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Understand

Ted Chiang

Hugo Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, August 1991. The story can also be found in the anthologies Supermen: Tales of the Posthuman Future (2002), edited by Gardner Dozois and The Hard SF Renaissance (2002), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. It is included in the collection Stories of Your Life and Others (2002).

Midnight at the Well of Souls

Saga of the Well World: Book 1

Jack L. Chalker

Entered by a thousand unsuspected gateways -- built by a race lost in the clouds of time -- the planet its dwellers called the Well World turned beings of every kind into something else. There spacefarer Nathan Brazil found himself companioned by a batman, an amorous female centaur and a mermaid -- all once as human as he.

Yet Nathan Brazil's metamorphosis was more terrifying than any of those...and his memory was coming back, bringing with it the secret of the Well World.

For at the heart of the bizarre planet lay the goal of every being that had ever lived -- and Nathan Brazil and his comrades were...lucky?...enough to find it!

Stories of Your Life and Others

Ted Chiang

Stories of Your Life and Others presents characters who must confront sudden change--the inevitable rise of automatons or the appearance of aliens--while striving to maintain some sense of normalcy. In the amazing and much-lauded title story, a grieving mother copes with divorce and the death of her daughter by drawing on her knowledge of alien languages and non-linear memory recollection. A clever pastiche of news reports and interviews chronicles a college's initiative to "turn off" the human ability to recognize beauty in "Liking What You See: A Documentary." With sharp intelligence and humor, Chiang examines what it means to be alive in a world marked by uncertainty and constant change, and also by beauty and wonder.

The collection received the Locus Award and the stories have received the Hugo, Seiun, Nebula, and Sturgeon Awards.

Table of Contents:

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever

James Tiptree, Jr.

These 18 darkly complex short stories and novellas touch upon human nature and perception, metaphysics and epistemology, and gender and sexuality, foreshadowing a world in which biological tendencies bring about the downfall of humankind. The Nebula Award-winning short story "Love Is the Plan, the Plan Is Death," the Hugo Award-winning novella "The Girl Who Was Plugged In," and the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novella "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" are included.

Table of Contents

His Master's Voice

Stanislaw Lem

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

H. G. Wells Complete Short Story Omnibus

H. G. Wells

This collection of short stories by H. G. Wells is the most comprehensive yet, and showcases the hugely fertile imagination of the great author, whose ideas and storylines remain hugely relevant to this day.

Table of Contents:

  • 3 - The Stolen Bacillus - (1894) - short story
  • 9 - The Flowering of the Strange Orchid - (1894) - short story
  • 16 - In the Avu Observatory - (1894) - short story
  • 22 - The Triumphs of a Taxidermist - (1894) - short story
  • 26 - A Deal in Ostriches - (1894) - short story
  • 30 - Through a Window - (1894) - short story
  • 37 - The Temptation of Harringay - (1895) - short story
  • 42 - The Flying Man - (1895) - short story
  • 48 - The Diamond Maker - (1894) - short story
  • 55 - Aepyornis Island - (1894) - short story (variant of Æpyornis Island)
  • 65 - The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes - (1895) - short story
  • 74 - The Lord of the Dynamos - non-genre - (1894) - short story
  • 82 - The Hammerpond Park Burglary - (1894) - short story
  • 89 - The Moth - (1895) - short story
  • 98 - The Treasure in the Forest - (1894) - short story
  • 107 - The Plattner Story - (1896) - short story
  • 124 - The Argonauts of the Air - (1895) - short story
  • 135 - The Story of the Late Mr Elvesham - (1896) - short story (variant of The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham)
  • 150 - In the Abyss - (1896) - short story
  • 164 - The Apple - (1896) - short story
  • 171 - Under the Knife - (1896) - short story
  • 183 - The Sea Raiders - (1896) - short story (variant of The Sea-Raiders)
  • 192 - Pollock and the Porroh Man - (1895) - short story
  • 206 - The Red Room - (1896) - short story
  • 214 - The Cone - non-genre - (1895) - short story
  • 224 - The Purple Pileus - (1896) - short story
  • 234 - The Jilting of Jane - (1894) - short story
  • 241 - In the Modern Vein: An Unsympathetic Love Story - (1894) - short story
  • 250 - A Catastrophe - (1895) - short story
  • 258 - The Lost Inheritance - (1896) - short story
  • 264 - The Sad Story of a Dramatic Critic - (1895) - short story
  • 272 - A Slip Under the Microscope - (1896) - short story
  • 291 - The Crystal Egg - (1897) - short story
  • 306 - The Star - (1897) - short story
  • 316 - A Story of the Stone Age - (1897) - novella
  • 363 - A Story of the Days to Come - (1899) - novella
  • 436 - The Man Who Could Work Miracles - (1898) - short story
  • 453 - Filmer - (1901) - short story
  • 468 - The Magic Shop - (1903) - short story
  • 478 - The Valley of Spiders - (1903) - short story
  • 488 - The Truth About Pyecraft - (1903) - short story
  • 497 - Mr Skelmersdale in Fairyland - (1903) - short story
  • 509 - The Inexperienced Ghost - (1902) - short story
  • 520 - Jimmy Goggles the God - (1898) - short story
  • 531 - The New Accelerator - (1901) - short story
  • 543 - Mr Ledbetter's Vacation - (1898) - short fiction (variant of Mr. Ledbetter's Vacation)
  • 558 - The Stolen Body - (1898) - short story
  • 572 - Mr Brisher's Treasure - (1899) - short fiction (variant of Mr. Brisher's Treasure)
  • 581 - Miss Winchelsea's Heart - (1898) - short story
  • 596 - A Dream of Armageddon - (1901) - short story
  • 621 - The Door in the Wall - (1906) - short story
  • 636 - The Empire of the Ants - (1905) - short story
  • 650 - A Vision of Judgment - (1899) - short story (variant of A Vision of Judgement)
  • 656 - The Land Ironclads - (1903) - novelette
  • 675 - The Beautiful Suit - non-genre - (1909) - short story
  • 679 - The Pearl of Love - (1925) - short story
  • 683 - The Country of the Blind - (1904) - novelette
  • 704 - The Reconciliation - (1895) - short story
  • 710 - My First Aeroplane - [Little Mother - 1] - (1910) - short story
  • 720 - Little Mother Up the Mörderberg - [Little Mother - 2] - (1910) - short story
  • 730 - The Story of the Last Trump - (1915) - short story
  • 743 - The Grisly Folk - (1921) - essay
  • 757 - A Tale of the Twentieth Century: For Advanced Thinkers - (1887) - short fiction (variant of A Tale of the Twentieth Century)
  • 762 - Walcote - (1898) - short story
  • 769 - The Devotee of Art - (1888) - short fiction
  • 779 - The Man with a Nose - (1894) - short fiction
  • 783 - A Perfect Gentleman on Wheels - (1897) - short fiction
  • 793 - Wayde's Essence - (1895) - short fiction
  • 802 - A Misunderstood Artist - (1894) - short fiction
  • 806 - Le Mari Terrible - (1895) - short story
  • 810 - The Rajah's Treasure - (1896) - short story
  • 821 - The Presence by the Fire - (1897) - short story
  • 827 - Mr Marshall's Doppelganger - (1897) - short fiction (variant of Mr. Marshall's Doppelganger)
  • 837 - The Thing in No. 7 - (1894) - short story
  • 843 - The Thumbmark - (1894) - short story
  • 850 - A Family Elopement - (1894) - short fiction
  • 855 - Our Little Neighbour - (1895) - short fiction
  • 863 - How Gabriel Became Thompson - (1894) - short fiction
  • 872 - How Pingwill Was Routed - (1895) - short fiction
  • 876 - The Loyalty of Esau Common: A Fragment - (1902) - short fiction (variant of The Loyalty of Esau Common)
  • 891 - The Wild Asses of the Devil - (1915) - short story
  • 901 - Answer to Prayer - (1937) - short story
  • 904 - The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper - (1932) - short story
  • 921 - The Country of the Blind (Revised Version) - (1939) - short fiction (variant of The Country of the Blind (revised))
  • 951 - Introduction to The Country of the Blind and Other Stories - (1911) - essay (variant of Introduction (The Country of the Blind and Other Stories))
  • 956 - Introduction to Revised Version of "The Country of the Blind" - (1939) - essay (variant of Introduction (The Country of the Blind))

The Stars My Destination

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 10

Alfred Bester

Marooned in outer space after an attack on his ship, Nomad, Gulliver Foyle lives to obsessively pursue the crew of a rescue vessel which had ignored his distress calls and left him to die.

When it comes to pop culture, Alfred Bester (1913-1987) is something of an unsung hero. He wrote radio scripts, screenplays, and comic books (in which capacity he created the original Green Lantern Oath). But Bester is best known for his science-fiction novels, and The Stars My Destination may be his finest creation. With its sly potshotting at corporate skullduggery, The Stars My Destination seems utterly contemporary, and has maintained its status as an underground classic for fifty years. (Bester fans should also note that iPicturebooks has reprinted The Demolished Man, which won the very first Hugo Award in 1953.)

Alfred Bester was among the first important authors of contemporary science fiction. His passionate novels of worldly adventure, high intellect, and tremendous verve, The Stars My Destination and the Hugo Award winning The Demolished Man, established Bester as a s.f. grandmaster, a reputation that was ratified by the Science Fiction Writers of America shortly before his death. Bester also was an acclaimed journalist for Holiday magazine, a reviewer for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and even a writer for Superman.

Foundation

The Foundation Series: Book 1

Isaac Asimov

For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future--to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire--both scientists and scholars--and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind's last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun--or fight them and be destroyed.

The Book of the New Sun, Volume 1: Shadow and Claw

The Book of the New Sun - Fantasy Masterworks: Book 1

Gene Wolfe

Recently voted the greatest fantasy of all time, after The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun is an extraordinary epic, set a million years in the future, on an Earth transformed in mysterious and wondrous ways, in a time when our present culture is no longer even a memory. Severian, the central character, is a torturer, exiled from his guild after falling in love with one of his victims, and journeying to the distant city of Thrax, armed with his ancient executioner's sword, Terminus Est.

This edition contains the first two volumes of this four volume novel, The Shadow of the Torturer and The Claw of the Conciliator.

This book has recently been re-printed as part of the SF Masterworks series - see the new image below.

The Illustrated Man

Ray Bradbury

He was a riot of rockets and fountains and people, in such intricate detail and color that you could hear the voiced murmuring, small and muted, from the crowds that inhabited his body.

Ray Bradbury brings wonders alive. A peerless American storyteller, his oeuvre has been celebrated for decades--from The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 to Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury --a collection of tales that breathe and move, animated by sharp, intaken breath and flexing muscle. Here are eighteen startling visions of humankind's destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin--visions as keen as the tattooist's needle and as colorful as the inks that indelibly stain the body.

The images, ideas, sounds and scents that abound in this phantasmagoric sideshow are provocative and powerful: the mournful cries of celestial travelers cast out cruelly into a vast, empty space of stars and blackness ... the sight of gray dust settling over a forgotten outpost on a road that leads nowhere ... the pungent odor of Jupiter on a returning father's clothing. Here living cities take their vengeance, technology awakens the most primal natural instincts, Martian invasions are foiled by the good life and the glad hand, and dreams are carried aloft in junkyard rockets.

Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man is a kaleidoscopic blending of magic, imagination, and truth, widely believed to be one of the Grandmaster's premier accomplishments: as exhilarating as interplanetary travel, as maddening as a walk in a million-year rain, and as comforting as simple, familiar rituals on the last night of the world.

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang

Kate Wilhelm

Before becoming one of today's most intriguing and innovative mystery writers, Kate Wilhelm was a leading writer of science fiction, acclaimed for classics like The Infinity Box and The Clewiston Test.

Now one of her most famous novels returns to print, the spellbinding story of an isolated post-holocaust community determined to preserve itself, through a perilous experiment in cloning. Sweeping, dramatic, rich with humanity, and rigorous in its science, Where Later the Sweet Birds Sang is widely regarded as a high point of both humanistic and "hard" SF, and won SF's Hugo Award and Locus Award on its first publication. It is as compelling today as it was then.

Isle of the Dead

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 31

Roger Zelazny

Centuries in the future, Francis Sandow is the only man alive who was born as long ago as the 20th century. His body is kept young and in perfect health by advanced scientific methods; he has amassed such a fortune that he can own entire planets; and he has become a god. No, not a god of Earth, but one of the panetheon of the alien Pei'ans: he is Shimbo of Darktree, Shrugger of Thunders. Yet he doesn't believe that his personality has merged with the ancient consciousness of Shimbo, that he really can call down the skies upon his enemies. The time comes, however, when Francis Sandow must use these powers against the most dangerous antagonist in the universe: another Pei'an god -- Shimbo's own enemy, Belion. And Belion has no doubt whatever of his own powers....

The Demolished Man

Alfred Bester

In the year 2301, guns are only museum pieces and benign telepaths sweep the minds of the populace to detect crimes before they happen. In 2301 murder is virtually impossible, but one man is about to change that...

Ben Reich, a psychopathic business magnate, has devised the ultimate scheme to eliminate the competition and destroy the order of his society. The Demolished Man is a masterpiece of imaginative suspense, set in a superbly imagined world in which everything has changed except the ancient instinct for murder.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Karen Joy Fowler

Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. "I was raised with a chimpanzee," she explains. "I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren't thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern's expulsion... she was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half and I loved her as a sister." As a child, Rosemary never stopped talking. Then, something happened, and Rosemary wrapped herself in silence.

In We Are All Completely beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler weaves her most accomplished work to date-a tale of loving but fallible people whose well-intentioned actions lead to heartbreaking consequences.

Coyote Rising

Coyote Universe: Coyote Trilogy: Book 2

Allen Steele

The continuing epic of Earth's first space colonists--and their fight against a repressive government to reclaim their world in the name of freedom.

Foundation's Edge

The Foundation Series: Book 4

Isaac Asimov

At last, the costly and bitter war between the two Foundations had come to an end. The scientists of the First Foundation had proved victorious; and now they retum to Hari Seldon's long-established plan to build a new Empire that the Second Foundation is not destroyed after all-and that its still-defiant survivors are preparing their revenge. Now the two exiled citizens of the Foundation-a renegade Councilman and the doddering historian-set out in search of the mythical planet Earth. . .and proof that the Second Foundation still exists. Meanwhile someone-or something-outside of both Foundations sees to be orchestrating events to suit its own ominous purpose. Soon representatives of both the First and Second Foundations will find themselves racing toward a mysterious world called Gaia and a final shocking destiny at the very end of the universe!

Beggars In Spain

The Sleepless: Book 1

Nancy Kress

Born in 2008, Leisha Camden is beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent... and one of an ever-growing number of human beings who have been genetically modified to never require sleep.

Once she and "her kind" were considered interesting anomalies. Now they are outcasts - victims of blind hatred, political repression and shocking mob violence meant to drive the "Sleepless" from human society... and, ultimately, from the Earth itself.M

But Leisha Camden has chosen to remain behind in a world that envies and fears her "gift" - a world marked for destruction in a devastating conspiracy of freedom... and revenge.

The Churn

The Expanse: Short Fiction: Book 4

James S. A. Corey

Before his trip to the stars, before the Rocinante, Amos Burton was confined to a Baltimore where crime paid you or killed you. Unless the authorities got to you first.

Set in the hard-scrabble solar system of Leviathan Wakes, Caliban's War, Abaddon's Gate and the upcoming Cibola Burn, The Churn expands the world of James S. A. Corey's acclaimed Expanse series. Anthologized in Paula Guran's The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas 2015.

The Time Ships

Wells Sequels: Book 1

Stephen Baxter

There is a secret passage through time

...and it leads all the way to the end of Eternity. But the journey has a terrible cost. It alters not only the future but the "present" in which we live.

A century after the publication of H. G. Wells' immortal The Time Machine, Stephen Baxter, today's most acclaimed new "hard SF" author, returns to the distant conflict between the Eloi and the Morlocks in a story that is at once an exciting expansion, and a radical departure based on the astonishing new understandings of quantum physics.

Great Sky River

The Galactic Center Series: Book 3

Gregory Benford

At the center of the galaxy, a small band of humans, trapped on the barren world of Snowglade and facing extinction, discovers that they will play a new role in the order of the universe.

Eternal Light

Four Hundred Billion Stars: Book 3

Paul J. McAuley

In the aftermath of an interstellar war an enigmatic star is discovered, travelling towards the Solar System from the galactic core. Its appearance adds a new and dangerous factor in the turbulent politics of the inhabited worlds as the rival factions - the power-holders of the ReUnited Nations, the rebels who secretly oppose their power, and the Religious Witnesses - all see advantages to be gained. But what awesome technology started the star on its journey half a million years ago - and why?

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Captain Grant and Captain Nemo Universe: Book 2

Jules Verne

An American frigate, tracking down a ship-sinking monster, faces not a living creature but an incredible invention -- a fantastic submarine commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo. Suddenly a devastating explosion leaves just three survivors, who find themselves prisoners inside Nemo's death ship on an underwater odyssey around the world from the pearl-laden waters of Ceylon to the icy dangers of the South Pole . . .as Captain Nemo, one of the greatest villians ever created, takes his revenge on all society.

More than a marvelously thrilling drama, this classic novel, written in 1870, foretells with uncanny accuracy the inventions and advanced technology of the twentieth century and has become a literary stepping-stone for generations of science fiction writers.

Furious Gulf

The Galactic Center Series: Book 5

Gregory Benford

The passengers on the spaceship Argo, pursued by hostile ""mechs,"" must face their doubts about their captain's obsession with finding the galaxy's True Center, an obsession that even troubles the captain's son.

The Invisible Man

H. G. Wells

This masterpiece of science fiction is the fascinating story of Griffin, a scientist who creates a serum to render himself invisible, and his descent into madness that follows.

Have Space Suit - Will Travel

Heinlein Juveniles: Book 12

Robert A. Heinlein

SKYJACKED!

One minute Kip Russell is walking around his own backyard, testing out an old space suit and dreaming about going to the moon - the next he is the captive of a space pirate and on his way to the very place he had been dreaming of. At first, the events are so unreal he thinks he might be having a nightmare... but when he discovers other prisoners aboard the spaceship he knows the ordeal is all too real. Kip and his fellow abductees, the daughter of a world-renowned scientist and a beautiful creature from an alien planet, have been skyjacked by a monstrous extraterrestrial who is flying them to the moon on a journey toward a fate worse than death....

Shadows in Flight

Ender's Universe: Ender's Shadow: Book 5

Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Shadow explores the stars in this all-new novel...

At the end of Shadow of the Giant, Bean flees to the stars with three of his children--the three who share the engineered genes that gave him both hyper-intelligence and a short, cruel physical life. The time dilation granted by the speed of their travel gives Earth’s scientists generations to seek a cure, to no avail. In time, they are forgotten--a fading ansible signal speaking of events lost to Earth’s history. But the Delphikis are about to make a discovery that will let them save themselves, and perhaps all of humanity in days to come.

For there in space before them lies a derelict Formic colony ship. Aboard it, they will find both death and wonders--the life support that is failing on their own ship, room to grow, and labs in which to explore their own genetic anomaly and the mysterious disease that killed the ship’s colony.

City of Illusions

Hainish Cycle: Book 3

Ursula K. Le Guin

Falk was a fully grown man, alone in the dense forest, with no trail to show where he had come from and no memory to tell who - or what - he was.

The forest people took him in and raised him almost as a child, teaching him to speak, training him in forest lore, giving him all the knowledge they had.

But they could not solve the riddle of his past, and finally he had to set out on a perilous quest to Es Toch, the City of the Shing, the Liars of Earth, the Enemy of Mankind.

There he would find his true self - and a universe of danger....

Coalescent

Xeelee: Destiny's Children: Book 1

Stephen Baxter

George Poole isn't sure whether his life has reached a turning point or a dead end. At forty-five, he is divorced and childless, with a career that is going nowhere fast. Then, when his father dies suddenly, George stumbles onto a family secret: a sister he never knew existed. A twin named Rosa, raised in Rome by an enigmatic cult. Hoping to find the answers to the missing pieces of his life, George sets out for the ancient city.

Once in Rome, he learns from Rosa the enthralling story of their distant ancestor, Regina, an iron-willed genius determined to preserve her family as the empire disintegrates around her. It was Regina who founded the cult, which has mysteriously survived and prospered below the streets of Rome for almost two millennia. The Order, says Rosa, is her real family and, even if he doesn't realize it yet, it is George's family, too. When she takes him into the vast underground city that is the Order's secret home, he feels a strong sense of belonging, yet there is something oddly disturbing about the women he meets. They are all so young and so very much alike.

Stephen Baxter possesses one of the most brilliant minds in modern science fiction. His vivid storytelling skills have earned him comparison to the giants of the past: Clarke, Asimov, Stapledon. Like his great predecessors, Baxter thinks on a cosmic scale, spinning cutting-edge scientific speculation into pure, page-turning gold. Now Baxter is back with a breathtaking adventure that begins during the catastrophic collapse of Roman Britain and stretches forward into an unimaginably distant, war-torn future, where the fate of humanity lies waiting at the center of the galaxy....

The Integral Trees

The State: Book 2

Larry Niven

"Niven has come up with an idea about as far out as one can get.... This is certainly classic science fiction-the idea is truly the hero." -Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

When leaving Earth, the crew of the spaceship Discipline was prepared for a routine assignment. Dispatched by the all-powerful State on a mission of interstellar exploration and colonization, Discipline was aided (and secretly spied upon) by Sharls Davis Kendy, an emotionless computer intelligence programmed to monitor the loyalty and obedience of the crew. But what they weren't prepared for was the smoke ring-an immense gaseous envelope that had formed around a neutron star directly in their path. The Smoke Ring was home to a variety of plant and animal life-forms evolved to thrive in conditions of continual free-fall. When Discipline encountered it, something went wrong. The crew abandoned ship and fled to the unlikely space oasis.

Five hundred years later, the descendants of the Discipline crew living on the Smoke Ring no longer remember their origins. Earth is more myth than memory, and no recollection of the State remains. But Kendy remembers. And just outside the Smoke Ring, Discipline waits patiently to make contact with its wayward children.

Rocannon's World

Hainish Cycle: Book 1

Ursula K. Le Guin

This debut novel from preeminent science-fiction writer Ursula LeGuin introduces her brilliant Hainish series, set in a galaxy seeded by the planet Hain with a variety of humanoid species, including that of Earth. Over the centuries, the Hainish colonies have evolved into physically and culturally unique peoples, joined by a League of All Worlds.

Earth-scientist Rocannon has been leading an ethnological survey on a remote world populated by three native races: the cavern-dwelling Gdemiar, the elvish Fiia, and the warrior clan, Liuar. But when the technologically primitive planet is suddenly invaded by a fleet of ships from the stars, rebels against the League of All Worlds, Rocannon is the only survey member left alive. Marooned among alien peoples, he leads the battle to free this newly discovered world and finds that legends grow around him as he fights.

Planet of Exile

Hainish Cycle: Book 2

Ursula K. Le Guin

The Earth colony of Landin has been stranded on Werel for ten years, and ten of Werel's years are over 600 terrestrial years, and the lonely and dwindling human settlement is beginning to feel the strain. Every winter, a season that lasts for 15 years, the Earthmen have neighbors: the humanoid hilfs, a nomadic people who only settle down for the cruel cold spell. The hilfs fear the Earthmen, whom they think of as witches and call the farborns. But hilfs and farborns have common enemies: the hordes of ravaging barbarians called gaals and eerie preying snow ghouls. Will they join forces or be annihilated?

The Smoke Ring

The State: Book 3

Larry Niven

In the free-fall environment of the Smoke Ring, the descendants of the crew of the Discipline no longer remembered their Earth roots -- or the existence of Sharls Davis Kendy, the computer-program despot of the ship. Until Kendy initiated contact once more.

Fourteen years later, only Jeffer, the Citizens Tree Scientist, knew that Kendy was still watching -- and waiting. Then the Citizens Tree people rescued a family of loggers and learned for the first time of the Admiralty, a large society living in free fall amid the floating debris called the Clump. And it was likely that the Admiralty had maintained, intact, Discipline's original computer library.

Exploration was a temptation neither Jeffer nor Kendy could resist, and neither Citizens Tree nor Sharls Davis Kendy would ever be the same again...

Humans

The Neanderthal Parallax: Book 2

Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer, the award-winning and bestselling writer, hits the peak of his powers in Humans, the second book of The Neanderthal Parallax, his trilogy about our world and parallel one in which it was the Homo sapiens who died out and the Neanderthals who became the dominant intelligent species. This powerful idea allows Sawyer to examine some of the deeply rooted assumptions of contemporary human civilization dramatically, by confronting us with another civilization, just as morally valid, that has made other choices. In Humans, Neanderthal physicist Ponter Boddit, a character you will never forget, returns to our world and to his relationship with geneticist Mary Vaughan, as cultural exchanges between the two Earths begin.

As we see daily life in another present-day world, radically different from ours, in the course of Sawyer's fast-moving story, we experience the bursts of wonder and enlightenment that are the finest pleasures of science fiction. Humans is one of the best SF novels of the year, and The Neanderthal Parallax is an SF classic in the making.

Rogue Moon

SF Rediscovery: Book 4

Algis Budrys

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

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

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

Axis

The Spin Sequence: Book 2

Robert Charles Wilson

Wildly praised by readers and critics alike, Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin won science fiction’s highest honor, the Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Now, in Spin’s direct sequel, Wilson takes us to the "world next door"--the planet engineered by the mysterious Hypotheticals to support human life, and connected to Earth by way of the Arch that towers hundreds of miles over the Indian Ocean. Humans are colonizing this new world--and, predictably, fiercely exploiting its resources, chiefly large deposits of oil in the western deserts of the continent of Equatoria.

Lise Adams is a young woman attempting to uncover the mystery of her father's disappearance ten years earlier. Turk Findley is an ex-sailor and sometimes-drifter. They come together when an infall of cometary dust seeds the planet with tiny remnant Hypothetical machines. Soon, this seemingly hospitable world will become very alien indeed--as the nature of time is once again twisted, by entities unknown.

Probability Space

The Probability Trilogy: Book 3

Nancy Kress

Nancy Kress cemented her reputation in SF with the publication of her multiple-award-winning novella, "Beggars in Spain," which became the basis for her extremely successful Beggars Trilogy (comprising Beggars in Spain, Beggars and Choosers, and Beggars Ride).

And now she brings us Probability Space, the conclusion of the trilogy that began with Probability Moon and then Probability Sun, which is centered on the same world as Kress's Nebula Award-winning novelette, "Flowers of Aulit Prison." The Probability Trilogy has already been widely recognized as the next great work by this important SF writer.

In Probability Space, humanity's war with the alien Fallers continues, and it is a war we are losing. Our implacable foes ignore all attempts at communication, and they take no prisoners. Our only hope lies with an unlikely coalition: Major Lyle Kaufman, retired warrior Marbet Grant, the Sensitive who's involved with Kaufman Amanda, a very confused fourteen-year-old girl and Magdalena, one of the biggest power brokers in all of human space.

As the action moves from Earth to Mars to the farthest reaches of known space, with civil unrest back home and alien war in deep space, four humans--armed with little more than an unproven theory--try to enter the Fallers' home star system. It's a desperate gamble, and the fate of the entire universe may hang in the balance.

The Ophiuchi Hotline

Eight Worlds: Book 1

John Varley

After the effortless capture of Earth by vastly superior aliens, humanity is forced to fight for existence on the Moon and other lumps of airless rock. The invention of the Hotline -- a constant stream of data from a star in the constellation Ophiuchus -- facilitates survival and enables the development of amazing new technologies.

Then, after 400 years, humanity's unknown helpers send a bill for their services... and suddenly everything is threatened once again.

The Ophiuchi Hotline was John Varley's first novel, and it received nominations for both the Hugo and Nebula awards he later won both for his book Persistence of Vision.

Helliconia Spring

Helliconia: Book 1

Brian W. Aldiss

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

Helliconia is emerging from its centuries-long winter. The tribes of the equatorial continent emerge from their hiding places and are again able to dispute possession of the planet with the ferocious phagors. In Oldorando, love, trade and coinage are being redisovered,

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

A Gift from Earth

Known Space: Book 3

Larry Niven

Plateau, a colony in the Tau Ceti system, was settled by humans some 300 years before the plot begins. The colony world itself is a Venusian type planet with a dense, hot, poisonous atmosphere. It would be otherwise uninhabitable, except for a tall monolithic mesa that rises 40 miles up into a breathable layer in the upper atmosphere. This gives the planet a habitable area about half the size of California. The Captain of the first colony vessel named the feature Mount Lookitthat (from his interjection at first sight of it), and the colony became known as Plateau.

After landing the slower-than-light ships, the Crew sign an agreement, called the Covenant of Planetfall, with their former passengers (who had just emerged from suspended animation and were in a weak bargaining position). This agreement gives the Crew (and their descendants in perpetuity) all control over the new colony. A system of medical care evolves, in which organ transplantation is the only method of treatment, even for cosmetic defects (such as baldness); a justice system evolves, with all crimes punishable by death, followed by involuntary donation of the decedent's transplantable organs (including skin, scalp, and teeth). Not surprisingly, only Colonists are ever arrested for crimes; and only Crew are eligible to receive transplants. Some Colonists become dissatisfied with the system and form a dissident group called the "Sons of Earth."

Macroscope

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 248

Piers Anthony

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

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

Waldo and Magic, Inc.

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 188

Robert A. Heinlein

Waldo
North Power--Air is in trouble. Their aircraft are crashing at an alarming rate, and no one can figure out the cause. Desperate for an answer, they turn to Waldo, a crippled genius who lives in a zero--g home in orbit around Earth. But Waldo has little reason to want to help the rest of humanity--until he learns that the solution to Earth's problems also hold the key to his own.

Magic, Inc.
Under the guise of an agency for magicians, Magic, Inc. systematically squeezed out the small independent magicians. Then one businessman stood firm. But one man stands firm. And with the help of an Oxford--educated African shaman and a little old lady adept at black magic, he is willing to take on the demons of Hell to resolve the problem--once and for all!

Gathering Blue

The Giver: Book 2

Lois Lowry

Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. When she is given a task that no other community member can carry out, Kira soon realizes that she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. No one must know of her plans to uncover the truth about her world-and to find out what exists beyond it.

The Forgotten Planet

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 17

Murray Leinster

The story of an experiment gone wrong--a planet seeded with primitive bacterial, plant, and insect life forms, then forgotten until a spaceship crash-lands, stranding its crew. The crew must fight to survive in a savage nightmare world. From the Hugo Award-winning author, Murray Leinster.

Lockstep

Lockstep: Book 1

Karl Schroeder

When seventeen-year-old Toby McGonigal finds himself lost in space, separated from his family, he expects his next drift into cold sleep to be his last. After all, the planet he's orbiting is frozen and sunless, and the cities are dead. But when Toby wakes again, he's surprised to discover a thriving planet, a strange and prosperous galaxy, and something stranger still - that he's been asleep for 14,000 years.

Welcome to the Lockstep Empire, where civilization is kept alive by careful hibernation. Here cold sleeps can last decades and waking moments mere weeks. Its citizens survive for millenia, traveling asleep on long voyages between worlds. Not only is Lockstep the new center of the galaxy, but Toby is shocked to learn that the Empire is still ruled by its founding family: his own.

Toby's brother Peter has become a terrible tyrant. Suspicious of the return of his long-lost brother, whose rightful inheritance also controls the lockstep hibernation cycles, Peter sees Toby as a threat to his regime. Now, with the help of a lockstep girl named Corva, Toby must survive the forces of this new Empire, outwit his siblings, and save human civilization.

Sandworms of Dune

Dune Sequels: Book 2

Brian Herbert
Kevin J. Anderson

At the end of Frank Herbert's final novel, Chapterhouse: Dune, a ship carrying a crew of refugees escapes into the uncharted galaxy, fleeing from a terrifying, mysterious Enemy. The fugitives used genetic technology to revive key figures from Dune's past--including Paul Muad'Dib and Lady Jessica--to use their special talents to meet the challenges thrown at them.

Based directly on Frank Herbert's final outline, which lay hidden in two safe-deposit boxes for a decade, Sandworms of Dune will answer the urgent questions Dune fans have been debating for two decades: the origin of the Honored Matres, the tantalizing future of the planet Arrakis, the final revelation of the Kwisatz Haderach, and the resolution to the war between Man and Machine. This breathtaking new novel in Frank Herbert's Dune series has enough surprises and plot twists to please even the most demanding reader.

The Hollow Man

Dan Simmons

Jeremy Bremen has a secret. All his life he's been cursed with the ability to read minds. He knows the secret thoughts, fears, and desires of others as if they were his own. For years, his wife, Gail, has served as a shield between Jeremy and the burden of this terrible knowledge. But Gail is dying, her mind ebbing slowly away, leaving him vulnerable to the chaotic flood of thought that threatens to sweep away his sanity.

Now Jeremy is on the run--from his mind, from his past, from himself--hoping to find peace in isolation. Instead he witnesses an act of brutality that propels him on a treacherous trek across a dark and dangerous America. From a fantasy theme park to the lair of a killer to a sterile hospital room in St. Louis, he follows a voice that is calling him to witness the stunning mystery at the heart of mortality.