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Flowers for Algernon

Daniel Keyes

Hugo Award winning story. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1959 and was reprinted in the October 1979 and May 2000 editions of that magazine. The story has been reprinted many times. It can be found in the anthologies:

The story would later be expanded to the full novel Flowers for Algernon (1966), which went on to win a Nebula Award.

Lilith's Brood

Xenogenesis

Octavia E. Butler

Butler’s acclaimed Xenogenesis trilogy about humanity’s struggle for survival after nuclear apocalypse, and the alien race that could save the world—or destroy it.

The newest stage in human evolution begins in outer space. Survivors of a cataclysmic nuclear war awake to find themselves being studied by the Oankali, tentacle-covered galactic travelers whose benevolent appearance hides their surprising plan for the future of mankind. The Oankali arrive not just to save humanity, but to bond with it—crossbreeding to form a hybrid species that can survive in the place of its human forebears, who were so intent on self-destruction. Some people resist, forming pocket communities of purebred rebellion, but many realize they have no choice. The human species inevitably expands into something stranger, stronger, and undeniably alien.

Flowers for Algernon

Daniel Keyes

With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance--until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie?

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Patrick Suskind

The year is 1738; the place, Paris. A baby is born under a fish-monger's bloody table in a marketplace, and abandoned. Orphaned, passed over to the monks as a charity case, already there is something in the aura of the tiny infant that is unsettling. No one will look after him; he is somehow too demanding, and, even more disturbing, something is missing: as his wet nurse tries to explain, he doesn't smell the way a baby should smell; indeed, he has no scent at all.

Slowly, as we watch Jean-Baptiste Grenouille cling stubbornly to life, we begin to realize that a monster is growing before our eyes. With mounting unease, yet hypnotized, we see him explore his powers and their effect on the world around him. For this dark and sinister boy who has no smell himself possesses an absolute sense of smell, and with it he can read the world to discover the hidden truths that elude ordinary men. He can smell the very composition of objects, and their history, and where they have been, he has no need of the light, and darkness is not dark to him, because nothing can mask the odors of the universe.

As he leaves childhood behind and comes to understand his terrible uniqueness, his obsession becomes the quest to identify, and then to isolate, the most perfect scent of all, the scent of life itself.

At first, he hones his powers, learning the ancient arts of perfume-making until the exquisite fragrances he creates are the rage of Paris, and indeed Europe. Then, secure in his mastery of these means to an end, he withdraws into a strange and agonized solitude, waiting, dreaming, until the morning when he wakes, ready to embark on his monstrous quest: to find and extract from the most perfect living creatures-the most beautiful young virgins in the land- that ultimate perfume which alone can make him, too, fully human. As his trail leads him, at an ever-quickening pace, from his savage exile to the heart of the country and then back to Paris, we are caught up in a rising storm of terror and mortal sensual conquest until the frenzy of his final triumph explodes in all its horrifying consequences.

Told with dazzling narrative brilliance and the haunting power of a grown-up fairy tale, Perfume is one of the most remarkable novels of the last fifty years.

House of Leaves

Mark Z. Danielewski

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

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

The Death of the Necromancer

Ile-Rien: Book 2

Martha Wells

Nicholas Valiarde is a passionate, embittered nobleman with an enigmatic past. Consumed by thoughts of vengeance, he is consoled only by thoughts of the beautiful, dangerous Madeline. He is also the greatest thief in all of Ile-Rien...

On the gas light streets of the city, he assumes the guise of a master criminal, stealing jewels from wealthy nobles to finance his quest for vengeance the murder of Count Montesq. Montesq orchestrated the wrongful execution of Nicholas's beloved godfather on false charges of necromancy--the art of divination through communion with spirits of the dead--a practice long outlawed in the kingdom of Ile-Rein.

But now Nicholas's murderous mission is being interrupted by a series of eerie, unexplainable, even fatal events. Someone with tremendous magical powers is opposing him. Children vanish, corpses assume the visage of real people, mortal spells are cast, and traces of necromantic power that hasn't been used for centuries are found. And when a spiritualist unwittingly leads Nicholas to a decrepit mansion, the monstrous nature of his peril finally emerges in harrowing detail.Nicholas and his compatriots must destroy an ancient and awesome evil. even teh help of Ile-Rien's greatest sorcerer may not be enough, for Nicholas faces a woefully mismatched battle--and unthinkable horrors await the loser.

Boy's Life

Robert R. McCammon

In 1964, on a cold day, Cory Mackenson is helping his father on his morning milk delivery when a car appears in the road before them and plunges into a lake. Cory's father tries to save the driver, but the driver is handcuffed to the steering wheel. Cory decides to find out what happened.

Raising the Stones

The Arbai Trilogy: Book 2

Sheri S. Tepper

Hobbs Land was a quiet agricultural colony, a peaceful planet where men and women worked together as equals to provide food for other worlds. Once it had been the home of the alien Owlbrit, who left behind only the temples where their strange gods had lived. But then the gods awoke.

Peace. War. Hate. And love. Raising the Stones weaves disparate threads to tell a story that builds to an inescapable climax. And, in a time when so many predict humanity won't survive through the next century, author Sheri S. Tepper gives us an insightful look into what is the best in all of us.

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Edgar Allan Poe

This collection of Poe's best stories contains all the terrifying and bewildering tales that characterise his work. As well as the Gothic horror of such famous stories as 'The Pit and the Pendulum', 'The Fall of the House of Usher', 'The Premature Burial' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart', all of Poe's Auguste Dupin stories are included. These are the first modern detective stories and include 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' and 'The Purloined Letter'.

Table of Contents:

  • Ms. Found in a Bottle
  • Berenice
  • Morella
  • Some Passages in the Life of a Lion (Lionizing)
  • The Assignation
  • Bon-Bon
  • King Pest
  • Metzengerstein
  • Silence
  • A Descent into the Maelstrom
  • Ligeia
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • William Wilson
  • The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion
  • The Man of the Crowd
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue
  • The Mystery of Marie Rogèt
  • The Colloquy of Monos and Una
  • The Masque of the Red Death
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • The Gold Bug
  • The Black Cat
  • The Spectacles
  • The Premature Burial
  • The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
  • The Oblong Box
  • The Cask of Amontillado
  • Landor's Cottage

It

Stephen King

It is the children who see - and feel - what makes the town so horribly different. In the storm drains and sewers "It" lurks, taking the shape of every nightmare, each one's deepest dread. As the children grow up and move away, the horror of "It" is buried deep - until they are called back.

Fight Club

Chuck Palahniuk

An underground classic since its first publication in 1996, Fight Club is now recognized as one of the most original and provocative novels published in this decade. Chuck Palahniuk's darkly funny first novel tells the story of a godforsaken young man who discovers that his rage at living in a world filled with failure and lies cannot be pacified by an empty consumer culture. Relief for him and his disenfranchised peers comes in the form of secret after-hours boxing matches held in the basements of bars. Fight Club is the brainchild of Tyler Durden, who thinks he has found a way for himself and his friends to live beyond their confining and stultifying lives. But in Tyler's world there are no rules, no limits, no brakes.

The Lottery and Other Stories

Shirley Jackson

The Lottery, one of the most terrifying stories written in this century, created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker. "Power and haunting," and "nights of unrest" were typical reader responses. This collection, the only one to appear during Shirley Jackson's lifetime, unites "The Lottery:" with twenty-four equally unusual stories. Together they demonstrate Jack son's remarkable range--from the hilarious to the truly horrible--and power as a storyteller.

Table of Contents:
• The Intoxicated • non-genre • (1949)
• The Daemon Lover • (1949)
• Like Mother Used to Make • non-genre • (1949)
• Trial by Combat • non-genre • (1944)
• The Villager • non-genre • (1944)
• My Life with R. H. Macy • non-genre • (1941)
• The Witch • non-genre • (1949)
• The Renegade • non-genre • (1948)
• After You, My Dear Alphonse • non-genre • (1943)
• Charles • non-genre • (1948)
• Afternoon in Linen • non-genre • (1943)
• Flower Garden • non-genre • (1949)
• Dorothy and My Grandmother and the Sailors • non-genre • (1949)
• Colloquy • non-genre • (1944)
• Elizabeth • non-genre • (1949)
• A Fine Old Firm • non-genre • (1944)
• The Dummy • non-genre • (1949)
• Seven Types of Ambiguity • non-genre • (1946)
• Come Dance with Me in Ireland • non-genre • (1943)
• Of Course • non-genre • (1949)
• Pillar of Salt • (1948)
• Men with Their Big Shoes • non-genre • (1947)
• The Tooth • (1949)
• Got a Letter from Jimmy • non-genre • (1949)
The Lottery • (1948)
• James Harris, the Daemon Lover • (1949) • poem by uncredited (variant of The Demon Lover 1737)

The Sudden Appearance of Hope

Claire North

My name is Hope Arden, and you won't know who I am. But we've met before - a thousand times.

It started when I was sixteen years old. A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger.

No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit, you will never remember who I am.

That makes my life difficult. It also makes me dangerous.

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.

Deerskin

Robin McKinley

As Princess Lissar reaches womanhood, it is clear to all the kingdom that in her breathtaking beauty she is the mirror image of her mother, the queen. But this seeming blessing forces her to flee for safety from her father's lust and madness. With her loyal dog Ash at her side, Lissar will unlock a door to a world of magic, where she will find the key to her survival-and an adventure beyond her wildest dreams.

The Red Tree

Caitlín R. Kiernan

Sarah Crowe left Atlanta, and the remnants of a tumultuous relationship, to live alone in an old house in rural Rhode Island. Within its walls she discovers an unfinished manuscript written by the house's former tenant-a parapsychologist obsessed with the ancient oak growing on a desolate corner of the property. And as the gnarled tree takes root in her imagination, Sarah risks her health and her sanity to unearth a revelation planted centuries ago...

Regenesis

Alliance-Union: Unionside: Book 3

C. J. Cherryh

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

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

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

The Warrior Prophet

The Prince of Nothing: Book 2

R. Scott Bakker

"Book Two of The Prince of Nothing" finds the Holy War continuing its inexorable march southward. But the suspicion begins to dawn that the real threat comes not from the infidel but from within...

Steering souls through the subtleties of word and expression, Kellhus strives to extend his dominion over the Men of the Tusk. The sorcerer Achamian and his lover, Esmenet, submit entirely, only to have their faith - and their love - tested in unimaginable ways. Meanwhile, the warrior Cnaiur falls ever deeper into madness. Convinced that Kellhus will betray their pact to murder his father, Cnaiur turns to the agents of the Second Apocalypse and strikes an infernal bargain.

The Holy War stands on a knife edge. If all is not to be lost, the great powers of the world will have to choose between their most desperate desires and the end of the world. Between hatred and hope. Between Anasurimbor Kellhus and the second apocalypse.

Some of Your Blood

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 39

Theodore Sturgeon

Theodore Sturgeon's dark and foreboding look at the vampire myth was an instant classic when originally published in 1956. When George Smith is arrested for assaulting a senior officer, a military psychiatrist is assigned to the case. The secret of George's past is unearthed, and a history of blood lust and murder. Innovatively told through letters, interviews, and traditional narrative, Some of Your Blood effectively portrays the tragic upbringing of George Smith to his attempts at a stable life and the great love of his life to his inevitable downfall. Millipede Press is proud to present this masterpiece of macabre literature in a brand new edition.

Voice of Our Shadow

Jonathan Carroll

For Joe Lennox, successful young writer, Vienna provides a refuge from the tragedy of his brother's death, until he starts up a friendship with the eccentric India Tate and her magician husband Paul. Gradually Joe falls in love with India, but Paul finds out - before he suddenly drops dread. And now Joe has two deaths on his conscience and another voice calling from beyond the grave...

Just After Sunset

Stephen King

A stunning collection from international bestseller Stephen King that displays his phenomenally broad readership (stories published in The New Yorker, Playboy,and McSweeney's and including the 25,000 word story "Gingerbread Girl" published in Esquire).

Stephen King--who has written more than fifty books, dozens of number one New York Times bestsellers, and many unforgettable movies--delivers an astonishing collection of short stories, his first since Everything's Eventual six years ago. As guest editor of the bestselling Best American Short Stories 2007, King spent over a year reading hundreds of stories. His renewed passion for the form is evident on every page of Just After Sunset. The stories in this collection have appeared in The New Yorker, Playboy, McSweeney's, The Paris Review, Esquire, and other publications.

Who but Stephen King would turn a Port-O-San into a slimy birth canal, or a roadside honky-tonk into a place for endless love? A book salesman with a grievance might pick up a mute hitchhiker, not knowing the silent man in the passenger seat listens altogether too well. Or an exercise routine on a stationary bicycle, begun to reduce bad cholesterol, might take its rider on a captivating--and then terrifying--journey. Set on a remote key in Florida, "The Gingerbread Girl" is a riveting tale featuring a young woman as vulnerable--and resourceful--as Audrey Hepburn's character in Wait Until Dark. In "Ayana," a blind girl works a miracle with a kiss and the touch of her hand. For King, the line between the living and the dead is often blurry, and the seams that hold our reality intact might tear apart at any moment. In one of the longer stories here, "N.," which recently broke new ground when it was adapted as a graphic digital entertainment, a psychiatric patient's irrational thinking might create an apocalyptic threat in the Maine countryside...or keep the world from falling victim to it.

Just After Sunset--call it dusk, call it twilight, it's a time when human intercourse takes on an unnatural cast, when nothing is quite as it appears, when the imagination begins to reach for shadows as they dissipate to darkness and living daylight can be scared right out of you. It's the perfect time for Stephen King.

The Tooth Fairy

Graham Joyce

Sam and his friends are like any normal gang of normal young boys. Roaming wild around the outskirts of their car-factory town. Daring adults to challenge their freedom.

Until the day Sam wakes to find the Tooth Fairy sitting on the edge of his bed. Not the benign figure of childhood myth, but an enigmatic presence that both torments and seduces him, changing his life forever.

The Shrinking Man

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 65

Richard Matheson

Inch by inch, day by day, Scott Carey is getting smaller. Once an unremarkable husband and father, Scott finds himself shrinking with no end in sight. His wife and family turn into unreachable giants, the family cat becomes a predatory menace, and Scott must struggle to survive in a world that seems to be growing ever larger and more perilous--until he faces the ultimate limits of fear and existence.

Subsequently re-published as The Incredible Shrinking Man.

Lullaby

Chuck Palahniuk

Ever heard of a culling song? It's a lullaby sung in Africa to give a painless death to the old or infirm. The lyrics of a culling song kill, whether spoken or even just thought. You can find one on page 27 of Poems and Rhymes from Around the World, an anthology that is sitting on the shelves of libraries across the country, waiting to be picked up by unsuspecting readers.

Reporter Carl Streator discovers the song's lethal nature while researching Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and before he knows it, he's reciting the poem to anyone who bothers him. As the body count rises, Streator glimpses the potential catastrophe if someone truly malicious finds out about the song. The only answer is to find and destroy every copy of the book in the country. Accompanied by a shady real-estate agent, her Wiccan assistant, and the assistant's truly annoying ecoterrorist boyfriend, Streator begins a desperate cross-country quest to put the culling song to rest.

Written with a style and imagination that could only come from Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby is the latest outrage from one of our most exciting writers at work today.

Heart-Shaped Box

Joe Hill

Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals... a used hangman's noose... a snuff film. An aging death-metal rock god, his taste for the unnatural is as widely known to his legions of fans as the notorious excesses of his youth. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, an item for sale on the Internet, a thing so terribly strange, Jude can't help but reach for his wallet.

I will "sell" my stepfather's ghost to the highest bidder....

For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. He isn't afraid. He has spent a lifetime coping with ghosts-of an abusive father, of the lovers he callously abandoned, of the bandmates he betrayed. What's one more?

But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost, no benign conversation piece. It's the real thing.

And suddenly the suit's previous owner is everywhere: behind the bedroom door... seated in Jude's restored vintage Mustang... standing outside his window... staring out from his widescreen TV. Waiting-with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one bony hand....

Brain Wave

Poul Anderson

Tha Change had come.

The world was suddenly, incredibly different. Somwhow, the Earth has escaped from a force field that had until then showed down light and otherwise affected electromagnetic and electrochemical processes. Almost overnight the intelligence of every living creature - man and beast - trebled. And the world went mad.

Archie Brock, the near moron, found himself in sold charge of a farm of strangely uncooperative animals and had to enlist the aid of superintelligent chimpanzees who had escaped from a nearby circus.

Peter Corinth, a physicist who started out life bright, was suddenly translated to an order of intelligence that left his rather dumb wife far behind... and shw was no longer too dumb to notice.

But the biggest problem of all was the ultimate one. In a world withoute problems where all the questions that have plagues mankind throughout history are solved, what is man to do with his time?

Crash

J. G. Ballard

The definitive cult, post-modern novel -- a shocking blend of violence, transgression and eroticism.

When our narrator smashes his car into another and watches a man die in front of him, his sense of sexual possibilities in the world around him becomes detached. As he begins an affair with the dead man's wife, he finds himself drawn with increasing intensity to the mangled impacts of car crashes.

Then he encounters Robert Vaughan, a former TV scientist turned nightmare angel of the expressway, who has gathered around him a collection of alienated crash victims and experiments with a series of erotic atrocities, each more sinister than the last. But Vaughan craves the ultimate crash - a head-on collision of blood, semen, engine coolant and iconic celebrity.

First published in 1973 'Crash' remains one of the most shocking novels of the second half of the twentieth century and was made into an equally controversial film by David Cronenburg.

The House on the Borderland and Other Novels

William Hope Hodgson

The story of an adventure in time and space that spans all of creation. A building, constructed across an invisible chasm of space-time, fated to witness the very end of the world, is waiting with open doors for anyone who dares to enter it.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: "And Yet": The Antinomies of William Hope Hodgson - essay by China Miéville
  • The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" - (1907) - novel
  • The House on the Borderland - (1908) - novel
  • The Ghost Pirates - (1909) - novel
  • The Night Land - (1912) - novel
  • The Hog - (1947) - novelette

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Kingkiller Chronicles

Patrick Rothfuss

The University, a renowned bastion of knowledge, attracts the brightest minds to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences like artificing and alchemy. Yet deep below its bustling halls lies a complex and cavernous maze of abandoned rooms and ancient passageways - and in the heart of it all lives Auri.

Formerly a student at the University, now Auri spends her days tending the world around her. She has learned that some mysteries are best left settled and safe. No longer fooled by the sharp rationality so treasured by the University, Auri sees beyond the surface of things, into subtle dangers and hidden names.

At once joyous and haunting, THE SLOW REGARD OF SILENT THINGS is a rich, atmospheric and lyrical tale, featuring one of the most beloved characters from Rothfuss' acclaimed fantasy series.

The Darkness That Comes Before

The Prince of Nothing: Book 1

R. Scott Bakker

Strikingly original in its conception, ambitious in scope, with characters engrossingly and vividly drawn, the first book in R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series creates a remarkable world from whole cloth—it's language and classes of people, its cities, religions, mysteries, taboos, and rituals—the kind of all-embracing universe that has thrilled readers of Stephen R Donaldson and George R.R. Martin.

It's a world scarred by an acopalyptic past, evoking a time both two thousand years past and two thousand years into the future, as untold thousands gather for a crusade. Travelling among them, two men and two women are ensnared by a mysterious traveler, Anasurimbor Kellhus—part warrior, part philosopher, part sorcerous, charismatic presence—from lands long thought dead. The Darkness that Comes Before is a history of this great holy war, and like all histories, the survivors write its conclusion.

With this stunning debut, R. Scott Bakker is poised to become one of the next great fantasy writers of his generation. The Darkness that Comes Before proves again that epic fantasy can be intelligent, majestic, and terrifying.

Drood

Dan Simmons

On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens--at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world and perhaps in the history of the world--hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever.

Did Dickens begin living a dark double life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London mere research... or something more terrifying?

Just as he did in The Terror, Dan Simmons draws impeccably from history to create a gloriously engaging and terrifying narrative. Based on the historical details of Charles Dickens's life and narrated by Wilkie Collins (Dickens's friend, frequent collaborator, and Salieri-style secret rival), DROOD explores the still-unsolved mysteries of the famous author's last years and may provide the key to Dickens's final, unfinished work: The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Chilling, haunting, and utterly original, DROOD is Dan Simmons at his powerful best.

The Affinities

Robert Charles Wilson

In our rapidly-changing world of "social media", everyday people are more and more able to sort themselves into social groups based on finer and finer criteria. In the near future of Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities, this process is supercharged by new analytic technologies--genetic, brain-mapping, behavioral. To join one of the twenty-two Affinities is to change one's life. It's like family, and more than family. Your fellow members aren't just like you, and they aren't just people who are likely to like you. They're also the people with whom you can best cooperate in all areas of life--creative, interpersonal, even financial.

At loose ends both professional and personal, young Adam Fisk takes the suite of tests to see if he qualifies for any of the Affinities, and finds that he's a match for one of the largest, the one called Tau. It's utopian--at first. Problems in all areas of his life begin to simply sort themselves out, as he becomes part of a global network of people dedicated to helping one another--to helping him.

But as the differing Affinities put their new powers to the test, they begin to rapidly chip away at the power of governments, of global corporations, of all the institutions of the old world. Then, with dreadful inevitability, the different Affinities begin to go to war--with one another.

What happens next will change Adam, and his world, forever.

Hannibal

Hannibal Lecter: Book 3

Thomas Harris

You remember Hannibal Lecter: gentleman, genius, cannibal. Seven years have passed since Dr. Lecter escaped from custody. And for seven years he's been at large, free to savor the scents, the essences, of an unguarded world. 

But intruders have entered Dr. Lecter's world, piercing his new identity, sensing the evil that surrounds him. For the multimillionaire Hannibal left maimed, for a corrupt Italian policeman, and for FBI agent Clarice Starling, who once stood before Lecter and who has never been the same, the final hunt for Hannibal Lecter has begun. All of them, in their separate ways, want to find Dr. Lecter. And all three will get their wish. But only one will live long enough to savor the reward.

Holy Fire

Bruce Sterling

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

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

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

The Whole Man

John Brunner

Gerald Howson was born in the gutter, with the body of a cripple... he was raised in harsh poverty and ridicule... and he would grow up with a mind of transcendant power.... What kind of man would he be?

A daring and fascinating exploration into the possibilities that include the marvel of internal creation---or the threat of lingering death!

Published in the UK as: The Telepathist

Aye, and Gomorrah…

Samuel R. Delany

Nebula Award winning and Hugo Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in the anthlogy Dangerous Visions (1967), edited by Harlan Ellison. The story has been reprinted many times. It can be found in the anthologies:

The story can also be found in the collections Driftglass (1971), The Complete Nebula Award-Winning Fiction (1986), Driftglass/Starshards (1993), and Aye, and Gomorrah: And Other Stories (2003).

Read the full story for free at Strange Horizons.

The Dark Half

Stephen King

Creating George Stark was easy. Getting rid of him won't be...

The sparrows are flying again. The idea - unbidden, inexplicable - haunts the edge of Thad Beaumont's mind.

Thad should be happy. For years now it is his secret persona 'George Stark', author of super-violent pulp thrillers, who has paid the family bills. But now, Thad is writing seriously again under his own name, and his menacing pseudonym has been buried forever.

And yet... the sparrows are flying again, and something is terribly wrong in Thad Beaumont's world.

Triggers

Robert J. Sawyer

On the eve of a secret military operation, an assassin's bullet strikes President Seth Jerrison. He is rushed to the hospital, where surgeons struggle to save his life.

At the same hospital, researcher Dr. Ranjip Singh is experimenting with a device that can erase traumatic memories.

Then a terrorist bomb detonates. In the operating room, the president suffers cardiac arrest. He has a near-death experience-but the memories that flash through Jerrison's mind are not his memories.

It quickly becomes clear that the electromagnetic pulse generated by the bomb amplified and scrambled Dr. Singh's equipment, allowing a random group of people to access one another's minds.

And now one of those people has access to the president's memories- including classified information regarding the upcoming military mission, which, if revealed, could cost countless lives. But the task of determining who has switched memories with whom is a daunting one- particularly when some of the people involved have reason to lie...

Miracle Visitors

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 15

Ian Watson

An unusually brilliant and mind-stretching metaphysical quest from one of the most exciting talents in science fiction.

John Deacon uses hypnosis to help his patients reach altered states of consciousness. One of his subjects, Michael Peacocke, is unusually susceptible and in their first session together, Michael recalls a "close encounter"--in both senses of the term--with an alien. Deacon, skeptical of the story, dismisses it as an adolescent sexual fantasy. But then strange things begin to happen and Deacon is forced to reconsider. Could UFOs be symbols projected from the collective unconscious? Are they messages from the biomatrix? Does the mind have the ability to project objects and people that are physically real...yet somehow illusory?

A wonderfully fascinating, mind-bending voyage.

Fear

Galaxy Science Fiction: Book 29

L. Ron Hubbard

Professor James Lowry didn't believe in spirits, or witches, or demons. Not until a gentle spring evening when his hat disappeared, and suddenly he couldn't remember the last four hours of his life. Now, the quiet university town of Atworthy is changing - slightly at first, then faster and more frighteningly each time he tries to remember. Lowry is pursued by a dark, secret evil that is turning his whole world against him while it whispers a warning from the shadows: If you find your hat you'll find your four hours. If you find your four hours then you will die...