This novel is a stand-alone story which takes two extraordinary characters and follows them as they, independently, begin to unravel some of the greatest mysteries of our universe.
Their missions are dangerous, and they are all venturing into the unknown … and if they can uncover the secret to faster-than-light travel then new worlds will be at our fingertips.
But innovation and progress are not always embraced by everyone. There is a saboteur at work. Different factions disagree about the best way to move forward. And the mysterious Watchkeepers are ever-present.
Completing the informal trilogy which began with BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH and ON THE STEEL BREEZE, this is a powerful and effective story.
James Blish - Cities in Flight
James Blish's galaxy-spanning masterwork, originally published in four volumes, explores a future in which two crucial discoveries -- antigravity devices which enable whole cities to be lifted from the Earth to become giant spaceships, and longevity drugs which enable their inhabitants to live for thousands of years -- lead to the establishment of a unique Galactic empire.
Iain M. Banks - Consider Phlebas
The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender. Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction. Consider Phlebas - a space opera of stunning power and awesome imagination.
Gwyneth Jones - Castles Made of Sand
Ax Preston, Sage Pender and Fiorinda, charismatic leaders of the Rock 'n' Roll Reich, have beaten the cascade of disasters that followed the collapse of the former United Kingdom. Now they have to find some resolution to the impossible dynamics of their own relationship, while the world keeps getting stranger. There are fearsome things going on in England's rural hinterland, and in Continental Europe the green nazis are planning a final solution to desperate environmental damage. But there's nothing the Triumvirate can't handle - until Fiorinda's father, secret master of powers that are very old and very new, reaches out to reclaim his magical child, the flower-bride. And that's when darkness falls over Ax's England . . . Harrowing . . . enchanting - a dark fairy tale with an epic sweep, set in a world very like our own
Fred Hoyle - October the First Is Too Late
Solar beams plays havoc with terrestrial time: England is in the '60's, but WWI is still raging in western Europe, Greece is in the golden age of Pericles, while the United States is some thousands of years in the future; and Russia and Asia are reduced to a glass-like plain, fused by the burnt-out sun of a far distant future. The central themes are time and the meaning of consciousness. The heroes are a pianist-composer and his scientist friend. The dramatic highpoint of the book is a magnificent, almost idyllic section on the life and music of the future, in which one can almost hear the compositions of two rivals as they compete in improvisations.
Terry Pratchett - Stephen Baxter - The Long War
A generation after the events of _The Long Earth_, mankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by Stepping. Where Joshua and Lobsang once pioneered, now fleets of airships link the stepwise Americas with trade and culture. Mankind is shaping the Long Earth - but in turn the Long Earth is shaping mankind ... A new 'America', called Valhalla, is emerging more than a million steps from Datum Earth, with core American values restated in the plentiful environment of the Long Earth - and Valhalla is growing restless under the control of the Datum government... Meanwhile the Long Earth is suffused by the song of the trolls, graceful hive-mind humanoids. But the trolls are beginning to react to humanity's thoughtless exploitation ... Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a gathering multiple crisis that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any mankind has waged before.
Tony Gonzales - The Empyrean Age
A man wakes, trapped inside a cloning vat. He has no idea how he got there, no idea where he is, and no idea who he is. But someone is trying to kill him, and they're about to succeed . . . A disgraced Foreign ambassador leaves his post humiliated, and ignored by his superiors, only to meet Ameline - a woman who seems to know everything about him, and an alarming amount about a conspiracy to overthrow the government. And on a back-water world during an economic crisis a worker called Tibus Heth leads a revolt against the corporation which earns him an unexpected and mysterious ally with astounding influence, and an inclination to aid his revolutionary ideas . . .
Christie Golden - Homecoming
After seven long years in the Delta Quadrant, the crew of the "Starship Voyager"(TM) now confront the strangest world of all: home. For Admiral Kathryn Janeway and her stalwart officers, "Voyager"'s miraculous return brings new honors and responsibilities, reunions with long-lost loved ones, and for some, such as the Doctor and Seven of Nine, the challenge of forging new lives in a Federation that seems to hold little place for them. But even as Janeway and the others go their separate ways, pursuing new adventures and opportunities, a mysterious cybernetic plague strikes Earth, transforming innocent men, women, and children into an entirely new generation of Borg. Now the entire planet faces assimilation, and "Voyager" may be to blame!
Frederik Pohl - Jem
The discovery of another habitable world might spell salvation to the three bitterly competing power blocs of the resource-starved 21st century; but when their representatives arrive on Jem, with its multiple intelligent species, they discover instead the perfect situation into which to export their rivalries. Subtitled, with savage irony, 'The Making of a Utopia', Jem is one of Frederik Pohl's most powerful novels.
Terrance Dicks - Terror of the Autons
The evil Master leered at the Doctor, and triumphantly pointed out of the cabin window. The many-tentacled Nestene monster — spearhead of the second Auton invasion of Earth — crouched beside the radio tower! Part crab, part spider, part octopus, its single huge eye blazed with alien intelligence and deadly hatred... Can the Doctor outwit his rival Time Lord, the Master, and save the Earth from the Nestene horror?
William C. Dietz - Heaven's Devils
For the poor, hardworking citizens of the Confederacy's fringe worlds, the Guild Wars have exacted a huge toll. Swayed by the promise of financial rewards, a new batch of recruits joins the fight alongside a slew of mysteriously docile criminals — and a few dubious military leaders. Eighteen-year-old Jim Raynor, full of testosterone and eager to make things right at home, ships off to boot camp and finds his footing on the battlefield, but he soon discovers that the official mission is not what he's really fighting for. For the first time ever, StarCraft enthusiasts will learn the origins of the enduring friendship between the young upstart Jim Raynor and the streetwise soldier Tychus Findlay. Watch as they battle on the front lines of a fierce interplanetary war and bear witness to the Confederacy's rank corruption — corruption so reprehensible that it rains immeasurable death and destruction upon the government's own people.
Mary Jo Putney - Dark Destiny
Tory and her friends are celebrating the success of a second mission to aid WWII Britain when an urgent summons calls them back to their own time: Napoleon is on the brink of invading England. Can a handful of young mages stop an army? In desperation, Merlin’s Irregulars ask Rebecca Weiss, an untrained telepath from 1940, to come back to 1804 and change Napoleon’s mind before it’s too late. As Tory and Allarde make a commitment that will cost him his inheritance, Rebecca promises to do what she can to stop Napoleon even though she is unsure of her magical abilities. But Tory and her friends saved the Weiss family from Nazi imprisonment, and Rebecca will risk anything, even her life and her budding relationship with Nick Rainford, to repay them. A daring mission takes Tory and Rebecca and their friends into the heart of the Army of Boulogne, where Napoleon is plotting invasion. But while their success may save England, they must still face the bittersweet consequences of their decisions when they return home.
Christie Golden - Ascension
THE GALAXY STANDS LEADERLESS. CAN THE JEDI SAVE IT—OR WILL THEIR ENEMIES ENSLAVE IT? The toppling of ruthless Natasi Daala has left a political vacuum on Coruscant and ignited a power struggle between opposing factions racing to claim control of the Galactic Alliance. Surrounded by hidden agendas, treacherous conspiracies, and covert Sith agents, the Jedi Order must keep the government from collapsing into anarchy—while facing the combined threats of the resurgent Lost Sith Tribe, a deposed dictator bent on vengeance, and the enduring menace of Abeloth, the profoundly evil entity hungry to become a god. “[Christie] Golden’s excellent storytelling captures the essence of the beloved space opera and should leave series followers eagerly anticipating the story’s conclusion.”—Library Journal
Christie Golden - Shadow Hunters
Driven by the living memories of a long-dead Protoss mystic and hounded by the Queen of Blades' ravenous Zerg, archaeologist Jake Ramsey embarks on a perilous journey to reach the fabled Protoss homeworld of Aiur. Seeking a vital piece of Protoss technology, Jake finds that Aiur has been overrun by the Zerg. Descending into the shadowy labyrinths beneath the planet's surface, he must find the sacred crystal before time runs out -- for him...and the universe itself. Yet, what Jake discovers beneath Aiur is a horror beyond his wildest nightmares -- Ulrezaj -- an archon comprised of the seven most deadly and powerful Dark Templar in history...
Charlie Huston - Sleepless
From bestselling author Charlie Huston comes a novel about the fears that find us all during dark times and the courage and sacrifice that can save us in the face of unimaginable odds. Gripping, unnerving, exhilarating, and haunting, Sleepless is well worth staying up for. What former philosophy student Parker Hass wanted was a better world. A world both just and safe for his wife and infant daughter. So he joined the LAPD and tried to make it that way. But the world changed. Struck by waves of chaos carried in on a tide of insomnia. A plague of sleeplessness. Park can sleep, but he is wide awake. And as much as he wishes he was dreaming, his eyes are open. He has no choice but to see it all. That's his job. Working undercover as a drug dealer in a Los Angeles ruled in equal parts by martial law and insurgency, he's tasked with cutting off illegal trade in Dreamer, the only drug that can give the infected what they most crave: sleep. After a year of lost leads and false trails, Park stumbles into the perilous shadows cast by the pharmaceuticals giant behind Dreamer. Somewhere in those shadows, at the nexus of disease and drugs and money, a secret is hiding. Drawn into the inner circle of a tech guru with a warped agenda and a special use for the sleepless themselves, Park thinks he knows what that secret might be. To know for certain, he will have to go deeper into the restless world. His wife has become sleepless, and their daughter may soon share the same fate. For them, he will risk what they need most from him: his belief that justice must be served. Unknown to him, his choice ties all of their futures to the singularly deadly nature of an aging mercenary who stalks Park. The deeper Park stumbles through the dark, the more he is convinced that it is obscuring the real world. Bring enough light and the shadows will retreat. Bring enough light and everyone will see themselves again. Bring enough light and he will find his way to the safe corner, the harbor he's promised his family. Whatever the cost to himself. It is July 2010. The future is coming. Open your eyes.
Christie Golden - Firstborn
Jake Ramsey, an archaeologist, investigates a recently unearthed Xel'Naga temple on the world of Nemaka, only to discover a dying Protoss mystic. His identity begins to drown within the flood of alien memories, which grant to him the Protoss species' total history. Ramsey soon realizes that he has stumbled upon a secret so cataclysmic that it will shake the very foundations of the universe. FIRSTBORN An original tale of space warfare based on the bestselling computer game series from Blizzard Entertainment.
Christie Golden - Devils' Due
The year is 2494. Almost five years ago, Jim Raynor and Tychus Findlay were members of the Heaven’s Devils, an elite Confederate marine unit praised for its nerves of steel and combat expertise. After making a stand against their corrupt commanding officer, the two men were forced to go AWOL or risk being unjustly prosecuted and resocialized. Now, Raynor and Findlay are outlaws hounded by an unyielding interstellar marshal. Life, however, has never been better. Each day is another chance to pilfer more credits from the Confederacy’s deep coffers. Each night holds the promise of spending their hard-earned profits in bars, brothels, and gambling halls. But a man can only run so far before the law—and his past—catch up with him. . . . Devils’ Due recounts an unforgettable period of Jim Raynor’s life as he descends into the Koprulu sector’s criminal underworld alongside the street-savvy Findlay. Here, far from his humble upbringing on the fringe world of Shiloh, Raynor will face some of the most trying challenges of his life. The decisions he makes will alter his destiny forever and put his father’s oft-spoken wisdom, “A man is what he chooses to be,” to the ultimate test.
Graham McNeill - I, Mengsk
Sixty-thousand light-years from Earth, the corrupt Terran Confederacy holds the Koprulu Sector tightly in its tyrannical grip, controlling every aspect of its citizens' lives. One man dares to stand up to this faceless empire and vows to bring it to its knees: Arcturus Mengsk -- genius propagandist, tactician, and freedom fighter. A monstrous act of bloody violence sows the seeds of rebellion in Arcturus, but he is not the first Mengsk to rail against such oppression. Before Arcturus grew to manhood, his father, Angus Mengsk, also defied the Confederacy and sought to end its brutal reign. The destiny of the Mengsk family has long been tied to that of the Confederacy and the Koprulu Sector, but as a new empire rises from the ashes of the past and alien invaders threaten the very existence of humanity, what will the future hold for the next generation...?
Paul J. McAuley - Shrine of Stars
Years before the birth of Yama - the last descendant of the revered Builders who constructed the artificial world of Confluence - humans appeared from out of the depths of time and space to tip its fragile balance. These were the Ancients of Days, ancestors of the long-absent Preservers themselves, carried forward across eons by the relativistic paradox of interstellar light-speed travel. What the Ancients of Days brought to Confluence was heresy and doubt, setting bloodline against bloodline, machine against machine, and igniting the terrible flames of civil war that still ravage the world. Alone among all the living things that populate Confluence, Yama holds the power to end this war. Whichever side controls him controls the myriad machines of the world, Held captive and helpless, infected by the cruel consciousness of a great feral machine allied with the heretic cause, Yama is being forged into a weapon of terrible power and consequence. Yet the unique fire that burns within him will not be extinguished, and, as Yama struggles to reclaim his soul, he realizes that the path he'd thought he was traveling freely may have been mapped since before his birth. And at the end of all things, should he accept his destiny or exert his free will?
Paul J. McAuley - Ancients of Days
On an artificial world created and seeded with ten thousand bloodlines by the long-vanished Preservers, young Yama's ancestry is unique, for he appears to be the last remaining scion of the Builders, closest of all races to the worshipped architects of Confluence. And on a day near the end of the world, Yama must finally acknowledge the power he neither anticipated nor desires. In the dust of many crumbling bureaucracies, Yama searches for an identity and a history-awed and fearful of his ever-growing capacity to awaken the terrible machines of destruction that his world's absent gods left slumbering. To the common folk-the unshaped and aboriginal-he is the fulfillment of age-old prophecies. To the functionaries of the Department of Indigenous Affairs, he is a weapon to be molded and used in the bloody civil war raging at the planet's midpoint-a seemingly endless battle that pits those who revere the Preservers' laws against the dangerous Heretics who would obliterate all antiquated values and codes of conduct. But there are still others who have taken notice of Yama as he pursues the hidden secrets of his past. Intelligent powers older than the Builders-as old, perhaps, as the Preservers themselves -are pursuing Yama in turn. And they will stop at nothing to control his present-and, as a result, the future of everything that lives-in anticipation of the ultimate triumph of the Ancients of Days.
Paul J. McAuley - Child of the River
An Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell Memorial Award-winner for his novel "Fairyland, Paul J. McAuley designs and fabricates remarkably intricate worlds. He builds some out of solid bricks of science, some from granite carved from the rich quarry of human history and experience. All are marvelous constructs of invention and thought; enthralling landscapes to wander, explore and lose oneself in. He offers now a world that stands distinctly apart: a place of savagery, secrets and war; the home of ten thousand extraordinary bloodlines ruled by universal devotion to absent gods; a realm of merchants, mercenaries, ghouls, heretics, bureaucrats and feral machines; a world called Confluence.