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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Edwin A. Abbott

Flatland (1884) is an influential mathematical fantasy that simultaneously provides an introduction to non-Euclidean geometry and a satire on the Victorian class structure, issues of science and faith, and the role of women. A classic of early science fiction, the novel takes place in a world of two dimensions where all the characters are geometric shapes. The narrator, A Square, is a naïve, respectable citizen who is faced with proof of the existence of three dimensions when he is visited by a sphere and is forced to see the limitations of his world. The introduction to this Broadview Edition provides context for the book's references to Victorian culture and religion, mathematical history, and the history of philosophy. The appendices contain contemporary reviews; extracts from the work of fellow mathematical fantasy writer/mathematician Charles Hinton; Hermann von Helmboltz's "The Axioms of Geometry" (1870); and autobiographical passages from Abbott's The Kernel and the Husk (1886).

Press Start to Play

Daniel H. Wilson
John Joseph Adams

IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE!
TAKE THIS.

You are standing in a room filled with books, faced with a difficult decision. Suddenly, one with a distinctive cover catches your eye. It is a groundbreaking anthology of short stories from award-winning writers and game-industry titans who have embarked on a quest to explore what happens when video games and science fiction collide.

From text-based adventures to first-person shooters, dungeon crawlers to horror games, these twenty-six stories play with our notion of what video games can be - and what they can become - in smart and singular ways. With a foreword from Ernest Cline, bestselling author of Ready Player One,Press Start to Play includes work from: Daniel H. Wilson, Charles Yu, Hiroshi Sakurazaka, S.R. Mastrantone, Charlie Jane Anders, Holly Black, Seanan McGuire, Django Wexler, Nicole Feldringer, Chris Avellone, David Barr Kirtley,T.C. Boyle, Marc Laidlaw, Robin Wasserman, Micky Neilson, Cory Doctorow, Jessica Barber, Chris Kluwe, Marguerite K. Bennett, Rhianna Pratchett, Austin Grossman, Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu, Catherynne M. Valente, Andy Weir, and Hugh Howey.

Your inventory includes keys, a cell phone, and a wallet. What would you like to do?

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  • Foreword - Ernest Cline
  • Introduction - John Joseph Adams
  • God Mode - short story by Daniel H. Wilson
  • NPC - short story by Charles Yu
  • Respawn - short story by Hiroshi Sakurazaka (translated by Nathan Collins)
  • Desert Walk - short story by S.R. Mastrantone
  • Rat Catcher's Yellows - short story by Charlie Jane Anders
  • 1Up - short story by Holly Black
  • Survival Horror - short story by Seanan McGuire
  • REAL - short story by Django Wexler
  • Outliers - short story by Nicole Feldringer
  • - short story by Chris Avellone
  • Save Me Plz - short story by David Barr Kirtley (reprint)
  • The Relive Box - novelette by T.C. Boyle (reprint)
  • Roguelike - short story by Marc Laidlaw
  • All of the People in Your Party Have Died - novelette by Robin Wasserman
  • RECOIL! - short story by Micky Neilson
  • Anda's Game - novelette by Cory Doctorow (reprint)
  • Coma Kings - short story by Jessica Barber (reprint)
  • Stats - short story by Marguerite K. Bennett
  • Please Continue - short story by Chris Kluwe
  • Creation Screen - short story by Rhianna Pratchett
  • The Fresh Prince of Gamma World - short story by Austin Grossman
  • Gamer's End - short story by Yoon Ha Lee
  • The Clockwork Soldier - short story by Ken Liu (reprint)
  • Killswitch - short story by Catherynne M. Valente (reprint)
  • Twarrior - short story by Andy Weir
  • Select Character - short story by Hugh Howey

Help Fund My Robot Army!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects

John Joseph Adams

If you're a regular backer of Kickstarters, you've probably seen some unique crowdfunding projects in your time. But one thing all of those campaigns--boringly!--had in common was: They abided by the physical laws of the universe!

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! is an anthology of science fiction/fantasy stories told in the form of fictional crowdfunding project pitches, using the components (and restrictions) of the format to tell the story. This includes but is not limited to: Project Goals, Rewards, User Comments, Project Updates, FAQs, and more. The idea is to replicate the feel of reading a crowdfunding pitch, so that even though the projects may be preposterous in the real world, they will feel like authentic crowdfunding projects as much as possible.

The anthology features original, never-before-published fiction by Bradley Beaulieu , Veronica Belmont, Brooke Bolander, Maurice Broaddus, Tobias S. Buckell, Harry Connolly, Monte Cook, Matt Forbeck, Jason Gurley, Kat Howard, Jonathan L. Howard, Vylar Kaftan, Jake Kerr, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mur Lafferty, David D. Levine, Heather Lindsley, Carmen Maria Machado, David Malki!, Seanan McGuire, Samuel Peralta, Tim Pratt, Andy Penn Romine, Scott Sigler, Michael J. Sullivan, Jeremiah Tolbert, Genevieve Valentine, Derek Van Gorder, Chuck Wendig, Matt Williamson, Daniel H. Wilson, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley. Plus, a reprint of the eponymous story that inspired the anthology by Keffy R.M. Kehrli, for a total of 33 crowdfunding-style stories.

So if what you've always been looking for in a Kickstarter--and couldn't find--was a project that allowed you to protect yourself from spoilers, buy wishes, find lost objects, or support a wildlife preserve for supernatural creatures, then HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects may be just the thing you've been looking for.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Formatting Note - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Help Fund My Robot Army!!! - (2013) - shortstory by Keffy R. M. Kehrli
  • For Entertainment Purposes Only - shortstory by Jeremiah Tolbert
  • Zero G R&J - shortstory by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • A Memorial to the Patriots - shortstory by Jake Kerr
  • I Want to Be a Lioness - shortstory by Chuck Wendig
  • Liberty: Seeking Support for a Writ of Habeas Corpus for a Non-Human Being - shortstory by Samuel Peralta
  • Help Summon the Most Holy Folded One! - shortfiction by Harry Connolly
  • Fulfill My Destiny-And Save the World! - shortstory by Matt Forbeck
  • LARPing the Apocalypse 2: The Nano-Plague - shortstory by Tim Pratt
  • Fund Taphognosis Industries - shortstory by Tobias S. Buckell
  • Catassassins! - shortstory by Veronica Belmont
  • Finder of Lost Things - shortstory by Monte Cook
  • Prima Nocta Detective Agency Needs You - shortstory by Genevieve Valentine
  • So Juicy Transforming Strips - shortstory by Matt Williamson
  • The Spirit of Mars: Fund a Sacred Journey to the Red Planet - shortstory by Andrew Penn Romine
  • Flashed Forward - shortstory by Bradley P. Beaulieu
  • Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead - shortstory by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Be Careful What You Wish For - shortstory by Michael J. Sullivan
  • A Practical Mechanism for Overcoming the Directionality of Temporal Flow - shortstory by David D. Levine
  • Life-Sized Arena Tetris! - shortstory by David Malki !
  • Zippers - shortstory by Derek Van Gorder
  • I Used to Love H.E.R. - shortstory by Maurice Broaddus
  • Locally Grown, Organic - shortstory by Kat Howard
  • Let's Keep Burt Grimsby's Head Frozen! - shortstory by Heather Lindsley
  • Jerome 3.0 - shortstory by Jason Gurley
  • Help Me Destroy Cannes! - shortstory by Jonathan L. Howard
  • Save the Photophobic Hemoglobivores with the Sanguine Reserve! - shortstory by Mur Lafferty
  • Nosferatu, Brutus? - shortstory by Scott Sigler
  • Updates - shortstory by Vylar Kaftan and Shannon Prickett
  • You Only Live Once - shortstory by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
  • Mechanical Animals - shortstory by Brooke Bolander
  • Kismet™ - shortstory by Daniel H. Wilson
  • Bring About the Halloween Eternal!!! - shortstory by Seanan McGuire
  • Acknowledgments - essay by uncredited
  • About the Editors - essay by uncredited

The High Crusade

Poul Anderson

In the year of grace 1345, as Sir Roger Baron de Tourneville is gathering an army to join King Edward III in the war against France, a most astonishing event occurs: a huge silver ship descends through the sky and lands in a pasture beside the little village of Ansby in northeastern Lincolnshire. The Wersgorix, whose scouting ship it is, are quite expert at taking over planets, and having determined from orbit that this one was suitable, they initiate standard world-conquering procedure. Ah, but this time it's no mere primitives the Wersgorix seek to enslave-they've launched their invasion against Englishmen! In the end, only one alien is left alive-and Sir Roger's grand vision is born. He intends for the creature to fly the ship first to France to aid his King, then on to the Holy Land to vanquish the infidel!

From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain

Minister Faust

They're Earth's mightiest superteam - and dysfunctional as hell.

OMNIPOTENT MAN - a body with the density of steel, and a brain to match

THE FLYING SQUIRREL - aging playboy industrialist by day, avenging krypto-fascist by night

IRON LASS - mythology's greatest warrior - but the world might be safer if she had a husband

X-MAN - formerly of the League of Angry Blackmen... but not formerly enough

THE BROTHERFLY - radioactively fly

POWER GRRRL - perpetually deciding between fighting crime or promoting her latest album, clothing line, or sex scandal

Having finally defeated all archenemies, the members of the Fantastic Order of Justice are reduced to engaging in toxic office politics that could very well lead to a superpowered civil war. Only one woman can save them from themselves: Dr. Eva Brain-Silverman, aka Dr. Brain, the world's leading therapist for the extraordinarily abled.

Ginny Sweethips' Flying Circus

Neal Barrett, Jr.

Hugo and Nebula Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, February 1988. It can also be found in the anthologies Nebula Awards 24 (1990), edited by Michael Bishop, Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse (2008), edited by John Joseph Adams and Circus: Fantasy Under the Big Top (2012) edited by Ekaterina Sedia. It is included in the collecitons Perpetuity Blues and Other Stories (2000) and Other Seasons: The Best of Neal Barrett, Jr. (2012).

Psychoshop

Alfred Bester
Roger Zelazny

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

Bears Discover Fire

Terry Bisson

Hugo, Nebula and Sturgeon Award winning short story. It originally appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, August 1990. The story has been reprinted many times. Among others, It can be found in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Eighth Annual Collection (1991), edited by Gardner Dozois, Nebula Awards 26 (1992), edited by James Morrow, Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias (1994), edited by Kim Stanley Robinson. The story has been collected in Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories (1993).

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed Magazine, or listen to the podcast at Drabblecast.

Animal Farm: A Fairy Story

George Orwell

Retro Hugo- and Prometheus-winning Novella

As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors.

The Practice Effect

David Brin

Dennis Nuel is a physicist who, during his research, develops a machine that allows him to explore alternate realities, each of which sport some very strange scientific properties.

Martians, Go Home

Fredric Brown

THEY WERE GREEN, THEY WERE LITTLE, THEY WERE BALD AS BILLIARD BALLS AND THEY WERE EVERYWHERE!

Luke Devereaux was a science fiction writer, holed up in a desert shack waiting for inspiration. He was the first to see a Martian - but he certainly wasn't the last. It was estimated that one billion of them had arrived - one to every three human beings on Earth. Obnoxious green creatures who could be seen and heard (but not harmed) and who probed private sex lives as shamelessly as they exposed government secrets.

No one knew why they had come. No one knew how to make them go away - except perhaps, Luke Devereaux. Unfortunately he was going slightly bananas, so it wouldn't be easy. But for a science fiction writer nothing was impossible.

Divide and Rule (novella)

L. Sprague de Camp

On a future Earth, where invading aliens have forced humanity to revert to a feudal society and conducting scientific research is punishable by death, it's good to be the heir to a duchy. Unless your brother has been burnt as punishment for heresy. And unless you intended to do something about it . . .

Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede

Bradley Denton

When televisions worldwide begin broadcasting a nonstop, noninterruptible live performance by Buddy Holly purporting to originate somewhere in the vicinity of Jupiter, Oliver Vale--the apparent object of the broadcasts--finds himself drafted for a mission so secret that even he is not sure of its purpose. Denton ( Wrack and Roll , Warner, 1986) fills this supremely funny novel with warring space aliens disguised as humans, a robot dog, a psychopathic assassin, an overzealous psychologist and her jealous husband, a motorcycle gang, and a messianic televangelist--all to prove that rock 'n' roll never really died.

Close Encounters

Andy Duncan

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

Maureen Birnbaum: Barbarian Swordsperson: The Complete Stories

George Alec Effinger

Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordperson is a 1993 anthology by George Alec Effinger, with cover and interior illustrations by Ken Kelly. They collect all his stories about Maureen "Muffy" Binrbaum, a Jewish American Princess who is magically teleported to various fantasy and science fiction universes, and later recounts the tales to her best friend, "Bitsy" Spiegelman.

Originally written on his own initiative, the character proved popular enough for Effinger to gain several requests from authors to have versions of their work visited by Muffy. In addition to satirizing and spoofing the various stories, they had a feminist undertone, as Maureen delt with the often sexist reactions of the inhabitants of the worlds she met, struggled to find the Martian price she had fallen in lovewith, and contrasted her adventures with Bitsy, a housewife with an increasingly unhappy marriage.

This collection includes:

  • Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson
  • Maureen Birnbaum at the Earth's Core
  • Maureen Birnbaum on the Art of War
  • Maureen Birnbaum After Dark
  • Maureen Birnbaum Goes Shopynge
  • Maureen Birnbaum and the Giant Graal
  • Maureen Birnbaum at the Looming Awfulness
  • Maureen Birnbaum's Lunar Adventure

Riders of the Purple Wage (novella)

Philip José Farmer

Hugo Award winning and Nebula Award nominated novella. It originally appeared in the anthology Dangerous Visions (1967), edited by Harlan Ellison. The story can also be found in the anthology The Hugo Winners, Volume 2: (1963-70) (1971), edited by Isaac Asimov. It is included in the collections The Purple Book (1982), The Classic Philip José Farmer, 1964-1973 (1984), Riders of the Purple Wage and The Best of Philip Jose Farmer (2006).

Fallen Angels

Michael Flynn
Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle

As the world reels under the sudden onslaught of the new ice age, the lunatic fringe of the environmental movement controls the U.S. government. Abandoned by Earth, the space colonies must replenish their air supply by scoopships diving into the atmosphere -- but Alex and Gordon's ship was hit by a missile, sending them tumbling out of the sky to be hunted by authorities who want them dead or alive. . . . But wait! There is one pro-tech group left on Earth: science fiction fandom! How they get our guys from the permafrost to orbit in twenty incredibly difficult stages -- and why they bother -- is the story of two very "Fallen Angels."

Dark Star

Alan Dean Foster

In the mid twenty-first century, mankind has reached a point in its technological advances to enable colonization of the far reaches of the universe. DARK STAR is a futuristic scout ship traveling far in advance of colony ships. Armed with Exponential Thermosteller Bombs, it prowls the darkest reaches of space on a mission to seek out and destroy unstable planets ahead of the colonist.

But there is one obstacle that its crew members did not count on -- one of the ship's thinking and talking bombs is lodged in the bay, threatening to destroy the entire ship and crew!

The Man Who Folded Himself

David Gerrold

This classic work of science fiction is widely considered to be the ultimate time-travel novel. When Daniel Eakins inherits a time machine, he soon realizes that he has enormous power to shape the course of history. He can foil terrorists, prevent assassinations, or just make some fast money at the racetrack. And if he doesn't like the results of the change, he can simply go back in time and talk himself out of making it! But Dan soon finds that there are limits to his powers and forces beyond his control.

Red Dwarf Omnibus

Rob Grant
Doug Naylor

Contents:

  • Infinity Welcome Careful Drivers (novel)
  • Better Than Life (novel)
  • Dave Hollins - Space Cadet (Short Story)
  • Red Dwarf Pilot Script

Published as by Grant Naylor

The Technicolor® Time Machine

Harry Harrison

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

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

Double Star

Robert A. Heinlein

One minute, down and out actor Lorenzo Smythe was -- as usual -- in a bar, drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes. Then a space pilot bought him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knew, he was shanghaied to Mars.

Suddenly he found himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who had been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians was at stake -- failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. And Smythe's own life was on the line -- for if he wasn't assassinated, there was always the possibility that he might be trapped in his new role forever!

Friday

Robert A. Heinlein

Friday is her name... She is as thoroughly resourceful as she is strikingly beautiful. She is one of the best interplanetary agents in the business. And she is an Artificial Person... the ultimate glory of genetic engineering.

Friday... not since Valentine Michael Smith, hero of the bestselling Stranger in a Strange Land, has Robert Heinlein created a more captivating protagonist... in a novel every bit as entertaining and exciting as this Grand Master of science fiction, now in his seventy-fifth year, has given us over his four-decade career.

Friday is a secret courier. She is employed by a man known to her only as "Boss." Operating from and over a near-future Earth, in which North America has become Balkanized into dozens of independent states, where culture has become bizarrely vulgarized and chaos is the happy norm, she finds herself on shuttlecock assignment at Boss's seemingly whimsical behest. From New Zealand to Canada, from one to another of the new states of America's disunion, she keeps her balance nimbly with quick, expeditious solutions to one calamity and scrape after another. Desperate for human identity and relationships, she is never sure whether she is one step ahead of, or one step behind, the ultimate fate of the human race.

Job: A Comedy of Justice

Robert A. Heinlein

After he firewalked in Polynesia, the world wasn't the same for Alexander Hergensheimer, now called Alec Graham. As natural accidents occurred without cease, Alex knew Armageddon and the Day of Judgement were near. Somehow he had to bring his beloved heathen, Margrethe, to a state of grace, and, while he was at it, save the rest of the world....

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

Robert A. Heinlein

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

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

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

The Number of the Beast

Robert A. Heinlein

When two male and two female supremely sensual, unspeakably cerebral humans find themselves under attack from aliens who want their awesome quantum breakthrough, they take to the skies—and zoom into the cosmos on a rocket roller coaster ride of adventure and danger, ecstasy and peril.

Time Enough for Love

Robert A. Heinlein

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

The Pirates of Zan

Murray Leinster

Because Bran Hoddan was a serious electronice engineer, he didn't want any part of his planet's heritage. For he was from Zan -- and Zan's only occupation was spaceship piracy!

Enchanted Glass

Diana Wynne Jones

Aidan Cain has had the worst week of his life. His gran died, he was sent to a foster home, and now malicious beings are stalking him. There is one person Gran told Aidan to go to if he ever got into trouble-a powerful sorcerer who lives at Melstone House.

But when Aidan arrives on the doorstep, he finds that the sorcerer's grandson, Andrew, has inherited the house. The good news is that Aidan can tell immediately that Andrew's brimming with magic, too-and so is everyone else at Melstone. The bad news is that Andrew doesn't remember anything his grandfather taught him. Chaos is swiftly rising, and he has no idea how to control it. A sinister neighbor is stealing power from the land, magic is leaking between realms . . . and it's only a matter of time before the Stalkers find Aidan.

If Aidan and Andrew can harness their own magics, they may be able to help each other. But can they do it before the entire countryside comes apart at the seams?

Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic

Terry Jones

Arguably the greatest collaboration in the whole history of comedy!

Bestselling author Douglas Adams wrote the storyline based on his CD-ROM game of the same name (as this novel, not as him, obviously).

Terry Jones of Monty Python wrote the book. In the nude! Parents be warned! Most of the words in this book were written by a naked man!

So. You want to argue with that? All right, we give in.

Starship Titanic is the greatest, most fabulous, most technologically advanced interstellar cruise line ever built. It is like a cross between the Queen Mary, the Chrysler Building, Tutankhamen's tomb, and Venice. Furthermore, it cannot possibly go wrong....

Sadly, however, seconds after its launch it undergoes SMEF, or Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure. And disappears.

Except, everything's got to be somewhere.

Coming home that night, on a little known planet called Earth, Dan and Lucy Gibson find something very large and very, very shiny sticking into their house...

Mirabile

Janet Kagan

On the distant planet of Mirabile, a settlement of human colonists from Earth is jeopardized by genetic mutants of Earth plants and animals, and it is up to ecological troubleshooter Mama Jason to destroy the menacing mutants

Table of Contents:

  • The Loch Moose Monster - (1989)
  • The Return of the Kangaroo Rex - (1989)
  • The Flowering Inferno - (1990)
  • Getting the Bugs Out - (1990)
  • Raising Cane - (1991)
  • Frankenswine - (1991)
  • Afterword: Author's Note - (1991)

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!!

Keffy R. M. Kehrli

This short story originally appeared in Lightspeed, October 2013. It can also be found in the anthology Help Fund My Robot Army!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects (2014), edited by John Joseph Adams.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

Gladiator-at-Law

Frederik Pohl
C. M. Kornbluth

Caution! You are about to enter a world...

...where all engineering ingenuity has been employed for public spectacles of torture and death.

...where the stock market operated with pari-mutuel machines.

...where a court clerk transcribes testimony on punch cards, then feeds it to a jury machine.

...where the dream real-estate development of today has become a cracked-concrete savage jungle.

In this world, young lawyer Charles Mundin battles a great combine of corporate interest--battles them in board meetings and in dark alley--in a struggle that lays bare some brutal promises about the future... promises we are beginning to make right now.

Rocket Science

Jay Lake

In ROCKET SCIENCE, Jay Lake's first novel, Vernon Dunham's friend Floyd Bellamy has returned to Augusta, Kansas after serving in World War II, but he hasn't come back empty-handed: he's stolen a super-secret aircraft right from under the Germans. Vernon doesn't think it's your ordinary run-of-the-mill aircraft. For one thing, it's been buried under the Arctic ice for hundreds of years. When it actually starts talking to him, he realizes it doesn't belong in Kansas-or anywhere on Earth. The problem is, a lot of folks know about the ship and are out to get it, including the Nazis, the U.S. Army-and that's just for starters. Vernon has to figure out how to communicate with the ship and unravel its secrets before everyone catches up with him. If he ends up dead, and the ship falls into the wrong hands, it won't take a rocket scientist to predict the fate of humanity.

A Trace of Memory

Keith Laumer

From the Ruins of Stonehenge to the Starships of Vallon he sought the secret of a trace of memory. When the man named Legion signed on as a soldier of fortune he did not expect to end up as the master of a private island nor to cower in ancient druid pits nor fight for his life in the great hall of Okk-Hamiloth, on a planet galaxies away.

Changing Planes

Ursula K. Le Guin

It was Sita Dulip who discovered, whilst stuck in an airport, unable to get anywhere, how to change planes - literally. By a mere kind of a twist and a slipping bend, easier to do than describe, she could go anywhere - be anywhere - because she was already between planes ... and on the way back from her sister's wedding, she missed her plane in Chicago and found herself in Choom. The author, now armed with this knowledge and Rornan's invaluable Handy Planetary Guide - although not the Encyclopedia Planeria, as that runs to forty-four volumes - has spent many happy years exploring places as diverse as Islac and the Veksian plane. Changing Planes is an intriguing, enticing mixture of Gulliver's Travels and The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a mix of satire, cynicism and humour by one of the world's best writers.

The Green Millennium

Fritz Leiber

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

The Cyberiad

Stanislaw Lem

Trurl and Klaupacius are constructor robots who try to out-invent each other. They travel to the far corners of the cosmos to take on freelance problem-solving jobs, with dire consequences for their employers.

Amnesia Moon

Jonathan Lethem

In Jonathan Lethem's wryly funny second novel, we meet a young man named Chaos, who's living in a movie theater in post-apocalyptic Wyoming, drinking alcohol, and eating food out of cans.

It's an unusual and at times unbearable existence, but Chaos soon discovers that his post-nuclear reality may have no connection to the truth. So he takes to the road with a girl named Melinda in order to find answers. As the pair travels through the United States they find that, while each town has been affected differently by the mysterious source of the apocalypse, none of the people they meet can fill in their incomplete memories or answer their questions. Gradually, figures from Chaos's past, including some who appear only under the influence of intravenously administered drugs, make Chaos remember some of his forgotten life as a man named Moon.

Norstrilia

Cordwainer Smith

Norstrilia tells the story of a boy form the planet Old North Australia (where rich, simple farmers grow the immortality drug Stroon), how he bought Old Earth, and how his visit to Earth changed both him and Earth itself.

The Planet Buyer

Cordwainer Smith

Rod McBan owned Earth.

One night of frenzied manipulation had made an obscure rancer on a far planet the richest man in history, and the sole owner of Man's home planet. It had also made him the target of every criminal in the Universe.

There was one way Rod McBan could reach the planet he owned - alive. But it meant he would have to die first...

The Planet Buyer is something new in Science Fiction - a strange, compelling picture of a far future of more-than-human beauty, complexity and terror.

The Armageddon Rag

George R. R. Martin

Onetime underground journalist Sandy Blair has traveled far from his radical roots in the '60s - until the bizarre and brutal murder of a millionaire rock promoter draws him back. As Sandy sets out to investigate the crime, he finds himself on a magical mystery tour of the pent-up passions of his generation. For a new messiah has resurrected the once legendary rock band Nazgûl - but with an apocalyptic new beat that is a requiem of demonism, mind control, and death only Sandy may be able to change in time....

Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain

A. Lee Martinez

Emperor Mollusk. Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth. Not bad for a guy without a spine.

But what's a villain to do after he's done... everything. With no new ambitions, he's happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel alien invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he'd prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course.

Retirement isn't easy though. If the boredom doesn't get him, there's always the Venusians. Or the Saturnites. Or the Mercurials. Or... well, you get the idea. If that wasn't bad enough, there's also the assassins of a legendary death cult and an up-and-coming megalomaniac (as brilliant as he is bodiless) who have marked Emperor for their own nefarious purposes. But Mollusk isn't about to let the Earth slip out of his own tentacles and into the less capable clutches of another. So it's time to dust off the old death ray and come out of retirement. Except this time, he's not out to rule the world. He's out to save it from the peril of THE SINISTER BRAIN!

Gloriana

Michael Moorcock

Gloriana rules an Albion whose empire embraces America and most of Asia. A new Golden Age of peace, enlightenment and prosperity has dawned. Gloriana is Albion and Albion is Gloriana; if one falls, so too will the other. And Gloriana is oppressed by the burden this places upon her - and by the fact that she remains incapable of orgasm. The maintenance of the delicate balance that keeps Albion and Gloriana thriving depends of Montfallcon, Gloriana's Chancellor, and on his network of spies and assassins - in particular on Quire, cold hearted seducer of virtue and murderer of innocence. When Quire falls out with Montfallcon, he forms an alliance with his greatest enemy and conceives a plan to ruin Gloriana, destroy Albion, the empire and the Golden Age itself. But even the utterly ruthless Quire does not fully understand what he has set in motion when he persuades the Queen to fall in love with him...

Convergent Series

Larry Niven

Contains:

  • Bordered in Black
  • One Face
  • Banquo's Ghost
  • The Meddler
  • Dry Run
  • Convergent Series
  • The Deadlier Weapon
  • The Nonesuch
  • Singularities Make Me Nervous
  • The Schumann Computer
  • Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing!
  • Grammar Lesson
  • The Subject is Closed
  • Cruel and Unusual
  • Transfer of Power
  • Cautionary Tales
  • Rotating Cylinders and the Possibility of Global Causality Violation
  • Plaything
  • Mistake
  • Night on Mispec Moor
  • Wrong Way Street

The Draco Tavern

Larry Niven

Contains:

  • The Subject is Closed
  • Grammar Lesson
  • Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing!
  • The Schumann Computer
  • The Green Marauder
  • The Real Thing
  • War Movie
  • Limits
  • Table Manners
  • One Night at the Draco Tavern
  • The Heights
  • The Wisdom of Demons
  • Smut Talk
  • SSoroghod's People
  • The Missing Mass
  • The Convergence of the Old Mind
  • Chyrsalis
  • The Death Addict
  • Storm Front
  • The Slow Ones
  • Cruel and Unusual
  • The One Who Stay Home
  • Breeding Maze
  • Playhouse
  • Lost
  • Losing Mars
  • Playground Earth

Midas World

Frederik Pohl

Table of Contents:

O Pioneer!

Frederik Pohl

The overcrowded Earth isn't room enough for Evesham Giyt, a solitary and brilliant computer hacker who yearns for the long-gone frontiers of the past. Chasing stories of unspoiled beauty and endless possibility, he takes a leap across the stars to the rugged colony world of Tupelo and soon finds himself a respected member of the community and mayor of the colony's human population.

Humanity isn't the first race to colonize Tupelo: as mayor, Giyt is part of a council of races trying to peacefully coexist despite wildly disparate cultures and traditions. But as Giyt learns to like his alien neighbors, he begins to realize that his fellow humans may have other plans for Tupelo, plans that don't include peace but do include lots of dead aliens. It will be up to Giyt to crack the human conspiracy and carve out a future for all of Tupelo...before it gets him killed!

Nation

Terry Pratchett

When a giant wave destroys his village, Mau is the only one left. Daphne-a traveler from the other side of the globe-is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. Separated by language and customs, the two are united by catastrophe. Slowly, they are joined by other refugees. And as they struggle to protect the small band, Mau and Daphne defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down.

Yellow Blue Tibia

Adam Roberts

Russia, 1946. With the Nazis recently defeated, Stalin gathers half a dozen of the top Soviet science fiction authors in a dacha in the countryside. Convinced that the defeat of America is only a few years away-and equally convinced that the Soviet Union needs a massive external threat to hold it together-Stalin orders the writers to compose a massively detailed and highly believable story about an alien race poised to invade the earth. The little group of writers gets down to the task and spends months working until new orders come from Moscow to immediately halt the project. The scientists obey and live their lives until, in the aftermath of Chernobyl, the survivors gather again, because something strange has happened: the story they invented in 1946 is starting to come true.

Men, Martians and Machines

Eric Frank Russell

Contents:

  • Jay ScoreMechanistria
  • Symbiotica
  • Mesmerica

Super Extra Grande

Yoss

With playfulness and ingenuity in the tradition of Douglas Adams, the Cuban science fiction master Yoss delivers a space opera of intergalactic proportions with Super Extra Grande, the winner of the 20th annual UPC Science Fiction Award in 2011.

Set in a distant future, after the invention of faster-than-light space travel has propelled a still-immature mankind into the far corners of the Milky Way, the novel features creatures of immense variety--amoebas that cover entire worlds, sensual females that feed on substances from their males' reproductive systems, talking reptiles, and other creations drawn from the classics of Cuban and international science fiction--all of which serve as colleagues, fellow adventurers, sex partners, teachers, or members of the military high command in the Galactic Community governing this part of the universe. Our protagonist, Jan Amos Sangan Dongo, has a special role in this otherworldly menagerie: He is a veterinarian who specializes in treating enormous animals across the galaxy. When a colonial conflict threatens the fragile peace between the Galaxy's seven intelligent species, Dr. Sangan must embark on a daring mission to enter a gigantic creature and find two swallowed ambassadors--who also happen to be his competing love interests.

Coupling his own extensive studies in (earthly) biology with his vast curiosity and wild imagination, Yoss brings us a rare specimen in the richly parodic tradition of Cuban science fiction.

Agent to the Stars

John Scalzi

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

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

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

read "Agent to the Stars" online

Fuzzy Nation

John Scalzi

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

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

John Scalzi

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

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

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

The President's Brain Is Missing

John Scalzi

The question is, how can you tell the President's brain is missing? And are we sure we need it back?

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Dimension of Miracles

Robert Sheckley

Thomas Carmody wins the Intergalactic Sweepstakes and leaves Earth behind. He ends up following his fast-talking Prize from place to place, seeing talking dinosaurs, a perfect city smothering its residents with motherly love, a giant slightly bored God and much more. The only problem is that Death is chasing closely after him and there seems to be no way to get safely home...

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...

Store of the Worlds: The Stories of Robert Sheckley

Robert Sheckley

Robert Sheckley was science fiction's in-house reply to the black humorists of the 1950s and 60s: Bruce Jay Friedman, Terry Southern, and the young Thomas Pynchon were his none-too-distant relatives; Mort Sahl's comedy, Charles Schultz's cartoons, and Tom Lehrer's songs all mined similar veins. Sheckley targeted the conformity and consumerism of our mid century technotopia while it was still under construction.

His new worlds, alternate universes, and future dystopias have only become more present with the passing years, even as his career, played out both in the pulp magazines and in front-line venues like Playboy and Omni, is a glimpse of a time when "science fiction writer" could be a kind of hipster credential. Mordant, absurdist, and deadpan, the best of Sheckley's dissident farces represent science fiction's high-water mark as an allegorical clearinghouse for twenty-century angst.

Tales From the Radiation Age

Jason Sheehan

In a post-apocalyptic America that has shattered into a hundred perpetually warring fiefdoms, anyone with a loud voice and a doomsday weapon can be king (and probably has been). Duncan Archer--con man, carpetbagger, survivor--has found a way to somehow successfully navigate the end of the world, with its giant killer robots, radioactive mutants, mad scientists, rampant nanotechnology, armed gangs, sea monsters, and 101 unpleasant ways to die.

But when he meets Captain James Barrow, a former OSS agent and the most wanted man in the world, Duncan finds himself a reluctant hero caught up in a whole new level of weird, rollicking adventure...

And the second most wanted man in the world.

Tales from the Radiation Age is a throwback to the pulp-origins of science fiction, painting a vision of the future that's richly detailed, wildly imaginative--and altogether too easy to imagine.

They Walked Like Men

Clifford D. Simak

Money was worthless; it had no value! It couldn't buy housing, clothing, or food. Someone with enormous quantities of cash was buying houses and tearing them down, buying stores and closing them.

Perhaps a few people could have stopped the transactions before it was too late. They could have said that Earth was being taken over by alien beings in the shapes of bowling balls, talking dogs, and dolls that walked like men.

In fact, they did say it. The trouble was, no one believed them!

Tik-Tok

John Sladek

Something has gone very seriously wrong with Tik-Tok's "asimov circuits." They should keep him on the straight and narrow, following Asimov's first law of robotics: A robot shall not injure a human being, or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm. But, that's not what's happening. Although every thing looks fine from the surface, and Tik-Tok maintains the outward appearance of a mild-mannered robot, his agenda is murderously different. And, it's not just because of his artistic tendencies and sympathy for the robot rights movement, either.

Grasshopper Jungle

Andrew Smith

In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend, Robby, have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things. This is the truth. This is history. It's the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it. You know what I mean. Funny, intense, complex, and brave, Grasshopper Jungle brilliantly weaves together everything from testicle-dissolving genetically modified corn to the struggles of recession-era, small-town America in this groundbreaking coming-of-age stunner.

Only Forward

Michael Marshall Smith

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

Only Forward

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

Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson

Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison--a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he's a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that's striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about Infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous...you'll recognize it immediately.

Zodiac

Neal Stephenson

Sangamon Taylor's a New Age Sam Spade who sports a wet suit instead of a trench coat and prefers Jolt from the can to Scotch on the rocks. He knows about chemical sludge the way he knows about evil -- all too intimately. And the toxic trail he follows leads to some high and foul places. Before long Taylor's house is bombed, his every move followed, he's adopted by reservation Indians, moves onto the FBI's most wanted list, makes up with his girlfriend, and plays a starring role in the near-assassination of a presidential candidate.

Closing the case with the aid of his burnout roomate, his tofu-eating comrades, three major networks, and a range of unconventional weaponry, Sangamon Taylor pulls off the most startling caper in Boston Harbor since the Tea Party. As he navigates this ecological thriller with hardboiled wit and the biggest outboard motor he can get his hands on, Taylor reveals himself as one of the last of the white-hatted good guys in a very toxic world.

Never in This World

Idella Purnell Stone

Stories of the light fantastic - deliciously chilling, weirdly wonderful, frighteningly entertaining...

This is the stuff that daring dreams are made of...

shapes of things, sounds of things, somewhere, sometime - but NEVER IN THIS WORLD

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (Never in This World) - (1971) - essay by Idella Purnell Stone
  • The Ambulance Made Two Trips - (1960) - short story by Murray Leinster
  • Dodger Fan - (1957) - short story by Will Stanton
  • Look Out! Duck! - (1957) - novelette by Randall Garrett
  • A Prize for Edie - (1961) - short story by J. F. Bone
  • Little Anton - (1951) - novelette by Reginald Bretnor
  • Dreamworld - (1955) - short story by Isaac Asimov
  • Make Mine Homogenized - (1960) - novelette by Rick Raphael
  • Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot - (1959) - short story by Reginald Bretnor
  • Rebel - (1962) - short story by Ward Moore
  • Senhor Zumbeira's Leg - (1962) - novelette by Felix Marti-Ibanez
  • Or Else - (1953) - short story by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore
  • Critique of Impure Reason - (1962) - novelette by Poul Anderson

Monday Begins on Saturday

Arkady Strugatsky
Boris Strugatsky

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

Space Opera

Jack Vance

A society matron underwrites the interstellar tour of an Earth opera company, performing Beethoven, Mozart and Rossini for bewildered human and alien audiences on a kaleidoscopic range of planets. But intrigue and secret agendas complicate what was already a doubtful enterprise, and the matron’s feckless nephew finds that the simple country girl he plans to marry is far more mysterious than she seems.

This is Jack Vance at his funniest, rolling out a rollicking picaresque tale where the belly laughs play a perfect duet with the grandmaster’s sly observations on the absurdities of life, love and librettos.

Armageddon in Retrospect

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

First published on the anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut's death, Armageddon in Retrospect is a collection of twelve new writings - a fitting tribute to the author, and an essential contribution to the discussion of war, peace and humanity's tendency towards violence. Imbued with Vonnegut's trademark rueful humour, the pieces range from a visceral non-fiction recollection of the destruction of Dresden - to a painfully funny short story about three soldiers and their fantasies of the perfect meal.

Cat's Cradle

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

One of Vonnegut's major works, this is an apocalyptic tale of the planet's ultimate fate, featuring a cast of unlikely heroes.

Player Piano

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Vonnegut's first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a super computer and run completely by machines. His rebellion is a wildly funny, darkly satirical look at modern society.

Welcome to the Monkey House

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Welcome to the Monkey House is a collection of Kurt Vonnegut’s shorter works. Originally printed in publications as diverse as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Atlantic Monthly, these superb stories share Vonnegut’s audacious sense of humor and extraordinary range of creative vision.

The Ugly Chickens

Howard Waldrop

WFA and Nebula Award winning and Hugo Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in the anthology Universe 10 (1980), edited by Terry Carr. The story can also be found in the anthologies

The story is included in the collections Howard Who? (1986), Strange Things in Close-Up: The Nearly Complete Howard Waldrop (1989) and Things Will Never Be the Same: Selected Short Fiction, 1980 - 2005 (2007)

Read or listen to the full story for free at Drabblecast.

Wikihistory

Desmond Warzel

This short story originally appeared in Abyss & Apex #24, Fourth Quarter 2007.

International Association of Time Travelers: Members' Forum
Subforum: Europe--Twentieth Century--Second World War Page 263

Read the full story for free at Abyss & Apex or Tor.com.

National Lampoon's Doon

Ellis Weiner

National Lampoon's Doon brings the hottest science fiction phenomenon ever to a new, hysterical foaming head.

In a distant galaxy, far, far away, a plot is brewing as vast and elaborate as the Empire itself... to harvest the wild pools of beer that grow only on Doon, take control of the native pretzel population, and turn the plucky little orb into the lounge-planet of the universe!

And only one man, the slender-shouldered Pall, can stop the galaxy-wide web of intrigue that is fermenting on the savage, sugar-swept landscape of Doon.

The Martian

Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Prophecies, Libels, and Dreams: Stories

Ysabeau S. Wilce

These inter-connected stories are set in an opulent quasi-historical world of magick and high manners called the Republic of Califa. The Republic is a strangely familiar place--a baroque approximation of Gold Rush era-California with an overlay of Aztec ceremony--yet the characters who populate it are true originals: rockstar magicians, murderous gloves, bouncing boy terrors, blue tinted butlers, sentient squids, and a three year old Little Tiny Doom and her vengeful pink plush pig.

By turn whimsical and horrific (sometime in the same paragraph), Wilce's stories have been characterized as "screwball comedies for goths" but they could also be described as "historical fantasies" or "fanciful histories" for there are nuggets of historical fact hidden in them there lies.

Table of Contents:

At the Rialto

Connie Willis

Nebula Award winning and Hugo Award nomnated novelette. It originally appeared in Omni, October 1989. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Seventh Annual Collection (1990), edited by Gardner Dozois, Nebula Awards 25 (1991), edited by Michael Bishop, and Women of Wonder: The Contemporary Years: SF by Women from the 1970s to the 1990s (1995), edited by Pamela Sargent. It is included in the collections Impossible Things (1994), Even the Queen and Other Short Stories (1998), The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories (2007) and Time Is the Fire: The Best of Connie Willis (2013).

Bellwether

Connie Willis

Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennet O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions.

Crosstalk

Connie Willis

In the not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. And Briddey Flannigan is delighted when her boyfriend, Trent, suggests undergoing the operation prior to a marriage proposal -- to enjoy better emotional connection and a perfect relationship with complete communication and understanding. But things don't quite work out as planned, and Briddey finds herself connected to someone else entirely -- in a way far beyond what she signed up for.

It is almost more than she can handle -- especially when the stress of managing her all-too-eager-to-communicate-at-all-times family is already burdening her brain. But that's only the beginning. As things go from bad to worse, she begins to see the dark side of too much information, and to realize love -- and communication -- are far more complicated than she ever imagined.

Remake

Connie Willis

It's the Hollywood of the future, where moviemaking's been computerized and live-action films are a thing of the past. It's a Hollywood where Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe are starring together in A Star Is Born, and if you don't like the ending, you can change it with the stroke of a key.

A Hollywood of warm bodies and sim-sex, of drugs and special effects, where anything is possible. Except for what one starry-eyed young woman wants to do: dance in the movies. It's an impossible dream, but Alis is not willing to give up. With a little magic and a lot of luck, she just might get her happy ending after all.

The Butterfly Kid

Chester Anderson

It was a nothing-special Greenwich Village day...

And good ole Chester Anderson - sometime poet, rock 'n' roll singer and self-proclaimed kinf of the Village - strolled along, content.

Content, that is, until he saw a kid make butterflies.

Real butterflies. The kind with pretty wings that flutter.

What at first seemed amusing, if a little strange, quickly changed. Chester and his ragtag pack of singers, groupies and street-wise prophets had stumbled onto a mind-blowing phenomenon that threatened the whole world.

And only Chester an his ragamuffin crew could save it.

From what? From six-foot, blue lobsters from outer space.

How? With a horrifying plan that hinged on the innocence of... The Butterfly Kid.

Jennifer Government

Max Barry

Jennifer Government is Here to Help!

In Max Barry’s twisted, hilarious vision of the near future, the world is run by giant American corporations (except for a few deluded holdouts like the French); taxes are illegal; employees take the last names of the companies they work for; The Police and The NRA are publicly-traded security firms; the U.S. government may only investigate crimes if they can bill a citizen directly. It’s a free market paradise!

Hack Nike is a lowly Merchandising Officer who’s not very good at negotiating his salary. So when John Nike and John Nike, executives from the promised land of Marketing, offer him a contract, he signs without reading it. Unfortunately, Hack’s new contract involves shooting teenagers to build up street cred for Nike’s new line of $2,500 sneakers. Scared, Hack goes to The Police, who assume he’s asking for a subcontracting deal and lease the assassinations to the NRA.

Soon Hack finds himself pursued by Jennifer Government, a tough-talking agent with a barcode tattoo under her eye and a rabid determination to nail John Nike (the boss of the other John Nike). In a world where your job title means everything, the most cherished possession is a platinum credit card, and advertising jingles give way to automatic weapons in the fight for market share, Jennifer Government is the consumer watchdog from hell.

Jennifer Government is the kind of novel that can become a byword--a Catch-22 for the New World Order, a satire both broad and pointed, deeply funny and disturbingly on-target.

Beauty Queens

Libba Bray

From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.

Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to emall. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

Going Bovine

Libba Bray

Can Cameron find what he’s looking for?

All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Mark Twain

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

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

Why Do Birds

Damon Knight

It is the early 21st century, and Ed Stone says he's been in suspended animation since the 1930s--put there by aliens who have sent him on a mission: convince the nations of the world to build a massive vault, in which humanity's billions will lie in suspension and survive the Earth's impending destruction. And, the strangest thing of all is everybody believes him.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

Charles Yu

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

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

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

A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic: Book 1

V. E. Schwab

Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There's Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There's Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London...

Requiem for a Ruler of Worlds

Alacrity Fitzhugh: Book 1

Brian Daley

Minor Terran bureaucrat, Hobart Floyt, has been left a mysterious inheritance by the ruler of an empire located many light-years away. Earth's government is broke and its functionaries want Floyt to collect the money. To make sure he succeeds, they blackmail a brash young spacer named Alacrity Fitzhugh into shepherding him on a dangerous interstellar mission.

Jinx on a Terran Inheritance

Alacrity Fitzhugh: Book 2

Brian Daley

The Second Adventure of Alacrity Fitzhugh and Hobart Floyt!

The dying ruler of a small interstellar kingdom made a minor Old-Earth bureaucrat named Hobart Floyt the surprised inheritor of an interstellar spacecraft. There were just a few minor problems: The dead ruler never told Floyt how to find the ship. The bureaucrats of Earth wanted the ship for themselves, and someone kept trying to murder Floyt and his friend Alacrity Fitzhugh.

Fall on the White Ship Avatar

Alacrity Fitzhugh: Book 3

Brian Daley

Alacrity Fitzhugh and Hobart Floyt had claimed Hobart's inheritance from the ruler of a small interstellar empire, then returned to earth and toppled its government. But Alacrity had more important goals than body-guarding Hobart. He wanted command of the fabulous White Ship. Yet it took only a few minutes at the White Ship's helm for Alacrity to learn that a Captain's problems can be tougher than the work of a knockabout Spacer. And that solving them could cost a piece of his heart.

Anansi Boys

American Gods: Book 2

Neil Gaiman

God is dead. Meet the kids.

When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can't shake that name, one of the many embarrassing "gifts" his father bestowed -- before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie's life.

Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie's doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who's going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun ... just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie.

Because, you see, Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself.

Prologue to Analog

Analog Anthologies (Campbell)

John W. Campbell, Jr.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - (1962) - essay by John W. Campbell, Jr.
  • Belief - (1953) - novelette by Isaac Asimov
  • Pandora's Planet - [Pandora's Planet - 1] - (1956) - novelette by Christopher Anvil
  • Sound Decision - (1956) - novelette by Robert Silverberg and Randall Garrett
  • Omnilingual - (1957) - novelette by H. Beam Piper
  • Triggerman - (1958) - shortstory by J. F. Bone
  • A Filbert Is a Nut - (1959) - shortstory by Rick Raphael
  • Business as Usual, During Alterations - (1958) - novelette by Ralph Williams
  • Pushbutton War - (1960) - shortstory by Joseph P. Martino
  • We Didn't Do Anything Wrong, Hardly - (1959) - shortstory by Roger Kuykendall
  • Minor Ingredient - (1956) - shortstory by Eric Frank Russell

Mack Reynolds, Part One

Armchair Fiction - Masters of Science Fiction: Book 4

Mack Reynolds

Contents:

  • 5 - The Man in the Moon - (1950) - novelette
  • 29 - Please to Remember - (1953) - shortstory
  • 41 - Tourists to Terra - (1950) - shortstory
  • 50 - The Hatchetman - (1951) - novelette by Fredric Brown and Mack Reynolds
  • 97 - Mercy Flight - (1951) - shortstory
  • 109 - One of Our Planets Is Missing! - (1950) - shortstory
  • 121 - Final Appraisal - (1952) - shortstory
  • 134 - Six-Legged Svengali - (1950) - shortstory by Fredric Brown and Mack Reynolds
  • 145 - Troubador - (1951) - shortstory
  • 157 - The Word from the Void - (1950) - shortstory
  • 162 - Your Soul Comes C.O.D. - (1952) - shortstory
  • 168 - Desperate Remedy - (1954) - novelette
  • 202 - After Some Tomorrow - (1956) - shortstory
  • 219 - Off Course - (1954) - shortstory
  • 229 - United We Stand - (1950) - shortstory
  • 237 - Optical Illusion - (1953) - shortstory
  • 241 - I. Q. - (1961) - shortstory
  • 261 - Stowaway - (1953) - novelette
  • 289 - Halftripper - (1951) - shortstory
  • 298 - Ask Me No Questions! - (1951) - shortstory
  • 310 - D. P. from Tomorrow - (1953) - shortstory

Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl: Book 1

Eoin Colfer

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius--and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories; these fairies are armed and dangerous. Artemis thinks he has them right where he wants them... but then they stop playing by the rules.

Planets for Sale

Artur Blord: Book 2

A. E. Van Vogt
E. Mayne Hull

Planets for sale!

They said that Artur Blord was ruthless, a heartless manipulator whose blind lust for power would ruin the Ridge Stars.

They said he had to be eliminated because he was too much of a threat to their secret.

But just who were they, the accusers of Artur Bloyd?

And what was the secret which Artur Bloyd threatened?

Beyond the answers to these two questions lay a tortured path along which Artur Bloyd compelled himself to travel. Menaced by a terrifying array of lethal forces, Blord risked his life against alien aggressors as well as more human adversaries.

Never knowing at what moment death might overtake him, he fought to fulfill a dream; that he might one day claim the title that riches couldn't buy: Master of the Ridge Stars!

The Best of Frederik Pohl

Ballantine's Classic Library of Science Fiction: Book 5

Frederik Pohl

Classic Science Fiction

Here in one superlative volume 17 Science-Fiction tales by a master storyteller.

"The Midas Plague" - They had committed the greatest crime: failure to consume enough! So their punishment was to consume more and more and more....

"The Day the Icicle Works Closed" - The world was facing total unemployment, and the people had only one thing left to hock, their bodies!

"Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus" - There was peace on Earth. But joy to all men? Well, that was another matter!

"The Martian in the Attic" - What's the value of a real, live Martian? Duniop was determined to find out - and he did!

"Tunnel Under the World" - Things are not always what they seem, in fact. Not even what they seem to seem!

And lots more!

Table of Contents:

  • A Variety of Excellence - (1975) - essay by Lester del Rey
  • The Tunnel Under the World - (1955)
  • Punch - (1961)
  • Three Portraits and a Prayer - (1962)
  • Day Million - (1966)
  • Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus - (1956)
  • We Never Mention Aunt Nora - (1958)
  • Father of the Stars - (1964)
  • The Day the Martians Came - (1967)
  • The Midas Plague - (1954)
  • The Snowmen - (1959)
  • How to Count on Your Fingers - (1956)
  • Grandy Devil - (1955)
  • Speed Trap - (1967)
  • The Richest Man in Levittown - (1959)
  • The Day the Icicle Works Closed - (1960)
  • The Hated - (1958)
  • The Martian in the Attic - (1960)
  • The Census Takers - (1956)
  • The Children of Night - (1964)
  • What the Author Has to Say About All This - (1975) - essay by Frederik Pohl

From the Earth to the Moon

Baltimore Gun Club: Book 1

Jules Verne

Written almost a century before the daring flights of the astronauts, Jules Verne's prophetic novel of man's race to the stars is a classic adventure tale enlivened by broad satire and scientific acumen.

When the members of the elite Baltimore Gun Club find themselves lacking any urgent assignments at the close of the Civil War, their president, Impey Barbicane, proposes that they build a gun big enough to launch a rocket to the moon. But when Barbicane's adversary places a huge wager that the project will fail and a daring volunteer elevates the mission to a "manned" flight, one man's dream turns into an international space race.

Showboat World

Big Planet: Book 2

Jack Vance

From Handbook of the Inhabited Worlds: "Big Planet lies beyond the frontier of terrestrial law, and has been settled by groups impatient with restraint: non-conformists, anarchists, fugitives, religious dissidents, misanthropes, deviants, freaks. Big Planet represents for us that tantalizing vision of the land beyond the frontier where bravery, resource and daring are more important than the mastery of urban abstractions. Who can deem this good or bad? Who can define justice, or correctness or truth? Big Planet is in essence a problem to which there exists no solution". Shipmasters who run the magnificent showboats along the rivers of Big Planet know that each port has unique character and sensitivities. Apollon Zamp and Garth Ashgale are adept at dodging danger; two of the wiliest rascals in the business, they are deadly rivals to boot. When Zamp sets out to compete at the Grand Festival at Mornune, he knows Ashgale is never far behind!

Vance Integral Edition/Spatterlight Press title: The Magnificent Showboats of the Lower Vissel River, Lune XXIII South, Big Planet.

Bill the Galactic Hero

Bill the Galactic Hero

Harry Harrison

It was the highest honor to defend the Empire against the dreaded Chingers, an enemy race of seven-foot-tall lizards. But Bill, a Technical Fertilizer Operator from a planet of farmers, wasn't interested in honor-he was only interested in two things: his chosen career, and the shapely curves of Inga-Maria Calyphigia. Then a recruiting robot shanghaied him with knockout drops, and he came to in deep space, aboard the Empire warship Christine Keeler. And from there, things got even worse.

Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Robot Slaves

Bill the Galactic Hero: Book 1

Harry Harrison

A sequel to the author's "Bill, the Galactic Hero", published over 20 years ago, this book is the first of a new series of novels featuring Bill. With two right arms, an artificial foot, and a set of surgically-implanted tusks, Bill sets out to find the source of Chinger-controlled metal dragons.

Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of the Bottled Brains

Bill the Galactic Hero: Book 2

Robert Sheckley
Harry Harrison

Bill, the galactic hero, is sent on a suicide mission to a planet from which no one has ever returned. En-route, he must cope with the likes of Captain Dirk of the starship Gumption. Harry Harrison's previous books include "Bill, the Galactic Hero", while Robert Sheckley's include "Mindswap".

Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Tasteless Pleasure

Bill the Galactic Hero: Book 3

Harry Harrison
David Bischoff

Bill's in trouble again. A hideous outer-space infection has transformed one of his feet into a satyr's hoof; he has two right hands; the nurses at the hospital where he lies recovering from his last escapade are steel robots. But soon he's off again in search of science fiction's greatest cliches.

Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Zombie Vampires

Bill the Galactic Hero: Book 4

Harry Harrison
Jack C. Haldeman II

When Bill is assigned as an MP on a prison ship, the crew revolts against the captain and brings vampires on board in an attempt to maroon the skipper…

The Outpost

Birthright Universe

Mike Resnick

Award-winning author Mike Resnick takes us back to his wild and wooly Inner Frontier in this tall-tale of an adventure novel.

On the planet Henry II, orbiting the twin suns Plantagenet and Tudor, at the very edge of the great black hole at the center of the Milky Way, there is a tavern called The Outpost. Through the doors of The Outpost have come the greatest heroes, villains, and adventurers of the galaxcy - to drink, to brag, and to swap tales.

The Outpost is neutral territory where fighting is forbidden and blood enemies can have a drink together and tell stories of battles past. After all bounty hunters, con men, intinerant preachers, thieves, and assassins have more in common with each other than they do with the rest of the mundane galaxy.

But their pleasant life of recalling murder and mayhem is interrupted by an alien invasion, and to save their way of life these rugged individualists must try to work together for a change.

Space Captain Smith

Chronicles of Isambard Smith: Book 1

Toby Frost

In the 25th Century the British Space Empire faces the gathering menace of the evil ant-soldiers of the Ghast Empire hive, hell-bent on galactic domination and the extermination of all humanoid life. Isambard Smith is the square-jawed, courageous, and somewhat asinine new commander of the battle damaged light freighter John Pym, destined to take on the alien threat because nobody else is available. Together with his bold crew--a skull-collecting alien lunatic, an android pilot who is actually a fugitive sex toy, and a hamster called Gerald--he must collect new-age herbalist Rhianna Mitchell from the laid back New Francisco orbiter and bring her back to safety in the Empire. Straightforward enough--except the Ghasts want her too. If he is to get back to Blighty alive, Smith must defeat void sharks, a universe-weary android assassin, and John Gilead, psychopathic naval officer from the fanatically religious Republic of New Eden before facing his greatest enemy: a ruthless alien warlord with a very large behind.

God Emperor of Didcot

Chronicles of Isambard Smith: Book 2

Toby Frost

Tea... a beverage brewed from the fermented dried leaves of the shrub Camelli sinensis and imbibed by all the great civilizations in the galaxy's history; a source of refreshment, stimulation, and, above all else, of moral fiber--without which the British Space Empire must surely crumble to leave Earth at the mercy of its enemies. Sixty percent of the Empire's tea is grown on one world--Urn, principal planet of the Didcot system. If Earth is to keep fighting, the tea must flow! When a crazed cult leader overthrows the government of Urn, Isambard Smith and his vaguely competent crew find themselves saddled with new allies--a legion of tea-obsessed nomads, an overly-civilized alien horde. and a commando unit so elite that it has only five members. Only together can they defeat the self-proclaimed God Emperor of Didcot and confront the true power behind the coup--the sinister legions of the Ghast Empire and Smith's old enemy, Commander 462.

Wrath of the Lemming Men

Chronicles of Isambard Smith: Book 3

Toby Frost

From the depths of Space a new foe rises to do battle with mankind: the British Space Empire is threatened by the lemming-people of Yull, ruthless enemies who attack without mercy, fear, or any concept of self preservation. At the call of their war god, the Yull have turned on the Empire, hell-bent on conquest and destruction in their rush towards the cliffs of destiny. When the Yullian army is forced to retreat at the battle of the River Tam, the disgraced Colonel Vock swears revenge on the clan of Suruk the Slayer, Isambard Smith's homicidal alien friend. Now Smith and his crew must defend the Empire and civilize the stuffing out of a horde of bloodthirsty lemming-men--which would be easy were it not for a sinister robotics company, a Ghast general with a fondness for genetic engineering, and an ancient brotherhood of Morris Dancers--who may yet hold the key to victory.

A Game of Battleships

Chronicles of Isambard Smith: Book 4

Toby Frost

In the 25th century the future of the galaxy rests on a knife-edge. The actions of one man could save the British Space Empire or leave Earth at the mercy of deadly legions of ant-people. That one man is Captain Isambard Smith, and Earth is in a lot of trouble. After blowing up a top-secret enemy base, Space Captain Smith and his crew deserve a rest. But their holiday ends when forces unknown destroy the robot convoy they were meant to be guarding. Smith finds himself in hot pursuit of a mysterious vessel that can pass through dimensions, incurring the wrath of the dreaded Grand Witchfinder of New Eden--which would be much easier to deal with if his pilot wasn't cowering under the dashboard and his spaceship wasn't infested with man-eating toads. Meanwhile, the Empire is gathering its allies to form a united front against alien tyranny. Unfortunately, the delicate negotiations have been entrusted to Major Wainscott, a man who knows no fear and very little about diplomacy or trousers. Once again, Captain Smith must summon all his courage to unite humanity behind the Empire. His quest will take him on a journey to face his greatest fears: from the depths of space, through hell itself--and even to France.

End of Empires

Chronicles of Isambard Smith: Book 5

Toby Frost

The lemming men of Yullia are rushing headlong towards the cliffs of destiny, and they intend to take the British Space Empire with them. When moral fiber clashes with lemming spirit, only one thing is certain--surrender is no longer an option. In the back-streets of Ravnavar, greatest planet of the Space Empire, revolution stirs. Someone will have to go deep undercover, take on the robot underworld, and reveal what lies behind the mysterious Popular Front. Worst of all, Major Wainscott--commando and nudist--has gone renegade in the most dangerous jungle in the galaxy. Someone will have to travel upriver, terminate Wainscott's command, and make him put some trousers on. That someone is Isambard Smith. Once more, Smith and his crew must leap into action, civilize the galaxy, and force legions of angry rodents to stop their nonsense at once. Smith is destined to topple a mighty empire. The only question is--whose empire will it be?

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Dirk Gently: Book 1

Douglas Adams

There is a long tradition of Great Detectives, and Dirk Gently does not belong to it. But his search for a missing cat uncovers a ghost, a time traveler, AND the devastating secret of humankind! Detective Gently's bill for saving the human race from extinction: NO CHARGE.

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Dirk Gently: Book 2

Douglas Adams

When a passenger check-in desk at London's Heathrow Airport disappears in a ball of orange flame, the explosion is deemed an act of God. But which god, wonders holistic detective Dirk Gently? What god would be hanging around Heathrow trying to catch the 3:37 to Oslo? And what has this to do with Dirk's latest--and late-- client, found only this morning with his head revolving atop the hit record "Hot Potato"? Amid the hostile attentions of a stray eagle and the trauma of a very dirty refrigerator, super-sleuth Dirk Gently will once again solve the mysteries of the universe...

Making Money

Discworld: Book 36

Terry Pratchett

The Ankh-Morpork Post Office is running like... well, not at all like a government office. The mail is delivered promptly; meetings start and end on time; five out of six letters relegated to the Blind Letter Office ultimately wend their way to the correct addresses. Postmaster General Moist von Lipwig, former arch-swindler and confidence man, has exceeded all expectations-including his own. So it's somewhat disconcerting when Lord Vetinari summons Moist to the palace and asks, "Tell me, Mr. Lipwig, would you like to make some real money?"

Vetinari isn't talking about wages, of course. He's referring, rather, to the Royal Mint of Ankh-Morpork, a venerable institution that haas run for centuries on the hereditary employment of the Men of the Sheds and their loyal outworkers, who do make money in their spare time. Unfortunately, it costs more than a penny to make a penny, so the whole process seems somewhat counterintuitive.

Next door, at the Royal Bank, the Glooper, an "analogy machine," has scientifically established that one never has quite as much money at the end of the week as one thinks one should, and the bank's chairman, one elderly Topsy (ne Turvy) Lavish, keeps two loaded crossbows at her desk. Oh, and the chief clerk is probably a vampire.

But before Moist has time to fully consider Vetinari's question, fate answers it for him. Now he's not only making money, but enemies too; he's got to spring a prisoner from jail, break into his own bank vault, stop the new manager from licking his face, and, above all, find out where all the gold has gone-otherwise, his life in banking, while very exciting, is going to be really, really short....

Unseen Academicals

Discworld: Book 37

Terry Pratchett

The wizards at Ankh-Morpork's Unseen University are renowned for many things—wisdom, magic, and their love of teatime—but athletics is most assuredly not on the list. And so when Lord Ventinari, the city's benevolent tyrant, strongly suggests to Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully that the university revive an erstwhile tradition and once again put forth a football team composed of faculty, students, and staff, the wizards of UU find themselves in a quandary. To begin with, they have to figure out just what it is that makes this sport—soccer with a bit of rugby thrown in—so popular with Ankh-Morporkians of all ages and social strata. Then they have to learn how to play it. Oh, and on top of that, they must win a football match without using magic.

Meanwhile, Trev (a handsome street urchin and a right good kicker) falls hard for kitchen maid Juliet (beautiful, dim, and perhaps the greatest fashion model there ever was), and Juliet's best pal, UU night cook Glenda (homely, sensible, and a baker of jolly good pies) befriends the mysterious Mr. Nutt (about whom no one knows very much, including Mr. Nutt, which is worrisome . . .). As the big match approaches, these four lives are entangled and changed forever. Because the thing about football—the most important thing about football­—is that it is never just about football.

Snuff

Discworld: Book 39

Terry Pratchett

For nearly three decades, Terry Pratchett has enthralled millions of fans worldwide with his irreverent, wonderfully funny satires set in the fabulously imaginative Discworld, a universe remarkably similar to our own. From sports to religion, politics to education, science to capitalism, and everything in between, Pratchett has skewered sacred cows with both laughter and wisdom, and exposed our warts, foibles, and eccentricities in a unique, entertaining, and ultimately serious way.

At long last, Lady Sybil has lured her husband, Sam Vimes, on a well-deserved holiday away from the crime and grime of Ankh-Morpork. But for the commander of the City Watch, a vacation in the country is anything but relaxing. The balls, the teas, the muck—not to mention all that fresh air and birdsong—are more than a bit taxing on a cynical city-born and -bred copper.

Yet a policeman will find a crime anywhere if he decides to look hard enough, and it’s not long before a body is discovered, and Sam—out of his jurisdiction, out of his element, and out of bacon sandwiches (thanks to his well-meaning wife)—must rely on his instincts, guile, and street smarts to see justice done. As he sets off on the chase, though, he must remember to watch where he steps. . . . This is the countryside, after all, and the streets most definitely are not paved with gold.

Dream Park

Dream Park: Book 1

Larry Niven
Steven Barnes

They were all playing games.... but one of them was playing for keeps.

Chet Henderson was playing at revenge, an to boost his flagging reputation as a Lore-master.

Richard Lopez was playing to prove this his earlier successes as a Gamemaster were no fluke.

Ollie and Gwen and Mary-em and Tony were playing because it made them feel alive.

Alex Griffin was playing to protect Dream Park's darkest secret.

In Dream Park, everyone plays. But if some win, some have to lose. And losing can be a matter of life or death.

The World as it Shall Be

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 18

Emile Souvestre
I. F. Clarke

It's the year 3000, and children are raised by steam machines, Switzerland has been converted into a theme park, and there are no fewer than 684 kinds of mental illness. With eccentric, dark humor, Émile Souvestre portrays a society dominated by mechanization and greed. However comically exaggerated, the unmistakable echoes of real problems and possibilities in Souvestre's satire make this book science fiction's earliest warning against the dangers of mechanization in a society ruled by consumerism.

The World as It Shall Be was originally published in France in 1846--the first fully illustrated story in the history of future fiction. The satiric novel, with 87 charming illustrations, unfolds through the eyes of Maurice and Marthe, a young couple who are brought to the year 3000 by the spirit of the age, M. John Progrès. This first English translation includes all of the original art.

Alien Bodies

Eighth Doctor Adventures: Book 6

Lawrence Miles

A Doctor Who novel set on an island in the East Indies, where alien forces are gathering in a lost city buried deep in the heart of the rain forest, desperate to acquire what might be the deadliest weapon in creation. The Doctor and Sam walk into the middle of the strangest auction in history.

Mechanical Failure

Epic Failure: Book 1

Joe Zieja

A smooth-talking ex-sergeant, accustomed to an easygoing peacetime military, unexpectedly re-joins the fleet and finds soldiers preparing for the strangest thing -- war.

The Two Hundred Years' (And Counting) Peace is a time of tranquility that hasn't been seen since... well, never. Mankind in the Galactic Age had finally conquered war, so what was left for the military to do but drink and barbecue? That's the kind of military that Sergeant R. Wilson Rogers lived in before he left the fleet to become a smuggler.

But it turns out that smuggling is hard. Like getting-arrested-for-dealing-with-pirates-and-forced-back-into-service kind of hard. It doesn't seem so bad -- the military was a perpetual tiki party anyway -- but when Rogers returns after only a year away, something has changed. These are soldiers -- actual soldiers doing actual soldier things like preparing for a war that Rogers is sure doesn't exist. Rogers vows to put a stop to all this nonsense -- even if it means doing actual work.

Communication Failure

Epic Failure: Book 2

Joe Zieja

Captain Rogers, despite his best attempts to do otherwise, has become the acting admiral of the 331st Meridan fleet. His first task: worrying. A lot.

The rival Thelicosan fleet, under the influence of bad intelligence, a forbidden romance, and a communication officer with an eardrum injury, is about to break a two-hundred-year-old nonaggression pact. They have offered a vague, easily misinterpreted message: "We're invading." Rogers isn't sure, but he thinks that's probably bad.

War is hell, especially when you've forgotten how to fight one.

FLCL Volume 1

FLCL: Book 1

Yoji Enokido

Naota's life is not simple. He lives with his eccentric father and grandfather in a city distinguished by a gigantic hand-iron shaped factory perched on a hill. His brother's ex-girlfriend makes passes at him. And to top it all off, an impish, playful alien has run him over with her Vespa and smacked him in the head with a bass guitar! Little does he know that this is only the beginning of his involvement in an interplanetary ideological war.

FLCL Volume 2

FLCL: Book 2

Yoji Enokido

Nothing ever seems to rouse the population of Mabase, yet everyone is stirring with gossip when the mayor's adulterous affair is publicized. This is especially hard on the mayor's daughter, Ninamori, class president and Naota's friend. The other women in Naota's life aren't helping his stress levels either. Haruko is closing in on her interplanetary foes, and Mamimi's downward spiral into madness is only spinning faster...

Plunge deeper into the demented dreamscape of a junior highschool nothing turned mutant warrior in this volume of FLCL.

FLCL Volume 3

FLCL: Book 3

Yoji Enokido

Naota's father witnesses an unpredictable kiss between Naota and Haruko. Displeased with this development, he challenges Naota to a winner-takes-all duel! Not wanting to disappoint Haruko, Naota accepts the battle. Meanwhile, Mamimi's demeanor has become a bit more than eccentric. Could it possibly be... jealousy?

Experience the third novelization of the craxy anime as the CLIMAX begins!

Little Fuzzy

Fuzzy Series: Book 1

H. Beam Piper

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

Lest Darkness Fall

Galaxy Science Fiction: Book 24

L. Sprague de Camp

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

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

Flesh

Galaxy Science Fiction: Book 41

Philip José Farmer

Space Commander Stagg explored the galaxies for 800 years. Upon his return, the hero Stagg is made the centerpiece of an incredible public ritual, one that will repeatedly take him to the heights of ecstasy and the depths of hell.

The 1968 Doubleday edition (as well as subsequent editions) is a revised and expanded version of the 1960 orginal.

A Voyage to the Moon

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 20

George Tucker

A Voyage to the Moon: With Some Account of the Manners and Customs, Science and Philosophy of the People of Morosofia, and Other Lunarians.

Joseph Atterley of New York, finding himself in the doldrums after the death of his wife, resolves in 1822 to undertake a sea voyage to the Far East on one of his father's merchant ships. In the Indian Ocean the ship is caught by a mighty cyclone and driven ashore somewhere in the Burmese Empire. Mistaking the Americans for their enemies the British, the Burmese take Atterley and the crew captive. Atterley is eventually placed under rather loose house arrest, which allows him to meet and befriend a reclusive Indian Brahman who lives in the nearby hills. One day the Brahman reveals an astonishing secret: he knows how to build a machine to fly to the moon, and has already been there and back twice.

Eye in the Sky

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 67

Philip K. Dick

While sightseeing at the Belmont Bevatron, Jack Hamilton, along with seven others, is caught in a lab accident. When he regains consciousness, he is in a fantasy world of Old Testament morality gone awry-a place of instant plagues, immediate damnations, and death to all perceived infidels. Hamilton figures out how he and his compatriots can escape this world and return to their own, but first they must pass through three other vividly fantastical worlds, each more perilous and hilarious than the one before.

Winner of both the Hugo and John W. Campbell awards for best novel, widely regarded as the premiere science fiction writer of his day, and the object of cult-like adoration from his legions of fans, Philip K. Dick has come to be seen in a literary light that defies classification in much the same way as Borges and Calvino. With breathtaking insight, he utilizes vividly unfamiliar worlds to evoke the hauntingly and hilariously familiar in our society and ourselves.

Hal Spacejock

Hal Spacejock: Book 1

Simon Haynes

Everyone knows a character like Hal Spacejock - he's the guy who plugs a 12-volt lantern into a mains socket and burns his house down. He's the guy who does his own plumbing and floods the neighbour's house. He's the guy who window-shops three hardware stores to save a few bucks on a hammer, then blows a hundred and twenty on a laser-guided tape measure with built-in bottle opener.

In short, Hal's your regular, everyday guy. He just happens to have a two-hundred ton spaceship ... and he's none too flash with the controls.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi: Book 1

Nagaru Tanigawa

Haruhi holds the fate of the universe in her hands... lucky for you she doesn't know it!

Meet Haruhi - a cute, determined girl, starting high school in a city where nothing exciting happens and absolutely no one understands her.

Meet Kyon - the sarcastic guy who sits in front of Haruhi in homeroom and the only boy Haruhi has ever opened up to. His fate is now tied to hers.

Meet the S.O.S. Brigade - an after-school club organized by Haruhi with a mission to seek out the extraordinary. Oh, and their secondary mission? Keeping Haruhi happy... because even though she doesn't know it, Haruhi has the power to destroy the universe...

Seriously!

The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi: Book 2

Nagaru Tanigawa

The bestselling series that took the world by storm continues with this hilarious and sly second book.

Gorgeous, confident, and demanding, Haruhi Suzumiya is the leader of the SOS Brigade, a club comprised of her high school's most extraordinary students. So when Haruhi is bored, it's up to the SOS Brigade to do something about it.

As the SOS Brigade prepares for the upcoming cultural festival, eccentric high school student and oblivious god Haruhi decides to make a movie. The star-the beautiful and reluctant Mikuru. But as filming begins, strange things begin to happen and Mikuru begins to develop superpowers. It soon becomes obvious that Haruhi's powers to change the universe are bleeding through the movie and into real life! As things begin to escalate, the SOS Brigade is called to set things right before Haruhi discovers the truth and awakens her true destructive potential. Could the end be near? Or is it just another day at high school? You never know when Haruhi is involved!

The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi: Book 3

Nagaru Tanigawa

Haruhi is the bossy and beautiful leader of the SOS Brigade, a club comprised of her high school's most extraordinary (and strangest) students. On a typical day, the SOS Brigade must struggle to keep Haruhi happy and occupied because, unbeknownst to her, Haruhi has the power to destroy the world!

This third volume in the Haruhi Suzumiya series is a collection of four exciting short stories that chronologically take place before The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya.

The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya:

In her latest attempt to give the S.O.S. Brigade more public exposure, Haruhi signs the group up for the city-wide baseball tournament. Featuring the bat that can only hit home runs.

Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody:

It's like Back To the Future! In order to prevent an impending disaster, Mikuru takes Kyon back in time, where he meets Haruhi as a seventh grader. Haruhi was just as much trouble then as well!

Mysterique Sign:

The computer club president at school mysteriously disappears, and it's up to the S.O.S. Brigade to get to the bottom of it!

Remote Island Syndrome:

It's vacation time when a relative of Itsuki's invites the S.O.S. Brigade to stay at his island villa. But then a dead body turns up, and Haruhi and the gang get mixed up in a thrilling murder mystery. Zoinks!

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi: Book 4

Nagaru Tanigawa

What if you woke up one morning, and everything had changed?

It's one week before Christmas Eve, and Haruhi and the S.O.S. Brigade (a club for her high school's strangest and most extraordinary students) are gearing up for holiday festivities. But just before the fun kicks off, Kyon, the only "normal" member, wakes up one morning in a weird alternate dimension, one where Haruhi attends another school entirely, Nagato, the robot-like alien, is just an ordinary human, and Mikuru (the cute girl of Kyon's dreams) doesn't even recognize him-in other words, the S.O.S. Brigade never existed.

The only clue Kyon can find is a bookmark left by the alien version of Nagato, which leads him on a quest back in time, where he interacts with the storyline from "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody", a short story from the previous Haruhi book, The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya.

This fun and quirky holiday tale is reminiscent of A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life.

Time travel, alternate dimensions, and aliens, oh my! With Haruhi, there's a surprise around every corner.

The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi: Book 5

Nagaru Tanigawa

What Haruhi wants, Haruhi gets!

Stunning, brash, and completely clueless about her powers, Haruhi Suzumiya can make anything bend to her will. Although she doesn't know it, she's a goddess who has the ability destroy the world--don't make her mad! Luckily, she has her SOS Brigade (a club comprised of her high school's most extraordinary students) to keep her happy.

This fifth volume in the wildly fun and unpredictable Haruhi Suzumiya series features three short stories for Haruhi's every mood.

Endless Eight:

An endless (never-ending) summer of fun. Featuring the time-loop from hell!

The Day of Sagittarius:

A heated (overheated) competition with the computer club. The computer club vowed revenge on the SOS Brigade, but they didn't reckon on Haruhi's secrect weapon, the alien Nagato and her abilty with games and (primitive) computer programming

Snowy Mountain Syndrome:

A ski trip getaway (with a dangerous blizzard!). And anything that can take the super-alien Nagato out, is bad news.

The Wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi: Book 6

Nagaru Tanigawa

Haruhi Suzumiya, the fierce and fabulously spontaneous leader of the SOS Brigade (a club for her high school's most extraordinary students), is always a magnet for wild adventures (and trouble!).

Now, get ready to go back in time in this sixth installment of the series! Five short stories reveal never-before-seen events from the SOS Brigade's past exploits. The last story, which brings the SOS Brigade back to the present, rounds out this collection of entertaining, hilarious, and, as always, unpredictable misadventures. Anything is possible in Haruhi's world!

Live Alive:

Kyon peruses the stalls at the cultural festival and visits Mikuru's noodle stall. Everything seems normal for once, until a surprise band shows up to perform.

The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina: Episode 00

The movie that the SOS Brigade created in The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya (Book 2) is shown, and the Bridage gets to see it in its final form.

Love at First Sight:

Kyon meets with an old friend, who describes seeing a girl he's fallen in love with--and it turns out to be Yuki! Will this mere human have a chance with the world's most stoic robot?

Where Did the Cat Go?

This story takes readers back to Book 3 (The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya) in which the SOS Brigade finally begins the main event for the Snow Mountain retreat murder mystery.

The Melancholy of Mikuru Asahina:

Mikuru asks Kyon to accompany her to buy tea leaves, but a secret motive may be involved.

The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi: Book 7

Nagaru Tanigawa

After closing the time loop fiasco in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (Vol. 5), Kyon is ready to start a new year with a blank slate--no time travel, no apocalyptic worries, and maybe some actual peace and quiet with the SOS Brigade, a club comprised of his high school's most extraordinary students. Their leader is Haruhi, a bold, brash girl who doesn't realize that she's actually a powerful goddess whose moods can easily change the balance of the universe.

Just as Kyon starts to get comfortable, he gets a visit from his friend Mikuru. Except this isn't his Mikuru; it's a Mikuru from eight days in the future! Time traveling shenanigans start all over again as Kyon, guided by the future Mikuru, attempts to stop a terrible future from becoming a reality.

The Indignation of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi: Book 8

Nagaru Tanigawa

Two stories continue the adventure in Volume 8 of the Haruhi Suzumiya series.

Editor-in-Chief, Straight Ahead!

Since the beginning of the year, the SOS Brigade has been masking itself as the Literature Club to be recognized as an official high school organization. But when the new student council president threatens to disband the group, the members must write a collection of literature. Naturally, Haruhi assume the role of editor-in-chief and leads the team to publication with hilarious results.

Wandering Shadow:

From writers to detectives, the SOS Brigade does it all. When fellow classmate Sanaka comes to the club seeking help, the team (well, Haruhi) is up to the task. A well-trodden popular park path has suddenly begun to terrify the neighborhood dogs, and Haruhi suspects that it's being haunted by animal spirits. It looks like the SOS Brigade is about to perform its first canine exorcism!

The Dissociation of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi: Book 9

Nagaru Tanigawa

As the second year of high school begins, Haruhi's cynical and sarcastic confidant Kyon, the only "normal" member of the SOS Brigade, finds himself meeting Sasaki, an old friend from his days in junior high. Haruhi and Sasaki's shared friendship with Kyon and, possibly, shared abilities, causes tension between the two and Kyon knows Haurhi's dissatisfaction can have dire consequences! Kyon and Sasaki's chance meeting could affect his future, the future of the SOS Brigade, and the world forever.

This ninth volume of the Haruhi Suzumiya series is the first to use two alternate stories lines for the same plot, which brings the Brigade to different endings. Or is it the same ending? One can never tell with Haruhi. The story continues in the next novel, The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya.

The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi: Book 10

Nagaru Tanigawa

Where Haruhi goes, trouble follows!

The two storylines from The Disassociation of Haruhi Suzumiya continue, introducing a new inductee into the S.O.S. brigade who may be more than just the eager freshman she appears to be. As the two realities converge, the SOS Brigade learns that the new member may have the ability to bring the two story "timelines" together... and save the world in the process.

The Rolling Stones (Space Family Stone)

Heinlein Juveniles: Book 6

Robert A. Heinlein

The rollicking adventures of the Stone Family on a tour of the Solar System. It all statred when the twins, Castor and Pollux Stone, decided that life on the Lunar colony was too dull and decided to buy their own spaceship and go into business for themselves. Their father thought that was a fine, idea, except that he and Grandma Hazel bought the spaceship and the whole Stone Family were on their way out into the far reaches of the Solar System, with stops on Mars(where the twins got a lesson in the interplanetary economics of bicycles and the adorable little critters called flatcats who, it turned out, bred like rabbits; or perhaps, Tribbles....), out to the asteroids, where Mrs. Stone, an M.D., was needed to treat a dangerous outbreak of disease, even further out, to Titan and beyond.

Unforgettable Heinlein characters on an unforgettable adventure.

The Star Diaries

Ijon Tichy: Book 1

Stanislaw Lem

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

The Collapsing Empire

Interdependency: Book 1

John Scalzi

Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible -- until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars.

Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war -- and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.

The Flow is eternal -- but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it's discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster than light travel forever, three individuals -- a scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency -- are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

The Last Stand of the DNA Cowboys

Jeb Stuart Ho: Book 4

Mick Farren

A sequel to a series of 70s science fiction novels in which the Minstrel Boy is being hunted by crazed assassins. Reave is wanted as a deserter and Billy Oblivion fears that he is losing his mind. For the first time, the end seems to be in sight. Mick Farren also wrote "Their Master's War".

Only You Can Save Mankind

Johnny Maxwell: Book 1

Terry Pratchett

As the mighty alien fleet from the very latest computer game thunders across the computer screen, Johnny prepares to blow them into the usual million pieces. And they send him a message: We surrender. They're not supposed to do that! They're supposed to die. And computer joysticks don't have 'Don't Fire' buttons-But it's only a game, isn't it. Isn't it?

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

Kate and Cecelia: Book 1

Patricia C. Wrede
Caroline Stevermer

Two girls contend with sorcery in England’s Regency age

Since they were children, cousins Kate and Cecelia have been inseparable. But in 1817, as they approach adulthood, their families force them to spend a summer apart. As Cecelia fights boredom in her small country town, Kate visits London to mingle with the brightest lights of English society.

At the initiation of a powerful magician into the Royal College of Wizards, Kate finds herself alone with a mysterious witch who offers her a sip from a chocolate pot. When Kate refuses the drink, the chocolate burns through her dress and the witch disappears. It seems that strange forces are convening to destroy a beloved wizard, and only Kate and Cecelia can stop the plot. But for two girls who have to contend with the pressures of choosing dresses and beaux for their debuts, deadly magic is only one of their concerns.

Touched by an Alien

Kitty Katt: Book 1

Gini Koch

How can a sexy marketing manager join forces with an Alpha Centauri male in Armani to save the planet-using hairspray, a Mont Blanc pen, and rock n' roll?

Easy...

She's Touched by an Alien

Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt steps into the middle of what appears to be a domestic dispute turned ugly. And it only gets uglier when the man turns into a winged monster, straight out of a grade-Z horror movie, and goes on a killing spree. Though Kitty should probably run away, she springs into action to take the monster down.

In the middle of the chaos a handsome hunk named Jeff Martini appears, sent by the "agency" to perform crowd control. He's Kitty's kind of guy, no matter what planet he's from. And from now on, for Kitty, things are going to be sexy, dangerous, wild, and out of this world.

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent

Lady Trent: Book 1

Marie Brennan

You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart - no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments - even at the risk of one's life - is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

Marie Brennan introduces an enchanting new world in A Natural History of Dragons.

I Am Number Four

Lorien Legacies: Book 1

Pittacus Lore

John Smith seems like an ordinary teenager, living a normal life with his guardian Henri in Paradise, Ohio. But for John, keeping a low profile is essential, because he is not an ordinary teenager. He's an alien from the planet Lorien, and he's on the run. A group of evil aliens from the planet Mogadore, who destroyed his world, are hunting anyone who escaped.

Nine Loric children were sent to Earth to live in hiding until they grew up and developed their Legacies, powers that would help them fight back--and help them save us. Three of them are now dead. John is Number Four, and he knows he's next....

Libriomancer

Magic Ex Libris: Book 1

Jim C. Hines

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg.  Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.

With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . . .

Magnus Ridolph

Magnus Ridolph

Jack Vance

"Magnus Ridolph didn't look like an interstellar troubleshooter, at first. He was not tall and muscular, ... and his voice and manner seemed far too mild for an adventurer. Yet there was a chill hardness in his mild eyes that warned of the deceptiveness of his appearance..."

This is a collection of all stories featuring Magnus Ridolph, troubleshooter for hire. Invariably those with whom he associates try to either cheat him or take advantage of him, but Magnus Ridolph always comes up with the answer to their problem and, usually with an unexpected twist, manages to collect his full fee from the cheater.

Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was

Master Li: Book 1

Barry Hughart

When the children of his village were struck with a mysterious illness, Number Ten Ox found master Li Kao. Together they set out to find the Great Root of Power, the only possible cure, and together they discover adventure and legend, and the power of belief....

The Alteration

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 2

Kingsley Amis

The year is 1976 and we are alive in an all-Catholic world. The Reformation never took place because Martin Luther made a deal with Rome and became Pope Martin I. The "alteration" proposed to Hubert Anvil, brilliant 10-year-old boy soprano, is that most feared by all males. Pope John XXIV wishes Hubert to preserve the purity of his voice to glorify the Church on a permanent basis; Hubert wishes to share his talent but he has some disquieting thoughts about Pope John's proposal.

Clans of the Alphane Moon

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 3

Philip K. Dick

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

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

The Müller-Fokker Effect

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 14

John Sladek

Bob Shairp--a writer and dreamer--has agreed to be a guinea-pig in a military experiment to find out if his personality can be turned into data and stored on computer. But a computing error quickly destroys Shairp's physical body, leaving his mind stranded in an encoded world. Can the process be reversed?

The Goblin Reservation

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 32

Clifford D. Simak

En route to an interplanetary research mission, a scientist is abducted by a strange, shadowy race of aliens and taken to a previously uncharted planet, a storehouse of information that would be invaluable--even to an Earth so advanced that time travel allows goblins, dinosaurs, even Shakespeare to coexist.

Windswept

Occupied Space: Book 1

Adam Rakunas

Labor organizer Padma Mehta is on the edge of space and the edge of burnout. All she wants is to buy out a little rum distillery and retire, but she's supposed to recruit 500 people to the Union before she can. She's only thirty-three short. So when a small-time con artist tells her about forty people ready to tumble down the space elevator to break free from her old bosses, she checks it out -- against her better judgment. It turns out, of course, it was all lies.

As Padma should know by now, there are no easy shortcuts on her planet. And suddenly retirement seems farther away than ever: she's just stumbled into a secret corporate mission to stop a plant disease that could wipe out all the industrial sugarcane in Occupied Space. If she ever wants to have another drink of her favorite rum, she's going to have to fight her way through the city's warehouses, sewage plants, and up the elevator itself to stop this new plague.

Like a Boss

Occupied Space: Book 2

Adam Rakunas

In this breathless and hilarious followup to Windswept, former labor organiser Padma Mehta's worst nightmare comes true: she gets yanked out of early retirement.

After buying her favourite rum distillery and settling down, she thought she'd heard the last of her arch nemesis, Evanrute Saarien. But Saarien, fresh out of prison for his misdeeds in Windswept, has just fabricated a new religion, positioning himself as its holy leader. He's telling his congregation to go on strike, to fight the system. And unfortunately, they're listening to him.

Now Padma's summoned by the Union president to help stop this strike from happening. The problem is, she's out of practice. And, the more she digs, the more she realises this whole strike business is more complicated than the Union president let on...

To Say Nothing of the Dog

Oxford Time Travel: Book 3

Connie Willis

In her first full-length novel since her critically acclaimed Doomsday Book Connie Willis, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, once again visits the unpredictable world of time travel. But this time the result is a joyous journey into a past and future of comic mishaps and historical cross-purposes, in which the power of human love can still make all the difference.

On the surface, England in the summer of 1888 is possibly the most restful time in history--lazy afternoons boating on the Thames, tea parties, croquet on the lawn--and time traveler Ned Henry is badly in need of a rest. He's been shuttling back and forth between the 21st century and the 1940s looking for a Victorian atrocity called the bishop's birdstump. It's only the latest in a long string of assignments from Lady Schrapnell, the rich dowager who has invaded Oxford University. She's promised to endow the university's time-travel research project in return for their help in rebuilding the famed Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in a Nazi air raid over a hundred years before.

But the bargain has turned into a nightmare. Lady Schrapnell's motto is "God is in the details," and as the l25th anniversary of the cathedral's destruction--and the deadline for its proposed completion--approaches, time-travel research has fallen by the wayside. Now Ned and his colleagues are frantically engaged in installing organ pipes, researching misericords, and generally risking life and limb. So when Ned gets the chance to escape to the Victorian era, he jumps at it. Unfortunately, he isn't really being sent there to recover from his time-lag symptoms, but to correct an incongruity a fellow historian, Verity Kindle, has inadvertently created by bringing something forward from the past.

In theory, such an act is impossible. But now it has happened, and it's up to Ned and Verity to correct the incongruity before it alters history or, worse, destroys the space-time continuum. And they have to do it while coping with eccentric Oxford dons, table-rapping spiritualists, a very spoiled young lady, and an even more spoiled cat. As Ned and Verity try frantically to hold things together and find out why the incongruity happened, the breach widens, time travel goes amok, and everything starts to fall apart--until the fate of the entire space-time continuum hangs on a sÚance, a butler, a bulldog, the battle of Waterloo, and, above all, on the bishop's birdstump.

At once a mystery novel, a time-travel adventure, and a Shakespearean comedy, To Say Nothing of the Dog is a witty and imaginative tale of misconceptions, misunderstandings, and a chaotic world in which the shortest distance between two points is never a straight line, and the secret to the universe truly lies "in the details."

Phule's Company

Phule's Company: Book 1

Robert Lynn Asprin

Meet the soldiers of Phule's company; the few, the proud, the stupid and the inept. These soldiers do more damage before nine in the morning than most people are capable of doing in an entire year. And since fate has a perverse sense of humour they are also mankind's last hope.

Phule's Paradise

Phule's Company: Book 2

Robert Lynn Asprin

Captain Willard Phule must lead his group of unlikely interstellar armed forces on a mission to protect The Fat Chance, an intergalactic casino, from a criminal takeover.

A Phule and His Money

Phule's Company: Book 3

Robert Lynn Asprin
Peter J. Heck

Captain Willard Phule and his company of misfits return in an all new, all-nutty adventure. To help develop a fledgling planet, the enterprising captain is rallying the troops and venturing into a business where no Phule has gone before: amusement parks--the final frontier.

Phule Me Twice

Phule's Company: Book 4

Robert Lynn Asprin
Peter J. Heck

When the planet Zenobia is invaded, Captain Willard Phule is made their military advisor. But, unknown to the Zenobians, they're getting two Phules for the price of one. A robot double of Captain Phule appears out of nowhere. And only the real Phule knows who the real Phule is.

No Phule Like an Old Phule

Phule's Company: Book 5

Robert Lynn Asprin
Peter J. Heck

Phule gets on the wrong side of celebrity canine Barky the Environmental Dog by hosting a group of big game hunters who think they can bag a dinosaur on Zenobia. Needless to say, dinosaurs are not a native species. But cold, hard facts never stopped a Phule. And neither will Barky's cold, wet nose.

Phule's Errand

Phule's Company: Book 6

Robert Lynn Asprin
Peter J. Heck

When his loyal butler runs off with the Omega Company's gorgeous new medic--or so it seems--Phule sets off after him, while General Blitzkrieg decides to make a surprise visit to Zenobia.

Take Back Plenty

Plenty / Tabitha Jute: Book 1

Colin Greenland

It is carnival time on Mars, but Tabitha Jute isn't partying. She is in hiding from the law, penniless and about to lose her livelihood and her best friend, the space barge "Alice Liddell". Then, the intriguing Marco Metz offers her some money to take him to Plenty, and the adventure begins.

Retief's War

Retief: Book 3

Keith Laumer

James Retief, assigned to unite hostile Quoppian tribes for the sake of Earth's security, must first foil the destructive plans of the evil Groaci and encounters the beautiful princess, Fifi.

Roderick at Random

Roderick: Book 2

John Sladek

Here is the continuing and uproarious saga of Roderick, a robot and "learning machine" growing up in an America in the near future. The mild-mannered robot is confronted with an ever-widening cast of madcap characters who typify the artificial values endemic in modern America.

Pride's Spell

Sin du Jour: Book 3

Matt Wallace

The team at Sin du Jour--New York's exclusive caterers-to-the-damned--find themselves up against their toughest challenge, yet when they're lured out west to prepare a feast in the most forbidding place in America: Hollywood, where false gods rule supreme.

Meanwhile, back at home, Ritter is attacked at home by the strangest hit-squad the world has ever seen, and the team must pull out all the stops if they're to prevent themselves from being offered up as the main course in a feast they normally provide

Starring: The Prince of Lies, Lena Tarr, Darren Vargas. With Byron Luck. Introducing: the Easter Bunny.

Pride's Spell is the third installment in Matt Wallace's Sin du Jour series.

Galactic Pot Healer

Sirius Five: Book 1

Philip K. Dick

A powerful and enigmatic alien recruits humans and aliens to help it restore a sunken cathedral in this touching and hilarious novel.

Sometimes even gods need help. In Galactic Pot-Healer that god is an alien creature known as The Glimmung, which looks alternately like a flaming wheel, a teenage girl, and a swirling mass of ocean life. In order to raise a sunken city, he summons beings from across the galaxy to Plowman’s Planet. Joe Fernwright is one of those summoned, needed for his skills at pot-healing—repairing broken ceramics. But from the moment Joe arrives on Plowman’s Planet, things start to go awry. Told as only Philip K. Dick can, Galactic Pot-Healer is a wildly funny tale of aliens, gods, and ceramics.

The Merchants' War

Space Merchants: Book 2

Frederik Pohl

The witty sequel to Frederik Pohl's & C. M. Kornbluth's legendary science fiction classic The Space Merchants, written 30 years later.

Great advertising agencies still dominate the world and control all governments and every aspect of human behavior. When a handful of renegades on Venus zealously opposes the so-called "benefits" of the hucksters' paradise, it seems inevitable that the all-powerful account executives of Earth will stop at nothing, not even war, to force the rebels to submit.

But the Veenies have a plan.../p>

Trials and Tribble-ations

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Episode Novelizations: Book 5

Diane Carey

Almost a century ago, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the "Starship Enterprise" first encountered the irresistible (and astonishingly prolific) life-form known as the tribbles, resulting in one of the most unusual adventures in the annals of Starfleet. Now Captain Benjamin Sisko and the crew of the "Defiant" are transported back in time to that historic ocassion, where Darvin, a devious Klingon spy, plots revenge against Captain Kirk. Using the seemingly harmless tribbles, Darvin attempts to destroy Kirk - but for the misplaced residents of "Deep Space Nine", saving the original "Enterprise" will be nothing but "tribble."

This book also features an introduction written by David Gerrold, the author of the "Trouble with the Tribbles" TOS script.

Star Trek: The Voyage Home

Star Trek: Movie Novelizations: Book 4

Vonda N. McIntyre

To save Earth from destruction Kirk's crew must rescue a part of the past.

Their ship destroyed and their captain facing charges that could end his career, the men and woman of the starship USS Enterprise head home - to a planet Earth on the verge of extinction. An alien space probe has begun to destroy the atmosphere and threaten all forms of life. But somewhere in the 20th century is the key to the probe's deadly fury. Kirk and his crew must make a desperate journey into the past - to save the only hope of the future.

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Star Trek: Movie Novelizations: Book 12

Alan Dean Foster

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.

With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

How Much for Just the Planet?

Star Trek: The Original Series: Book 36

John M. Ford

Dilithium: in crystalline form, the most valuable mineral in the galaxy. It powers the Federation's starships... and the Klingon Empire's battlecruisers. Now on a small, out-of-the-way planet named Direidi, the greatest fortune in dilithium crystals ever seen has been found.

Under the terms of the Organian Peace Treaty, the planet will go to the side best able to develop the planet and its resources. Each side will contest the prize with the prime of its fleet: for the Federation -- Captain James T. Kirk and the Starship Enterprise; for the Klingons -- Captain Kaden vestai-Oparai and the Fire Blossom.

Except the Direidians are writing their own script for this contest -- a script that propels the crew of the Starship Enterprise into their strangest adventure yet.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: A New Hope

Star Wars: Shakespeare: Book 4

Ian Doescher

Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this sublime retelling of George Lucas's epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare's greatest plays. 'Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearstome Stormtroopers, signifying...pretty much everything.

Reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter--and complete with twenty gorgeous Elizabethan illustrations--William Shakespeare's Star Wars will astound and edify Rebels and Imperials alike. Zounds! This is the book you're looking for.

Davy

Tales of a Darkening World: Book 1

Edgar Pangborn

Davy, who relates his own story, was born in a brothel and raised in an orphanage; he travels in many directions, but always away from ignorance. His adventures are varied and range from tragic to boisterously funny.

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases

Thackery T. Lambshead: Book 1

Jeff VanderMeer
Mark Roberts

You hold in your hands the most complete and official guide to imaginary ailments ever assembled--each disease carefully documented by the most stellar collection of speculative fiction writers ever to play doctor. Detailed within for your reading and diagnostic pleasure are the frightening, ridiculous, and downright absurdly hilarious symptoms, histories, and possible cures to all the ills human flesh isn't heir to, including Ballistic Organ Disease, Delusions of Universal Grandeur, and Reverse Pinocchio Syndrome.

Lavishly illustrated with cunning examples of everything that can't go wrong with you, the Lambshead Guide provides a healthy dose of good humor and relief for hypochondriacs, pessimists, and lovers of imaginative fiction everywhere. Even if you don't have Pentzler's Lubriciousness or Tian Shan-Gobi Assimilation, the cure for whatever seriousness may ail you is in this remarkable collection.

Buffalito Buffet

The Amazing Conroy: Book 1

Lawrence M. Schoen

For years, Lawrence M. Schoen has been producing stories about the ever more popular Amazing Conroy and his companion, a buffalito named Reggie. Buffalitos are alien creatures that look like miniature bison and can consume anything. Their only waste product is oxygen... which makes for limitless possibilities. Here we present a collection of those stories, including Nebula-Award-nominated novella, "Barry's Tale," which adds to the adventures of the hypnotist-turned-business-owner as he and Reggie travel the known universe, as well as beyond Human Space.

  • Buffalo Dogs - A poverty-stricken hypnotist trying to redeem his finances gains a buffalito companion, Reggie. - (2001)
  • Buffalogenesis - Conroy founds his Buffalogic empire of buffalitos, gets very rich, and manages to not get his arms cut off. - (2006)
  • Barry's Tale - Conroy and Reggie save the life of a very special little girl - while sampling spectacular intergalactic barbeque. - (2011) (nominee for 2012 Nebula Best Novella)
  • A Buffalito of Mars - The red planet gets a terraformed atmosphere courtesy of the buffalitos - and Conroy has an alien encounter which he uses to enrich humankind. - (2007)
  • Requiem - A young, impoverished Conroy becomes "The Amazing Conroy" - and helps an alien friend to acquire immortality. - (2005)
  • Telepathic Intent - Conroy meets the love of his life, is charged with murder, and has to solve the mystery to save himself. - (2003)
  • The Matter At Hand - Conroy enlists the assistance of a gambler extraordinaire to defeat a telepathic alien in an exceptionally high-stakes card game. - (2008)
  • Yesterday's Taste - Conroy helps a friend recreate the recipe for a legendary dish with an hypnotic sleight-of-hand. - (2011) (nominee for the 2012 WSFS Small Press Award)

This is a collection of stories which sets up the Conroyverse, and is best read prior to the Buffalito Destiny and Buffalito Contingency novels.

Barry's Tale

The Amazing Conroy: Book 2

Lawrence M. Schoen

Nebula-nominated Novella

Recipe for an entertaining and humorous SF novella:

Take one mesmerizing rogue and an adorable, flatulent pet.
Add a barbecue competition...
American bison and martian thoats...
A child with the power to destroy a world...
An old man with a secret that could rock humanity...
A woman from college who hasn't aged in fifteen years...
Alien beings with instantaneous, galaxy-wide teleportation...
And a plushie!


Read this story online for free at the author's website.

Buffalito Destiny

The Amazing Conroy: Book 3

Lawrence M. Schoen

A former stage hypnotist, the Amazing Conroy really just wants to have a good meal. He's now the wealthy CEO of a company that leases buffalo dogs, alien creatures capable of biting into and devouring nearly anything. When he attempts to implement a solution for cleaning up massive industrial waste sites, Conroy becomes targeted by ecological terrorists who resent the use of alien technology (living or otherwise) to heal the Earth.

But kidnapping and the destruction of his corporate headquarters are the least of Conroy's problems. An unknown, telepathic intelligence has begun invading his dreams, warning of geological disasters that hinge on what Conroy does next. Further complicating his life are several groups of aliens, each believing that he has a special destiny to fulfill, though they don't necessarily agree what it is.

Accompanied by his pet buffalito, Reggie, Conroy must elude terrorists, confound alien zealots, withstand temporal distortions throughout the former state of Texas, and explore ancient Mayan ruins. His adventures will result in his reunion with a long dead relative, a chance to experience the world's greatest sandwiches, exposure to alien bliss, a battle with a megalomaniac on the slope of an active volcano, and a trip to the asteroid belt for a final face-to-face confrontation with the creature that had been invading his dreams. Somewhere in the midst of it all, he has to find his true destiny.

Trial of the Century

The Amazing Conroy: Book 4

Lawrence M. Schoen

Nebula-nominated Novella

What would you do to save your best friend?

At the end of Buffalito Destiny, Conroy had lost his fortune and fled Earth. Reggie, his buffalito, had survived diving into a volcano, but slipped into a coma.

Now Reggie is dying and the buffalito's internal nuclear furnace is growing unstable. Conroy's only hope lies with the Arconi, the aliens he ripped off to create his empire. Their help comes with a price: he has to go on trial for his crimes, against people who can telepathically tell when he's lying. Conroy knows he's guilty, but Reggie must be saved!


Read this story online for free at
the author's website.

Buffalito Contingency

The Amazing Conroy: Book 5

Lawrence M. Schoen

The Amazing Conroy has left Earth far behind and taken his hypnosis act beyond Human Space. It should be show-business-as-usual, except for the energy being the size of a hundred suns that wants to study him, a plot to smuggle liquid gravity, a troupe of alien sex wrestlers, a hypnotized ghost, and Reggie his buffalito stuck in a saurian toilet...

Publishers Weekly says of this novel: "Fans of old-fashioned SF will love this fast-paced, chaotic, and good-natured adventure full of semi-farcical humor and pleasantly believable aliens."

Calendrical Regression

The Amazing Conroy: Book 6

Lawrence M. Schoen

Nebula-nominated Novella

In December of 2012, the Mayan calendar reached the end of its 13th baktun, completing the Long Count and signaling the end of the world... metaphorically. That was the day of Galactic First Contact, and the beginning of a new age for humans and aliens.

Eighty years later, Conroy, stage-hypnotist-turned-wealthy-CEO, attempts to slip away from the corporate grind just to enjoy a little downtime performing for conventioneers in the midwest.

But the alien Uary have come to Earth, and are intent on luring the Amazing Conroy down to Mexico with the promise of gourmet cuisine. They want to hypnotically regress the descendant of a Mayan priest and ask him a simple question about the end date of that ancient calendar: How did they know?

There's just one problem. Another alien, a Svenkali, has dedicated its life to purging the galaxy of the Uary. It's tracked them to Earth and while it bungled one assassination attempt, it managed to steal Reggie, Conroy's buffalito, in the process. What's a hypnotist to do?


Read this story online for free at Noble Fusion Press.

Just One Damned Thing After Another

The Chronicles of St. Mary's: Book 1

Jodi Taylor

History is just one damned thing after another - Arnold Toynbee

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

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

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

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

A Symphony of Echoes

The Chronicles of St. Mary's: Book 2

Jodi Taylor

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

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

A Second Chance

The Chronicles of St. Mary's: Book 3

Jodi Taylor

St Mary's is back and nothing is going right for Max. Once again, it's just one damned thing after another.

The action jumps from an encounter with a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton to the bloody battlefield at Agincourt. Discover how a simple fact-finding assignment to witness the ancient and murderous cheese-rolling ceremony in Gloucester can result in CBC - concussion by cheese. The long awaited jump to Bronze Age Troy ends in personal catastrophe for Max, and just when it seems things couldn't get any worse - it's back to the Cretaceous Period again to confront an old enemy who has nothing to lose.

So, make the tea, grab the chocolate biscuits, settle back and discover exactly why the entire history department has painted itself blue...

A Trail Through Time

The Chronicles of St. Mary's: Book 4

Jodi Taylor

St Mary's is back and is facing a battle to survive in this, the fourth instalment of the Chronicles.

Max and Leon are reunited, and looking forward to a peaceful lifetime together. But, sadly, they don't even make it to lunchtime.

The action races from 17th-century London to Ancient Egypt and from Pompeii to 14th-century Southwark as they're pursued up and down the timeline, playing a perilous game of hide-and-seek, until they're finally forced to take refuge at St Mary's - where new dangers await them.

As usual, there are plenty of moments of humour, but the final, desperate Battle of St Mary's is in grim earnest. Overwhelmed and outnumbered and with the building crashing down around them, how can St Mary's possibly survive?

So, make sure the tea's good and strong...

No Time Like The Past

The Chronicles of St. Mary's: Book 5

Jodi Taylor

St Mary's has been rebuilt and it's business as usual for the History department.

But first, there's the little matter of a seventeenth-century ghost that only Mr Markham can see. Not to mention the minor inconvenience of being trapped in the Great Fire of London... and an unfortunately-timed comfort break at Thermopylae leaving the fate of the western world hanging in the balance.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The Chronicles of St. Mary's: Book 6

Jodi Taylor

Max is back! New husband, new job, and a training regime that cannot fail - to go wrong!

Take one interim Chief Training Officer, add five recruits, mix with Joan of Arc, a baby mammoth, a duplicitous Father of History, a bombed rat, Stone Age hunters, a couple of passing policemen who should have better things to do, and Dick the Turd.

Stir well, bring to the boil - and wait for the bang!

The Empress of Mars

The Company: Book 9

Kage Baker

When the British Arean Company founded its Martian colony, it welcomed any settlers it could get. Outcasts, misfits and dreamers emigrated in droves to undertake the grueling task of terraforming the cold red planet--only to be abandoned when the BAC discovered it couldn't turn a profit on Mars.

This is the story of Mary Griffith, a determined woman with three daughters, who opened the only place to buy a beer on the Tharsis Bulge. It's the story of Manco Inca, whose attempt to terraform Mars brought a new goddess vividly to life; of Stanford Crosley, con man extraordinaire; of Ottorino Vespucci, space cowboy and romantic hero; of the Clan Morrigan, of the denizens of the Martian Motel, and of the machinations of another Company entirely, all of whom contribute to the downfall of the BAC and the founding of a new world. But Mary and her struggles and triumphs is at the center of it all, in her bar, the Empress of Mars.

Based on the Hugo-nominated novella of the same name, this is a rollicking novel of action, planetary romance, and high adventure.

The Dancers at the End of Time

The Dancers at the End of Time

Michael Moorcock

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

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

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

An Alien Heat

The Dancers at the End of Time: Book 1

Michael Moorcock

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

The Hollow Lands

The Dancers at the End of Time: Book 2

Michael Moorcock

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

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

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 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book 1

Douglas Adams

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

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book 2

Douglas Adams

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

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

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

Life, the Universe and Everything

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book 3

Douglas Adams

The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads--so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the white killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.

They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler, who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vicepresident of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-head honcho of the Universe; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.

How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert "universal" Armageddon and save life as we know it--and don't know it!

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book 4

Douglas Adams

Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription, the mysterious disappearance of Earth's dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on. . . .

God only knows what it all means. And fortunately, He left behind a Final Message of explanation. But since it's light-years away from Earth, on a star surrounded by souvenir booths, finding out what it is will mean hitching a ride to the far reaches of space aboard a UFO with a giant robot. But what else is new?

Mostly Harmless

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book 5

Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams is back with the amazing, logic-defying, but-why-stop-now fifth novel in the Hitchhiker Trilogy. Here is the epic story of Random, who sets out on a transgalactic quest to find the planet of her ancestors.

And Another Thing…

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book 6

Eoin Colfer

An Englishman's continuing search through space and time for a decent cup of tea...

Arthur Dent's accidental association with that wholly remarkable book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, has not been entirely without incident.

Arthur has traveled the length, breadth, and depth of known, and unknown, space. He has stumbled forward and backward through time. He has been blown up, reassembled, cruelly imprisoned, horribly released, and colorfully insulted more than is strictly necessary. And of course Arthur Dent has comprehensively failed to grasp the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

Arthur has finally made it home to Earth, but that does not mean he has escaped his fate.

Arthur's chances of getting his hands on a decent cuppa have evaporated rapidly, along with all the world's oceans. For no sooner has he touched down on the planet Earth than he finds out that it is about to be blown up... again.

And Another Thing... is the rather unexpected, but very welcome, sixth installment of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. It features a pantheon of unemployed gods, everyone's favorite renegade Galactic President, a lovestruck green alien, an irritating computer, and at least one very large slab of cheese.

The Jennifer Morgue: plus Pimpf

The Laundry Files: Book 2

Charles Stross

Bob Howard - a T-shirt wearing computer geek and field agent for the super-secret British government agency The Laundry - must save the world from eldritch horrors, codenamed Jennifer Morgue, in this fast-paced spy thriller. Bob's current mission is to stop the evil Ellis Billington from achieving world domination, but he must overcome obstacles including the Gravedust device, which permits communication with the dead; destiny-entanglement protocol; banishment weapons; and Ramona Random, a lethal but beautiful agent for the U.S. counterpart to The Laundry. Billington plans to raise the eldritch horror Jennifer Morgue from the vasty deeps, and communicate with a dead warrior for the purpose of ruling the world.

Blending physics and applied mathematics with the practice of summoning and demonology, this spy-meets-horror novel will keep sci-fi fans on the edge of their seats.

This volume also includes a bonus story, "Pimpf," featuring The Laundry agent Bob Howard in the world of virtual gaming, as well as an afterword entitled "The Golden Age of Spying."

The Long Earth

The Long Earth: Book 1

Stephen Baxter
Terry Pratchett

NORMALLY, WHEN THERE WAS NOTHING TO DO, HE LISTENED TO THE SILENCE.

The Silence was very faint here. Almost drowned out by the sounds of the mundane world. Did people in this polished building understand how noisy it was? The roar of air conditioners and computer fans, the susurration of many voices heard but not decipherable.... This was the office of the transEarth Institute, an arm of the Black Corporation. The faceless office, all plasterboard and chrome, was dominated by a huge logo, a chesspiece knight. This wasn't Joshua's world. None of it was his world. In fact, when you got right down to it, he didn't have a world; he had all of them.

ALL OF THE LONG EARTH.

The Stainless Steel Rat

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 1

Harry Harrison

In the vastness of space, the crimes just get bigger and Slippery Jim diGriz, the Stainless Steel Rat, is the biggest criminal of them all. He can con humans, aliens and any number of robots time after time. Jim is so slippery that all the inter-galactic cops can do is make him one of their own.

The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 2

Harry Harrison

The second adventure of slippery Jim diGriz the Robin Hood of the far future, robbing the rich to give to the even richer...himself.

The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 3

Harry Harrison

The villainous He has travelled back in time to mankind's distant past on the legendary planet Earth (or 'Dirt') of 1984, where he is altering events so that people who opposed him in the Rat's present cease to exist, Angelina amongst them. Using the Helix, a time-travel device invented by the Special Corps' Professor Coypu, diGriz travels to 1984 America, and then to Napoleonic France where tanks and aircraft are helping bring about Napoleon's victory.

The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 4

Harry Harrison

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

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 Stainless Steel Rat is Born

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 6

Harry Harrison

A Rat by any other name...

Young Jim diGriz has but one ambition in life - to become a master criminal, perhaps the greatest that little Bit O'Heaven has ever seen. So that he can learn the ropes, he has to mix with the right people - or rather the wrong people. And for this kind of on-the-job training the best place to meet the worst villains is in prison. But even for a customer as slippery as Jim, getting behind bars is'nt easy.

So Jim does a bank job, very badly, with the avowed intention of getting himself knicked...

The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 7

Harry Harrison

In a galaxy where civilization covers every world with steel and ferroconcrete, only a very special man can break all the rules and still stay free. A man who moves through the rafters of society like a rat. A Stainless Steel Rat . . . .

And when the galaxy goes to war, it needs special men. That's when The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted. The 25th century's most dangerous outlaw is back--and this time it means war! Slippery Jim diGriz, better known as the Stainless Steel Rat, is seeking revenge for the murder of his mentor-in-crime, the fabled archcriminal known as The Bishop. His trail leads to Nevenkebla and the iron-fisted dictator General Zennor--the kind of man who'd sell his own mother into slavery just to see the expression on her face.

Now in the uniform of a Nevenkeblan soldier, Jim discovers Zennor's vile plan to enslave a defenseless planet. Only a man with a Special code of honor--only a Stainless Steel Rat--can save the world from the invading horde.

The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 8

Harry Harrison

Cutting a deal with the authorities to escape a death sentence, Slippery Jim deGriz prepares to retrieve a missing alien artifact from the Liokukae, a planet that serves as a dumping ground for the Galactic League's misfits.

The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 9

Harry Harrison

Brand new adventure of slippery Jim DiGriz, the SF superhero the TLS compared to James Bond and Flash Gordon and the Daily Telegraph, called the Monty Python of the spaceways.

While our anti-hero is taking it easy on the resort planet Lussouso, his wife Angelina and her cavorting pals are at the temple ofEternal Truth, being bamboozled into believing that at last they can buy their way into heaven. When Angelina asks 1 pertinent question too many, Slippery Jim suddenly finds himself without a wife.

Within the Temple of Eternal Truth lie the doors to Heaven and Hell - to find Angelina, Jim and his twin sons will have to break down those doors and explore the worlds behind them. In outer space, the devil makes work for idle hands.

The Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 10

Harry Harrison

Slippery Jim DiGriz. The galaxy's greatest thief and con artist: the Stainless Steel Rat. For novel upon novel, Jim DiGriz has outfoxed the forces of conventionality, cutting a stylish swathe through dozens of star systems.

Now, Slippery Jim and his beautiful wife Angelina find themselves becalmed on a painfully boring backwater planet, with nothing to do but practice their skills at computer crime.

Then they meet a billionaire who claims to be 40,000 years old--who offers them millions of credits to investigate a string of unsolved interstellar bank robberies. Robberies which, it turns out, always happen when the circus is nearby. . . .

In a sense, The Stainless Steel Rat has always been a high-wire performer. Now, as he infiltrates the world of the galactic big top, he's taking the role to extremes . . . and drawing the attention of more dangerous ringmasters and strongmen than he ever expected.

Will this be his final show? Has Slippery Jim finally leapt for his last trapeze? Naaah.

The Stainless Steel Rat Returns

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 11

Harry Harrison

After a ten-year absence, the return of one of the most enduring series characters in modern SF

James Bolivar "Slippery Jim" DiGriz, Special Corps agent, master con man, interstellar criminal (retired), is living high on the hog on the planet of Moolaplenty when a long-lost cousin and a shipful of swine arrive to drain his bank account and send him and his lovely wife, Angelina, wandering the stars on the wildest journey since Gulliver's Travels.

In this darkly satiric work, Harry Harrison bring his most famous character out of retirement for a grand tour of the galaxy. The Stainless Steel Rat rides again: a cocktail in his hand, a smile on his lips, and larceny in his heart, in search of adventure, gravitons, and a way to get rid of the pigs.

A Civil Campaign

The Vorkosigan Saga: Book 10

Lois McMaster Bujold

Despite all his power, Lord Miles Vorkosigan can't win the hand of the beautiful Vor widow, Ekaterin Vorsoisson, who is violently allergic to marriage as a result of her first exposure. But as Miles has learned from his career in the galactic covert ops, subterfuge is always an option. So he devises a cunning plan.

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

The Vorkosigan Saga: Book 13

Lois McMaster Bujold

GOOD INTENTIONS, BAD INTEL

Captain Ivan Vorpatril sometimes thinks that if not for his family, he might have no troubles at all. But he has the dubious fortune of the hyperactive Miles Vorkosigan as a cousin, which has too-often led to his getting dragged into one of Miles' schemes, with risk to life and limb-and military career-that Ivan doesn't consider entirely fair. Although much practice has made Ivan more adept at fending off his mother's less-than-subtle reminders that he should be getting married and continuing the Vorpatril lineage.

Fortunately, his current duty is on the planet Komarr as staff officer to Admiral Desplains, far from both his cousin and his mother back on their homeworld of Barrayar. It's an easy assignment and nobody is shooting at him. What could go wrong?

Plenty, it turns out, when Byerly Vorrutyer, an undercover agent for Imperial Security, shows up on his doorstep and asks him to make the acquaintance of a young woman, recently arrived on Komarr, who seems to be in danger. That Byerly is characteristically vague about the nature of the danger, not to mention the lady's name, should have been Ivan's first clue, but Ivan is no more able to turn aside from aiding a damsel in distress than he could resist trying to rescue a kitten from a tree.

It is but a short step down the road of good intentions to the tangle of Ivan's life, in trouble with the Komarran authorities, with his superiors, and with the lethal figures hunting the mysterious but lovely Tej and her exotic blue companion Rish-a tangle to test the lengths to which Ivan will go as an inspired protector.

But though his predicament is complicated, at least Ivan doesn't have to worry about hassle from family. Or so he believes . . .

The Privilege of the Sword

The World of Riverside: Book 3

Ellen Kushner

Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city's ballroom, brothels and boudoirs. Into this alluring world walks Katherine, a well-bred country girl versed in the rules of conventional society. Her mistake is thinking that they apply. For Katherine's host and uncle, Alec Campion, aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine, is in charge here--and to him, rules are made to be broken.

When Alec decides it would be more amusing for his niece to learn swordplay than to follow the usual path to marriage, her world changes forever. Blade in hand, it's up to Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and scoundrels--and to gain the self-discovery that comes to those who master....

Lost in a Good Book

Thursday Next: Book 2

Jasper Fforde

If Thursday thought she could avoid the spotlight after her heroic escapades in the pages of Jane Eyre, she was sorely mistaken. The unforgettable literary detective whom Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times calls "part Bridget Jones, part Nancy Drew and part Dirty Harry" had another think coming. The love of her life has been eradicated by Goliath, everyone's favorite corrupt multinational. To rescue him Thursday must retrieve a supposedly vanquished enemy from the pages of "The Raven." But Poe is off-limits to even the most seasoned literary interloper. Enter a professional: the man-hating Miss Havisham from Dickens's Great Expectations. As her new apprentice, Thursday keeps her motives secret as she learns the ropes of Jurisfiction, where she moonlights as a Prose Resource Operative inside books. As if jumping into the likes of Kafka, Austen, and Beatrix Potter's Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies weren't enough, Thursday finds herself the target of a series of potentially lethal coincidences, the authenticator of a newly discovered play by the Bard himself, and the only one who can prevent an unidentifiable pink sludge from engulfing all life on Earth.

The inventive, exuberant, and totally original literary fun that began with The Eyre Affair continues with Fforde's magnificent new adventure, the second installment in what is sure to become a classic series of literary fantasy.

The Well of Lost Plots

Thursday Next: Book 3

Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde has done it again in this genre-bending blend of crime fiction, fantasy, and top-drawer literary entertainment. After two rollicking New York Times bestselling adventures through Western literature, resourceful literary detective Thursday Next definitely needs some downtime. And what better place for a respite than in the hidden depths of the Well of Lost Plots, where all unpublished books reside? But peace and quiet remain elusive for Thursday, who soon discovers that the Well is a veritable linguistic free-for-all, where grammasites run rampant, plot devices are hawked on the black market, and lousy books-like the one she has taken up residence in-are scrapped for salvage. To make matters worse, a murderer is stalking the personnel of Jurisfiction and it's up to Thursday to save the day. A brilliant feat of literary showmanship filled with wit, fantasy, and effervescent originality, this Ffordian tour de force is the most exciting Thursday Next adventure yet.

Hawk

Vlad Taltos: Book 14

Steven Brust

Years ago, Vlad Taltos came to make his way as a human amidst the impossibly tall, fantastically long-lived natives of the Dragaeran Empire. He joined the Jhereg, the Dragaeran House (of which there are seventeen) that handles the Empire's vices: gambling, rackets, organized crime. He became a professional assassin. He was good at it.

But that was then, before Vlad and the Jhereg became mortal enemies.

For years, Vlad has run from one end of the Empire to the other, avoiding the Jhereg assassins who pursue him. Now, finally, he's back in the imperial capital where his family and friends are. He means to stay there this time. Whatever happens. And whatever it takes.

A Spell for Chameleon

Xanth Series: Book 1

Piers Anthony

Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled--where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. That is, except for Bink of North Village. He was sure he possessed no magic, and knew that if he didn't find some soon, he would be exiled. According to the Good Magician Humpfrey, the charts said that Bink was as powerful as the King or even the Evil Magician Trent. Unfortunately, no one could determine its form. Meanwhile, Bink was in despair. If he didn't find his magic soon, he would be forced to leave....