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The Book of the New Sun, Volume 2: Sword and Citadel

The Book of the New Sun - Fantasy Masterworks: Book 2

Gene Wolfe

Recently voted the greatest fantasy of all time, after The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun is an extraordinary epic, set a million years in the future, on an Earth transformed in mysterious and wondrous ways, in a time when our present culture is no longer even a memory.

Severian, the central character, is a torturer, exiled from his guild after falling in love with one of his victims, and journeying to the distant city of Thrax, armed with his ancient executioner's sword, Terminus Est.

This edition contains the second two volumes of this four volume novel, The Sword of the Lictor and The Citadel of the Autarch.

This book has recently been re-printed as part of the SF Masterworks series - see the new image below.

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

Cory Doctorow

Alan is a middle-aged entrepeneur in contemporary Toronto, who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in a bohemian neighborhood. This naturally brings him in contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wings -- wings, moreover, which grow back after each attempt to cut them off.

Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain; his mother is a washing machine; and among his brothers are a set of Russian nesting dolls.

Now two of the three nesting dolls, Edward and Frederick, are on his doorstep -- well on their way to starvation, because their innermost member, George, has vanished. It appears that yet another brother, Davey, who Alan and his other siblings killed years ago, may have returned... bent on revenge.

Under such circumstances it seems only reasonable for Alan to involve himself with a visionary scheme to blanket Toronto with free wireless Internet connectivity, a conspiracy spearheaded by a brilliant technopunk who builds miracles of hardware from parts scavenged from the citys dumpsters. But Alans past wont leave him alone -- and Davey is only one of the powers gunning for him and all his friends.

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

Psychoshop

Alfred Bester
Roger Zelazny

Half finished upon Bester's death, and completed by Zelazny, "Psychoshop" envisions a commercial establishment that attracts customers ranging from Edgar Allan Poe to a sorcerer intent on fabricating the Beast of Revelations.

Ilium

The Ilium / Olympos Duology: Book 1

Dan Simmons

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

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

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

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

The Temporal Void

The Void Trilogy: Book 2

Peter F. Hamilton

Long ago, the astrophysicist Inigo began dreaming scenes from the life of the remarkable Edeard, who lived within the Void, a self-contained microuniverse at the heart of the galaxy. Inigo’s inspirational dreams, shared by hundreds of millions throughout the galaxy, gave birth to a religion: Living Dream. But when the appearance of a Second Dreamer seems to trigger the expansion of the Void—which is devouring everything in its path—the Intersolar Commonwealth is thrown into turmoil.

With time running out, the fate of humanity hinges on a handful of people: Araminta, now awakening to the unwelcome fact that she is the mysterious Second Dreamer; Inigo, whose private dreams hint at a darker truth; and Justine, whose desperate gamble places her within the Void, where the godlike Skylords hold the power to save the universe . . . or destroy it.

Behind the Walls of Terra

World of Tiers: Book 4

Philip José Farmer

BEHIND THE WALLS OF TERRA .... LAY THE SECRET NO MAN COULD BE ALLOWED TO LEARN!

Kickaha was the name by which Paul Janus Finnegan, adventurer had been known on the artificial universes created by that super-race known as the Lords. And though Earthman and mortal, he had survived the worst they could throw at him.

But it was to be upon his return to Earth that Kickaha was to face his greatest trial. For once back on the streets of an American city, armed with the knowledge of the forces that moved the heavens, he was a target for the cosmic venom of the powers that contended for this very universe.

BEHIND THE WALLS OF TERRA lay a secret no human could learn - and live. But Kickaha had learned it - and he was not going to take it lying down!

Philip K. Dick Is Dead, Alas

Michael Bishop

It is 1982. The United States has a permanent Moonbase. Richard M. Nixon is in the fourth term of the "imperial presidency." And an eccentric novelist named Philip K. Dick has just died in California.

Or has he? Psychiatrist Lia Pickford, M.D., is nonplussed when Dick walks into her office in small-town Georgia, with a cab idling outside, to ask for help. And Cal Pickford, a longtime Dick fan stunned by the news of his hero's death, is electrified when his wife tells him of the visit.

So begins a sequence of events involving Cal in the repressive Nixon regime, the affairs of an aging movie queen, a hip but frightened Vietnamese immigrant and an old black man who works as a groom--all leading up to a fateful confrontation between Dick, Cal, and Nixon himself on the moon.

The Family Trade

The Merchant Princes: Book 1

Charles Stross

Miriam Beckstein is happy in her life. She's a successful reporter for a hi-tech magazine in Boston, making good money doing what she loves. When her researcher brings her iron-clad evidence of a money-laundering scheme, Miriam thinks she's found the story of the year. But when she takes it to her editor, she's fired on the spot and gets a death threat from the criminals she has uncovered.

Before the day is over, she's received a locket left by the mother she never knew-the mother who was murdered when she was an infant. Within is a knotwork pattern, which has a hypnotic effect on her. Before she knows it, she's transported herself to a parallel Earth, a world where knights on horseback chase their prey with automatic weapons, and where world-skipping assassins lurk just on the other side of reality - a world where her true family runs things.

The six families of the Clan rule the kingdom of Gruinmarkt from behind the scenes, a mixture of nobility and criminal conspirators whose power to walk between the worlds makes them rich in both. Braids of family loyalty and intermarriage provide a fragile guarantee of peace, but a recently-ended civil war has left the families shaken and suspicious.

Taken in by her mother's people, she becomes the star of the story of the century-as Cinderella without a fairy godmother. As her mother's heir, Miriam is hailed as the prodigal countess Helge Thorold-Hjorth, and feted and feasted. Caught up in schemes and plots centuries in the making, Miriam is surrounded by unlikely allies, forbidden loves, lethal contraband, and, most dangerous of all, her family. Her unexpected return will supercede the claims of other clan members to her mother's fortune and power, and whoever killed her mother will be happy to see her dead, too.

Behind all this lie deeper secrets still, which threaten everyone and everything she has ever known. Patterns of deception and interlocking lies, as intricate as the knotwork between the universes. But Miriam is no one's pawn, and is determined to conquer her new home on her own terms.

The Long Utopia

The Long Earth: Book 4

Stephen Baxter
Terry Pratchett

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

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

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

To Your Scattered Bodies Go

The Riverworld Saga: Book 1

Philip José Farmer

All those who ever lived on Earth have found themselves resurrected--healthy, young, and naked as newborns--on the grassy banks of a mighty river, in a world unknown. Miraculously provided with food, but with no clues to the meaning of their strange new afterlife, billions of people from every period of Earth's history--and prehistory--must start again.

Sir Francis Bacon would be the first to glimpse the incredible way-station, a link between worlds. This forbidden sight would spur the renowned 19th-century explorer to uncover the truth. Along with a remarkable group of compatriots, including Alice Liddell Hargreaves (the Victorian girl who was the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland), an English-speaking Neanderthal, a WWII Holocaust survivor, and a wise extraterrestrial, Burton sets sail on the magnificent river. His mission: to confront humankind's mysterious benefactors, and learn the true purpose--innocent or evil--of the Riverworld...

Bright of the Sky

The Entire and the Rose: Book 1

Kay Kenyon

Kay Kenyon, noted for her science fiction world-building, has in this new series created her most vivid and compelling society, the Universe Entire. In a land-locked galaxy that tunnels through our own, the Entire is a bizarre and seductive mix of long-lived quasi-human and alien beings gathered under a sky of fire, called the bright. A land of wonders, the Entire is sustained by monumental storm walls and an exotic, never-ending river. Over all, the elegant and cruel Tarig rule supreme.

Into this rich milieu is thrust Titus Quinn, former star pilot, bereft of his beloved wife and daughter who are assumed dead by everyone on earth except Quinn. Believing them trapped in a parallel universe--one where he himself may have been imprisoned--he returns to the Entire without resources, language, or his memories of that former life. He is assisted by Anzi, a woman of the Chalin people, a Chinese culture copied from our own universe and transformed by the kingdom of the bright. Learning of his daughter's dreadful slavery, Quinn swears to free her. To do so, he must cross the unimaginable distances of the Entire in disguise, for the Tarig are lying in wait for him. As Quinn's memories return, he discovers why. Quinn's goal is to penetrate the exotic culture of the Entire--to the heart of Tarig power, the fabulous city of the Ascendancy, to steal the key to his family's redemption.

But will his daughter and wife welcome rescue? Ten years of brutality have forced compromises on everyone. What Quinn will learn to his dismay is what his own choices were, long ago, in the Universe Entire. He will also discover why a fearful multiverse destiny is converging on him and what he must sacrifice to oppose the coming storm.

This is high-concept SF written on the scale of Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld, Roger Zelazny's Amber Chronicles, and Dan Dimmons's Hyperion.

Brothers of Earth

Alliance-Union: Hanan Rebellion: Book 1

C. J. Cherryh

The leader of the Hana was a Priestess-Ruler in a world of humanoid aliens. Yet she was more closely related to her human prisoner, Kurt Morgan, though their star nations had been bitter enemies for two thousand years. She granted Kurt Moragn his lfie, but for a price: that he remain indebted to his captors, immersed in an alien environment which threatened to drive him mad. Beset with doubts, Kurt accepted the terms of his capture and despite his misgivings became intrigued with his life.

For he shared something unique with his captor--both of them had survived the destruction of their worlds. And then they realized that the world on which they now lived was on the brink of a devastating war, and they were perhaps the only two sentient beings there who understood the ultimate sacrifice that might come from such a conflict. Could they save this world, or would they die with their adopted planet, humanity's orphans at the edge of space

The Dark World

Henry Kuttner

Henry Kuttner's Sword and Sorcery classic returns to print at last! World War II veteran Edward Bond's recuperation from a disastrous fighter plane crash takes a distinct turn for the weird when he encounters a giant wolf, a red witch, and the undeniable power of the need-fire, a portal to a world of magic and swordplay at once terribly new and hauntingly familiar. In the Dark World, Bond opposes the machinations of the dread lord Ganelon and his terrible retinue of werewolves, wizards, and witches, but all is not as it seems in this shadowy mirror of the real world, and Bond discovers that a part of him feels more at home here than he ever has on Earth.

Perfect State

Brandon Sanderson

Hugo-nominated Novella

God-Emperor Kairominas is lord of all he surveys. He has defeated all foes, has united the entire world beneath his rule, and has mastered the arcane arts. He spends his time sparring with his nemesis, who keeps trying to invade Kai's world.

Except for today. Today, Kai has to go on a date.

Forces have conspired to require him to meet with his equal – a woman from another world who has achieved just as much as he has. What happens when the most important man in the world is forced to have dinner with the most important woman in the world?

The Hidden Family

The Merchant Princes: Book 2

Charles Stross

The six families of the Clan rule the kingdom of Gruinmarkt from behind the scenes, a mixture of nobility and criminal conspirators whose power to walk between their world and ours make them rich in both. Braids of family loyalty and intermarriage provide a fragile guarantee of peace, but a recently ended civil war has left the families shaken and suspicious.

Miriam, a hip tech journalist form Boston, discovered her alternate-world relatives with explosive results that shook three worlds. Now, as the prodigal Countess Helge Thorold-Hyorth, she finds herself ensnared in schemes and plots centuries in the making. She is surrounded by unlikely allies, lethal contraband, and, most dangerous of all, her family. With her modern American attitudes, she's not sure she can fit in, or if she even wants to, but to stay alive, she really has no choice.

To avoid a slippery slope down to an unmarked grave, Miriam must build a power-base of her own. She started applying modern business practices and scientific knowledge to a trade heretofore dominated by medieval mercantilists-with unexpected consequences for three different timelines, including the quasi-Victorian one exploited by the hidden family.

Demon

The Gaean Trilogy: Book 3

John Varley

The satellite-sized alien Gaea has gone completely insane. She has transformed her love of old movies into monstrous realities. She is Marilyn Monroe. She is King Kong. And now she must be destroyed.

Hybrids

The Neanderthal Parallax: Book 3

Robert J. Sawyer

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

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

Northwest of Earth: The Complete Northwest Smith

Northwest Smith

C. L. Moore

Contents:

  • Teaching the World to Dream - essay by C. J. Cherryh
  • Shambleau (1933)
  • Black Thirst (1934)
  • Scarlet Dream (1934)
  • Dust of Gods (1934)
  • Julhi (1935)
  • Nymph of Darkness (1935, with Forrest J. Ackerman)
  • The Cold Gray God (1935)
  • Yvala (1936)
  • Lost Paradise (1936)
  • The Tree of Life (1936)
  • Quest of the Starstone (1937, with Henry Kuttner)
  • Werewoman (1938)
  • Song in a Minor Key (1940)

Note: The Singularity & Co. e-book of Moore's Northwest Smith stories has the same contents as the 1982 Ace Books collection (Northwest Smith), and does not include "Nymph of Darkness", "Quest of the Starstone", and "Werewoman".

Stations of the Tide

Michael Swanwick

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

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

Patchwerk

David Tallerman

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

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

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

Witch World

Witch World: Estcarp Cycle: Book 1

Andre Norton

The doomed land of Estcarp stood alone, menaced from the north and south, and from the sea to the west. Only the dark people of her fields, her cities and her towers are able to hold back the press. Theirs might be a losing cause, but they would go down fighting to the last blow of sword from the last living Guardsman, the last blasting weapon man or woman could lay hand upon.

Alone among the nations of the continent Estcarp wielded a strange and fearful weapon, and the hatred and dread of her neighbors was founded on that very weapon - magic. To Alizon in the north, Karsten in the south, the power of the witches was evil. But the terror that threatened from the west was an alien evil from a source unknown.

Occupy Me

Tricia Sullivan

A woman with wings that exist in another dimension. A man trapped in his own body by a killer. A briefcase that is a door to hell. A conspiracy that reaches beyond our world. Breathtaking SF from a Clarke Award-winning author.

Tricia Sullivan has written an extraordinary, genre defining novel that begins with the mystery of a woman who barely knows herself and ends with a discovery that transcends space and time. On the way we follow our heroine as she attempts to track down a killer in the body of another man, and the man who has been taken over, his will trapped inside the mind of the being that has taken him over.

And at the centre of it all a briefcase that contains countless possible realities.

Tricia Sullivan returns to the genre with a book that will define the conversation within the genre and will show what it is capable of for years to come. This is the best book yet from a writer of exceedingly rare talent who is much loved in the genre world.