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Halfway Human

Twenty Planets Universe

Carolyn Ives Gilman

Tedla is a 'bland,' an asexual class of people that exist only to serve their fellow beings.

Val is an expert on alien cultures but has never seen a bland before. They come together after Tedla is found light-years away from its home planet-alone, isolated and suicidal. Val's mission is to help Tedla recover. But the more she learns about the beautiful alien being, the more she discovers about the torment Tedla and its kind suffer on their planet.

Little does the rest of the universe know of the hidden world of the blands, a world that hides shocking secrets and unspeakable crimes.

Halfway Human is a mesmerizing look at an intricately created alien world which is strange and distant, yet hauntingly familiar.

Houston, Houston, Do You Read?

James Tiptree, Jr.

Hugo- and Nebula-winning Novella

In Tiptree's most famous and most reprinted story, a US spacecraft with an all-male crew is thrown forward in time to an Earth where all men have died from a plague.

This story was collected in Star Songs of an Old Primate (1978) and Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (1990), and anthologized in Aurora: Beyond Equality (1976), The 1977 Annual World's Best SF (1977), Nebula Winners Twelve (1978), The Arbor House Treasury of Great Science Fiction Short Novels (1980), The Hugo Winners, Volume 4 (1985), The Best of the Nebulas (1989), and as one half of Tor Double #11 (1989).


Listen to a radio play of this story at the Sci-Fi Radio archive (#17).

Malevil

Robert Merle

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

Earth Abides

George R. Stewart

A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. What he ultimately discovers will prove far more astonishing than anything he'd either dreaded or hoped for.

The Dosadi Experiment

ConSentient: Book 2

Frank Herbert

Generations of a tormented human-alien people, caged on a toxic planet, conditioned by constant hunger and war-this is the Dosadi Experiment, and it has succeeded too well. For the Dosadi have bred for Vengeance as well as cunning, and they have learned how to pass through the shimmering God Wall to exact their dreadful revenge on the Universe that created them.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Space Odyssey: Book 1

Arthur C. Clarke

On the moon, an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications of the discovery that, for the first time, men are sent out deep into the solar system. But before they can reach their destination, things begin to go wrong. Horribly wrong.

The Girl With All the Gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts: Book 1

M. R. Carey

The Girl With All The Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.

When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into a wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie is a very special girl.

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang

Kate Wilhelm

Before becoming one of today's most intriguing and innovative mystery writers, Kate Wilhelm was a leading writer of science fiction, acclaimed for classics like The Infinity Box and The Clewiston Test.

Now one of her most famous novels returns to print, the spellbinding story of an isolated post-holocaust community determined to preserve itself, through a perilous experiment in cloning. Sweeping, dramatic, rich with humanity, and rigorous in its science, Where Later the Sweet Birds Sang is widely regarded as a high point of both humanistic and "hard" SF, and won SF's Hugo Award and Locus Award on its first publication. It is as compelling today as it was then.

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:

The Gate to Women's Country

Sheri S. Tepper

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

The Entropy Effect

Star Trek: The Original Series: Book 2

Vonda N. McIntyre

The universe has less than a century left... unless Spock can change history.

The Enterprise is summoned to transport a dangerous criminal from starbase prison to a rehabilitation center: brilliant physicist, Dr. Georges Mordreaux, accused of promising to send people back in time - then killing them instead. But when Mordreaux escapes, bursts onto the bridge and kills Captain Kirk, Spock must journey back in time to avert disaster - before it occurs.

Now there's more at stake than just Kirk's life. Mordreaux's experiments have thrown the entire universe into a deadly time warp. Spock is fighting time... and the universe is closing in on itself with the relentless squeeze of the Entropy Effect.

Tomorrow's Kin

Yesterday's Kin: Book 1

Nancy Kress

The aliens have arrived... they've landed their Embassy ship on a platform in New York Harbor, and will only speak with the United Nations. They say that their world is so different from Earth, in terms of gravity and atmosphere, that they cannot leave their ship. The population of Earth has erupted in fear and speculation.

One day Dr. Marianne Jenner, an obscure scientist working with the human genome, receives an invitation that she cannot refuse. The Secret Service arrives at her college to escort her to New York, for she has been invited, along with the Secretary General of the UN and a few other ambassadors, to visit the alien Embassy.

The truth is about to be revealed. Earth's most elite scientists have ten months to prevent a disaster--and not everyone is willing to wait.

Death's End

Remembrance of Earth's Past: Book 3

Cixin Liu

Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. Earth enjoys unprecedented prosperity due to the infusion of Trisolaran knowledge. With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to co-exist peacefully as equals without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But the peace has also made humanity complacent.

Cheng Xin, an aerospace engineer from the early 21st century, awakens from hibernation in this new age. She brings with her knowledge of a long-forgotten program dating from the beginning of the Trisolar Crisis, and her very presence may upset the delicate balance between two worlds. Will humanity reach for the stars or die in its cradle?

Jack Glass: The Story of a Murderer

Adam Roberts

Golden Age SF meets Golden Age Crime from the author of Swiftly, New Model Army, and Yellow Blue Tibia-an innovative literary voice working at the height of his powers

Jack Glass is the murderer-we know this from the start. Yet as this extraordinary novel tells the story of three murders committed by Glass, the reader will be surprised to find out that it was Glass who was the killer and how he did it. And by the end of the book our sympathies for the killer are fully engaged. Riffing on the tropes of crime fiction (the country house murder, the locked room mystery) and imbued with the feel of golden age SF, this is another bravura performance from Roberts. Whatever games he plays with the genre, whatever questions he asks of the reader, Roberts never loses sight of the need to entertain.

This novel has some wonderfully gruesome moments, is built around three gripping HowDunnits, and comes with liberal doses of sly humor. Roberts invites us to have fun and tricks us into thinking about both crime and SF via a beautifully structured novel set in a society whose depiction challenges notions of crime, punishment, power, and freedom.

The Calculating Stars

Lady Astronaut: Book 1

Mary Robinette Kowal

A meteor decimates the U.S. government and paves the way for a climate cataclysm that will eventually render the earth inhospitable to humanity. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated timeline in the earth's efforts to colonize space, as well as an unprecedented opportunity for a much larger share of humanity to take part.

One of these new entrants in the space race is Elma York, whose experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition's attempts to put man on the moon. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn't take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can't go into space, too -- aside from some pesky barriers like thousands of years of history and a host of expectations about the proper place of the fairer sex. And yet, Elma's drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions may not stand a chance.

Dark Universe

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 25

Daniel F. Galouye

The survivors live underground, as far from the Original World as possible and protected from the ultimate evil, Radiation. Then terrible monsters, who bring with them a screaming silence, are seen and people start to disappear. One young man realises he must question the nature of Darkness itself.

Radix

Radix Tetrad: Book 1

A. A. Attanasio

A young man's odyssey of self discovery in a world eerily alien, yet hauntingly familiar. Set thirteen centuries in the future, A. A. Attanasio meticulously creates a brilliantly realized Earth, rich in detail and filled with beings brought to life with intense energy. In this strange and beautiful world, Sumner Kagan will change from an adolescent outcast to a warrior with god-like powers and in the process take us on an epic and transcendent journey.

Pines

Wayward Pines: Book 1

Blake Crouch

Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels...off.

As the days pass, Ethan's investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can't he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn't anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out?

Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact--he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

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.

Tides of Light

The Galactic Center Series: Book 4

Gregory Benford

The sequel to "Great Sky River", this book continues the author's chronicle of life at the galaxy's centre, many centuries in the future. A band of humans flee aboard a regenerated starship to another planet where the mechs are in retreat but an even greater threat of alien cyborgs exists.

We

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 4

Yevgeny Zamyatin

In a glass-enclosed city of absolute straight lines, ruled over by the all-powerful 'Benefactor', the citizens of the totalitarian society of OneState live out lives devoid of passion and creativity - until D-503, a mathematician who dreams in numbers, makes a discovery: he has an individual soul.

Set in the twenty-sixth century AD, "We" is the classic dystopian novel and was the inspiration for George Orwell's 1984. It was suppressed for many years in Russia and remains a resounding cry for individual freedom, yet is also a powerful, exciting and vivid work of science fiction.

Falling Free

Quaddies (The Vorkosigan Saga): Book 1

Lois McMaster Bujold

Leo Graf was just your average highly efficient engineer: min your own business, fix what's wrong and move on to the next job. Everything neat and according to spec, just the way he liked it. But all that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat. Could you just stand there and allow the exploitation of hundreds of helpless children merely to enhance the bottom line of a heartless mega-corporation?

Leo Graf adopted a thousand quaddies -- now all he had to do was teach them to be free.

Hothouse / The Long Afternoon of Earth

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 31

Brian W. Aldiss

In the future, when the Sun has expanded and is ready to go nova, few animal species remain while plants have adapted to fill animal niches. One of the few species to survive are humans, but in much-altered forms. It is here where young tribal Gren finds himself captured by an intelligent fungus with plans to colonize humans to control the world! Hothouse tells the story of a remarkable journey of discovery that will alter your perceptions about the true nature of the world today... and the world to come!

Engine Summer

John Crowley

In an underpopulated future world of isolated and highly varied cultures, a young man sets out to intentionally become a saint...and finds that sainthood is nothing like what he had imagined!

The Ship Who Sang

The Ship Who…: Book 1

Anne McCaffrey

Helva had been born human, but only her brain had been saved and implanted into the titanium body of an intergalactic scout ship. But first she had to choose a human partner, to soar with her through the daring adventures and exhilarating escapades in space.

Furious Gulf

The Galactic Center Series: Book 5

Gregory Benford

The passengers on the spaceship Argo, pursued by hostile ""mechs,"" must face their doubts about their captain's obsession with finding the galaxy's True Center, an obsession that even troubles the captain's son.

Mercury

The Grand Tour: Book 9

Ben Bova

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

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

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

Methuselah's Children

Robert A. Heinlein

Lazarus Long, member of a select group bred for generations to live far beyond normal human lifespans, helps his kind escape persecution after word leaks out and angry crowds accuse them of withholding the "secret" of longevity. Lazarus and his companions set out on an interstellar journey and face many trials and strange cultures, like a futuristic Odysseus and his crew, before returning to Earth.

This is the Way the World Ends

James Morrow

When George Paxman, a contented tombstone engraver in a sleepy Massachusetts town, is offered a bargain, he doesn't hesitate long. The deal is that his beloved daughter gets an otherwise unaffordable scopas suit to protect her from radioactive fall-out and all George has to do is sign a document admitting that, as a passive citizen who did nothing to stop it, he has a degree of guilt for any nuclear war that breaks out. George signs on the dotted line. And then the unthinkable happens. The world and everyone in it (scopas suit or no scopas suit) is destroyed in nuclear Armageddon. Except for George and five others who must now face prosecution from the great mass of humanity who will now never be born. And George Paxman stands accused in the name of all the people who stood by and never raised a finger to stop the horror of nuclear war.

The Hammer of God

Arthur C. Clarke

A century into the future, technology has solved most of the problems that have plagued our time. However, a new problem is on the horizon-one greater than humanity has ever faced. A massive asteroid is racing toward the earth, and its impact could destroy all life on the planet.

Immediately after the asteroid-named "Kali" after the Hindu goddess of chaos and destruction-is discovered, the world's greatest scientists begin their search for a way to prevent disaster. In the meantime, Captain Robert Singh, aboard the starship Goliath, may be the only person who can stop the asteroid. But this heroic role may demand the ultimate sacrifice.

Man Plus

Man Plus: Book 1

Frederik Pohl

Ill luck made Roger Torraway the subject of the Man Plus Programe, but it was deliberate biological engineering which turned him into a monster -- a machine perfectly adapted to survive on Mars. For according to computer predictions, Mars is humankind's only alternative to extinction. But beneath his monstrous exterior, Torraway still carries a man's capacity for suffering.

Shadows in Flight

Ender's Universe: Ender's Shadow: Book 5

Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Shadow explores the stars in this all-new novel...

At the end of Shadow of the Giant, Bean flees to the stars with three of his children--the three who share the engineered genes that gave him both hyper-intelligence and a short, cruel physical life. The time dilation granted by the speed of their travel gives Earth’s scientists generations to seek a cure, to no avail. In time, they are forgotten--a fading ansible signal speaking of events lost to Earth’s history. But the Delphikis are about to make a discovery that will let them save themselves, and perhaps all of humanity in days to come.

For there in space before them lies a derelict Formic colony ship. Aboard it, they will find both death and wonders--the life support that is failing on their own ship, room to grow, and labs in which to explore their own genetic anomaly and the mysterious disease that killed the ship’s colony.

Time Is the Simplest Thing

Clifford D. Simak

A telepath inadvertently acquires a powerful alien consciousness and must run for his life to escape corporate assassins and hate-filled mobs in this enthralling science fiction masterwork

Space travel has been abandoned in the twenty-second century. It is deemed too dangerous, expensive, and inconvenient--and now the all-powerful Fishhook company holds the monopoly on interstellar exploration for commercial gain. Their secret is the use of "parries," human beings with the remarkable telepathic ability to expand their minds throughout the universe. On what should have been a routine assignment, however, loyal Fishhook employee Shepherd Blaine is inadvertently implanted with a copy of an alien consciousness, becoming something more than human. Now he's a company pariah, forced to flee the safe confines of the Fishhook complex. But the world he escapes into is not a safe sanctuary; Its people have been taught to hate and fear his parapsychological gift--and there is nowhere on Earth, or elsewhere, for Shepherd Blaine to hide.

A Hugo Award nominee, Time Is the Simplest Thing showcases the enormous talents of one of the true greats of twentieth-century science fiction. This richly imagined tale of prejudice, corporate greed, oppression, and, ultimately, transcendence stands tall among Simak's most enduring works.

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.

Galapagos

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Galápagos takes the reader back one million years, to a.d. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galápagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave new, and totally different human race.

The Star Fraction

The Fall Revolution: Book 1

Ken MacLeod

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

Children of the Mind

Ender's Universe: Ender Wiggin: Book 4

Orson Scott Card

With Children of the Mind, Card returns to the story of Ender Wiggin: hero of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Enders Game, the original Speaker for the Dead, and the hated Xenocide who murdered an entire planet. Now his adopted world, Lusitania, is threatened by the same planet-destroying weapon that he himself used so many thousands of years before.

Enders oldest friend, Jane, the computer intelligence that has evolved with him over 3000 years, is about to be killed by the Starways Congress, which has finally discovered her existence and fears her control of the galaxy-wide interlocked network of computers and ansibles.Jane can save the three sentient races of Lusitaniathe Pequeninos, the Hive Queens daughters, and the human colony. She has learned how to move ships outside the universe, and then instantly back to a different world, abolishing the light-speed limit. But it takes all the processing power available to her, and the Starways Congress is shutting down the Net world by world.

Of Men and Monsters

William Tenn

Giant, technologically superior aliens have conquered Earth, but humankind survives - even flourishes in a way. Men and women live, like mice, in burrows in the massive walls of the huge homes of the aliens, and scurry about under their feet, stealing from them. A complex social and religious order has evolved, with women preserving knowledge and working as healers, and men serving as warriors and thieves. For the aliens, men and women are just a nuisance, nothing more than vermin. Which, ironically, may just be humankind's strength and point the way forward.

The Stars are Ours!

Pax / Astra: Book 1

Andre Norton

The Stars are Ours! describes the first interstellar voyage, undertaken to escape the tyranny that rules the Earth.

In the Ocean of Night

The Galactic Center Series: Book 1

Gregory Benford

Set in a world of lunar colonies, cybernetic miracles, fanatic cults, deadly pollution and famine, the first story in the Galactic Center Series. This world of social decay is facing hardship, but not far beyond the shores of space comes a mystery, which one man, astronaut Nigel Walmsley is about to touch.

There Will Be Time

Maurai: Book 1

Poul Anderson

Jack Havig, a man born with the ability to move at will through the past and the future of mankind, must save the world from a doomed future of tyranny before his time runs out.

The Martian Way and Other Stories

Isaac Asimov

This collection of four famous science fiction tales masterfully exemplifies author Isaac Asimov's ability to create quickly a believable human milieu in the midst of alien circumstances. Each of the long stores also shows his considerable skill in fully fleshing out a speculative scientific or social possibility.

Table of Contents

  • The Martian Way - (1952) - novella by Isaac Asimov
  • Youth - (1952) - novelette by Isaac Asimov
  • The Deep - (1952) - novelette by Isaac Asimov
  • Sucker Bait - (1954) - novella by Isaac Asimov

The Protector's War

Emberverse: Emberverse I: Book 2

S. M. Stirling

The national bestselling alternate history epic continues...

Ten years after The Change rendered technology inoperable throughout the world, two brave leaders built two thriving communities in Oregon's Willamette Valley. But now the armies of the totalitarian Protectorate are preparing to wage war over the priceless farmland.

Gathering Blue

The Giver: Book 2

Lois Lowry

Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. When she is given a task that no other community member can carry out, Kira soon realizes that she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. No one must know of her plans to uncover the truth about her world-and to find out what exists beyond it.

Heroes and Villains

Angela Carter

Sharp-eyed Marianne lives in a white tower made of steel and concrete with her father and the other Professors. Outside, where the land is thickly wooded and wild beasts roam, live the Barbarians, who raid and pillage in order to survive. Marianne is strictly forbidden to leave her civilized world but, fascinated by these savage outsiders, decides to escape. There, beyond the wire fences, she will discover a decaying paradise, encounter the tattooed Barbarian boy Jewel and go beyond the darkest limits of her imagination.

Playful, sensuous, violent and gripping, "Heroes and Villains" is an ambiguous and deliriously rich blend of post-apocalyptic fiction, gothic fantasy, literary allusion and twisted romance.

Sandworms of Dune

Dune Sequels: Book 2

Brian Herbert
Kevin J. Anderson

At the end of Frank Herbert's final novel, Chapterhouse: Dune, a ship carrying a crew of refugees escapes into the uncharted galaxy, fleeing from a terrifying, mysterious Enemy. The fugitives used genetic technology to revive key figures from Dune's past--including Paul Muad'Dib and Lady Jessica--to use their special talents to meet the challenges thrown at them.

Based directly on Frank Herbert's final outline, which lay hidden in two safe-deposit boxes for a decade, Sandworms of Dune will answer the urgent questions Dune fans have been debating for two decades: the origin of the Honored Matres, the tantalizing future of the planet Arrakis, the final revelation of the Kwisatz Haderach, and the resolution to the war between Man and Machine. This breathtaking new novel in Frank Herbert's Dune series has enough surprises and plot twists to please even the most demanding reader.

The Death Cure

Maze Runner: Book 3

James Dashner

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted. but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprints for the cure to the Flare with a voluntary test. What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have forseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what the Wicked says. The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive to Death Cure?