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The Interpreter

Brian W. Aldiss

Appeared in Ace Double D-443 (1960).

When Earthman Gary Towler is off work, he is a pariah. For his task as chief interpreter for the corrupt and tyrannical nuls makes other humans avoid him as a traitor.

Nor is he trusted by the three-armed mammoth rulers themselves, especially when they learned than an envoy was on the way from their distant planetary headquarters to investigate charges of corruption on Earth. For the leaders realized that Gary knew too much.

When the humans leading the underground rebellion demanded Gary's aid or his life, he was caught between two untrustful forces. And his only way out was to make himself into a one-man third force against two worlds' plotters.

A GREAT SCIENCE-FICTION NOVEL BY THE AUTHOR OF STARSHIP.

The Saliva Tree and Other Strange Growths

Brian W. Aldiss

Contents:

  • The Saliva Tree
  • Danger: Religion!
  • Day of the Doomed King
  • Legends of Smith's Burst
  • The Lonely Habit
  • One Role With Relish
  • Paternal Care
  • A Pleasure Shared
  • The Source
  • Girl and Robot with Flowers

Assemblers of Infinity

Doug Beason
Kevin J. Anderson

It is the twenty-first century. Earth's space program is thriving, with a colony in place in the Moon. And then an incredible discovery is made on the lunar farside. A massive structure is being erected by living machines--microscopically small, intelligent, unstoppable, consuming whatever they touch. All who come near them die horribly. Meanwhile, the mysterious structure continues to grow, expand, take shape. And its creators begin to multiply....

Is this the first strike in an alien invasion from the stars? Or has human nanotech experimentation gone awry, triggering a long-predicted disaster? As riots rage across a panicked Earth, scientists on Earth and on the Moon race to learn the truth before humanity's home is engulfed by the voracious machines and its inhabitants perish in the most terrifying plague ever known.

Three Worlds to Conquer

Poul Anderson

Sympathetic Centaur-like Jovians are in danger of extinction by cruel invaders from another region of the planet. At the same time their friends, the human colonists of Ganymede, are threatened by a powerful space warship commanded by a dictatorial militarist. Eventually, the two groups find ingenious ways to help each other defeat their respective enemies.

(Wikipedia)

World without Stars

Poul Anderson

A mythic tale of space travelers marooned on a planet engulfed in the flames of war and of the immortal hero who endeavors to save them in the name of love.

In a far-future era, death is virtually no more, banished except in the case of severe, violent trauma, enabling mankind to spend what were once entire lifetimes exploring the farthest reaches of the vast universe. When the interstellar vessel Meteor is dispatched to investigate a distant orb circling a giant red sun, an error in calculations sends the ship crashing into a different world altogether, casting its surviving crew into the heart of a savage, planetwide war of primitive alien tribes. With no means of escape and hostiles on every side, the situation appears hopeless for Captain Felip Argens. But for the mission's true leader--crewman, adventurer, and ship's bard Hugh Valland--impossible is not an option. If necessary, he will alter destiny to end the terrible conflict and bring his men safely back home, even if it takes decades, or centuries, or longer--for a remarkable love patiently awaits Valland's return to Earth. It is she who sustains him, who inspires his actions, his courage, his song, with a love that is a miracle, a memory, a tragedy, and a dream.

One of the most thoughtful and lyrical works by the incomparable Poul Anderson--winner of seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards over the course of his acclaimed career--World without Stars is a thrilling deep-space adventure and a magnificent feat of world building by a luminary of science fiction's golden age.

A Woman of the Iron People

Eleanor Arnason

Lixia and the members of her human crew are determined not to disturb the life on the planet circling the Star Sigma Draconis which they have begun exploring. But the factions on the mother ship hovering above the planet may create an unintended chaos for both the life on the planet and the humans exploring it. As the anger increases on the ship, the ground crew becomes more and more affected by the conflict and begins to rely on their instincts to keep the project moving forward. Unexpected danger plagues the mission as Lixia is determined to expand her knowledge.

Farewell to the Master: The Day the Earth Stood Still

Harry Bates

This is a reprint of the 1940 first-contact Sci Fi classic short story by Harry Bates that inspired the two movies titled "The Day the Earth Stood Still." This annotated edition includes a new introduction with a biography of Harry Bates and history of the story, plus the story, as well as a listing of more than 200 first-contact book titles.

The humanoid alien Klaatu and the giant robot Gnut suddenly materialize in Washington, D.C., in a time-travel space ship. Two unfathomable beings from somewhere else in the universe. The murder of Klaatu ruins Earth's attempt to peacefully welcome the first interstellar visitors. And one man tries to solve the mystery of why Gnut remains silent, imperious, and unassailable.

Eclipse

K. A. Bedford

Watching HMS Eclipse through the geosynch spaceport window, Officer James Dunne, a newly minted graduate of the Royal Interstellar Service Academy, thinks his first assignment will be routine... an easy going excursion on an aging deep-space cruiser, heading into the Dark, on a mission to explore the farthest reaches of known space.

James had always wanted to be a part of the romantic final frontier. Now, he thought, his lifelong dream was about to come true.

In fact, he was about to begin the greatest challenge, and worst nightmare, of his already-too-short service career!

Although repeatedly warned "not to rock the boat", it soon becomes obvious that it is too late for the young Officer!

He is drafted into the First Contact Team where he realizes two things: (1) that his contribution to the Interstellar Space Service might easily turn out to be that of a 'replaceable warm body' and (2) that disrespecting junior officers, like Dunne himself, often suffer 'unfortunate' and sometimes fatal 'accidents' out in the Dark.

Dunne's survival will depend on his ability to separate power from perversion while enduring the corruption and control of others!

A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire

Michael Bishop

It seemed like a good idea; even a noble experiment. But the outcome was sheer hell.

When the Balduin brothers escaped from the tedium of the human hive of Atlanta, Georgia, they had a mission. They were to voyage to the planet Trope. Contact a tribe there known as the Ouemartsee. And transport it to Glaparca for a useful purpose.

But suddenly the Balduin brothers discovered that they were in the slavetrade, and that the Ouemartsee had made one of them a God...

A Case of Conscience

James Blish

Father Ruiz-Sanchez is a dedicated man--a priest who is also a scientist, and a scientist who is also a human being. He has found no insoluble conflicts in his beliefs or his ethics... until he is sent to Lithia. There he comes upon a race of aliens who are admirable in every way except for their total reliance on cold reason; they are incapable of faith or belief.

Confronted with a profound scientific riddle and ethical quandary, Father Ruiz-Sanchez soon finds himself torn between the teachings of his faith, the teachings of his science, and the inner promptings of his humanity. There is only one solution: He must accept an ancient and unforgivable heresy--and risk the futures of both worlds...

The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury

Leaving behind a world on the brink of destruction, man came to the Red planet and found the Martians waiting, dreamlike. Seeking the promise of a new beginning, man brought with him his oldest fears and his deepest desires. Man conquered Mars?and in that instant, Mars conquered him. The strange new world with its ancient, dying race and vast, red-gold deserts cast a spell on him, settled into his dreams, and changed him forever. Here are the captivating chronicles of man and Mars?the modern classic by the peerless Ray Bradbury.

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.

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!

Rogue Moon

Algis Budrys

During all recorded history, the Moon has hovered above our heads, a timeless symbol for lovers' ecstasy. Goddesses and Gibson Girls have tripped the light fantastic of her beams while sonneteers and scientists have scanned her changing phases.

Now man had actually reached the Moon, and on it the explorers found a structure, a formation so terrible and incomprehensible that it couldn't even be described in human terms. It was a thing that devoured men; that killed them again and again in torturous, unfathomable ways.

Earthbound are the only two men who could probe the thing: Al Barker, a homicidal maniac, whose loving mistress was death, and Dr. Edward Hawks, a scientific murderer, whose greatest mission was rebirth.

Kindred

Octavia E. Butler

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

A Darkling Sea

James L. Cambias

On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don't disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they're free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives--and the future of human exploration--is anything but certain.

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.

Who Goes There?

John W. Campbell, Jr.

"Who Goes There?": The novella that formed the basis of "The Thing" is the John W. Campbell classic about an antarctic research camp that discovers and thaws the ancient body of a crash-landed alien. The creature revives with terrifying consequences, shape-shifting to assume the exact form of animal and man, alike.

Paranoia ensues as a band of frightened men work to discern friend from foe, and destroy the menace before it challenges all of humanity!

The story, hailed as "one of the finest science fiction novellas ever written" by the SF Writers of America, is best known to fans as THE THING - it was the basis of Howard Hawks' The Thing From Another World in 1951, and John Carpenter's The Thing in 1982.

RUR & War with the Newts

Karel Capek

Written against the background of the rise of Nazism, War With the Newts concerns the discovery in the South Pacific of a sea-dwelling race, which is enslaved and exploited by mankind. In time they rebel, laying siege to the strongholds of their former masters in a global war for supremacy. R.U.R., or Rossum's Universal Robots, seen by many as a modern interpretation of the 'golem' myth, is regarded as the most important play in the history of SF. It introduced the word 'robot' and gave the genre one of its most enduring tropes.

Hestia

C. J. Cherryh

An early Cherryh novel about colonists on an alien world and their interactions with the catlike natives, centering on a young engineer sent to solve the colonists' problems, and his relationship with one of the natives. Major themes in this novel include sexual liberation, sexual aberration, hypocrisy of social mores, and responsibility toward indigenous peoples.

Wave Without a Shore

C. J. Cherryh

Freedom was an isolated planet, off the spaceways track and rarely visited by commercial spacers. It wasn't that Freedom was inhospitable as planets go. The problem was that outsiders--tourists and traders--claimed the streets were crowded with mysterious characters in blue robes and with members of an alien species. Native-born humans, however, said that was not the case. There were no such blue-robes and no aliens. Such was the viewpoint of both Herrin the artist and Waden the autocrat--until a crisis of planetary identity forced a life-and-death confrontation between the question of reality and the reality of the question....

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.

A Meeting With Medusa

Arthur C. Clarke

Nebula winning and Hugo nominated novella.

In leading an expedition through the many-layered Jovian atmosphere in the hydrogen balloon craft Kon-Tiki, Captain Howard Falcon discovers a world where bioluminescent air plankton produce brilliant atmospheric sea-fire, predatory manta-ray creatures dominate the skies, and enormous jellyfish-like beings grow to be over a mile across.

This story was originally published in the December 1971 issue of Playboy and has been reprinted many times. It is incuded in the collections The Wind from the Sun (1972), The Sentinel (1983) and The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (2000). It is half of the Tor Double A Meeting with Medusa / Green Mars (1988). It can be found in numerous anthologies. Among them Nebula Award Stories Eight (1973), edited by Isaac Asimov, Best SF: 1971 (1972) edited by Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss, The Best Science Fiction of the Year (1972) edited by Terry Carr, The Arbor House Treasury of Science Fiction Masterpieces (1983), edited by Robert Silverberg and Martin H. Greenberg and The SFWA Grand Masters, Volume 2 (2000), edited by Frederik Pohl.

Childhood's End

Arthur C. Clarke

When the silent spacecraft arrived and took the light from the world, no one knew what to expect. But, although the Overlords kept themselves hidden from man, they had come to unite a warring world and to offer an end to poverty and crime.

When they finally showed themselves it was a shock, but one that humankind could now cope with, and an era of peace, prosperity and endless leisure began.

But the children of this utopia dream strange dreams of distant suns and alien planets, and begin to evolve into something incomprehensible to their parents, and soon they will be ready to join the Overmind...and, in a grand and thrilling metaphysical climax, leave the Earth behind.

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.

The Last Theorem

Arthur C. Clarke
Frederik Pohl

The final work from the brightest star in science fiction's galaxy. Arthur C Clarke, who predicted the advent of communication satellites and author of 2001: A Space Odyssey completes a lifetime career in science fiction with a masterwork.

30 light years away, a race known simply as the One Point Fives are plotting a dangerous invasion plan, one that will wipe humankind off the face of the Earth...

Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, a young astronomy student, Ranjit Subramanian, becomes obsessed with a three-hundred-year-old theorem that promises to unlock the secrets of the universe. While Ranjit studies the problem, tensions grow between the nations of the world and a UN taskforce headed up by China, America and Russia code-named Silent Thunder begins bombing volatile regimes into submission.

On the eve of the invasion of Earth a space elevator is completed, helped in part by Ranjit, which will herald a new type of Olympics to be held on the Moon. But when alien forces arrive Ranjit is forced to question his own actions, in a bid to save the lives of not just his own family but of all of humankind.

Co-written with fellow grand master Frederik Pohl, The Last Theorem not only provides a fitting end to the career one of the most famous names in science fiction but also sets a new benchmark in contemporary prescient science fiction. It tackles with ease epic themes as diverse as third world poverty, the atrocities of modern warfare in a post-nuclear age, space elevators, pure mathematics and mankind's first contact with extra-terrestrials.

Eight Keys to Eden

Mark Clifton

FROM THE HUGO WINNING NOVELIST Not long after the colonists landed on the uninhabited planet every human made artifact - ship communicators, tools--disappeared! Even their clothes! Here is an enthralling science alien planet puzzle from the man writer, critic and Nebula award winner Barry Maltzberg calls "One of the twelve most influential science fiction writers." When, Eden--the Earth colony eleven light years goes silent and fails to answer any communications from the mother planet, Earth's government goes into a panic. Has something tragic happened on a world already proven to have no intelligent, dangerous lifeforms? Or, are the colonists purposely disregarding the messages for some reason of their own? What could be the real explanation for the mysterious silence of a disciplined, scientific colony? /p>

To learn the answer, Earth's leaders turn to the Extrapolators- the honored group of men and women with an almost superhuman ability to see to the core of any problem. Soon the Es assign a probationary Extrapolator, Calvin Gray, to the hazardous journey to Eden, where he will win full admission into the ranks to the Extrapolators if he solves whatever problems he finds there. But, even with his special Extrapolator training, Grey is not prepared for the extent ort nature of the disaster that has struck the colony Eden--thrown back to an almost subhuman state of existence without houses, tools, equipment, or clothing.

Here is a suspenseful science fiction from Mark Clifton, who, with his collaborator, Frank Riley, won the 1955 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel of the year for, They'd Rather Be Right. Galaxy magazine's editors called Clifton's work: "Full of excitement. Richly rewarding. Genuinely mature philosophy tinged with gentle irony."

Armada: A Novel

Ernest Cline

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he's spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there's nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don't get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he's staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada--in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn't lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he's seeing is all too real. And his skills--as well as those of millions of gamers across the world--are going to be needed to save the earth from what's about to befall it.

It's Zack's chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can't help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn't something about this scenario seem a little... familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before--one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

Close Encounters

Andy Duncan

Nebula Award winning novelette. It originally appaered in the collection The Pottawatomie Giant and Other Stories (2012). The first publication in the US was in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September-October 2012. The story can also be found in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Seven (2013), edited by Jonathan Strahan, The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection (2013), edited by Gardner Dozois, Year's Best SF 18 (2013), edited by David G. Hartwell and Nebula Awards Showcase 2014, edited by Kij Johnson.

Schild's Ladder

Greg Egan

The Age of Death ended countless millennia ago. No longer burdened by limited lifespans, the immortal humans who populate inhabited space now have the luxury to travel vast distances effortlessly and to tinker with the intricate mechanics of spacetime. But one such experiment in quantum physics has had a catastrophic and unanticipated result, creating an enormous, rapidly expanding vacuum -- a region of new physics -- with the frightening potential to devour countless inhabited solar systems.

Tchicaya abandoned his homeworld four thousand years ago to travel the universe, freely choosing, as have others of his bent, to endure the hardships of distance and loneliness for the sake of knowledge and experience. Aboard the Rindler, a starship trawling the border of the allconsuming novo-vacuum, he feels his endless life has new purpose. For the Rindler is the center for the scientific study the phenomenon -- a common ground for Preservationists and Yielders alike, those working to halt and destroy the encroaching worlds-eater ... and those determinedto investigate its marvels while allowing its growth to continue unchecked. Tchicaya has allied himself firmly with the latter camp.

The passing decades -- and inevitable expansion of the void -- widen the great rift between the two factions, intensifying what was once simply ideological differences into something more angry, explosive, and dangerous. And the arrival of Tchicaya's fiery first love, Mariama, and her immediate embracing of the Preservationist cause, intensifies an inner turmoil he has been struggling with since his distant childhood.

But everything onboard the Rindler -- and, ultimately, in the inhabited universe itself-is on the cusp of further cataclysmic change, as the Yielders' explorations threaten to transform discord into violent action and potential xenocide. For new evidence suggests that something unthinkable is developing at an astounding rate deep within the mysterious, 600-light-years-wide void -- something neither Tchicaya and his compatriots nor Mariama and hers could ever have imagined possible: life.

The Deepest Rift

Ruthanna Emrys

In the deepest canyon in the inhabited worlds, giant mantas soar through the air and leave patterned structures behind. A team of sapiologists seek to prove that these delicate filaments are true language, not just bee's dance. But time has run out, and their reckoning is upon them. Will they prove that their research is valid, or will they be scattered to the corners of the galaxy?

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

The Book of Strange New Things

Michel Faber

Peter - devoted pastor, dedicated missionary, and loving husband to his wife, Bea - has just accepted a demanding and perilous new job. He's to travel to a new planet, Oasis, to work for a mysterious corporation called USIC. He's tasked with reaching out to the indigenous race, to make sure they are as peaceful as they seem. Resolutely devout and strengthened by his letters from Bea at home, Peter undertakes his job with complete focus. The Oasans are shockingly open to his teachings, but things start to unravel when Bea's missives from Earth take a dark tone. Earth appears to be coming apart at the seams: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries and governments are crumbling. Even the hospital where she works has ceased to function. Their unearthly divide is testing Peter and Bea's relationship to a startlingly degree. Peter is thrown into crisis. USIC might be hiding its true motives in developing Oasis, and the Oasans themselves are frustratingly opaque. Bea's desperate letters are only fomenting his doubt. Peter is suddenly faced with an impossible-and dangerous-decision: to follow his faith, or follow his heart. His life depends on it.

Eifelheim

Michael Flynn

In 1349, one small town in Germany disappeared and has never been resettled. Tom, a contemporary historian, and his theoretical physicist girlfriend Sharon, become interested. Tom indeed becomes obsessed. By all logic, the town should have survived, but it didn't and that violates everything Tom knows about history. What's was special about Eifelheim that it utterly disappeared more than 600 years ago?

Father Deitrich is the village priest of Oberhochwald, the village that will soon gain the name of Teufelheim, in later years corrupted to Eifelheim, in the year 1348, when the Black Death is gathering strength across Europe but is still not nearby. Deitrich is an educated man, knows science and philosophy, and to his astonishment becomes the first contact between humanity and an alien race from a distant star when their interstellar ship crashes in the nearby forest. It is a time of wonders, in the shadow of the plague.

Tom and Sharon, and Father Deitrich, have a strange and intertwined destiny of tragedy and triumph in this brilliant SF novel by the winner of the Robert A. Heinlein Award.

Saturn Rukh

Robert L. Forward

In the near future five intrepid men and women have been paid a billion dollars each to risk the first voyage into the upper atmosphere of Saturn. The goal: to convert atmospheric chemicals into fuel to power interplanetary spaceships.

But no one anticipates a crash landing on one of the enormous flying creatures known as rukhs that live in Saturn's atmosphere.

Starman

Alan Dean Foster

An innocent alien from a distant planet learns what it means to be a man in love.

When his spacecraft is shot down over Wisconsin, Starman arrives at the remote cabin of a distraught young widow, Jenny Hayden, and clones the form of her dead husband. The alien convinces Jenny to drive him to Arizona, explaining that if he isn't, he'll die. Hot on their trail are government agents, intent on capturing the alien, dead or alive. En route, Starman demonstrates the power of universal love, while Jenny rediscovers her human feelings for passion.

Sarah Canary

Karen Joy Fowler

The Washington Territory, 1873. The woman who appeared without warning in the forest clearing was small, dressed all in black, and of indeterminate age. Her hair was cropped and she was babbling in some incomprehensible tongue. Chin Ah Kin thought she might be a ghost-lover--an immortal sent by the gods to enchant him. His more practical uncle thought otherwise: a white woman in a Chinese railway workers' camp could only be trouble. He ordered Chin to return her to her white world.

Thus begins Sarah Canary, Karen Joy Fowler's bewitching odyssey of the Old West that speaks across a hundred years of American experience. As Sarah Canary and her raging entourage move across the green landscape of the Pacific Northwest, each new encounter with America's boisterous frontier offers intriguing insights into the extravagant myths and legends of the past which have evolved into the pillars of our national heritage. Part adventure story, part history lesson, part flight of marvelous fantasy, Sarah Canary achieves that true rarity of excellence: a novel of ideas and wit that can raise tears as well as laughter.

Triptych

J. M. Frey

IN THE NEAR FUTURE, humankind has mastered the arts of peace, tolerance, and acceptance. At least, that's what we claim.

But then they arrive. Aliens--the last of a dead race. Suffering culture shock of the worst kind, they must take refuge on a world they cannot understand; one which cannot comprehend the scope of their loss. Taciturn Gwen Pierson and super-geek Basil Grey are Specialists for the Institute--an organization set up to help alien integration into our societies. They take in Kalp, a widower who escaped his dying world with nothing but his own life and the unfinished toy he was making for a child that will never be born. But on the aliens' world, family units come in threes, and when Kalp turns to them for comfort, they unintentionally, but happily, find themselves Kalp's lovers.

And then, aliens--and the Specialists who have been most accepting of them--start dying, picked off by assassins. The people of Earth, it seems, are not quite as tolerant as they proclaim.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties

Neil Gaiman

Hugo Award nominated short story.

Enn is a sixteen-year-old boy who just doesn't understand girls, while his friend Vic seems to have them all figured out. Both teenagers are in for the shock of their young lives, however, when they crash a local party only to discover that the girls there are far, far more than they appear!

The story originally appeared in the collection Fragile Things (2006) and was reprinted in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 2007. It can also be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume One (2007), edited by Jonathan Strahan and Alien Contact (2012), edited by Marty Halpern.

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

Gift from the Stars

James E. Gunn

The age-old question about alien existence and human contact is explored in a new way in this collection of six novellas, previously anthologized in ANOLOG magazine. When disillusioned aerospace engineer Adrian Mast buys a book at a remainder sale, the last things he expects to find in its appendix are alien spacecraft designs. With the help of the bookstore owner, Adrian tracks down the author—only to find him in a mental institution anguishing over the intentions of the aliens who sent the designs to him. By bluffing a bureaucrat intent on thwarting their progress, the two friends continue their quest for the stars and go ahead with the spacecraft designs. Having successfully launched their ship 15 years later, the questions that remain are: What were the intentions of the aliens? and Is mankind ready to face what's out there?

The Listeners

James E. Gunn

After fifty-one long years of patient waiting, the message has finally arrived. They have dedicated their lives to trying to decipher the eerie silence that resounds from space and now there is finally a sound after decades of quiet. In the beginning there is a hail of celebration, the Project has finally produced results, but then the questions begin. What does the message mean? Could it be 'we come in peace' or 'get ready for world domination'?

The message baffles Earth. Only one man has the power to make the decision and it could mean intergalactic warfare if he makes the wrong choice. Director MacDonald holds in his hands the fate of Earth, the universe and the Project, which is dedicated to answering questions that have plagued humanity for centuries. Will he make the correct choice?

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.

Mindbridge

Joe Haldeman

In the space of a few years, Joe Haldeman has come to be recognized as one of the best writers of science fiction of our time. Mindbridge, a novel at once traditional in ist plot and a daring new departure in its structure, is certain to add to this reputation.

Jacque LeFavre live in the formidable world of the future. A pioneer in interstellar colonization, he is the co-discoverer of a creature that acts as a psychic link... allowing one person to sense directly the thoughts and emotions of another. But he learns the terrible price fo this power when his partner suddenly dies.

Older, disillusioned, he is one of a team that confronts the L'vrai, a race of angelic beauty but with a callous disregard for life. They are expanding through the universe and view humankind as a removable obstacle. LeFavre's assignment: establsih a telepathic link with a L'vrai leader and find an alternative to the interstellar war that threatens the extinction of one of the two races.

Alien Contact

Marty Halpern

Are we alone? From War of the Worlds to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, ET to Close Encounters, creators of science fiction have always eagerly speculated on just how the story of alien contact would play out. Editor Marty Halpern has gathered together some of the best stories of the last 30 years, by today's most exciting genre writers, weaving a tapestry that covers a broad range of scenarios: from the insidious, to the violent, to the transcendent.

Contents:

  • Introduction: Beginnings... - (2012) - essay by Marty Halpern
  • The Thought War - (2008) - shortstory by Paul J. McAuley
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties - (2006) - shortstory by Neil Gaiman
  • Face Value - (1986) - shortstory by Karen Joy Fowler
  • The Road Not Taken - [Roxalani] - (1985) - novelette by Harry Turtledove
  • The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, Everything - (1984) - shortstory by George Alec Effinger
  • I Am the Doorway - (1971) - shortstory by Stephen King
  • Recycling Strategies for the Inner City - (1990) - shortstory by Pat Murphy
  • The 43 Antarean Dynasties - (1997) - shortstory by Mike Resnick
  • The Gold Bug - (2007) - novelette by Orson Scott Card
  • Kin - (2006) - shortstory by Bruce McAllister
  • Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song - (1989) - shortstory by Ernest Hogan
  • Angel - (1987) - shortstory by Pat Cadigan
  • The First Contact with the Gorgonids - (1992) - shortstory by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Sunday Night Yams at Minnie and Earl's - (2001) - novella by Adam-Troy Castro
  • A Midwinter's Tale - (1988) - shortstory by Michael Swanwick
  • Texture of Other Ways - (1999) - shortstory by Mark W. Tiedemann
  • To Go Boldly - (2009) - shortstory by Cory Doctorow
  • If Nudity Offends You - (1988) - shortstory by Elizabeth Moon
  • Laws of Survival - (2007) - novelette by Nancy Kress
  • What You Are About to See - (2008) - shortstory by Jack Skillingstead
  • Amanda and the Alien - (1983) - shortstory by Robert Silverberg
  • Exo-Skeleton Town - (2000) - novelette by Jeffrey Ford
  • Lambing Season - (2002) - shortstory by Molly Gloss
  • Swarm - (1982) - novelette by Bruce Sterling
  • MAXO Signals: A New and Unfortunate Solution to the Fermi Paradox - (2007) - shortstory by Charles Stross (variant of MAXO Signals 2005)
  • Last Contact - (2007) - shortstory by Stephen Baxter
  • About the Contributors (Alien Contact) - (2012) - essay by uncredited

Chocky

John Wyndham

At first they thought that Matthew was just goining through a phase of talking to himself. And like many parents, they waited for him to grow out of it. But as time passed it became worse, not better. Matthew's conversations with himself grew more and more intense. It was like listening to one end of a telephone conversation while someone argued, cajoled and reasoned with another person you couldn't hear or see. Then Matthew began doing things he couldn't do before. Like counting in binary code mathematics. So he told them about Chocky, the person who lived in his head. Whoever or whatever Chocky was, it wasn't childish imagination. It was far too intelligent and frightening for that.

The Midwich Cuckoos

John Wyndham

In the sleepy English village of Midwich, a mysterious silver object appears and all the inhabitants fall unconscious. A day later the object is gone and everyone awakens unharmed – except that all the women in the village are discovered to be pregnant. The resultant children of Midwich do not belong to their parents: all are blonde, all are golden eyed. They grow up too fast and their minds exhibit frightening abilities that give them control over others and brings them into conflict with the villagers just as a chilling realisation dawns on the world outside . . .

The Midwich Cuckoos is the classic tale of aliens in our midst, exploring how we respond when confronted by those who are innately superior to us in every conceivable way.

The Midwich Cuckoos was made into a feature film title The Village of the Damned.

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist

S. L. Huang

A dark retelling of The Little Mermaid from the author of HUNTING MONSTERS

I suppose if this is going to be recorded somewhere for posterity, I should set the record straight. The ghostwriter will probably cut it all, but hey, it's the principle of the thing.

Dr. Cadence Mbella is the world's most celebrated scholar of the atargati: sentient, intelligent deep-water beings who are most definitely not mermaids. When Cadence decides to release a captive atargati from scientific experimentation and interrogation, she knows her career and her life is forfeit. But she still yearns for the atargati--there is still so much to know about their physiology, their society, their culture. And Cadence would do anything to more fully understand the atargati... no matter what the cost.

Macroscope

Piers Anthony

Throughout history, man has been searching for better ways to gather information about his universe. But although they may have longed for it, not even the most brilliant minds could conceive of a device as infinitely powerful or as immeasurably precise as the macroscope, until the twenty-first century. By analyzing information carried on macrons, this unbelievable tool brought the whole universe of wonders to man's doorstep. The macroscope was seen by many as the salvation of the human race.

But in the hands of the wrong man, the macroscope could be immensely destructive-infinitely more dangerous than the nuclear bomb. By searching to know too much, man could destroy the very essence of his mind. This is the powerful story of man's struggle with technology, and also the story of his human struggle with himself. This novel takes us across the breathtaking ranges of space as well as through the most touching places in the human heart. It is a story of coming of age, of sacrifice, and of love. It is the story of man's desperate search for a compromise between his mind and his heart, between knowledge and humanity.

Spar

Kij Johnson

A lone survivor of a space shipwreck is trapped in a raft with an alien, and is pitted against it in a sexual competition for survival and dominance.


Read this story online for free at Clarkesworld.

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?

The Tommyknockers

Stephen King

...Tommyknockers, tommyknockers, knocking at the door.

Something was happening in Bobbi Anderson's idyllic small town of Haven, Maine. Something that gave every man, woman, and child in town powers far beyond ordinary mortals. Something that turned the town into a death trap for all outsiders. Something that came from a metal object, buried for millennia, that Bobbi stumbled across.

It wasn't that Bobbi and the other good folks of Haven had sold their souls to reap the rewards of the most deadly evil this side of hell. It was more like a diabolical takeover... and invasion of body and soul--and mind.

E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial in His Adventure on Earth

William Kotzwinkle

Captivating audiences of all ages, this timeless story follows the unforgettable journey of a lost alien and the 10-year-old boy he befriends. Join Elliot, Gertie, and Michael as they come together to help E.T. find his way back home.

An Alien Light

Nancy Kress

This science fiction novel tells how the human race is at war with the Ged, a species that is baffled by mankind's ability to turn violence upon itself. In order to defeat the humans, the Ged must first understand them, but they don't anticipate that they will meet opposition from a few humans.

Dark City

Frank Lauria

It's always raining in the City. And it always seems to be Night as well.

Separated from his wife, John Murdoch awakens alone in a strange hotel to learn he is wanted for a series of brutal killings but he can't remember if he did or didn't commit these murders.

Is John Murdoch mentally disturbed, or is he is the only salvation from the violent killings that are happening? In his search for the answers, John Murdock will uncover an iceberg of secrets which will shatter his world.

The Green Millennium

Fritz Leiber

Hugo and Nebula award-winning Fritz Leiber is a science-fiction grand master with an unparalleled ability to discern the stranger side of the universe. THE GREEN MILLENNIUM is set in a futuristic human society based on our own. The regimented, regulated and bureaucratized life style led by the misanthropic Phil Gish leaves him feeling vaguely dissatisfied and emotionally cut off from other people. He is surprised when a pure green cat appears in his room, a cat who makes him feel happier and more alive than he has ever felt. Phil decides to call the cat Lucky, hoping his life will take a turn for the better. If you consider different as change for the better, then Gish really has got something in Lucky--something that everyone else wants--including the Mob, the FBI, some nude aliens, and a gorgeous mystery woman. When Lucky seems to vanish into thin air, Phil will do anything to get him back, even if it means challenging the very powers that rule his world.

The Wanderer

Fritz Leiber

All eyes were watching the eclipse of the Moon when the Wanderer--a huge, garishly colored artificial world--emerged. Only a few scientists even suspected its presence, and then, suddenly and silently, it arrived, dwarfing and threatening the Moon and wreaking havoc on Earth's tides and weather. Though the Wanderer is stopping in the solar system only to refuel, its mere presence is catastrophic. A tense, thrilling, and towering achievement. Winner of the Hugo Award for Best SF Novel of the Year!

Eden

Stanislaw Lem

A six-man crew crash-lands on Eden, fourth planet from another sun. The men find a strange world that grows ever stranger, and everywhere there are images of death. The crew's attempt to communicate with this civilization leads to violence and to a cruel truth-cruel precisely because it is so human.

Fiasco

Stanislaw Lem

The planet Quinta is pocked by ugly mounds and covered by a spiderweb-like network. It is a kingdom of phantoms and of a beauty afflicted by madness. In stark contrast, the crew of the spaceship Hermes represents a knowledge-seeking Earth. As they approach Quinta, a dark poetry takes over and leads them into a nightmare of misunderstanding.

His Master's Voice

Stanislaw Lem

Scientists studying the phenomenon of neutrino radiation suddenly realize that the cosmic emissions are conveying a message for humanity, and the race is on to decode the alien transmission.

Solaris

Stanislaw Lem

Who's testing whom? When Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface, he is forced to confront a painful, hitherto unconscious memory embodied in the living physical likeness of a long-dead lover. Others examining the planet, Kelvin learns, are plagued with their own repressed and newly corporeal memories. Scientists speculate that the Solaris ocean may be a massive brain that creates these incarnate memories, its purpose in doing so unknown.

The first of Lem's novels to be published in America and now considered a classic, SOLARIS raises a question: Can we truly understand the universe around us without first understanding what lies within?

Lem himself, who read English fluently, repeatedly voiced his disappointment about the Kilmartin-Cox translation of the French translation, and it has generally been considered second-rate. In 2011, the first direct Polish-to-English translation by Bill Johnston was released as an audiobook narrated by Alessandro Juliani, and then as an e-book.

Radiomen

Eleanor Lerman

There are two themes to Radiomen. First, if there are aliens interacting with our world they are likely just as confused about who or what God is as human beings are; and second, whoever they are, they're probably just as fond of dogs as we are.

Laurie, a woman who works at a bar at Kennedy airport doesn't remember that when she was a child, she met an alien on the fire escape of a building where her uncle kept a shortwave radio. The radio is part of a universal network of repeaters maintained by an unknown alien race; they use the network to broadcast prayers into the universe.

She meets a psychic who is actually part of a Scientology-like cult called the "Blue Awareness," as well as a late-night radio host. All have their own reasons for unraveling the mystery of the lost radio network.

Laurie is given a strange dog by her neighbor, an immigrant and a member of the Dogon tribe - people who believe they were visited by aliens long ago and repeat a myth about how the aliens brought dog-like animals with them. All Dogon dogs are supposedly descended from that animal.

As conflict develops between the Blue Awareness leader and the other characters, the Dogon acts as an intermediary between the humans, who want to understand why the aliens need the radio network, and the aliens who need the humans to help them find a lost element of the universal network.

Girl in Landscape

Jonathan Lethem

One the irrepressibly inventive Jonathan Lethem could weld science fiction and the Western into a mesmerizing novel of exploration and otherness, sexual awakening and loss. At the age of 13 Pella Marsh loses her mother and her home on the scorched husk that is planet Earth. Her sorrowing family emigrates to the Planet of the Archbuilders, whose mysterious inhabitants have names like Lonely Dumptruck and Hiding Kneel--and a civilization that and frightens their human visitors.?

On this new world, spikily independent Pella becomes as uneasy envoy between two species. And at the same time is unwilling drawn to a violent loner who embodies all the paranoid machismo of the frontier ethic. Combining the tragic grandeur of John Ford's The Searchers and the sexual tension of Lolita and transporting them to a planet light years, Girl in Landscape is a tour de force.

At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror

H. P. Lovecraft

A complete short novel, AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS is a tale of terror unilke any other. The Barren, windswept interior of the Antarctic plateau was lifeless--or so the expedition from Miskatonic University thought. Then they found the strange fossils of unheard-of creatures...and the carved stones tens of millions of years old...and, finally, the mind-blasting terror of the City of the Old Ones. Three additional strange tales, written as only H.P. Lovecraft can write, are also included in this macabre collection of the strange and the weird.

Learning the World

Ken MacLeod

Humanity has spread to every star within 500 light-years of its half-forgotten origin, coloring the sky with a haze of habitats. Societies rise and fall. Incautious experiments burn fast and fade. On the fringes, less modified humans get on with the job of settling a universe that has, so far, been empty of intelligent life.

The ancient starship But the Sky, My Lady! The Sky! is entering orbit around a promising new system after a four hundred year journey. For its long-lived inhabitants, the centuries have been busy. Now a younger generation is eager to settle the system. The ship is a seed-pod ready to burst.

Then they detect curious electromagnetic emissions from the system's Earth-like world. As the nature of the signals becomes clear, the choices facing the humans become stark.

On Ground, second world from the sun, a young astronomer searches for his system's outermost planet. A moving point of light thrills, then disappoints him. It's only a comet. His physicist colleague Orro takes time off from trying to invent a flying-machine to calculate the comet's trajectory. Something is very odd about that comet's path.

They are not the only ones for whom the world has changed.

"We are not living in the universe we thought we lived in yesterday. We have to start learning the world all over again."

Sandkings (collection)

George R. R. Martin

When Simon Kress returned to his home planet of Baldur from an offworld business trip, he was amused to find that his tank of Earth piranhas had cannibalized themselves into extinction, and of the two exotic animals that roamed his estate, only one remained. Now, in search of some new pets to satisfy his cruel pursuit of amusement, Simon finds a new shop in the city where he is intrigued by a new lifeform he has never heard of before ... a collection of multi-colored sandkings. The curator explains that the insect-like animals, no larger than Simon's fingernails, are not insects, but animals with a highly-evolved hive intelligence capable of staging wars between the different colors, and even religion--in the form of worship of their owner. The curator's warning to Simon about the regularity of their feeding, unfortunately, was not taken seriously.... "Outer Limits" Episode, Hugo Award Winner, Locus Poll Award Winner, Nebula Award Winner

Table of Contents

Cryptic

Jack McDevitt

Nebula Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, April 1983. The story can also be found in the antholgoy The Year's Best Science Fiction: First Annual Collection (1984), edited by Gardner Dozois, and the collections Standard Candles (1996) and Cryptic: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt (2009).

Read the full story for free at the Baen website.

Infinity Beach

Jack McDevitt

We are alone. That is the verdict, after centuries of Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence missions and space exploration. The only living things in the Universe are found on the Nine Worlds settled from Earth, and the starships that knit them together. Or so it's believed, until Dr. Kimberly Brandywine sets out to find what happened to her clone-sister Emily, who, after the final, unsuccessful manned SETI expedition, disappeared along with the rest of her ship's crew.

Following a few ominous clues, Kim discovers the ship's log was faked. Something happened out there in the darkness between the stars, and she's prepared to go to any length to find answers. Even if it means giving up her career...stealing a starship...losing her lover. Kim is about to discover the truth about her sister -- and about more than she ever dared imagine.

The Hercules Text

Jack McDevitt

From a remote corner of the galaxy a message is being sent. The continuous beats of a pulsar have become odd, irregular... artificial. it can only be a code. Frantically, a research team struggles to decipher the alien communication. And what the scientists discover is destined to shake the foundations of empires around this world - from Wall Street to the Vatican.

Sacrifice of Fools

Ian McDonald

Protestants, Catholics, aliens... Just another division in Belfast

When the alien Shian come to Earth, they offer technology in exchange for a home. Belfast, Northern Ireland, is where eighty thousand of them settle. From that point on, the already-divided city takes on yet another partition. The Shian integrate themselves into the city's culture, becoming one more set of faces in the crowd. Now, a series of ghastly murders has stunned the city and affected both the Shian and the humans.

Andy Gillespie, a Loyalist and former criminal, is immediately named the main suspect in the killings. To clear his name, he must find the true perpetrators, and in order to do so, he must get help from any source possible--be it Protestant, Catholic, or extraterrestrial.

Shortlisted for the James Tiptree Jr. Award, Sacrifice of Fools depicts a city at once familiar and peculiar. Belfast resident Ian McDonald's interpretation of his hometown is one in which the people live their lives to the best of their abilities; one in which they have to deal with the basics of life with extraterrestrials, from language barriers to surprising new fetishes. Here, Belfastians discover how little things truly change.

Embassytown

China Miéville

China Miéville doesn't follow trends, he sets them. Relentlessly pushing his own boundaries as a writer-and in the process expanding the boundaries of the entire field-with Embassytown, Miéville has crafted an extraordinary novel that is not only a moving personal drama but a gripping adventure of alien contact and war.

In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak.

Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language.

When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties-to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak yet speaks through her.

Solar Express

L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

You can't militarize space. This one rule has led to decades of peaceful development of space programs worldwide. However, increasing resource scarcity and a changing climate on Earth's surface is causing some interested parties to militarize, namely India, the North American Union, and the Sinese Federation.

The discovery of a strange artifact by Dr. Alayna Wong precipitates a crisis. What appears to be a hitherto undiscovered comet is soon revealed to be an alien structure on a cometary trajectory toward the sun. Now there is a race between countries to see who can study and control the artifact dubbed the "Solar Express" before it perhaps destroys itself.

Leading the way for the North American Union is Alayna's friend, Captain Christopher Tavoian, one of the first shuttle pilots to be trained for combat in space. But, as the alien craft gets closer to its destination, it begins to alter the surface of the sun in strange new ways, ways that could lead Alayna to revolutionary discoveries-provided Chris can prevent war from breaking out as he navigates among the escalating tensions between nations.

Solar Express is a thrilling, new, hard science fiction novel from New York Times bestselling author L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Remnant Population

Elizabeth Moon

For forty years, Colony 3245.12 has been Ofelia's home. On this planet far away in space and time from the world of her youth, she has lived and loved, weathered the death of her husband, raised her one surviving child, lovingly tended her garden, and grown placidly old. And it is here that she fully expects to finish out her days--until the shifting corporate fortunes of the Sims Bancorp Company dictates that Colony 3245.12 is to be disbanded, its residents shipped off, deep in cryo-sleep, to somewhere new and strange and not of their choosing. But while her fellow colonists grudgingly anticipate a difficult readjustment on some distant world, Ofelia savors the promise of a golden opportunity. Not starting over in the hurly-burly of a new community... but closing out her life in blissful solitude, in the place she has no intention of leaving. A population of one.

With everything she needs to sustain her, and her independent spirit to buoy her, Ofelia actually does start life over--for the first time on her own terms: free of the demands, the judgments, and the petty tyrannies of others. But when a reconnaissance ship returns to her idyllic domain, and its crew is mysteriously slaughtered, Ofelia realizes she is not the sole inhabitant of her paradise after all. And, when the inevitable time of first contact finally arrives, she will find her life changed yet again–in ways she could never have imagined....

Usurper of the Sun

Housuke Nojiri

The mysterious Builders have brought humanity to the edge of extinction; can they be reasoned with, or must they be destroyed? Aki Shiraishi is a high school student working in the astronomy club and one of the few witnesses to an amazing event--someone is building a tower on the planet Mercury. Soon, the Builders have constructed a ring around the sun, threatening the ecology of Earth with an immense shadow. Aki is inspired to pursue a career in science, and the truth. She must determine the purpose of the ring and the plans of its creators, as the survival of both species--humanity and the alien Builders--hangs in the balance.

Breed to Come

Andre Norton

Men fled their polluted war ravaged planet, leaving behind a virus from their insidious experimentations. Yet, the animals of the planet thrived, each generation stronger and more intelligent than the last. In the ruins of a university, a huge group of cats, more brilliant than common, sought to master the works of man. They found that the Demons (Mankind) were real. And there was real danger (from Humans) if they ever returned to earth. Then one day a spaceship came.

Lagoon

Nnedi Okorafor

When a massive object crashes into the ocean off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria's most populous and legendary city, three people wandering along Bar Beach (Adaora, the marine biologist- Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa- Agu, the troubled soldier) find themselves running a race against time to save the country they love and the world itself... from itself. Lagoon expertly juggles multiple points of view and crisscrossing narratives with prose that is at once propulsive and poetic, combining everything from superhero comics to Nigerian mythology to tie together a story about a city consuming itself.

At its heart a story about humanity at the crossroads between the past, present, and future, Lagoon touches on political and philosophical issues in the rich tradition of the very best science fiction, and ultimately asks us to consider the things that bind us together--and the things that make us human.

There was no time to flee. No time to turn. No time to shriek. And there was no pain. It was like being thrown into the stars.

Nemesis

Isaac Asimov

In the twenty-third century pioneers have escaped the crowded earth for life in self-sustaining orbital colonies. One of the colonies, Rotor, has broken away from the solar system to create its own renegade utopia around an unknown red star two light-years from Earth: a star named Nemesis. Now a fifteen-year-old Rotorian girl has learned of the dire threat that nemesis poses to Earth's people--but she is prevented from warning them. Soon she will realize that Nemesis endangers Rotor as well. And so it will be up to her alone to save both Earth and Rotor as--drawn inexorably by Nemesis, the death star--they hurtle toward certain disaster.

The Gods Themselves

Isaac Asimov

Only a few know the terrifying truth--an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, a lunar-born human intuitionist who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun. They know the truth--but who will listen? They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy--but who will believe? These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to the Earth's survival.

A Mirror for Observers

Edgar Pangborn

In their attitude towards the Planet Earth, the Martians had long been divided into two camps: the Observers, benevolent 'meddlers' in human affairs; and the rebellious Abdicators, who sought the Earth's collapse.

But it wasn't until the extraordinary matter of the Earth-Boy, Angelo Pontevecchio, that the enmity between these two factions came to a definite head.

It started as a contest of wills, waged between two opposing Martians for the soul of a single human child.

And before the end, it threatened all life on both Earth and Mars.

West of the Sun

Edgar Pangborn

After eleven years in space, the Argo landed on the dangerous, unknown planet Lucifer. The crew faced an untamed world of huge, carnivorous birds with wolverine heads and flashing black teeth; furred, ten-foot-tall men; and red-skinned, man-eating pygmies. They fought for mere survival. But their duty was to colonize and populate the planet ... with four men and only two women!

Flying to Valhalla

Charles Pellegrino

As Christopher and Clarice Wayville pilot the relativistic spacecraft Valkyrie toward the inhabited fourth world of Alpha Centauria A, they prepare for the first contact with an intelligent and benign marsupial species. But upon arrival, Chistopher becomes haunted by memories of his own death on the same planet.

The Killing Star

George Zebrowski
Charles Pellegrino

The late 21st century seems like a good time to be alive. Earth is at peace. Humans now command self-replicating machines that create engineering marvels on enormous scales. Artificial habitats dot the solar system. Anti-matter driven Valkyrie rockets carry explorers to the stars at nearly the speed of light. All seems well.

Then, from the uncaring black of space come swarms of relativistic missiles. Though they are merely boulder-sized hunks of metal, they move fast enough to hit with the force of many nuclear arsenals. They are impossible to track and impossible to stop. Humanity is all but wiped out by the horrific bombardment.

A handful of survivors desperately struggle to escape the alien mop-up fleet. They hide close to the sun, inside asteroids, beneath the crusts of moons, within ice rings, and in the fathomless depths of interstellar space. But most are hunted down and slaughtered.

The last man and woman on Earth are captured as zoo specimens. In the belly of an alien starship, a squid-like being relates to them the pitiless logic behind human-kind's execution: the moment humans learned to travel at relativistic speeds was the moment mankind simply became too dangerous a neighbor to have around. Nothing personal.

Jem: The Making of a Utopia

Frederik Pohl

The discovery of another habitable world might spell salvation to the three bitterly competing power blocs of the resource-starved 21st century; but when their representatives arrive on Jem, with its multiple intelligent species, they discover instead the perfect situation into which to export their rivalries. Subtitled, with savage irony, 'The Making of a Utopia', Jem is one of Frederik Pohl's most powerful novels.

Substrate Phantoms

Jessica Reisman

The space station Termagenti--hub of commerce, culture, and civilization--may be haunted. Dangerous power surges, inexplicable energy manifestations, and strange accidents plague the station. Even after generations of exploring deep space, humanity has yet to encounter another race, and yet, some believe that what is troubling the station may be an alien life form.

Jhinsei and his operations team crawl throughout the station, one of many close-knit working groups that keep Termagenti operational. After an unexplained and deadly mishap takes his team from him, Jhinsei finds himself--for lack of a better word--haunted by his dead teammates. In fact, they may not be alone in taking up residence in his brain. He may have picked up a ghost--an alien intelligence that is using him to flee its dying ship. As Jhinsei struggles to understand what is happening to his sanity, inquisitive and dangerous members of the station's managing oligarchy begin to take an increasingly focused interest in him.

Haunted by his past and the increasing urgent presence of another within his mind, Jhinsei flees the station for the nearby planet Ash, where he undertakes an exploration that will redefine friend, foe, self, and other. With Substrate Phantoms, Jessica Reisman offers an evocative and thought-provoking story of first contact, where who we are is questioned as much as who they might be.

Pushing Ice

Alastair Reynolds

Some centuries from now, the exploration and exploitation of the Solar System is in full swing. On the cold edge of the system, Bella Lind, captain of the huge commercial spacecraft Rockhopper IV, helps fuel this new gold rush by attaching mass-driver motors to organic-rich water-ice comets to move them back to the inner worlds. Her crew are tough, blue-collar miners, engineers and demolition experts. Around Saturn, something inexplicable happens: one of the moons leaves its orbit and accelerates out of the Solar System. The icy mantle peels away to reveal that it was never a moon in the first place, just a parked spacecraft, millions of years old, that has now decided to move on. Rockhopper IV, trapped in the pull, is hurled across time and space into the deep, distant future, arriving in a vast, alien-constructed chamber. And the crew are not alone, for each chamber contains an alien culture dragged into this cosmic menagerie at the end of time. The crew of the Rockhopper IV know a lot about blowing up comets, but not much about first contact with ultra-advanced aliens.

They have two things to worry about: can they (and their new alien allies) negotiate their way through each harrying contact? And can they assimilate the avalanche of knowledge about their own future - including all the glittering, dangerous technologies that are now theirs for the taking - without destroying themselves in the process?

Troika

Alastair Reynolds

Hugo-nominated Novella

In novels such as Chasm City and Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds established himself as an indisputable master of the far-flung intergalactic epic. Reynolds brings that same deceptively effortless mastery to the shorter fictional forms, a fact that Troika, his elegant, compulsively readable new novella, amply demonstrates.

Troika tells the story of men and women confronting an enigma known as the Matryoshka, a vast alien construct whose periodic appearances have generated terror, wonder, and endless debate. During its third "apparition" in a remote corner of the galaxy, a trio of Russian cosmonauts approach this enigma and attempt to penetrate its mysteries. What they discover--and what they endure in the process--forms the centerpiece of an enthralling, constantly surprising narrative.

Troika is at once a wholly original account of First Contact and a meditation on time, history, and the essentially fluid nature of identity itself. Suspenseful, erudite, and gracefully written, it is a significant accomplishment in its own right and a welcome addition to a remarkable body of work.

Galileo's Dream

Kim Stanley Robinson

In a novel of stunning dimensions, the acclaimed author of the MARS trilogy brings us the story of the incredible life -- and death -- of Galileo, the First Scientist. Late Renaissance Italy still abounds in alchemy and Aristotle, yet it trembles on the brink of the modern world. Galileo's new telescope encapsulates all the contradictions of this emerging reality.

Then one night a stranger presents a different kind of telescope for Galileo to peer through. Galileo is not sure if he is in a dream, an enchantment, a vision, or something else as yet undefined. The blasted wasteland he sees when he points the telescope at Jupiter, of harsh yellows and reds and blacks, looks just like hell as described by the Catholic church, and Galileo is a devout Catholic. But he's also a scientist, perhaps the very first in history. What he's looking at is the future, the world of Jovian humans three thousand years hence. He is looking at Jupiter from the vantage point of one of its moons whose inhabitants maintain that Galileo has to succeed in his own world for their history to come to pass.

Their ability to reach back into the past and call Galileo "into resonance" with the later time is an action that will have implications for both periods, and those in between, like our own. By day Galileo's life unfurls in early seventeenth century Italy, leading inexorably to his trial for heresy. By night Galileo struggles to be a kind of sage, or an arbiter in a conflict ...but understanding what that conflict might be is no easy matter, and resolving his double life is even harder. This sumptuous, gloriously thought-provoking and suspenseful novel recalls Robinson's magnificent Mars books as well as bringing to us Galileo as we have always wanted to know him, in full.

Alien Influences

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Bountiful is a sun-scorched, inhospitable planet, offering only one comfort to its small band of human colonists: the powerful intoxicant they create from native plants an export to other worlds. But an unspeakable disaster devastates the colony. Six of its children are found dead, their bodies marked in a bizarre parody of the puberty rites of the Dancers, Bountiful's enigmatic sentient race. Even more horrifying is the news that the murderers are not the Dancers -- but eight other children of the colony.

What happens when small children are changed by their environment, made into something other, not wholly human or alien? What will become of a society irrevocably torn by nightmarish acts carried out by its most innocent members? And how far will one young man go in his obsessive quest to bring healing to eight shattered children... even if he must cross the boundaries of death itself?

When It Changed

Joanna Russ

This story, about an all-female society suddenly faced with the presence of men, is one of the most famous tales in science fiction.

It has been collected in The Zanzibar Cat (1983) and anthologized in Again, Dangerous Visions (1972), Nebula Award Stories 8 (1973), The New Women of Wonder (1978), The Best of the Nebulas (1989), The Road to Science Fiction 3: From Heinlein to Here (1979), Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology (2015) and The Big Book of Science Fiction (2016).

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

Men, Martians and Machines

Eric Frank Russell

Contents:

  • Jay ScoreMechanistria
  • Symbiotica
  • Mesmerica

Ship of Fools

Richard Paul Russo

Home to generations of humans, the starship Argonos has wandered aimlessly throughout the galaxy for hundreds of years, desperately searching for other signs of life. Now, a steady, unidentified transmission lures them toward a nearby planet, where the grisly remains of a former colony await the crew. Haunted by what they have seen, the crew has no choice but to follow when another signal beckons the Argonos into deep space and into the dark heart of an alien mystery...

Published in the UK as Unto Leviathan

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Sublimation Angels

Jason Sanford

Nebula-nominated Novella

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

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

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

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.

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.

Starplex

Robert J. Sawyer

Twenty years after the discovery of artificial wormholes launches Earth space exploration to unforeseeable heights, Starplex Director Keith Lansing investigates a mysterious vessel that soon threatens the station with intergalactic war.

Agent to the Stars

John Scalzi

The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity’s first interstellar friendship. There’s just one problem: They’re hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish.

So getting humanity’s trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal.

Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He’s one of Hollywood’s hottest young agents. But although Stein may have just concluded the biggest deal of his career, it’s quite another thing to negotiate for an entire alien race. To earn his percentage this time, he’s going to need all the smarts, skills, and wits he can muster.

read "Agent to the Stars" online

Fuzzy Nation

John Scalzi

Fuzzy Nation is John Scalzi's reboot of the classic H. Beam Piper novel Little Fuzzy. You can read about how the story came to be on John's blog Whatever.

A Wreath of Stars

Bob Shaw

Ironically, for Gilbert Snook, who considered himself the human equivalent of a neutrino, a particle able to travel through the Earth without disturbing any other particle, it all started with the panic that followed the sighting of the anti neutrino planet as it approached Earth. Earth was unaffected but Snook ended up in a small African Republic teaching English to diamond miners. Then the miners started seeing ghosts and Snook found himself at the centre of a bizarre and far reaching scientific discovery and in the middle of some very dirty political infighting.

Downward to the Earth

Robert Silverberg

Gundersen returned to Holman's World seeking atonement for his harsh years as colonial governer. But now this lush, exotic planet of mystery was called by its ancient name of Belzagor, and it belonged once again to its native alien races, the nildoror and the sulidoror. Drawn by its spell, Gundersen began a harrowing pilgrimage to its mist-shrouded north, to witness a strange ritual rebirth that would alter him forever.

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 Seed of Earth

Robert Silverberg

Originally appeared in Ace Double F-145 (1962).

The computer had chosen them - a small cross-section of humanity to serve Mankind's Destiny. Out of seven billion people on Earth mechanical chance had selected them as involuntary colonists on an unknown planet. In seven days they would be on their way, on a sink-or-swim mission to a lonely world beyond the limits of the Solar System.

It was a summons each had privately dreaded, yet always been prepared for. But no one had prepared them for the vicious attacks of sinister aliens...

Tower of Glass

Robert Silverberg

Simeon Krug has a vision--and the vast wealth necessary to turn dream into reality. What he wishes is to communicate with the stars, to answer signals from deep space. The colossal tower he's constructing for this purpose soars above the Arctic tundra, and the seemingly perfect androids building it view Krug as their god. But, Krug is only flesh-and-blood, and when his androids discover the truth, their anger knows no bounds... and it threatens much more than the tower.

Shakespeare's Planet

Clifford D. Simak

After a thousand years in space, the earth vessel lands on a remote planet capable of supporting human life. Inside the explorer ship an almost inaudible hum fills the silence; computer lights blink softly, signaling the awakening of the cryogenically preserved crew.

But only one crew member awakens from his artificial sleep. A systems malfunction has killed the others. Carter Horton is alone.

Horton learns almost immediately that the planet is inhabited by a bizarre creature who calls himself Carnivore. And the creature addresses him in English, the language he had learned from an earlier traveler who called himself Shakespeare. Now, Shakespeare is dead, and Horton soon learns that he and Carnivore, too, face certain peril unless they can get away from this strange planet.

Leaving is no simple affair. Carnivore, and before him, Shakespeare, had come to the planet via an inner-space tunnel, one of many such tunnels that exist throughout the galaxy. But this tunnel has broken down and works only one way--the wrong way--and there is no exit. And Horton's explorer ship is a thousand years obsolete--incapable of returning them to civilization.

The creature called Carnivore and the earthman, Horton, are marooned on a planet of mysterious ruins bespeaking a catastrophic end to a once-grand civilization. The portentous signs they begin to encounter intimate some dire, ominous happening will soon befall them--unless they can repair the inner-space tunnel and leave Shakespeare's Planet.

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.

Way Station

Clifford D. Simak

Enoch Wallace survived the carnage of Gettysburg and lived through the rest of the Civil War to make it home to his parents' farm in south-west Wisconsin. But his mother was already dead and his father soon joined her in the tiny family cemetery. It was then that Enoch met the being he called Ulysses and the farm became a way station for space travellers. Now, nearly a hundred years later, the US government is taking an interest in the seemingly immortal Enoch, and the Galactic Council, which set up the way station is threatening to tear itself apart.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Steven Spielberg

Cable worker Roy Neary, who, along with several other stunned bystanders, experience a close encounter of the first kind - witnessing UFOs soaring across the sky. After this life-changing event, the inexplicable vision of a strange, mountain-like formation haunts him. He becomes obsessed with discovering what it represents, much to the dismay of his wife and family.

Meanwhile, bizarre occurrences are happening around the world. Government agents have close encounters of the second kind - discovering physical evidence of extraterrestrial visitors in the form of a lost fighter aircraft from World War II and a stranded military ship that disappeared decades earlier only to suddenly reappear in unusual places. Roy continues to chase his vision to a remote area where he and the agents follow the clues that have drawn them to reach a site where they will have a close encounter of the third kind - contact.

First Light

Rebecca Stead

This remarkable and acclaimed debut novel by the Newbery-winning author of When You Reach Me introduces readers to a captivating, hidden world below the ice...

Peter is thrilled to join his parents on an expedition to Greenland. But when they finally reach the ice cap, he struggles to understand a series of frightening yet enticing visions.

Thea has never seen the sun. Her extraordinary people, suspected of witchcraft and nearly driven to extinction, have retreated to a secret world they've built deep inside the arctic ice.

As Thea dreams of a path to Earth's surface, Peter's search for answers brings him ever closer to her hidden home in this dazzling tale of mystery, science, and adventure at the top of the world.

Hard to Be a God

Arkady Strugatsky
Boris Strugatsky

Anton is an undercover operative from future Earth, who travels to an alien world whose culture has not progressed beyond the Middle Ages. Although in possession of far more advanced knowledge than the society around him, he is forbidden to interfere with the natural progress of history. His place is to observe rather than interfere - but can he remain aloof in the face of so much cruelty and injustice...?

Roadside Picnic

Arkady Strugatsky
Boris Strugatsky

Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those strange misfits compelled to venture illegally into the Zone and collect the strange artefacts that the alien visitors left scattered there. His whole life, even the nature of his daughter, is determined by the Zone.

Iceworld

Hal Clement

As the planet gleamed in his viewport, Sallman Ken could not believe that such a bleak and icy globe could have produced intelligent life. Yet when the expedition had sent in unmanned landers, that was what it had found. Some sort of native alien, surviving on the barren planet. But Sallman and his team were not the first to make contact. Smugglers from his own planet had begun trading with the natives for a new and virulent narcotic - the most dangerous drug in the universe. Now Sallman would have to find out how he could survive on a planet so cold that sulphur was solid and water was liquid - and how to stop the source of the deadly drug!

Natives of Space

Hal Clement

Well know as the author of Mission of Gravity, Cycle of Time, Close to Critical and for his many other extraordinarily realistic creations of extra-terrestrials, it is remarkable that Hal Clement's novelettes have never appeared in book form before.

Here are three of the best - each dealing with a different aspect of communication with creatures so alien to mankind that the first thing to do is throw speech out the window!

What happens next is strictly up to the ingenuity of writers like Mr. Clement, who visualizes a lively time for mankind among his counterparts from other planets.

The Fresco

Sheri S. Tepper

The bizarre events that have been occuring across the United States -- unexplained "oddities" tracked by Air Defense, mysterious disappearances, shocking deaths -- seem to have no bearing on Benita Alvarez-Shipton's life. That is, until the soft-spoken thirty-six-year-old bookstore manager is approached by a pair of aliens asking her to transmit their message of peace to the powers in Washington. An abused Albuquerque wife with low self-esteem, Benita has been chosen to act as the sole liaison between the human race and the Pistach, who have offered their human hosts a spectacular opportunity for knowledge and enrichment.

But ultimately Benita will be called upon to do much more than deliver messages -- and may, in fact, be responsible for saving the Earth. Because the Pistach are not the only space-faring species currently making their presence known on her unsuspecting planet. And the others are not so benevolent.

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...

A Momentary Taste of Being

James Tiptree, Jr.

Nebula Award nominated novellla. It originally appeared in the anthology The New Atlantis and Other Novellas of Science Fiction (1975), edited by Robert Silverberg. It can also ge found in the collections Star Songs of an Old Primate (1978) and Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (1990).

A World of Difference

Harry Turtledove

When the Viking lander on the planet Minerva was destroyed, sending back one last photo of a strange alien being, scientists on Earth were flabbergasted. And so a joint investigation was launched by the United States and the Soviet Union, the first long-distance manned space mission, and a symbol of the new peace between the two great rivals.

Humankind's first close encounter with extraterrestrials would be history in the making, and the two teams were schooled in diplomacy as well as in science. But nothing prepared them for alien war -- especially when the Americans and the Soviets found themselves on opposite sides...

Vilcabamba

Harry Turtledove

Harris Moffatt III, President of the Free United States and Prime Minister of Canada, has never seen Washington, D.C.; it belongs to the Krolp now, along with ninety percent of everything. All he can do is try to keep the rest of it out of their hands.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

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.

Divine Intervention

Ken Wharton

There are many ways to deal with the unknown: Explore it, Ignore it, or destroy it....

Cut off from earth for over a century, the people of Mandala have created an utterly unique society-and developed religious beliefs and cultural customs that are completely their own.

Now, word has arrived that thousands of new colonists-most of whom are frozen in cryogenic suspension-are en route from Earth. Fearing a crippling shift in the planet's balance of power, The Prime Minister vows to do whatever it takes to keep them away.

But someone else knows that they're coming. A young deaf-mute, Drew Randall can communicate in his own unconventional way. And someone-or something-has told him that the new colonists have finally arrived....

The Watch Below

James White

In The Watch Below, two narrative lines dovetail cleverly. In one a World War Two merchant vessel sinks, leaving three men and two women to survive in a large air pocket, work out life-maintenance systems and eventually breed there Under the Sea while 100 years pass. In the other, water-dwelling Aliens, who have long been seeking a wet world like Earth to inhabit peacefully, land their Generation Starship in the sea in time to save the descendants of the five twentieth-century survivors.

Juniper Time

Kate Wilhelm

Kate Wilhelm is at the top of her form in Juniper Time, her first science fiction novel since she won the Hugo Award for Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang.

Juniper Time is a panoramic and hauntingly beautiful novel of the survival of hunamkind and nature. Drought has devastated the western United States and the people migrate eastward to settle in squalid concentration camps called "Newtowns." One woman, Jean Brighton, flees in the opposite direction. A linguist who can decode secret messages and make sense of alien languages, Jean has found governmental pressure on her university work untenable, and she heads for the only place she knows she will be safe - her grandfather's new-deserted house in the Pacific Northwest.

Yet her survival does not come from her own devices alone, for she receives the help of Indians who have stayed to reclaim the land that was once theirs. Through them and the mysteries of their world, Jean masters the art of survival, not only in the desolate Northwest but also in the white man's world she must return to someday.

Rich in feeling and insight, Juniper Time ranks among Kate Wilhelm's most compelling novels.

Trapped in Space

Jack Williamson

Astronaut Ben is lost - a million miles from Earth! His last message: "Strange life forms here...we're under attack...!"
Jeff sets off to rescue him, but soon his own crippled starship is caught in the same eerie web of a monstrous creature from outer space!

Time Is the Fire: The Best of Connie Willis

Connie Willis

This new collection of stories from the multi-award-winning author of DOOMSDAY BOOK and TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG contains: A Letter from the Clearys At the Rialto Death on the Nile The Soul Selects Her own Society Fire Watch Inside Job Even the Queen The Winds of Marble Arch All Seated on the Ground Last of the Winnebagos Ten stories - which have all won the HUGO AWARD, the NEBULA AWARD or both - are compulsory reading for the serious science fiction fan.

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....

Carnival

Elizabeth Bear

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

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

Flying Saucers are Real: The UFO Library of Jack Womack

Jack Womack

A new release from Anthology Editions hits the street today.

Immerse yourself in Jack Womack's UFO library with Flying Saucers Are Real!

Flying Saucers Are Real! is a catalogue and history of one of the 20th century's most pervasive subcultures. The collection presents an unknown wealth of images taken from mid-century flying saucer books and extensive text by the author-collector outlining the history of the UFO phenomenon and opining on the selections. This first edition features an introduction by science fiction author William Gibson.

The Bridge

Janine Ellen Young

Most of Earth's population has been destroyed by an alien virus. The survivors are suffering dark, disturbing visions and dreaming of building a great bridge to the aliens who afflicted them. But in this new half-mad society, co-operation is the hardest bridge of all to build.

The Quiet Invasion

Sarah Zettel

A stunning discovery by a team of scientists on Venus endangers Earth itself

At eighty-three, Dr. Helen Failia is nearing middle age but has lost none of her fighting spirit. The founder of Earth's first fully functioning colony on Venus, she will do anything to ensure that the home she's built and nurtured not only survives, but thrives. Despite her constant work, funding for the colony is running out, and she's dreading telling the ten thousand colonists they must move to Earth, a world some of them have never even seen. When one of her probes returns with the unprecedented proof of an ancient alien artifact on the surface of Venus she cannot believe her luck. This is the first evidence that humanity is not alone, and the discovery will surely secure the research colony's future.

As Helen and her team investigate the strange new find, they learn that humanity is not the only species with its eye on the planet. A dying race of spacefaring aliens needs a new home, and Venus is perfect for the people and their massive, living cities. But these newcomers consider the human presence on Venus a very small problem, one that can be swept aside if it dares get in the way.

The Kings of Eternity

Eric Brown

1999, on the threshold of a new millennium, the novelist Daniel Langham lives a reclusive life on an idyllic Greek island, hiding away from humanity and the events of the past. All that changes, however, when he meets artist Caroline Platt and finds himself falling in love. But what is his secret, and what are the horrors that haunt him?

1935. Writer Jonathon Langham and Edward Vaughan are summoned from London by their editor friend Jasper Carnegie to help investigate strange goings on in Hopton Wood. What they discover there – no less than a strange creature from another world – will change their lives for ever.

What they become, and their link to the novelist of the future, is the subject of Eric Brown’s most ambitious novel to date. Almost ten years in the writing, The Kings of Eternity is a novel of vast scope and depth, full of the staple tropes of the genre and yet imbued with humanity and characters you’ll come to love.

Sphere

Michael Crichton

In the middle of the South Pacific, a thousand feet below the surface of the water, a huge vessel is discovered resting on the ocean floor. It is a spaceship of phenomenal dimensions, apparently undamaged by its fall from the sky. And, most startling, it appears to be at least three hundred years old.

But even more fantastic—and frightening—is what waits inside . . .

The Inheritors

William Golding

Eight Neanderthals encounter another race of beings like themselves, yet strangely different. This new race, Homo sapiens, fascinating in their skills and sophistication, terrifying in their cruelty, sense of guilt, and incipient corruption, spell doom for the more gentle folk whose world they will inherit.

The Black Cloud

Fred Hoyle

Earth was dying...

One fourth of its population was dead. The rest had little time to live.

A mass of interstellar matter had invaded the solar system, fling planets out of orbit and blocking off the sun. In that titanic disaster, Man had one small chance to survive: Appeal to an alien intelligence that might exist and that might - or might not - care enough to help!

The Braided World

Kay Kenyon

"Come find what you have lost..."

Heeding this cryptic message from deep space, the crew of the starship Restoration journeys from Earth to a distant planet, hoping to find humanity's lost genetic diversity. But with the human race on the verge of extinction from the twin horrors of plague and a mysterious scourge of dark matter, how can an alien world harbor any remedies for Earth's declining populations?

Worse, the Restoration arrives depleted: its captain is dead, its crew demoralized--except for an indomitable old woman whose power and wealth give her the privilege of naming the new captain. Anton Prados, a young, untested officer, will now preside over humanity's first contact with an alien race. An alien race that, improbably, looks exactly like humans. Only, the Dassa possess highly unusual breeding habits--and a reproductive process that seems to be the nullification of all that is human. And they think much the same about humanity…

Polar City Blues

Katharine Kerr

Polar City: capital of Hagar, one of the handful of worlds on which the tiny, human-dominated Republic sits, uneasily squeezed between the powerful Interstellar Confederation and the enormous Coreward Alliance.

When a suspected alien spy from the Confederation Embassy is found murdered, a potentially explosive political situation faces Police Chief Bates.

And when talanted psychic Mulligan is brought to the scene to pick up echoes of the event, what he experiences sends him into amnesiac shock.

Meanwhile, murders continue unabated and a major crisis threatens to destabilise the Republic ....

Pegasus

Robin McKinley

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pagasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own Pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.

But its different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close-so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo-and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.

New York Times bestselling Robin McKinley weaves an unforgettable tale of unbreakable friendship, mythical creatures and courtly drama destined to become a classic.

Memoirs of a Spacewoman

Naomi Mitchison

Never make a date with a martian - the end result might surprise you.

The strangest of all worlds. Worlds where gigantic centipedes and grotesque parasites abound. Worlds where Martians transmit their messages by touch. Worlds where the first spacewoman breaks down the barriers and produces the first truly inter=planetary child.

Contact

Carl Sagan

It is December 1999, the dawn of the millennium, and a team of international scientists is poised for the most fantastic adventure in human history. After years of scanning the galaxy for signs of somebody or something else, this team believes they've found a message from an intelligent source--and they travel deep into space to meet it. Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sagan injects Contact, his prophetic adventure story, with scientific details that make it utterly believable. It is a Cold War era novel that parlays the nuclear paranoia of the time into exquisitely wrought tension among the various countries involved. Sagan meditates on science, religion, and government--the elements that define society--and looks to their impact on and role in the future. His ability to pack an exciting read with such rich content is an unusual talent that makes Contact a modern sci-fi classic.

The First Men in the Moon

H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells' 1901 science fiction novel, "The First Men in the Moon", is the story of an impoverished businessman, Mr. Bedford, who retreats to the countryside for some rest from the weary of modern life and to try his hand at authoring a play. While there he meets an eccentric scientist, Dr. Cavor, who is developing a new material, 'cavorite', which is designed to shield off gravity. When it is discovered that the material works and can be practically fashioned into a spaceship, the two undertake a mission to the moon. There they discover that the moon is inhabited by a sinister alien civilization, whom the call "the Selenites".

Fashioned as a criticism against imperialism, "The First Men in the Moon" draws upon a theme common to Wells' work, that of the impact of technology on society and the challenges that humans face in the modern world.

The War of the Worlds

H. G. Wells

Famous for the mistaken panic that ensued from Orson Welles’s 1938 radio dramatization, The War of the Worlds remains one of the most influential of all science fiction works.

The night after a shooting star is seen streaking through the sky from Mars, a cylinder is discovered on Horsell Common in London. Naïve locals approach the cylinder armed just with a white flag—only to be quickly killed by an all-destroying heat ray, as terrifying tentacled invaders emerge.

Soon the whole of human civilization is under threat as powerful Martians build gigantic killing machines, destroying all life in their path with black gas and burning ray. The forces of Earth, however, may prove harder to beat than they appear.

The Invincible

Ace SF Special, Series 2: Book 4

Stanislaw Lem

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

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

Adaptation

Adaptation: Book 1

Malinda Lo

Reese can't remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She's different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won't tell them what happened, where they are—or how they've been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.

Echo

Alex Benedict: Book 5

Jack McDevitt

A new novel of the fantastic unknown by the national bestselling author of Time Travelers Never Die.

Eccentric Sunset Tuttle spent his life searching in vain for forms of alien life. Thirty years after his death, a stone tablet inscribed with cryptic, indecipherable symbols is found in the possession of Tuttle's onetime lover, and antiquities dealer Alex Benedict is anxious to discover what secret the tablet holds. It could be proof that Tuttle had found what he was looking for. To find out, Benedict and his assistant embark on their own voyage of discovery-one that will lead them directly into the path of a very determined assassin who doesn't want those secrets revealed.

Alien Hunter

Alien Hunter: Book 1

Whitley Strieber

Soon to be an original series on Syfy, from executive producers Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) and Natalie Chaidez (12 Monkeys) and Universal Cable Productions. Premieres April 2016.

In Whitley Strieber's Alien Hunter, a young wife disappears in the night, never to be seen again. There is no evidence of kidnapping-in fact, everything indicates that she left on purpose. Her husband, a brilliant police detective, cannot believe this-but he also can't find her.

Flynn Carroll's lost love becomes his obsession. He begins amassing a file of similar cases nationwide. His conclusion is unavoidable: somebody is taking people and making it look like they walked out on their own. As Flynn's case files grow, his work comes to the attention of Special Agent Diana Glass, a member of the most secret police unit on the planet. This police force seeks the most brilliant and lethal criminals who have ever walked free-thieves and murderers from another world.

Without fully understanding what Glass and her team are doing, Flynn steps into a hidden world of extraordinary challenge and lethal danger. The job is the most difficult police assignment ever known to man, but the idea is the same-find the bad guys. Stop them.

Alien

Aliens Universe: Alien Quartet: Book 1

Alan Dean Foster

A crew of spaceship Nostromo is suddenly woken up from a cryogenic sleep because of mysterious signals coming from an unknown planet and received by a ship computer. The astronauts land on the planet surface and go to investigate an alien spaceship where one of them is attacked by an alien which fasten itself on his face. When the crew returns to their ship and abandon the planet, nobody forefeels that the real horror will begin very soon...

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.

With Unclean Hands: An Andrea Cort Story

Andrea Cort

Adam-Troy Castro

Nebula-nominated Novella

Andrea Cort. War criminal. Genius. Outcast. Heroine.

Sent to the home-world of the Zinn, a once-powerful race now on the long path to extinction, she's expected to sign the approval for a simple prisoner transfer - but why are the Zinn so eager to take custody of an unremarkable human murderer? What brutal crime is being planned against an innocent? What hidden agenda threatens to topple the balance of power?

This is the earliest adventure of Andrea Cort, heroine of the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel, Emissaries From The Dead.

Emissaries from the Dead

Andrea Cort: Book 1

Adam-Troy Castro

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

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

A For Andromeda

Andromeda: Book 1

Fred Hoyle
John Elliot

It concerns a group of scientists who detect a radio signal from a distant galaxy that contains instructions for the design of an advanced computer. When the computer is built, it gives the scientists instructions for the creation of a living organism named Andromeda, but one of the scientists, John Fleming, fears that Andromeda's purpose is to subjugate humanity.

Andromeda Breakthrough

Andromeda: Book 2

Fred Hoyle
John Elliot

From the dead constellation of Andromeda flashed continuously a long and intensely complicated message. Picked up during the testing of the world's most powerful radio-telescope, it proved to be a blueprint of a computer so advanced that it made all earth-built computers seem like children's counting beads and even produced a thinking, living human-being to interpret its needs. Could this be part of a fantastic plan to take over the earth?

Chthon

Aton: Book 1

Piers Anthony

Chthon was Piers Anthony's first published novel in 1967, written over the course of seven years. He started it when he was in the US Army, so it has a long prison sequence that is reminiscent of that experience, being dark and grim. It features Aton Five, a space man who commits the crime of falling in love with the dangerous alluring Minionette and is therefore condemned to death in the subterranean prison of Chthon. It uses flashbacks to show how he came to know the Minionette, and flashforwards to show how he dealt with her after his escape from prison. The author regards this as perhaps the most intricately structured novel the science fantasy genre has seen. It was a contender for awards, but not a winner.

Spock, Messiah!

Bantam Star Trek Original Novels: Book 2

Theodore R. Cogswell
Charles A. Spano, Jr.

The victim of a cruel experiment, Commander Spock renounces the USS Enterprise, becomes the Messiah of the planet Kyros, and launches a holy war on the rest of the world.

The USS Enterprise visits the planet Kyros to observe the population and test a new telepathic implant. The people living on the planet traditionally cover their faces, so the implant devices allow the crewmembers to mentally link with a member of the populace, accessing both their memories and instincts - which will allow the crew to walk around the planet freely.

But something goes wrong when Ensign Sara George becomes sexually promiscuous. Following an away mission to the planet, Spock refuses to return to the ship and declares himself to be the messiah of the planet. He threatens to destroy some important crystals on the planet which are needed by the ship.

Captain Kirk and the crew must retrieve Spock, obtain the critically-important crystals, and get the ship away before deadly radiation destroys them all.

The initial fan reaction to Spock, Messiah! was poor, and sales were lower than expected following the earlier success of James Blish's Spock Must Die!. The review in Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review magazine suggested that the plot was far-fetched, and described it as "Spocks-ploitation". Issues with the book include racism, where Uhura is called "a black" and Sulu "the oriental". Daily Kos reviewer Lisa Evans described Spock, Messiah! as the "single worst Star Trek story I have ever read, either fan or pro."

World Without End

Bantam Star Trek Original Novels: Book 7

Joe Haldeman

Chatalia... a fantastic artificial world, inhabited by furry winged creatures with awesome powers. Here Kirk, Spock and their Enterprise mates, trapped, face terrifying death. And if by some miracle they escape, they will confront the roving killers of the Klingon Empire!

As Captain Kirk and members of his landing party are held prisoner aboard the alien planetoid, the Enterprise - ensnared in a trap - loses power and begins to descend on a collision course with the planetoid.

Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise face a foe of incredible power and intelligence - a nightmare image from humanity's past.

Captain's log, stardate 7505.6. This is being recorded by Science Officer Spock, temporarily in command.

The Enterprise is currently in orbit around an alien "starship" (actually an artificial planetoid approximately 217.352 kilometers in diameter) of unknown origin, aboard which Captain Kirk and a landing party of four are stranded. They are currently detained in a prison cell, awaiting interrogation.

Far more immediate is the condition of the Enterprise. The ship has been 'snared' by wires apparently composed of the same material as the alien craft (a substance harder than any known to Federation science) -- wires which are draining off our power reserves at an alarming rate. We appear to have the choice of remaining on board the Enterprise (and crashing to the surface of the planetoid once our power is gone), or joining the Captain inside the alien spacecraft. A fascinating dilemma.

Star Trek: The New Voyages

Bantam Star Trek Original Novels: The New Voyages: Book 1

Sondra Marshak
Myrna Culbreath

Star Trek: The New Voyages was an anthology of novellas released by Bantam Books, edited by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. It included a foreword by Gene Roddenberry and introductions to the stories by members of the original series cast.

Although published professionally under copyright, the stories contained in the anthology were all written by fans. The Acknowledgments also contained an address for manuscripts and feedback to be sent, with the intention of further volumes being produced.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword (Star Trek: The New Voyages) - (1976) - essay by Gene Roddenberry
  • Introduction: The Once and Future Voyages - (1976) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • Introduction to Ni Var - (1976) - essay by Leonard Nimoy
  • Ni Var - (1976) - shortfiction by Claire Gabriel
  • Introduction to Intersection Point - (1976) - essay by James Doohan
  • Intersection Point - (1976) - shortfiction by Juanita Coulson
  • Introduction to The Enchanted Pool - (1976) - essay by Nichelle Nichols
  • The Enchanted Pool - (1976) - shortfiction by Marcia Ericson
  • Introduction to Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited - (1976) - essay by Majel Barrett Roddenberry
  • Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited - (1976) - shortfiction by Ruth Berman
  • Introduction to The Face on the Barroom Floor - (1976) - essay by George Takei
  • The Face on the Barroom Floor - (1976) - shortfiction by Eleanor Arnason and Ruth Berman
  • Introduction to The Hunting - (1976) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • The Hunting - (1976) - shortfiction by Doris Beetem
  • Introduction to The Winged Dreamers - (1976) - essay by DeForest Kelley
  • The Winged Dreamers - (1976) - shortfiction by Jennifer Guttridge
  • Introduction to Mind-Sifter - (1976) - essay by William Shatner
  • Mind-Sifter - (1976) - shortfiction by Shirley S. Maiewski
  • Sonnet from the Vulcan: Omicron Ceti Three - (1976) - poem by Shirley Meech

Star Trek: The New Voyages 2

Bantam Star Trek Original Novels: The New Voyages: Book 2

Sondra Marshak
Myrna Culbreath

The men and women of the Starship Enterprise return in this dazzling volume of ten electrifying adventures set in deep space. Featuring the unforgettable characters created by Gene Roddenberry, each one of these extraordinary tales captures the beauty and courage of the fearless quest into uncharted realms - where others venture only in their boldest dreams.

Based on the blockbuster films and the legendary television show, these ten original Star Trek stories boldly go where no one has gone before.

Table of Contents:

  • Editors' Preface: The Once and Future Voyages 2 - The Camelot Connection - (1978) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • Introduction (Star Trek: The New Voyages 2) - (1978) - essay by Jesco von Puttkamer
  • Editors' Introduction to "Surprise!" - (1978) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • Surprise! - (1978) - novelette by Nichelle Nichols and Myrna Culbreath and Sondra Marshak
  • Editors' Introduction to "Snake Pit!" - (1978) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • Snake Pit! - (1978) - shortstory by Connie Faddis
  • Editors' Introduction to "The Patient Parasites" - (1978) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • The Patient Parasites - (1978) - novelette by Russell Bates
  • Editors' Introduction to "In the Maze" - (1978) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • In the Maze - (1978) - novelette by Jennifer Guttridge
  • Editors' Introduction to "Cave-in" - (1978) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • Cave-in - (1978) - poem by Jane Peyton
  • Editors' Introduction to "Marginal Existence" - (1978) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • Marginal Existence - (1978) - shortstory by Connie Faddis
  • Editors' Introduction to "The Procrustean Petard" - (1978) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • The Procrustean Petard - (1978) - novelette by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • Editors' Introduction to "The Sleeping God" - (1978) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • The Sleeping God - (1978) - novelette by Jesco von Puttkamer
  • Editors' Introduction to "Elegy for Charlie" - (1978) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • Elegy for Charlie - (1978) - poem by Antonia Vallario
  • Editors' Introduction to "Soliloquy" - (1978) - essay by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
  • Postscript: "Gentlepersons" - The Vulcan Connection - (1978) - essay by Marguerite B. Thompson
  • Soliloquy - (1978) - poem by Marguerite B. Thompson
  • Epilogue (Star Trek: The New Voyages 2) - (1978) - essay by Nichelle Nichols

Becoming Alien

Becoming Alien: Book 1

Rebecca Ore

Living on a chicken farm in backwater America, 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.

Being Alien

Becoming Alien: Book 2

Rebecca Ore

Plucked from Appalachian poverty by the Interstellar Federation of Sapients, trained as a diplomatic cadet on their artificial planet Karst, Tom Red-Clay has grown up in the galaxy. Now, in the stunning sequel to BECOMING ALIEN, Tom must return to Earth on a secret mission for the Federation. His marching orders: "Three goals, two obligatory, one optional: research japan, go to dinner with two humans, find a wife."

Set down in Berkeley, California, a world indeed no less strange to him than Karst, Tom must decipher the intrigues of humans and aliens alike - with the fate of Earth itself riding on his every move.

Binti: Home

Binti: Book 2

Nnedi Okorafor

It's been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she found friendship in the unlikeliest of places.

And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.

But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.

After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?

Blindsight

Blindsight: Book 1

Peter Watts

Two months since the stars fell...

Two months since sixty-five thousand alien objects clenched around the Earth like a luminous fist, screaming to the heavens as the atmosphere burned them to ash. Two months since that moment of brief, bright surveillance by agents unknown.

Two months of silence, while a world holds its breath.

Now some half-derelict space probe, sparking fitfully past Neptune's orbit, hears a whisper from the edge of the solar system: a faint signal sweeping the cosmos like a lighthouse beam. Whatever's out there isn't talking to us. It's talking to some distant star, perhaps. Or perhaps to something closer, something en route.

So who do you send to force introductions on an intelligence with motives unknown, maybe unknowable? Who do you send to meet the alien when the alien doesn't want to meet?

You send a linguist with multiple personalities, her brain surgically partitioned into separate, sentient processing cores. You send a biologist so radically interfaced with machinery that he sees x-rays and tastes ultrasound, so compromised by grafts and splices he no longer feels his own flesh. You send a pacifist warrior in the faint hope she won't be needed, and the fainter one she'll do any good if she is. You send a monster to command them all, an extinct hominid predator once called vampire, recalled from the grave with the voodoo of recombinant genetics and the blood of sociopaths. And you send a synthesist-an informational topologist with half his mind gone-as an interface between here and there, a conduit through which the Dead Center might hope to understand the Bleeding Edge.

You send them all to the edge of interstellar space, praying you can trust such freaks and retrofits with the fate of a world. You fear they may be more alien than the thing they've been sent to find.

But you'd give anything for that to be true, if you only knew what was waiting for them...

The Cloud Roads

Books of the Raksura: Book 1

Martha Wells

Moon has spent his life hiding what he is - a shape-shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight. An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success. Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself... someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community. What this stranger doesn't tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power... that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony's survival... and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell! Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save himself... and his newfound kin.

Shipstar

Bowl of Heaven: Book 2

Larry Niven
Gregory Benford

Science fiction masters Larry Niven (Ringworld) and Gregory Benford (Timescape) continue the thrilling adventure of a human expedition to another star system that is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure cupping a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths. And which, tantalizingly, is on a direct path heading toward the same system the human ship is to colonize.

Investigating the Bowl, or Shipstar, the human explorers are separated--one group captured by the gigantic structure's alien inhabitants, the other pursued across its strange and dangerous landscape--while the mystery of the Shipstar's origins and purpose propel the human voyagers toward discoveries that transform their understanding of their place in the universe.

Finity's End

Company Wars (Union-Alliance): Book 7

C. J. Cherryh

With a truce declared between the major powers, war hero Captain James Robert Neihart returns to the Alliance station of Pell to reclaim one of the Merchanters' own. During the Company Wars, Finity's End had to leave a pregnant crew member on Pell and was unable to retrieve her orphaned son.

The Neiharts want their lost cousin back out of love, but also because the war has cost Finity's End a generation. No babies have been born, while half the crew--half the family--are dead, making the prodigal youth even more precious.

But Fletcher Neihart has left Pell for the planet Downbelow where, after a childhood spent in uncaring foster homes, he's found happiness working with the hisa--Downbelow's mystic, peaceful natives. He even has a beautiful girlfriend. The last thing he wants is to be dragged into space. He has no choice.

Fletcher is reunited with a home he's never seen. From having no family, he's now surrounded by kinfolk--all battle-scarred strangers more alien than the non-human hisa. Like Jeremy, the hero-worshipping twelve-year-old, JR, groomed to be a captain and growing into leadership, Madelaine, ship's attorney, and Fletcher's great-grandmother.

And the Neiharts must deal with a resentful hostage who bears their name and features, but knows nothing of their history, traditions or lives.

Meanwhile, Finity's End flies toward conflict and danger. For Captain Neihart is forging a treaty among the worlds, stations and Merchanters; and opponents will try ambush, sabotage, and murder to stop him. By journey's end the hope for peace will depend on whether JR, Jeremy and the crew can uphold Merchanter honor; and whether Fletcher, guided by a gift from the hisa, can learn to trust... and find his true place in the universe.

Fluency

Confluence: Book 1

Jennifer Foehner Wells

NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960s. They kept the Target under intense surveillance for decades, letting the public believe they were exploring the solar system, while they worked feverishly to refine the technology needed to reach it.

The ship itself remained silent, drifting.

Dr. Jane Holloway is content documenting nearly-extinct languages and had never contemplated becoming an astronaut. But when NASA recruits her to join a team of military scientists for an expedition to the Target, it's an adventure she can't refuse.

The ship isn't vacant, as they presumed.

A disembodied voice rumbles inside Jane's head, "You are home."

Jane fights the growing doubts of her colleagues as she attempts to decipher what the alien wants from her. As the derelict ship devolves into chaos and the crew gets cut off from their escape route, Jane must decide if she can trust the alien's help to survive.

Remanence

Confluence: Book 2

Jennifer Foehner Wells

In defiance of NASA, Jane Holloway, the linguist of the Providence expedition, commandeers the alien ship that her crew explored. She sets off to return that ship's marooned navigator to his home world, determined to discover who was behind the genocide that destroyed his original crew.

But when she gets there, she finds his world devastated by the same plague. The remaining members of his race, uniquely gifted at navigating the stars, are stranded across the galaxy. And someone, it seems, doesn't want those lost navigators to be found.

As Jane unravels the mystery of the plague and works to ensure the survival of Ei'Brai's race, she discovers that the life of every sentient being in the galaxy may be in jeopardy... and the clock is ticking.

Conquerors' Pride

Conquerors' Trilogy: Book 1

Timothy Zahn

Timothy Zahn, Hugo Award-winning author of The New York Times best-selling Star Wars trilogy, blazes a spectacular new path across the sky in an epic original novel of star-spanning action adventure, mystery and intrigue.

A long era of peace and prosperity in the interstellar Commonwealth has suddenly come to an end. Four alien starships of unknown origin have attacked, without provocation, an eight-ship Peacemaker task force, utterly destroying it in six savage minutes. The authorities claim there were no survivors. But Lord Stewart Cavanaugh, a former member of Parliament, has learned through back channels that one man may have survived to be captured by the aliens: his son, Commander Pheylan Cavanaugh.

A large-scale invasion appears imminent, and the strictest security measures are in effect . . . measures that Lord Cavanaugh has no choice but to defy. He recruits Adam Quinn, who once flew with the elite Copperheads--fighter pilots whose minds are literally one with their machines--to rescue his son. Quinn assembles a crack force of Copperheads to steal out of the Commonwealth security zone and snatch Pheylan Cavanaugh from the conquerors. Depending on the outcome, Quinn and his men will retum home as heroes or as the galaxy's most despised traitors--if they come home at all.

Conquerors' Heritage

Conquerors' Trilogy: Book 2

Timothy Zahn

In Conquerors' Pride, Timothy Zahn, Hugo Award-winning author of the New York Times bestselling Star Wars(r) trilogy, unfurled an epic tale of drama and courage as the interstallar Commonwealth faced savage invasion by alien starships of unknown origin. Now he probes deeply into the world of the invaders themselves in one of the most powerful evocations of an alien society ever created.

The Zhirrzh have won a temporary respite in their war with the barbarians. But the Human captive Pheylan Cavanaugh has escaped, and for that Thrr-gilag, the young Searcher, finds himself disgraced, his bond-engagement to a female of a rival clan imperilled. Soon he becomes a target of hidden and powerful forces seeking to remake Zhirrzh society in their own merciless image. His only hope is to prove that the overclan authorities are wrong: that it was not the Humans who started the war.

But time is short. The forces of the Zhirrzh are overextended and face swift retaliation. The Zhirrzh have learned to conquer death itself -- but even that awesome power will be no match for the devastating might of the Human Conqueror armadas. Thrr-gilag soon comes to realize that his people face a two-fold threat: destruction by Human technology. . . or destruction from within.

Conquerors' Legacy

Conquerors' Trilogy: Book 3

Timothy Zahn

Hugo Award-winner and #1 New York Times bestselling author Timothy Zahn returns to complete his original, acclaimed SF trilogy.

As both humans and the alien Zhirrzh prepare for all-out galactic war, a handful of individuals from both sides are stunned to discover that the explosive catalyst for the impending battle is a misunderstanding both tragic and profound. Determined to avoid mutual extinction for both their races, this band now becomes the focus of the subtle and dangerous force whose goal it is to annihilate and destroy.

Crossfire

Crossfire: Book 1

Nancy Kress

Caught in the Crossfire
A human colony settles on a distant planet, a colony formed by Jake Holman-- a man trying to escape a dark past. But as this diverse group of thousands comes to terms with their new lives on a new world, they make a startling discovery: primitive humanoid aliens. There are only a few isolated villages, and the evidence seems to indicate they aren't native to the planet--despite the aliens living in thatched huts and possessing only primitive tools.

Dragon's Egg

Dragon's Egg: Book 1

Robert L. Forward

In a moving story of sacrifice and triumph, human scientists establish a relationship with intelligent lifeforms--the cheela--living on Dragon's Egg, a neutron star where one Earth hour is equivalent to hundreds of their years. The cheela culturally evolve from savagery to the discovery of science, and for a brief time, men are their diligent teachers . . .

The Coming Race

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 19

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Secrets Lie Within The Earth

"Tell me frankly what you saw in that chasm: I am sure it was something strange and terrible. Confide in me."

The engineer long endeavoured to evade my inquiries. But at last, he spoke.

"I will tell you all. A steady brilliant light. I left the cage and clambered down. As I drew nearer and nearer to the light, the chasm became wider, and at last I saw, to my unspeakable amaze, a broad level road at the bottom of the abyss, illumined as far as the eye could reach by what seemed artificial gas-lamps placed at regular intervals, as in the thoroughfare of a great city; and I heard confusedly at a distance a hum as of human voices. I know, of course, that no rival miners are at work in this district. Whose could be those voices? What human hands could have levelled that road and marshalled those lamps?"

"You will descend again?"

"I ought, yet I feel as if I durst not."

Genocide

Eighth Doctor Adventures: Book 4

Paul Leonard

A Doctor Who story in which Jo Grant is asked to join a project 1.5 million years in the past, to observe the evolution of the human species at first hand. The Doctor learns of this only when he visits Earth in 2109 and finds the peaceful Tractites - but no trace of the human race.

Be My Enemy

Everness: Book 2

Ian McDonald

Everett Singh has escaped with the Infundibulum from the clutches of Charlotte Villiers and the Order, but at a terrible price. His father is missing, banished to one of the billions of parallel universes of the Panoply of All Worlds, and Everett and the crew of the airship Everness have taken a wild Heisenberg jump to a random parallel plane. Everett is smart and resourceful, and from the refuge of a desolate frozen Earth far beyond the Plenitude, where he and his friends have gone into hiding, he makes plans to rescue his family. But the villainous Charlotte Villiers is one step ahead of him.

The action traverses three different parallel Earths: one is a frozen wasteland; one is just like ours, except that the alien Thryn Sentiency has occupied the Moon since 1964, sharing its technology with humankind; and one is the embargoed home of dead London, where the remnants of humanity battle a terrifying nanotechnology run wild. Across these parallel planes of existence, Everett faces terrible choices of morality and power. But he has the love and support of Sen, Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth, and the rest of the crew of Everness as he learns that the deadliest enemy isn't the Order or the world-devouring nanotech Nahn - it's himself.

Foreigner

Foreigner: Book 1

C. J. Cherryh

It had been nearly five centuries since the starship Phoenix, lost in space and desperately searching for the nearest G5 star, had encountered the planet of the atevi. On this alien world, law was kept by the use of registered assassination, alliances were defined by individual loyalties not geographical borders, and war became inevitable once humans and one faction of atevi established a working relationship. It was a war that humans had no chance of winning on this planet so many light-years from home.

Now, nearly two hundred years after that conflict, humanity has traded its advanced technology for peace and an island refuge that no atevi will ever visit. Then the sole human the treaty allows into atevi society is marked for an assassin's bullet. The work of an isolated lunatic? ... The interests of a particular faction? ... Or the consequence of one human's fondness for a species which has fourteen words for betrayal and not a single word for love?

Invader

Foreigner: Book 2

C. J. Cherryh

On the world of the atevi, humanity makes up one small enclave, on the island of Mospheira. After the disappearance of the starship Phoenix, only one human representative is allowed to interact with the atevi - the Paidhi, a mixture of ambassador, translator and salesman of advanced technology. In a society where assassination is a recognised form of negotiation, Bren Cameron had been performing his task as Paidhi well.

Then the Phoenix returns, almost two hundred years after its departure.

Recovering from surgery on Mospheira, Cameron must return immediately to the atevi, but he finds his government has already sent a successor, Deanna Hanks, without informing him. And she has managed to alienate major factions against humanity.

Battling against his strangely-silent masters, the deadly atevi and Hanks, Bren Cameron must take risks that could destroy the entire world - or save it for atevi and humanity alike.

Inheritor

Foreigner: Book 3

C. J. Cherryh

Six months have passed since the reappearance of the starship Phoenix - six months during which the alien atevi have striven to reconfigure their fledling space program in a breakneck bid to take their place in the heavens alongside humans. But the return of the Phoenix has added a frighteningly powerful third party to an already volatile situation, polarizing political factions in both human and atevi societies, and making the possibility of all-out planetary war an ever more likely threat.

On the atevi mainland, human ambassador Bren Cameron, in a desperate attempt to maintain the peace, has arranged for one human representative from the Phoenix to take up residence with him in his apartments, while another is stationed on Mospheira, humanity's island enclave. Bren himself is unable to return home for fear of being arrested or assassinated by the powerful arch conservative element who wish to bar the atevi from space.

Responsible for a terrified, overwhelmed young man, and desperately trying to keep abreast of the political maneuverings of the atevi associations, how can Bren Cameron possibly find a way to save two species from a three-sided conflict that no one can win?

Precursor

Foreigner: Book 4

C. J. Cherryh

Over three years have passed since the reappearance of the starship Phoenix - the same ship which two centuries left an isolated colony of humans to fend for themselves on the world of the volatile atevi.

Since that time, humans have lived in exile on the island of Mospheira, using a single diplomat, the paidhi, to trade advanced technology for the continued peace and safety of its people.

But the unexpected return of the Phoenix has shattered forever the fragile, carefully maintained political balance of these two nearly incompatible races. For the captains of the Phoenix offer the atevi something Mospheira never could - access to the stars.

For three breakneck years the atevi labor to build a space shuttle which will bear their representatives to the Phoenix, to strengthen connections with their new human and retain their bid for control of their world. But as soon as the shuttle proves spaceworthy, the captains of the Phoenix suddenly recall their planetary delegates, breaking diplomatic contact and initiating a vicious bid for political dominance.

But the powerful head of the atevi's Western Association is not to be outmaneuvered, and he sends his own paidhi, Bren Cameron, into space to negotiate.

Thrust into a political maelstrom with almost no preparation, Bren is empowered to use any means at his disposal to achieve the atevi's aim. But can Bren gain control of the station and political supremacy for the atevi without sparking a three-sided interspecies war?

Explorer

Foreigner: Book 6

C. J. Cherryh

It has been nearly ten years since the starship Phoenix retuned to the abandoned station orbiting the world of the alien atevi. This station, called Alpha, had been deserted for centuries following a rift between a faction of the station's inhabitants and the spacers' autocratic Pilot's Guild. For two hundred years this splinter faction had shared a fragile coexistence with the atevi, living in isolation on the island of Mospheira, communicating with the brilliant but volatile atevi by the use of a single highly trained diplomat, the paidhi, and trading technological information for continued peace and safety.

The unexpected return of the Phoenix has forever changed the lives of both atevi and Mospheirans, for over the ensuing decade, the captains of the Phoenix have brought both the atevi and their human counterparts into space. Their motivation seemed simple: Reunion Station, a human station in another sector of space, had been destroyed by aliens.

But on his deathbed, the senior captain of the Phoenix admits that he lied to the crew - that Reunion was merely damaged, not destroyed, and many people, including family and friends of the Phoenix crew may have survived. At this disclosure, the crew rebels and forces the Phoenix to undertake a rescue mission to Reunion.

But the crew and captains do not go alone, for on board are Bren Cameron, brilliant human paidhi, now representing Tabini-aiji, the atevi ruler, and Tabini's grandmother Ilisidi, the aiji-dowager, a fearsome, wily, and ambitious atevi leader with an agenda of her own.

Trapped in a distant star system with very little fuel left, facing a potentially bellicose alien ship, how can Bren help to avoid interspecies war when the notoriously secretive Pilot's Guild aboard Reunion Station won't even cooperate with their own ship, and may have kept the inhabitants of their own station ignorant of their true situation?

Tracker

Foreigner: Book 16

C. J. Cherryh

Tracker is the sixteenth installment of CJ Cherryh's acclaimed Foreigner series.

It's been a year of upheaval, since Bren Cameron's return from space--a year when he and the aiji-dowager, one of his most powerful atevi allies, returned home from their two-year interstellar mission to find the government overthrown and their world in chaos.

Now, at last, things are calming down; the Assassins' Guild is functioning again, working out its internal difficulties, and Bren is settling back into his routine: not as Lord of the Heavens; not--to his regret--as Lord of Najida peninsula, where his leisure estate is located; but as paidhi-aiji, an official in the atevi court.

His current ambition is to keep himself and his bodyguard out of harm's way, and to shepherd the aiji-dowager's daring new trade agreement through the appropriate legislative committees. Combined with Tabini-aiji's recent appointment of his young son Cajeiri as his official heir, Bren's workload is challenging, but at least things on the atevi world seem to be on the right track.

Something is coming, however, quietly, stealthily, just the first ominous twinkle of a new star in the heavens...

Visitor

Foreigner: Book 17

C. J. Cherryh

It's been a year of upheaval, since Bren Cameron's return from space--a year since he and the aiji-dowager, one of his most powerful atevi allies, returned home from their two-year interstellar mission to find the government overthrown and their world in chaos. Now, at last, things on the atevi world seem to be on the right track, and Bren hopes that life may soon become much more tranquil.

But something is coming, quietly, stealthily--just the first ominous twinkle of a new star in the heavens....

Storm Over Warlock

Forerunner: Book 1

Andre Norton

The Throg force struck the Terran survey camp a few minutes after dawn, without warning, and with a deadly precision which argued that the aliens had fully reconnoitered and prepared that attack. A single cowering witness, flattened on a ledge in the heights above, knew that nothing human could possibly be left alive. Thus, Shann Lantee, most menial of the Terrans attached to that camp, was left alone and weaponless in the strange hostile world. Human prey for the aliens from space. But they were NOT the greatest menace on Warlock!

The Forge of God

Forge of God: Book 1

Greg Bear

On September 28th, a geologist working in Death valley finds a mysterious new cinder cone in very well-mapped area.

On October 1st, the government of Australia announces the discovery of an enormous granite mountain. Like the cinder cone, it wasn't there six months ago....

Something is happening to Planet Earth, and the truth is too terrifying to consider....

Four Hundred Billion Stars

Four Hundred Billion Stars: Book 1

Paul J. McAuley

Dorothy Yoshida, an astronomer and telepath, joins the archaelogical team exploring the mysterious ruins of a nearly dead planet that shows some signs of returning to life.

Little Fuzzy

Fuzzy Series: Book 1

H. Beam Piper

When the Zarathustra Company takes over a supposedly uninhabited planet, reaping it for all that it is worth, Jack Holloway, a sunstone prospector, and his family of Fuzzies are determined to save this world from utter destruction.

The Alien

Galaxy Science Fiction: Book 6

Raymond F. Jones

Speculate for a moment on the enormous challenge to archaeology when interplanetary travel is possible... and relics are found of a race extinct for half a million years! A race that was so far in advance of ours that they held the secret of life restoration! What happens when a member of that race is brought back after 500,000 years of death...

War with the Newts

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 9

Karel Capek

One of the great anti-utopian satires of the twentieth century, an inspiration to writers from Orwell to Vonnegut, at last in a modern translation. Man discovers a species of giant, intelligent newts and learns to exploit them so successfully that the newts gain skills and arms enough to challenge man's place at the top of the animal kingdom. Along the way, Karel Capek satirizes science, runaway capitalism, fascism, journalism, militarism, even Hollywood.

The Left Hand of Darkness

Hainish Cycle: Book 4

Ursula K. Le Guin

Genly Ai is an ethnologist observing the people of the planet Gethen, a world perpetually in winter. The people there are androgynous, normally neuter, but they can become male ot female at the peak of their sexual cycle. They seem to Genly Ai alien, unsophisticated and confusing. But he is drawn into the complex politics of the planet and, during a long, tortuous journey across the ice with a politician who has fallen from favour and has been outcast, he loses his professional detachment and reaches a painful understanding of the true nature of Gethenians and, in a moving and memorable sequence, even finds love...

The Word for World is Forest

Hainish Cycle: Book 6

Ursula K. Le Guin

The colonizing earthmen's persistent exploitation and abuse of the Athsheans' delicately balanced culture and ecology forebode extraterrestrial genocide or vengeful rebellion.

The Star Beast

Heinlein Juveniles: Book 8

Robert A. Heinlein

Lummox had been the Stuart family pet for years. Though far from cuddly and rather large, it had always been obedient and docile. Except, that is, for the time it had eaten the secondhand Buick . . .

But now, all of a sudden and without explanation, Lummox had begun chomping down on a variety of things -- not least, a very mean dog and a cage of virtually indestructible steel. Incredible!

John Thomas and Lummox were soon in awfully hot water, and they didn't know how to get out. And neither one really understood just how bad things were -- or how bad the situation could get -- until some space voyagers appeared and turned a far-from-ordinary family problem into an extraordinary confrontation.

Helliconia Summer

Helliconia: Book 2

Brian W. Aldiss

A planet orbiting binary suns, Helliconia has a Great Year spanning three millennia of Earth time: cultures are born in spring, flourish in summer, then die with the onset of the generations-long winter.

It is the summer of the Great Year on Helliconia. The humans are involved with their own affairs. Their old enemies, the phagors, are comparatively docile at this time of year, yet they can afford to wait, to take advantage of human weakness?and the king?s weakness. How they do so brings to a climax this powerfully compelling novel, in which the tortuous unwindings of circumstance enmesh royalty and commoners alike, and involve the Helliconia continents.

This is the second volume of the Helliconia Trilogy?a monumental saga that goes beyond anything yet created by this master among today?s imaginative writers.

Helliconia Winter

Helliconia: Book 3

Brian W. Aldiss

A planet orbiting binary suns, Helliconia has a Great Year spanning three millennia of Earth time: cultures are born in spring, flourish in summer, then die with the onset of the generations-long winter.

The centuries-long winter of the Great Year on Helliconia is upon us, and the Oligarch is taking harsh measures to ensure the survival of the people of the bleak Northern continent of Sibornal. Behind the battle with which the novel opens lies an act of unparalleled treachery. But the plague is coming on the wings of winter and the Oligarch's will is set against it-and against the phagors, humanity's ancient enemies, who carry the plague with them.

This is the concluding volume of the Helliconia Trilogy-a monumental saga that goes beyond anything yet created by this master among today's imaginative writers.

Ring of Swords

Hwarhath

Eleanor Arnason

For half a century, Earth has been on the brink of total war with an implacable alien race. Biologist Anna Perez is the first to discover the truth-the hwarhath have segregated their society strictly along gender lines, to prevent the warlike males from harming women and children. In their eyes, humans are a dishonorable and barbaric race who may require extermination...

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...

All the Colors of Darkness

Jan Darzek: Book 1

Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

Someone is sabotaging the Universal Transmitting Company's new technology--instantaneous transport of objects and people around the world. When Detective Jan Darzek investigates, the mystery seems inexplicable--out of this world.

Scardown

Jenny Casey: Book 2

Elizabeth Bear

The year is 2062, and after years on the run, Jenny Casey is back in the Canadian armed forces. Those who were once her enemies are now her allies, and at fifty, she's been handpicked for the most important mission of her life-a mission for which her artificially reconstructed body is perfectly suited. With the earth capable of sustaining life for just another century, Jenny-as pilot of the starship Montreal-must discover brave new worlds. And with time running out, she must succeed where others have failed.

Now Jenny is caught in a desperate battle where old resentments become bitter betrayals and justice takes the cruelest forms of vengeance. With the help of a brilliant AI, an ex—crime lord, and the man she loves, Jenny may just get her chance to save the world. If it doesn't come to an end first…

Worldwired

Jenny Casey: Book 3

Elizabeth Bear

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

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

Starfarers

Kith

Poul Anderson

When evidence of an advanced civilization is discovered by SETI astronomers, an expedition into the far reaches of the galaxy is planned and an eclectic team of scientists is chosen to make the trip. But because the origin of the alien signals is thousands of light-years away, the crew will age only a few years while millennia pass on Earth. And though they are ready to face the ramifications of such a voyage, none of the starfarers are prepared for what awaits them at the outer edge of the cosmos--or back at the planet they once called home.

World of Ptavvs

Known Space: Book 2

Larry Niven

A reflective statue is found at the bottom of one of Earth's oceans, having lain there for 1.5 billion years. Since humans have recently developed a time slowing field and found that one such field cannot function within another, it is suspected that the "Sea Statue" is actually a space traveler within one of these time fields. Larry Greenberg, a telepath, agrees to participate in an experiment: a time-slowing field is generated around both Greenberg and the statue, shutting off the stasis field and revealing Kzanol. Kzanol is a living Thrint a member of a telepathic race that once ruled the galaxy through mind control.

Protector

Known Space: Book 4

Larry Niven

Phssthpok the Pak had been traveling for most of his thirty-two thousand years. His mission: save, develop, and protect the group of Pak breeders sent out into space some two and a half million years before...

Brennan was a Belter, the product of a fiercely independent, somewhat anarchic society living in, on, and around an outer asteroid belt. The Belters were rebels, one and all, and Brennan was a smuggler. The Belt worlds had been tracking the Pak ship for days -- Brennan figured to meet that ship first...

He was never seen again -- at least not by those alive at the time.

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.

Starbound

Marsbound Trilogy: Book 2

Joe Haldeman

Carmen Dula and her husband have spent six years traveling to a distant solar system that is home to the enigmatic, powerful race known as "The Others," in the hopes of finding enough common purpose between their species to forge a delicate truce.

By the time Carmen and her party return, fifty years have been consumed by relativity-and the Earthlings have not been idle, building a massive flotilla of warships to defend Earth against The Others. But The Others have their own plans.

Earthbound

Marsbound Trilogy: Book 3

Joe Haldeman

The mysterious alien Others have prohibited humans from space travel-destroying Earth's fleet of starships in a display of unimaginable power. Now Carmen Dula, the first human to encounter Martians and then the mysterious Others, and her colleagues struggle to find a way, using nineteenthcentury technology, to reclaim the future that has been stolen from them.

The Dark Light Years

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 20

Brian W. Aldiss

What would intelligent life-forms on another planet look like? Would they walk upright? Would they wear clothes? Or would they be hulking creatures on six legs that wallow in their own excrement?

Upon first contact with the Utod -- intelligent, pacifist beings who feel no pain -- mankind instantly views these aliens as animals because of their unhygienic customs. This leads to the slaughter, capture and dissection of the Utod. But when one explorer recognizes the intelligence behind their habits, he must reevaluate what it actually means to be "intelligent."

With a New Introduction from the Author!

Ring Around the Sun

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 28

Clifford D. Simak

This novel is set in a future world where the equipment of ordinary, everyday life has become indestructible; there are everlasting lightbulbs and infallible cars, but no-one knows where they have come from.

All Flesh Is Grass

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 38

Clifford D. Simak

The strange but beautiful purple blossoms now grew wild in his backyard. One day Brad Carter tripped and fell into an alternate world, a world peopled by these very flowers.

The Werewolf Principle

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 40

Clifford D. Simak

After several years' absence and the loss of his memory, Andrew Blake returns to earth only to find himself accused of being a werewolf.

Mission of Gravity

Mesklin: Book 1

Hal Clement

For a profit -- and adventure -- Barlennan would sail thousands of miles across uncharted waters, into regions where gravity itself played strange tricks. He would dare the perils of strange tribes and stranger creatures -- even dicker with those strange aliens from beyond the skies, though the concept of another world was unknown to the inhabitants of the disk-shaped planet of Mesklin.

But in spite of the incredible technology of the strangers and without regard for their enormous size, Barlennan had the notion of turning the deal to an unsuspected advantage for himself . . . all in all a considerable enterprise for a being very much resembling a fifteen-inch caterpillar!

Close to Critical

Mesklin: Book 2

Hal Clement

The Tenebrans are intelligent, but primitive by human standards. Yet scientists from Earth have found ways to train and educate some of the Tenebrans. This training becomes crucial when two beings—a young girl from Earth and the son of an alien diplomat—are marooned in a bathyscape that is headed toward the surface of the planet, where neither can hope to survive.

Dark Water's Embrace

Mictlan: Book 1

Stephen Leigh

Struggling with rising infertility and infant mortality, repopulation is essential for a group of humans on a distant planet. Anais, a brilliant female doctor with inexplicable physical abnormalities, is scorned because she has no children. When Anais discovers abnormalities identical to her own in the preserved corpse of a member of the planet's long-extinct race, she must find the link between the mysteries of the planet's past and the plight of the humans in order for her society to survive.

Speaking Stones

Mictlan: Book 2

Stephen Leigh

Returning to the enigmatic planet first introduced in his compelling Dark Water's Embrace, Stephen Leigh thoughtfully examines issues of prejudice and race relations among the descendants of the world's marroned human survivors and its native inhabitants.On the faraway planet Mictlan, a tiny human society has had to sruggle with severe and often disturbing complications to adapt to their desolate surroundings. There were physical mutations and birth defects among them, then an uneasy coexistence with the Miccail, an indigenous tri-gendered intelligent species. Most startling of all was the evolution of a third human sex: the Sa, or midmale.

Now the fragile peace that governs the humans and the Miccail is shattered after a young human Sa child is kidnapped, igniting all the half-buried animosities smoldering between the two groups, as savagery and violence break out across the planet. The answer may lie in an imposing carved monolith--the Speaking Stone that contains the secrets of the ancient Miccail religion. Facing annhilation at the hands of its warring civilizations, the planet's only chance for survival hinges on deciphering the stone's cryptic hierloglyphs.

Titan

NASA Trilogy: Book 2

Stephen Baxter

Paula Benacerraf is appointed to oversee the dismantling of the Shuttle fleet after another disaster. Instead, she listens to the scientist, Rosenberg, who wants to explore the life Cassini discovers on Titan. Humans are hurled to the edge of the Solar System. To the edge, also, of sanity.

Needle

Needle Series: Book 1

Hal Clement

Two ships race in from outer space and crash in the Pacific Ocean. One contains a hunter, entrusted with a vital mission. The other, his quarry - corrupt, evil, a criminal from an unearthly civilisation light years away. Yet both these creatures had one thing in common - they were unable to exist alone. Each needed a host, a human body they could invade and control...

Satan's World

Nicholas van Rijn: Book 3

Poul Anderson

Falkayn simultaneously discovers a lead on a potentially very valuable planet and evidence of a deep penetration of human society by agents of an unknown alien race, and must race to claim the planet for van Rijn and to head off whatever it is the aliens are up to. Right in the heart of the Commonwealth, on Luna, van Rijn takes independent action -- breaking the law -- to close down the alien spies, and then follows Falkayn to meet the aliens.

First Flight

Nicole Shea: Book 1

Chris Claremont

Drifting farther and farther from any hope of rescue after a band of marauding space pirates leave her defenseless ship a wreck, Lt. Nicole Shea and her desperate crew make contact, humankind's first contact, with alien life forms.

Orbitsville

Orbitsville: Book 1

Bob Shaw

Fleeing Elizabeth Lindstrom's anger at the death of her son, Vance Garamond, a flickerwing commander, leaves the solar system far behind. Pursued by Earth's space fleet, Garamond finds a vast, alien-built spherical structure which might just change the destiny of the human race.

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.

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...

Prador Moon

Polity: Book 1

Neal Asher

Neal Asher takes on first contact, Polity style.

This original novel recounts the first contact between the aggressive Prador aliens, and the Polity Collective as it is forced to retool its society to a war footing. The overwhelming brute force of the Prador dreadnaughts causes several worlds and space stations to be overrun. Prador Moon follows the initial Polity defeats, to the first draws, and culminates in what might be the first Polity victory, told from the point of view of two unlikely heroes.

Rendezvous with Rama

Rama Series: Book 1

Arthur C. Clarke

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredible, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence. It will kindle their wildest dreams... and fan their darkest fears. For no one knows who the Ramans are or why they have come. And now the moment of rendezvous awaits -- just behind a Raman airlock door.

Rama II

Rama Series: Book 2

Gentry Lee
Arthur C. Clarke

Years ago, the enormous, enigmatic alien spacecraft called Rama sailed through our solar system as mind-boggling proof that life existed -- or had existed -- elsewhere in the universe. Now, at the dawn of the twenty-third century, another ship is discovered hurtling toward us. A crew of Earth's best and brightest minds is assembled to rendezvous with the massive vessel. They are armed with everything we know about Raman technology and culture. But nothing can prepare them for what they are about to encounter on board Rama II: cosmic secrets that are startling, sensational -- and perhaps even deadly.

Rama Revealed

Rama Series: Book 4

Arthur C. Clarke
Gentry Lee

Years after the appearance in the solar system of the immense, deserted spaceship, Rama, a second craft arrived, destined to become home for a group of human colonists. But now the colony has become a brutal dictatorship, terrorizing its own inhabitants. Nicole Wakefield, condemned to death for treason, has escaped to New York. There she is reunited with her husband, but pursuit is not far behind and they are forced to flee to the subterranean corridors of New York inhabited by the menacing octospiders. So begins the greatest adventure of the Rama cycle, a story of massive scope and extraordinary revelations.

Midshipman's Hope

Seafort Saga: Book 1

David Feintuch

A hideous accident kills the senior officer of UNS Hibernia, leaving a terrified young officer with the daunting taskof saving 300 colonists and crew aboard a damaged ship, on a 17-month gauntlet to reach Hope Nation. With no chance of rescue, Nicholas Seafort must overcome despair and exhaution, malfunctions and mutiny, in the name of duty.

Challenger's Hope

Seafort Saga: Book 2

David Feintuch

In the aftermath of an alien attack and an admiral's traitorous desertion, Commander Nicholas Seafort is left in charge of a doomed ship that carries arrogant colonists, violent street children, and dwindling supplies.

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.

2010: Odyssey Two

Space Odyssey: Book 2

Arthur C. Clarke

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

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

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

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.

Children of God

Sparrow Series: Book 2

Mary Doria Russell

Mary Doria Russell's debut novel, The Sparrow, took us on a journey to a distant planet and into the center of the human soul. A critically acclaimed bestseller, The Sparrow was chosen as one of Entertainment Weekly's Ten Best Books of the Year, a finalist for the Book-of-the-Month Club's First Fiction Prize and the winner of the James M. Tiptree Memorial Award. Now, in Children of God, Russell further establishes herself as one of the most innovative, entertaining and philosophically provocative novelists writing today.

The only member of the original mission to the planet Rakhat to return to Earth, Father Emilio Sandoz has barely begun to recover from his ordeal when the Society of Jesus calls upon him for help in preparing for another mission to Alpha Centauri. Despite his objections and fear, he cannot escape his past or the future.

Old friends, new discoveries and difficult questions await Emilio as he struggles for inner peace and understanding in a moral universe whose boundaries now extend beyond the solar system and whose future lies with children born in a faraway place.

Strikingly original, richly plotted, replete with memorable characters and filled with humanity and humor, Children of God is an unforgettable and uplifting novel that is a potent successor to The Sparrow and a startlingly imaginative adventure for newcomers to Mary Doria Russell's special literary magic.

Second Star

Star Svensdotter: Book 1

Dana Stabenow

When the Betelgeuse message was detected, it changed a lot of things on Earth. We began to look seriously outward, not with the heady optimism of the early days, but with deliberate calculation. We knew that Someone was out there, and that eventually, they'd be coming. If Earth didn't occupy the High Frontier, it could be ours to lose.

Esther "Star" Svensdotter's job is overseeing the completion of the American Alliance's first O'Neill cylinder -- a massive space hab capable of supporting thousands of colonists. It's just weeks away from commissioning, and she'll be damned if Luddite terrorists, squabbling bureaucrats, military takeovers or rogue AIs will stand in the way. Frontier justice on Ellfive sometimes involves an airlock -- you don't want to be on the wrong side of justice. Or the wrong side of Star Svensdotter.

The first in Dana Stabenow's Star Svensdotter trilogy, Second Star is a tale of first contact, declarations of independence, and new frontiers.

A Handful of Stars

Star Svensdotter: Book 2

Dana Stabenow

Ellfive colony won its independence in the One-Day Revolution, but while much may be forgiven, its debts haven't been. The orbital nation needs a serious supply of minerals and ore to realize its manufacturing potentials, and in this solar system, the cost of lifting rocks to orbit is prohibitive, the only viable option is to mine them yourself.

And so, Star Svensdotter leads a prospecting expedition to the Belt, almost two AUs out, on the very edges of Earth's colonization of space. It's not exactly unexplored territory--a motley assortment of grifters, drifters and fortune-hunters have already made the Belt their home--but Star and her crew soon find that they have a lot to offer the anarchic frontier society, and that there are richer opportunities than merely mining for minerals.

The second in Dana Stabenow's Star Svensdotter trilogy, A Handful of Stars follows humanity's outward migration into the solar system.

The Prometheus Design

Star Trek: The Original Series: Book 5

Sondra Marshak
Myrna Culbreath

Can the galaxy's growing violence be stopped? Captain Kirk and his crew are on a mission to investigate the mysterious wave of violence that has overtaken the Helvans - revolutions, mass riots, horrible tortures. This chaos is all part of an experiment by an unimaginable power that soon grips even the crew of the USS Enterprise.

Captain Kirk is plagued by violent hallucinations and removed from command. Spock takes charge, but his orders seem irrational - even cruel.

Unless this terrible power can be stopped, not only the Starship Enterprise, but an entire galaxy will be ensnared in the deadly grip of the Prometheus Design.

Strangers from the Sky

Star Trek: The Original Series: Giant Novels: Book 2

Margaret Wander Bonanno

In the twenty-first century: Years before the formal first contact that would be recorded in Earth's history, a Vulcan space vessel crash-lands in the South Pacific, forcing humanity to decide whether to offer the hand of friendship, or the fist of war. Complicating matters is a second visitation: a group of people from two hundred years in the future, who serve on a starship called Enterprise.

In the twenty-third century: A new novel called Strangers from the Sky reveals the truth about this heretofore unknown first contact. Reading the novel leads to nightmares that torment Admiral James T. Kirk -- dreams of his dead comrades, Gary Mitchell, Lee Kelso, and Elizabeth Dehner, from his earliest days aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise; visions of a forgotten past in which he somehow changed the course of history and destroyed the Federation before it began.

Fire with Fire

Tales of the 22nd Century: Book 1

Charles E. Gannon

New Science Fiction Adventure Series! National Bestseller in trade paperback. An agent for a spy organization uncovers an alien alliance in nearby interstellar space-an alliance that will soon involve humanity in politics and war on a galactic scale.

2105, September: Intelligence Analyst Caine Riordan uncovers a conspiracy on Earth's Moon-a history-changing clandestine project-and ends up involuntarily cryocelled for his troubles. Twelve years later, Riordan awakens to a changed world. Humanity has achieved faster-than-light travel and is pioneering nearby star systems. And now, Riordan is compelled to become an inadvertent agent of conspiracy himself. Riordan's mission: travel to a newly settled world and investigate whether a primitive local species was once sentient-enough so to have built a lost civilization.

However, arriving on site in the Delta Pavonis system, Caine discovers that the job he's been given is anything but secret or safe. With assassins and saboteurs dogging his every step, it's clear that someone doesn't want his mission to succeed. In the end, it takes the broad-based insights of an intelligence analyst and a matching instinct for intrigue to ferret out the truth: that humanity is neither alone in the cosmos nor safe. Earth is revealed to be the lynchpin planet in an impending struggle for interstellar dominance, a struggle into which it is being irresistibly dragged. Discovering new dangers at every turn, Riordan must now convince the powers-that-be that the only way for humanity to survive as a free species is to face the perils directly-and to fight fire with fire.

Trial by Fire

Tales of the 22nd Century: Book 2

Charles E. Gannon

Sequel to national bestseller, Nebula Award finalist, and Compton Crook Award winner Fire with Fire. Science fiction adventure on a grand scale.

When reluctant interstellar diplomat and intelligence operative Caine Riordan returns from humanity's first encounter with alien races, sudden war clouds burst. With Earth's fleet shattered by a sneak attack and its survivors fighting for their lives, Caine must rely upon both his first contact and weaponry skills to contend with the non-humanoid enemy. And when the technologically-superior attackers sweep aside the solar system's last defenses, and traitorous corporations invite the invaders to land 'security forces,' humanity fights back with its best weapons: cunning, inventiveness, and guts.

But as Earth hurtles towards a final trial by fire that is certain to scar its collective memory, Caine discovers that there may also be large and disturbing gaps in that memory. Clues point to a much earlier inter-species apocalypse, buried in humanity's own prehistory. Which raises a terrifying possibility: what if the aliens' invasion of Earth is not one of conquest, but preemption? And what if their harrowing memories of a long-past cataclysmic war makes them willing to do anything to keep it from reigniting?

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave: Book 1

Rick Yancey

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother--or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Chindi

The Academy: Book 3

Jack McDevitt

Something-or somebody-has left a series of satellites in orbit around various planets in the galaxy. Now a crew sets off to discover the origin of the satellites-and learn if mankind is no longer alone among the stars.

Omega

The Academy: Book 4

Jack McDevitt

A civilization-destroying omega cloud has switched direction, heading straight for a previously unexplored planetary system -- and its alien society. And suddenly, a handful of brave humans must try to save an entire world -- without revealing their existence.

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 Pride of Chanur

The Chanur Series: Book 1

C. J. Cherryh

No one at Meetpoint Station had ever seen a creature like the Outsider. Naked-hided, blunt toothed and blunt-fingered, Tully was the sole surviving member of his company -- a communicative, spacefaring species hitherto unknown -- and he was a prisoner of his discoverer/ captors the sadistic, treacherous kif, until his escape onto the hani ship The Pride of Chanur.

Little did he know when he threw himself upon the mercy of The Pride and her crew that he put the entire hani species in jeopardy and imperiled the peace of the Compact itself. For the information this fugitive held could be the ruin or glory of any of the species at Meetpoint Station.

Chanur's Venture

The Chanur Series: Book 2

C. J. Cherryh

Pyanfar Chanur thought she had seen the last of Tully, the lone human who had so disrupted the peace of Meetpoint Station and gained the Chanur clan the enmity of half a dozen races as well as their own. But Tully is back, bringing with him a priceless trade contract with human space. A contract which would mean vast power, riches, and a new hornet's nest for Pyanfar and the Pride.

The Kif Strike Back

The Chanur Series: Book 3

C. J. Cherryh

When the kif seize Hilfy and Tully, Pyanfar and her shipmates enter into a simple rescue attempt that soon becomes a deadly game of interstellar politics.

Chanur's Homecoming

The Chanur Series: Book 4

C. J. Cherryh

When those aliens entities called "humans" sent their first exploration ship into Compact space, the traditional power alliances of the seven Compact races were catastrophically disrupted. And, giving shelter to Tully, the only surviving human, Pyanfar Chanur and her feline hani crew were pitched into the center of a galactic maelstrom, becoming key players in a power game which could cause an intersteller war, or bring the last hope for peace between eight barely compatible alien races.

Chanur's Legacy

The Chanur Series: Book 5

C. J. Cherryh

Hilfy Chanur, young captain of the merchant ship Chanur's Legacy , accepts a commission from a dignitary on the planet Meetpoint to deliver a religious artifact to nearby Urtur Station. The arrangement soon becomes a tangle of interstellar intrigue as Hilfy and her crew battle kidnappers, assassins, and smooth politicians while fighting their own inborn prejudices.

The Color of Distance

The Color of Distance: Book 1

Amy Thomson

When Juna becomes the sole survivor of a team of surveyors in an isolated rain forest, her only chance for life becomes assimilation into the amphibian Tendu species.

Through Alien Eyes

The Color of Distance: Book 2

Amy Thomson

The John W. Campbell award-winning author of Virtual Girl offers an eyewitness account of "a complex alien ecology" (Washington Post Book World) in her stunning new novel. Amy Thomson captivated readers with her national bestselling debut, Virtual Girl. Her acclaimed thriller, The Color of Distance, was praised by Vonda N. McIntyre as "an energetic and entertaining first-contact novel." Now, Thomson has imagined a first-contact of a different sort-as two members of an alien species struggle for survival on a strange planet... called Earth.

Out of the Silent Planet

The Cosmic Trilogy: Book 1

C. S. Lewis

The first book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice, and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill.

Once on the planet, however, Ransom eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth, becoming a stranger in a land that is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity.

First published in 1938, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force.

Perelandra

The Cosmic Trilogy: Book 2

C. S. Lewis

The second book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which also includes Out of the Silent Planet and That Hideous Strength, Perelandra continues the adventures of the extraordinary Dr. Ransom.

Pitted against the most destructive of human weaknesses, temptation, the great man must battle evil on a new planet -- Perelandra -- when it is invaded by a dark force.

Will Perelandra succumb to this malevolent being, who strives to create a new world order and who must destroy an old and beautiful civilization to do so? Or will it throw off the yoke of corruption and achieve a spiritual perfection as yet unknown to man?

The outcome of Dr. Ransom's mighty struggle alone will determine the fate of this peace-loving planet.

The State of the Art

The Culture Cycle: Book 4

Iain M. Banks

The first ever collection of Iain Banks' short fiction, this volume includes the acclaimed novella, The State of the Art. This is a striking addition to the growing body of Culture lore, and adds definition and scale to the previous works by using the Earth of 1977 as contrast. The other stories in the collection range from science fiction to horror, dark-coated fantasy to morality tale. All bear the indefinable stamp of Iain Banks' staggering talent.

Inversions

The Culture Cycle: Book 6

Iain M. Banks

Iain M. Banks, the international bestselling author of The Player of Games and Consider Phlebas, is a true original, a literary visionary whose brilliant speculative fiction has transported us into worlds of unbounded imagination. Now, in his acclaimed new novel, Banks presents an engrossing portrait of an alien world, and of two very different people bound by a startling and mysterious secret.

On a backward world with six moons, an alert spy reports on the doings of one Dr. Vosill, who has mysteriously become the personal physician to the king despite being a foreigner and, even more unthinkably, a woman. Vosill has more enemies than she first realizes. But then she also has more remedies in hand than those who wish her ill can ever guess.

Elsewhere, in another palace across the mountains, a man named DeWar serves as chief bodyguard to the Protector General of Tassasen, a profession he describes as the business of "assassinating assassins." DeWar, too, has his enemies, but his foes strike more swiftly, and his means of combating them are more direct.

No one trusts the doctor, and the bodyguard trusts no one, but is there a hidden commonality linking their disparate histories? Spiraling around a central core of mystery, deceit, love, and betrayal. Inversions is a dazzling work of science fiction from a versatile and imaginative author writing at the height of his remarkable powers.

A Call to Arms

The Damned: Book 1

Alan Dean Foster

For eons, the Amplitur had searched space for intelligent species, each of which was joyously welcomed to take part in the fulfillment of the Amplitur Purpose. Whether it wanted to or not. When the Amplitur and their allies stumbled upon the races called the Weave, the Purpose seemed poised for a great leap forward. But the Weave's surprising unity also gave it the ability to fight the Amplitur and their cause. And fight it did -- for thousands of years.

Will Dulac was a New Orleans composer who thought the tiny reef off Belize would be the perfect spot to drop anchor and finish his latest symphony in solitude. What he found instead was a group of alien visitors -- a scouting party for the Weave, looking. for allies among what they believed to be a uniquely warlike race: Humans.

Will tried to convince the aliens that Man was fundamentally peaceful, for he understood that Human involvement would destroy the race. But all too soon, it didn't matter. The Amplitur had discovered Earth...

The Darwin Elevator

The Dire Earth Cycle: Book 1

Jason M. Hough

In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet's refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator-created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders -- emits a plague-suppressing aura.

Skyler Luiken has a rare immunity to the plague. Backed by an international crew of fellow "immunes," he leads missions into the dangerous wasteland beyond the aura's edge to find the resources Darwin needs to stave off collapse. But when the Elevator starts to malfunction, Skyler is tapped -- along with the brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharma -- to solve the mystery of the failing alien technology and save the ragged remnants of humanity.

The Plague Force

The Dire Earth Cycle: Book 3

Jason M. Hough

The hunt is on for the mysterious keys left by the alien Builders. While Skyler’s team of immune scavengers scatters around the disease-ravaged globe in search of the artifacts, Skyler himself finds much more than he expected in the African desert, where he stumbles upon surprising Builder relics—and thousands of bloodthirsty subhumans. From the slums and fortresses of Darwin to the jungles of Brazil and beyond, Skyler and company are in for a wild ride, jam-packed with daunting challenges, run-and-gun adventure, and unexpected betrayals—all in a race against time to finally answer the great questions that have plagued humanity for decades: Who are the Builders, and what do they want with Earth?

Speaker for the Dead

The Ender Wiggin Saga: Book 2

Orson Scott Card

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening... again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery... and the truth.

Leviathan Wakes

The Expanse: Book 1

James S. A. Corey

Humanity has colonized the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond - but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, The Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for - and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to The Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations - and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

James S. A. Corey is a collective pseudonym for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

Abaddon's Gate

The Expanse: Book 3

James S. A. Corey

For generations, the solar system -- Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt -- was humanity's great frontier. Until now. The alien artifact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has appeared in Uranus's orbit, where it has built a massive gate that leads to a starless dark.Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artifact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.

Phylogenesis

The Founding of the Commonwealth: Book 1

Alan Dean Foster

In the years after first contact, humans and the intelligent insect like Thranx agree to a tentative sharing of ideas and cultures despite the ingrained repulsion they have yet to overcome. Thus, a slow, lengthy process of limited contact begins.

Yet they never plan for a chance meeting between a misfit artist and a petty thief. Desvendapur is a talented Thranx poet who is bored with his life and needs new inspiration for his work. Venturing beyond the familiar, Desvendapur runs into Cheelo Montoya, a small-time criminal with big dreams of making a fast buck. Together they will embark upon a journey that will forever change their beliefs, their futures, and their worlds...

Dirge

The Founding of the Commonwealth: Book 2

Alan Dean Foster

In the second half of the twenty-fourth century, diplomatic relations proceed cautiously between thranx and humans. But the insectlike beings are nearly forgotten with the sudden discovery of an ideal planet to colonize-Argus V-and the startling appearance of a new race of space-faring aliens. People are dazzled by the beautiful, glamorous pitar. Then tragedy strikes.

The entire human population on Argus V is brutally slaughtered. Not a single clue remains to identify the unseen executioners. But from a tiny inner moon of Argus V comes a faint signal. On that insignificant chunk of rubble lies the key to the crime-setting in motion a cataclysmic chain of events with deadly consequences for thranx, pitar, and human alike. For their worlds will be changed forever by a colossal battle that is their future and their destiny...

Diuturnity's Dawn

The Founding of the Commonwealth: Book 3

Alan Dean Foster

From the beginning, contact between humankind and the thranx has been tenuous at best. Nearly a century after first contact, the likelihood of closer human/thranx relations is as far away as ever. Yet idealists on both sides refuse to surrender their dreams of achieving an alliance. Among the most dedicated are a minor diplomat named Fanielle Anjou and her thranx counterpart. Others intend to make sure such a liaison never comes to pass... by any means necessary.

For these xenophobes, the upcoming Humanx Inter-Cultural Fair, the first wholly cross-species event, is a hideous confirmation of their worst fears. Zealots on both sides vow it will be the last of its kind, no matter how many must die. In the coming conflagration Fanielle holds the key to triumph, but only if she can outwit those desperate to silence her forever....

Titan

The Gaean Trilogy: Book 1

John Varley

When Cirrocco Jones, captain of the spaceship Ringmaster, and his crew are captured by Gaea, a planet-sized creature that orbits around Saturn, they find themselves inside a bizarre world inhabited by centaurs, harpies, and constantly shifting environments.

Wizard

The Gaean Trilogy: Book 2

John Varley

Second in the Gaean Trilogy. Human explorers have entered the sprawling mind of the alien Gaea. Now they must fight her will. For she is much too powerful. And definitely insane.

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.

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.

Across the Sea of Suns

The Galactic Center Series: Book 2

Gregory Benford

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

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.

Jupiter

The Grand Tour: Book 5

Ben Bova

Grant Archer only wanted to study astrophysics. But the forces of the "New Morality," the coalition of censorious do-gooders who run 21st-century America, have other plans for him.

To his distress, Grant is torn from his young bride and sent to a research station in orbit around Jupiter, to spy on the scientists who work there. Their work may lead to the discovery of higher life forms in the Jovian system-with implications the New Morality doesn't like at all.

What Grant's would-be controllers don't know is that his loyalty to science may be greater than his desire for a quiet life. But that loyalty will be tested in a mission as dangerous as any ever undertaken-a mission to the middle reaches of Jupiter's endless atmosphere, a place where hydrogen flows as a liquid, and cyclones larger than planets rage for centuries at a time.

What lurks there is more than anyone has counted on...and stranger than anyone could possibly have imagined.

New Earth

The Grand Tour: Book 13

Ben Bova

We've found an Earthlike planet, but what secrets does it hold?

In Ben Bova's New Earth, The world is thrilled by the discovery of an Earthlike planet. Advance imaging shows oceans of liquid water and a breathable, oxygen-rich atmosphere. A human exploration team is dispatched to explore the planet, now nicknamed New Earth. The explorers understand they're on a one-way mission. The trip takes eighty years one way, so even if they are able to return to Earth, nearly two hundred years will have passed. Their friends and family will be gone. The explorers are not the best available: they are expendable. Upon landing on the planet they find a group of intelligent creatures who look like humans. Are they native to this world or invaders? Moreover, the scientists begin to realize that the planet cannot be natural. Rather, could New Earth be an artifact?

Gateway

The Heechee Saga: Book 1

Frederik Pohl

Gateway opened on all the wealth of the Universe... and on reaches of unimaginable horror. When prospector Bob Broadhead went out to Gateway on the Heechee spacecraft, he decided he would know which was the right mission to make him his fortune. Three missions later, now famous and permanently rich, Robinette Broadhead has to face what happened to him and what he is... in a journey into himself as perilous and even more horrifying than the nightmare trip through the interstellar void that he drove himself to take!

Beyond the Blue Event Horizon

The Heechee Saga: Book 2

Frederik Pohl

In Book Two of the Heechee Saga, Robinette Broadhead is on his way to making a fortune by bankrolling an expedition to the Food Factory--a Heechee spaceship that can graze the cometary cloud and transfor the basic elements of the universe into untold quantities of food. But even as he gambles on the breakthrough technology, he is wracked with the guilt of losing his wife, poised forever at the "event horizon" of a black hole where Robin had abaondoned her. As more and more information comes back from the expedition, Robin grows ever hopeful that he can rescue his beloved Gelle-Klara Moynlin. After three and a years, the factory is discovered to work, and a human is found aboard. Robin's suffering may be just about over....

Heechee Rendezvous

The Heechee Saga: Book 3

Frederik Pohl

After millennia had passed, Mankind discovered the Heechee legacy (an alien culture that fled to the reative safety of a black hole) -- in particular an asteroid stocked with autonavigating spacecraft. Robinette Broadhead, who had led the expedition that unlocked the many secrets of Heechee technology, is now forced once more to make a perilous voyage into space -- where the Heechee are waiting. And this time the future of Man is at stake....

The Gateway Trip

The Heechee Saga: Book 5

Frederik Pohl

The Heechee were perhaps the greatest and most tantalizing mystery the human race had ever known. The first Heechee artifacts were uncovered on Venus, and in the beginning they were treated as nothing more than costly souvenirs and curiosities for tourists from Earth and Mars. But when an asteroid stocked with autonavigating spacecraft was discovered, suddenly the Heechee universe was thrown wide open, giving birth to the Gateway Corporation and bringing untold riches to the adventurers who risked the unknown to see where those Heechee spacecraft would take them. Many of those brave souls never returned. The ones who did brought back technological wonders that transformed life on Earth -- but of the Heechee themselves there was no sign...

The Gateway Trip, lavishly illustrated by artist Frank Kelly Freas, presents the tales of those perilous journeys and marvelous discoveries, as those intrepid pioneers followed the trail of the elusive Heechee and changed the course of human history forever!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book 1

Douglas Adams

Join Douglas Adams's hapless hero Arthur Dent as he travels the galaxy with his intrepid pal Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc. Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway. You'll never read funnier science fiction; Adams is a master of intelligent satire, barbed wit, and comedic dialogue. The Hitchhiker's Guide is rich in comedic detail and thought-provoking situations and stands up to multiple reads. Required reading for science fiction fans, this book (and its follow-ups) is also sure to please fans of Monty Python, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and British sitcoms.

The Mote in God's Eye

The Moties: Book 1

Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle

In the year 3016, the Second Empire of Man spans hundreds of star systems, thanks to the faster-than-light Alderson Drive. No other intelligent beings have ever been encountered, not until a light sail probe enters a human system carrying a dead alien. The probe is traced to the Mote, an isolated star in a thick dust cloud, and an expedition is dispatched.

In the Mote the humans find an ancient civilization--at least one million years old--that has always been bottled up in their cloistered solar system for lack of a star drive. The Moties are welcoming and kind, yet rather evasive about certain aspects of their society. It seems the Moties have a dark problem, one they've been unable to solve in over a million years.

The Gripping Hand

The Moties: Book 2

Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle

Robert Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read." The San Francisco Chronicle declared that "as science fiction, The Mote in God's Eye is one of the most important novels ever published." Now Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, award winning authors of such bestsellers as Footfall and The Legacy of Heorot, return us to the Mote, and to the universe of Kevin Renner and Horace Bury, of Rod Blaine and Sally Fowler.

There, 25 years have passed since humanity quarantined the mysterious aliens known as Moties within the confines of their own solar system. They have spent a quarter century analyzing and agonizing over the deadly threat posed by the only aliens mankind has ever encountered-- a race divided into distinct biological forms, each serving a different function. Master, Mediator, Engineer. Warrior. Each supremely adapted to its task, yet doomed by millions of years of evolution to an inescapable fate. For the Moties must breed-- or die. And now the fragile wall separating them and the galaxy beyond is beginning to crumble.

Pilgrimage: The Book of the People

The People

Zenna Henderson

They were feared as witches and demons...

They possessed superhuman powers...

They could read minds, free objects from gravity, fly through the air...

They lived alone and outcast in an isolated canyon...

They were THE PEOPLE!

The People: No Different Flesh

The People

Zenna Henderson

Table of Contents:

  • No Different Flesh - (1965)
  • Deluge - (1963)
  • Angels Unawares - (1966)
  • Troubling of the Water - (1966)
  • Return - (1961)
  • Shadow on the Moon - (1962)

The Flowers of Aulit Prison

The Probability Trilogy

Nancy Kress

Nebula and Sturgeon Award winning novelette. It originally appeared Asimov's Science Fiction, October-November 1996. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourteenth Annual Collection (1997), edited by Gardner Dozois, and Nebula Awards 33 (1999), edited by Connie Willis. It is included in the collections Beaker's Dozen (1998) and The Best of Nancy Kress (2015).

Probability Moon

The Probability Trilogy: Book 1

Nancy Kress

Humanity has expanded out into other solar systems using the remnants of an ancient technology of star gates. But now an alien race has also discovered the gates. In this situation, a new planet is discovered inhabited by a human-like race, and a team of scientists is sent to contact and study them. It isnt long before the killer aliens arrive and the whole powerkeg explodes.

The Lovers

The Sturch: Book 1

Philip José Farmer

A linguist, studying languages on a previously unknown alien planet, begins to suspect that humans may have visited the planet at some time in the past.

Sleeping Giants

The Themis Files: Book 1

Sylvain Neuvel

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved--its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand's code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What's clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history's most perplexing discovery--and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

Legacy

The Way Series: Book 3

Greg Bear

The Way is a tunnel through space and time. The entrance is through the hollow asteroid Thistledown and the space station Axis City that sits at the asteroid's center. From there the Flawships ride the center of the Way, traveling to other worlds and times.

Now the rulers of Axis City have discovered that a huge group of colonists has secretly entered one of the interdicted worlds along the Way. In some ways Lamarkia is very Earth-like--but its biology is extraordinary. A single genetic entity can take many forms, and span a continent. There are only a few of these "ecos" on Lamarkia, and the effect of human interaction on them is unknown.

Olmy Ap Sennon has been sent to secretly assess the extent of the damage. But he will find far more than an intriguing alien biology--for on their new world the secret colonists have returned to the old ways of human history: war, famine, and ecological disaster. On this mission, Olmy will learn about the basics: love, responsibility, and even failure...

City of Pearl

The Wess'Har Series: Book 1

Karen Traviss

Three separate alien societies have claims on Cavanagh's Star. But the new arrivals -- the gethes from Earth -- now threaten the tenuous balance of a coveted world.

Environmental Hazard Enforcement officer Shan Frankland agreed to lead a mission to Cavanagh's Star, knowing that 150 years would elapse before she could finally return home. But her landing, with a small group of scientists and Marines, has not gone unnoticed by Aras, the planet's designated guardian. An eternally evolving world himself, this sad, powerful being has already obliterated millions of alien interlopers and their great cities to protect the fragile native population. Now Shan and her party -- plus the small colony of fundamentalist humans who preceded them -- could face a similar annihilation... or a fate far worse. Because Aras possesses a secret of the blood that would be disastrous if it fell into human hands -- if the gethes survive the impending war their coming has inadvertently hastened.

Crossing the Line

The Wess'Har Series: Book 2

Karen Traviss

Shan Frankland forever abandoned the world she knew to come to the rescue of a lost colony on a distant and dangerous planet -- a hostile world coveted by two alien races and fiercely protected by a third. But in the course of her mission, she overstepped a boundary and stumbled into forbidden lands. And she can never go back -- to being neutral, to being safe. To being human.

War is coming again to Cavanagh's Star -- and this time, the instigators will be the troublesome gethes from the faraway planet Earth. Former Environmental Enforcement Officer Shan Frankland has already crossed a line, and now she is a prize to be captured... or a threat to be eliminated. But saving a coveted world and its fragile native population may require of her one unthinkable sacrifice: the destruction of her own ruthless, invading species.

The World Before

The Wess'Har Series: Book 3

Karen Traviss

Three strikingly different alien races greeted the military mission from Earth when it reached the planet called Bezer'ej.

Now one of the sentient species has been exterminated -- and two others are poised on the brink of war.

The fragile bezeri are no more, due to the ignorant, desperate actions of human interlopers. The powerful wess'har protectors have failed in their sworn obligation to the destroyed native population -- and the outrage must be redressed.

But those who are coming to judge from the World Before -- the home planet, now distant and alien to the wess'har, whose ancestors left there generations ago -- will not restrict their justice to the individual humans responsible for the slaughter. Earth itself must answer for the genocide. And its ultimate fate may depend on a dead woman: former police officer Shan Frankland, who became something far greater than human before destroying herself in the vast airless depths of space.

Ring

The Xeelee Sequence: Book 4

Stephen Baxter

Michael Poole's wormholes constructed in the orbit of Jupiter had opened the galaxy to humankind. Then Poole tried looping a wormhole back on itself, tying a knot in space and ripping a hole in time.

It worked. Too well.

Poole was never seen again. Then from far in the future, from a time so distant that the stars themselves were dying embers, came an urgent SOS--and a promise. The universe was doomed, but humankind was not. Poole had stumbled upon an immense artifact, light-years across, fabricated from the very string of the cosmos.

The universe had a door. And it was open...

The Three-Body Problem

Three-Body Trilogy: Book 1

Cixin Liu

With the scope of Dune and the commercial action of Independence Day, Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multple-award-winning phenomenon from China's most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.

Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

Translation by Ken Liu.

The Dark Forest

Three-Body Trilogy: Book 2

Cixin Liu

With the scope of Dune and the rousing action of Independence Day, this near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multple-award-winning phenemonenon from China's most beloved science fiction author.

In Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion—in just four centuries' time. The aliens' human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike. Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown. Luo Ji, an unambitious Chinese astronomer and sociologist, is baffled by his new status. All he knows is that he's the one Wallfacer that Trisolaris wants dead.

Translated by Joel Martinsen

Note: first published in China in 2008.

The Time Traders

Time Traders: Book 1

Andre Norton

If it is possible to conquer space, then perhaps it is also possible to conquer time. At least that was the theory American scientists were exploring in an effort to explain the new sources of knowledge the Russians possessed. Perhaps Russian scientists had discovered how to transport themselves back in time in order to learn long-forgotten secrets of the past.

That was why young Ross Murdock, above average in intelligence but a belligerently independent nonconformist, found himself on a "hush-hush" government project at a secret base in the Arctic. The very qualities that made him a menace in civilized society were valuable traits in a man who must successfully act the part of a merchant trader of the Beaker people during the Bronze Age.

For once they were transferred by time machine to the remote Baltic region where the Russian post was located, Ross and his partner Ashe were swept into a fantastic action-filled adventure involving Russians, superstitious prehistoric men, and the aliens of a lost galactic civilization that demanded every ounce of courage the Americans possessed.

Tor Double #3: Born With The Dead / The Saliva Tree

Tor Double: Book 3

Brian W. Aldiss
Robert Silverberg

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.

The Saliva Tree:

In the late nineteenth century, a modern-thinking young man and friend of H. G. Wells's resides in the old-fashioned town of Cottersall. When a meteor lands in a pond in the neighbouring farming district, the man decides to investigate the odd occurrences in the area, where the farmer family of his beloved comes into danger courtesy of the stranded alien(s).

Tor Double #9: The Ugly Little Boy / The [Widget], The [Wadget]

Tor Double: Book 9

Isaac Asimov
Theodore Sturgeon

The Ugly Little Boy:

A small Neanderthal boy is brought into the future for scientific experimentation. The nurse who takes care of him, starts to see him as something other than a experimental subject.

The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff:

Only Robin could really see the Aliens...

Tor Double #31: Naked to the Stars / The Alien Way

Tor Double: Book 31

Gordon R. Dickson

Naked to the Stars:

During an action on the third planet from Arcturus, soldier Cal Truent woke up in the hospital with a sixteen-hour hole in his memory. No one knows what it is that Cal has forgotten, but his superiors can't take the chance that it might be something deadly to his fellow soldiers -- and to Earth. Somehow Cal means to seek out whatever it is that his mind is resisting...

The Alien Way:

One man is mentally linked to an alien who is spearheading an invasion of Earth; a group of soldiers fight to win new space for Earth; and a small group of men fight against a machine that controls all life.

Tor Double #34: Rule Golden / Double Meaning

Tor Double: Book 34

Damon Knight

Contents of Tor Double:

  • 1 - Introduction: Beauty, Stupidity, Injustice, and Science Fiction - essay by Damon Knight (variant of Beauty, Stupidity, Injustice, and Science Fiction 1990)
  • 19 - Rule Golden - (1954) - novella by Damon Knight
  • 103 - Double Meaning - (1953) - novella by Damon Knight Note: An expanded version of this story was published under the title "The Rithian Terror" by Ace Books(1965).

Rule Golden:

As a newspaper publisher, Robert James Dahls found the news disconcerting; in fact, inexplicable. News items like two boxers simultaneously knocking each other out, prison guards sick and unable to guard the prisoners, policemen shooting fleeing culprits and collapsing themselves, battered wives with husbands suffering the same injuries that they inflicted.

Dahl catches wind of a large experimental facility that is being led by the U.S. Department of Defense. His suspicions coincide with the strange, beyond-coincidental behavior that he's been observing. For what's on the grounds of the facility is much more radical than anything that was claimed to be found in Roswell. Not just an alien but one that has a strange effect on the human race. Where the Golden Rule in reversed: Be done by as you do to others. How can we get along without conflict? What will happen to the human race? Dahl soon finds himself a fugitive helping a bizarre alien save or destroy the Earth!

Double Meaning:

A psychological thriller that follows an Earth security officer in the future who is racing against time to locate an alien spy.

First published in 1953, this is probably the first sci-fi book to feature a surveillance drone.

Transformation

Transcendental Machine: Book 3

James E. Gunn

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

Now they must save the fringes of the Federation.

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

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

Halfway Human

Twenty Planets Universe: Book 1

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.

Dark Orbit

Twenty Planets Universe: Book 4

Carolyn Ives Gilman

Reports of a strange, new habitable planet have reached the Twenty Planets of human civilization. When a team of scientists is assembled to investigate this world, exoethnologist Sara Callicot is recruited to keep an eye on an unstable crewmate. Thora was once a member of the interplanetary elite, but since her prophetic delusions helped mobilize a revolt on Orem, she's been banished to the farthest reaches of space, because of the risk that her very presence could revive unrest.

Upon arrival, the team finds an extraordinary crystalline planet, laden with dark matter. Then a crew member is murdered and Thora mysteriously disappears. Thought to be uninhabited, the planet is in fact home to a blind, sentient species whose members navigate their world with a bizarre vocabulary and extrasensory perceptions.

Lost in the deep crevasses of the planet among these people, Thora must battle her demons and learn to comprehend the native inhabitants in order to find her crewmates and warn them of an impending danger. But her most difficult task may lie in persuading the crew that some powers lie beyond the boundaries of science.

Forty Thousand in Gehenna

Unionside (Union-Alliance): Book 1

C. J. Cherryh

Set in the same future as the Hugo-winning Downbelow Station, but fully self-contained, this is a story on the classic theme of human understanding of the alien. . . . Once again, Cherryh proves herself a consistently thoughtful and entertaining writer.

Cold Welcome

Vatta's Peace: Book 1

Elizabeth Moon

Summoned to the home planet of her family's business empire, space-fleet commander Kylara Vatta is told to expect a hero's welcome. But instead she is thrown into danger unlike any other she has faced and finds herself isolated, unable to communicate with the outside world, commanding a motley group of unfamiliar troops, and struggling day by day to survive in a deadly environment with sabotaged gear. Only her undeniable talent for command can give her ragtag band a fighting chance.

Yet even as Ky leads her team from one crisis to another, her family and friends refuse to give up hope, endeavoring to mount a rescue from halfway around the planet -- a task that is complicated as Ky and her supporters find secrets others will kill to protect: a conspiracy infecting both government and military that threatens not only her own group's survival but her entire home planet.

War Dogs

War Dogs: Book 1

Greg Bear

The Gurus came in peace, bearing gifts.

They were a highly advanced, interstellar species who brought amazingly useful and sophisticated technology to the human race. There was, of course, a catch. The Gurus warned of a far more malevolent life form, beings who have hounded the Gurus from sun to sun, planet to planet, across the cosmos. Pundits have taken to calling them the Antagonists - or Antags - and they have already established a beachhead on Mars. In exchange for all they've done for us, the Gurus would now like our help.

Enter Master Sergeant Michael Venn, a veteran Skyrine (a Marine who is specially trained for off-world combat) who is dropped onto the Red Planet with his band of brothers on a mission to take down as many Antags as possible.

But from the moment they're dropped through the thin Martian atmosphere, their mission goes horribly, terribly wrong. From a group of female special ops Skyrines with secret orders, to mysterious humans who've settled on Mars, to the overwhelming and highly-reinforced Antags themselves, Venn and his brothers will face impossible odds just to survive - let alone make it home alive.

Marooned on Mars

Winston Science Fiction: Book 5

Lester del Rey

Determined to be on the first rocket flight form the moon to Mars, stowaway Chuck Svensen endangers the experiment by hiding on board the Eros. His worst fears are realized when he discovers that his presence means less food and fuel for the rest of the crew. And when the Eros crash-lands on the strange Red Planet, Chuck takes it upon himself to bring the ship safely back to the moon. From his first encounter with the menacing rodent-like Marian creatures, to the startling climax in the weird catacombs of a ruined civilization, here is science-fiction at its bizarre best.

Escape to Witch Mountain

Witch Mountain: Book 1

Alexander Key

Tony and Tia have no memory of their past. But because they have supernatural powers, they are sure that they come from another world and that their people still exist somewhere. They begin a desperate search to find their true home, which leads them to the strange and mysterious Witch Mountain. But there are men who want to use their special powers for evil... can Tony and Tia escape?

Yesterday's Kin

Yesterday's Kin

Nancy Kress

Nebula-nominated novella

Aliens have landed in New York. After several months of no explanations, they finally reveal the reason for their arrival.

The news is not good.

Geneticist Marianne Jenner is having a career breakthrough, yet her family is tearing itself apart. Her children Elizabeth and Ryan constantly bicker, agreeing only that an alien conspiracy is in play. Her youngest, Noah, is addicted to a drug that keeps temporarily changing his identity. The Jenner family could not be further apart. But between the four of them, the course of human history will be forever altered.

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

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

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.

A Deepness in the Sky

Zones of Thought: Book 2

Vernor Vinge

After thousands of years searching, humans stand on the verge of first contact with an alien race. Two human groups: the Qeng Ho, a culture of free traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds.

The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens' very doorstep for their strange star to relight and for their planet to reawaken, as it does every tow hundred and fifty years....

Then, following terrible treachery, the Qeng Ho must fight for their freedom and for the lives of the unsuspecting innocents on the planet below, while the aliens themselves play a role unsuspected by the Qeng Ho and Emergents alike.

More than just a great science fiction adventure, A Deepness in the Sky is a universal drama of courage, self-discovery, and the redemptive power of love.