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The Star Diaries

Ijon Tichy: Book 1

Stanislaw Lem

Ijon Tichy, Lem's Candide of the Cosmos, encounters bizarre civilizations and creatures in space that serve to satirize science, the rational mind, theology, and other icons of human pride. Line drawings by the Author.

Monday Begins on Saturday

Arkady Strugatsky
Boris Strugatsky

When young programmer Aleksandr Ivanovich Privalov picks up two hitchhikers while driving in Karelia, he is drawn into the mysterious world of the Scientific Research Institute of Sorcery and Wizardry, where research into magic is serious business. Where science, sorcery and socialism meet, can chaos be far behind?

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book 2

Douglas Adams

Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbability--and desperately in search of a place to eat.

Among Arthur's motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who's gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.

Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker's Guide deleted the term "Future Perfect" from its pages, since it was discovered not to be!

A Symphony of Echoes

Chronicles of St. Mary's: Book 2

Jodi Taylor

In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary's series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.

But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St Mary's - an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy History itself to do it.

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."

Bid Time Return

Richard Matheson

The story of a modern man whose love for a woman he has never met draws him back in time to a luxury hotel in San Diego in 1896 where he finds his soulmate.

Only Forward

Michael Marshall Smith

Only a handful of authors write with such startling originality that the uniqueness of their vision has become synonymous with their name. In Spares and One of Us, Michael Marshall Smith has earned that distinction. In this unsettling, suspenseful, and wildly imaginative novel he's written a tale that from page one hurtles us....

Only Forward

Call him Stark. If you have to. If you're lucky, you won't call him at all. Because if you do, it means you've got trouble. Big trouble. And the problem is that before Stark is done fixing something, a whole lot of other things usually get broken. Like laws and lives--and anyone who gets in the way. It's that attitude that's earned him his latest assignment: finding a missing VIP named Fell Alkland. The authorities believe Alkland has been kidnapped. Stark doesn't. He hasn't stayed alive this long without learning the basics of survival in a world hurtling straight to hell: Things are always more complicated than they seem. And when a job seems too easy, that's when something really ugly is about to happen. For Fell Alkland is about to become Stark's worst nightmare, a nightmare where anything can happen at any time--where friends can become enemies in a heartbeat and your most secret fear a soul-screaming reality. And the worst of it is that for this nightmare you don't even have to be asleep.

The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 4

Harry Harrison

After saving the world, diGriz is called on to save the universe. Liberating his two, now teenage, twin' sons from a military boarding school and penitentiary, diGriz sets out to free his wife, who has been arrested by the tax men. But the family is soon fighting an enemy of a different sort, when the humans-only galaxy of the League is invaded by all manner of hideous aliens. The Rat, disguised in the most hideous combination of alien physical features, is sent into the centre of the aliens' stronghold, where he finds himself the object of desire among the aliens. His task is to stop the aliens, who plan to wipe out every human in the universe.

Lest Darkness Fall

Galaxy Science Fiction: Book 24

L. Sprague de Camp

Martin Padway, 20th-century archaeologist, becomes a reluctant one-way time-traveller, landing in Rome on the verge of the Dark Ages. With no way home, he sets out to make the world he's in a better place.

In short order, Padway "invents" and introduces such things as Printing and newspapers, Arabic numerals, Double entry bookkeeping, Copernican astronomy, and, most important -- Distilling. And the world of decaying Rome will never be the same!

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Mark Twain

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is Mark Twain's classic tale of Hank Morgan, a resident of 19th century Hartford Connecticut who is inexplicably transported to the early medieval England of King Arthur. A classic satire, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court pokes fun at the romanticized notions of chivalry and the idealization of the middle ages. A delightful and enchanting tale, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court shows Twain at his satirical best.

When A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court was published in 1889, Mark Twain was undergoing a series of personal and professional crises. In his Introduction, M. Thomas Inge shows how what began as a literary burlesque of British chivalry and culture developed to tragedy and into a novel that remains a major literary and cultural text for generations of new readers.

Time Enough for Love

Robert A. Heinlein

Approaching death, Lazarus Long is convinced to dictate the story of his life. He finds that while he has lived and loved more than most, there are still things that he'd like to experience.

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.

Legion

Legion (Sanderson): Book 1

Brandon Sanderson

Stephen Leeds is perfectly sane. It's his hallucinations who are mad.

A genius of unrivaled aptitude, Stephen can learn any new skill, vocation, or art in a matter of hours. However, to contain all of this, his mind creates hallucinatory people--Stephen calls them aspects--to hold and manifest the information. Wherever he goes, he is joined by a team of imaginary experts to give advice, interpretation, and explanation. He uses them to solve problems... for a price.

His brain is getting a little crowded, however, and the aspects have a tendency of taking on lives of their own. When a company hires him to recover stolen property--a camera that can allegedly take pictures of the past--Stephen finds himself in an adventure crossing oceans and fighting terrorists. What he discovers may upend the foundation of three major world religions--and, perhaps, give him a vital clue into the true nature of his aspects.

An Alien Heat

The Dancers at the End of Time: Book 1

Michael Moorcock

When Jherek Carnelian meets Mrs Amelia Underwood, a lady time traveller from 1896, he determines to possess her and finds himself being plunged backwards in time to Victorian London. An Alien Heat is set in a crazy world of jewelled cities with ripe, rotting technologies…

Timequake

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

According to science-fiction writer Kilgore Trout, a global timequake will occur in New York City on 13th February 2001. It is the moment when the universe suffers a crisis of conscience. Should it expand or make a great big bang? It decides to wind the clock back a decade to 1991, making everyone in the world endure ten years of deja-vu and a total loss of free will - not to mention the torture of reliving every nanosecond of one of the tawdiest and most hollow decades ever.

The Dancers at the End of Time

The Dancers at the End of Time

Michael Moorcock

Enter a decaying far, far future society, a time when anything and everything is possible, where words like 'conscience' and 'morality' are meaningless, and where heartfelt love blossoms mysteriously between Mrs Amelia Underwood, an unwilling time traveller, and Jherek Carnelian, a bemused denizen of the End of Time.

The Dancers at the End of Time, containing the novels An Alien Heat, The Hollow Lands and The End of All Songs, is a brilliant homage to the 1890s of Wilde, Beardsley and the fin de siecle decadents, satire at its sharpest and most colourful.

This is the omnibus edition of the three books in The Dancers at the End of Time series.

Martian Time-Slip

Philip K. Dick

On the arid colony of Mars the only thing more precious than water may be a ten-year-old schizophrenic boy named Manfred Steiner. For although the UN has slated "anomalous" children for deportation and destruction, other people--especially Supreme Goodmember Arnie Kott of the Water Worker's union--suspect that Manfred's disorder may be a window into the future.

In Martian Time-Slip Philip K. Dick uses power politics and extraterrestrial real estate scams, adultery, and murder to penetrate the mysteries of being and time.

The House on the Borderland and Other Novels

William Hope Hodgson

The story of an adventure in time and space that spans all of creation. A building, constructed across an invisible chasm of space-time, fated to witness the very end of the world, is waiting with open doors for anyone who dares to enter it.

Table of Contents:

  •  Introduction: "And Yet": The Antinomies of William Hope Hodgson • essay by China Miéville
  • The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" • (1907) • novel
  • The House on the Borderland • (1908) • novel
  • The Ghost Pirates • (1909) • novel 
  • The Night Land • (1912) • novel

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

John Scalzi

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It's a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship's Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn't be better... until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship's captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expendedon avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues' understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is... and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

The Hollow Lands

The Dancers at the End of Time: Book 2

Michael Moorcock

In which we find Jherek Carnelian, one of the small population of hedonistic immortals remaining on Earth at the end of time, still obsessively in love with Amelia Underwood, a reluctant time-traveller form Victorian England.

After narrowly escaping death in 19th century London, Jherek is separated from his love by several millenia, and so he begins a new, headlong campaign -- seesawing through time and space regardless of risk and consequence -- to reunite himself with Mrs. Underwood.

Brightness Falls From the Air

Rift

James Tiptree, Jr.

They have gathered now on Damien and are about to witness the last rising of a manmade nova. They are 16 humans in a distant world about to be enveloped by an eruption of violence--horror and murder oddly complemented by a bizarre unforgiving love. But justice is not all that's about to be found. Judgment is coming and the 16 unsuspecting ones are on the threshold of the murdered star.

Clans of the Alphane Moon

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 3

Philip K. Dick

When CIA agent Chuck Rittersdorf and his psychiatrist wife, Mary, file for divorce, they have no idea that in a few weeks they'll be shooting it out on Alpha III M2, the distant moon ruled by various psychotics liberated from a mental ward. Nor do they suspect that Chuck's new employer, the famous TV comedian Bunny Hentman, will also be there aiming his own laser gun.

How things came to such a darkly hilarious pass is the subject of Clans of the Alphane Moon, an astutely shrewd and acerbic tale that blurs all conventional distinctions between sanity and madness.

The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag (collection)

Robert A. Heinlein

Jonathon Hoag discovers a mysterious substance under his fingernails and can't remember what he does for a living or how he spends his days. He enlists private detectives Edward and Cynthia Randall to follow him and uncover his identity, entangling them in a web of intrigue and nightmarish encounters... causing all to question their own and each others' sanity.

This and five other classic Heinlein stories make up the eponymous collection.

(Note that this collection is the same as All You Zombies..., except for the addition of the titular story.)

Table of Contents:

  • The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag - (1942) - novella
  • The Man Who Traveled in Elephants - (1957) - short story
  • "--All You Zombies--" - (1961) - short story (variant of "All You Zombies..." 1959)
  • They - (1941) - short story
  • Our Fair City - (1949) - short story
  • "--And He Built a Crooked House--" - (1941) - novelette

The Technicolor® Time Machine

Harry Harrison

Why pay for costumes, scenery, props or actors when the most brilliant drama of all time is unfolding before your very eyes, in vivid color--in 1050 A.D.?

Join the film crew of that stupendous motion picture saga VIKING COLUMBUS as they journey back in time to capture history in the making.

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...

Just One Damned Thing After Another

Chronicles of St. Mary's: Book 1

Jodi Taylor

History is just one damned thing after another - Arnold Toynbee

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do "time-travel" - they "investigate major historical events in contemporary time". Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document - to try and find the answers to many of History's unanswered questions... and not to die in the process.

But one wrong move and History will fight back - to the death. And, as they soon discover, it's not just History they're fighting.

Follow the catastrophe curve from eleventh-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake...

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

Robert A. Heinlein

In The Cat Who Walked through Walls, Heinlein creates his most compelling character ever: Dr. Richard Ames, ex-military man, sometime writer, and unfortunate victim of mistaken identity.

When a stranger attempting to deliver a cryptic message is shot dead at his dinner table, this precipitates his marriage to Gwen Novak and sends the newlyweds scurrying to the Moon and then to the planet Tertius, headquarters of the Time Corps.

Ames is thrown headfirst into danger, intrigue, and other dimensions where Lazarus Long still thrives, where Jubal Harshaw lives surrounded by beautiful women, and where a daring plot to rescue the sentient computer called Mike can change the direction of all human history. A physical description follows...

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

Charles Yu

National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award winner Charles Yu delivers his debut novel, a razor-sharp, ridiculously funny, and utterly touching story of a son searching for his father . . . through quantum space–time.

Minor Universe 31 is a vast story-space on the outskirts of fiction, where paradox fluctuates like the stock market, lonely sexbots beckon failed protagonists, and time travel is serious business. Every day, people get into time machines and try to do the one thing they should never do: change the past. That’s where Charles Yu, time travel technician—part counselor, part gadget repair man—steps in. He helps save people from themselves. Literally. When he’s not taking client calls or consoling his boss, Phil, who could really use an upgrade, Yu visits his mother (stuck in a one-hour cycle of time, she makes dinner over and over and over) and searches for his father, who invented time travel and then vanished. Accompanied by TAMMY, an operating system with low self-esteem, and Ed, a nonexistent but ontologically valid dog, Yu sets out, and back, and beyond, in order to find the one day where he and his father can meet in memory. He learns that the key may be found in a book he got from his future self. It’s called How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, and he’s the author. And somewhere inside it is the information that could help him—in fact it may even save his life.

Wildly new and adventurous, Yu’s debut is certain to send shock waves of wonder through literary space–time.