By Connie Willis
Briddey is about to get exactly what she thinks she wants . . .Briddey is a high-powered exec in the mobile phone industry, overseeing new products from concept ('anything to beat the new apple phone') to delivery. And she works with her wonderful partner, Trent. They've been together for six magical weeks, in a whirlwind of flowers, dinners, laughter and now comes the icing on the cake: not a weekend away or a proposal but something even better. An EDD. A procedure which will let them sense each other's feelings. Trent doesn't just want to tell her how much he loves her - he wants her to feel it.Everything is perfect.The trouble is, Briddey can't breathe a word of it to anyone (difficult, when the whole office is guessing) until she's had two minutes to call her family. And they're hounding her about the latest family drama, but when they find out about the EDD - which they will - they'll drop everything to interrogate her. And it might just be easier to have the procedure now and explain later.Only Apple are poised to deliver an amazing new product and she has to be one step ahead . . . if she can only persuade their tech genius, C. B., to drop his crazy ideas about a 'privacy phone' with its 'do not disturb' settings, and focus on what people really want: more efficient, instinctive and immediate ways to communicate.The race is on: not just for new, cutting-edge technology, but also for a shred of privacy in a public world and - for Briddey - a chance for love at the heart of it all.This is a brilliant, heart-warming romantic comedy from one of the wittiest and wisest of our authors. Written with a light touch and a smile, we're swept up in Briddey's romance - and into the difficulties of a world just one technological step away from our own, as technology and social media blur (or indeed remove) the line between personal and public.
By Al Robertson
A diamond-hard, visionary new SF thriller. Nailed-down cyberpunk ala William Gibson for the 21st century meets the vivid dark futures of Al Reynolds in this extraordinary debut novel. With Earth abandoned, humanity resides on Station, an industrialised asteroid run by the sentient corporations of the Pantheon. Under their leadership a war has been raging against the Totality - ex-Pantheon AIs gone rogue. With the war over, Jack Forster and his sidekick Hugo Fist, a virtual ventriloquist's dummy tied to Jack's mind and created to destroy the Totality, have returned home. Labelled a traitor for surrendering to the Totality, all Jack wants is to clear his name but when he discovers two old friends have died under suspicious circumstances he also wants answers. Soon he and Fist are embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not only their future but all of humanity's. But with Fist's software licence about to expire, taking Jack's life with it, can they bring down the real traitors before their time runs out?
Confluence - The Trilogy
By Paul McAuley
Confluence - a long, narrow, artificial world, half fertile river valley, half crater-strewn desert. A world beyond the end of human history, served by countless machines, inhabited by 10,000 bloodlines who worship their absent creators, riven by a vast war against heretics. This is the home of Yama, found as an infant in a white boat on the world's Great River, raised by an obscure bureaucrat in an obscure town in the middle of a ruined necropolis, destined to become a clerk - until the discovery of his singular ancestry. For Yama appears to be the last remaining scion of the Builders, closest of all races to the revered architects of Confluence, able to awaken and control the secret machineries of the world.Pursued by enemies who want to make use of his powers, Yama voyages down the length of the world to search for answers to the mysteries of his origin, and to discover if he is to be the saviour of his world, or its nemesis.
The Causal Angel
By Hannu Rajaniemi
With his infectious love of storytelling in all its forms, his rich characterisation and his unrivalled grasp of thrillingly bizarre cutting-edge science, Hannu Rajaniemi has swiftly set a new benchmark for SF in the 21st century. And now with his third novel he completes the tale of his gentleman rogue, the many lives and minds of Jean de Flambeur.Influenced as much by the fin de siecle novels of Maurice leBlanc as he is by the greats of SF, Rajaniemi weaves intricate, warm capers through dazzling science, extraordinary visions of wild future and deep conjecture on the nature of reality and story.And now we find out what will happen to Jean, his employer Miele, the independently minded ship Perhonnen and the rest of a fractured and diverse humanity flung through the solar system.
City of the Iron Fish
By Simon Ings
Simon Ings has written a surreal adventure probing the very fabric of existence, tearing it open to reveal a sometimes horrifying world within. It is a work that will delight any fan of China Mieville.Only a fool would question the strange magics that maintain the cool haven of the City of the Iron Fish in the middle of an inferno of scorching heat and splintered rock, for the well-watered streets of the city hide secrets in their shadows.Thomas Kemp is just such a fool ...And embarks on a journey that will take him to the limits of reality. It may kill him, worse, that may not be enough. Especially as it is his only friend, Blythe, who may discover the secret of the city's isolation.
Corum: The Prince in the Scarlet Robe
By Michael Moorcock
Prince Corum is the last of the Vadhagh, his family and people brutally slain by the Mabden. Vowing to wreak vengeance on the killers, Corum sets out on his terrible quest only to fall in love with a beautiful Mabden woman, and to confront the fury of the Lords of Chaos. For they fear that he is the hero who could tip the balance in their cataclysmic war with the forces of Law and free his world from Chaos's vicious grip. His epic struggle against them and his ultimate victory is only bought at a considerable price. Moorcock's evocation of a rich, dark world, a time of magic, phantasms, cities in the sky, oceans of light and wild flying beasts of bronze is one of the pinnacles of modern imaginative literature.Contains THE KNIGHT OF THE SWORDS, THE QUEEN OF THE SWORDS and THE KING OF THE SWORDS
The Clockwork Rocket
By Greg Egan
Complete Short Story Omnibus
By H.G. Wells
This collection of short stories by H. G. Wells is the most comprehensive yet, and showcases the hugely fertile imagination of the great author, whose ideas and storylines remain hugely relevant to this day.
Consorts of Heaven
By Jaine Fenn
The book is SF, but the first three-quarters take place in an almost fantasy setting. It is not a sequel to PRINCIPLES OF ANGELS, but it is set in the same universe and share the same villains, the Sidhe.When a naked, amnesiac stranger is found outside a remote highland village, he is taken in by Kerin, a widow whose unconventional ways are tolerated because her son Damaru is 'skytouched' - he appears simple, but he is able to affect matter. All skytouched are tested by the Beloved Daughter, the living goddess who rules the world from the City of Light. If he's found worthy, Damaru will become a Consort of the skymothers, the Gods of this world. Kerin and the stranger, nicknamed Sais, accompany Damaru to the City, in the company of a priest who's helping Sais to get back his missing past - but as Sais recovers his memory, he realises that the world does not work the way he assumed - and everyone believes - it does. Worse still, the hierarchy which has kept society stable for thousands of years is rotten to the core. Then Kerin and Sais uncover the true nature of the world, and the unimaginable fate of the Consorts - a fate Kerin will do anything to stop her son sharing.
City at the End of Time
By Greg Bear
Do you dream of a city at the end of time?In a time like the present, on a world that may or may not be our own, three young people - Ginny, Jack, and Daniel - dream of a fabulous, decadent city in the distant future: the Kalpa. The dreams of Ginny and Jack 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 retroengineered to possess qualities of ancient humanity. In turn, the dreams of Tiadba and Jebrassy carry them back, into the minds of Jack and Ginny.As for Daniel: he dreams of an empty darkness - all 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 they are each guardians of an object whose origins and purpose are unknown, a gnarled, stony artifact called a sum-runner that persists unchanged through all versions of time.They can save the future, but they are being hunted down.
By Alastair Reynolds
Part SF thriller, part interstellar adventure, part noir crime, CENTURY RAIN is as astonishing bestseller from Alastair ReynoldsThree hundred years in the future, Verity Auger is a specialist in the archaeological exploration of Earth, rendered uninhabitable after the technological catastrophe known as the Nanocaust. After a field-trip goes badly wrong, Verity is forced to redeem herself by participating in a dangerous mission, for which her expertise in invaluable.Using a back door into an unstable alien transit system, Auger's faction has discovered something astonishing at the far end of a wormhole: mid twentieth-century Earth, preserved like a fly in amber. Is it a window into the past, a simulation, or something else entirely?CENTURY RAIN is a jaw-droppingly good SF thriller, packed with pace, adventure, brilliant storytelling and with twists that will keep you guessing to the end.