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Minority Report

Philip K. Dick

Viewed by many as the greatest science fiction writer on any planet, Philip K. Dick has written some of the most intriguing, original, and thought-provoking fiction of our time. This collection includes stories that will make you laugh, cringe... and stop and think.

In "The Minority Report," a special unit that employs those with the power of precognition to prevent crimes proves itself less than reliable. This story was the basis of the feature film Minority Report.

In, "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale," an everyguy's yearning for more exciting "memories" places him in a danger he never could have imagined. This story was the basis of the feature film Total Recall.

In "Paycheck," a mechanic who has no memory of the previous two years of his life finds that a bag of seemingly worthless and unrelated objects can actually unlock the secret of his recent past, and insure that he has a future. This story was the basis of the feature film Paycheck.

In "Second Variety," the UN's technological advances to win a global war veer out of control, threatening to destroy all of humankind. This story was the basis of the feature film Screamers.

And "The Eyes Have It" is a whimsical, laugh-out-loud play on the words of the title.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by Malcolm Edwards
  • The Minority Report - (1956)
  • Impostor - (1953)
  • Second Variety - (1953)
  • War Game - (1959)
  • What the Dead Men Say - (1964)
  • Oh, to Be a Blobel! - (1964)
  • The Electric Ant - (1969)
  • Faith of Our Fathers - (1967)
  • We Can Remember It for You Wholesale - (1966)

The Time Traveler's Wife

Audrey Niffenegger

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

The Death of Grass

SF Rediscovery: Book 11

John Christopher

At first the virus wiping out grass and crops is of little concern to John Custance. It has decimated Asia, causing mass starvation and riots, but Europe is safe and a counter-virus is expected any day. Except, it turns out, the governments have been lying to their people. When the deadly disease hits Britain they are left alone, and society starts to descend into barbarism. As John and his family try to make it across country to the safety of his brotherÂ’s farm in a hidden valley, their humanity is tested to its very limits.

Published in the USA as: No Blade of Grass.

Lightning

Dean Koontz

The first time the lightning strikes Laura Shane is born...

The second time is strikes the terror starts...though eight-year-old Laura is saved by a mysterious stranger from the perverted and deadly intentions of a drug-crazed robber. Throughout her childhood she is plagued by ever more terrifying troubles, and with increasing courage she finds the strength to prevail - even without the intervention of her strange guardian. But, despite her success as a novelist, and her happy family life, Laura cannot shake the certainty that powerful and malignant forces are controlling her destiny.

Then the lightning strikes once more and shatters her world. The adventure - and the terror - have only just begun...

The Light Brigade

Kameron Hurley

They said the war would turn us into light. I wanted to be counted among the heroes who gave us this better world.

The Light Brigade: it's what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back... different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief--no matter what actually happens during combat.

Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don't sync up with the platoon's. And Dietz's bad drops tell a story of the war that's not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on.

Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero--or maybe a villain; in war it's hard to tell the difference.

The Time Machine

H. G. Wells

When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year a.d. 802,701, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment, and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realizes that these beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture—now weak and childishly afraid of the dark.

They have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity—the sinister Morlocks. And when the scientist’s time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels if he is ever to return to his own era.

Pines

Wayward Pines: Book 1

Blake Crouch

Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels...off.

As the days pass, Ethan's investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can't he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn't anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out?

Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact--he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

The Iron Heel

Jack London

Part science fiction, part dystopian fantasy, part radical socialist tract, Jack London's The Iron Heel offers a grim depiction of warfare between the classes in America and around the globe. Originally published nearly a hundred years ago, it anticipated many features of the past century, including the rise of fascism, the emergence of domestic terrorism, and the growth of centralized government surveillance and authority. What begins as a war of words ends in scenes of harrowing violence as the state oligarchy, known as "the Iron Heel," moves to crush all opposition to its power.

Millennium

John Varley

A group of scientists from the far future have hit upon the perfect method of moving people through time--they engineer disasters in what we call the present, and whisk the people away, forward in time, a fraction of a second before they are to die. When an investigator begins his investigation into a midair collision between two planes, he never dreams that he will turn up evidence of time travel.

Bring the Jubilee

SF Rediscovery: Book 23

Ward Moore

The United States never recovered from The War for Southern Independence. While the neighboring Confederacy enjoyed the prosperity of the victor, the U.S. struggled through poverty, violence, and a nationwide depression.

The Industrial Revolution never occurred here, and so, well into the 1950s, the nation remained one of horse-drawn wagons, gaslight, highwaymen, and secret armies. This was home for Hodgins McCormick Backmaker, whose sole desire was the pursuit of knowledge. This, he felt, would spirit him away from the squalor and violence.

Disastrously, Hodgins became embroiled in the clandestine schemes of the outlaw Grand Army, from which he fled in search of a haven. But he was to discover that no place could fully protect him from the world and its dangerous realities....

The Sound of His Horn

Sarban

If the Nazis had in fact won their war, we could have expected to see-those of us who were still around-a systematic development of the master-race concept into a kind of feudal structure, with a small oligarchy of immensely powerful and capricious overlords, a middle stratum of fiendishly conscientious Party administrators, and a huge slave-proletariat absolutely subject to the whim of their masters, even to lengths of providing them, as here, with human game for the chase.

Swastika Night

Murray Constantine

Published in 1937, twelve years before Orwell's 1984, this novel projects a totally male-controlled fascist world that has eliminated women as we know them. They are breeders, kept as cattle, while men in this post-Hitlerian world are embittered automatons, fearful of all feelings, having abolished all history, education, creativity, books, and art. The plot centers on a "misfit" who asks, "How could this have happened?"

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.

Time Salvager

Time Salvager: Book 1

Wesley Chu

In a future when Earth is a toxic, abandoned world and humanity has spread into the outer solar system to survive, the tightly controlled use of time travel holds the key maintaining a fragile existence among the other planets and their moons. James Griffin-Mars is a chronman -- a convicted criminal recruited for his unique psychological makeup to undertake the most dangerous job there is: missions into Earth's past to recover resources and treasure without altering the timeline. Most chronmen never reach old age, and James is reaching his breaking point.

On a final mission that is to secure his retirement, James meets an intriguing woman from a previous century, scientist Elise Kim, who is fated to die during the destruction of an oceanic rig. Against his training and his common sense, James brings her back to the future with him, saving her life, but turning them both into fugitives. Remaining free means losing themselves in the wild and poisonous wastes of Earth, and discovering what hope may yet remain for humanity's home world.

Doomsday Morning

C. L. Moore

Comus, the communications network/police force, has spread its web of power all across an America paralyzes by the after-effects of limited nuclear war. But in California, resistance is building against the dictatorship of Comus and Andrew Raleigh, president for life. For now Raleigh is dying and the powers of Comus are fading. It's the perfect time for the Californian revolutionaries to activate the secret weapon that alone can destroy America's totalitarian system and re-establish democracy. Yet Comus too has powers at its disposal, chief among them Howard Rohan. A washed-up actor until Comus offers him a second chance, Rohan will head a troupe of players touring in the heart of rebel territory. Howard Rohan, double agent, caught between the orders of Comus and rebels demands Which side will he choose? Who will he play false - himself or the entire country?

Counter-Clock World

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 61

Philip K. Dick

In Counter-Clock World, time has begun moving backward. People greet each other with "goodbye," blow smoke into cigarettes, and rise from the dead. When one of those rising dead is the famous and powerful prophet Anarch Peak, a number of groups start a mad scramble to find him first-but their motives are not exactly benevolent because Anarch Peak may just be worth more dead than alive, and these groups will do whatever they must to send him back to the grave.

What would you do if your long-dead relatives started coming back? Who would take care of them? And what if they preferred being dead? In Counter-Clock World, one of Dick's most theological and philosophical novels, these troubling questions are addressed; though, as always, you may have to figure out the answers yourself.

Mammoth

John Varley

Not content with investing his fortune and watching it grow, multibillionaire Howard Christian buys rare cars that he actually drives, acquires collectible toys that he actually plays with, and builds buildings that defy the imagination. But now his restless mind has turned to a new obsession: cloning a mammoth...

In a barren province of Canada, a mammoth hunter financed by Christian has made the discovery of a lifetime: an intact frozen woolly mammoth. But what he finds during the painstaking process of excavating the huge creature baffles the mind. Huddled next to the mammoth is the mummified body of a Stone Age man around 12,000 years old. And he is wearing a wristwatch.

It looks like Howard Christian is going to get his wish--and more...

Farnham's Freehold

Robert A. Heinlein

A Robert A. Heinlein classic reissued with an all new celebrity forward by noted Heinlein biographer Bill Patterson and afterword penned by three-time award-winner for fan writing and science fiction scholar John Hertz.

It's a cross-time fight for freedom as a family retreats to a bomb shelter during a nuclear attack--only to emerge hundreds of years in the future, thrown forward in time by the blasts. There lifeboat ethics rule as they struggle to survive... until they're discovered by up-time humans, the survivors of the apocalypse. These survivors are of African descent. Down-time humans--in fact, all of the European-descended--are held guilty for the state into which the world has fallen and designated as automatic slaves. The only escape is to find a way back down-time, to change events sufficiently to make absolute certain this nightmare future never get a chance to happen in the first place!

Arcadia

Iain Pears

A captivating adventure story with huge heart and dazzling imaginative power, from the bestselling author of An Instance of the Fingerpost.

Three interlocking worlds. Four people looking for answers. But who controls the future - or the past?

In a professor's house in Oxford, fifteen-year-old Rosie goes in search of a missing cat - and instead finds herself in a different world.

Anterwold is a sun-drenched land of storytellers, prophecies and ritual. But is this world real - and what happens if she decides to stay?

Meanwhile, in a sterile laboratory, a rebellious scientist is trying to prove that time does not even exist - with potentially devastating consequences.

The author developed a free computer application which navigates the 10 different storylines in the order that the reader chooses. You can download the free Arcadia application here (compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch).

Past Master

R. A. Lafferty

The golden planet of Astrobe, made in the image of Utopia, now faced a crisis which could destroy it forever; and yet, no one could understand it: In a world where wealth and comfort were free to everyone, why did so many desert the golden cities for the slums of Cathead and the Barrio? Why did they turn away from the Astrobe dream and seek lives of bone-crushing work, squalor and disease? The rulers of Astrobe didn't know, so they sought in mankind's past for a leader who could give them the answers. They brought to life the one man out of history who would most want to destroy Astrobe!