‘High above them, Lora and Clyde heard a sound their world had not heard for centuries – the thin scream of a starship coming in from outer space, leaving a long white tail like smoke across the clear blue sky. They looked at each other in wonder. After three hundred years of silence, Earth had reached out once more to touch Thalassa …’ And with the starship comes knowledge, and love, and pain. In these five science-fiction stories Arthur C. Clarke takes us travelling through the universe into the unknown, but always possible future."
Philip K. Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Oxford Bookworms)
Description San Francisco lies under a cloud of radioactive dust. People live in half-deserted apartment buildings, and keep electric animals as pets because so many real animals have died. Most people emigrate to Mars - unless they have a job to do on Earth. Like Rick Deckard - android killer for the police and owner of an electric sheep. This week he has to find, identify, and kill six androids which have escaped from Mars. They're machines, but they look and sound and think like humans - clever, dangerous humans. They will be hard to kill. The film Blade Runner was based on this famous novel. Key features Word count 31,300
Arthur C. Clarke - The Songs of Distant Earth and Other Stories (Oxford Bookworms)
'High above them, Lora and Clyde heard a sound their world had not heard for centuries - the thin scream of a starship coming in from outer space, leaving a long white tail like smoke across the clear blue sky. They looked at each other in wonder. After three hundred years of silence, Earth had reached out once more to touch Thalassa...' And with the starship comes knowledge, and love, and pain. In these five science-fiction stories Arthur C. Clarke takes us travelling through the universe into the unknown, but always possible future.
Isaac Asimov - I, Robot (Oxford Bookworms)
A human being is a soft, weak creature. It needs constant supplies of air, water, and food; it has to spend a third of its life asleep, and it can't work if the temperature is too hot or too cold. But a robot is made of strong metal. It uses electrical energy directly, never sleeps, and can work in any temperature. It is stronger, more efficient - and sometimes more human than human beings. Isaac Asimov was one of the greatest science-fiction writers, and these short stories give us an unforgettable and terrifying vision of the future.
Karl Schroeder - Sun of Suns
It is the distant future. The world known as Virga is a fullerene balloon three thousand kilometers in diameter, filled with air, water, and aimlessly floating chunks of rock. The humans who live in this vast environment must build their own fusion suns and "towns" that are in the shape of enormous wood and rope wheels that are spun for gravity. Young, fit, bitter, and friendless, Hayden Griffin is a very dangerous man. He's come to the city of Rush in the nation of Slipstream with one thing in mind: to take murderous revenge for the deaths of his parents six years ago. His target is Admiral Chaison Fanning, head of the fleet of Slipstream, which conquered Hayden's nation of Aerie years ago. And the fact that Hayden's spent his adolescence living with pirates doesn't bode well for Fanning's chances . . .
Nick Sagan - Edenborn
A microbial apocalypse called Black Ep has virtually wiped humanity from the globe. The few to survive the epidemic are now committed to the task of rebuilding a peaceful society, but not everyone shares this idyllic vision. And as the two factions clash, a new biological threat moves against them to finish what Black Ep began.
David Brin - Infinity's Shore
Nebula and Hugo award-winning author David Brin continues his bestselling Uplift series in this second novel of a bold new trilogy. Imaginative, inventive, and filled with Brin's trademark mix of adventure, passion, and wit, Infinity's Shore carries us further than ever before into the heart of the most beloved and extraordinary science fiction sagas ever written. For the fugitive settlers of Jijo, it is truly the beginning of the end. As starships fill the skies, the threat of genocide hangs over the planet that once peacefully sheltered six bands of sapient beings. Now the human settlers of Jijo and their alien neighbors must make heroic, and terrifying, choices. A scientist must rally believers for a cause he never shared. And four youngsters find that what started as a simple adventure - imitating exploits in Earthling books by Verne and Twain - leads them to the dark abyss of mystery. Meanwhile, the Streaker, with her fugitive dolphin crew, arrives at last on Jijo in a desperate search for refuge. Yet what the crew finds instead is a secret hidden since the galaxies first spawned intelligence - a secret that could mean salvation for the planet and its inhabitants... or their ultimate annihilation.
John Scalzi - The Back Channel
The Conclave is a confederation of four hundred alien racesmany of whom would like to see the Colonial Union, and the humans inside of it, blasted to extinction. To avoid a conflict that neither side can afford, Conclave leader General Tarsem Gau appoints Hafte Sorvalh to resolve an emerging diplomatic crisis with the humans, before the only acceptable solution is war.
Joan D. Vinge - The Snow Queen
The imperious Winter colonists have ruled the planet Tiamat for 150 years, deriving wealth from the slaughter of the sea mers. But soon the galactic stargate will close, isolating Tiamat, and the 150-year reign of the Summer primitives will begin. All is not lost if Arienrhod, the ageless, corrupt Snow Queen, can destroy destiny with an act of genocide. Arienrhod is not without competition as Moon, a young Summer-tribe sibyl, and the nemesis of the Snow Queen, battles to break a conspiracy that spans space.
Nancy Kress - Steal Across the Sky
Aliens appeared one day, built a base on the moon, and put an ad on the internet. The Atoners claim to have wronged humanity ten thousand years before, and request 21 volunteers to visit seven planets and Witness for us. At first, everyone thought it was a joke. Three of those volunteers tell what they found on Kular A and Kular B.
Iain M. Banks - Matter
In a world renowned within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one brother it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one - maybe two - people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever. Only the sister is not what she once was; Djan Seriy Anaplian has become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilisations throughout the greater galaxy. Concealing her new identity - and her particular set of abilities - might be a dangerous strategy. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else’s war is never a simple matter.
Philip K. Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal -- the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life. Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were never that simple, and his assignment quickly turned into a nightmare kaleidoscope of subterfuge and deceit -- and the threat of death for the hunter rather than the hunted...
Daniel Keyes - Flowers for Algernon
Charlie Gordon, IQ 68, is a floor sweeper, and the gentle butt of everyone's jokes, until an experiment in the enhancement of human intelligence turns him into a genius. But then Algernon, the mouse whose triumphal experimental tranformation preceded his, fades and dies, and Charlie has to face the possibility that his salvation was only temporary.
Peter F. Hamilton - The Dreaming Void
AD 3580. The Intersolar Commonwealth has spread through the galaxy to over a thousand star systems. It is a culture of rich diversity with a place for everyone. Even death itself has been overcome. But at the centre of the Commonwealth is a massive black hole. This Void is not a natural artefact. Inside there is a strange universe where the laws of physics are very different to those we know. It is slowly consuming the other stars of the galactic core - one day it will devour the entire galaxy. Inigo, a human, has started to dream of a wonderful existence in the Void. He has a following of millions of believers and they now clamour to make a pilgrimage into the Void to live the life they have been shown. Other starfaring species fear their migration will cause the Void to expand again. They are prepared to stop them no matter what the cost. And so the pilgrimage begins...
John Scalzi - The Observers
In an effort to improve relations with the Earth, the Colonial Union has invited a contingent of diplomats from that planet to observe Ambassador Abumwe negotiate a trade deal with an alien species. Then something very bad happens to one of the Earthings, and with that, the relationship between humanitys two factions is on the cusp of disruption once more. Its a race to find out what really happened, and who is to blame.
David Brin - Existence (angol)
Bestselling, award-winning futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning, high concept SF with Existence. Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an “alien artifact.” Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer. A message in a bottle; an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.
David Brin - Heaven's Reach
Winner of the Nebula and Hugo Awards, David Brin brings his bestselling Uplift series to a magnificent conclusion with his most imaginative and powerful novel to date - the shattering epic of a universe poised on the brink of revelation...or annihilation. The brutal enemy that has relentlessly pursued them for centuries has arrived. Now the fugitive settlers of Jijo - both human and alien - brace for a final confrontation. The Jijoans' only hope is the Earthship Streaker, crewed by uplifted dolphins and commanded by an untested human. Yet more than just the fate of Jijo hangs in the balance. For Streaker carries a cargo of ancient artifacts that may unlock the secret of those who first brought intelligent life to the Galaxies. Many believe a dire prophecy has come to pass: an age of terrifying changes that could end Galactic civilization. As dozens of white dwarf stars stand ready to explode, the survival of sentient life in the universe rests on the most improbable dream of all - that age-old antagonists of different races can at last recognize the unity of all consciousness.
Kim Stanley Robinson - 2312 (angol)
The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity's only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future. The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them.
Arthur C. Clarke - The Space Trilogy - Islands of the Sky / Earthlight / The Sands of Mars
Islands in the Sky, first published in 1954, sees Roy Malcolm winning a trip to the Inner Station, a space station rotating 500 miles from Earth. The Sands of Mars, set in the 21st century, has a group of pioneers struggling to change the face of this inhospitable planet. In Earthlight, two centuries hence, man has colonised the planets and the inhabitants of the Moon owe no allegiance to any nation on Earth - or to Earth itself . . . This omnibus edition of three of Arthur C. Clarke's early novels shows the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey exploring space and time in adventurous and thoughtful ways.
Hugh Howey - Dust
The much-anticipated final instalment of the Wool trilogy. In a time when secrets and lies were the foundations of life, someone has discovered the truth. And they are going to tell. Jules knows what her predecessors created. She knows they are the reason life has to be lived in this way. And she won't stand for it. But Jules no longer has supporters. And there is far more to fear than the toxic world beyond her walls. A poison is growing from within Silo 18. One that cannot be stopped. Unless Silo 1 step in.
Iain M. Banks - The State of the Art
The first ever collection of Iain M. Banks's short fiction, this volume includes the acclaimed novella, The State of the Art. This is a striking addition to the growing body of Culture lore, and adds definition and scale to the previous works by using the Earth of 1977 as contrast. The other stories in the collection range from science fiction to horror, dark-coated fantasy to morality tale. All bear the indefinable stamp of Iain Banks's staggering talent.