By Paul McAuley
The Jackaroo, those enigmatic aliens who claim to have come to help, gave humanity access to worlds littered with ruins and scraps of technology left by long-dead client races. But although people have found new uses for alien technology, that technology may have found its own uses for people. The dissolute scion of a powerful merchant family, and a woman living in seclusion with only her dog and her demons for company, have become infected by a copies of a powerful chunk of alien code. Driven to discover what it wants from them, they become caught up in a conflict between a policeman allied to the Jackaroo and the laminated brain of a scientific wizard, and a mystery that spans light years and centuries. Humanity is about to discover why the Jackaroo came to help us, and how that help is shaping the end of human history.
Is That What People Do?
By Robert Sheckley
More than three dozen of the best and most popular stories by the acknowledged master of the short science fiction story. The thirty-nine works contained in this volume-twenty-six from the author's ten other Open Road collections, plus thirteen additional pieces unique to this volume-include these vintage Sheckley stories: "The Eye of Reality," "The Language of Love," "The Accountant," "A Wind Is Rising," "The Robot Who Looked Like Me," "The Mnemone," "Warm," "The Native Problem," "Fishing Season," "Shape," "Beside Still Waters," "Silversmith Wishes," "Meanwhile, Back at the Bromide," "Fool's Mate," "Pilgrimage to Earth," "All the Things You Are," "The Store of the Worlds," "Seventh Victim," "Cordle to Onion to Carrot," "Is That What People Do?", "The Prize of Peril," "Fear in the Night," "Can You Feel Anything When I Do This?", "The Battle," "The Monsters," and "The Petrified World."This volume also includes the following uncollected Sheckley tales: "Five Minutes Early," "Miss Mouse and the Fourth Dimension," "The Skag Castle," "The Helping Hand," "The Last Days of (Parallel?) Earth," "The Future Lost," "Wild Talents, Inc.," "The Swamp," "The Future of Sex: Speculative Journalism," "The Life of Anybody," "Goodbye Forever to Mr. Pain," "The Shaggy Average American Man Story," "Shootout in the Toy Shop," and "How Pro Writers Really Write-or Try To."
The Infinity Concerto
By Greg Bear
Michael Perrin wants to live the simple life of an aspiring poet in Los Angeles. However, when he receives a key and a piece of music called The Infinity Concerto, Michael's life becomes anything but simple. Soon he is whisked away to the land of the Sidhe, dangerous elves in a tentative truce with humans. Barren and stark, this world is anything but the pretty pretty land of faerie tales.Drafted into learning the physical and mental skills of magic, Michael discovers of his role in a much larger history of magic and music in both the Sidhe's world and ours. Can he survive the pitched battle? Will Michael be the answer to finally uniting the elder races?
By Robert Sheckley
Thomas Blaine remembered the car accident that killed him - and then he woke up in the hospital where a nurse told him where he was. "You'd call it being in the future." A future where bodies are sold to the highest bidder as new homes for the minds of the rich, who are greedy for more life when their own bodies wear out or are damaged. Suddenly, keeping body and soul together has taken on a new, and very sinister, meaning.
By Christopher Priest
Deep in the Advanced Technique Concentration, Wentik created a mind-altering drug. Suddenly he is transported to the jungles of Brazil in the 22nd century and a world devastated by nuclear war and poison gas. Only South America survived but even here 'The Disturbances' create havoc. Can Wentik find a way back? For himself? And all of humanity?
By Stephen Baxter
The final volume in the millennia-spanning trilogy about an England with a very different history to our ownMany generations ago the Wall was first built to hold back the sea. Northland, a country of fertile plains and ancient forests rescued from the ocean, has become a thriving civilisation based on trade, technology and tradition, centred on the ancient home of the first builders, Etxelur. The whole of Europe, spanned by the Northlanders' steam caravan lines, has been changed in ways that could never have been predicted. But nothing can last forever, not even the Wall. The weather is changing, growing colder, and in the wake of the long winters come famine, destruction and terror. And as whole nations are forced out of their lands and head for warmer climes, it seems that even Northland may not be able to endure. But there is one man, an elderly scholar, who believes he can calculate why the world is cooling, and perhaps even salvage some scraps of the great civilisation of Etxelur. As he embarks on his grand quest across the world, as nations struggle for survival and the fires of war burn in the gloom, only one thing is certain.The Ice is coming.
In the Mouth of the Whale
By Paul McAuley
A novel of a savage future war, perfect for fans of Alastair Reynolds and Peter F. Hamilton.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.
In the Caves of Exile
By Ru Emerson
The exiled Queen Ylia calls upon all of her magical powers in order to bring together the scattered survivors of her beleaguered kingdom, Nedao. This is the tale of the young Queen Ylia who chooses to accept the challenges disaster can bring. She flees from the broken and defeated city of Koderra and treks through the terrible haunted mountains to the North. Although such a perilous journey tests all of her strength and resources, it is not until she reveals herself in the full tilt of battle that it is clear how the powers that are her birthright can save her kingdom.
By Marta Randall
She will never be one of them. When the immortality treatments failed, she knew her destiny would not be as glorious and carefree as the immortals. The immortals rebuilt the Earth after the great floods, but she is not one of them, and she doesn't seem fit to live anywhere amongst them. When she finds refuge aboard the ship Ilium and begins ocean floor navigation, an adventure immortals would envy, she discovers a secret place. But she knows if she can unlock the power that the immortals lost on an island buried far beneath the land, the world and the immortals' future will never be the same again.
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
By Harlan Ellison
First published in 1967 and re-issued in 1983, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream contains seven stories with copyrights ranging from 1958 through 1967. This edition contains the original introduction by Theodore Sturgeon and the original foreword by Harlan Ellison, along with a brief update comment by Ellison that was added in the 1983 edition.Among Ellison's more famous stories, two consistently noted as among his very best ever are the title story and the volume's concluding one, 'Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes'. Since Ellison himself strongly resists categorization of his work, we won't call them science fiction, or SF, or speculative fiction or horror or anything else except compelling reading experiences that are sui generis. They could only have been written by Harlan Ellison and they are incomparably original.
By George Effinger
The death of a pet fish signals an ominous threat of wordwide tragedy... Delta Company 'plays' out a war light years away... A running back for the Cleveland Browns gives his all to relive a night from his past.In IRRATIONAL NUMBERS, as with much of his work, author George Alec Effinger straddles the line between allegorical fantasy and science fiction. It's a vein Effinger mines for a deep, meaningful understanding of human nature. Challenging and disquieting in the way only the best fiction can be, this collection of eight magnificent pieces of fiction will have readers clamoring for more.
By William C. Dietz
Since her brother's absence, Princess Claudia has seized the throne and brought the Empire to the brink of war with the Il Ronn. Only the missing Prince Alexander can stop Claudia's plans - and Sam McCade has only three months to find him. But Princess Claudia controls the Imperial Fleet and will stop at nothing to keep McCade from bringing in his imperial bounty?
By Greg Egan
A million years from now, the galaxy is divided between the vast, cooperative meta-civilisation known as the Amalgam, and the silent occupiers of the galactic core known as the Aloof. The Aloof have long rejected all attempts by the Amalgam to enter their territory, but have permitted travellers to take a perilous ride as unencrypted data in their communications network, providing a short-cut across the galaxy's central bulge.When Rakesh encounters a traveller, Lahl, who claims she was woken by the Aloof on such a journey and shown a meteor full of traces of DNA, he accepts her challenge to try to find the uncharted world deep in the Aloof's territory from which the meteor originated.Roi and Zak live inside the Splinter, a world of rock that swims in a sea of light they call the Incandescence. Living on the margins of a rigidly organised society, they seek to decipher the subtle clues that can reveal the true nature of the Splinter. In fact, the Splinter is orbiting a black hole, which is about to capture a neighbouring star, wreaking havoc. As the signs of danger grow, Roi, Zak, and a growing band of recruits struggle to understand and take control of their fate. Meanwhile, Rakesh is gradually uncovering their remote history, and his search for the lost DNA world ultimately leads him to a civilisation trapped in cultural stagnation, and startling revelations about the true nature and motives of the Aloof.