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Hull Zero Three

Greg Bear

A starship hurtles through the emptiness of space. Its destination-unknown. Its purpose-a mystery.

Now, one man wakes up. Ripped from a dream of a new home-a new planet and the woman he was meant to love in his arms-he finds himself wet, naked, and freezing to death. The dark halls are full of monsters but trusting other survivors he meets might be the greater danger.

All he has are questions-- Who is he? Where are they going? What happened to the dream of a new life? What happened to Hull 03?

All will be answered, if he can survive the ship.

HULL ZERO THREE is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride through the darkest reaches of space.

Dreamweaver's Dilemma

Lois McMaster Bujold

Table of Contents:

  • Through Darkest Adolescence with Lois McMaster Bujold, or, Thank You, But I Already Have a Life - (1996) - essay by Lillian Stewart Carl
  • Adventure of the Lady on the Embankment - (1996) - novelette
  • Barter - (1985) - shortstory
  • Garage Sale - (1987) - shortstory
  • The Hole Truth - (1986) - shortstory
  • Dreamweaver's Dilemma - (1996) - novelette
  • The Mountains of Mourning - (1989) - novella
  • My First Novel - (1996) - essay
  • Beyond Genre Barriers - (1996) - essay
  • The Unsung Collaborator - (1996) - essay
  • Allegories of Change: The "New" Biotech in the Eye of Science Fiction - (1989) - essay
  • Biolog - (1996) - essay
  • Awards - (1996) - essay
  • American Bibliography - (1996) - essay
  • Answers - (1996) - essay
  • Miles Naismith Vorkosigan: His Universe and Times - (1996) - essay with Michael Bernardi
  • Timelines (Dreamweaver's Dilemma) - (1996) - interior artwork by Suford Lewis
  • Towards a Genealogy of Lord Miles Vorkosigan and Other Persons of Interest - (1996) - essay by Suford Lewis
  • A Pronunciation Guide to Names and Places - (1996) - essay by Suford Lewis

Captive Universe

Harry Harrison

Twenty-one-year-old Chimal wants desperately to escape his native valley, home to an ancient Aztec civilization sealed off from the outside world. The valley is ruled by priests who enforce despotic laws and perpetuate a life of fear. Chimal escapes and discovers that his world is in fact a vast space ship on a journey from Earth to Proxima Centauri.

Orphans of the Sky

Robert A. Heinlein

Hugh Hoyland must convince a starship civilization that can't remember or conceive of life outside the ship they inhabit that a universe does exist. With the help of the outcast mutants from the upper decks of the ship, Hugh sets out to expose the truth and thus change their civilization forever...

Six Wakes

Mur Lafferty

A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer -- before they kill again.

It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.

At least, Maria Arena had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.

Maria's vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn't the only one to die recently...

Noumenon

Marina J. Lostetter

In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth's solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go?

Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He's discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics, and proposes the creation of a deep-space mission to find out whether the star is a weird natural phenomenon, or something manufactured.

The journey will take eons. In order to maintain the genetic talent of the original crew, humankind's greatest ambition--to explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy--is undertaken by clones. But a clone is not a perfect copy, and each new generation has its own quirks, desires, and neuroses. As the centuries fly by, the society living aboard the nine ships (designated Convoy Seven) changes and evolves, but their mission remains the same: to reach Reggie's mysterious star and explore its origins--and implications.

A mosaic novel of discovery, Noumenon--in a series of vignettes--examines the dedication, adventure, growth, and fear of having your entire world consist of nine ships in the vacuum of space. The men and women, and even the AI, must learn to work and live together in harmony, as their original DNA is continuously replicated and they are born again and again into a thousand new lives. With the stars their home and the unknown their destination, they are on a voyage of many lifetimes--an odyssey to understand what lies beyond the limits of human knowledge and imagination.

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."

The Forever Watch

David Ramirez

All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, the Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer...

As a city planner on the Noah, Hana Dempsey is a gifted psychic, economist, hacker, and bureaucrat, and is considered "mission critical". She is nonreplaceable, important, essential - but after serving her mandatory Breeding Duty, the impregnation and birthing that all women are obligated to undergo - her life loses purpose, as she privately mourns the child she will never be permitted to know.

When policeman Leonard Barrens enlists her and her hacking skills in the unofficial investigation of this mentor's death, Dempsey finds herself increasingly captivated by both the case and Barrens himself. According to Information Security, the missing man has simply "retired" - nothing unusual is cited, such as the mutilated remains Barrens found in the old man's apartment. Unraveling this cover-up reveals a growing list of mutilated victims and suspicious deaths - evidence to suggest a serial killer is operating onboard the ship. As Barrens and Dempsey delve through lost dataspaces and plunge deep into the uninhabited regions of the ship, they discover that the answer could be far worse.

What they do with that answer will determine the fate of all humanity in this thrilling page-turner.

Aurora

Kim Stanley Robinson

AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system.

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our destination.

A new home.

AURORA.

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

.

Rogue Ship

A. E. Van Vogt

Centaurus is the destination of the space ship, The Hope of Man. It has been traveling through space for almost twenty years, and still has nine years of flight remaining before Centaurus will be reached. For many on board the craft, Earth has become a vague memory, while for others it is a mere dot in the vast starry reaches of space. Restlessness is evident everywhere; the people want to return to a place they know is inhabited - not continue to an unknown where life is uncertain. Mutiny seems inevitable. Captain Lesbee (the ship's main officer) knows that mutiny breeds mutiny, but what is more significant is his knowledge of Earth's possible obliteration. The one hope is Centaurus. Now more than ever, there can be no turning back. Order has to be maintained even at the price of human life.

After reaching Centaurus and finding it unsuitable to live on, The Hope of Man heads towards the next destination, the Alta system; because the ship at this time is unable to attain light speed it takes decades to travel there. Upon arriving in the system, after mutiny and treachery, The Hope of Man is now captained by Browne, a descendant of the ship's original First Officer. The Hope of Man starts to orbit Alta III in search of a new planet to settle on, but again they find it already inhabited and come under attack from the occupants. During this time we see a struggle for power by various groups. Control changes quickly from one character to another until the arrival of the ship's owner, Avil Hewitt. The novel concludes with Hewitt in charge and the ship finding many planets to inhabit.

Created and adapted from 3 short stories to form a novel. The 3 short stores used were:

  • Centaurus II 1947
  • Rogue Ship 1950
  • The Expendables 1963

Van Vogt's was first to coin the term fixup for this approach.

The Man in the Tree

Sage Walker

Humanity's last hope of survival lies in space... but will a random death doom the venture?

Our planet is dying and the world's remaining nations have pooled their resources to build a seed ship that will carry colonists on a multi-generational journey to a distant planet.

Everything is set for a bright adventure... and then someone is found hanging dead just weeks before the launch. Fear and paranoia spread as the death begins to look more and more like a murder. The authorities want the case settled quickly and quietly so as not to cause panic... and to prevent a murderer from sabotaging the entire mission.

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.

Brute Orbits

George Zebrowski

High Crimes Call for High Punishment

It is the twenty-first century. Convicts are sentenced to asteroids that move in ever-widening solar orbits, timed to return when their terms run out. But a few ambitious administrators discover that small "errors" in velocity can rid them of selected groups altogether: the hardcore violent, the mentally defective, and especially the political dissidents. Enduring the black vise of interstellar space-time, these human rejects--men and women mixed together--create their own Darwinian societies, struggling to survive.

Back on Earth, a handful of sympathetic and curious scientists have not forgotten these lost citizens. When a technological breakthrough makes it possible to overtake these scattered asteroids, a courageous team sets out to go where none has willingly gone before. What they discover in these "brute orbits" is both provocative and moving--a startling vision of humanity you will never forget.

Across the Universe

Across the Universe: Book 1

Beth Revis

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

The Galactic Whirlpool

Bantam Star Trek Original Novels: Book 10

David Gerrold

On a routine mission in deep space, Captain James Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise discover a lost city, drifting in space, more than 20 years from the nearest Human colony.

Its inhabitants are human, but so isolated that they are unable to grasp the existence of other worlds besides their own. Outsiders must be demons. Earth is a place that exists only in legend, in the tales of their ancestors. But time is running out for this forgotten civilization... their world is being pulled straight towards the center of a galactic whirlpool, two orbiting black holes in space.

Can Kirk convince them to trust him, before their world is destroyed forever?

Bowl of Heaven

Bowl of Heaven: Book 1

Larry Niven
Gregory Benford

In this first collaboration by science fiction masters Larry Niven (Ringworld) and Gregory Benford (Timescape), the limits of wonder are redrawn once again as a human expedition to another star system is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure half-englobing a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths...and it's on a direct path heading for the same system as the human ship.

A landing party is sent to investigate the Bowl, but when the explorers are separated--one group captured by the gigantic structure's alien inhabitants, the other pursued across its strange and dangerous landscape--the mystery of the Bowl's origins and purpose propel the human voyagers toward discoveries that will transform their understanding of their place in the universe.

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.

Cities in Flight

Cities in Flight

James Blish

Long out of print, the science fiction masterpiece by Hugo Award winning writer James Blish

Originally published as four volumes nearly fifty years ago, Cities in Flight brings together the famed "Okie novels" of science fiction master James Blish. Named after the migrant workers of America's Dust Bowl, these novels convey Blish's "history of the future," a brilliant and bleak look at a world where cities roam the Galaxy looking for work and a sustainable way of life.

In the first novel, They Shall Have Stars, man has thoroughly explored the Solar System, yet the dream of going even further seems to have died in all but one man. His battle to realize his dream results in two momentous discoveries -- anti-gravity and the secret of immortality. In A Life for the Stars, it is centuries later and antigravity generations have enabled whole cities to lift off the surface of the earth to become galactic wanderers. In Earthman, Come Home, the nomadic cities revert to barbarism and marauding rogue cities begin to pose a threat to all civilized worlds. An armada of renegade cities attempts to destroy Earth, their ancient birthplace. In the final novel, A Clash of Cymbols (The Triumph of Time), history repeats itself as the cities once again journey back in to space making a terrifying discovery which could destroy the entire Universe. A serious and haunting vision of our world and its limits, Cities in Flight marks the return to print of one of science fiction's masterpieces.

The Legacy of Heorot

Heorot: Book 1

Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle
Steven Barnes

Bestselling science-fiction superstars Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle combine their talents with those of rising young author Steven Barnes in an extraordinary adventure of humankind's first outpost in the farthest reaches of space.

Inside Out

Insider: Book 1

Maria V. Snyder

Keep Your Head Down.

Don't Get Noticed.

Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck I risk is my own... until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

Dust

Jacob's Ladder: Book 1

Elizabeth Bear

On a broken ship orbiting a doomed sun, dwellers have grown complacent with their aging metal world. But when a serving girl frees a captive noblewoman, the old order is about to change....

Ariane, Princess of the House of Rule, was known to be fiercely cold-blooded. But severing an angel’s wings on the battlefield-even after she had surrendered-proved her completely without honor. Captive, the angel Perceval waits for Ariane not only to finish her off-but to devour her very memories and mind. Surely her gruesome death will cause war between the houses-exactly as Ariane desires. But Ariane’s plan may yet be opposed, for Perceval at once recognizes the young servant charged with her care.

Rien is the lost child: her sister. Soon they will escape, hoping to stop the impending war and save both their houses. But it is a perilous journey through the crumbling hulk of a dying ship, and they do not pass unnoticed. Because at the hub of their turning world waits Jacob Dust, all that remains of God, following the vapor wisp of the angel. And he knows they will meet very soon.

Chill

Jacob's Ladder: Book 2

Elizabeth Bear

Sometimes the greatest sin is survival. The generation ship Jacob’s Ladder has barely survived cataclysms from without and within. Now, riding the shock wave of a nova blast toward an uncertain destiny, the damaged ship-the only world its inhabitants have ever known-remains a war zone. Even as Perceval, the new captain, struggles to come to terms with the traumas of her recent past, the remnants of rebellion aboard the ship still threaten the crew’s survival.

Yet as Perceval’s relatives Tristen and Benedick play a deadly game of cat and mouse in pursuit of a traitor through a vast ship that is renewing itself in strange and dangerous ways, an even more insidious threat is building in a place no one ever thought to look. And this implacable enemy could change the face of the ship forever if a ragtag band of heroes cannot stop it.

Grail

Jacob's Ladder: Book 3

Elizabeth Bear

Rife with intrigue and betrayal, heroism and sacrifice, Grail brings Elizabeth Bear’s brilliant space opera to a triumphant conclusion.

At last the generation ship Jacob’s Ladder has arrived at its destination: the planet they have come to call Grail. But this habitable jewel just happens to be populated already: by humans who call their home Fortune. And they are wary of sharing Fortune-especially with people who have genetically engineered themselves to such an extent that it is a matter of debate whether they are even human anymore. To make matters worse, a shocking murder aboard the Jacob’s Ladder has alerted Captain Perceval and the angel Nova that formidable enemies remain hidden somewhere among the crew.

On Grail-or Fortune, rather-Premier Danilaw views the approach of the Jacob’s Ladder with dread. Behind the diplomatic niceties of first-contact protocol, he knows that the deadly game being played is likely to erupt into full-blown war-even civil war. For as he strives to chart a peaceful and prosperous path forward for his people, internal threats emerge to take control by any means necessary.

Marrow

Marrow: Book 1

Robert Reed

The Ship has traveled the universe for longer than any of the near-immortal crew can recall, its true purpose and origins unknown. It is larger than many planets, housing thousands of alien races and just as many secrets.

Now one of those secrets has been discovered: at the center of the Ship is . . . a planet. Marrow. But when a team of the Ship's best and brightest are sent down to investigate, will they return with the origins of the Ship--or will they bring doom to everyone on board?

Non-Stop

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 7

Brian W. Aldiss

Curiosity was discouraged in the Greene tribe. Its members lived out their lives in cramped Quarters, hacking away at the encroaching ponics. As to where they were - that was forgotten.

Roy Complain decides to find out. With the renegade priest Marapper, he moves into unmapped territory, where they make a series of discoveries which turn their universe upside-down...

Non-Stop is the classic SF novel of discovery and exploration; a brilliant evocation of a familiar setting seen through the eyes of a primitive.

Star Born

Pax / Astra: Book 2

Andre Norton

When Raf Kurbi's Terran spaceship burst into unexplored skies of the far planet Astra and was immediately made welcome by the natives of a once-mighty metropolis, Kurbal was unaware of three vital things:

One was that Astra already harbored an Earth colony—descended from refugees from the worl of the previous century.

Two was that these men and women were facing the greatest danger of their existence from a new outburst of inhuman fiends who had once tyrannized Astra.

Three was that the natives who were buying Kurbi's science know-how were those very fiends—and their intentions were implacably deadly for all humans, whether Earth born or STAR BORN.

On the Steel Breeze

Poseidon's Children: Book 2

Alastair Reynolds

Chiku Yellow is earthbound: living a peaceful life on a changing world as humanity explores a thousand new ways to experience life.

Chiku Red is space-bound: blasted into deep space to investigate Eunice Akinya's last journey, and maybe discover the final secrets of space travel.

Chiku Green is planet-bound: travelling thousands of lightyears to the planet Crucible. A new home for humankind; it's a habitable planet hosting a fascinating alien labyrinth.

All three are Chiku Akinya.

All three are pivotal to our future in space.

All three are in danger...

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.

Glow

Sky Chasers: Book 1

Amy Kathleen Ryan

If a violent battle destroyed the only world you've ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there's no turning back.

The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend, Kieran, will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he's the best choice. Still, there's a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

Suddenly, Waverly's dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable: a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. Its leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated and then find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.

Spark

Sky Chasers: Book 2

Amy Kathleen Ryan

Waverly, Kieran, and Seth are in a race against time - and with the future of humanity hanging in the balance, there’s no room for mistakes.…

After a desperate escape from the enemy ship, Waverly has finally made it back to the Empyrean. The memory of home has been keeping her alive for the past months…but home is nothing like she left it. Forced to leave their captive parents behind on the New Horizon, she’s returned only to find that Kieran has become a strict leader and turned the crew against Seth. What happened to the Kieran she thought she knew?

Now Waverly’s not sure whom she can trust. And the one person she wants to believe in is darkly brilliant Seth, the ship’s supposed enemy. Waverly knows that the situation will only get worse until they can rescue their parents - but how?

Before they have time to make a plan, an explosion rocks the Empyrean, and Seth and Waverly are targeted as the prime suspects. Can they find the true culprit before Kieran locks them away…or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? Now more than ever, every step could bring them closer to a new beginning - or a sudden end.

Nightside the Long Sun

The Book of the Long Sun: Book 1

Gene Wolfe

The Whorl, a giant starship world whose origins are shrouded in legend, is ruled by strange gods and peopled by a human race changed by time.

Lake of the Long Sun

The Book of the Long Sun: Book 2

Gene Wolfe

When the gods of the Whorl speak to him about the future, clergyman Patera Silk begins a quest to save his church and his people, the citizens of a giant spaceship on a generations-old voyage to a forgotten destiny.

Calde of the Long Sun

The Book of the Long Sun: Book 3

Gene Wolfe

When young augur Patera Silk emerges from his exploration of the underground passages of the Whorl, it is to find Viron engulfed in revolutionary violence - and himself hailed as leader of the uprising. As war threatens Silk's world, the Long Sun itself seems to undergo ominous changes.

Exodus From the Long Sun

The Book of the Long Sun: Book 4

Gene Wolfe

In this final volume of The Book of the Long Sun series, Patera Silk, a young cleric on The Whorl starship, becomes ruler of the city of Viron after going on a mission to save the city's churches.

Tau Ceti

The Stellar Guild: Book 1

Kevin J. Anderson
Steven Savile

"Tortoise and Hare", a novella by Kevin J Anderson, tells the story of Jorie Taylor, who has lived her whole life on the generation ship Beacon. Fleeing an Earth tearing itself apart from its exhaustive demand for resources, the Beacon is finally approaching Sarbras, the planet circling Tau Ceti which they hope to make humanity's new home.

But Earth has recovered from its near-death experience, and is now under the control of a ruthless dictator whose sights are set on Tau Ceti as well. President Jurudu knows how to get what he wants - and he wants Sarbras. He sends the military ship Conquistador, which uses newly-developed FTL (faster-than-light) technology, to ensure that he gets it.

In the sequel novelette "Grasshopper and Ants" by Steven Savile, Jorie is now the eleventh captain of the generation ship Beacon, which has at last reached its destination, the colony planet Sarbras. But one by one, the colonists come down with a mysterious, undiagnosible illness. And the Conquistador's arrival is imminent.

Tau Ceti won the 2013 "Lifeboat to the Stars" Award as the best work of science fiction contributing to an understanding of the benefits, means, and difficulties of interstellar travel.

Raft

The Xeelee Sequence: Book 1

Stephen Baxter

Stephen Baxter's highly acclaimed first novel and the beginning of his stunning Xeelee Sequence. A spaceship from Earth accidentally crossed through a hole in space-time to a universe where the force of gravity is one billion times as strong as the gravity we know. Somehow the crew survived, aided by the fact that they emerged into a cloud of gas surrounding a black hole, which provided a breathable atmosphere. Five hundred years later, their descendants still struggle for existence, divided into two main groups. The Miners live on the Belt, a ramshackle ring of dwellings orbiting the core of a dead star, which they excavate for raw materials. These can be traded for food from the Raft, a structure built from the wreckage of the ship, on which a small group of scientists preserve the ancient knowledge which makes survival possible. Rees is a Miner whose curiosity about his world makes him stow away on a flying tree -- just one of the many strange local lifeforms -- carrying trade between the Belt and the Raft.

Accepted as an apprentice scientist, he learns that their world is dying, and that in order to live these survivors must contemplate a journey even more perilous and fantastic than that of their ancestors.