The Doomed City
By Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky
It is a mysterious city whose sun is switched on in the morning and switched off at night, bordered by an abyss on one side and an impossibly high wall on the other. Its inhabitants are people who were plucked from twentieth-century history at various times and places and left to govern themselves, advised by Mentors whose purpose seems inscrutable. This is life in the Experiment.Andrei Voronin, a young astronomer plucked from Leningrad in the 1950s, is a die-hard believer in the Experiment, even though his first job in the city is as a garbage collector. As increasinbly nightmarish scenarios begin to affect the city, he rises through the political hierarchy, with devastating effect.
The Quiet War Omnibus
By Paul McAuley
THE QUIET WARWho decides what it means to be human?Twenty-third century Earth has been ravaged by climate change, and is now dominated by a few powerful families, with millions of people in prison and millions more labouring to rebuild ruined ecosystems. Meanwhile on Jupiter and Saturn, live the Outers. They have built a wild variety of scientific utopias crammed with exuberant creations of the genetic arts. Now they want to colonise Earth and drive human evolution in a new direction.On Earth, some want to launch a pre-emptive strike against the Outers while others wish to exploit the talents of the gene wizards. It is clear that the fragile detente between the two branches of humanity is breaking down and they may be heading towards war . . .GARDENS OF THE SUNThe Quiet War is over. A century of enlightenment, rational utopianism and exploration of new ways of being human has fallen dark. But victory is fragile, and riven by vicious internal politics. While seeking out and trying to anatomise the strange gardens abandoned in place by Avernus, the Outers' greatest genius, the gene wizard Sri Hong-Owen is embroiled in the plots and counterplots of the family that employs her. The diplomat Loc Ifrahim soon discovers that profiting from victory isn't as easy as he thought. And in Greater Brazil, the Outers' democratic traditions have infected a population eager to escape the tyranny of the great families who rule them.After such a conflict only one thing is clear. No one can escape the consequences of war - especially the victors.
The Vastening Omnibus
By Paul McAuley
IN THE MOUTH OF THE WHALE: Humanity's future rests on the shoulders of a Child from the past, and she must never know of the battles being fought for her . . . In the system of Fomalhaut, a war is being fought. The Quicks came long ago, refugees from the Solar System. The True arrived later, to find a declining civilisation and a system ripe for the taking. Then the Ghosts appeared, no longer human, unknowable, powerful and determined to drive out the Quick and the True. The battle continues, but the outcome is uncertain.Three lives will intersect, because there is something at the centre of their universe, something dangerous and growing and powerful. Something that is worth fighting for. And it will change everybody's life.EVENING'S EMPIRES:In the far future, a young man stands on a barren asteroid. His ship has been stolen, his family kidnapped or worse, and all he has on his side is a semi-intelligent spacesuit. The only member of the crew to escape, Hari has barely been off his ship before. It was his birthplace, his home and his future.He's going to get it back.Nobody is to be trusted.
By Stephen Baxter
A remarkable collection of short fiction from one of our greatest SF authors, including two brand new short stories. This collection contains stories set in the universe of the bestselling duology PROXIMA and ULTIMA, which expand on the characters and worlds of that series. There are also a selection of alternate histories and possible futures, echoing Baxter's work with Terry Pratchett on the LONG EARTH series. Confirms Stephen Baxter's place as one of the greatest practitioners of the SF short story.
Three By Laumer
By Keith Laumer
Enter the worlds of Keith Laumer. From the adventures of self-aware superheavy battle tanks to the intricacies of galactic diplomacy via the clash of parallel worlds, Laumer's imagination knew few bounds.In Worlds of the Imperium, an American diplomat finds himself kidnapped by agents of the British Empire, which rules over a parallel world.James Retief travels the stars, resolving conflicts and avoiding cultural clashes, while battling the endless bureaucracy of the Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne in Retief: Envoy to New Worlds.In Bolo, Laumer explores what happens when mankind's most advanced weapons of war become self aware. These are the opening volumes to three classic series, collected in one exciting, thrill-a-minute omnibus.
Flowers For Algernon
By Daniel Keyes
'A masterpiece of poignant brilliance . . . heartbreaking' GuardianCharlie Gordon, a floor sweeper born with an unusually low IQ, has been chosen as the perfect subject for an experimental surgery that doctors hope will increase his intelligence - a procedure that has been highly successful when tested on a lab mouse named Algernon. All Charlie wants is to be smart and have friends, but the treatement turns him into a genius.Then Algernon begins to fade. What will become of Charlie?
The Boss in the Wall: A Treatise on the House Devil
By Avram Davidson, Grania Davis
Professor Vlad Smith is on a terrifying quest, one that will take him from the halls of our most hallowed institutions to the most run-down of old houses in blighted neighborhoods. A mysterious committee, shredded yellowed newspapers, a daguerrotype of a Confederate soldier, a headless corpse and a corpseless head.... These are the clues which Smith must piece together to save his sanity and his daughter, and uncover the terrible secret of the Boss in the Wall.
The City of Mirrors
By Justin Cronin
In life I was a scientist called Fanning.Then, in a jungle in Bolivia, I died.I died, and then I was brought back to life... Prompted by a voice that lives in her blood, the fearsome warrior known as Alicia of Blades is drawn towards to one of the great cities of The Time Before. The ruined city of New York. Ruined but not empty. For this is the final refuge of Zero, the first and last of The Twelve. The one who must be destroyed if mankind is to have a future.What she finds is not what she's expecting. A journey into the past.To find out how it all began.And an opponent at once deadlier and more human than she could ever have imagined.
By Patricia A. McKillip
Hidden away from the world by his mother, the powerful sorceress Heloise Oliver, Pierce has grown up working in her restaurant in Desolation Point. One day, unexpectedly, strangers pass through town on the way to the legendary capital city. Look for us, they tell Pierce, if you come to Severluna. You might find a place for yourself in King Arden s court. Lured by a future far away from the bleak northern coast, Pierce makes his choice. Heloise, bereft and furious, tells her son the truth: about his father, a knight in King Arden s court; about an older brother he never knew existed; about his father s destructive love for King Arden s queen, and Heloise s decision to raise her younger son alone. As Pierce journeys to Severluna, his path twists and turns through other lives and mysteries: an inn where ancient rites are celebrated, though no one will speak of them; a legendary local chef whose delicacies leave diners slowly withering from hunger; his mysterious wife, who steals Pierce s heart; a young woman whose need to escape is even greater than Pierce s; and finally, in Severluna, King Arden's youngest son, who is urged by strange and lovely forces to sacrifice his father s kingdom. Things are changing in that kingdom. Oldmagic is on the rise. The immensely powerful artifact of an ancient god has come to light, and the king is gathering his knights to quest for this profound mystery, which may restore the kingdom to its former glory or destroy it..."
By Stephen Baxter
Half a million years in the future, on a dead, war-ravaged world at the centre of the Galaxy, there is a mile-high statue of Michael Poole.Poole, born on Earth in the fourth millennium, was one of mankind's most influential heroes. He was not a warrior, not an emperor. He was an engineer, a builder of wormhole transit systems. But Poole's work would ultimately lead to a vast and destructive conflict, a million-year war between humanity and the enigmatic, powerful aliens known as the Xeelee. The Xeelee won, but at a huge cost. And, defeated in a greater war, the Xeelee eventually fled the universe. Most of them.A handful were left behind, equipped with time travel capabilities, their task to tidy up: to reorder history more to the Xeelee's liking. That million-year war with humankind was one blemish. It had to be erased. And in order to do that, a lone Xeelee was sent back in time to remove Michael Poole from history . . .
Beyond the Aquila Rift
By Alastair Reynolds
This is an amazing collection of some of the best short fiction ever written in the SF genre, by an author acclaimed as 'the mastersinger of space opera' THE TIMES.With an introduction by noted SF critic Johnathan Strahan, this collection of twenty short stories, novellettes and novellas includes MINLA'S FLOWERS, SIGNAL TO NOISE, TROIKA, and seven previous uncollected stories, including TRAUMA POD, THE WATER THIEF and IN BABELSBERG.Alastair Reynolds has won the Sidewise Award and been nominated for The Hugo Awards for his short fiction. One of the most thought-provoking and accomplished short-fiction writers of our time, this collection is a delight for all SF readers
The King's Justice and The Augur's Gambit
By Stephen Donaldson
Two new, original novellas-Donaldson's first publication since finishing the Thomas Covenant series-are a sure cause for celebration among his many fans. In The King's Justice, a stranger dressed in black arrives in the village of Settle's Crossways, following the scent of a terrible crime. He even calls himself "Black," though almost certainly that is not his name. The people of the village discover that they have a surprising urge to cooperate with this stranger, though the desire of inhabitants of quiet villages to cooperate with strangers is not common in their land, or most lands. But this gift will not save him as he discovers the nature of the evil concealed in Settle's Crossways.The "Augur's Gambit" is a daring plan created by Mayhew Gordian, Hieronomer to the Queen of Indemnie, a plan to save his Queen and his country. Gordian is a reader of entrails. In the bodies of chickens, lambs, piglets, and one stillborn infant he sees the same message: the island nation of Indemnie is doomed. But even in the face of certain destruction a man may fight, and the Hieronomer is utterly loyal to his beautiful Queen--and to her only daughter. The "Augur's Gambit" is his mad attempt to save a kingdom.
By Ursula K. LeGuin
Among the less-traveled mountains and plains of Central Europe, a little east of Austria perhaps and north of Slovenia, lies the old kingdom of Orsinia. A land of forests and quiet farmlands and towns, with its capital city Krasnoy on the broad Molsen River, Orsinia has always found itself, like all the countries of Europe, subject to forces beyond its borders. Yet, cast as they are in the shadow of tyrannies both Western and Eastern, the lives and dreams of its free people are no less important than the great arguments of Europe's emperors and dictators.Here then are those lives: in tales of romance and blood-lust, hope and fear, freedom and tyranny, passion and despair. Tales of love, of life and of death. This is Orsinia and these are her stories.