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The Moment of Eclipse

Brian W. Aldiss

The fourteen stories in this mind-blowing collection range from outrageous satire to evocative fantasy, revealing the future with an alarming intensity.

Table of Contents:

  • Poem at a Lunar Eclipse - poem by Thomas Hardy
  • The Moment of Eclipse - (1969)
  • The Day We Embarked for Cythera... - (1970)
  • Orgy of the Living and the Dying - (1970)
  • Super-Toys Last All Summer Long - (1969)
  • The Village Swindler - (1968)
  • Down the Up Escalation - (1967)
  • That Uncomfortable Pause Between Life and Art... - (1969)
  • Confluence - (1967)
  • Heresies of the Huge God - (1966)
  • The Circulation of the Blood... - (1966)
  • ...And the Stagnation of the Heart - (1968)
  • The Worm That Flies - (1968)
  • Working in the Spaceship Yards - (1969)
  • Swastika! - (1970)

The Boat of a Million Years

Poul Anderson

Others have written SF on the theme of immortality, but in The Boat of a Million Years, Poul Anderson made it his own. Early in human history, certain individuals were born who live on, unaging, undying, through the centuries and millenia. We follow them through over 2000 years, up to our time and beyond-to the promise of utopia, and to the challenge of the stars.

A milestone in modern science fiction, a New York Times Notable Book on its first publication in 1989, this is one of a great writer's finest works.

Vitals

Greg Bear

Blending fierce, fast plots with vivid characters and mind-bending ideas, Greg Bear has mastered a powerful alchemy of suspense, science, and action in his gripping thrillers. Darwin's Radio was hailed across the country as one of the best books of the year. His newest novel, Vitals, begins with a harrowing descent to a netherworld at the very bottom of the sea - and then explodes to the surface in sheer terror.

Hal Cousins is one of a handful of scientists nearing the most sought after discovery in human history: the key to short-circuiting the aging process. Fueled by a wealth of research, an overdose of self-confidence, and the money of influential patrons to whom he makes outrageous promises, Hal experiments with organisms living in the hot thermal plumes in the ocean depths. But as he journeys beneath the sea, his other world is falling apart.

Across the country, scientists are being inexplicably murdered - including Hal's identical twin brother, who is also working to unlock the key to immortality. Hal himself barely eludes a cold-blooded attack at sea, and when he returns home to Seattle, he finds himself walking into an eerie realm where voices speak to him from the dead... where a once-brilliant historian turned crackpot is leading him on a deadly game of hide-and-seek... and where the beautiful, rich widow of his twin is more than willing to pick up the pieces of Hal's life - and take him places he's never been before.

Suddenly Hal is trapped inside an ever-twisting maze of shocking revelations. For he is not the first person to come close to ending aging forever - and those who came before him will stop at nothing to keep the secret to themselves. Now every person on earth is at risk of being made an unsuspecting player in one man's spectacular and horrifying master plan.

From the bottom of Russia's Lake Baikal to a billionaire's bionic house built into the cliffs of the Washington seashore, from the darkest days of World War II and the reign of Josef Stalin to the capitalist free-for-all that is the United States, Vitals tells an astounding tale of the most unimaginable scientific secret of all - exposed by the quest for immortality itself...

The Computer Connection

Alfred Bester

Alfred Bester's first science fiction novel since The Stars My Destination was a major event. A fast-moving adventure story set in Earth's future. A band of immortals - as charming a bunch of eccentrics as you'll ever come across - recruit a new member, the brilliant Cherokee physicist Sequoya Guess. Dr. Guess, with group's help, gain control of Extro, the supercomputer that controls all mechanical activity on Earth. They plan to rid Earth of political repression and to further Guess's researches - which may lead to a great leap in human evolution to produce a race of supermen. But Extro takes over Guess instead and turns malevolent. The task of the merry band suddenly becomes a fight in deadly earnest for the future of Earth.

Sequoya Guess, whom they love, must be killed. And how do you kill an immortal?

Transhuman

Ben Bova

Six-time Hugo Award-winner Ben Bova presents Transhuman.

Luke Abramson, a brilliant cellular biologist who is battling lung cancer, has one joy in life, his ten-year-old granddaughter, Angela. When he learns that Angela has an inoperable brain tumor and is given less than six months to live, Abramson wants to try a new enzyme, Mortality Factor 4 (MORF4), that he believes will kill Angela's tumor.

However, the hospital bureaucracy won't let him do it because MORF4 has not yet been approved by the FDA. Knowing that Angela will die before he can get approval of the treatment, Abramson abducts Angela from the hospital with plans to take her to a private research laboratory in Oregon.

Luke realizes he's too old and decrepit to flee across the country with his sick granddaughter, chased by the FBI. So he injects himself with a genetic factor that will stimulate his body's production of telomerase, an enzyme that has successfully reversed aging in animal tests.

As the chase weaves across the country from one research facility to another, Luke begins to grow physically younger, stronger. He looks and feels the way he did thirty or forty years ago. Yet his lung cancer is not abating; if anything the tumors are growing faster.

And Angela is dying.

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.

Fledgling

Octavia E. Butler

Fledgling, Octavia Butler's first new novel in seven years, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly unhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted-and still wants-to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself. Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of "otherness" and questions what it means to be truly human.

Octavia E. Butler is the author of 11 novels, including Kindred, Dawn, and Parable of the Sower. Recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award, and numerous other literary awards, she has been acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations that range from the distant past to the far future.

The City and the Stars

Arthur C. Clarke

Men had built cities before, but never such a city as Diaspar; for millennia its protective dome shutout the creeping decay and danger of the world outside. Once, it held powers that rules the stars. But then, as legend had it, The invaders came, driving humanity into this last refuge. It takes one man, A Unique to break through Diaspar's stifling inertia, to smash the legend and discover the true nature of the Invaders.

This is a revised and expanded version of Against the Fall of Night.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Cory Doctorow

Jules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies - and to realize his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World.

Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long-ago twentieth century. Now in the care of a network of volunteer "ad-hocs" who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest high-tech touches.

Now, though, it seems the "ad hocs" are under attack. A new group has taken over the Hall of the Presidents and is replacing its venerable audioanimatronics with new, immersive direct-to-brain interfaces that give guests the illusion of being Washington, Lincoln, and all the others. For Jules, this is an attack on the artistic purity of Disney World itself.

Worse: it appears this new group has had Jules killed. This upsets him. (It's only his fourth death and revival, after all.) Now it's war: war for the soul of the Magic Kingdom, a war of ever-shifting reputations, technical wizardry, and entirely unpredictable outcomes.

Bursting with cutting-edge speculation and human insight, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom reads like Neal Stephenson meets Nick Hornby: a coming-of-age romantic comedy and a kick-butt cybernetic tour de force.

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

Permutation City

Greg Egan

The story of a man with a vision - immortality : for those who can afford it is found in cyberspace. Permutation city is the tale of a man with a vision - how to create immortality - and how that vision becomes something way beyond his control. Encompassing the lives and struggles of an artificial life junkie desperate to save her dying mother, a billionaire banker scarred by a terrible crime, the lovers for whom, in their timeless virtual world, love is not enough - and much more - Permutation city is filled with the sense of wonder.

The Calcutta Chromosome

Amitav Ghosh

From Victorian lndia to near-future New York, The Calcutta Chromosome takes readers on a wondrous journey through time as a computer programmer trapped in a mind-numbing job hits upon a curious item that will forever change his life. When Antar discovers the battered I.D. card of a long-lost acquaintance, he is suddenly drawn into a spellbinding adventure across centuries and around the globe, into the strange life of L. Murugan, a man obsessed with the medical history of malaria, and into a magnificently complex world where conspiracy hangs in the air like mosquitoes on a summer night.

The Phoenix Descent

Chuck Grossart

The year is 2025. Astronaut Caitlyn "Sif" Wagner and her team emerge from stasis to discover that their Mars mission has gone terribly awry--the crew has run off course in space and, they suspect, in time as well. Their damaged ship returns to an Earth reduced to overgrown cities and blasted terrain. Yet humans have somehow survived, living in caves, foraging at night, returned to a tribal existence. Sif meets Litsa, the fiercest warrior in her tribe, and learns a horrific truth: the planet is overrun with the Riy, a swarm of spore-releasing revenants intent only on spreading their infection.

But even as Sif and Litsa unite in combat, they soon realize that the battle against the Riy is only one stage on which they must fight the war for humanity's survival.

The Immortals

James E. Gunn

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF IMMORTALITY?

For nomad Marshall Cartwright, the price is knowing that he will never grow old. That he will never contract a disease, an infection, or even a cold. That because he will never die, he must surrender the right to live.

For Dr. Russell Pearce, the price is eternal suspicion. He appreciates what synthesizing the elixir vitae from the Immortal's genetic makeup could mean for humankind. He also fears what will happen should Cartwright's miraculous blood fall into the wrong hands.

For the wealthy and powerful, no price is too great. Immortality is now a fact rather than a dream. But the only way to achieve it is to own it exclusively. And that means hunting down and caging the elusive Cartwright, or one of his offspring.

The Immortals, James Gunn's masterpiece about a human fountain of youth, collects the author's classic short stories that ran in elite science-fiction magazines throughout the 1950s. All-new material accompanies this updated edition, including an introduction from renowned science-fiction writer Greg Bear, a preface from Gunn himself, and "Elixir," Gunn's new short story that introduced Dr. Pearce to another Immortal in the May 2004 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Factmagazine.

Buying Time

Joe Haldeman

Also published as The Long Habit of Living.

Late in the 21st century, the rich have the option of rejuvenating their bodies once every decade, as long as they can come up with the price--everything they own, minimum 1 million. This has made the Stileman Foundation, which provides the medical makeover, the richest and most powerful corporation in the world, and has also created an elite expert in making and sheltering fortunes. One of these "immortals," Dallas Barr, has been invited to join a super-elite group calling itself the "Steering Committee," but finds instead that he has been set up for murder. Fleeing with his lover, Maria Marconi, an immortal who has decided to forgo further rejuvenation and therefore will die in a few years, Dallas sets himself on the trail of his would-be assassins, and of the secret someone wishes to keep him from discovering.

Old Twentieth

Joe Haldeman

Passengers aboard the starship "Aspera" on a thousand-year journey to Beta Hydrii, spend their time visiting 20th-century Earth within the virtual reality chamber. When people inside the chamber start to die, engineer Jacob Brewer must face a sentient machine obsessed with humanity.

All You Zombies –: Five Classic Stories by Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein

This collection from Grand Master Robert A. Heinlein includes five short stories sure to please science fiction fans everywhere.

All You Zombies -: A young man walks into a bar and meets a time-traveling bartender whose origins - and relation to the young man - are more convoluted and stranger than the snake-swallowing-his-tail ring on the barkeep's finger. This is considered one of the most influential and thought-provoking short stories ever to tackle the mind-bending nature and paradoxes of time travel.
this story can be read online here

The Man Who Traveled in Elephants: In one of both Heinlein and Spider Robinson's all-time favorite stories, we join a former traveling salesman on a bus. The man and his wife had once traveled with a host of imaginary animals searching for places to sell elephants.
this story can be read online here

They: This story takes listeners inside a mental institution, where a man suffering from delusions has been confined.
this story can be read online here

Our Fair City: A parking attendant named Pappy, a sentient whirlwind named Kitten, and a crusading reporter named Pete aim to take down their corrupt city government.
this story can be read online here

- And He Built a Crooked House -: A clever architect designs a house in the shape of the shadow of a tesseract, but it collapses through the fourth dimension when an earthquake shakes it into a more stable form.
this story can be read online here

The title story was adapted into the theatrical film Predestination in 2014.

Time Enough for Love

Robert A. Heinlein

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

Gray Matters

William Hjortsberg

At twelve years old, Skeets Kalbfleischer is returning from a ski vacation when a lightning strike knocks his plane out of the sky, killing everyone else on board. Although his body is destroyed, a radical procedure preserves Skeets's brain, which spends twenty-five years in a fish tank before mankind realizes the implications of his second life. A key to immortality has been found.

Four centuries later, it has become commonplace for the minds of the dead to be preserved. While warehoused in a massive storage facility tended by robots, the brains pass time watching old film clips, learning about bees, and meditating their way to a higher state of being. But for the facility's overseers, Skeets presents a problem. A twelve-year-old for all eternity, their most famous resident still wants to be a cowboy. To remedy this embarrassment, his handlers concoct a solution that will push humanity even farther past nature's wildest dreams.

Midas

Wolfgang Jeschke

A woman is shot to death, the witness escaping in a car. Much later, she is seen alive by the witness, her reappearance a mystery.

On the Human Plan

Jay Lake

This short story originally appeared in Lone Star Stories, #31 (2009). It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2010, edited by Rich Horton, and The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection (2010), edited by Gardner Dozois. The story is included in the collection The Sky That Wraps (2010).

Read the full story for free here.

Recrossing the Styx

Ian R. MacLeod

Recrossing the Styx is the short story of Frank Onions, tour guide on the futuristic cruise ship Glorious Nomad, who meets Dottie Hastings, the deliciously seductive woman of his dreams. Dottie is unhappily married to a zombie-like, resurrected trillionaire named Warren.

The question is: What lengths will Frank and Dottie go to to be together?

This story story originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July-August 2010. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Eighth Annual Collection (2011) and is included in the collection Frost on Glass (2015).

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 Bone Clocks

David Mitchell

Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as "the radio people," Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics--and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly's life, affecting all the people Holly loves--even the ones who are not yet born.

A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list--all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories

Isaac Asimov

Table of Contents:

  • The Prime of Life - (1966)
  • Feminine Intuition - (1969)
  • Waterclap - (1970)
  • That Thou Art Mindful of Him - (1974)
  • Stranger in Paradise - (1974)
  • The Life and Times of Multivac - (1975)
  • The Winnowing - (1976)
  • The Bicentennial Man - (1976)
  • Marching In - (1976)
  • Old-Fashioned - (1976)
  • The Tercentenary Incident - (1976)
  • Birth of a Notion - (1976)

The Glamour

Christopher Priest

Cameraman Richard Grey's memory has blanked out the few weeks before he was injured in a car bomb explosion. When he is visited by a girl who seems to have been his lover, his attempts to recall the forgotten period produce an odyssey through France and conflicting accounts of what happened. When Susan Kewley speaks to him of that time, he finds himself glimpsing a terrible twilight world - the world of "the glamour".

Mindscan

Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer's Hominids, the first volume of his bestselling Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, won the 2003 Hugo Award, and its sequel, Humans, was a 2004 Hugo nominee. Now he's back with a pulse-pounding, mind-expanding standalone novel, rich with his signature philosophical and ethical speculations, all grounded in cutting-edge science.

Jake Sullivan has cheated death: he's discarded his doomed biological body and copied his consciousness into an android form. The new Jake soon finds love, something that eluded him when he was encased in flesh: he falls for the android version of Karen, a woman rediscovering all the joys of life now that she's no longer constrained by a worn-out body either.

But suddenly Karen's son sues her, claiming that by uploading into an immortal body, she has done him out of his inheritance. Even worse, the original version of Jake, consigned to die on the far side of the moon, has taken hostages there, demanding the return of his rights of personhood. In the courtroom and on the lunar surface, the future of uploaded humanity hangs in the balance. Mindscan is vintage Sawyer -- a feast for the mind and the heart.

Immortality, Inc.

Robert Sheckley

2110 --- For a price, the Hereafter Corporation guaranteed life afer death --- but they couldn't promise what it would be like...

Capricorn Games

Robert Silverberg

A woman attends a very strange party that includes a billionaire, a mind reader, a Byzantine Duke, and a man who has lived 1000 years, from whom she tries to find the secret to a long life.

Master of Life and Death

Robert Silverberg

Originally appeared in Ace Double D-237 in 1957.

Global overcrowding, a new immortality serum and an unfriendly alien ambassador are only a few of the problems confronting Roy Walton, government's new Master of Life and Death in Robert Silverberg's early and accomplished novel. Praised by a distinguished critic, Anthony Boucher, for "its complete clarity and narrative drive" the novel retains its power today.

Sailing to Byzantium

Robert Silverberg

Their hotel was beautifully situated, high on the northern slope of the huge artificial mound known as the paneium that was sacred to the goat-footed god. From here they had a total view of the city: the wide noble boulevards, the soaring obelisks and monuments, the palace of Hadrian just below the hill, the stately and awesome Library, the temple of Poseidon, the teeming marketplace, the royal lodge that Mark Antony had built after his defeat at Actium. And of course the Lighthouse, the wondrous many-windowed Lighthouse, the seventh wonder of the world, that immense pile of marble and limestone rising in majesty at the end of its mile-long causeway. Black smoke from the beacon-fire ar its summit curled lazily into the sky. The city was awakening.

It looked like the past, on Earth. But times had changed...and changed...and changed.

There were ghosts and chimeras and phastasies everywhere about. A burly thick-thighed swordsman appeared on the porch of the temple of Poseidon holding a Gorgon's severed head and waved it in a wide arc, grinning broadly. In the street below the hotel gate, three small pink sphinxes, no bigger than housecats, stretched and yawned and began to prowl the curbside. A larger one, lion-sized, watched warily from an alleyway: their mother, surely. Even at this distance he could hear her loud purring....

The Book of Skulls

Robert Silverberg

Seeking the immortality promised in an ancient manuscript, The Book of Skulls, four friends, college roommates, go on a spring break trip to Arizona: Eli, the scholar, who found and translated the book; Timothy, scion of an American dynasty, born and bred to lead; Ned, poet and cynic; and Oliver, the brilliant farm boy obsessed with death.

Somewhere in the desert lies the House of Skulls, where a mystic brotherhood guards the secret of eternal life. There, the four aspirants will present themselves–and a horrific price will be demanded.

For immortality requires sacrifice. Two victims to balance two survivors. One by suicide, one by murder.

Now, beneath the gaze of grinning skulls, the terror begins....

To Live Again

Robert Silverberg

First published in 1969, this novel by one of the most prolific authors in the history of science fiction explores an idea that is truly "far out." Imagine a future world where death is not exactly the end. You can record everything about you that ever made you a distinct human being and then be implanted in the mind of someone living.

Paul Kaufmann had been the richest and most powerful man on Earth. Imagine having his knowledge and insights integrated with your own persona. The tycoon's mind becomes the prize in a deadly game for those still living who want more out of life than they could ever achieve on their own.

The great man's "soul" is stored in the Scheffing Institute, waiting for the time when someone hungry enough gives him back his appetite. Silverberg extrapolates as only he can from this intriguing premise. "To Live Again" is about a future where the dead are slaves to the living--until at last someone leads a rebellion.

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.

Bug Jack Barron

Norman Spinrad

TV megastar Jack Barron hosts the wildly popular Bug Jack Barron, a phone-in show that listens to public gripes and puts politicians and bosses on the spot--live. Naturally Barron pulls his punches for safety's sake... until he tangles with paranoid billionaire Benedict Howards, peddler of cryonic immortality, and walks into a minefield of deadly cover-ups. Violence erupts. Howards believes he can buy anyone, even Barron's estranged wife, even Barron. Barron doesn't mind selling out if the coin is immortality.

Mortimer Gray's 'History of Death'

Brian Stableford

Nebula and Sturgeon Award nominated novella. It originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, April 1995. The story can also be found in the Gardner Dozois anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirteenth Annual Collection (1996), Supermen (2002) and Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction (2005), as well as Immortals (1998), edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois.

Fall, or Dodge in Hell

Neal Stephenson

In his youth, Richard "Dodge" Forthrast founded Corporation 9592, a gaming company that made him a multibillionaire. Now in his middle years, Dodge appreciates his comfortable, unencumbered life, managing his myriad business interests, and spending time with his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia.

One beautiful autumn day, while he undergoes a routine medical procedure, something goes irrevocably wrong. Dodge is pronounced brain dead and put on life support, leaving his stunned family and close friends with difficult decisions. Long ago, when a much younger Dodge drew up his will, he directed that his body be given to a cryonics company now owned by enigmatic tech entrepreneur Elmo Shepherd. Legally bound to follow the directive despite their misgivings, Dodge's family has his brain scanned and its data structures uploaded and stored in the cloud, until it can eventually be revived.

In the coming years, technology allows Dodge's brain to be turned back on. It is an achievement that is nothing less than the disruption of death itself. An eternal afterlife--the Bitworld--is created, in which humans continue to exist as digital souls.

But this brave new immortal world is not the Utopia it might first seem.

Holy Fire

Bruce Sterling

The 21st century is coming to a close, and the medical industrial complex dominates the world economy. It is a world of synthetic memory drugs, benevolent government surveillance, underground anarchists, and talking canine companions. Power is in the hands of conservative senior citizens who have watched their health and capital investments with equal care, gaining access to the latest advancements in life-extension technology. Meanwhile, the young live on the fringes of society, ekeing out a meagre survival on free, government-issued rations and a black market in stolen technological gadgetry from an earlier, less sophisticated age.

Mia Ziemann is a 94-year-old medical economist who enjoys all the benefits of her position. But a deathbed visit with a long-ago ex-lover and a chance meeting with a young bohemian dress-designer brings Mia to an awful revelation. She has lived her life with such caution that it has been totally bereft of pleasure and adventure. She has one chance to do it all over. But first she must submit herself to a radical--and painful--experimental procedure which promises to make her young again. The procedure is not without risk and her second chance at life will not come without a price. But first she will have to escape her team of medical keepers.

Hitching a ride on a plane to Europe, Mia sets out on a wild intercontinental quest in search of spiritual gratification, erotic revelation, and the thing she missed most of all: the holy fire of the creative experience. She joins a group of outlaw anarchists whose leader may be the man of her dreams... or her undoing. Worst of all, Mia will have to undergo one last radical procedure that could cost her a second life.

The Organ Bank Farm

John Boyd

Like the grisly organ bank in Paradise Valley where mental incompetents are reared for deposits, this exercise in horrific titillation is a charnel house of oddments. Dr. James Galway, experimenting in conditioning autistic children, joins under duress the isolated Valley of Dr. Robert English, a whiz at putting asunder. Skull splitting operations, sacred and lustily profane sex, deaths and resurrections and you will need a head transplant to follow. (Kirkus)

To Live Forever

Jack Vance

In the far-future city of Clarges, you can live forever – if you can make the grade. In Clarges, everyone competes for the ultimate prize: immortality. Gavin Waylock had that prize – the live-forever rank of Amaranth, but lost it when he was accused of murder. Now, after seven years in hiding he begins again the struggle to reach the top. But a strong-willed woman,The Jacynth Martin, is determined to see him fail – and failure means death.

The Spatterlight Press e-book is available under the alternate title Clarges.

Fireborn

Robert Charles Wilson

This short story originally appeared in the audio only anthology Rip-Off! (2012), edited by Gardner Dozois. It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2013, edited by Rich Horton, The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection (2013), edited by Gardner Dozois, and Mash Up (2016), also edited by Dozois.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

Orlando: A Biography

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf's Orlando 'The longest and most charming love letter in literature', playfully constructs the figure of Orlando as the fictional embodiment of Woolf's close friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West. Spanning three centuries, the novel opens as Orlando, a young nobleman in Elizabeth's England, awaits a visit from the Queen and traces his experience with first love as England under James I lies locked in the embrace of the Great Frost. At the midpoint of the novel, Orlando, now an ambassador in Costantinople, awakes to find that he is a woman, and the novel indulges in farce and irony to consider the roles of women in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the novel ends in 1928, a year consonant with full suffrage for women. Orlando, now a wife and mother, stands poised at the brink of a future that holds new hope and promise for women.

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.

This Immortal

Roger Zelazny

Conrad Nomikos has a long, rich personal history that he'd rather not talk about and a job he'd rather not do. Escorting an alien grandee on a tour around a shattered post-nuclear war Earth is not something he relishes, especially when he becomes central to an intrigue determining Earth's future.

Neverness

David Zindell

The universe of Neverness is intriguingly complex. filled with extraordinary beings. There are the Alaloi, who have chosen to return to the Neanderthal state ... the Order of Pilots which reworks the laws of time and physics to catapult its members through dense regions of 'thickspace' ... the Solid State Entity, a vast brain made up of moon-sized biocomputers... and the leldra, a legendary race of aliens that seeded the galaxy aeons ago with its DNA and so began the evolutionary cycle.

Against this rich backdrop unfolds the story of young, headstrong Mallory Ringess, a novitiate of the Order of Pilots. Against all odds he has penetrated the Solid State Entity - and made a stunning discovery. A discovery that could unlock the secret of immortality hidden among the Alaloi....

Lord of the Trees / The Mad Goblin

Philip José Farmer

Lord of the Trees

"Having lived long enough with the charming fairy tale created by my biographer, I feel the time has come for the truth to be known. I propose to tell all; of the origins of The Nine, the elixir that gives us nearly eternal youth and superhuman strength, the struggles between us that set the world atremble."

The follow-up to Jose Farmer's shocking and controversial A Feast Unknown.

The Mad Goblin

They were known simply as the Nine - grim and ancient rulers who thirty thousand years ago had discovered the key to eternal life and ever since had secretly held the world in thrall.

Once, Doc Caliban had been their servant and had shared their secrets. Now, appalled by their tyranny, he has turned against them, daring to challenge their centuries-old supremacy. Together with two henchmen whose superhuman skills match his own, Caliban sets out on the trail of the deadliest of the Nine: the mad goblin Iwaldi, the very incarnation of evil...

The Man Who Lived Forever / The Mars Monopoly

Anna Hunger
R. DeWitt Miller
Jerry Sohl

The Man Who Lived Forever

His first thousand years were the easiest.

The Mars Monopoly

Find your fortune in the sky - by permission of the Mars monopoly.

Master of Life and Death / The Secret Visitors

Robert Silverberg
James White

Master of Life and Death

Global overcrowding, a new immortality serum and an unfriendly alien ambassador are only a few of the problems confronting Roy Walton, government's new Master of Life and Death in Robert Silverberg's early and accomplished novel. Praised by a distinguished critic, Anthony Boucher, for "its complete clarity and narrative drive" the novel retains its power today.

The Secret Visitors

When the World Security Organization asked Doctor Lockhart to treat their mysterious prisoner, they hadn't known that the dying old man would reply to their questions in a totally unknown language. They had expected the stranger to reveal something about the world war which seemed imminent. But they had been thinking in terms of foreign spies - not alien beings!

Now suddenly they found themselves confronted with a Gargantuan task. They had to find a way to another world, a means of communicating with creatures they could barely imagine.

They had to stop a war which was originating in the farthest stars - or else surrender the Earth unconditionally to THE SECRET VISITORS.

Lord of Light

Roger Zelazny

Earth is long since dead. On a colony planet, a band of men has gained control of technology, made themselves immortal, and now rules their world as the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Only one dares oppose them: he who was once Siddhartha and is now Mahasamatman. Binder of Demons. Lord of Light.

Bitter Angels

Sarah Zettel

An Imploding Star System.

A Murdered Galactic Spy.

A Woman Seeking the Truth—and Finding the Unbelievable...

The Erasmus System is a sprawling realm of slavery, smugglers, spies—and constant, creeping decrepitude. Here everyone who is not part of the ruling Four Families is a slave of one kind or another. But the Guardians, a special-forces branch inside the United World Government for Earth, have deemed Erasmus a “hot spot.” Somehow, it is believed, this failing colony intends to launch a war upon the solar system.

Ex-Field Commander Terese Drajeske, now a mother of three, has been called back to active duty and sent to Erasmus, ostensibly to investigate the murder of her colleague—and friend—Bianca Fayette. At first blush, the death defies explanation: Bianca was immortal. But beneath that single murder lies a twisted foundation of deceptions. Suddenly Terese is plunged into a vortex of shattered lives, endemic deceit, and one dreadful secret. In this society without hope, someone has put into motion a plan that will cast humanity into chaos. And Terese, who has given up her family and her sanity to prevent war, may be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice....

Path of the Fury

Alicia DeVries: Book 1

David Weber

VENGEANCE IS A DISH BEST SERVED HOT

Imperial Intelligence couldn't find them, the Imperial Fleet couldn't catch them, and local defenses couldn't stop them. It seemed the planet-wrecking pirates were invincible. But the pirates made a big mistake when they raided ex-commando leader Alicia DeVries' quiet home world, tortured and murdered her family, and then left her for dead.

Since the Imperial forces seem hog-tied, Alicia decides to turn "pirate" herself, and steals a cutting-edge AI ship from the Empire to start her vendetta. Her fellow veterans think she's crazy, the Imperial Fleet has shoot-on-sight orders. And of course the pirates want her dead, too. But Alicia DeVries has two allies nobody knows about, allies as implacable as she is: a self-aware computer, and a creature from the mists of Old Earth's most ancient legends. And this trio of furies won't rest until vengeance is served.

Voyager in Night

Alliance-Union: Age of Exploration: Book 2

C. J. Cherryh

[] has been zipping through the cosmos in its asteroid-size ship for 100,000 years when it comes near to the newly constructed starstation, Endeavor. Curious about the new life forms it discovers inside the many primitive ships that dot the area, [] zeroes in on one such craft, a miner held together virtually with spit and hope, called Lindy. It is owned and operated by three humans, Rafe and Jillian Murray and Paul Gaines, who watch in terror the C-speed approach of the huge alien ship. When the Lindy is destroyed by [] and taken aboard its ship, Lindy's crew learns of an existence far other than that of true flesh and blood.

Cyteen

Alliance-Union: Unionside: Book 2

C. J. Cherryh

This multilayered epic of interstellar cabals and dark human passions is a profound exploration of genetics, environment, nurture, society, and the secrets of human intelligence.

In a futuristic world of cybernetics, two young friends become trapped in an endless nightmare of suspicion, surveillance, programmable servants, a centuries-old ruling class, and an enigmatic woman who dominates them all, in a story marked by genius, blackmail, sacrifice, murder, resurrection, the betrayal of innocence, and loyalty stronger than death.

This is the story of Ariane Emory: brilliant, corrupt, a genius in genetics, psychology, rape, and blackmail. She dominates the Council of Nine, as head of the Expansionist Party of the Multiworld Union, and is despot of the territory Reseune, where her laboratories create the one product essential to Cyteen: people. They are the "azi," human workers and soldiers artificially grown, computer trained, and owned by Reseune and hence by Ariane Emory. After one hundred and twenty years of life and fifty years of rule, Emory is murdered. But not for long...

This is the story of the Project: the plan to replicate Ariane Emory. Creatiing a genetic double is routine for Reseune's bio-technology, but nature is not nurture, and clones are still human beings. For the Project to succeed, Emory's followers have to subject the clone to every formative influence of the tyrant's life, keep her innocent of history, protect her from Emory's enemies, and oppress or silence anyone who might, even accidentally, disrupt the program.

This is also the story of Ari: a little girl driven to solve a mystery she can sense, but not define. A child thrown into a storm of global upheaval when her creation is made public, she inherits a stranger’s face and past, enemies and victims. She must wield her predecessor’s power to save herself, even from people she loves. And to survice, she must find out if she’s a puppet crafted by a dead megalomaniac – or the one person who can defuse a socio-genetic time bomb threatening to destroy her planet. For only Ariane Emory can save Cyteen...

Regenesis

Alliance-Union: Unionside: Book 3

C. J. Cherryh

The direct sequel to the Hugo Award- winning novel Cyteen, Regenesis continues the story of Ariane Emory PR, the genetic clone of one of the greatest scientists humanity has ever produced, and of her search for the murderer of her progenitor-the original Ariane Emory.

Murder, politics, deception, and genetic and psychological manipulation combine against a backdrop of interstellar human societies at odds to create a mesmerizing and major work in Regenesis. Who did kill the original Ariane Emory? And can her personal replicate avoid the same fate?

Those questions have remained unanswered for two decades-since the publication of Cyteen. Now in Regenesis those questions will finally be answered.

Scythe

Arc of a Scythe: Book 1

Neal Shusterman

Two teens are forced to murder--maybe each other--in the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life--and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe--a role that neither wants. These teens must master the "art" of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award-winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

A Clash of Cymbals

Cities in Flight: Book 4

James Blish

APOCALYPSE!

When the scientists of the wandering planet, journeying through inter-galactic space, heard the sound of hydrogen atoms coming into existence out of nothing, they realized that they had accidentally discovered the birthplace of continuous creation. They had lifted the curtain and caught an instant's glimpse of the Unknowable. But to have looked it full in the face could have been no more fatal... For later, much later, they were to learn that they had also uncovered mankind's Day of Judgment!

Also published as: The Triumph of Time

Counting Heads

Counting Heads: Book 1

David Marusek

Counting Heads is David Marusek's extraordinary launch as an SF novelist: The year is 2134, and the Information Age has given rise to the Boutique Economy in which mass production and mass consumption are rendered obsolete. Life extension therapies have increased the human lifespan by centuries. Loyal mentars (artificial intelligence) and robots do most of society's work. The Boutique Economy has made redundant ninety-nine percent of the world's fifteen billion human inhabitants. The world would be a much better place if they all simply went away.

Eleanor K. Starke, one of the world's leading citizens is assassinated, and her daughter, Ellen, is mortally wounded. Only Ellen, the heir to her mother's financial empire, is capable of saving Earth from complete domination plotted by the cynical, selfish, immortal rich, if she, herself, survives. Her cryonically frozen head is in the hands of her family's enemies. A ragtag ensemble of unlikely heroes join forces to rescue Ellen's head, all for their own purposes. Counting Heads arrives as a science fiction novel like a bolt of electricity, galvanizing readers with an entirely new vision of the future. It's the debut of the year in SF.

The Affirmation

Dream Archipelago: Book 1

Christopher Priest

Peter Sinclair is tormented by bereavement and failure. In an attempt to conjure some meaning from his life, he embarks on an autobiography, but he finds himself writing the story of another man in another, imagined, world whose insidious attraction draws him even further in...

The Centenarian: or, The Two Beringhelds

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 15

Honore de Balzac

Written for serial publication in 1822 under the pseudonym Horace de Saint-Aubin, this Faustian tale by Balzac has never before been available in English. More than a long-lost curiosity by an important writer, The Centenarian is also a seminal work of early science fiction, crucial to understanding both the development of the genre and the craft of this great author.

Beringheld, a 400-year-old "mad scientist," discovered the fluid necessary to human life, but he must extract the vital fluid of others to enlarge his own powers.

Balzac intertwines the mythic and the modern in ways that would prove enormously influential to science fiction. Like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, this novel bridges the gap that separates alchemy and magic from the practice and problems of science. It is also crucial to an understanding of Balzac's oeuvre, as it anticipates significant themes of power, knowledge, and secrecy.

This Wesleyan edition features notes, appendices, and a critical introduction.

The Big Time

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 23

Fritz Leiber

This is the main novel in Leiber's Change War series.

Have you ever worried about your memory, because it doesn't seem to recall exactly the same past from one day to the next? Have you ever thought that the whole universe might be a crazy, mixed-up dream? If you have, then you've had hints of the Change War.

It's been going on for a billion years and it will last another billion or so. Up and down the timeline, the two sides--"Spiders" and "Snakes"--battle endlessly to change the future and the past. Our lives, our memories, are their battleground. And in the midst of the war is the Place, outside space and time, where Greta Forzane and the other Entertainers provide solace and r-&-r for tired time warriors.

Kéthani

Kéthani

Eric Brown

It takes an alien race to show us our humanity. When a mysterious alien race known as the Kéthani make contact with the people of Earth they bring with them the dubious gift of eternal life. These enigmatic aliens will change the course of the human race forever but also touch people's lives on a personal level, not least in a small town in the English countryside.

But do the Kéthani have a hidden agenda and will the human race choose to evolve or turn in on itself in the face of this momentous revelation?

Table of Contents:

  • 7 - Prelude: The Coming of the Kéthani - [Kéthani Stories] - (2008) - short story
  • 19 - Ferryman - [Kéthani Stories] - (1997) - short story
  • 41 - Onward Station - [Kéthani Stories] - (1998) - short story
  • 65 - The Kéthani Inheritance - [Kéthani Stories] - (2001) - novelette
  • 95 - Thursday's Child - [Kéthani Stories] - (2002) - novelette
  • 131 - The Touch of Angels - [Kéthani Stories] - (2006) - novelette
  • 169 - The Wisdom of the Dead - [Kéthani Stories] - (2003) - short story
  • 193 - A Heritage of Stars - [Kéthani Stories] - (2005) - short story
  • 215 - Matthew's Passion - [Kéthani Stories] - (2008) - short story by Tony Ballantyne and Eric Brown
  • 245 - A Choice of Eternities - [Kéthani Stories] - (2004) - short story
  • 269 - The Farewell Party - [Kéthani Stories] - (2007) - short story
  • 293 - Coda: Diaspora - [Kéthani Stories] - (2008) - short story

The Jigsaw Man

Known Space

Larry Niven

Hugo Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in the anthology Dangerous Visions (1967). The story can also be found in the anthology The Road to Science Fiction 3: From Heinlein to Here (1979), edited by James Gunn. It is included in the collections All the Myriad Ways (1971), Tales of Known Space (1975), and The Best of Larry Niven (2010).

The Ringworld Engineers

Known Space: Ringworld: Book 2

Larry Niven

The sequel to "Ringworld". Louis Wu, Speaker-to-Animals, and the Hindmost return to Ringworld. Their aim is to prevent cataclysm. In the process, they find themselves learning Ringworld's incredible secrets.

The Ringworld Throne

Known Space: Ringworld: Book 3

Larry Niven

Come back to the Ringworld... the most astonishing feat of engineering ever encountered. A place of untold technological wonders, home to a myriad humanoid races, and world of some of the most beloved science fiction stories ever written!

The human, Louis Wu; the puppeteer known as the Hindmost; Acolyte, son of the Kzin called Chmeee... legendary beings brought together once again in the defense of the Ringworld. Something is going on with the Protectors. Incoming spacecraft are being destroyed before they can reach the Ringworld. Vampires are massing. And the Ghouls have their own agenda--if anyone dares approach them to learn.

Each race on the Ringworld has always had its own Protector. Now it looks as if the Ringworld itself needs a Protector. But who will sit on the Ringworld Throne?

The Book of Ptath

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 23

A. E. Van Vogt

The god Ptath is flung into the far future by a deadly rival and given the mind of a 20th century man. Stranded in this alien world, he must fight to regain his powers before the rival goddess sends the world spinning into chaos and darkness.

The Forever Machine

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 26

Frank Riley
Mark Clifton

The government ordered it built: a thinking machine that could foresee catastrophe and eliminate human error. Research trainee Joe Carter sees another possibility--create a machine that will make ordinary people telepathic--and immortal.

This Galaxy Novel is available for free on the Internet Archives.

More Than Human

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 29

Theodore Sturgeon

First published in 1953, this most celebrated of Sturgeon's works won the International Fantasy Award, as has been touted as "a masterpiece of provocative storytelling" (The Herald Tribune).

A group of remarkable social outcasts band together for survival and discover their combined powers renders them superhuman.

The House That Stood Still

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 31

A. E. Van Vogt

A thrilling tale of a struggle to save Earth from Armageddon, written by one of the crucial authors of the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Disaster is quickly approaching and the only ones who know of it are Allison Stephens and a group of ancient sinister aliens. Now the aliens plan to abandon Earth and seek a new home.

Also published as "The Mating Cry" and "The Undercover Aliens"

The World of Null-A

Null-A: Book 1

A. E. Van Vogt

Grandmaster A. E. Van Vogt was one of the giants of the Golden Age of classic SF, the 1940s. Of his masterpieces, The World of Null-A is most famous and most influential. It was the first major trade SF hardcover ever, published in 1949, and has been in print in various editions ever since. The careers of Philip K. Dick, Keith Laumer, Alfred Bester, Charles Harness, and Philip Jose Farmer were created or influenced by The World of Null-A. It is required reading for anyone who wishes to know the canon of SF classics.

The Players of Null-A

Null-A: Book 2

A. E. Van Vogt

Has also been published under the title: The Pawns of Null-A.

In this sequel to World of Null-A, Gilbert Gosseyn must learn to use both his brains and function in various bodies in order to save the universe from Enrothe Red.

Chasm City

Revelation Space: Book 2

Alastair Reynolds

Tanner Mirabel was a security specialist who never made a mistake - until the day a woman in his care was blown away by Argent Reivich, a vengeful young postmortal. Tanner's pursuit of Reivich takes him across light-years of space to Chasm City, the domed human settlement on the otherwise inhospitable planet of Yellowstone.

But Chasm City is not what it was. The one-time high-tech utopia has become a Gothic nightmare: a nanotechnological virus has corrupted the city's inhabitants as thoroughly as it has the buildings and machines. Before the chase is done, Tanner will have to confront truths which reach back centuries, towards deep space and an atrocity history barely remembers.

The Weight of History, the Lightness of the Future

Sunspin

Jay Lake

Sturgeon Award nominated novella. It origianlly appeared in Subterranean, Spring 2012. The story can also be found in the antholgy The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2013, edited by Rich Horton.

Read the full story for free at Subterranean Online.

A Memory Called Empire

Teixcalaan: Book 1

Arkady Martine

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident – or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion – all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret – one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life – or rescue it from annihilation.

Reborn

The Anderson Project: Book 1

Ken Liu

One of three stories inspired by the same painting by Richard Anderson. Anthologized in The Anderson Project.

Ken Liu is among the most prominent new award-winning SF writers of the last decade, and this vision of a really uncanny alien invasion set in Boston, MA, is a stunner, with echoing reverberations, of love, identity, resistance and revolution.

This story can also be found in the anthology Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Tor.com Short Fiction (2018), edited by Irene Gallo, and Not One of Us: Stories of Aliens on Earth (2018), edited by Neil Clarke.


Read this story online for free at Tor.com.

In the Garden of Iden

The Company: Book 1

Kage Baker

In the 24th century, the Company preserves works of art and extinct forms of life (for profit of course). It recruits orphans from the past, renders them all but immortal, and trains them to serve the Company, Dr. Zeus. One of these is Mendoza the botanist. She is sent to Elizabethan England to collect samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden.

But while there, she meets Nicholas Harpole, with whom she falls in love. And that love sounds great bells of change that will echo down the centuries, and through the succeeding novels of The Company.

The End Of All Songs

The Dancers at the End of Time: Book 3

Michael Moorcock

Jherek Carnelian's return to the End of Time with Mrs. Amelia Underwood, his platonic love, occasions unbridled celebrations among the immortals, followed by a serious crisis, a spate of unorthodox marriages, and Jherek's and Amelia's choice of an unprecedented immortality.

The Dispatcher

The Dispatcher: Book 1

John Scalzi

One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone -- 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.

Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher -- a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death's crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death, and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge what they see as a wrong.

It's a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it's too late... before not even a Dispatcher can save him.

Murder By Other Means

The Dispatcher: Book 2

John Scalzi

Welcome to the new world, in which murder is all but a thing of the past. Because when someone kills you, 999 times out of 1,000, you instantly come back to life. In this world, there are dispatchers - licensed killers who step in when you're at risk of a natural or unintentional death. They kill you - so you can live.

Tony Valdez is used to working his job as a dispatcher within the rules of the law and the state. But times are tough, and more and more Tony finds himself riding the line between what's legal and what will pay his bills. After one of these shady gigs and after being a witness to a crime gone horribly wrong, Tony discovers that people around him are dying, for reasons that make no sense... and which just may implicate him.

Tony is running out of time: to solve the mystery of these deaths, to keep others from dying, and to keep himself from being a victim of what looks like murder, by other means.

Marrow

The Great Ship Universe: 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?

The Annals of the Heechee

The Heechee Saga: Book 4

Frederik Pohl

At last--the ultimate book in the renowned Heechee Saga! Advanced Heechee technology had enabled Robinette Broadhead to live after death as a machine-stored personality, enjoying his life by flitting along the wires from party to party with a host of other machine-people. But suddenly his decadent existence ends when an all powerful alien race intent on the utter destruction of all intelligent life reappears after eons of silence, and threatens the lives of all heechee and humans.

Even Robin, virtually immortal and with unlimited access to millennia of accumulated data, cannot discover how to stop these aliens. It began to seem that only a face to face meeting could determine the future of the entire universe....

Gate of Ivrel

The Morgaine Cycle: Book 1

C. J. Cherryh

Scattered about the galaxy were the time-space, gates of a vanished alien race. Long before the rise of the native civilizations, they had terrorized a hundred worlds--not from villainy but from folly. Now the task was to destroy their potency for mischief. This is the story of one such Gate.

Well of Shiuan

The Morgaine Cycle: Book 2

C. J. Cherryh

The world of Shiuan was doomed. Rising waters and shattering earthquakes had sealed its fate. The only escape routes were the Gates. And just as this knowledge dawned on the desperate tribes and cities there appeared the woman Morgaine--whose mission was to seal Shiuan's Gates.

Fires of Azeroth

The Morgaine Cycle: Book 3

C. J. Cherryh

There was a star Gate in Azeroth marked by alien fires that Morgaine must seal. But Morgaine and Vanye have brought devastation to the peaceful land. For the hordes of Shiuan were on their heels, determined to conquer a new land for themselves and to avenge their lost planet.

Exile's Gate

The Morgaine Cycle: Book 4

C. J. Cherryh

Morgaine must meet her greatest challenge--Gault, who is both human and alien, and also seeks control of the world and its Gate. She will meet the true Gatemaster--a mysterious lord with power as great, or greater, than her own.

Seed to Harvest

The Patternist

Octavia E. Butler

The complete Patternist series – Butler’s acclaimed vision of a world transformed by a secret race of telepaths and the violence, intolerance, and plague that follow their rise to power.

In the late seventeenth century, two immortals meet in an African forest. Anyanwu is a healer, a three-hundred-year-old woman who uses her wisdom to help those around her. The other is Doro, a malevolent despot who has mastered the power of stealing the bodies of others when his wears out. Together they will change the world.

Wild Seed

The Patternist: Book 1

Octavia E. Butler

When two immortals meet in the long-ago past, the destiny of mankind is changed forever.

For a thousand years, Doro has cultivated a small African village, carefully breeding its people in search of seemingly unattainable perfection. He survives through the centuries by stealing the bodies of others, a technique he has so thoroughly mastered that nothing on Earth can kill him. But when a gang of New World slavers destroys his village, ruining his grand experiment, Doro is forced to go west and begin anew.

He meets Anyanwu, a centuries-old woman whose means of immortality are as kind as his are cruel. She is a shapeshifter, capable of healing with a kiss, and she recognizes Doro as a tyrant. Though many humans have tried to kill them, these two demi-gods have never before met a rival. Now they begin a struggle that will last centuries and permanently alter the nature of humanity.

Mind of My Mind

The Patternist: Book 2

Octavia E. Butler

A young woman discovers she has tremendous psychic power.

The baby's name is Mary, and her father is immortal. For thousands of years he has orchestrated a selective breeding project, attempting to create a master race capable of controlling others through thought. Most of his attempts have resulted in volatile mutations, but Mary-whom he has raised in the rough part of a Southern California town-is the closest he has come to perfection. If he doesn't handle her carefully, this greatest experiment will be his last.

As Mary comes of age, she begins to grow aware of her psychic powers. And when she learns of her father's plans for her, she refuses to acquiesce. She challenges him to a psychic war, battling to free her people and set a new course for mankind.

The Quantum Thief

The Quantum Thief Trilogy: Book 1

Hannu Rajaniemi

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself.

Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed ...

The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future - a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.

The Collapsium

The Queendom of Sol: Book 1

Wil McCarthy

No writer stretches the boundaries of science fiction like Wil McCarthy does. Now this acclaimed author has crafted his most wildly ambitious and stunningly original novel yet, an unforgettable tale set in a wondrous future in which the secrets of matter have been unlocked and death itself is but a memory. A future also imperiled by a bitter rivalry between two brilliant scientists: one perhaps the greatest genius in the history of humankind, the other, its greatest monster...

In the eighth decade of the glorious reign of Her Majesty Tamra Lutui, the Queendom of Sol enjoys a peace and prosperity even gods might envy. In fact, two awesome technologies have given human beings all the powers--and caprices--of the gods they once worshiped. The first is wellstone, a form of programmable matter capable of emulating almost any substance: natural, artificial, even hypothetical. The second is collapsium, a deadly crystal, composed of miniature black holes, that allows the virtually instantaneous transmission of information and matter--including humans--throughout the solar system.

Bruno de Towaji, royal consort and the inventor of collapsium, dreams of building the arc de fin, an almost mythical device capable of probing the farthest reaches of spacetime. Marlon Sykes, de Towaji's rival in both love and science, is meanwhile hard at work on a vast telecommunications project whose first step consists of constructing a ring of collapsium around the sun. But when a ruthless saboteur attacks the Ring Collapsiter and sends it falling toward the sun, the two scientists must put aside personal animosity and combine their prodigious intellects to prevent the destruction of the solar system... and every living thing within it.

In his most daring work yet, Wil McCarthy blasts us into a mythical realm--by turns hilarious, magnificent, and deeply moving--where two archmasters of physics compete for love and honor against a backdrop of stellar catastrophe. The Collapsium is a bold work of the imagination.

The Wellstone

The Queendom of Sol: Book 2

Wil McCarthy

For the children of immortal parents, growing up can be hard to do. A prince will forever be a prince--leaving no chance for Bascal Edward de Towaji Lutui to inherit his parents' throne. So what is an angry young blue blood to do? Punch a hole in the shadow he's been living in by rallying his equally disgruntled companions to make an improbable spaceship, busting out of the so-called summer camp in which their parents have stowed them and making a daring escape across the vastness of space. Ne'er-do-well Conrad Mursk is just along for the joyride--until he realizes this is no typical display of teenage angst. The children are rising up in an honest-to-gods revolution. And, boyo, things are going to get raw.

Lost in Transmission

The Queendom of Sol: Book 3

Wil McCarthy

Brash and idealistic, they were rebels without a cause in a world governed by science, reason...and immortality. Banished for their troubles to the starship Newhope, they now face a bold future: to settle the worlds of Barnard's Star. Now King Bascal Edward de Towaji Lutui, former prince of the Queendom of Sol, together with Captain Xiomara 'Xmary' Li Weng and her lover, first mate Conrad Mursk, face a perilous voyage with thousands of their fellow exiles.

The journey will last a century, but with Queendom technology it's no problem to step into a fax machine and 'print' a fresh, youthful version of yourself. But what this crew of rebels will find is far from the paradise they seek. Before long, their optimistic young colony has started to show signs of strain. And worst of all, death itself has returned with a vengeance.

To Crush the Moon

The Queendom of Sol: Book 4

Wil McCarthy

In the conclusion to this epic interstellar adventure by Nebula Award nominee Wil McCarthy, humanity stands at a crossroads as the heroes who fashioned a man-made heaven must rescue their descendants from eternal damnation....

TO CRUSH THE MOON

Once the Queendom of Sol was a glowing monument to humankind's loftiest dreams. Ageless and immortal, its citizens lived in peaceful splendor. But as Sol buckled under the swell of an immorbid population, space itself literally ran out....

Conrad Mursk has returned to Sol on the crippled starship Newhope. His crew are the frozen refugees of a failed colony known as Barnard's Star. A thousand years older, Mursk finds Sol on the brink of rebellion, while a fanatic necro cult is reviving death itself. Now Mursk and his lover, Captain Xiomara "Xmary" Li Weng, are sent on a final, desperate mission by King Bruno de Towaji–one of the greatest terraformers of the ages–to literally crush the moon. If they succeed, they'll save billions of lost souls. If they fail, they'll strand humanity between death–and something unimaginably worse...

Beggars and Choosers

The Sleepless: Book 2

Nancy Kress

In Beggars and Choosers, Kress returns to the same future world created in her earlier work, an America strangely altered by genetic modifications...

Most of the world is on the verge of collapse, overburdened by a population of jobless drones and racked by the results of irresponsible genetic research and nanotechnology. Will the world be saved? And for whom?

The Stainless Steel Rat for President

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 5

Harry Harrison

The Stainless Steel rat is back! Slippery Jim diGriz, the future's most lovable, laughable, larcenous conman tumed counterspy, retums for yet another high-tension mission.

This time the Special Corps has given the Rat a daring assignment - liberate a backward tourist planet from the clutches of an aging dictator. With his lovely but lethal wife, Angelina, and his two stalwart sons, James and Bolivar, diGriz pits ballots against bullets in the fight for freedom. He's vowed to restore truth, justice, and democracy to the world of Parisio-Aqui, if he has to lie, cheat, and steal to do it.

A World Out of Time

The State: Book 1

Larry Niven

When he came back from the dead... he wished he hadn't.

Jaybee Corbell awoke after more than 200 years as a corpsicle -- in someone else's body, and under sentence of instant annihilation if he made a wrong move while they were training him for a one-way mission to the stars.

But Corbell picked his time and made his own move. Once he was outbound, where the Society that ruled Earth could not reach him, he headed his starship toward the galactic core, where the unimaginable energies of the Universe wrenched the fabric of time and space and promised final escape from his captors.

Then he returned to an Earth eons older than the one he'd left... a planet that had had 3,000,000 years to develop perils he had never dreamed of -- perils that became nightmares that he had to escape... somehow!

Cryoburn

The Vorkosigan Saga: Book 12

Lois McMaster Bujold

Miles Vorkosigan is back!

Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove-he's been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp-an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future-attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter Miles to check it out.

On Kibou-daini, Miles discovers generational conflict over money and resources is heating up, even as refugees displaced in time skew the meaning of generation past repair. Here he finds a young boy with a passion for pets and a dangerous secret, a Snow White trapped in an icy coffin who burns to re-write her own tale, and a mysterious crone who is the very embodiment of the warning Don't mess with the secretary. Bribery, corruption, conspiracy, kidnapping-something is rotten on Kibou-daini, and it isn't due to power outages in the Cryocombs. And Miles is in the middle-of trouble!

The Weapon Makers

The Weapon Shops of Isher: Book 2

A. E. Van Vogt

Imagine: a future empire of super-science, so strong that it had lasted thousands of years, so vast that it encompassed the entire Solar System, and whose ruler was a glamorous and thoroughly willful young woman. Yet, this tremendous set-up was completely unable to cope with the machinations of one solitary outlaw.

That man was the amazing Robert Hedrock, and though Hedrock had been declared a kill-on-sight outcast even by those who had once been his own faction, neither they nor their empress foe suspected that he alone could provide the solution to their deadliest cosmic crisis.

Time's Last Gift

Wold Newton Prehistory: Book 1

Philip José Farmer

Three men and a woman onboard a timeship travel from 2070 AD to 12,000 BC - a journey that could never be repeated. For the passengers, all anthropologists, it was a once-in-a-million-lifetimes expedition... a chance to study primitive man as modern man never could. But none of them was prepared for what they would discover - or for the impact of their travels in a time that had yet to come...

A novel in the Wold Newton universe, in which characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Flash Gordon, Doc Savage, James Bond and Jack the Ripper are all mysteriously connected.