In the year 2100, the invention of the Electron Pump – an apparently inexhaustible supply of free energy – has enabled humanity to devote its time and energies to more than the struggle for survival, finally breaking free of the Earth.
But the Electron Pump works by exchanging materials with a parallel universe, and such unbalancing of the cosmos has consequences. Humans and aliens alike must race to prevent a vast nuclear explosion in the heart of the Sun – and the vaporisation of the Earth exactly eight minutes later …
When his ultra-logical computer tells him that to survive he must become the richest man in the universe, Rod McBan the hundred and fifty-first thought he had a good plan. A telepathic cripple, rejected by many of his people, owner of the Station of Doom, the safety of wealth would keep him safe. In one crowded, unbelievable night he achieved the impossible, became the richest boy in the galaxy.
But Rod McBan will soon discover that money brings trouble. A galaxy of people and other beings – out to rob him, use him or kill him!
A popular and enduring time travel tale by one of science fiction’s all-time greats
When Dan Davis is crossed in love and stabbed in the back by his business associates, the immediate future doesn’t look too bright for him and Pete, his independent-minded tomcat. Suddenly, the lure of suspended animation, the Long Sleep, becomes irresistible and Dan wakes up 30 years later in the 21st century, a time very much to his liking.
The discovery that the robot household appliances he invented have been mass produced is no surprise, but the realization that, far from having been stolen from him, they have, mysteriously, been patented in his name is. There’s only one thing for it. Dan somehow has to travel back in time to investigate.
He may even find Pete … and the girl he really loves.
Ian Watson’s brilliant debut novel was one of the most significant publications in British SF in the 1970s. Intellectually bracing and grippingly written, it is the story of three experiments in linguistics, and is driven by a searching analysis of the nature of communication.
Deep in the Brazilian jungle, an isolated tribe face eviction from their ancestral lands – and the psychedelic fungus that makes their religious language possible.
In a British laboratory, a brilliant linguist conducts cutting-edge experiments – but does his search for answers come at too high a cost?
And in the ultimate test of linguistics, First Contact presents a challenge unlike any humanity has faced before . . .
Fiercely intelligent, energetic and challenging, The Embedding immediately established Watson as a writer of rare power and vision, and is now recognized as a modern classic of SF.
A moving, compulsive science fiction novel from one of the best writers in the field
When the human settlers arrived on Hobbs Land, the native intelligent species, the Owlbrit, were already almost extinct. Before the last one died, a few years later, the humans had learned a little of their language, their ideas and their religion. It seemed the natural thing for the settlers to maintain the last Owlbrit temple, with the strange statue that was its God. When that God died – disintegrating overnight – it seemed equally natural to start preparing its replacement.
Maire Manone came to Hobbs Land to escape the harsh patriarchal religion of Voorstod, but Voorstod hasn’t forgotten her – or forgiven her. But the men who arrive on Hobbs Land to find and return Maire to her homeland haven’t taken Hobbs Land’s God into account …
One minute, down-and-out actor Lorenzo Smythe was – as usual – in a bar, drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes. Then a space pilot bought him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knew, he was shanghaied to Mars.
Suddenly he found himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who had been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians was at stake – failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. And Smythe’s own life was on the line – for if he wasn’t assassinated, there was always the possibility that he might be trapped in his new role forever!
He was the most dangerous fugitive alive, but he didn’t exist!
Nickie Haflinger had lived a score of lifetimes . . . but technically he didn’t exist. He was a fugitive from Tarnover, the high-powered government think tank that had educated him. First he had broken his identity code – then he escaped.
Now he had to find a way to restore sanity and personal freedom to the computerised masses and to save a world tottering on the brink of disaster.
He didn’t care how he did it . . . but the government did. That’s when his Tarnover teachers got him back in their labs . . . and Nickie Haflinger was set up for a whole new education!
First published in 1975.
‘No city, no town, no community of more than one thousand people or two hundred buildings to the square mile, shall be built or permitted to exist anywhere in the United States of America.’
Thirtieth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
Two generations after the nuclear holocaust, rumors persisted about a secret desert hideaway where scientists worked with dangerous machines and where men plotted to revive the cities.
Almost a continent away, Len Coulter heard whisperings that fired his imagination. Then one day he found a strange wooden box …
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 The 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.
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best novel, 1988
A fast-moving space adventure featuring mysterious aliens, a journey to a de-populated planet, a mad run from space cops, a ship captain in trouble, and her AI (Artificially Intelligent) companion/ship’s computer.
It is carnival time on Mars, but Tabitha Jute isn’t partying. She is in hiding from the law, penniless and about to lose her livelihood and her best friend, the space barge “Alice Liddell”. Then, the intriguing Marco Metz offers her some money to take him to Plenty, and then the adventure begins.
Winner of both the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel of the year and the British Science Fiction Association Award for best novel of the year–the only book ever to win both prestigious British awards.
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best novel, 1991
Winner of the BSFA Award for best novel, 1991
In Synners, the line between technology and humanity is hopelessly slim. To be a Synner is to join the online hardcore, an outlaw band of hackers, simulation pirates, and reality synthesizers hooked on artificial reality and virtual space. Now you can change yourself to suit the machines – all it costs you is your freedom, and your humanity.
Synners shows us a world perilously close to our own. A constant stream of new technology spawns new crime before it hits the streets, and the human mind and the external landscape have fused to the point where any encounter with “reality” is incidental. Equal parts thrill-ride and cautionary tale, this classic novel by the Queen of Cyberpunk offers us a terrifying glimpse into the future of our race.
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best novel, 1992
THE SEPARATION is the story of twin brothers, rowers in the 1936 Olympics (where they met Hess, Hitler’s deputy); one joins the RAF, and captains a Wellington; he is shot down after a bombing raid on Hamburg and becomes Churchill’s aide-de-camp; his twin brother, a pacifist, works with the Red Cross, rescuing bombing victims in London. But this is not a straightforward story of the Second World War: this is an alternate history: the two brothers – both called J.L. Sawyer – live their lives in alternate versions of reality. In one, the Second World War ends as we imagine it did; in the other, thanks to efforts of an eminent team of negotiators headed by Hess, the war ends in 1941.
THE SEPARATION is an emotionally riveting story of how the small man can make a difference; it’s a savage critique of Winston Churchill, the man credited as the saviour of Britain and the Western World, and it’s a story of how one perceives and shapes the past.
Christopher Priest is a genre-leading author of SFF fiction. His novel, THE PRESTIGE, won a number of awards and was adapted into a critically acclaimed, Oscar-nominated film directed by Christopher Nolan (TENET, INCEPTION) starring Hugh Jackman (THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, X-MEN), Christian Bale (THE BIG SHORT, BATMAN BEGINS), Michael Caine (THE ITALIAN JOB) and Scarlett Johansson (MARRIAGE STORY, THE AVENGERS).