our end.

City of Golden Shadow

Otherland: Book 1

Tad Williams

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

Gypsy Plus

Outspoken Authors: Book 16

Carter Scholz

Since his debut in Terry Carr's legendary Ace Specials of the 1980s, Carter Scholz has occupied an enviable, if demanding, position on the cutting edge of modern speculative literature (vulgarly called SF).

Proudly debuting in this volume, Gypsy is his first major work since his 2002 nuclear thriller Radiance. An interstellar adventure grounded in the hard science of accurate physics and biology, Gypsy soars far beyond the heliosphere of conventional science fiction. Jettisoning the easy warp-drives of fantasy and space opera, Scholz chronicles with chilling realism the epic voyage of a team of far-seeing scientists, who crowdsource a secret starship and abandon the doomed Earth for the Alpha Centauri system, our nearest stellar neighbor and last desperate chance. Heartbreak and hope collide in this moving and visionary tale.

Plus... An epistolary story about a story, "The Nine Billion Names of God," uses a classic SF text to deconstruct literary deconstruction itself, with hilarious results. In the wickedly droll "Bad Pennies," a spy tasked with trashing a foreign economy testifies before a complacent Congress. Quietly furious, "The United States of Impunity" is an alarming look under the tent of today's political sideshow. Adults only.

And Featuring: "Gear. Food. Rocks." -- our Outspoken Interview, in which a postmodern Renaissance man charts the synergies and dissonances of a career that embraces both literary and musical composition, reveals the hidden link between winemaking and deep space astronomy, and tells you how to steal his car.

Table of Contents:

  • Gypsy - (2015)
  • The Nine Billion Names of God - (1984)
  • The United States of Impunity - essay by Carter Scholz
  • Bad Pennies - (2009)
  • Gear. Food. Rocks. - interview of Carter Scholz by Terry Bisson

Doomsday Book

Oxford Time Travel: Book 2

Connie Willis

For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received.

But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin -- barely of age herself -- finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history's darkest hours.

Five years in the writing by one of science fiction's most honored authors, Doomsday Book is a storytelling triumph. Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit.

To Say Nothing of the Dog

Oxford Time Travel: Book 3

Connie Willis

In her first full-length novel since her critically acclaimed Doomsday Book Connie Willis, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, once again visits the unpredictable world of time travel. But this time the result is a joyous journey into a past and future of comic mishaps and historical cross-purposes, in which the power of human love can still make all the difference.

On the surface, England in the summer of 1888 is possibly the most restful time in history--lazy afternoons boating on the Thames, tea parties, croquet on the lawn--and time traveler Ned Henry is badly in need of a rest. He's been shuttling back and forth between the 21st century and the 1940s looking for a Victorian atrocity called the bishop's birdstump. It's only the latest in a long string of assignments from Lady Schrapnell, the rich dowager who has invaded Oxford University. She's promised to endow the university's time-travel research project in return for their help in rebuilding the famed Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in a Nazi air raid over a hundred years before.

But the bargain has turned into a nightmare. Lady Schrapnell's motto is "God is in the details," and as the l25th anniversary of the cathedral's destruction--and the deadline for its proposed completion--approaches, time-travel research has fallen by the wayside. Now Ned and his colleagues are frantically engaged in installing organ pipes, researching misericords, and generally risking life and limb. So when Ned gets the chance to escape to the Victorian era, he jumps at it. Unfortunately, he isn't really being sent there to recover from his time-lag symptoms, but to correct an incongruity a fellow historian, Verity Kindle, has inadvertently created by bringing something forward from the past.

In theory, such an act is impossible. But now it has happened, and it's up to Ned and Verity to correct the incongruity before it alters history or, worse, destroys the space-time continuum. And they have to do it while coping with eccentric Oxford dons, table-rapping spiritualists, a very spoiled young lady, and an even more spoiled cat. As Ned and Verity try frantically to hold things together and find out why the incongruity happened, the breach widens, time travel goes amok, and everything starts to fall apart--until the fate of the entire space-time continuum hangs on a sÚance, a butler, a bulldog, the battle of Waterloo, and, above all, on the bishop's birdstump.

At once a mystery novel, a time-travel adventure, and a Shakespearean comedy, To Say Nothing of the Dog is a witty and imaginative tale of misconceptions, misunderstandings, and a chaotic world in which the shortest distance between two points is never a straight line, and the secret to the universe truly lies "in the details."

All Clear

Oxford Time Travel: Book 5

Connie Willis

In Blackout, award-winning author Connie Willis returned to the time-traveling future of 2060-the setting for several of her most celebrated works-and sent three Oxford historians to World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler’s bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.

Now the situation has grown even more dire. Small discrepancies in the historical record seem to indicate that one or all of them have somehow affected the past, changing the outcome of the war. The belief that the past can be observed but never altered has always been a core belief of time-travel theory-but suddenly it seems that the theory is horribly, tragically wrong.

Meanwhile, in 2060 Oxford, the historians’ supervisor, Mr. Dunworthy, and seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who nurses a powerful crush on Polly, are engaged in a frantic and seemingly impossible struggle of their own-to find three missing needles in the haystack of history.

Told with compassion, humor, and an artistry both uplifting and devastating, All Clear is more than just the triumphant culmination of the adventure that began with Blackout. It’s Connie Willis’s most humane, heartfelt novel yet-a clear-eyed celebration of faith, love, and the quiet, ordinary acts of heroism and sacrifice too often overlooked by history.

False Hearts

Pacifica: Book 1

Laura Lam

Laura Lam's adult sci-fi debut False Hearts: Two formerly conjoined sisters are ensnared in a murderous plot involving psychoactive drugs, shared dreaming, organized crime, and a sinister cult.

Raised in the closed cult of Mana's Hearth and denied access to modern technology, conjoined sisters Taema and Tila dream of a life beyond the walls of the compound. When the heart they share begins to fail, the twins escape to San Francisco, where they are surgically separated and given new artificial hearts. From then on they pursue lives beyond anything they could have previously imagined.

Ten years later, Tila returns one night to the twins' home in the city, terrified and covered in blood, just before the police arrive and arrest her for murder--the first homicide by a civilian in decades. Tila is suspected of involvement with the Ratel, a powerful crime syndicate that deals in the flow of Verve, a drug that allows violent minds to enact their darkest desires in a terrifying dreamscape. Taema is given a proposition: go undercover as her sister and perhaps save her twin's life. But during her investigation Taema discovers disturbing links between the twins' past and their present. Once unable to keep anything from each other, the sisters now discover the true cost of secrets.

The Bone Season: A Novel

Paige Mahoney: Book 1

Samantha Shannon

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others' minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city--Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly--as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Mime Order: A Novel

Paige Mahoney: Book 2

Samantha Shannon

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.

Parasite

Parasitology: Book 1

Mira Grant

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives... and will do anything to get them.

Symbiont

Parasitology: Book 2

Mira Grant

THE ENEMY IS INSIDE US.

The SymboGen-designed parasites were created to relieve humanity of disease and sickness. But the implants in the majority of the world's population began attacking their hosts, turning them into a ravenous horde.

Now those who do not appear to be afflicted are being gathered for quarantine as panic spreads, but Sal and her companions must discover how the parasites are taking over their hosts, what their eventual goal is and how they can be stopped.

Chimera

Parasitology: Book 3

Mira Grant

The final book in Mira Grant's terrifying Parasitology trilogy.

The outbreak has spread, tearing apart the foundations of society, as implanted tapeworms have turned their human hosts into a seemingly mindless mob.

Sal and her family are trapped between bad and worse, and must find a way to compromise between the two sides of their nature before the battle becomes large enough to destroy humanity, and everything that humanity has built... including the chimera.

The broken doors are closing. Can Sal make it home?

Peeps

Peeps Series: Book 1

Scott Westerfeld

A year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and partying than in attending biology class. Now, after a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman named Morgan, biology has become, literally, Cal’s life.

Cal was infected by a parasite that has a truly horrifying effect on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but he’s infected the girlfriends he’s had since Morgan. All three have turned into the ravening ghouls Cal calls Peeps. The rest of us know them as vampires. It’s Cal’s job to hunt them down before they can create more of their kind. . . .

Bursting with the sharp intelligence and sly humor that are fast becoming his trademark, Scott Westerfeld’s novel is an utterly original take on an archetype of horror.

Planetfall

Planetfall: Book 1

Emma Newman

From Emma Newman, the award-nominated author of Between Two Thorns, comes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity's future might be its undoing...

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi's vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony's 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart...

After Atlas

Planetfall: Book 2

Emma Newman

Acclaimed author Emma Newman returns to the captivating universe she created in Planetfall with a stunning science fiction mystery where one man's murder is much more than it seems...

Govcorp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos's entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Atlas's departure, it's got something to do why Casales was found dead in his hotel room--and why Carlos is the man in charge of the investigation.

To figure out who killed one of the most powerful men on Earth, Carlos is supposed to put aside his personal history. But the deeper he delves into the case, the more he realizes that escaping the past is not so easy. There's more to Casales's death than meets the eye, and something much more sinister to the legacy of Atlas than anyone realizes...

Inhuman Garbage

Retrieval Artist

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Finalist in Asimov's 30th Annual Readers' Award Poll; selected for three 2015 Year's Best anthologies

This novella is set in the Retrieval Artist universe, as part of the background for the Anniversary Day saga.

Detective Noelle DeRicci is called in when the body of a woman is discovered in a waste crate in Armstrong, the largest dome on the Moon -- found by the owner just before the crate's contents were sent to the Growing Pits to be made into compost. The coroner she has summoned identifies the body as the nanny to the child of a local crime boss named Luc Deshin, who subsequently tells DeRicci he had fired the victim that day because she was not affectionate enough with his infant son.

Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, March 2015. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection (2016), edited by Gardner Dozois, and The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas 2016, edited by Paula Guran.

Read this story online for free at Asimov's Science Fiction.

The Impossibles

Retrieval Artist

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

To pay off her law school debts, Kerrie works in the public defender's office at the Interspecies Court. She has more clients than she can defend, most of them from cultures she does not understand. The public defender's office loses almost all of its cases, but sometimes it gets a win. Kerrie thinks she has a winner. But does she? Or will winning the case mean she loses at everything else?

Anthologized in Galactic Empires (2017), edited by Neil Clarke.

The Possession of Paavo Deshin

Retrieval Artist

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

All of his short life, Paavo Deshin has seen ghosts. The same two ghosts who have now approached him on the school playground, ghosts who look older and actually smell bad. Paavo's cry for help brings the authorities, a few lawyers, and Retrieval Artist Miles Flint, who learns some secrets about the ghosts -- and about Paavo's parents. This short stand-alone science fiction novel in the Retrieval Artist series received a Special Mention from the prestigious international UPC contest.

It fits right after the full novel Duplicate Effort in the timeline, but stands alone.

The Recovery Man's Bargain

Retrieval Artist

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Hadad Yu "recovers" things for a living. Things, not people, not animals. Things. Until he gets in trouble and must work for the alien Gyonnese. They want a person to answer for her crimes, and they want to use Yu to get her. He reluctantly agrees, and sets off events that will change his life and the lives around him forever. A companion piece to Recovery Man, The Recovery Man's Bargain explores the motivations of one of the stranger characters in the Retrieval Artist universe.

The Retrieval Artist

Retrieval Artist

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Hugo-nominated Novella

This is the short novel that started the entire Retrieval Artist series, introducing Miles Flint and his unique profession to the world -- creating an entire universe, and Flint himself became what io9 calls "one of the top ten science fiction detectives ever."

Part CSI, part Blade Runner, and part hard-boiled gumshoe, the retrieval artist of the series title, one Miles Flint, would be as at home on a foggy San Francisco street in the 1940s as he is in the domed lunar colony of Armstrong City.

The Disappeared

Retrieval Artist: Book 1

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

In a universe where humans and aliens have formed a loose government called the Earth Alliance, treaties guarantee that humans are subject to alien laws when on alien soil. But alien laws often make no sense, and the punishments vary from loss of life to loss of a first-born child.

Now three cases have collided: a stolen spaceyacht filled with dead bodies, two kidnapped human children, and a human woman on the run, trying to Disappear to avoid alien prosecution. Flint must enforce the law-giving the children to aliens, solving the murders, and arresting the woman for trying to save her own life. But how is a man supposed to enforce laws that are unjust? How can he sacrifice innocents to a system he's not sure he believes in? How can Miles Flint do the right thing in a universe where the right thing is very, very wrong?

This Endeavor Award-winning novel is Flint's first adventure, the story that turns him from a police detective in the Armstrong Dome on the Moon into a Retrieval Artist.

Extremes

Retrieval Artist: Book 2

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

A Retrieval Artist dies of a virus, yet his colleague, Miles Flint, believes the death is not an accident. Police detective Noelle DeRicci knows that the death of a young woman in the Moon's prestigious Extreme Marathon is not an accident. It soon becomes clear that both deaths are connected. Flint and DeRicci find themselves in their own race, one against time and a certain kind of madness that could threaten everything they know and love.

Booklist calls Extremes "an exemplary futuristic detective thriller." RT Book Reviews says, "This futuristic tale breaks new ground as a space police procedural and should appeal to science fiction and mystery fans." But Locus Magazine covers it all: "Extremes is simultaneously thriller, deftly plotted detective story, and SF complete with a form of Mad Scientist. Like the best of those genres, it also features well-drawn characters whose various viewpoints, areas of expertise, moral choices, and personal dilemmas all add to the rich mix."

Consequences

Retrieval Artist: Book 3

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

A woman dies in the domed city of Armstrong on the Moon. Detective Noelle DeRicci discovers that the victim is a Disappeared — an outlaw in hiding wanted for crimes against an alien civilization. Only DeRicci's old partner, Retrieval Artist Miles Flint brought the Disappeared home, something he would have only done if he believed the alien government would exonerate her for her crimes.

But Flint and DeRicci are no longer partners; in fact, they're on opposite sides of the law. Flint can't tell DeRicci about his client's role in a war between humans and a mysterious alien race. The Disappeared's death is only the first volley in an escalation of that war, a war that threatens to engulf the entire solar system.

Buried Deep

Retrieval Artist: Book 4

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

A cold case starts it all — human bones discovered beneath the Martian soil in the alien Disty's main city. The Disty evacuate, believing the area contaminated. Forensic anthropologist Aisha Costard investigates and discovers that the bones belong to a woman last seen thirty years before.

But the woman didn't vanish, nor did anyone believe her dead. She Disappeared, along with her children, after being charged with crimes against an alien civilization. Costard believes the children hold the key to this mystery, but she can't find them on her own. So she returns to the Moon to hire Miles Flint.

As Flint investigates, events move swiftly around him, and suddenly what began as a simple murder case turns into an incident that might destroy the entire solar system....

International bestselling writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch has won two Hugo awards, a World Fantasy Award, and three Asimov's Readers Choice Awards. IO9 called her six (so far) bestselling, award-winning Retrieval Artist novels one of the top ten science fiction detective series ever.

Paloma

Retrieval Artist: Book 5

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Retrieval Artist Miles Flint gets an urgent message from his mentor, Paloma. But by the time he arrives at her apartment, she's dead, the victim of a terrible murder. The police, already on the scene, think Flint's connected to the death.

Effectively frozen out of the investigation, he starts one of his own, and discovers secrets that Paloma kept, secrets that make Flint question everything he knew about her, everything she taught him about honor, ethics, and being a Retrieval Artist.

Recovery Man

Retrieval Artist: Book 6

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

When she arrives home from school on Callisto, Talia Shindo finds two strange men in her house. They terrorize her, and kidnap her mother. The men leave Talia behind. She's thirteen, brilliant, and determined to find her missing mother.

Retrieval Artist Miles Flint works a seemingly unrelated case, digging into files left him by his mentor. Only he finds a connection to the Shindo kidnapping, a connection that shatters everything he ever knew.

The two cases collide, changing Flint, changing Talia, and changing the universe around them — forever.

Duplicate Effort

Retrieval Artist: Book 7

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Retrieval Artist Miles Flint has a mission: take down the law firm of Wagner, Stuart, and Xendor. He enlists the aides of old friends and old enemies. But as the mission gets underway, one member of his team dies horribly. Flint can no longer take on the entire universe. He violated the rules of his Retrieval Artist mentor and now has a lot to lose. But he can't reverse the events he set in motion — and the crisis he caused might destroy everything — and everyone — he loves.

Anniversary Day

Retrieval Artist: Book 8

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Book 1 in the Anniversary Day Saga

The long-awaited return of the Retrieval Artist series!!

Four years ago, a bomb destroyed part of the dome protecting Armstrong, the largest city on the Moon. Now, as the city celebrates its survival with an event it calls Anniversary Day, a larger threat looms — one that begins with the murder of the mayor, and spreads across the Moon itself.

Even with every new technological device at her disposal, Moon Security Chief Noelle DeRicci can't stay ahead of the unfolding disaster. As the situation gets worse, Retrieval Artist Miles Flint hurries to his daughter's school to protect her. And Detective Bartholomew Nyquist finds himself in the middle of everything, from that first bombing to the Anniversary Day crisis itself.

A thriller with several mysteries at its core, Anniversary Day is Kristine Kathryn Rusch's most exciting Retrieval Artist novel yet.

Blowback

Retrieval Artist: Book 9

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Book 2 in the Anniversary Day Saga

The Moon, shaken by the Anniversary Day tragedies, deals with devastation. The Earth Alliance believes another attack imminent, but no one knows where or when it will strike. Just like no one knows who ordered the attacks in the first place.

The Moon's chief security office, Noelle DeRicci, does her best to hold the United Domes government together. But Retrieval Artist Miles Flint, dissatisfied with the investigation into the Anniversary Day events, begins an investigation of his own. He builds a coalition of shady operatives, off-the-books detectives, and his own daughter, Talia, in a race against time. A race, he quickly learns, that implicates organizations he trusts — and people he loves.

A Murder of Clones

Retrieval Artist: Book 10

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Book 3 in the Anniversary Day Saga

A deadly conspiracy...

The Anniversary Day bombings on the Moon sent shockwaves throughout the Earth Alliance. No one knows who created the clones responsible and turned them into ruthless killers. No one knows where or when they'll strike next.

The bombings compel Earth Alliance Frontier Marshal Judita Gomez to launch an unauthorized investigation into a case from her past involving the murder of clones. An investigation that might cost Judita not only her career but the lives of her crew.

This third book of the Anniversary Day Saga sheds further light on the Anniversary Day events, and introduces several new key characters.

Search & Recovery

Retrieval Artist: Book 11

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Book 4 in the Anniversary Day Saga

Amid the ruin, heroes emerge from the unlikeliest places...

The Anniversary Day bombings devastated the Moon, killing thousands. While survivors search for missing loved ones and the rich and powerful set plans in motion to capitalize on the Moon's misfortune, one ruthless man vows to uncover those responsible for the attacks on the Moon.

Luc Deshin, the most feared man in Armstrong, knows all too well the bombings could have killed the wife and son he loves more than life itself. To protect his family, Deshin immerses himself in a criminal network he fought long and hard to leave behind.

Deshin doesn't scare easily, but what he finds in the black market underbelly of the Moon will chill him to the bone.

The Peyti Crisis

Retrieval Artist: Book 12

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Book 5 in the Anniversary Day Saga

The Moon barely survived the devastation of Anniversary Day. The second round of attacks planned to kill millions more. With the life of every human and alien on the Moon hanging in the balance, the Moon's chief security officer, Noelle DeRicci, races to discover the identity of the masterminds behind the attacks before it's too late.

Desperate to find answers, DeRicci turns to Retrieval Artist Miles Flint and Detective Bartholomew Nyquist for the kind of help only Flint and Nyquist can provide.

A gripping look at a society on edge.

Vigilantes

Retrieval Artist: Book 13

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Book 6 in the Anniversary Day Saga

A shocking act of violence...

The looming threat of another attack spurs the Moon's chief security officer, Noelle DeRicci, to uncover the identity of the masterminds behind the Anniversary Day bombings before they strike again. Armed with information uncovered by Retrieval Artist Miles Flint and Detective Bartholomew Nyquist, DeRicci lets herself hope she can put an end to the violence against the Moon.

But then a brutal murder changes everything. DeRicci must risk everything to launch a secret investigation into the very heart of the Earth Alliance.

Can the next attack be stopped?

Starbase Human

Retrieval Artist: Book 14

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Book 7 in the Anniversary Day Saga

Can the fate of a forgotten starbase hold the key to the Moon's survival?

Long before the Anniversary Day bombings brought the Moon to its knees, a far-flung starbase became the testing ground for a diabolical plan: the annihilation of every human inhabitant by an army of clones.

Every lead to the masterminds behind the bombings uncovered by criminal kingpin Luc Deshin dead ended in an Earth Alliance connection.

Undercover operative Iniko Zagrando refused to play patsy for the Earth Alliance Military Division Intelligence Service, and now he's fleeing for his life from his old bosses.

And Frontier Marshall Judita Gomez puts her own life and the lives of her team on the line when her search for the origins of the Anniversary Day assassins leads to an Earth Alliance cloning factory.

From the quiet courage of a Disappeared who struggles to decide whether to come out of hiding to the potent fury of a master criminal who puts a plan in motion to strike back at an overwhelming enemy, Starbase Human brings readers one step closer to the exciting conclusion of the Anniversary Day saga.

Masterminds

Retrieval Artist: Book 15

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Book 8 in the Anniversary Day Saga

The fate of the Alliance hangs in the balance as the masterminds behind the Anniversary Day bombings trigger the final stages of a plan decades in the making. A plan that will bring about the total destruction of every dome on the Moon.

As Moon Security Chief Noelle DeRicci struggles with the overwhelming scope of the investigation, Retrieval Artist Miles Flint races to save the life of a man from his daughter Talia's past. A man with vital information regarding the identity of the masterminds who planned the Anniversary Day bombings. And deep beneath the surface of Armstrong, a dome engineer makes a chilling discovery that could crack the investigation wide open.

If only he can get someone to believe him.

The thrilling conclusion to the Anniversary Day Saga.

Rocket Girls

Rocket Girls: Book 1

Housuke Nojiri

Rock it with the offer of a space lifetime!

Yukari Morita is a high school girl on a quest to find her missing father. While searching for him on the Solomon Islands, she receives the offer of a lifetime--she'll get the help she needs to find her father, and all she need do in return is become the world's youngest, lightest astronaut. Yukari and her teen friends, all petite, are the perfect crew and cargo for the Solomon Space Association's launches, or will be once they complete their rigorous and sometimes dangerous training.

Rocket Girls: The Last Planet

Rocket Girls: Book 2

Housuke Nojiri

Ad Astra, baby!

When the Rocket Girls accidentally land in the yard of Yukari Morita's old school, it looks as though their experiment is ruined. Luckily, the geeky Akane is there to save the day. Fitting the profile--she's intelligent, enthusiastic, and petite--Akane is soon recruited by Solomon Space Association. Yukari and Akane are then given the biggest Rocket Girl mission yet: a voyage to the edge of the solar system and the minor planet of Pluto to save a NASA probe.

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...

Bronte's Egg

saurs

Richard Chwedyk

Nebula winning and Hugo and Sturgeon Award nominated novella. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 2002. The story can also be found in the anthology Nebula Awards Showcase 2004, edited by Vonda N. McIntyre.

Shadow of the Hegemon

Shadow Saga: Book 2

Orson Scott Card

The War is over, won by Ender Wiggin and his team of brilliant child-warriors. The enemy is destroyed, the human race is saved. Ender himself refuses to return to the planet, but his crew has gone home to their families, scattered across the globe. The battle school is no more.

But with the external threat gone, the Earth has become a battlefield once more. The children of the Battle School are more than heros they are potential weapons that can bring power to the countries that control them. One by one, all of Ender's Dragon Army are kidnapped. Only Bean escapes and he turns for help to Ender's brother Peter.

Peter Wiggin, Ender's older brother, has already been manipulating the politics of Earth from behind the scenes. With Bean's help, he will eventually rule the world.

Shadow Puppets

Shadow Saga: Book 3

Orson Scott Card

Bestselling author Orson Scott Card brings to life a new chapter in the saga of Ender's Earth.

Earth and its society has been changed irrevocably in the aftermath of Ender Wiggin's victory over the Formics--the unity enforced upon the warring nations by an alien enemy has shattered. Nations are rising again, seeking territory and influence, and most of all, seeking to control the skills and loyalty of the children from the Battle School.

But one person has a better idea. Peter Wiggin, Ender's older, more ruthless, brother, sees that any hope for the future of Earth lies in restoring a sense of unity and purpose. And he has an irresistible call on the loyalty of Earth's young warriors. With Bean at his side, the two will reshape our future.

Here is the continuing story of Bean and Petra, and the rest of Ender's Dragon Army, as they take their places in the new government of Earth.

Shadow of the Giant

Shadow Saga: Book 4

Orson Scott Card

Bean's past was a battle just to survive. He first appeared on the streets of Rotterdam, a tiny child with a mind leagues beyond anyone else. He knew he could not survive through strength; he used his tactical genius to gain acceptance into a children's gang, and then to help make that gang a template for success for all the others. He civilized them, and lived to grow older. Then he was discovered by the recruiters for the Battle School.

For Earth was at war -- a terrible war with an inscrutable alien enemy. A war that humanity was near to losing. But the long distances of interstellar space has given hope to the defenders of Earth -- they had time to train military geniuses up from childhood, forging them into an irresistible force in the high-orbital facility called the Battle School. That story is told in two books, the beloved classic Ender's Game, and its parallel, Ender's Shadow.

Bean was the smallest student at the Battle School, but he became Ender Wiggins' right hand. Since then he has grown to be a power on Earth. He served the Hegemon as strategist and general in the terrible wars that followed Ender's defeat of the alien empire attacking Earth. Now he and his wife Petra yearn for a safe place to build a family -- something he has never known -- but there is nowhere on Earth that does not harbor his enemies -- old enemies from the days in Ender's Jeesh, new enemies from the wars on Earth. To find security, Bean and Petra must once again follow in Ender's footsteps. They must leave Earth behind, in the control of the Hegemon, and look to the stars.

Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker: Book 1

Paolo Bacigalupi

In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life. . . .

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.

The Drowned Cities

Ship Breaker: Book 2

Paolo Bacigalupi

Soldier boys emerged from the darkness. Guns gleamed dully. Bullet bandoliers and scars draped their bare chests. Ugly brands scored their faces. She knew why these soldier boys had come. She knew what they sought, and she knew, too, that if they found it, her best friend would surely die.

In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man--a bioengineered war beast named Tool--who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.

This thrilling companion to Paolo Bacigalupi's highly acclaimed Ship Breaker is a haunting and powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.

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?

2061: Odyssey Three

Space Odyssey: Book 3

Arthur C. Clarke

Fifty years after meeting the spirit of Dave Bowman aboard the abandoned Discovery and witnessing the fiery transformation of Jupiter into Earths second sun, 103-year-old Dr. Heywood Floyd boards the luxury spaceship Universe for the historic first landing on the surface of Halley's Comet.

At the same time, the Galaxy expedition sets out to probe the evolutionary upheaval on Jupiter's former moon Europa haunted by the fate of a doomed Chinese mission and by the ominous message from space: "All these worlds are yours *except Europa. Attempt no landings there. "

As the stranded Galaxy awaits rescue on the dangerous and forbidden surface of Europa and Universe races to her aid, the omniscient force that is Dave Bowman watches *and waits to reveal the extraordinary secrets of the monoliths, of the masters he now serves, and of mankind's ultimate role in the course of cosmic history . . .

The Sparrow

Sparrow Series: Book 1

Mary Doria Russell

The Sparrow is a novel about a remarkable man, a living saint, a life-long celibate and Jesuit priest, who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him question the existence of God. This experience--the first contact between human beings and intelligent extraterrestrial life--begins with a small mistake and ends in a horrible catastrophe.

Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait

Spider Webb: Book 1

K. A. Bedford

For "Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait" specialist, Aloysius "Spider" Webb, time travel has lost its luster.

Working as a senior time machine repair technician, Spider has seen it all - past, present and future. Wanting more out of life, Spider hates time travel and everything that goes with it - after all, time travel cost him his job as a top investigating police officer.

Fixing time machines is a waste of Spider's talent. But he's resigned to do it until he discovers, inside a broken second-hand time machine, the corpse of a woman; brutally murdered, wrapped in plastic and duct tape. Before Spider can act on his old police instincts, the shadowy Department of Time and Space steps in and seizes the machine, the remains, and all of the evidence, and closes the investigation.

Spider wants answers, but his questions only lead to more questions; unsettling evidence, brewing trouble, and the knowledge that Spider, himself, might be involved in an epic battle at the End of Time. Who can Spider trust? And what will they tell him: the truth or what he wants to hear?

Somewhere East of Life

Squire Quartet: Book 4

Brian W. Aldiss

Architectural historian Roy Burnell has been tasked with traveling the globe and listing architectural gems in danger of being destroyed. But when Burnell is in Budapest, ten years of his memory, mostly his architectural knowledge and sexual experiences, is stolen. In this near-future, thieves using EMV ("e-mnemonicvision") sell memories on the black market. In the wake of this event, Burnell tries to resume his life, while also searching for the "bullet" that will restore his memory.

Stardance (novella)

Stardance

Jeanne Robinson
Spider Robinson

Hugo, Nebula and Locus Award winning novella.

Shara, a gifted choreographer and dancer, can't find work. Together with Charlie, a camera man who wants to help Shara achieve her dream, they discover a new way for her to dance: in zero gravity... from space! When an alien force invades, it is up to Shara to find a way to communicate and save Earth.

The story originally appeared in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, March 1977. The story Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, March 1977. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction of the Year #7 (1978), edited by Terry Carr, Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year: Seventh Annual Collection (1978), edited by Gardner Dozois, Nebula Winners Thirteen (1980), edited by Samuel R. Delany and The Hugo Winners, Volume 4: (1976-79) (1985), edited by Isaac Asimov. The story is included in the collection God Is an Iron and Other Stories (2002). It is incorporated in the fixup novel Stardance (1979).

Sword Art Online 1: Aincrad

Sword Art Online: Book 1

Reki Kawahara

In the year 2022, gamers rejoice as Sword Art Online - a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) like no other - debuts, allowing players to take full advantage of the ultimate in gaming technology: NerveGear, a system that allows users to completely immerse themselves in a wholly realistic gaming experience. But when the game goes live, the elation of the players quickly turns to horror as they discover that, for all its amazing features, SAO is missing one of the most basic functions of any MMORPG - a log-out button. Now trapped in the virtual world of Aincrad, their bodies held captive by NerveGear in the real world, users are issued a chilling ultimatum: conquer all one hundred floors of Aincrad to regain your freedom. But in the warped world of SAO, "game over" means certain death - both virtual and real...

Sword Art Online 2: Aincrad

Sword Art Online: Book 2

Reki Kawahara

Linked up and logged into the deadly VMMORPG "Sword Art Online" in both the real and virtual worlds, Kirito is stuck in a hell of one man's making, and like everyone else, unable to escape until the game is beaten. But while some players are crippled by fear and others throw themselves into completing the game, still others relax into everyday life in the face of their cruel predicament and live to the best of their ability...laughing, crying, but always enjoying the game. Among them are four women who make a mark upon the solo adventurer that Kirito has become: Silica, the beast-tamer; Lisbeth, the blacksmith; Yui, the mysterious orphan; and the tragic Sachi, never to be forgotten by the black swordsman...

Sword Art Online 3: Fairy Dance

Sword Art Online: Book 3

Reki Kawahara

Kirito has escaped Sword Art Online, the forbidden VRMMORPG of death, and returned to reality. He heads off to find his game partner and lover, Asuna Yuuki. But Asuna never made it back from the nightmare. Lost and desperate, Kirito's only clue to her virtual whereabouts is a mysterious screenshot of Asuna as a fairy trapped in a giant birdcage. His conclusion: She must be trapped within the new, high-powered VRMMORPG, ALfheim Online. Now Kirito must plunge into the world of ALO, where players are fairies who fly gracefully through the air!

Sword Art Online 4: Fairy Dance

Sword Art Online: Book 4

Reki Kawahara

Kirito plunges into a suspicious new VRMMORPG called ALfheim Online to rescue Asuna, who never returned from Sword Art Online. ALO offers many features to entertain players in the wake of SAO: ultra high-end graphics, action-heavy gameplay, and a choice of fairy races, complete with a next-generation flight engine. Playing as a Spriggan, Kirito heads for the location of Asuna's prison–the top of the World Tree, the final destination of every player in the game! Along the way, Kirito nearly falls to a plot hatched by the enemy Salamanders, just barely surviving the ordeal with the help of a Sylph named Leafa and his Navigation Pixie, Yui. But just as Kirito and Leafa make it to the foot of the World Tree, the end of their quest in sight, both Kirito and Leafa each realize the other has a very big secret...

Sword Art Online 5: Phantom Bullet

Sword Art Online: Book 5

Reki Kawahara

Kirito reenters the world of VRMMOs, this time logging in to Gun Gale Online in order to investigate the Death Gun, an in-game item rumored to be responsible for real-world deaths. He immediately runs into trouble when, after transferring his old avatar into the new game, he discovers that he looks a bit more feminine than he'd anticipated!

With the help of Sinon the sniper, he enters the Bullet of Bullets tournament and tries to adapt his old skills to the new gun-based combat of Gun Gale Online. He'll need every friend he can get and every trick in the book, though, to crack the mystery of the Phantom Bullet and learn the truth about the Death Gun!

Sword Art Online 6: Phantom Bullet

Sword Art Online: Book 6

Reki Kawahara

In an effort to discover the truth behind Death Gun, Kirito has entered the Bullet of Bullets tournament in Gun Gale Online, and both he and Sinon the sniper girl have made it to the finals, and the reality of what they discover is stranger than anything they could've prepared for. Lives are on the line once again as Sinon is forced to face her own past--but can Death Gun's bizarre rampage be stopped in time?

Sword Art Online 7: Mother's Rosary

Sword Art Online: Book 7

Reki Kawahara

Kirito and Sinon's battle with Death Gun is over, but mere weeks later, something strange is afoot in the next-generation VRMMO ALfheim Online. A new duelist with a custom sword skill is defeating all comers--including Kirito! But when Asuna goes to face this duelist, she receives something she never expected: An invitation to an exclusive guild! But what is their aim? The Mother's Rosary arc begins!

Sword Art Online 8: Early and Late

Sword Art Online: Book 8

Reki Kawahara

The saga of Sword Art Online continues with three side stories set during the Aincrad and Alfheim eras. The game of death took its toll on every player in a different way--when one turns up dead on the fifty-seventh floor, the game's afoot, and it's up to Asuna and Kirito to crack the case. There's also the story of how Kirito got his Excalibur sword in Alfheim (with a little help from his friends). And when the game of death first began, Kirito learned a difficult lesson--one he would never forget.

Contents:

  • A Crime Within the Walls
  • Calibur
  • The First Day

Sword Art Online 9: Alicization Beginning

Sword Art Online: Book 9

Reki Kawahara

Kirito awakens in a vast, fantastical forest filled with towering trees. In his search for clues to the truth of his surroundings, he encounters a young boy who seems to know him. He ought to be a simple NPC, but the depth of his emotions seem no different than a human. As they search for the boy's parents, Kirito finds a peculiar memory returning to him. A memory from his own childhood, of this boy and a girl, too, with golden hair, and a name he should have never forgotten--Alice.

Sword Art Online 10: Alicization Running

Sword Art Online: Book 10

Reki Kawahara

Kirito has wound up in another mysterious fantasy world again. In this VRMMO-ish place, the first person he meets is the young boy Eugeo. Kirito can hardly believe Eugeo's an NPC when seeing his rich emotions and thoughts and ends up heading to the capital, Centria.

Two years later, Kirito and Eugeo have become First Order initiates of the North Centria Imperial Discipline Sword Academy and have been taken under the wing of their seniors, Soltirina and Golgoth. As they train and learn, they do nothing but strive to become one of the highest keepers of peace and order in the human realm, the Integrity Knights.

Aiming to reach the center of the Axiom Church that controls the capital, the two break past numerous obstacles to try and become one of the elite Greater Master Swordsmen, a title that only twelve people lay claim to in the whole academy!

Sword Art Online Progressive 01

Sword Art Online Progressive: Book 1

Reki Kawahara

One month after Akihiko Kayaba's game of death began, the death toll continues to rise, two thousand players having already lost their lives to the ultra-difficult VRMMO world of Sword Art Online. On the day of the strategy meeting to plan out the first-floor boss battle, Kirito, a solo player who vows to fight alone to get stronger, runs into a rare, high-level female player. She gracefully dispatches powerful monsters with a single rapier that flashes like a shooting star in the night...

This volume contains three stories, including "Aria of a Starless Night," which details how Kirito came to be called the Black Swordsman. "Intermisssion - Reason for the Whiskers" and "Rondo of a Fragile Blade," the tragic tale of a young blacksmith that takes place before the second-floor boss fight.

Sword Art Online Progressive 02

Sword Art Online Progressive: Book 2

Reki Kawahara

Having cleared the first and second levels of Aincrad at great cost, Kirito, Asuna, and the rest of the players ascend to Level Three. New challenges await them even as tenuous new allies appear, in the vast forest that encompasses the entire level. Meanwhile, the first player-wide strategy meeting on the new level forces Asuna and Kirito to make a difficult choice.

Sword Art Online Progressive 03

Sword Art Online Progressive: Book 3

Reki Kawahara

"Here we go, Asuna! Hang on tight! Tilnel, launch!"

Having said their good-byes to the mysterious elven knight Kizmel, Kirito and Asuna set their sights on the fourth floor of Aincrad. But once they open the door, they find the way forward blocked by a powerfully flowing river. The updated version of the fourth floor has been changed into a water world! When they finally arrive at the floor's town, they're greeted by chalk-white streets and countless gondolas of all sizes. To navigate this place, Kirito and Asuna will need their own gondola--but getting one will involve confronting an eight-meter-tall beast of flame: Magnaterium... And that's only the beginning of the difficulties the fourth floor of Aincrad has in store!

Sword Art Online: Progressive, a new version of the Sword Art Online tale chronicling the entirety of Kirito and Asuna's epic adventure through Aincrad, continues!

Sword Art Online Progressive 04

Sword Art Online Progressive: Book 4

Reki Kawahara

It's been just two months since they were trapped in the game of death that is Sword Art Online, and Kirito and Asuna continue their struggle at the vanguard of progress through the game. The fifth floor of Aincrad is a mazelike ruin, and the two dare to take pleasure in raiding it for the treasure it contains. Upon returning to the fourth floor, it's time to do some questing on behalf of the Elf Lord Yofilis--but here begins Asuna's discontent, for in doing so they will have to face her least favorite monster ever...

The Terminator

Terminator: Book 1

Randall Frakes
Bill Wisher

MORE DEADLY THAN ANY MAN ALIVE

The time is now... but he comes from the Year of Darkness, 2029. He was created to reshape the future by destroying the present. He feels no pity, no pain, no fear. He feels nothing. He is an unstoppable killing machine programmed for murder. He is...

THE TERMINATOR

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Terminator: Book 2

Randall Frakes

He's back.

The Terminator returns and he's one of the good guys, sent back in time to protect John Connor, the boy destined to lead the freedom fighters of the future. Sarah Connor, John's mother, is a quintessential survivor who has been institutionalized for her warning of the nuclear holocaust she knows is inevitable. Together, the threesome must find a way to stop the ultimate enemy - the T-1000, the most lethal Terminator ever created. And if they can survive, they can change the future...

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Terminator: Book 3

David Hagberg

This is the story of John Connor, who is destined to become the head of the human resistance against the robotic forces of Skynet, the Artificial Intelligence that attacked humanity on Judgement Day.

Son of the courageous Sarah Connor, John has grown up knowing that he was different. Protected when he was a boy by a Terminator, told of his destiny before he could truly comprehend the enormity of his responsibility, he is the person in whom all hope for humanity's future lies.

His mother is dead; he's spent years in other peoples' homes hiding from his fate but now he's being hunted by a more advanced-model Terminator come back from the deadly future. John has a secret edge, but he does not know it. All he knows is that his life is about to become one long, crazy flight from destruction. It's going to be a hell of a ride!

Terminator Salvation

Terminator: Book 4

Alan Dean Foster

Set in post-apocalyptic 2018, John Connor is the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright, a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past.

As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynets operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.

Cauldron

The Academy: Book 6

Jack McDevitt

When a young physicist unveils an efficient star drive capable of reaching the core of the galaxy, veteran star pilot Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins finds herself back in the deepest reaches of space, and on the verge of discovering the origins of the deadly omega clouds that continue to haunt her.

White Queen

The Aleutian Trilogy: Book 1

Gwyneth Jones

Johnny Guglioli used to be a journalist, but his QV virus has rendered him an outcast. In exile from his native America, he encounters an enigmatic young woman. He is convinced she is an alien, and that she is part of a small force sent to reconnoitre Earth.

The End Is Nigh

The Apocalypse Triptych: Book 1

John Joseph Adams
Hugh Howey

Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm.

But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild.

The Apocalypse Triptych will tell their stories.

Edited by acclaimed anthologist John Joseph Adams and bestselling author Hugh Howey, The Apocalypse Triptych is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction. The End Is Nigh focuses on life before the apocalypse. The End Is Now turns its attention to life during the apocalypse. And The End Has Come explores life after the apocalypse.

Volume one of The Apocalypse Triptych, The End Is Nigh, features all-new, never-before-published works by Hugh Howey, Paolo Bacigalupi, Jamie Ford, Seanan McGuire, Tananarive Due, Jonathan Maberry, Scott Sigler, Robin Wasserman, Nancy Kress, Charlie Jane Anders, Ken Liu, and many others.

Post-apocalyptic fiction is about worlds that have already burned. Apocalyptic fiction is about worlds that are burning. The End Is Nigh is about the match.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (The End is Nigh) - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Balm and the Wound - short story by Robin Wasserman
  • Heaven is a Place on Planet X - short story by Desirina Boskovich
  • Break! Break! Break! - short story by Charlie Jane Anders (2014)
  • The Gods Will Not Be Chained - short story by Ken Liu
  • Wedding Day - short story by Jake Kerr
  • Removal Order - short story by Tananarive Due
  • System Reset - short story by Tobias S. Buckell
  • This Unkempt World is Falling to Pieces - short story by Jamie Ford
  • BRING HER TO ME - short story by Ben H. Winters
  • In the Air - short story by Hugh Howey
  • Goodnight Moon - short story by Annie Bellet
  • Dancing with Death in the Land of Nod - novelette by Will McIntosh
  • Houses Without Air - short story by Megan Arkenberg
  • The Fifth Day of Deer Camp - novelette by Scott Sigler
  • Enjoy the Moment - short story by Jack McDevitt
  • Pretty Soon the Four Horsemen are Going to Come Riding Through - short story by Nancy Kress
  • Spores - novelette by Seanan McGuire [as by Mira Grant]
  • She's Got a Ticket to Ride - short story by Jonathan Maberry
  • Agent Unknown - short story by David Wellington
  • Enlightenment - short story by Matthew Mather
  • Shooting the Apocalypse - novelette by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Love Perverts - short story by Sarah Langan

The End Is Now

The Apocalypse Triptych: Book 2

Hugh Howey
John Joseph Adams

Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm.

But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild.

The Apocalypse Triptych will tell their stories.

Edited by acclaimed anthologist John Joseph Adams and bestselling author Hugh Howey, The Apocalypse Triptych is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction. The End Is Nigh focuses on life before the apocalypse. The End Is Now turns its attention to life during the apocalypse. And The End Has Come explores life after the apocalypse.

The End Is Nigh is about the match. The End Has Come is about what will rise from the ashes. The End Is Now is about the conflagration.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - John Joseph Adams
  • Herd Immunity - short story by Tananarive Due
  • The Sixth Day Of Deer Camp - short story by Scott Sigler
  • Goodnight Stars - short story by Annie Bellet
  • Rock Manning Can't Hear You - short story by Charlie Jane Anders
  • Fruiting Bodies - short story by Seanan Mcguire
  • Black Monday - short story by Sarah Langan
  • Angels Of The Apocalypse - short story by Nancy Kress
  • Agent Isolated - short story by David Wellington
  • The Gods Will Not Be Slain - short story by Ken Liu
  • You've Never Seen Everything - short story by Elizabeth Bear
  • Bring Them Down - short story by Ben H. Winters
  • Twilight Of The Music Machines - short story by Megan Arkenberg
  • Sunset Hollow - short story by Jonathan Maberry
  • Penance - short story by Jake Kerr
  • Avtomat - short story by Daniel H. Wilson
  • Dancing With Batgirl In The Land Of Nod - novelette by Will Mcintosh
  • The Hair Of The Moon - short story by Jamie Ford
  • To Wrestle Not Against Flesh And Blood - short story by Desirina Boskovich
  • In The Mountain - short story by Hugh Howey
  • Dear John - novelette by Robin Wasserman

Pattern Recognition

The Blue Ant Trilogy: Book 1

William Gibson

Cayce Pollard is an expensive, spookily intuitive market-research consultant. In London on a job, she is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. An entire subculture of people is obsessed with these bits of footage, and anybody who can create that kind of brand loyalty would be a gold mine for Cayce's client. But when her borrowed apartment is burgled and her computer hacked, she realizes there's more to this project than she had expected.

Still, Cayce is her father's daughter, and the danger makes her stubborn. Win Pollard, ex-security expert, probably ex-CIA, took a taxi in the direction of the World Trade Center on September 11 one year ago, and is presumed dead. Win taught Cayce a bit about the way agents work. She is still numb at his loss, and, as much for him as for any other reason, she refuses to give up this newly weird job, which will take her to Tokyo and on to Russia. With help and betrayal from equally unlikely quarters, Cayce will follow the trail of the mysterious film to its source, and in the process will learn something about her father's life and death.

Spook Country

The Blue Ant Trilogy: Book 2

William Gibson

Hollis Henry is a journalist on investigative assignment for a magazine called Node, which doesnt exist yet. Bobby Chombo is a producer working on cutting-edge art installations. In his day job, Bobby is a trouble-shooter for military navigation equipment. He refuses to sleep in the same place twice. He meets no one.

Hollis Henry has been told to find him.

Zero History

The Blue Ant Trilogy: Book 3

William Gibson

The new novel from William Gibson, "one of the most visionary, original, and quietly influential writers currently working." (The Boston Globe)

Hollis Henry worked for the global marketing magnate Hubertus Bigend once before. She never meant to repeat the experience. But she's broke, and Bigend never feels it's beneath him to use whatever power comes his way -- in this case, the power of money to bring Hollis onto his team again. Not that she knows what the "team" is up to, not at first.

Milgrim is even more thoroughly owned by Bigend. He's worth owning for his useful gift of seeming to disappear in almost any setting, and his Russian is perfectly idiomatic - so much so that he spoke Russian with his therapist, in the secret Swiss clinic where Bigend paid for him to be cured of the addiction that would have killed him.

Garreth has a passion for extreme sports. Most recently he jumped off the highest building in the world, opening his chute at the last moment, and he has a new thighbone made of rattan baked into bone, entirely experimental, to show for it. Garreth isn't owned by Bigend at all. Garreth has friends from whom he can call in the kinds of favors that a man like Bigend will find he needs, when things go unexpectedly sideways, in a world a man like Bigend is accustomed to controlling.

As when a Department of Defense contract for combat-wear turns out to be the gateway drug for arms dealers so shadowy that even Bigend, whose subtlety and power in the private sector would be hard to overstate, finds himself outmaneuvered and adrift in a seriously dangerous world.

Virtual Light

The Bridge Trilogy: Book 1

William Gibson

2005: Welcome to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millenium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich--or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash...

All Tomorrow's Parties

The Bridge Trilogy: Book 3

William Gibson

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

Green Earth

The Capital Code

Kim Stanley Robinson

GREEN EARTH takes the stories first told in FORTY SIGNS OF RAIN, FIFTY DEGREES BELOW and SIXTY DAYS AND COUNTING and combines them in a fully updated, compressed and compelling single volume.

Catastrophe is in the air. Increasingly strange weather events are pummelling the Earth. When the Gulf Stream shuts down and the Antarctic ice sheet starts melting, climate extremes multiply, and some winters hit like an ice age. New US President Phil Chase is on a mission: he's determined to solve climate change. His science advisor, Frank Vanderwal, is a bit more messed up. When massive floods hit Washington, Frank finds himself living in a treehouse and in love with a woman who's definitely not what she seems, one who will draw him into the shadowy world of Homeland Security, and other, blacker agencies. Only science can save the day. Frank knows he has to find a way to save the world so that science can proceed.

Forty Signs of Rain

The Capital Code: Book 1

Kim Stanley Robinson

The bestselling author of the classic Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt returns with a riveting new trilogy of cutting-edge science, international politics, and the real-life ramifications of global warming as they are played out in our nation’s capital—and in the daily lives of those at the center of the action. Hauntingly realistic, here is a novel of the near future that is inspired by scientific facts already making headlines.

When the Arctic ice pack was first measured in the 1950s, it averaged thirty feet thick in midwinter. By the end of the century it was down to fifteen. One August the ice broke. The next year the breakup started in July. The third year it began in May. That was last year.

It’s an increasingly steamy summer in the nation’s capital as Senate environmental staffer Charlie Quibler cares for his young son and deals with the frustrating politics of global warming. Charlie must find a way to get a skeptical administration to act before it’s too late—and his progeny find themselves living in Swamp World. But the political climate poses almost as great a challenge as the environmental crisis when it comes to putting the public good ahead of private gain.

While Charlie struggles to play politics, his wife, Anna, takes a more rational approach to the looming crisis in her work at the National Science Foundation. There a proposal has come in for a revolutionary process that could solve the problem of global warming—if it can be recognized in time. But when a race to control the budding technology begins, the stakes only get higher. As these everyday heroes fight to align the awesome forces of nature with the extraordinary march of modern science, they are unaware that fate is about to put an unusual twist on their work—one that will place them at the heart of an unavoidable storm.

With style, wit, and rare insight into our past, present, and possible future, this captivating novel propels us into a world on the verge of unprecedented change—in a time quite like our own. Here is Kim Stanley Robinson at his visionary best, offering a gripping cautionary tale of progress—and its price—as only he can tell it.

Fifty Degrees Below

The Capital Code: Book 2

Kim Stanley Robinson

When the storm got bad, scientist Frank Vanderwal was at work, formalizing his return to the National Science Foundation for another year. He'd left the building just in time to help sandbag at Arlington Cemetery. Now that the torrent was over, large chunks of San Diego had eroded into the sea, and D.C. was underwater.

Shallow lakes occupied the most famous parts of the city. Reagan Airport was awash and the Potomac had spilled beyond its banks. Rescue boats dotted the saturated cityscape. Everything Frank and his colleagues in the halls of science and politics feared had culminated in this massive disaster. And now the world looked to them to fix it.

Whatever Frank can do, now that he is homeless, he'll have to do from his car. He's not averse to sleeping outdoors. Years of research have made him hyperaware of his status as just another primate. That plus his encounter with a Tibetan Buddhist has left him resolved to live a more authentic life.

Hopefully, this will prepare him for whatever is to come.

For even as D.C. bails out from the flood, a more extreme climate change looms. With the melting of the polar ice caps shutting down the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, another Ice Age could be imminent. The last time it happened, eleven thousand years ago, it took just three years to start.

Sixty Days and Counting

The Capital Code: Book 3

Kim Stanley Robinson

By the time Phil Chase is elected president, the world’s climate is far on its way to irreversible change. Food scarcity, housing shortages, diminishing medical care, and vanishing species are just some of the consequences. The erratic winter the Washington, D.C., area is experiencing is another grim reminder of a global weather pattern gone haywire: bone-chilling cold one day, balmy weather the next.

But the president-elect remains optimistic and doesn’t intend to give up without a fight. A maverick in every sense of the word, Chase starts organizing the most ambitious plan to save the world from disaster since FDR–and assembling a team of top scientists and advisers to implement it.

For Charlie Quibler, this means reentering the political fray full-time and giving up full-time care of his young son, Joe. For Frank Vanderwal, hampered by a brain injury, it means trying to protect the woman he loves from a vengeful ex and a rogue “black ops” agency not even the president can control–a task for which neither Frank’s work at the National Science Foundation nor his study of Tibetan Buddhism can prepare him.

In a world where time is running out as quickly as its natural resources, where surveillance is almost total and freedom nearly nonexistent, the forecast for the Chase administration looks darker each passing day. For as the last–and most terrible–of natural disasters looms on the horizon, it will take a miracle to stop the clock . . . the kind of miracle that only dedicated men and women can bring about.

Lies, Damned Lies, and History

The Chronicles of St. Mary's: Book 7

Jodi Taylor

I've done some stupid things in my time. I've been reckless. I've broken a few rules. But never before have I ruined so many lives or left such a trail of destruction behind me.

As Max would be the first to admit, she's never been one for rules. They tend to happen to other people. But this time she's gone too far and everyone is paying the price.

Grounded until the end of time, how can she ever put things right?

The Detainee

The Detainee: Book 1

Peter Liney

When the fog comes down and the drums start to beat, the inhabitants of the island tremble: for the punishment satellites - which keep the tyrannical Wastelords at bay - are blind in the darkness, and the islanders become prey.

The inhabitants are the old, the sick, the poor: the detritus of Society, dumped on the island with the rest of Society's waste. There is no point trying to escape, for the satellites - the invisible eyes of the law - mete out instant judgement from the sky.

The island is the end of all hope - until 'Big Guy' Clancy finds a blind woman living in a secret underground warren, and discovers a reason to fight.

Jumping Off the Planet

The Dingilliad: Book 1

David Gerrold

A trip to the Moon? Sounds like the perfect family vacation. Only for 13-year-old Charles "Chigger" Dingillian his family is anything but perfect. His parents fight so much they put the 'dis' into dysfunctional. So when he and his brothers find themselves halfway to the Moon Chigger hits on a plan: if his parents can't find a way to work things out, why not just divorce them? Sound crazy? Until it works.

Charles and his brothers are on their own. But their bid for freedom hits a roadblock when Chigger suspects they are targets of an interstellar manhunt. What do these Big Corporations want? And why?

Their only hope is to jump off the planet...

The Dire Earth

The Dire Earth Cycle

Jason M. Hough

Jason M. Hough goes back to the beginning with this eBook exclusive novella, the prequel to the New York Times bestseller The Darwin Elevator. An indispensable introduction to a trilogy wrought with action, imagination, and mystery, The Dire Earth is sure to thrill new readers and diehard fans alike.

In the middle of the twenty-third century, an inexplicable disease engulfs the globe, leaving a trail of madness and savagery in its wake. Dutch air force pilot Skyler Luiken discovers he is immune to the disease when he returns from a mission to find the world in chaos, but he soon realizes that he's not the only one to have endured the apocalypse. Elsewhere, the roguish Skadz, the cunning Nigel, and the tough-as-nails Samantha each make their way toward the last remaining bastion of sanity: Darwin, Australia, home to a mysterious alien artifact that may hold the key to the survival of the human race.

This novella also appears in full as an "extra" in the novel Zero World.

Wave of Infection

The Dire Earth Cycle

Jason M. Hough

Dispatched to Africa to combat an unknown disease, Lieutenant Skyler Luiken instead becomes an eyewitness, and sole survivor, of the outbreak of a deadly global plague. As the world falls apart, Skyler races to find his family, in the hopes that something of the life he knew can survive this devastating infection.

This novelette constitutes approximately the first third of the novella The Dire Earth.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

The Drowned World

The Elemental Apocalypse Quartet: Book 2

J. G. Ballard

In the 21st century, fluctuations in solar radiation have caused the ide-caps to melt and the seas to rise. Global temperatures have climbed, and civilization has retreated to the Arctic and Antarctic circles. London is a city now inundated by a primeval swamp, to which an expedition travels to record the flora and fauna of this new Triassic Age.

This early novel by the author of CRASH and EMPIRE OF THE SUN is at once a fast paced narrative, a stunning evocation of a flooded, tropical London of the near future and a speculative foray into the workings of the unconscious mind.

The Crystal World

The Elemental Apocalypse Quartet: Book 4

J. G. Ballard

J. G. Ballard's fourth novel, which established his reputation as a writer of extraordinary talent and imaginative powers, tells the story of a physician specializing in the treatment of leprosy who is invited to a small outpost in the interior of Africa. Finding the roadways blocked, he takes to the river, and embarks on a frightening journey through a strange petrified forest whose area expands daily, affecting not only the physical environment but also its inhabitants.

Cosmonaut Keep

The Engines of Light Trilogy: Book 1

Ken MacLeod

Matt Cairns is a 21st-century outlaw Programmer who takes on the shady jobs no one else will touch. Against his better judgment, he accepts an assignment to crack the Marshall Titov, a top-secret orbital station operated by the European Space Agency. But what Matt will discover there will propel him on an extraordinary and quite unexpected journey.

Gregor Cairns is an exobiology student and descendant of one of Terra Nova's first families. Hopelessly infatuated with a lovely young trader's daughter, he is unaware that his research partner, Elizabeth, has fallen in love with him. Together, Gregor and Elizabeth confront the great work his family began three centuries earlier-to rediscover the secret of interstellar travel.

Ranging from a gritty near-future Earth to a distant alien world, Cosmonaut Keep is contemporary science fiction at its highest level, a visionary epic filled with daring individuals seeking a place for themselves in a vast, complex, and enigmatic universe.

Europe in Autumn

The Fractured Europe Sequence: Book 1

Dave Hutchinson

Rudi is a cook in a Kraków restaurant, but when his boss asks Rudi to help a cousin escape from the country he's trapped in, a new career - part spy, part people-smuggler - begins. Following multiple economic crises and a devastating flu pandemic, Europe has fractured into countless tiny nations, duchies, polities and republics. Recruited by the shadowy organisation Les Coureurs des Bois, Rudi is schooled in espionage, but when a training mission to The Line, a sovereign nation consisting of a trans-Europe railway line, goes wrong, he is arrested and beaten, and Coureur Central must attempt a rescue.

With so many nations to work in, and identities to assume, Rudi is kept busy travelling across Europe. But when he is sent to smuggle someone out of Berlin and finds a severed head inside a locker instead, a conspiracy begins to wind itself around him. With kidnapping, double-crosses and a map that constantly re-draws itself, Europe in Autumn is a science fiction thriller like no other.

Europe in Winter

The Fractured Europe Sequence: Book 3

Dave Hutchinson

Union has come. The Community is now the largest nation in Europe; trains run there from as far afield as London and Prague. It is an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. So what is the reason for a huge terrorist outrage? Why do the Community and Europe meet in secret, exchanging hostages? And who are Les Coureurs des Bois? Along with a motley crew of strays and mafiosi and sleeper agents, Rudi sets out to answer these questions -- only to discover that the truth lies both closer to home and farther away than anyone could possibly imagine.