By Ursula K. LeGuin
Among the less-travelled 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. Val Malafrena is an estate in the rural western provinces of Orsinia, far removed from the engines of European politics and content for it to remain so. When Itale Sorde, the idealistic young heir to Val Malafrena, leaves his family home to venture to the bustling capital city of Krasnoy, it is therefore very much against his father's wishes. Sorde's intention is to work as a journalist, but he will soon find himself moving from reporter on the great events of the day to active participant in the rising tide of revolution that seems destined to sweep the continent.
Mr Blettsworthy on Rampole Island
By H.G. Wells
Mr. Blettsworthy on Rampole Island, written in 1928, tells the story of Arnold Blettsworthy who, after being betrayed by a business partner, is advised to go travelling in an attempt to recover from his severe disillusionment. However, instead of being full of relaxation and recuperation his trip is filled with nautical mutinies, cannibals, and much that is not what it seems.
Men Like Gods
By H.G. Wells
In the summer of 1921, a disenchanted journalist escapes the rat race for a drive in the country. But Mr. Barnstaple's trip exceeds his expectations when he and other motorists are swept 3,000 years into the future. The inadvertent time travelers arrive in a world that corresponds exactly to Barnstaple's ideals: a utopian state, free of crime, poverty, war, disease, and bigotry. Unfettered by the constraints of government and organized religion, the citizens lead rich, meaningful lives, passed in pursuit of their creative fancies. Barnstaple's traveling companions, however, quickly contrive a scheme to remake the utopia in the image of their twentieth-century world.
Message from the Eocene
By Margaret St Clair
His name was Tharg, but he was not of any life form we know today. He lived so long ago that the planet Earth had not yet shaped itself. Lava seas roiled and churned, volcanoes spouted and grew, and heavy clouds hung in the hydrogen atmosphere, leaving the planet's surface dark and dangerous.On that world Tharg met his death, or something very much like it. He became a disembodied, totally nonphysical intelligence, cut off from all contact with the life he had known. He 'slept' for hundreds of millions of years, unconnected with the world, unthinking, hardly existing.But then he began to awake - for there was new life on Earth, creatures called 'human', and Tharg, knowing an ancient promise from the stars, had to tell them of it. But . . . how?
Mona Lisa Overdrive
By William Gibson
The ghost was her father's parting gift, presented by a black-clad secretary in a departure lounge at Narita..Mona is a young girl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is turned upside down when her pimp sells her to a plastic surgeon in New York and overnight she's turned into someone else.Angie Mitchell is a famous Hollywood Sense/Net star with a special talent. And despite the efforts of studio bosses to keep her in ignorance, Angie's started remembering things. Soon she'll discover who she really is . . . and why she doesn't need a deck in order to enter cyberspace.From inside the matrix, plots are set in motion and human beings are being played like pieces on a board. And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yazuka, the powerful Japanese underworld, whose leaders ruthlessly manipulate people and events to suit their own purposes.Or so they think . . .
By Lawrence Watt-Evans
Over the years, in a variety of venues, Lawrence Watt-Evans has turned his sharp, analytical, and slightly crazed mind to everything from weaponized poetry to why the Enterprise doesn't have seatbelts, and everyone from Jane Austen to Buffy Summers. Collected for the first time are twenty-three of these essays, discussing icons of comic books, television, novels, movies, and much more!
The Medusa Chronicles
By Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter
Inspired by Sir Arthur C. Clarke's short story A Meeting with Medusa, this novel, with permission from the Clarke Estate, continues the story of Commander Howard Falcon over centuries of space-exploration, interaction with AI, first contact and beyond. All brought to life by two of our greatest SF authors, Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds.Howard Falcon almost lost his life in an accident . . . and a combination of human ingenuity and technical expertise brought him back. Not as himself, but as an augmented human: part man, part machine, and exceptionally capable.The Medusa Chronicles charts his journey through time, the changing interaction between humanity and our universe, and combined moments of incredible action with unparalleled exploration of and expansion into space. A compelling read from the beginning, this is classic SF which has appeal for readers who like Gravity and The Martian.
By John Lane, Denis Hughes
For space operators to find a derelict ship on one of the many dead worlds at the fringe of the Galaxy was not unusual, but in this instance it led to one of the weirdest adventures ever experienced by mortal beings. From a salvage point of view it was a worthless find, but its log book-and the small but priceless cargo it carried-opened up a wide field of speculation, prompting the people who found it to penetrate deeper into space in search of the nameless world from which the wreck had come...
Maid of Thuro
By John Lane, Denis Hughes
The arrival of a party of aliens from a distant world would arouse mixed feelings in the mind of any human witness involved. But if the strangers prove to be the advance party of a gigantic global migration scheme most human beings would almost certainly be afraid. Hardly surprising, therefore, that Mike and Jay, caught up in the mesh of just such a situation, were two very frightened people. But they were also on the brink of the most fantastic adventure ever woven around the lives of ordinary mortal beings...
The Midwich Cuckoos
By John Wyndham
In the sleepy English village of Midwich, a mysterious silver object appears and all the inhabitants fall unconscious. A day later the object is gone and everyone awakens unharmed - except that all the women in the village are discovered to be pregnant.The resultant children of Midwich do not belong to their parents: all are blonde, all are golden eyed. They grow up too fast and their minds exhibit frightening abilities that give them control over others and brings them into conflict with the villagers, just as a chilling realisation dawns on the world outside . . . The Midwich Cuckoos is the classic tale of aliens in our midst, exploring how we respond when confronted by those who are innately superior to us in every conceivable way.
Monday Starts on Saturday
By Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky
When young programmer Alexander Ivanovich Privalov picks up two hitchhikers while driving in Karelia, he is drawn into the mysterious world of the National Institute for the Technology of Witchcraft and Thaumaturgy, where research into magic is serious business. And where science, sorcery and socialism meet, can chaos be far behind?
The Man Who Fell to Earth
By Walter Tevis
Thomas Jerome Newton is an extraterrestrial from the planet Anthea, which has been devastated by a series of nuclear wars, and whose inhabitants are twice as intelligent as human beings. When he lands on Earth - in Kentucky, disguised as a human - it's with the intention of saving his own people from extinction. Newton patents some very advanced Anthean technology, which he uses to amass a fortune. He begins to build a spaceship to help the last 300 Antheans migrate to Earth. Meanwhile, Nathan Bryce, a chemistry professor in Iowa, is intrigued by some of the new products Newton's company brings to the market, and already suspects Newton of being an alien. As Bryce and the FBI close in, Newton finds his own clarity and sense of purpose diminishing.
Merry Christmas Ms Minerva
By Edmund Cooper
This powerful and horrific novel is set in England in the early part of the 21st century. It tells of the tragic and terrifying events that occur on one day - Christmas Eve - in the life of Maggie Minerva, the attractive widow of a Trade Union boss. These events have startling repercussions not only for the people involved but also for the social structure of Britain.
By Richard A. Lupoff
Marblehead encompasses all of 1927, a year in which H.P. Lovecraft, researching a book he'd been hired to write for the Nazis, travels the East Coast in the company of Charles Sylvester Viereck.
By Keith Laumer
Even after the set had been turned off, the TV blared the announcement:"Citizens of Earth, I am Tersh Jetterax. It is my pleasure to announce to you that a new government has taken over the conduct of all public affairs."And thus the US was in the hands of the Monitors, the strangely polite yellow-clad beings whose powers were such that they could render everyone helpless - without shedding one drop of blood. Who are they? The Russians? An alien race from another planet?
By A. Bertram Chandler
John Grimes, owner of the deep space pinnace Little Sister, could not be too fussy about who he carried. Fenalla Pruin, the muckraking reporter, was always going to be trouble. They need the boomerang throwing abilities of two sexy dancers from New Alice to get them out of trouble.
By Katherine MacLean
George Sanford has a gift for guessing right the first time and very little else going for him. When Ahmed and his other friends graduate school and got jobs in The City, George finds himself left behind. He never wanted to sign his name, let alone fill out applications and reports.Then George bumps into the Rescue Squad and is swept up in the excitement of a hunt for a trapped girl. It is George who finds her with his special talent for guessing right ... and it is George who suddenly becomes the pride of the Rescue Squad. With a friend running interference for him with the bureaucracy, George lands a place for himself as a "consultant" - and the more he works, the more his strange talents grow.With each success George begins to change. Using his special talents to rescue a computer technician from a gang of revolutionaries, he finds he has become a pawn in a mad iconoclastic game. A game where his own talents pose the greatest threat to The City - and the world!
By Tanith Lee
As an orphan growing up in the slums, Loren read her clandestine copy of Jane's Story over and over, relishing every word. But Loren is no Jane. Savvy and street-smart, Loren could never be stirred by a man of metal, her passion never ignited by an almost-human - even one designed for pleasure. Still, when the META corporation does the unthinkable and brings back updated versions of robots past-Loren knows she must see Silver. And just like Jane, it is love at first sight. But Silver is now Verlis. If he was perfection before, he is now like a god. Yet he is more human than his creators think - or fear. While Loren doesn't quite trust him, she will follow her twice-born lover into a battle to control his own destiny - one that will reveal to her the most astonishing illusion of all.
The Moon Pool
By Abraham Merritt
Set on the island of Ponape, full of ruins from ancient civilizations, the novel chronicles the adventures of a party of explorers who discover a previously unknown underground world full of strange peoples and super-scientific wonders. From the depths of this world, the party unwittingly unleashes the Dweller, a monstrous terror that threatens the islands of the South Pacific.
The Metal Monster
By Abraham Merritt
In the wilds of the Trans-Himalayan region, a quartet of adventurers led by Dr. Walter T. Goodwin stumbles upon a tribe of human primitives forgotten since the age of Alexander the Great, and an awesome being of living metal commanded by the exiled Norhala. As Norhala's guests, Goodwin and his team witness the mind-boggling marvels that are the Metal Monster's way of life, and the unspeakable horrors it commits when Norhala takes it to war against her persecutors.