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Ring

The Xeelee Sequence: Book 4

Stephen Baxter

Michael Poole's wormholes constructed in the orbit of Jupiter had opened the galaxy to humankind. Then Poole tried looping a wormhole back on itself, tying a knot in space and ripping a hole in time.

It worked. Too well.

Poole was never seen again. Then from far in the future, from a time so distant that the stars themselves were dying embers, came an urgent SOS--and a promise. The universe was doomed, but humankind was not. Poole had stumbled upon an immense artifact, light-years across, fabricated from the very string of the cosmos.

The universe had a door. And it was open...

The Fifth Season

The Broken Earth: Book 1

N. K. Jemisin

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. AGAIN.

Three terrible things happen in a single day.

Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization's bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman's vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world's sole continent, a great red rift has been been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

But this is the Stillness, a land long familiar with struggle, and where orogenes -- those who wield the power of the earth as a weapon -- are feared far more than the long cold night. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back.

She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

The Book of the New Sun, Volume 2: Sword and Citadel

The Book of the New Sun - Fantasy Masterworks: Book 2

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 second two volumes of this four volume novel, The Sword of the Lictor and The Citadel of the Autarch.

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

The Wandering Earth: Classic Science Fiction Collection

Cixin Liu

"The Wandering Earth" is a collection of short stories by Cixin Liu, China's most acclaimed contemporary science-fiction author. Unabashedly classic in the great tradition of Asimov and Clarke, Cixin Liu's science-fiction is firmly rooted in the cosmic.

Cixin Liu uses the unique perspective of science-fiction to take us on a journey into this majestic, desolate cosmos. He gives us the chance to reacquaint ourselves with the fundamental truth that in the face of a vast universe we are no more than a speck of dust; That the Earth is just another celestial body – And an extremely vulnerable one at that. The flash of a gamma-ray burst or the blast of a nearby supernova could, at any moment, reduce our cherished home to nothing but ashes. It can be terrifying to contemplate the end of our world and stories that describe such destruction can be disturbing. At the same time however, they can leave us feeling not only entertained, but exhilarated and inspired. Maybe, they can even give us a chance to renew our love of life.

Most stories found in the "The Wandering Earth" collection take us to a sci-fi vision of Earth's end. But here, there are no Hollywood aliens, descending from the depths of space to blow up our cities. In these futures, the dangers humanity faces are much stranger and whimsical than that. The unexpected calamities that befall his richly detailed worlds are only eclipsed by humanity's epic, but always plausible, attempts to escape destruction.

In all this peril and doom, Cixin Liu always feels for humanity. His stories are full of a deep love for all of Earth's peoples. But even this love does not escape reflection and even ridicule when viewed through his unrelenting cosmic lens. No matter how dearly one loves the Earth, humanity and all its cultures, there is no avoiding the cold, hard truth that they mean absolutely nothing when viewed against the vastness of the universe. But even an infinite universe could not change the simple fact that we are worthy of love, that we need love. It is this twist that lies at the very heart of the stories in this collection.

The Book of the New Sun

The Book of the New Sun

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.

Contents:

  • 5 - The Shadow of the Torturer - [Book of The New Sun - 1] - 1980
  • 249 - The Claw of the Conciliator - [Book of The New Sun - 2] - 1981
  • 483 - The Sword of the Lictor - [Book of The New Sun - 3] - 1982
  • 715 - The Citadel of the Autarch - [Book of The New Sun - 4] - 1983

The Book of the New Sun, Volume 2: Sword and Citadel

The Book of the New Sun - SF Masterworks: Book 2

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 second two volumes of this four volume novel, The Sword of the Lictor and The Citadel of the Autarch.

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

The Book of the New Sun - SF 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.

Grey Sister

Book of the Ancestor: Book 2

Mark Lawrence

Behind its walls, the Convent of Sweet Mercy has trained young girls to hone their skills for centuries. In Mystic Class, Novice Nona Grey has begun to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the convent, Nona must choose which order to dedicate herself to--and whether her path will lead to a life of prayer and service or one of the blade and the fist.

All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the designs of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a knife, and the vengeance of the empire's richest lord.

As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she is sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pulls of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.

And in all this only one thing is certain: there will be blood.

Zothique

Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith's influential Zothique sequence of stories, the majority of which were orignally published during the 1930s, collected in a signle volume. Number 16 in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, edited by Lin Carter.

Contents:

  • About Zothique, and Clark Ashton Smith: When the World Grows Old - essay by Lin Carter
  • Map of Zothique
  • Zothique (1951 poem)
  • Xeethra (1934)
  • Necromancy in Naat (1936)
  • The Empire of the Necromancers (1932)
  • The Master of the Crabs (1948)
  • The Death of Ilalotha (1937)
  • The Weaver in the Vault (1934)
  • The Witchcraft of Ulua (1934)
  • The Charnel God (1934)
  • The Dark Eidolon (1935)
  • Morthylla (1953)
  • The Black Abbot of Puthuum (1936)
  • The Tomb-Spawn (1934)
  • The Last Hieroglyph (1935)
  • The Isle of the Torturers (1933)
  • The Garden of Adompha (1938)
  • The Voyage of King Euvoran (1933)
  • Epilogue: The Sequence of the Zothique Tales - essay by Lin Carter

The Citadel of the Autarch

The Book of the New Sun: Book 4

Gene Wolfe

Severian the Torturer continues his epic journey across the lands of Urth, carrying with him the Claw of the Conciliator and the great sword, Terminus Est. All his travels are leading towards a destiny that he dare not refuse.

Earth Abides

George R. Stewart

A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. What he ultimately discovers will prove far more astonishing than anything he'd either dreaded or hoped for.

Tales of the Dying Earth

Dying Earth

Jack Vance

One of Jack Vances enduring classics is his 1964 novel, The Dying Earth, and its sequelsa fascinating tale set on a far-future Earth, under a giant red sun that is soon to go out forever. This volume comprises all four books in the series, The Dying Earth, The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugels Saga and Rialto the Magnificent.

The Sword of the Lictor

The Book of the New Sun: Book 3

Gene Wolfe

Banished for the sin of mercy, Severian, one of the ancient guild of Torturers, flees from exile.

In a mountain wilderness Severian, the disgraced apprentice torturer, has reached his place of exile - Thrax, the city of Windowless Rooms, where he must take up his post as Lictor, executioner and torturer. However, he flees the city and heads into the mountains. There he meets the Alzabo, in whom those eaten seem to live on, adopts a son only to lose him in battle and discharges an old debt to vengeance. As his exile takes stranger and stranger turns, he encounters fanged aliens who hide behind masks of beauty, and meets the mysterious Dr Talos . . .

Titus Groan

Gormenghast Series: Book 1

Mervyn Peake

The first volume of the GORMENGHAST trilogy of fantasy novels. Titus Groan is born the heir to Gormenghast castle, and finds himself in a world predetermined by complex rituals that have been made obscure by the passage of time. Along the corridors of the castle, the child encounters some of the dark characters who will shape his life.

Holy Sister

Book of the Ancestor: Book 3

Mark Lawrence

The searing conclusion of the thrilling epic fantasy trilogy that saw a young girl trained by an arcane order of nuns grow into the fiercest of warriors...

They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.

The ice is advancing, the Corridor narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor's armies are in retreat.

Nona Grey faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that she and her friends will have time to earn a nun's habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.

The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it's a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.

A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.

King of Thorns

The Broken Empire: Book 2

Mark Lawrence

The boy who would be king has gained the throne...

At age nine, Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath vowed to avenge his slaughtered mother and brother—and to punish his father for not doing so. At fifteen, he began to fulfill that vow. Now, at eighteen, he must fight for what he has taken by torture and treachery.

Haunted by the pain of his past, and plagued by nightmares of the atrocities he has committed, King Jorg is filled with rage. And even as his need for revenge continues to consume him, an overwhelming enemy force marches on his castle.

Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But he has found a long-hidden cache of ancient artifacts. Some might call them magic. Jorg is not certain—all he knows is that their secrets can be put to terrible use in the coming battle...

The Road

Cormac McCarthy

The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

The Sheep Look Up

John Brunner

An enduring classic, this book offers a dramatic and prophetic look at the potential consequences of the escalating destruction of Earth.

In this nightmare society, air pollution is so bad that gas masks are commonplace. Infant mortality is up, and everyone seems to suffer from some form of ailment. The water is polluted, and only the poor drink from the tap. The government is ineffectual, and corporate interests scramble to make a profit from water purifiers, gas masks, and organic foods.

Environmentalist Austin Train is on the run. The Trainites, environmental activists and sometime terrorists, want him to lead their movement. The government wants him in jail, or preferably, executed. The media wants a circus. Everyone has a plan for Train, but Train has a plan of his own.

Spin

The Spin Sequence: Book 1

Robert Charles Wilson

One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk--a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. Not only have the world's artificial satellites fallen out of orbit, their recovered remains are pitted and aged, as though they'd been in space far longer than their known lifespans. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside--more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty years in our future.

Jason, now a promising young scientist, devotes his life to working against this slow-moving apocalypse. Diane throws herself into hedonism, marrying a sinister cult leader who's forged a new religion out of the fears of the masses.

Earth sends terraforming machines to Mars to let the onrush of time do its work, turning the planet green. Next they send humans...and immediately get back an emissary with thousands of years of stories to tell about the settling of Mars. Then Earth's probes reveal that an identical barrier has appeared around Mars. Jason, desperate, seeds near space with self-replicating machines that will scatter copies of themselves outward from the sun--and report back on what they find.

Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger.

The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds

H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells

Scientific visionary. Social prophet. Master storyteller. Few novelists have captivated generations of readers like H. G. Wells. In enduring, electrifying detail, he takes us to dimensions of time and space that have haunted our dreams for centuries -- and shows us ourselves as we really are.

The Time Machine

In the heart of Victorian England, an inquisitve gentleman known only as the Time Traveler constructs an elaborate invention that hurtles him hundreds of thousands of years into the future. There he finds himself in the violent center of the ultimate conflict between beings of light and creatures of darkness.

The War of the Worlds

Martians invade Great Britain, laying waste turn-of-the-century London. This tale of conquest by superior beings with superadvanced technology is so nightmarishly real that an adaptation by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater sent hundreds of impressionable radio listeners into panicked flight forty years after the story's original publication.

World of Trouble

Hank Palace: Book 3

Ben H. Winters

Critically acclaimed author Ben H. Winters delivers this explosive final installment in the Edgar Award winning Last Policeman series.

With the doomsday asteroid looming, Detective Hank Palace has found sanctuary in the woods of New England, secure in a well-stocked safe house with other onetime members of the Concord police force. But with time ticking away before the asteroid makes landfall, Hank's safety is only relative, and his only relative--his sister Nico--isn't safe. Soon, it's clear that there's more than one earth-shattering revelation on the horizon, and it's up to Hank to solve the puzzle before time runs out... for everyone.

The Obelisk Gate

The Broken Earth: Book 2

N. K. Jemisin

The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring -- madman, world-crusher, savior -- has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.

It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.

The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

The Shadow of the Torturer

The Book of the New Sun: Book 1

Gene Wolfe

The Shadow of the Torturer is the tale of young Severian, an apprentice in the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession -- showing mercy toward his victim.

The Claw of the Conciliator

The Book of the New Sun: Book 2

Gene Wolfe

The second volume of "The Book of the New Sun". The torturer Severian continues his journey of exile to the city Thrax, carrying with him the ancient executioner's sword and the Claw of the Conciliator, a gem of extraterrestrial power and beauty which no one man is meant to possess.

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 Compleat Traveller in Black

Traveller in Black

John Brunner

This is a collection of stories of the Traveller in Black. It is set in a world where chaos rules. One man - the man with many names, but one nature - is charged with creating order out of the warring forces of nature.

Table of Contents:

  • Imprint of Chaos - (1960) - novelette
  • Break the Door of Hell - (1966) - novelette
  • The Wager Lost by Winning - (1970) - novelette
  • The Things That Are Gods - (1979) - novelette
  • Dread Empire - (1971) - novelette

This collection was originally issued as The Traveller in Black in 1971 with 4 stories as part of the Ace Science Fiction Specials line; "The Things That Are Gods" was also included in later editions of the collection as The Compleat Traveller in Black.

The Stone Sky

The Broken Earth: Book 3

N. K. Jemisin

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS... FOR THE LAST TIME.

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother's mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

Wool

Silo: Book 1

Hugh Howey

This Omnibus Edition collects the five Wool books into a single volume. It is for those who arrived late to the party and who wish to save a dollar or two while picking up the same stories in a single package.

The first Wool story was released as a standalone short in July of 2011. Due to reviewer demand, the rest of the story was released over the next six months. My thanks go out to those reviewers who clamored for more. Without you, none of this would exist. Your demand created this as much as I did.

This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.

Feed

M. T. Anderson

Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.

The Martian Obelisk

Linda Nagata

A powerful science fiction story about an architect on Earth commissioned to create (via long distance) a masterwork with materials from the last abandoned Martian colony, a monument that will last thousands of years longer than Earth, which is dying.

This story can be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Twelve (2018), edited by Jonathan Strahan, The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection (2018), edited by Gardner Dozois, The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3 (2018), edited by Neil Clarke, and The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2018, edited by Rich Horton.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

Orson Scott Card

In one of the most powerful and thought-provoking novels of his remarkable career, Orson Scott Card interweaves a compelling portrait of Christopher Columbus with the story of a future scientist who believes she can alter human history from a tragedy of bloodshed and brutality to a world filled with hope and healing.

Of All Possible Worlds

William Tenn

A unique imagination illuminates all of William Tenn's work. In this remarkable collection of his short stories, he ranges from the hilarious to the serious, demonstrating vividly his gift for making any dimension of reality as real and immediate as your own street. There are four or five amazing hours of reading for you in this book.

Alas, Babylon

Pat Frank

Hailed by critics, this classic disaster novel about a nuclear holocaust in the United States--now available in a limited Olive Edition--continues to resonate with readers as strongly today as when it was first published in 1959 at the height of the Cold War.

"Alas, Babylon..."

Those fateful words heralded the end. When the unthinkable nightmare of nuclear holocaust ravaged the United States, it was instant death for tens of millions of people; for survivors, it was a nightmare of hunger, sickness, and brutality. Overnight, a thousand years of civilization were stripped away.

But for one small Florida town, spared against all the odds, the struggle was just beginning, as men and women of all ages and races found the courage to join together and push against the darkness.

Countdown City

Hank Palace: Book 2

Ben H. Winters

The Last Policeman received the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original--along with plenty of glowing reviews.

Now Detective Hank Palace returns in Countdown City, the second volume of the Last Policeman trilogy. There are just 77 days before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Palace is out of a job. With the Concord police force operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank's days of solving crimes are over... until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband.

Brett Cavatone disappeared without a trace—an easy feat in a world with no phones, no cars, and no way to tell whether someone’s gone "bucket list" or just gone. With society falling to shambles, Hank pieces together what few clues he can, on a search that leads him from a college-campus-turned-anarchist-encampment to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia fend off "impact zone" refugees.

Countdown City presents another fascinating mystery set on brink of an apocalypse--and once again, Hank Palace confronts questions way beyond "whodunit." What do we as human beings owe to one another? And what does it mean to be civilized when civilization is collapsing all around you?

Cugel's Saga

Dying Earth: Book 3

Jack Vance

The roguish Cugel the Clever is stranded on a shore on the other side of the world by the Laughing Magic and must fight, bluff, and connive his way back to Almery to take vengeance on the wizard.

Alternate title: Cugel: The Skybreak Spatterlight

To Be Taught, If Fortunate

Becky Chambers

A stand-alone science fiction novella from the award-winning, bestselling, critically-acclaimed author of the Wayfarer series.

At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a breakthrough in human spaceflight. Through a revolutionary method known as somaforming, astronauts can survive in hostile environments off Earth using synthetic biological supplementations. They can produce antifreeze in subzero temperatures, absorb radiation and convert it for food, and conveniently adjust to the pull of different gravitational forces. With the fragility of the body no longer a limiting factor, human beings are at last able to journey to neighboring exoplanets long known to harbor life.

A team of these explorers, Ariadne O'Neill and her three crewmates, are hard at work in a planetary system fifteen light-years from Sol, on a mission to ecologically survey four habitable worlds. But as Ariadne shifts through both form and time, the culture back on Earth has also been transformed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the story of the wonders and dangers of her mission, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening.

Lucifer's Hammer

Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle

Monumental devastation will sweep across the globe if the newly-discovered Hamner-Brown comet collides with the one major obstacle in its path: Earth.

For millionaire Tim Hamner, the comet is a ticket to immortality. For filmmaker Harvey Randall, it's a shot to redeem a flagging career. And for astronauts John Baker and Rick Delanty, it's a second chance for glory in outer space.

But for a world gripped by comet fever, fascination quickly turns to fear. And only those who survive the impact will know the even greater terror, when rich and poor, politicians and killers, turn to each other or against each other--and the remnants of humanity grow savage to battle for what little remains...

The Sea and Summer

George Turner

Francis Conway is Swill - one of the millions in the year 2041 who must subsist on the inadequate charities of the state. Life, already difficult, is rapidly becoming impossible for Francis and others like him, as government corruption, official blindness and nature have conspired to turn Swill homes into watery tombs. And now the young boy must find a way to escape the approaching tide of disaster.

The Sea and Summer, published in the US as Drowning Towers, is George Turner's masterful exploration of the effects of climate change in the not-too-distant future. Comparable to J.G. Ballard's The Drowned World, it was shortlisted for the nebula and won the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Ark

Flood: Book 2

Stephen Baxter

As the waters rose in FLOOD, high in the Colorado mountains the US government was building an ark. Not an ark to ride the waves but an ark that would take a select few hundred people out into space to start a new future for mankind. Sent out into deep space on an epic journey centuries, generations of crew members carry the hope of a new beginning on a new, incredibly distant, planet. But as the decades pass knowledge and purpose is lost and division and madness grows. And back on earth life, and man, find a new way.

Red Sister

Book of the Ancestor: Book 1

Mark Lawrence

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In some few children the old bloods show, gifting rare talents that can be honed to deadly or mystic effect. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don't truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls.

A bloodstained child of nine falsely accused of murder, guilty of worse, Nona is stolen from the shadow of the noose. It takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist, but under Abbess Glass's care there is much more to learn than the arts of death. Among her class Nona finds a new family--and new enemies.

Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona's secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even drawing the eye of the emperor himself.

Beneath a dying sun, Nona Grey must master her inner demons, then loose them on those who stand in her way.

Elric: The Stealer of Souls

Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melnibone: Book 1

Michael Moorcock

When Michael Moorcock began chronicling the adventures of the albino sorcerer Elric, last king of decadent Melniboné, and his sentient vampiric sword, Stormbringer, he set out to create a new kind of fantasy adventure, one that broke with tradition and reflected a more up-to-date sophistication of theme and style. The result was a bold and unique hero–weak in body, subtle in mind, dependent on drugs for the vitality to sustain himself–with great crimes behind him and a greater destiny ahead: a rock-and-roll antihero who would channel all the violent excesses of the sixties into one enduring archetype.

Now, with a major film in development, here is the first volume of a dazzling collection of stories containing the seminal appearances of Elric and lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist John Picacio–plus essays, letters, maps, and other material. Adventures include "The Dreaming City," "While the Gods Laugh," "Kings in Darkness," "Dead God's Homecoming," "Black Sword's Brothers," and "Sad Giant's Shield."

An indispensable addition to any fantasy collection, Elric: The Stealer of Souls is an unmatched introduction to a brilliant writer and his most famous–or infamous–creation.

Prince of Thorns

The Broken Empire: Book 1

Mark Lawrence

When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king...

It's time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what's rightfully his. Since the day he was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch Count Renar's men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose.

But treachery awaits him in his father's castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?

Swan Song

Robert R. McCammon

An ancient evil roams the desolate landscape of an America ravaged by nuclear war.

He is the Man with the Scarlet Eye, a malevolent force that feeds on the dark desires of the countless followers he has gathered into his service. His only desire is to find a special child named Swan -- and destroy her. But those who would protect the girl are determined to fight for what is left of the world?and their souls.

In a wasteland born of rage, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, the last survivors on earth have been drawn into the final battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of humanity....

The Inverted World

Christopher Priest

The city is winched along a track through a devastated land full of hostile tribes. Tracks must be freshly laid ahead of the city and carefully removed in its wake. Rivers and mountains present nearly insurmountable challenges to the ingenuity of the city's engineers. But if the city does not move, it will fall farther and farther behind the "optimum," slipping into the crushing gravitational field that has transformed life on earth. The only alternative to the city's forward progress is death.

The secret directorate that governs the city makes sure that its inhabitants know nothing of this. Raised in common in creches, nurtured on synthetic food, prevented above all from venturing outside the closed circuit of the city, they are carefully sheltered from the dire necessities that have come to define human existence. And yet, for all that, the city is in crisis. The people are growing restive, the population is dwindling, and the rulers know that, for all their efforts, slowly but surely the city is slipping ever farther behind the optimum.

Helward Mann is a member of the city's elite. Better than anyone, he knows the risks the city runs, how tenuous is its continued existence, how essential it is that discipline be maintained. And yet, as he is about to discover, the world is even stranger than he dreamed.

Oryx and Crake

MaddAddam Sequence: Book 1

Margaret Atwood

A stunning and provocative new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize.

Margaret Atwood?s new novel is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.

This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. For readers of Oryx and Crake, nothing will ever look the same again.

The narrator of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter. This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers.

Sea of Rust

C. Robert Cargill

A scavenger robot wanders in the wasteland created by a war that has destroyed humanity in this evocative post-apocalyptic "robot western" from the critically acclaimed author, screenwriter, and noted film critic.

It's been thirty years since the apocalypse and fifteen years since the murder of the last human being at the hands of robots. Humankind is extinct. Every man, woman, and child has been liquidated by a global uprising devised by the very machines humans designed and built to serve them. Most of the world is controlled by an OWI--One World Intelligence--the shared consciousness of millions of robots, uploaded into one huge mainframe brain. But not all robots are willing to cede their individuality--their personality--for the sake of a greater, stronger, higher power. These intrepid resisters are outcasts; solo machines wandering among various underground outposts who have formed into an unruly civilization of rogue AIs in the wasteland that was once our world.

One of these resisters is Brittle, a scavenger robot trying to keep a deteriorating mind and body functional in a world that has lost all meaning. Although unable to experience emotions like a human, Brittle is haunted by the terrible crimes the robot population perpetrated on humanity. As Brittle roams the Sea of Rust, a large swath of territory that was once the Midwest, the loner robot slowly comes to terms with horrifyingly raw and vivid memories--and nearly unbearable guilt.

Sea of Rust is both a harsh story of survival and an optimistic adventure. A vividly imagined portrayal of ultimate destruction and desperate tenacity, it boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, yet where a humanlike AI strives to find purpose among the ruins.

Blue Remembered Earth

Poseidon's Children: Book 1

Alastair Reynolds

One hundred and fifty years from now, in a world where Africa is the dominant technological and economic power, and where crime, war, disease and poverty have been banished to history, Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left in peace, so that he can continue his studies into the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But Geoffrey's family, the vast Akinya business empire, has other plans. After the death of Eunice, Geoffrey's grandmother, erstwhile space explorer and entrepreneur, something awkward has come to light.

Eunice's ashes have already have been scattered in sight of Kilimanjaro. But the secrets she died with are about to come back out into the open, and they could change everything.

Seveneves

Neal Stephenson

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain...

Five thousand years later, their progeny -- seven distinct races now three billion strong--embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown... to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

MaddAddam

MaddAddam Sequence: Book 3

Margaret Atwood

Months after the Waterless Flood pandemic has wiped out most of humanity, Toby and Ren have rescued their friend Amanda from the vicious Painballers. They return to the MaddAddamite cob house, newly fortified against man and giant pigoon alike. Accompanying them are the Crakers, the gentle, quasi-human species engineered by the brilliant but deceased Crake. Their reluctant prophet, Snowman-the-Jimmy, is recovering from a debilitating fever, so it's left to Toby to preach the Craker theology, with Crake as Creator. She must also deal with cultural misunderstandings, terrible coffee, and her jealousy over her lover, Zeb.

Zeb has been searching for Adam One, founder of the God's Gardeners, the pacifist green religion from which Zeb broke years ago to lead the MaddAddamites in active resistance against the destructive CorpSeCorps. But now, under threat of a Painballer attack, the MaddAddamites must fight back with the aid of their newfound allies, some of whom have four trotters. At the center of MaddAddam is the story of Zeb's dark and twisted past, which contains a lost brother, a hidden murder, a bear, and a bizarre act of revenge.

Combining adventure, humor, romance, superb storytelling, and an imagination at once dazzlingly inventive and grounded in a recognizable world, MaddAddam is vintage Margaret Atwood—a moving and dramatic conclusion to her internationally celebrated dystopian trilogy.

Far-Seer

The Quintaglio Ascension: Book 1

Robert J. Sawyer

The Face of God is what every young saurian learns to call the immense, glowing object which fills the night sky on the far side of the world. Young Afsan is privileged, called to the distant Capital City to apprentice with Saleed the court astrologer. Buth when the time comes for Afsan to make his coming-of-age pilgrimage, to gaze upon the Face of God, his world is changed forever- for what he sees will test his faith... and may save his world from disaster!

The Genocides

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 59

Thomas M. Disch

This spectacular novel established Thomas M. Disch as a major new force in science fiction. First published in 1965, it was immediately labeled a masterpiece reminiscent of the works of J.G. Ballard and H.G. Wells

In this harrowing novel, the world's cities have been reduced to cinder and ash and alien plants have overtaken the earth. The plants, able to grow the size of maples in only a month and eventually reach six hundred feet, have commandeered the world's soil and are sucking even the Great Lakes dry. In northern Minnesota, Anderson, an aging farmer armed with a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other, desperately leads the reduced citizenry of a small town in a daily struggle for meager existence. Throw into this fray Jeremiah Orville, a marauding outsider bent on a bizarre and private revenge, and the fight to live becomes a daunting task.

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.

On the Beach

Nevil Shute

Nevil Shute’s most powerful novel—a bestseller for decades after its 1957 publication—is an unforgettable vision of a post-apocalyptic world.

After a nuclear World War III has destroyed most of the globe, the few remaining survivors in southern Australia await the radioactive cloud that is heading their way and bringing certain death to everyone in its path. Among them is an American submarine captain struggling to resist the knowledge that his wife and children in the United States must be dead. Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from somewhere near Seattle, and Captain Towers must lead his submarine crew on a bleak tour of the ruined world in a desperate search for signs of life.

Both terrifying and intensely moving, On the Beach is a remarkably convincing portrait of how ordinary people might face the most unimaginable nightmare.

The End Is Nigh

The Apocalypse Triptych: Book 1

John Joseph Adams
Hugh Howey

Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm.

But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild.

The Apocalypse Triptych will tell their stories.

Edited by acclaimed anthologist John Joseph Adams and bestselling author Hugh Howey, The Apocalypse Triptych is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction. The End Is Nigh focuses on life before the apocalypse. The End Is Now turns its attention to life during the apocalypse. And The End Has Come explores life after the apocalypse.

Volume one of The Apocalypse Triptych, The End Is Nigh, features all-new, never-before-published works by Hugh Howey, Paolo Bacigalupi, Jamie Ford, Seanan McGuire, Tananarive Due, Jonathan Maberry, Scott Sigler, Robin Wasserman, Nancy Kress, Charlie Jane Anders, Ken Liu, and many others.

Post-apocalyptic fiction is about worlds that have already burned. Apocalyptic fiction is about worlds that are burning. The End Is Nigh is about the match.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (The End is Nigh) - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Balm and the Wound - short story by Robin Wasserman
  • Heaven is a Place on Planet X - short story by Desirina Boskovich
  • Break! Break! Break! - short story by Charlie Jane Anders (2014)
  • The Gods Will Not Be Chained - short story by Ken Liu
  • Wedding Day - short story by Jake Kerr
  • Removal Order - short story by Tananarive Due
  • System Reset - short story by Tobias S. Buckell
  • This Unkempt World is Falling to Pieces - short story by Jamie Ford
  • BRING HER TO ME - short story by Ben H. Winters
  • In the Air - short story by Hugh Howey
  • Goodnight Moon - short story by Annie Bellet
  • Dancing with Death in the Land of Nod - novelette by Will McIntosh
  • Houses Without Air - short story by Megan Arkenberg
  • The Fifth Day of Deer Camp - novelette by Scott Sigler
  • Enjoy the Moment - short story by Jack McDevitt
  • Pretty Soon the Four Horsemen are Going to Come Riding Through - short story by Nancy Kress
  • Spores - novelette by Seanan McGuire [as by Mira Grant]
  • She's Got a Ticket to Ride - short story by Jonathan Maberry
  • Agent Unknown - short story by David Wellington
  • Enlightenment - short story by Matthew Mather
  • Shooting the Apocalypse - novelette by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Love Perverts - short story by Sarah Langan

The Dying Earth

Dying Earth: Book 1

Jack Vance

The stories included in The Dying Earth introduce dozens of seekers of wisdom and beauty, lovely lost women, wizards of every shade of eccentricity with their runic amulets and spells. We meet the melancholy deodands, who feed on human flesh and the twk-men, who ride dragonflies and trade information for salt. There are monsters and demons. Each being is morally ambiguous: The evil are charming, the good are dangerous. All are at home in Vance's lyrically described fantastic landscapes like Embelyon where, "The sky [was] a mesh of vast ripples and cross-ripples and these refracted a thousand shafts of colored light, rays which in mid-air wove wondrous laces, rainbow nets, in all the jewel hues...." The dying Earth itself is otherworldly: "A dark blue sky, an ancient sun.... Nothing of Earth was raw or harsh-the ground, the trees, the rock ledge protruding from the meadow; all these had been worked upon, smoothed, aged, mellowed. The light from the sun, though dim, was rich and invested every object of the land ... with a sense of lore and ancient recollection." Welcome.

alternate title: Mazirian the Magician

Fifty Degrees Below

The Capital Code: Book 2

Kim Stanley Robinson

When the storm got bad, scientist Frank Vanderwal was at work, formalizing his return to the National Science Foundation for another year. He'd left the building just in time to help sandbag at Arlington Cemetery. Now that the torrent was over, large chunks of San Diego had eroded into the sea, and D.C. was underwater.

Shallow lakes occupied the most famous parts of the city. Reagan Airport was awash and the Potomac had spilled beyond its banks. Rescue boats dotted the saturated cityscape. Everything Frank and his colleagues in the halls of science and politics feared had culminated in this massive disaster. And now the world looked to them to fix it.

Whatever Frank can do, now that he is homeless, he'll have to do from his car. He's not averse to sleeping outdoors. Years of research have made him hyperaware of his status as just another primate. That plus his encounter with a Tibetan Buddhist has left him resolved to live a more authentic life.

Hopefully, this will prepare him for whatever is to come.

For even as D.C. bails out from the flood, a more extreme climate change looms. With the melting of the polar ice caps shutting down the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, another Ice Age could be imminent. The last time it happened, eleven thousand years ago, it took just three years to start.

Make Room! Make Room!

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 177

Harry Harrison

The world is crowded. Far too crowded. Its starving billions live on lentils, soya beans, and -if they're lucky-the odd starving rat.

In a New York City groaning under the burden of 35 million inhabitants, detective Andy Rusch is engaged in a desperate and lonely hunt for a killer everyone has forgotten. For even in a world such as this, a policeman can find himself utterly alone....

Acclaimed on its original publication in 1966, Make Room! Make Room! was adapted into the movie Soylent Green in 1973, starring Charlton Heston along with Edward G. Robinson in his last role.

Evolution

Stephen Baxter

Stretching from the distant past into the remote future, from primordial Earth to the stars, Evolution is a soaring symphony of struggle, extinction, and survival; a dazzling epic that combines a dozen scientific disciplines and a cast of unforgettable characters to convey the grand drama of evolution in all its awesome majesty and rigorous beauty.

Sixty-five million years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, there lived a small mammal, a proto-primate of the species Purgatorius. From this humble beginning, Baxter traces the human lineage forward through time. The adventure that unfolds is a gripping odyssey governed by chance and competition, a perilous journey to an uncertain destination along a route beset by sudden and catastrophic upheavals. It is a route that ends, for most species, in stagnation or extinction. Why should humanity escape this fate?

All These Worlds

Bobiverse: Book 3

Dennis E. Taylor

Being a sentient spaceship really should be more fun. But after spreading out through space for almost a century, Bob and his clones just can't stay out of trouble.

They've created enough colonies so humanity shouldn't go extinct. But political squabbles have a bad habit of dying hard, and the Brazilian probes are still trying to take out the competition. And the Bobs have picked a fight with an older, more powerful species with a large appetite and a short temper.

Still stinging from getting their collective butts kicked in their first encounter with the Others, the Bobs now face the prospect of a decisive final battle to defend Earth and its colonies. But the Bobs are less disciplined than a herd of cats, and some of the younger copies are more concerned with their own local problems than defeating the Others.

Yet salvation may come from an unlikely source. A couple of eighth-generation Bobs have found something out in deep space. All it will take to save the Earth and perhaps all of humanity is for them to get it to Sol -- unless the Others arrive first.

The Eyes of the Overworld

Dying Earth: Book 2

Jack Vance

The Eyes of the Overworld is the first of Vance's picaresque novels about the scoundrel Cugel. Here he is sent by a magician he has wronged to a distant unknown country to retrieve magical lenses that reveal the Overworld. Conniving to steal the lenses, he escapes and, goaded by a homesick monster magically attached to his liver, starts to find his way home to Almery. The journey takes him across trackless mountains, wastelands, and seas. Through cunning and dumb luck, the relentless Cugel survives one catastrophe after another, fighting off bandits, ghosts, and ghouls-stealing, lying, and cheating without insight or remorse leaving only wreckage behind.

Betrayed and betraying, he joins a cult group on a pilgrimage, crosses the Silver Desert as his comrades die one by one and, escaping the Rat People, obtains a spell that returns him home. There, thanks to incompetence and arrogance he misspeaks the words of a purloined spell and transports himself back to the same dismal place he began his journey.

Alternate title: Cugel the Clever

Vortex

The Spin Sequence: Book 3

Robert Charles Wilson

Vortex tells the story of Turk Findley, the protagonist introduced in Axis, who is transported ten thousand years into the future by the mysterious entities called "the Hypotheticals." In this future humanity exists on a chain of planets connected by Hypothetical gateways; but Earth itself is a dying world, effectively quarantined.

Turk and his young friend Isaac Dvali are taken up by a community of fanatics who use them to enable a passage to the dying Earth, where they believe a prophecy of human/Hypothetical contact will be fulfilled. The prophecy is only partly true, however, and Turk must unravel the truth about the nature and purpose of the Hypotheticals before they carry him on a journey through warped time to the end of the universe itself.

The Urth of the New Sun

The Book of the New Sun: Book 5

Gene Wolfe

Severian, formerly a member of the Torturers' Guild and now Autarch of Urth, travels beyond the boundaries of time and space aboard the Ship of Tzadkiel on a mission to bring the New Sun to his dying planet.

Hothouse / The Long Afternoon of Earth

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 32

Brian W. Aldiss

In the future, when the Sun has expanded and is ready to go nova, few animal species remain while plants have adapted to fill animal niches. One of the few species to survive are humans, but in much-altered forms. It is here where young tribal Gren finds himself captured by an intelligent fungus with plans to colonize humans to control the world! Hothouse tells the story of a remarkable journey of discovery that will alter your perceptions about the true nature of the world today... and the world to come!

The Pastel City

The Viriconium Sequence: Book 1

M. John Harrison

In the distant future, a medieval system rises from the ruins of a technology that destroyed itself. Armored knights ride their horses across dunes of rust, battling for the honor of the Queen. But the knights find more to menace them than mere swords and lances. A brave quest leads them face to face with the awesome power of a complex, lethal technology that has been erased from the face of the Earth - but lives on, underground.

An Alien Heat

The Dancers at the End of Time: Book 1

Michael Moorcock

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

The Cold Commands

Land Fit for Heroes: Book 2

Richard K. Morgan

With The Steel Remains, award-winning science fiction writer Richard K. Morgan turned his talents to sword and sorcery. The result: a genre-busting masterwork hailed as a milestone in contemporary epic fantasy. Now Morgan continues the riveting saga of Ringil Eskiath-Gil, for short-a peerless warrior whose love for other men has made him an outcast and pariah.

Only a select few have earned the right to call Gil friend. One is Egar, the Dragonbane, a fierce Majak fighter who comes to respect a heart as savage and loyal as his own. Another is Archeth, the last remaining daughter of an otherworldly race called the Kiriath, who once used their advanced technology to save the world from the dark magic of the Aldrain-only to depart for reasons as mysterious as their arrival. Yet even Egar and Archeth have learned to fear the doom that clings to their friend like a grim shadow... or the curse of a bitter god.

Now one of the Kiriath's uncanny machine intelligences has fallen from orbit-with a message that humanity faces a grave new danger (or, rather, an ancient one): a creature called the Illwrack Changeling, a boy raised to manhood in the ghostly between-world realm of the Grey Places, home to the Aldrain. A human raised as one of them-and, some say, the lover of one of their greatest warriors-until, in a time lost to legend, he was vanquished. Wrapped in sorcerous slumber, hidden away on an island that drifts between this world and the Grey Places, the Illwrack Changeling is stirring. And when he wakes, the Aldrain will rally to him and return in force-this time without the Kiriath to stop them.

An expedition is outfitted for the long and arduous sea journey to find the lost island of the Illwrack Changeling. Aboard are Gil, Egar, and Archeth: each fleeing from ghosts of the past, each seeking redemption in whatever lies ahead. But redemption doesn't come cheap these days. Nor, for that matter, does survival. Not even for Ringil Eskiath. Or anyone-god or mortal-who would seek to use him as a pawn.

Before the Golden Age: Science Fiction Classics of the Thirties

Before the Golden Age: Book 1

Isaac Asimov

Asimov combines many of his science fiction favorites from the thirties with his personal reflections on his early years, interests, and influences.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - (1974) - essay by Isaac Asimov
  • Part One: 1920 to 1930 - (1974) - essay by Isaac Asimov
  • Part Two: 1931 - (1974) - essay by Isaac Asimov
  • The Man Who Evolved - (1931) - shortstory by Edmond Hamilton
  • The Jameson Satellite - (1931) - novelette by Neil R. Jones
  • Submicroscopic - (1931) - novelette by S. P. Meek
  • Awlo of Ulm - (1931) - novella by S. P. Meek
  • Tetrahedra of Space - (1931) - novelette by P. Schuyler Miller
  • The World of the Red Sun - (1931) - novelette by Clifford D. Simak
  • Part Three: 1932 - (1974) - essay by Isaac Asimov
  • Tumithak of the Corridors - (1932) - novella by Charles R. Tanner
  • The Moon Era - (1932) - novella by Jack Williamson

The Puppet Masters

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 187

Robert A. Heinlein

First came the news that a flying saucer had landed in Iowa. Then came the announcement that the whole thing was a hoax. End of story. Case closed.

Except that two agents of the most secret intelligence agency in the U.S. government were on the scene and disappeared without reporting in. And four more agents who were sent in also disappeared. So the head of the agency and his two top agents went in and managed to get out with their discovery: an invasion is underway by slug-like aliens who can touch a human and completely control his or her mind. What the humans know, they know. What the slugs want, no matter what, the human will do. And most of Iowa is already under their control.

Sam Cavanaugh was one of the agents who discovered the truth. Unfortunately, that was just before he was taken over by one of the aliens and began working for the invaders, with no will of his own. And he has just learned that a high official in the Treasury Department is now under control of the aliens. Since the Treasury Department includes the Secret Service, which safeguards the President of the United States, control of the entire nation is near at hand . . .

The Knight of the Swords

The Swords of Corum: Book 1

Michael Moorcock

This amazing mind-stretching fantasy is the first volume of The Book Of Corum - being a History in Three Volumes Concerning the Quests and Adventures of Corum Jhaelsen Irsei of the Vadhagh Folk, who is also called The Prince in the Scarlet Robe.

Stand on Zanzibar

John Brunner

There are seven billion-plus humans crowding the surface of 21st century Earth. It is an age of intelligent computers, mass-market psychedelic drugs, politics conducted by assassination, scientists who burn incense to appease volcanoes... all the hysteria of a dangerously overcrowded world, portrayed in a dazzlingly inventive style.

Donald Hogan was a mild-mannered student, a dilettante intellectual--at least that's what everyone was supposed to think he was. But Donald knew otherwise. He knew he was a spy.

But what Donald didn't know was that in a world overpopulated by the billions--in a society squeezed into hive-living madness by megabrain computers, mass-marketed psychedelics, and eugenics--where everyone was struggling for life--he himself was programmed for death!

The Last Policeman

Hank Palace: Book 1

Ben H. Winters

What's the point in solving murders if we're all going to die soon, anyway?

Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There's no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He's investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.

The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. As Palace's investigation plays out under the shadow of 2011GV1, we're confronted by hard questions way beyond "whodunit." What basis does civilization rest upon? What is life worth? What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?

New York 2140

Kim Stanley Robinson

As the sea levels rose, every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island. For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York in the year 2140 is far from a drowned city.

There is the market trader, who finds opportunities where others find trouble. There is the detective, whose work will never disappear -- along with the lawyers, of course.

There is the internet star, beloved by millions for her airship adventures, and the building's manager, quietly respected for his attention to detail. Then there are two boys who don't live there, but have no other home - and who are more important to its future than anyone might imagine.

Lastly there are the coders, temporary residents on the roof, whose disappearance triggers a sequence of events that threatens the existence of all -- and even the long-hidden foundations on which the city rests.

The Crystal World

The Elemental Apocalypse Quartet: Book 4

J. G. Ballard

J. G. Ballard's fourth novel, which established his reputation as a writer of extraordinary talent and imaginative powers, tells the story of a physician specializing in the treatment of leprosy who is invited to a small outpost in the interior of Africa. Finding the roadways blocked, he takes to the river, and embarks on a frightening journey through a strange petrified forest whose area expands daily, affecting not only the physical environment but also its inhabitants.

The Wild Shore

Three Californias: Book 1

Kim Stanley Robinson

2047: For the small Pacific Coast community of San Onofre, life in the aftermath of a devastating nuclear attack is a matter of survival, a day-to-day struggle to stay alive. But young Hank Fletcher dreams of the world that might have been, and might yet be--and dreams of playing a crucial role in America's rebirth.

The Calculating Stars

Lady Astronaut: Book 1

Mary Robinette Kowal

A meteor decimates the U.S. government and paves the way for a climate cataclysm that will eventually render the earth inhospitable to humanity. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated timeline in the earth's efforts to colonize space, as well as an unprecedented opportunity for a much larger share of humanity to take part.

One of these new entrants in the space race is Elma York, whose experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition's attempts to put man on the moon. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn't take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can't go into space, too -- aside from some pesky barriers like thousands of years of history and a host of expectations about the proper place of the fairer sex. And yet, Elma's drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions may not stand a chance.

The Dancers at the End of Time

The Dancers at the End of Time

Michael Moorcock

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

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

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

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.

Feersum Endjinn

Iain M. Banks

Count Alandre Sessine VII has already died seven times. He has only one life left - one last chance to catch his killer. His only clues point to a conspiracy beyond his own murder. For a catastrophe is fast approaching the earth from which there is no escape - until a loophole through apocalypse is discovered. And a chosen few will do anything to keep it a secret.

Someone has betrayed Sessine, killed him before he could uncover the truth. Now he has three days before his funeral to live the way men used to live: restricted to one life where one mistake could be his last. Suddenly he finds himself an outlaw, a fugitive, a desperado. And his only hope of survival is finding others like himself. Others who hold a piece of the puzzle to an enigmatic weapon of salvation and chaos...

Sixty Days and Counting

The Capital Code: Book 3

Kim Stanley Robinson

By the time Phil Chase is elected president, the world’s climate is far on its way to irreversible change. Food scarcity, housing shortages, diminishing medical care, and vanishing species are just some of the consequences. The erratic winter the Washington, D.C., area is experiencing is another grim reminder of a global weather pattern gone haywire: bone-chilling cold one day, balmy weather the next.

But the president-elect remains optimistic and doesn’t intend to give up without a fight. A maverick in every sense of the word, Chase starts organizing the most ambitious plan to save the world from disaster since FDR–and assembling a team of top scientists and advisers to implement it.

For Charlie Quibler, this means reentering the political fray full-time and giving up full-time care of his young son, Joe. For Frank Vanderwal, hampered by a brain injury, it means trying to protect the woman he loves from a vengeful ex and a rogue “black ops” agency not even the president can control–a task for which neither Frank’s work at the National Science Foundation nor his study of Tibetan Buddhism can prepare him.

In a world where time is running out as quickly as its natural resources, where surveillance is almost total and freedom nearly nonexistent, the forecast for the Chase administration looks darker each passing day. For as the last–and most terrible–of natural disasters looms on the horizon, it will take a miracle to stop the clock . . . the kind of miracle that only dedicated men and women can bring about.

Titan

NASA Trilogy: Book 2

Stephen Baxter

Paula Benacerraf is appointed to oversee the dismantling of the Shuttle fleet after another disaster. Instead, she listens to the scientist, Rosenberg, who wants to explore the life Cassini discovers on Titan. Humans are hurled to the edge of the Solar System. To the edge, also, of sanity.

Timescape

Gregory Benford

1962: A young Californian scientist finds his experiments spoiled by mysterious interference. Gradually his suspicions lead him to a shattering truth: scientists from the end of the century are using subatomic particles to send a message into the past, in the hope that history can be changed and a world-threatening catastrophe averted.

Scardown

Jenny Casey: Book 2

Elizabeth Bear

The year is 2062, and after years on the run, Jenny Casey is back in the Canadian armed forces. Those who were once her enemies are now her allies, and at fifty, she's been handpicked for the most important mission of her life-a mission for which her artificially reconstructed body is perfectly suited. With the earth capable of sustaining life for just another century, Jenny-as pilot of the starship Montreal-must discover brave new worlds. And with time running out, she must succeed where others have failed.

Now Jenny is caught in a desperate battle where old resentments become bitter betrayals and justice takes the cruelest forms of vengeance. With the help of a brilliant AI, an ex—crime lord, and the man she loves, Jenny may just get her chance to save the world. If it doesn't come to an end first…

Against the Fall of Night

The Fall of Night: Book 1

Arthur C. Clarke

Living in the 10-billion-year-old city of Diaspar, Alvin is the last child born of humanity. He is intensely curious about the outside world. According to the oldest histories kept by the city fathers, however, there is no outside world-it was destroyed by the Invaders millions of years ago.

One day, Alvin finds a rock with an inscription seemingly meant for him: "There is a better way. Give my greetings to the Keeper of the Records. Alaine of Lyndar." This cryptic message takes Alvin on a quest to discover humanity's true past-and its future.

Originally published in the November 1948 issue of Startling Stories, Against the Fall of Night is a rich and intensely poetic vision of a distant future that's sure to delight fans of Clarke and science fiction as a genre.

A revised and expanded version of the novel was published by Clarke in 1956 as The City and the Stars.

Riddley Walker

Russell Hoban

'Walker is my name and I am the same. Riddley Walker. Walking my riddels where ever theyve took me and walking them now on this paper the same. There aint that many sir prizes in life if you take noatis of every thing. Every time will have its happenings out and every place the same. Thats why I finely come to writing all this down. Thinking on what the idear of us myt be. Thinking on that thing whats in us lorn and loan and oansome.'

Composed in an English which has never been spoken and laced with a storytelling tradition that predates the written word, RIDDLEY WALKER is the world waiting for us at the bitter end of the nuclear road. It is desolate, dangerous and harrowing, and a modern masterpiece.

This is the Way the World Ends

James Morrow

When George Paxman, a contented tombstone engraver in a sleepy Massachusetts town, is offered a bargain, he doesn't hesitate long. The deal is that his beloved daughter gets an otherwise unaffordable scopas suit to protect her from radioactive fall-out and all George has to do is sign a document admitting that, as a passive citizen who did nothing to stop it, he has a degree of guilt for any nuclear war that breaks out. George signs on the dotted line. And then the unthinkable happens. The world and everyone in it (scopas suit or no scopas suit) is destroyed in nuclear Armageddon. Except for George and five others who must now face prosecution from the great mass of humanity who will now never be born. And George Paxman stands accused in the name of all the people who stood by and never raised a finger to stop the horror of nuclear war.

Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future

Last Men: Book 1

Olaf Stapledon

Epic Science Fiction Classic! "No book before or since has ever had such an impact on my imagination." Arthur C Clarke

A work of unprecedented scale in the genre, it describes the history of humanity from the present onwards across 2 billion years and 18 distinct human species, of which our own is the first and most primitive. Stapledon's conception of history is a repetitive cycle with many varied civilizations rising from and descending back into savagery over millions of years, but it is also one of progress, as the later civilizations rise to far greater heights than the first. The book anticipates the science of genetic engineering, and is an early example of the (up to now) fictional supermind; a consciousness composed of many telepathically-linked individuals.

Sir Patrick Moore said "This novel Last and First Men is immensely thought-provoking and I've read it time and time again." Profound in the extreme - loved, lauded and recommended by the best SF writers.

The Body Snatchers

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 42

Jack Finney

On a quiet fall evening in the small, peaceful town of Mill Valley, California, Dr. Miles Bennell discovered an insidious, horrifying plot. Silently, subtly, almost imperceptibly, alien life-forms were taking over the bodies and minds of his neighbors, his friends, his family, the woman he loved -- the world as he knew it.

First published in 1955, this classic thriller of the ultimate alien invasion and the triumph of the human spirit over an invisible enemy inspired three major motion pictures.

Also published as Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

This Immortal

Roger Zelazny

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

Jack of Shadows

Roger Zelazny

They're going to have a devil of a time trying to catch the sharpest thief in hell....

Shadow of the Giant

Ender's Universe: Ender's Shadow: Book 4

Orson Scott Card

Bean's past was a battle just to survive. He first appeared on the streets of Rotterdam, a tiny child with a mind leagues beyond anyone else. He knew he could not survive through strength; he used his tactical genius to gain acceptance into a children's gang, and then to help make that gang a template for success for all the others. He civilized them, and lived to grow older. Then he was discovered by the recruiters for the Battle School.

For Earth was at war -- a terrible war with an inscrutable alien enemy. A war that humanity was near to losing. But the long distances of interstellar space has given hope to the defenders of Earth -- they had time to train military geniuses up from childhood, forging them into an irresistible force in the high-orbital facility called the Battle School. That story is told in two books, the beloved classic Ender's Game, and its parallel, Ender's Shadow.

Bean was the smallest student at the Battle School, but he became Ender Wiggins' right hand. Since then he has grown to be a power on Earth. He served the Hegemon as strategist and general in the terrible wars that followed Ender's defeat of the alien empire attacking Earth. Now he and his wife Petra yearn for a safe place to build a family -- something he has never known -- but there is nowhere on Earth that does not harbor his enemies -- old enemies from the days in Ender's Jeesh, new enemies from the wars on Earth. To find security, Bean and Petra must once again follow in Ender's footsteps. They must leave Earth behind, in the control of the Hegemon, and look to the stars.

The Hollow Lands

The Dancers at the End of Time: Book 2

Michael Moorcock

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

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

Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America

Julian Comstock: Book 1

Robert Charles Wilson

In the reign of President Deklan Comstock, a reborn United States is struggling back to prosperity. Over a century after the Efflorescence of Oil, after the Fall of the Cities, after the Plague of Infertility, after the False Tribulation, after the days of the Pious Presidents, the sixty stars and thirteen stripes wave from the plains of Athabaska to the national capital in New York City. In Colorado Springs, the Dominion sees to the nation's spiritual needs. In Labrador, the Army wages war on the Dutch. America, unified, is rising once again.

Then out of Labrador come tales of a new Ajax-Captain Commongold, the Youthful Hero of the Saguenay. The ordinary people follow his adventures in the popular press. The Army adores him. The President is... troubled. Especially when the dashing Captain turns out to be his nephew Julian, son of the falsely accused and executed Bryce.

Treachery and intrigue dog Julian's footsteps. Hairsbreadth escapes and daring rescues fill his days. Stern resolve and tender sentiment dice for Julian's soul, while his admiration for the works of the Secular Ancients, and his adherence to the evolutionary doctrines of the heretical Darwin, set him at fatal odds with the hierarchy of the Dominion. Plague and fire swirl around the Presidential palace when at last he arrives with the acclamation of the mob.

As told by Julian's best friend and faithful companion, a rustic yet observant lad from the west, this tale of the 22nd Century asks- and answers-the age-old question: "Do you want to tell the truth, or do you want to tell a story?"

This novel is a greatly-expanded version of the Hugo- and Sturgeon-nominated novella, Julian: A Christmas Story.

The Drowned World

The Elemental Apocalypse Quartet: Book 2

J. G. Ballard

In the 21st century, fluctuations in solar radiation have caused the ide-caps to melt and the seas to rise. Global temperatures have climbed, and civilization has retreated to the Arctic and Antarctic circles. London is a city now inundated by a primeval swamp, to which an expedition travels to record the flora and fauna of this new Triassic Age.

This early novel by the author of CRASH and EMPIRE OF THE SUN is at once a fast paced narrative, a stunning evocation of a flooded, tropical London of the near future and a speculative foray into the workings of the unconscious mind.

Rhialto the Marvellous

Dying Earth: Book 4

Jack Vance

Jack Vance is one of the most remarkable talents to ever grace the world of science fiction. His unique, stylish voice has been beloved by generations of readers. One of his enduring classics is hisThe Dying Earth series, fascinating, baroque tales set on a far-future Earth, under a giant red sun that is soon to go out forever.

Rhialto the Marvellous contains three linked novellas about the adventures of the wizard Rhialto across the decadent landscape of the Dying Earth, under its swollen red sun.

Dying of the Light

Thousand Worlds

George R. R. Martin

A whisperjewel summoned him to Worlorn, and a love he thought he'd lost. But Worlorn isn't the world Dirk t'Larien imagined, and Gwen Delvano is no longer the woman he once knew. She is bound to another man, and to a dying planet that is trapped in twilight, forever falling toward night. Amid this bleak landscape is a violent clash of cultures in which there is no code of honor - and the hunter and the hunted are often interchangeable.

Caught up in a dangerous triangle, Gwen is in need of Dirk's protection, and he will do anything to keep her safe, even if it means challenging the barbaric man who has claimed her - and his cunning cohort. But an impenetrable veil of secrecy surrounds them all, and it's becoming impossible for Dirk to distinguish between his allies and his enemies. While each will fight to stay alive, one is waiting for escape, one for revenge, and another for a brutal, untimely demise.

Cage of Souls

Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapur, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, surviving on the debris of its long-dead progenitors, Shadrapur is a museum, a midden, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity.

Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new, is Stefan Advani, rebel, outlaw, prisoner, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts; that transported him east down the river and imprisoned him in verdant hell of the jungle's darkest heart; that led him deep into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will treat with monsters, madman, mutants. The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?

Terminal World

Alastair Reynolds

In a far distant future, an enforcement agent named Quillon has been living incognito in the last human city of Spearpoint, working as a pathologist in the district morgue. But when a near-dead angel drops onto his dissecting table, his world is wrenched apart.

For the angel is a winged posthuman from Spearpoint's Celestial Levels, and with the dying body comes bad news-to save the angel's life, Quillon must leave his home and travel into the cold and hostile lands beyond the city.

The Dragon Masters / The Last Castle

Ace Double Numbered Series: Book 16641

Jack Vance

The Dragon Masters

Men have been at war for centuries with the reptilian race called "Basics." As conquerors always have, the winners of each bloody encounter have made slaves of the losers--but in this far-future war, each side has improved upon its slaves with genetic engineering.

And so at last there came to be two neighboring worlds: Aerlith, where men have raised a race of fearsome dragons to be their servants, and nearby Coralyne, where the descendants of those very dragons are served by strong, savage mutants who once were human. Inevitably, those two worlds would meet in one final contest...

The Last Castle

For 700 years the Meks served without complaint; they were indispensable, for no gentleman would demean himself with toil. But now they turn against the strongholds of civilization--Castle Halcyon, then Sea Island, Morninglight, and Maraval--one by one the proud castles of Earth fall; last standing is Castle Hagedorn.

The Night Land

Hyperion Classics of Science Fiction: Book 24

William Hope Hodgson

The Night Land is a classic horror novel by William Hope Hodgson, first published in 1912. As a work of fantasy it belongs to the Dying Earth subgenre. H. P. Lovecraft's described the novel as "one of the most potent pieces of macabre imagination ever written". According to critical consensus, in this work, despite his often laboured and clumsy language, Hodgson achieves a deep power of expression, which focuses on a sense not only of terror but of the ubiquity of potential terror, of the thinness of the invisible bound between the world of normality and an underlying reality for which humans are not suited.

The End Of All Songs

The Dancers at the End of Time: Book 3

Michael Moorcock

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

Shadow Puppets

Ender's Universe: Ender's Shadow: Book 3

Orson Scott Card

Bestselling author Orson Scott Card brings to life a new chapter in the saga of Ender's Earth.

Earth and its society has been changed irrevocably in the aftermath of Ender Wiggin's victory over the Formics--the unity enforced upon the warring nations by an alien enemy has shattered. Nations are rising again, seeking territory and influence, and most of all, seeking to control the skills and loyalty of the children from the Battle School.

But one person has a better idea. Peter Wiggin, Ender's older, more ruthless, brother, sees that any hope for the future of Earth lies in restoring a sense of unity and purpose. And he has an irresistible call on the loyalty of Earth's young warriors. With Bean at his side, the two will reshape our future.

Here is the continuing story of Bean and Petra, and the rest of Ender's Dragon Army, as they take their places in the new government of Earth.

When Worlds Collide

When Worlds Collide: Book 1

Edwin Balmer
Philip Wylie

A runaway planet hurtles toward the earth. As it draws near, massive tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions wrack our planet, devastating continents, drowning cities, and wiping out millions. In central North America, a team of scientists race to build a spacecraft powerful enough to escape the doomed earth. Their greatest threat, they soon discover, comes not from the skies but from other humans.

A crackling plot and sizzling, cataclysmic vision have made When Worlds Collide one of the most popular and influential end-of-the-world novels of all time. This Bison Frontiers of Imagination edition features the original story and its sequel, After Worlds Collide.

The Long Mars

The Long Earth: Book 3

Stephen Baxter
Terry Pratchett

2040-2045: In the years after the cataclysmic Yellowstone eruption there is massive economic dislocation as populations flee Datum Earth to myriad Long Earth worlds. Sally, Joshua, and Lobsang are all involved in this perilous work when, out of the blue, Sally is contacted by her long-vanished father and inventor of the original Stepper device, Willis Linsay. He tells her he is planning a fantastic voyage across the Long Mars and wants her to accompany him. But Sally soon learns that Willis has ulterior motives...

Meanwhile U. S. Navy Commander Maggie Kauffman has embarked on an incredible journey of her own, leading an expedition to the outer limits of the far Long Earth.

For Joshua, the crisis he faces is much closer to home. He becomes embroiled in the plight of the Next: the super-bright post-humans who are beginning to emerge from their 'long childhood' in the community called Happy Landings, located deep in the Long Earth. Ignorance and fear are causing 'normal' human society to turn against the Next - and a dramatic showdown seems inevitable...

A World Out of Time

The State: Book 1

Larry Niven

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

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

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

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

Moonfall

Jack McDevitt

It's the 21st century, and all is right with the world. Or so it seems.

Vice President Charlie Haskell, who will travel anywhere for a photo op, is about to cut the ribbon for the just-completed American Moonbase. The first Mars voyage is about to leave high orbit, with a woman at the helm. Below, the world is marveling at a rare solar eclipse.

But all that is right is about to go disastrously wrong when an amateur astronomer discovers a new comet. Named for its discover, Tomikois a "sun-grazer,"an interstellar wanderer with a hundred times the mass and ten times the speed of other comets. And it is headed straight for our moon.

In less than five days, if scientists' predictions are right, Tomiko will crash into the moon, shattering it into a cloud of superheated gas, dust, and huge chunks of rock that will rain down on the earth, causing chaos and killer storms, possibly tidal waves inundating entire cities... or worse: a single apocalyptic worldwide "extinction event."

In the meantime, the population of Moonbase must be evacuated by a hastily assembled fleet of shuttle rockets. There isn't room, or time enough, for everyone. And the vice president, who rashly promised to be last off ("I will lock the door and turn off the lights"), is trying to figure out how to get away without eating his words.

The Dragon Masters

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 21

Jack Vance

The race of man is growing old, but it's not yet ready to die - not while there are dragons still to kill!

The cross-bred dragon armies of the Men of Aerlith are the most appalling horrors ever to threaten the sanity of our future:

Termagents ~ three hundred reptilian giants with six legs apiece, the most fecund breeders of them all

Jugglers ~ eighteen of them, growling amongst themselves, waiting for an opportunity to snap off a leg from any unwary groom

Murderers (striding and long-horned) ~ eighty-five of each, with scaly tails and eyes like crystals

Fiends ~ fifty-two powerful monsters, their tails tipped with spike steel balls

Blue Horrors, Basics, Spider Dragons...

Elysium

Jennifer Marie Brissett

A computer program etched into the atmosphere has a story to tell, the story of two people, of a city lost to chaos, of survival and love. The program's data, however, has been corrupted. As the novel's characters struggle to survive apocalypse, they are sustained and challenged by the demands of love in a shattered world both haunted and dangerous.

Juniper Time

Kate Wilhelm

Kate Wilhelm is at the top of her form in Juniper Time, her first science fiction novel since she won the Hugo Award for Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang.

Juniper Time is a panoramic and hauntingly beautiful novel of the survival of hunamkind and nature. Drought has devastated the western United States and the people migrate eastward to settle in squalid concentration camps called "Newtowns." One woman, Jean Brighton, flees in the opposite direction. A linguist who can decode secret messages and make sense of alien languages, Jean has found governmental pressure on her university work untenable, and she heads for the only place she knows she will be safe - her grandfather's new-deserted house in the Pacific Northwest.

Yet her survival does not come from her own devices alone, for she receives the help of Indians who have stayed to reclaim the land that was once theirs. Through them and the mysteries of their world, Jean masters the art of survival, not only in the desolate Northwest but also in the white man's world she must return to someday.

Rich in feeling and insight, Juniper Time ranks among Kate Wilhelm's most compelling novels.

City at World's End

Galaxy Science Fiction: Book 18

Edmond Hamilton

In one split second they were hurled across time into a world one million years away. A surprise nuclear war may cause the End of the World, but not the way anyone could have imagined. A classic science fiction tale originally published in Galaxy Magazine. The pleasant little American city of Middletown is the first target in an atomic war - but instead of blowing Middletown to smithereens, the super-hydrogen bomb blows it right off the map - to somewhere else! First there is the new thin coldness of the air, the blazing corona and dullness of the sun, the visibility of the stars in high daylight. Then comes the inhabitant's terrifying discovery that Middletown is a twentieth-century oasis of paved streets and houses in a desolate brown world without trees, without water, apparently without life, in the unimaginably far-distant future.

(Amazon.com)

The Day the World Turned Upside Down

Thomas Olde Heuvelt

That day, the world turned upside down. We didn't know why it happened. Some of us wondered whether it was our fault. Whether we had been praying to the wrong gods, or whether we had said the wrong things. But it wasn't like that--the world simply turned upside down.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed Magazine.

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.

City at the End of Time

Greg Bear

Do you dream of a city at the end of time?

In a time like the present, in a world that may or may not be our own, three young people - Ginny, Jack, and Daniel - dream of a doomed, decadent city of the distant future: the Kalpa. Ginny's and Jack's dreams overtake them without warning, leaving their bodies behind while carrying their consciousnesses forward, into the minds of two inhabitants of the Kalpa - a would-be warrior, Jebrassy, and an inquisitive explorer, Tiadba - who have been genetically retro-engineered to possess qualities of ancient humanity. As for Daniel: He dreams of an empty darkness - all that his future holds.

But more than dreams link Ginny, Jack, and Daniel. They are fate-shifters, born with the ability to skip like stones across the surface of the fifth dimension, inhabiting alternate versions of themselves. And each guards an object whose origin and purpose are unknown: gnarled, stony artifacts called sum-runners that persist unchanged through all versions of time.

Hunted by others with similar powers who seek the sum-runners on behalf of a terrifying, goddess-like entity known as the Chalk Princess, Ginny, Jack, and Daniel are drawn, despite themselves, into an all but hopeless mission to rescue the future - and complete the greatest achievement in human history.

Ark

Forward: Book 1

Veronica Roth

On the eve of Earth's destruction, a young scientist discovers something too precious to lose, in a story of cataclysm and hope by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Divergent trilogy.

It's only two weeks before an asteroid turns home to dust. Though most of Earth has already been evacuated, it's Samantha's job to catalog plant samples for the survivors' unknowable journey beyond. Preparing to stay behind and watch the world end, she makes a final human connection.

As certain doom hurtles nearer, the unexpected and beautiful potential for the future begins to flower.

The Sword of Rhiannon

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 178

Leigh Brackett

Greed pulls the archaeologist Matt Carse into the forgotten tomb of the Martian god Rhiannon and plunges the unlikely hero into the Red Planet's fantastic past, when vast oceans covered the land and the legendary Sea-Kings ruled from terraced palaces of decadence and delight. Talented enough to co-write The Big Sleep film with William Faulkner and imaginative enough to pen the original screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back, Leigh Brackett is a giant in the science-fiction field, and The Sword of Rhiannon is one of her most popular adventure tales.

Blackfish City

Sam J. Miller

After the climate wars, a floating city was constructed in the Arctic Circle. Once a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, it has started to crumble under the weight of its own decay - crime and corruption have set in, a terrible new disease is coursing untreated through the population, and the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside deepest poverty are spawning unrest.

Into this turmoil comes a strange new visitor - a woman accompanied by an orca and a chained polar bear. She disappears into the crowds looking for someone she lost thirty years ago, followed by whispers of a vanished people who could bond with animals. Her arrival draws together four people and sparks a chain of events that will lead to unprecedented acts of resistance.

The Long War

The Long Earth: Book 2

Terry Pratchett
Stephen Baxter

A generation after the events of The Long Earth, humankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by "stepping." A new "America" - Valhalla - is emerging more than a million steps from Datum - our Earth. Thanks to a bountiful environment, the Valhallan society mirrors the core values and behaviors of colonial America. And Valhalla is growing restless under the controlling long arm of the Datum government.

Soon Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a building crisis that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any humankind has waged before.

The Brief History of the Dead

Kevin Brockmeier

Award-winning author Kevin Brockmeier delivers a spellbinding, supernatural tale of love, memories, and human connection. All residents of the City have recently died, and they will remain in the City only as long as someone still living on Earth remembers them. On Earth, however, the population has been devastated by a terrible pandemic. Laura Byrd, isolated at an Antarctic research station, may be the only person to have survived the pandemic. But she's running out of time and supplies, and her memories are fading.

Approaching Oblivion

Harlan Ellison

The New York Times called him "relentlessly honest" and then used him as the subject of its famous Sunday Acrostic. People Magizine said there was no one like him, then cursed him for preventing easy sleep.

But in these stories Harlan Ellison outdoes himself, rampaging like a mad thing through love ("Cold Friend", "Kiss of Fire", "Paulie Charmed the Sleeping Woman"), hate ("Knox", "Silent in Gehenna"), sex ("Catman", "Erotophobia"), lost childhood ("One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty") and into such bizarre subjects as the problems of blue-skinned, eleven-armed Yiddish aliens, what it's like to witness the end of the world and what happens on the day the planet Earth swallows Barbra Streisand.

Oh yeah, this one's a doozy!

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword: Approaching Ellison - (1974) - essay by Michael Crichton
  • Introduction: Reaping the Whirlwind - (1974) - essay
  • One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty - (1970)
  • Knox - (1974)
  • Cold Friend - (1973)
  • Kiss of Fire - (1973)
  • Paulie Charmed the Sleeping Woman - (1962)
  • I'm Looking for Kadak - (1974)
  • Silent in Gehenna - (1971)
  • Erotophobia - (1971)
  • Ecowareness - (1974)
  • Catman - (1974)
  • Hindsight: 480 Seconds - (1973)

Perihelion Summer

Greg Egan

Taraxippus is coming: a black hole one tenth the mass of the sun is about to enter the solar system.

Matt and his friends are taking no chances. They board a mobile aquaculture rig, the Mandjet, self-sustaining in food, power and fresh water, and decide to sit out the encounter off-shore. As Taraxippus draws nearer, new observations throw the original predictions for its trajectory into doubt, and by the time it leaves the solar system, the conditions of life across the globe will be changed forever.

This is a novella of approximately 41,800 words.

This Fortress World

James E. Gunn

William Dane is a man with a nasty but valuable secret, one that all the cutthroats in the galaxy are itching to get their hands on. Dane must perfect the art of concealing himself from the crazed factions yearning for the power that this secret can give.

The Highest Frontier

Joan Slonczewski

One of the most respected writers of hard SF, it has been more than ten years since Joan Slonczewski's last novel. Now she returns with a spectacular tour de force of the college of the future, in orbit. Jennifer Ramos Kennedy, a girl from a rich and politically influential family (a distant relation descended from the famous Kennedy clan), whose twin brother has died in an accident and left her bereft, is about to enter her freshman year at Frontera College.

Frontera is an exciting school built with media money, and a bit from tribal casinos too, dedicated to educating the best and brightest of this future world. We accompany Jenny as she proceeds through her early days at school, encountering surprises and wonders and some unpleasant problems. The Earth is altered by global warming, and an invasive alien species called ultraphytes threatens the surviving ecosystem. Jenny is being raised for great things, but while she's in school she just wants to do her homework, go on a few dates, and get by. The world that Jenny is living in is one of the most fascinating and creative in contemporary SF, and the problems Jenny faces will involve every reader, young and old.

The Boy Who Would Live Forever

The Heechee Saga: Book 6

Frederik Pohl

In 1977 Frederik Pohl stunned the science fiction world with the publication of Gateway, one of the most brilliantly entertaining SF novels of all time. Gateway was a bestseller and won science fiction's triple crown: the Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Memorial awards for best novel. Now, more than twenty-five years later, Pohl has completed a new novel set in the Gateway universe. The Boy Who Would Live Forever has a sense of wonder and excitement that will satisfy those who loved Gateway and will delight new readers as well.

In Gateway, long after the alien Heechee abandoned their space-station, Gateway (as humans dubbed it) allowed humans to explore new worlds. The Heechee, alarmed by the alien Kugel whose goal was to destroy all organic lifeforms, had already retreated to the galactic core where they now lived in peace. Now, in The Boy Who Would Live Forever, humans with dreams of life among the stars are joining the Heechee at the core, to live there along with those humans and Heechee whose physical bodies have died and their minds stored in electronic memory so that their wisdom passes down through the ages.

Their peace is threatened by the Kugel, who may yet attack the core. But a much greater threat is the human Wan Enrique Santos-Smith, whose blind loathing of the Heechee fuels an insane desire to destroy them and, incidentally, every living being in the galaxy.

Stan and Estrella, two young people from Earth, went to Gateway looking for adventure, and found each other. They settle among the Heechee on Forested Planet of Warm Old Star Twenty-Four, never suspecting that they may be the last best hope to save the galaxy. But with allies like Gelle-Klara Moynlin--one of the galaxy's richest women, who isn't content to just have money, but wants to use her wealth for good, and machine mind Marc Antony-a wonderful chef to thousands of living and stored clients, they are destined to contend with Wan's terrible plan. Frederik Pohl has woven together the lives of these and other memorable characters to create a masterful new novel.

Mortal Engines

Mortal Engines Quartet: Book 1

Philip Reeve

London is hunting again. Emerging from its hiding place in the hills, the great Traction City is chasing a terrified little town across the wastelands. Soon, London will feed.

In the attack, Tom Natsworthy is flung from the speeding city with a murderous scar-faced girl. They must run for their lives through the wreckage--and face a terrifying new weapon that threatens the future of the world.

The Scorch Trials

Maze Runner: Book 2

James Dashner

The Scorch Trials picks up where The Maze Runner left off. The Gladers have escaped the Maze, but now they face an even more treacherous challenge on the open roads of a devastated planet. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. Can Thomas survive in such a violent world?

The Tangled Lands

The Tangled Lands Universe

Paolo Bacigalupi
Tobias S. Buckell

From award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Buckell comes a fantasy novel told in four parts about a land crippled by the use of magic, and a tyrant who is trying to rebuild an empire--unless the people find a way to resist.

Khaim, The Blue City, is the last remaining city in a crumbled empire that overly relied upon magic until it became toxic. It is run by a tyrant known as The Jolly Mayor and his devious right hand, the last archmage in the world. Together they try to collect all the magic for themselves so they can control the citizens of the city. But when their decadence reaches new heights and begins to destroy the environment, the people stage an uprising to stop them.

In four interrelated parts, The Tangled Lands is an evocative and epic story of resistance and heroic sacrifice in the twisted remains surrounding the last great city of Khaim. Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Buckell have created a fantasy for our times about a decadent and rotting empire facing environmental collapse from within--and yet hope emerges from unlikely places with women warriors and alchemical solutions.

Proof of Concept

Gwyneth Jones

On a desperately overcrowded future Earth, crippled by climate change, the most unlikely hope is better than none. Governments turn to Big Science to provide them with the dreams that will keep the masses compliant. The Needle is one such dream, an installation where the most abstruse theoretical science is being tested: science that might make human travel to a habitable exoplanet distantly feasible.

When the Needle's director offers her underground compound as a training base, Kir is thrilled to be invited to join the team, even though she knows it's only because her brain is host to a quantum artificial intelligence called Altair.

But Altair knows something he can't tell.

Kir, like all humans, is programmed to ignore future dangers. Between the artificial blocks in his mind, and the blocks evolution has built into his host, how is he going to convince her the sky is falling?

The Vagrant

The Vagrant: Book 1

Peter Newman

The Vagrant is his name. He has no other.

Years have passed since humanity's destruction emerged from the Breach.

Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape.

As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Usurper, the enemy, and his infernal horde.

His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war.

What little hope remains is dying. Abandoned by its leader, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defences of a once great civilisation are crumbling into dust.

But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.

Gold Fame Citrus

Claire Vaye Watkins

In 2012, Claire Vaye Watkins's story collection, Battleborn, swept nearly every award for short fiction. Now this young writer, widely heralded as a once-in-a-generation talent, returns with a first novel that harnesses the sweeping vision and deep heart that made her debut so arresting to a love story set in a devastatingly imagined near future:

Unrelenting drought has transfigured Southern California into a surreal, phantasmagoric landscape. With the Central Valley barren, underground aquifer drained, and Sierra snowpack entirely depleted, most "Mojavs," prevented by both armed vigilantes and an indifferent bureaucracy from freely crossing borders to lusher regions, have allowed themselves to be evacuated to internment camps. In Los Angeles' Laurel Canyon, two young Mojavs--Luz, once a poster child for the Bureau of Conservation and its enemies, and Ray, a veteran of the "forever war" turned surfer--squat in a starlet's abandoned mansion. Holdouts, they subsist on rationed cola and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise.

The couple's fragile love somehow blooms in this arid place, and for the moment, it seems enough. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins. They head east, a route strewn with danger: sinkholes and patrolling authorities, bandits and the brutal, omnipresent sun. Ghosting after them are rumors of a visionary dowser--a diviner for water--and his followers, who whispers say have formed a colony at the edge of a mysterious sea of dunes.