Venera Fanning was last seen falling into nothingness at the end of Sun of Suns. Now, in Queen of Candesce, Venera finds herself plunging through the air among the artificial worlds of Virga, far from home and her husband, who may or may not be alive. Landing in the ancient nation of Spyre, Venera encounters new enemies and new friends (or at least convenient allies). She must quickly learn who she can trust, and who she can manipulate in order to survive.
Survival isn’t her only goal; with the powerful Key of Candesce in her hands, she can control the fate of the entire world of Virga, yet something even more pressing is driving her—the all consuming need for revenge.
Tobias S. Buckell - Ragamuffin
The Benevolent Satrapy rule an empire of forty-eight worlds, linked by thousands of wormholes strung throughout the galaxy. Human beings, while technically “free,” mostly skulk around the fringes of the Satrapy, struggling to get by. The secretive alien Satraps tightly restrict the technological development of the species under their control. Entire worlds have been placed under interdiction, cut off from the rest of the universe. Descended from the islanders of lost Earth, the Ragamuffins are pirates and smugglers, plying the lonely spaceways around a dead wormhole. For years, the Satraps have tolerated the Raga, but no longer. Now they have embarked on a campaign of extermination, determined to wipe out the unruly humans once and for all. But one runaway woman may complicate their plans. Combat enabled, Nashara is more machine than flesh, and she carries inside her a doomsday weapon that could reduce the entire galaxy to chaos. A hunted fugitive, she just wants to get home before she’s forced to destroy civilization—and herself.
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 . . .
Paul J. McAuley - Eternal Light
In the aftermath of an interstellar war an enigmatic star is discovered, travelling towards the Solar System from the galactic core. Its appearance adds a new and dangerous factor in the turbulent politics of the inhabited worlds as the rival factions - the power-holders of the ReUnited Nations, the rebels who secretly oppose their power, and the Religious Witnesses - all see advantages to be gained. But what awesome technology started the star on its journey half a million years ago - and why?
Larry Niven - Jerry Pournelle - The Mote in God's Eye
In the year 3016, the Second Empire of Man spans hundreds of star systems, thanks to the faster-than-light Alderson Drive. No other intelligent beings have ever been encountered, not until a lightsail probe enters a human system carrying a dead alien. The probe is traced to the Mote, an isolated star in a thick dust cloud, and an expedition is dispatched. In the Mote the humans find an ancient civilization--at least one million years old--that has always been bottled up in their cloistered solar system for lack of a star drive. The Moties are welcoming and kind, yet rather evasive about certain aspects of their society. It seems the Moties have a dark problem, one they've been unable to solve in over a million years. This is the first collaboration between Niven and Pournelle, two masters of hard science fiction, and it combines Pournelle's interest in the military and sociology with Niven's talent for creating interesting, believable aliens. The novel meticulously examines every aspect of First Contact, from the Moties' biology, society and art, to the effects of the meeting on humanity's economics, politics and religions. And all the while suspense builds as we watch the humans struggle toward the truth.
John Crowley - The Deep
For many generations the Just have been at war with the Protectors. In their strange world, supported by a huge pillar poised in the vast and mysterious Deep, ritual bloodshed and sorcery have obsessed the inhabitants since the beginning of time. Half human, half machine, sexless and hairless, the Visitor from the skies enters the world on a mission unknown even to himself. Is he a peacemaker between the warrior clans, an observer, or, with his phenomenal qualities, a warrior himself, the likes of which this planet has never seen before? Only time can tell, and time is something that his makers have not allowed for...
Cassandra Rose Clarke - The Mad Scientist's Daughter
_"Cat, this is Finn. He's going to be your tutor"._ He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion... and more. But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Fin struggles to find his place in the world.
C.L. Anderson - Bitter Angels
An Imploding Star System. A Murdered Galactic Spy. A Woman Seeking the Truth—and Finding the Unbelievable… The Erasmus System is a sprawling realm of slavery, smugglers, spies—and constant, creeping decrepitude. Here everyone who is not part of the ruling Four Families is a slave of one kind or another. But the Guardians, a special-forces branch inside the United World Government for Earth, have deemed Erasmus a “hot spot.” Somehow, it is believed, this failing colony intends to launch a war upon the solar system. Ex-Field Commander Terese Drajeske, now a mother of three, has been called back to active duty and sent to Erasmus, ostensibly to investigate the murder of her colleague—and friend—Bianca Fayette. At first blush, the death defies explanation: Bianca was immortal. But beneath that single murder lies a twisted foundation of deceptions. Suddenly Terese is plunged into a vortex of shattered lives, endemic deceit, and one dreadful secret. In this society without hope, someone has put into motion a plan that will cast humanity into chaos. And Terese, who has given up her family and her sanity to prevent war, may be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice….
Karen Joy Fowler - Sarah Canary
When black cloaked Sarah Canary wanders into a railway camp in the Washington territories in 1873, Chin Ah Kin is ordered by his uncle to escort "the ugliest woman he could imagine" away. Far away. But Chin soon becomes the follower. In the first of many such instances, they are separated, both resurfacing some days later at an insane asylum. Chin has run afoul of the law and Sarah has been committed for observation. Their escape from the asylum in the company of another inmate sets into motion a series of adventures and misadventures that are at once hilarious, deeply moving, and downright terrifying.
Donald Kingsbury - Psychohistorical Crisis
_A loving homage to Asimov, and dialogue with him - a triumph of galactic-scaled SF that is destined to be recognized as a classic in its own right._ Eron Osa had faced the ultimate penalty. Not death, but the removal of his fam. Without the augmentation of his brain by his electronic familiar, he can barely function amidst the bewildering complexities of everyday life on Splendid Wisdom. Here, on the capital world of the galaxy's Second Empire, everyone from the meanest citizen to the ruling Pscholars has depended upon a fam since childhood. Without one, simply navigating the streets and levels of the planetary megalopolis is a paralyzing challenge. Lost along with such everyday survival skills were many of Eron's memories and his professional knowledge. The crime he committed must have been terrible to warrant such a dreadful punishment. If only he could remember what it was!
Philip K. Dick - Ray Faraday Nelson - The Ganymede Takeover
First published, in paperback, in 1967, this is one of two novels Dick wrote in collaboration. Stylistically, it is typical Dick, but it lacks the gravity and conviction of most of his other novels. It's set in the 21st century when the Earth has been conquered by a race of alien, telepathic, wormlike creatures, one of whom, Mekkis, is attracted to the theories of the psychologist Rudolph Balkani. Although ostensibly a ``wik'' or worm-kisser (i.e., one who freely serves the Ganymedians), Balkani is a complex man whose allegiances and motives are not easily discerned; indeed, Mekkis's attraction to his ideas leads to the worms' undoing. Other characters include the musicologist Joan Hiashi, whom Balkani unsuccessfully pursues, and Percy X, the black revolutionary who represents the ony overt resistance to the worms. Characterizations are unusually weak for Dick, and the ultimate instrument of the alien downfall--Dr. Balkani's ``hell-machine,'' which distorts reality--cannot summon up in the reader the ontological confusion and terror that drives Dick's best work.
Philip K. Dick - A Scanner Darkly
Substance D - otherwise known as Death - is the most dangerous drug ever to find its way onto the black market. It destroys the links between the brain's two hemispheres, leading first to disorentation and then to complete and irreversible brain damage. Bob Arctor, undercover narcotics agent, is trying to find a lead to the source of supply, but to pass as an addict he must become a user, and soon, without knowing what is happening to him, he is as dependent as any of the addicts he is monitoring.
John Varley - The Ophiuchi Hotline
THE BRILLIANT NOVEL THAT LAUNCHED THE VARLEY PHENOMENON The invaders came in 2050…They did not kill anyone outright. hey said they came on behalf of the intelligent species of Earth—dolphins and whales. The Invaders quietly destroyed every evidence of technology, then peacefully departed, leaving behind plowed ground and sprouting seeds. In the next two years, ten billion humans starved to death. The remnants of humanity that survived relocated to the moon and other planets. But they are not alone in their struggle—someone or something, somewhere in deep space, is sending them advanced scientific data via the Ophiuchi Hotline. And by the twenty-fifth century, the technological gifts from the Hotline—especially its biological and medical solutions—have created a world unlike any ever known or imagined…
Philip K. Dick - The World Jones Made
Floyd Jones is sullen, ungainly, and quite possibly mad, but in a very short time he will rise from telling fortunes at a mutant carnival to convulsing an entire planet. For although Jones has the power to see the future -- a power that makes his life a torment -- his real gift lies elsewhere: in his ability to make people dream again in a world where dreaming has been made illegal, even when the dream is indistinguishable from a nightmare. In Philip K. Dick's unsettling chronicle of the rise and fall of a postnuclear messiah, readers will find a novel that is as minutely realistic as it is prophetic. For along with its engineered mutants, hermaphroditic sex performers, and protoplasmic drifters from the stars, The World Jones Made gives us nothing less than a deadly accurate reading of our own hunger for belief.
Philip K. Dick - Blade Runner
It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill. Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment--find them and then..."retire" them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn't want to be found!
Larry Niven - Jerry Pournelle - The Moat Around Murcheson's Eye
Humankind has spent years agonizing over the deadly threat posed by the only aliens they have ever encountered, the Moties. A race divided into distinct biological forms, each serving a different function. Now the Moties are isolated - until the empire is threatened. By the authors of "Footfall".
Nnedi Okorafor - Lagoon
When a massive object crashes into the ocean off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous and legendary city, three people wandering along Bar Beach (Adaora, the marine biologist- Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa- Agu, the troubled soldier) find themselves running a race against time to save the country they love and the world itself… from itself. Lagoon expertly juggles multiple points of view and crisscrossing narratives with prose that is at once propulsive and poetic, combining everything from superhero comics to Nigerian mythology to tie together a story about a city consuming itself. At its heart a story about humanity at the crossroads between the past, present, and future, Lagoon touches on political and philosophical issues in the rich tradition of the very best science fiction, and ultimately asks us to consider the things that bind us together – and the things that make us human. ‘There was no time to flee. No time to turn. No time to shriek. And there was no pain. It was like being thrown into the stars.’
Robert A. Heinlein - The Door into Summer
Dan Davis was tricked by an unscrupulous business partner and a greedy fiancee into spending thirty years in suspended animation just when he was on the verge of a success beyond his wildest dreams. But when he awoke in the future, he discovered he had the means to travel back in time -- and get his revenge!
Vonda N. McIntyre - Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Admiral James T. Kirk is charged by the Klingon Empire for the comandeering of a Klingon starship. The Federation honors the Klingon demands for extradition, and Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise are drawn back to Earth. But their trip is interrupted by the appearance of a mysterious, all-powerful alien space probe. Suddenly, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the crew must journey back through time to twentieth-century Earth to solve the mystery of the probe.
Lois McMaster Bujold - Mirror Dance
The exciting follow-up to Brothers in Arms. Miles Vorkosigan is in trouble. His brother, a cloned stranger formed from tissue stolen from Miles when he was a child, wants to murder and replace him. Unfortunately, Mark has learned that without Miles, he is . . . nothing.
Lois McMaster Bujold - The Vor Game
The Prince and the Mercenary. Together, they can get into a lot of trouble. Trouble only the combined forces of the Free Dendarii Mercenaries can get them out of. At least, that's what they're hoping for... In this latest adventure with the galaxy's craftiest mercenary leader, Miles starts out by so shaking up the High Command on his home planet of Barrayar that he is sent to the other side of the galaxy--where who should he run into but his old pals the Free Dendarii Mercenaries. And a good thing too, because it turns out that Miles' childhood chum, that's Emperor Gregor to you, has been the victim of foul play, and only Miles--with a little Dendarii muscle--can save him. This is very important to Miles; because if Gregor dies, the only person who could become the new emperor is Miles himself--and that he regards as a fate worse than death.