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  • Raft

    By Stephen Baxter
    Authors:
    Stephen Baxter
    Stephen Baxter's highly acclaimed first novel and the beginning of his stunning Xeelee Sequence finally enters the SF Masterwork series!A spaceship from Earth accidentally crossed through a hole in space-time to a universe where the force of gravity is one billion times as strong as the gravity we know. Somehow the crew survived, aided by the fact that they emerged into a cloud of gas surrounding a black hole, which provided a breathable atmosphere. Five hundred years later, their descendants still struggle for existence, divided into two main groups. The Miners live on the Belt, a ramshackle ring of dwellings orbiting the core of a dead star, which they excavate for raw materials. These can be traded for food from the Raft, a structure built from the wreckage of the ship, on which a small group of scientists preserve the ancient knowledge which makes survival possible. Rees is a Miner whose curiosity about his world makes him stow away on a flying tree - just one of the many strange local lifeforms - carrying trade between the Belt and the Raft. And what he finds will change his world...
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  • Rhapsody in Black: Hooded Swan 2

    By Brian Stableford
    Authors:
    Brian Stableford
    In the culture of the galaxy, the Star-Pilots of the starships that link the cosmos together have become the great heroes of the day. Grainger, who has become a legend in his own lifetime, is drafted to fly the prototype (the Hooded Swan) of a new ship that could revolutionize space travel. The members of the ultra-ascetic Church of the Exclusive Reward have colonized a number of marginal worlds to exclude themselves from galactic society. On Rhapsody, church members lead a completely subterranean existence. Even closed societies have their rebels, however, so when a major scientific discovery emerges from the caves of the dark planet, everything there falls apart. If Grainger can secure a share in the coming bonanza, he could buy back his freedom from Titus Charlot. Before he can do that, however, he has to find some way of just staying alive . . .
  • Raising The Stones

    By Sheri S. Tepper
    Authors:
    Sheri S. Tepper
    A moving, compulsive science fiction novel from one of the best writers in the fieldWhen 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 ...
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  • The Reign of the Brown Magician

    By Lawrence Watt-Evans
    Authors:
    Lawrence Watt-Evans
    The dark force known as Shadow had been defeated, but its world-spanning web of power had survived. This incredible magical weapon was now held not by a prince or wizard, but by Pellinore Brown, a marketing consultant from Germantown, Maryland. Pel Brown wished no one ill; he merely wanted his family back. But the Galactic Empire that had seen Shadow as a threat saw him as Shadow's heir, a menace to be destroyed as Shadow had been. And when the awesome magical might of Shadow's legacy was turned against the rayguns and spaceships of the Empire, entire planets were caught in the middle. Pel Brown wished no one ill - but hundreds would die to put an end to ... THE REIGN OF THE BROWN MAGICIAN
  • Relics of War

    By Lawrence Watt-Evans
    Authors:
    Lawrence Watt-Evans
    Young Ishta found it in the forest, buried beneath dead leaves: a rounded, flattened stone as black as onyx. One side held a golden oval that glowed with a unnatural light. Of course, it had to be magic.But what did farmers know of magic? It could be dangerous, or it could be some harmless toy. They had to find out.Since Ishta was too young to bring her discovery to the Baron of Varag's stronghold, her older brother, Garander, went instead. Once there, Azlia, a beautiful wizard, recognized the stone immediately as Northern sorcery. She had to call Sammel, the local sorcerer, to find out its nature . . . a relic of the last great war.When the Baron takes the stone for himself, that should have ended things. But it was just the beginning for Garander. Because that magical stone wasn't the only relic left in the woods...

    Royal Airs

    By Sharon Shinn
    Authors:
    Sharon Shinn
    Josetta is a princess of one of the Five Families. But she is far from the throne, so she is free to spend her days working in the poorest sections of the city.Rafe Adova lives the life of a career gambler in those slums. He has no real ambition - until the night he helps a girl names Corene, who looks like she's stumbled into the wrong bar.Josetta is fascinated by the man who has helped her sister. Rafe is unlike anyone she's ever encountered - someone seemingly devoid of elemental blessings.Rafe is also drawn to Josetta, but when he is assaulted by foreign mercenaries and the reason behind the attack is discovered, Rafe and Josetta realise that the truth could endanger not only their newfound love but also their very lives . . .

    Research Opta

    By Neil Charles, Denis Hughes
    Authors:
    Neil Charles, Denis Hughes
    From the unplumbed depths of new and startling fields of research a man, groping after the truth, contrived a group of life-forms of microscopic size. It was a daring experiment, made possible through the medium of advanced instruments and techniques which offered scope in the realms of micro-dissection. In that respect, then, the operation was successful: life-forms had been created by means of chromosomic manipulation. But the impact of the resulting entities was to have a disturbing effect on the man who made them...

    Red Unicorn

    By Tanith Lee
    Authors:
    Tanith Lee
    The exciting sequel to Black Unicorn and Gold Unicorn!The young wanderer Tanaquil can mend anything that is broken - except her own heart. With the engagement of her beloved Honj to her sister, Empress Lizra, she returns home to her sorcerous mother - and her mother's new lover, the magician Worabex.Caught up in their combined magic, Tanaquil and her mischievous familiar - a literal pet peeve - find themselves in a parallel world where she meets Tanakil, a mirror-image princess with murder on her mind.
  • The Return of Retief

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    PLANET AFTER PLANE FELL TO THE REEA vast and powerful race, the Ree needed breeding room for an ever-increasing population - and their expansion plans took no account of human territory. The farmers and miners of Tip Space were helpless against the Ree invasion. Still the Terran diplomats dithered, holding back the Navy, hoping for a truce.Retief, already on probation for undiplomatic behaviour, earned himself the assignment parleying with the Ree when he urged force against them. A suicide mission? Perhaps...but Retief is Retief.
  • Retief's War

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    The twenty-seventh century planet of Quopp is a world where Earthmen walk cautiously or not at all. The inhabitants are weirdly diabolical creatures, possessing spoked-wheel limbs and sprouting steel-sharp talons.Plans are afoot to place these singular beings under a single government friendly to Earth. But Jame Retief, officer of the distinguished Corps Diplomatique Teresstienne, a supra-national organization devoted to keeping the peace, has discovered that evil forces are undermining the whole scheme. Deviously sincere, uncompromisingly venal, fearlessly cowardly, Retief goes to work against mounting planetary intrigue and more than once brings those around him to the brink of nervous collapse.
  • Retief: Emissary to the Stars

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    THE CORPS DIPLOMATIQUE TERRESTRIENNE HAS NEVER SEEN HIS LIKE...Retief - the most diplomatic diplomat of the 27th century.His mission: to gain control of the most desirable planet in the universe - without triggering intergalactic war.He tries talking ... but how does anyone - even Retief - negotiate with an uninhabited planet?He tries a dice game ... but how does gambling help the solar peace organization prevent the malevolent Basurans (who've eaten their own planet) from turning to Terra's prize colony for an after-dinner snack?The problems Retief faces are just beginning, but as insurmountable as they seem, the indomitable adventurer prevails - and keeps the state of the universe on an even keel!
  • Retief to the Rescue

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    Retief returns - to make the galaxy safe for diplomacy!The diplomat extraordinaire faces his ultimate challenge on the embattled planet Furtheron - to keep the peace and keep himself in one piece!Voracious Crawlie cannibals want him for dinner - while the wily Creepies are besieging Earth's embassy. Then greedy Groacians add fuel to the fire, igniting civil war for their own secret ends.Only a rare diplomat can pull his Corps out of this stew, save his boss's hide, and preserve the future of the Galaxy!
  • Retief of the CDT

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    Against a raging backdrop of interplanetary intrigue. This time the resourceful officer of the Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne must deal with horrors unknown as he hunts the universe for a stolen ballet theatre.The courageous Terran must fight the five-eyed Groaci, outwit the ferocious Tsuggs, and reason with the talking flowers he finds in the midst of his dangerous mission.But in spite of all this, in the face of the vagaries of alien plots and the wild ambitions of his superiors, Retief remains strong and unshakable - and in peaceful and just control of the galaxy!
  • Retief in the Ruins

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    It's a rare day when Terrans meet eye-to-eyestalk with the slimy little sticky-fingers - er, that is to say, the noble alien Groaci. This time the races clash on the planet Popu-Ri, once the home of a mighty interstellar power. Popu-Ri has sunk into decline...but its ancient treasures remain. Though not for long, if the Groaci have their way.Groaci also finds Popu-Ri just the place to build a galactic warfleet. Still, for the Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne to respond would threaten the delicate balance of human/Groaci forces on the cocktail circuit. Therefore the ambassador must keep the lid on by doing nothing. But how to do nothing without seeming an inneffectual pantywaist? Send an observer!Yep, the Ambassador has it all figured out. But he made one little mistake; he sent Retief...
  • Rogue Bolo

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    From "An Abbreviated History of the Bolo": The first completely automated Bolo, designed to operate normally without a man on board, was the landmark XV Model M. This model, first commissioned in the twenty-fifty century, was widely used throughout the Eastern Arm during the Era of Expansion and remained in service on remote worlds for over two centuries, acquiring many improvements in detail while remaining basically unchanged, through increasing sophistication of circuitry and weapons vastly upgraded its effectiveness.The always-present, through perhaps unlikely, possibility of capture and use of a Bolo by an enemy was a constant source of anxiety to military leaders and, in time, gave rise to the next and final major advance in Bolo technology: the self-directing (and, quite incidentally, self-aware) Mark XX Model B Bolo Tremendous.The Mark XX was greeted with little enthusiasm by the High Command, who now professed to believe that an unguided-by-operator Bolo would potentially be capable of running amok...
  • Reward for Retief

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    Retief's latest assignment is on Zany-Doo, a wild, undeveloped planet whose residents have a marked dislike for Terrans. The caterpilleroid natives seem to have something to hide, but neither Ambassador Spoilsport nor Retief's ineffable boss, Ben Magnan, can figure out what it might be. Then Retief and Magnan stumble into an idyllic enclave unlike anything else they've seen - and realize just how special Zany-Doo is. The planet is at the center of a trans-temporal flux where the very nature of reality can be transformed by a thought.But even in a world where reality is subject to whim, honor, courage and determination will carry the day. After all, Retief is just a state of mind...
  • Retief's Ransom

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    Lumbaga is a planet without known virtues - but with some decidedly odd natives. For every Lumbagan is simply an arbitrary assortment of semi-independent organs inspired by a lust for mayhem.But even the most undesirable chunk of galactic real estate attracts its quota of rival overlords, and the fiendish Groaci had a scheme for absorbing Lumbaga into their sphere of influence. It was working well, too, until it involved Retief, Terran diplomat extraordinary. To his powerful intellect, the machinations of the Groaci were child's play...
  • Retief: Ambassador to Space: Seven Incidents of the Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    How are thing on Rockamorra? Bad, very. Earth Ambassador Pinchbottle has contracted to fight a dinosaur, and it's up to troubleshooter Jame Retief to keep him from being stomped, mangled, or eaten.Things are tough on other planets, too, with a civil war on Skweem, a dying race om Sulinore, and mudstorms on Schweinhund's World.These seven stories show the Galaxy's hippest diplomat at his unexpected and jaunty best.
  • Retief and the Warlords

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    Across the galaxies, against wrongdoers and rogues! Only Retief - the indomitable champion of the underdog and 27th-century diplomacy - can seal the peace between the battling earthlings and the lobster-like aliens known as the Haterakans. In constant peril, the daring spacewarrior must join a pirate band, cross the fatal boundaries of the Terran Defense League, and take on his arch rivals Foulbrood and Bloodblister. Facing certain torture, double-dealing, and ruthless espionage, he passes within inches of death. But he must emerge victorious - or the Hatracks will waste no time in executing their berserk plan to raise earthlings as a food supply!
  • Retief and the Rascals

    By Keith Laumer
    Authors:
    Keith Laumer
    Terran diplomat and interplanetary troubleshooter Jame Retief must stop the belligerent, five-eyed Groaci from invading the beleaguered planet of Bloor, which is already plagued by violence between rival gangs.