Nicola Griffith - Slow River
Nicola Griffith, winner of the Tiptree Award and the Lambda Award for her widely acclaimed first novel Ammonite, now turns her attention closer to the present in Slow River, the dark and intensely involving story of a young woman's struggle for survival and independence on the gritty underside of a near-future Europe. She awoke in an alley to the splash of rain. She was naked, a foot-long gash in her back was still bleeding, and her identity implant was gone. Lore Van de Oest was the daughter of one of the world's most powerful families...and now she was nobody. Then out of the rain walked Spanner, an expert data pirate who took her in, cared for her wounds, and gave her the freedom to reinvent herself again and again. No one could find Lore if she didn't want to be found: not the police, not her family, and not the kidnappers who had left her in that alley to die. She had escaped...but she paid for her newfound freedom in crime, deception, and degradation--over and over again. Lore had a choice: She could stay in the shadows, stay with Spanner...and risk losing herself forever. Or she could leave Spanner and find herself again by becoming someone else: stealing the identity implant of a dead woman, taking over her life, and inventing her future. But to start again, Lore required Spanner's talents--Spanner, who needed her and hated her, and who always had a price. And even as Lore agreed to play Spanner's games one final time, she found that there was still the price of being a Van de Oest to be paid. Only by confronting her past, her family, and her own demons could Lore meld together who she had once been, who she had become, and the person she intended to be.... In Slow River, Nicola Griffith skillfully takes us deep into the mind and heart of her complex protagonist, where the past must be reconciled with the present if the future is ever to offer solid ground. Slow River poses a question we all hope never to need to answer: Who are you when you have nothing left?
Stephen Baxter - Titan
2004: NASA,s Cassini probe reaches Saturn - and the story of Titan begins. Titan is the epic saga of one woman,s will to succeed and the triumph of a dream over bureaucracy and fear. Paula Benacerraf, grandmother and astronaut, is appointed to oversee the dismantling of the Shuttle fleet after another Challenger-type disaster. Instead, she listens to the oddball JPL scientist Rosenberg, who is determined to explore the ammonia-based life Cassini discovers on Titan. Using NASA,s rusting Saturn rockets, mothballed Apollos and remaining Shuttles, frail humans are hurled, in the face of violent opposition from the military, to the edge of the Solar System. To the edge, also, of sanity.
Piers Anthony - Chthon
Chthon was Piers Anthony’s first published novel in 1967, written over the course of seven years. He started it when he was in the US Army, so it has a long prison sequence that is reminiscent of that experience, being dark and grim. It features Aton Five, a space man who commits the crime of falling in love with the dangerous alluring Minionette and is therefore condemned to death in the subterranean prison of Chthon. It uses flashbacks to show how he came to know the Minionette, and flashforwards to show how he dealt with her after his escape from prison. The author regards this as perhaps the most intricately structured novel the science fantasy genre has seen. It was a contender for awards, but not a winner.
Piers Anthony - Split Infinity
_Split Infinity_ is the first book in Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series. Here two worlds exist side by side: Proton and Phaze. Proton is a science fiction world, where everything works in a logical and scientific manner. Phaze is a fantasy world similar to Anthony's Xanth in that there's no such thing as science - it's all done with magic! The wild plot involves a young adventurer named Stiles who lives in Proton and learns that his "double" in Phaze has been murdered. To solve his own demise, Stiles must travel between the two realities, each abounding with the expected confusions and unexpected plot twists for which Anthony is famous. An artful blending of SF and fantasy clichés and situations, _Split Infinity_ shows Piers Anthony at the top of his ingenious game(s).
Piers Anthony - Blue Adept
In Book Two of the epic adventure that began in _Split Infinity,_ Stile discovers life on Proton and Phaze is getting more difficult. On Proton he's a serf trying to prove his right to exist by competing in the Great Games. And on Phaze, where only magic worked, he was the Blue Adept trying to master the powers of sorcery. On both worlds, someone was trying to assassinate him. And as if that weren't enough, he has to win the love of Lady Blue, fight a dragon, discover the ultimate weapon, and of course, seek out the all-powerful Citizen who was trying to kill him!
Piers Anthony - Juxtaposition
Stile had problems on two different worlds. On Proton he was threatened with murder, and on Phaze, an alternate world ruled by magic, he had to master magic, fight a dragon, win the friendship of a lady unicorn, locate his enemy among the paranoid Adepts and return out of Phaze to win the Great Games on Proton. After that, he was ready to face the real problems!
Piers Anthony - Out of Phaze
Two worlds - the scientific Proton and the magical Phaze - exist side by side. Now, Mach has crossed from Proton to Phaze, switching places with his counterpart Bane. And both must learn to survive in environments alien to their own nature.
Piers Anthony - Unicorn Point
The combined magic and technology between the parallel worlds of Phaze and Proton is not enough to save the planets from a conquering invasion. Only Mach and Bane - robot and wizard, linked between worlds - have any chance of stopping this threat.
Pat Cadigan - Synners
Synners are synthesizers—not machines, but people. They take images from the brains of performers, and turn them into a form which can be packaged, sold, and consumed. This book is set in a world where new technology spawns new crime before it hits the streets. The line between technology and humanity is hopelessly slim; the human mind and the external landscape have fused to the point where any encounter with reality is incidental. This classic novel from one of the founders and mainstays of the cyberpunk movement.
Piers Anthony - Sos the Rope
They call him Sos - a man mightier in strength and spirit than the greatest warriors of post-Blast legend. His past is shrouded in enigma, but now he wanders the Earth, writing a heritage in blood and bravery. To some, he is savior; to others, agent of cataclysm. One man alone bears the terrible curse of his friendship. Two mortal women share his doom-driven love. Yet only Sos knows the ultimate purpose of his strange, violent mission on Earth: save mankind - or destroy it forever.
Piers Anthony - Var the Stick
Sol controlled the mountain, and Sos the Empire. No one could calculate the destruction which would follow if they went to war. Var - half animal, half man - rescued from the badlands was the chosen one. Exiled from his own legion, supported only by his courage and skill, he wandered the Earth, fleeing certain death for him and for Soli, the valiant companion he loved more than life itself.
Philip Reeve - Mortal Engines
London is hunting its prey. For too long, London has been hiding in the hills, safe from bigger, faster, HUNGRIER cities. Now London must feed. But as the chase begins, events within the walls take a sinister turn... The breathtaking first instalment of the award-winning MORTAL ENGINES quartet.