By James Alan Gardner
In the 25th century, under the leadership of the League of Peoples, war and crime are a thing of the past and life is held sacred. That is, as long as you're healthy and beautiful. But those who are deformed, flawed or misfit in any way are destined - or is "doomed" a better word? - to become Explorers, crews assigned to probe worlds so hostile, the chances of returning are somewhere between slim and none.In VIGILANT, the third volume of the League of Peoples series, a deadly plague has struck planet Demoth, wiping out millions of the winged Ooloms. Humans, however, were left completely untouched. But before the Oolom population was utterly devastated, Dr. Henry Smallwood found a cure. He lived as a hero for only a year before dying in a mining accident.Having grown up without a father, Dr. Smallwood's daughter Faye attempts to escape her troubled past by joining the Vigil, a planetary organization that monitors the government. But on her first assignment, things go terribly awry and she and her team are targeted by android assassins. Uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the fate of Demoth, Faye turns to the only person she can trust - Festina Ramos.
By Robert Sheckley
In 2092, the world's ecology is in ruins, drought and famine are widespread and survival is a never-ending challenge. Harold Erdman leaves his dying community with one goal, to make his way to Esmeralda, an island paradise run by the Huntworld Corporation which has turned public murder, among willing competitors, into a thriving and lucrative business. Can he survive the journey and then the many rounds of deadly competition on his way to the Big Payoff. His neighbours' lives, as well as his own, hang in the balance.
Venus of Shadows
By Pamela Sargent
The Venus Project calls upon the strongest and most courageous to create a prosperous world in the dismal wilderness of Venus. Those who demonstrate the skill and the passion to embark on this adventure must transform the barren planet in the midst of political and cultural unrest. When Risa and Benzi, children of Iris, one of the first people to partake in this project, find themselves in opposing forces on the battlefield, it is their love and perseverance that will determine the destiny of the new land.
By Greg Bear
This is the first published collection of short stories by one of the foremost voices in science fiction today. This significant volume contains many characters and situations that later evolved into their own novels. "Mandala" features technologically perfect cities that eject their sinful human occupants, a premise that can be found at the root of Bear's later novel, STRENGTH OF STONES. In "Hardfought", Bear brilliantly handles the classic science fiction dilemma of human communication with aliens. Other stories include "The Wind From a Burning Woman" in which a woman holds the world hostage by controlling a giant asteroid; "Scattershot", in which the inhabitants of many universes meet in an undefined limbo space; and "Petra", a story of a world where chaos rules, stone moves and the mind controls reality. Hailed by readers and critics alike, THE VENGING has been described as "an excellent collection" and its author praised as "one of the freshest writers to break into the science fiction field in many a year".
Venus of Dreams
By Pamela Sargent
Iris Angharads, a determined, independent woman, sets herself one massive goal: to make the poison-filled atmosphere of Venus hospitable to humans. She works day and night to realize her dream, with only one person sharing her passion, Liang Chen. It seems impossible to make Venus, with its intolerable air and waterless environment, into a paradise, but Iris succeeds. And in doing so, she also creates a powerful dynasty, beginning with her first born, Benzi Liangharad.
Vic & Blood
By Harlan Ellison
Hugo and Nebula Winner Harlan Ellison's classic post-apocalyptic saga of Vic, a Boy, and his dog, Blood, and the telepathic union that binds them together in a struggle for survival.The cycle begins with 'Eggsucker', which chronicles the early years of the association between fourteen-year-old loner Vic and his brilliant, telepathic dog, Blood. The saga continues and expands in 'A Boy and His Dog', in which Blood shows just how much smarter he is than Vic, and Vic shows how loyal he can be. The story continues in 'Run, Spot, Run', the first part of Ellison's promised novel of the cycle, BLOOD'S A ROVER. Here Vic and Blood find surprising new ways to get into trouble - but getting out of it may be beyond even their combined talents.
By Piers Anthony
VISCOUS CIRCLE is a story about a strange and inhuman race of beings and an experimental attempt to transfer into creatures that seem only slightly sapient. They are ultimate pacifists who take the form of magnetic disks that float through space and simply demagnetize and destroy themselves when faced with an unpleasant thought. The bloodthirsty Solarians, in their desperate hurry to find the mysterious Ancient Site, are determined to wipe out the Bands, a strange and beautiful species whose society is an anarchy of peace. Only Rondl, the whirling green Band can save his race, for he has a singular and awesome knowledge. But suddenly Rondl makes a shocking discovery about his identity - a discovery that may cost him his honor, his beautiful lover Cirl, even his very life.
Vagabonds of Gor
By John Norman
In the continental war matters proceed apace, to the advantage of Cos. Cabot, and his friend, Marcus, of Ar's Station, who have been spying for Ar in the Cosian encampments, now seek the long-inert forces of Ar, to report acquired intelligence to their commander, Saphronicus, who proves to be of the treasonous party of Ar. Cabot and Marcus are placed under arrest, as spies. Primary forces of Ar, largely inactive in recent months, are now to pursue Cosian forces withdrawing from Ar's Station, through the vast Vosk delta to the sea. The Cosian forces, however, have avoided the delta and the delta campaign is a ruse to decimate the armed might of Ar, to use as a weapon the marshes and swamps of the delta itself, their treacherous, trackless wildernesses and wastes, the quicksand, the insects, the serpents and reptiles, the local populations, to deliver a final decisive blow to what was once the unchallenged splendor and power of Gor's finest infantry. Cabot and Marcus, separated, are sentenced as work prisoners to accompany the forces of Ar as they enter the delta with the expectation of soon overtaking and crushing the withdrawing contingents of the ubarate of Cos. They are thus first-hand witnesses of the tragedies and hazards, the terrors and miseries, of the ill-fated delta campaign. Should they survive the delta both will turn their eyes toward Ar, the seat of treachery. As warriors each will have his business in that place.
By Gavin G. Smith
Three hundred years in our future, in a world of alien infiltrators, religious hackers, a vast convoying nation of Nomads, city sized orbital elevators, and a cyborg pirate king who believes himself to be a mythological demon Jakob is having a bad day:"Nothing gets in the way of a hangover like being reactivated by your old C.O. and told to track down an alien killing machine. The same kind of killing machine that wiped out my entire squad. And now it's in my hometown.My name is Jakob Douglas, ex-special forces. I fought Them. Just like we've all been doing for 60 bloody years. But I thought my part in that was done with. My boss has other ideas. If I didn't find the infiltrator then he'd let the Grey Lady loose on me. And believe me; even They've got nothing on her. So I took the job. It went to shit even faster than normal. And now I'm on the run with this teenage hacker who's had enough of prostitution. The only people I can rely on want to turn the internet into God. And now it turns out that They aren't quite what we'd all thought. I've been to the bottom of the sea and the top of the sky and beyond trying to get to the truth. And I still can't get far enough away from the Grey Lady. All things considered I'd rather be back at home deep in a whiskey bottle."Veteran is a fast paced, intricately plotted violent SF Thriller set in a dark future against the backdrop of a seemingly never ending war against an unknowable and implacable alien enemy.