The machine had been invented a few years ago: a machine that could tell, from just a sample of your blood, how you were going to die. No dates, no details. Just a slip of paper with a few words spelling out your ultimate fate — at once all-too specific and maddeningly vague.
A top ten Amazon Customer Favorite in Science Fiction & Fantasy for 2010, The Machine of Death is an anthology of original stories bound together by a central premise. From the humorous to the adventurous to the mind-bending to the touching, the writers explore what the world would be like if a blood test could predict your death.
But don’t think for a moment this is a book entirely composed of stories about people meeting their ironic dooms. There is some of that, of course. But more than that, this is a genre-hopping collection of tales about people who have learned more about themselves then perhaps they should have, and how that knowledge affects their relationships, their perception of the world, and how they feel about themselves.
Features thirty-four stories by Randall Munroe, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, Tom Francis, Camille Alexa, Erin McKean, James L. Sutter, David Malki !, Ryan North, and many others
Features illustrations by Kate Beaton, Kazu Kibuishi, Aaron Diaz, Jeffrey Brown, Scott C., Roger Langridge, Karl Kershl, Cameron Stewart, and many others
Ismeretlen szerző - Songs of the Dying Earth
To honor the magnificent career of Jack Vance, one unparalleled in achievement and impact, George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, with the full cooperation of Vance, his family, and his agents, have created a Jack Vance tribute anthology: Songs of the Dying Earth. The best of today's fantasy writers to return to the unique and evocative milieu of The Dying Earth, from which they and so many others have drawn so much inspiration, to create their own brand-new adventures in the world of Jack Vance’s greatest novel. Half a century ago, Jack Vance created the world of the Dying Earth, and fantasy has never been the same. Now, for the first time ever, Jack has agreed to open this bizarre and darkly beautiful world to other fantasists, to play in as their very own. To say that other fantasy writers are excited by this prospect is a gross understatement; one has told us that he'd crawl through broken glass for the chance to write for the anthology, another that he'd gladly give up his right arm for the privilege. That's the kind of regard in which Jack Vance and The Dying Earth are held by generations of his peers. This book contains original stories from George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Dan Simmons, Elizabeth Moon, Tanith Lee, Tad Williams, Kage Baker, and Robert Silverberg, along with fifteen others--as well as an introduction by Dean Koontz.
J. G. Ballard - The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard
“More than one thousand compelling pages from one of the most haunting, cogent, and individual imaginations in contemporary literature.”—William Boyd The American publication of The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard is a landmark event. Increasingly recognized as one of the greatest and most prophetic novelists, J. G. Ballard was a “writer of enormous inventive powers,” who, in the words of Malcolm Bradbury, possessed, “like Calvino, a remarkable gift for filling the empty deprived spaces of modern life with the invisible cities and the wonder worlds of imagination.” Best known for his novels, such as Empire of the Sun and Crash, Ballard rose to fame as the “ideal chronicler of disturbed modernity” (The Observer). Perhaps less known, though equally brilliant, were his devastatingly original short stories, which span nearly fifty years and reveal an unparalleled prescience so unique that a new word—Ballardian—had to be invented. Ballard, who wrote that “short stories are the loose change in the treasury of fiction, easily ignored beside the wealth of novels available,” regretted the fact that the public had increasingly lost its ability to appreciate them. With 98 pulse-quickening stories, this volume helps restore the very art form that Ballard feared was comatose. Ballard’s inimitable style was already present in his early stories, most of them published in science fiction magazines. These stories are surreal, richly atmospheric and splendidly elliptical, featuring an assortment of psychotropic houses, time-traveling assassins, and cities without clocks. Over the next fifty years, his fierce imaginative energy propelled him to explore new topics, including the dehumanization of technology, the brutality of the corporation, and nuclear Armageddon. Depicting the human soul as “being enervated and corrupted by the modern world” (New York Times), Ballard began to examine themes like overpopulation, as in “Billenium,” a claustrophobic imagining of a world of 20 billion people crammed into four-square-meter rooms, or the false realities of modern media, as in the classic “Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan,” a faux-psychological study of the sexual and violent reactions elicited by viewing Reagan’s face on television, in which Ballard predicted the unholy fusion of pop culture and sound-bite politics thirteen years before Reagan became president. Given Ballard’s heightened powers of perception, it is astonishing that the dehumanized world that he apprehended so acutely neither diminished his own febrile imagination nor his engagement with mankind, evident in every story, including two new ones for this American edition. So eerily prophetic is his vision, so commanding are his literary gifts, the import and insight of J. G. Ballard’s deeply humanistic and transcendent works can only grow in years to come.
Paolo Bacigalupi - Pump Six and Other Stories
Paolo Bacigalupi's debut collection demonstrates the power and reach of the science fiction short story. Social criticism, political parable, and environmental advocacy lie at the center of Paolo's work. Each of the stories herein is at once a warning, and a celebration of the tragic comedy of the human experience. The eleven stories in Pump Six represent the best Paolo's work, including the Hugo nominee "Yellow Card Man," the nebula and Hugo nominated story "The People of Sand and Slag," and the Sturgeon Award-winning story "The Calorie Man."
Ray Bradbury - The October Country
The October Country is a 1955 collection of twenty macabre short stories by Ray Bradbury. It reprints fifteen of the twenty-seven stories of his 1947 collection Dark Carnival, and adds four more of his stories previously published elsewhere.
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Birthday of the World
The recipient of numerous literary prizes, including the National Book Award, the Kafka Award, five Hugo Awards and five Nebula Awards, the renowned writer Ursula K. Le Guin has, in each story and novel, created a provocative, ever-evolving universe filled with diverse worlds and rich characters reminiscent of our earthly selves. Now, in _The Birthday of the World_, this gifted artist returns to these worlds in eight brilliant short works, including a never-before-published novella, each of which probes the essence of humanity.
Ismeretlen szerző - The Secret History of Science Fiction
This ingeniously conceived anthology raises the intriguing question, If Thomas Pynchon’s _Gravity’s Rainbow_ had won the Nebula award in 1973, would the future distinction between literary fiction and science fiction have been erased? Exploring the possibility of an alternate history of speculative fiction, this literary collection reveals that the lines between genres have already been obscured. Don DeLillo’s “Human Moments in World War III” follows the strange detachment of two astronauts who are orbiting in a skylab while a third world war rages on earth. “The Ziggurat” by Gene Wolfe traverses a dissolving marriage, a custody dispute, and the visit of time travelers from the future. T. C. Boyle’s “Descent of Man” is the subversively funny tale of a man who suspects that his primatologist lover is having an affair with one of her charges. In “Schwarzschild Radius,” Connie Willis draws an allegorical parallel between the horrors of trench warfare and the speculative physics of black holes. Artfully crafted and offering a wealth of esteemed authors—from writers within the genre to those normally associated with mainstream fiction, as well as those with a crossover reputation—this volume aptly demonstrates that great science fiction appears in many guises.
Ismeretlen szerző - The Locus Awards
Now, for the first time, the best of the Locus Awards for short fiction are gathered in one volume. Spanning the absolute finest in science fiction and fantasy short fiction for the last thirty years, this anthology is an indispensable guide to speculative fiction from the classic to the outrageous by the leaders of the field.
Ismeretlen szerző - Wastelands
Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon - these are our guides through the Wastelands... From the Book of Revelations to The Road Warrior; from A Canticle for Leibowitz to The Road, storytellers have long imagined the end of the world, weaving tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity. Gathering together the best post-apocalyptic literature of the last two decades from many of today's most renowned authors of speculative fiction, including George R.R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, Carol Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler, and Stephen King, Wastelands explores the scientific, psychological, and philosophical questions of what it means to remain human in the wake of Armageddon.
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.
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.
John Scalzi - We Only Need the Heads
CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson has been loaned out to a CDF platoon tasked with secretly removing an unauthorized colony of humans on an alien world. Colonial Ambassador Abumwe has been ordered to participate in final negotiations with an alien race the Union hopes to make allies. Wilson and Abumwes missions are fated to crossand in doing so, place both missions at risk of failure.
John Scalzi - This Must Be the Place
Colonial Union diplomat Hart Schmidt is back home for Harvest Day celebrations to a family whose members wonder whether its youngest son isn't wasting his life clinging to the lowest rung of the CUs diplomatic ladder. When his father, a legendarily powerful politician, presents him with a compelling offer, Schmidt has to take stock of his life and career.
Larry Niven - A Hole in Space
The Perfect Crime: The invention of displacement booths produced one hell of a crime wave. If a man in, say, Hawaii could commit murder in, say, Chicago and be back in the time it would take him to visit the men's room, he would have a perfect alibi. And the police would have a problem. But that's only one of the problems found in Larry Niven's universe, in this collection of stories all about teleportation, deep space, black holes, artificial worlds and Louis Wu--our old friend from the "Known Space" cycle--Niven once again proves he's a master builder of fantastic worlds!
Ismeretlen szerző - The Reign of Istar
Open the door to the magic and wonder of the Dragonlance world... Meet an irrepressible kender determined to become a Solamnic knight. A bounty-hunter of heretics. An unlikely ogre savior of the dwarven race. And a black-robed mage juggling the fate of the world in the Tower of High Sorcery. Poetry and short stories by well-known Dragonlance authors, topped by a Raistlin novella by original creators Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. All set in the faraway time of the Kingpriest.
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.
John Scalzi - Tales from the Clarke
Captain Sophia Coloma of the Clarke has a simple task: Ferry around representatives from Earth in an aging spaceship that the Colonial Union hopes to sell to them. But nothing is as simple as it seems, and Coloma discovers the ship she's showing off holds suprises of its own...and it's not the only one with secrets.
John Scalzi - A Voice in the Wilderness
Albert Birnbaum was once one of the biggest political talk show hosts around, but these days hes watching his career enter a death spiral. A stranger offers a solution to his woes, promising to put him back on top. Its everything Birnbaum wants, but is there a catch? And does Birnbaum actually care if there is?
John Scalzi - Walk the Plank
Wildcat colonies are illegal, unauthorized and secret so when an injured stranger shows up at the wildcat colony New Seattle, the colony leaders are understandably suspicious of who he is and what he represents. His story of how he came to their colony is shocking, surprising, and might have bigger consequences than anyone could have expected. The second episode of The Human Division, John Scalzi's new thirteen-episode novel in the world of his bestselling Old Man's War.
John Scalzi - The B-Team
The opening episode of The Human Division, John Scalzi's new thirteen-episode novel in the world of his bestselling Old Man's War. Colonial Union Ambassador Ode Abumwe and her team are used to life on the lower end of the diplomatic ladder. But when a high-profile diplomat goes missing, Abumwe and her team are last minute replacements on a mission critical to the Colonial Unions future. As the team works to pull off their task, CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson discovers theres more to the story of the missing diplomats than anyone expected...a secret that could spell war for humanity.