From the author of the Revelation Space series comes an interstellar adventure of war, identity, betrayal, and the preservation of civilization itself.
A vast conflict, one that has encompassed hundreds of worlds and solar systems, appears to be finally at an end. A conscripted soldier is beginning to consider her life after the war and the family she has left behind. But for Scur—and for humanity—peace is not to be.
On the brink of the ceasefire, Scur is captured by a renegade war criminal, and left for dead in the ruins of a bunker. She revives aboard a prisoner transport vessel. Something has gone terribly wrong with the ship.
Passengers—combatants from both sides of the war—are waking up from hibernation far too soon. Their memories, embedded in bullets, are the only links to a world which is no longer recognizable. And Scur will be reacquainted with her old enemy, but with much higher stakes than just her own life.
Iain M. Banks - Look To Windward
It was one of the less glorious incidents of a long-ago war. It led to the destruction of two suns and the billions of lives they supported. Now, eight hundred years later, the light from the first of those ancient mistakes has reached the Culture Orbital, Masaq'. The light from the second may not.
Joe Haldeman - The Forever War
Private William Mandella is a hero in spite of himself — a reluctant conscript drafted into an elite military unit, and propelled through space and time to fight in a distant thousand-year conflict. He never wanted to go to war, but the leaders on Earth have drawn a line in the interstellar sand — despite the fact that their fierce alien enemy is unknowable, unconquerable, and very far away. So Mandella will perform his duties without rancor and even rise up through the military's ranks . . . if he survives. But the true test of his mettle will come when he returns to Earth. Because of the time dilation caused by space travel the loyal soldier is aging months, while his home planet is aging centuries — and the difference will prove the saying: you never can go home. . .
Iain M. Banks - The Algebraist
It is 4034 AD. Humanity has made it to the stars. Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of the year. The Nasqueron Dwellers inhabit a gas giant on the outskirts of the galaxy, in a system awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of civilisation. In the meantime, they are dismissed as decadents living in a state of highly developed barbarism, hoarding data without order, hunting their own young and fighting pointless formal wars. Seconded to a military-religious order he's barely heard of - part of the baroque hierarchy of the Mercatoria, the latest galactic hegemony - Fassin Taak has to travel again amongst the Dwellers. He is in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years. But with each day that passes a war draws closer - a war that threatens to overwhelm everything and everyone he's ever known. As complex, turbulent, flamboyant and spectacular as the gas giant on which it is set, the new science fiction novel from Iain M. Banks is space opera on a truly epic scale.
Peter F. Hamilton - Fallen Dragon
Born in a colony world in 2310, Lawrence Newton hankered after the golden era of starships exploring the galaxy. But the age of human starflight was drawing to a close, so this hot-heated teenager ran away from home in search of adventure. Twenty years later, he's the sergeant of a washed-out platoon taking part in the bungled invasion of another world. The giant corporations call such campaigns 'asset realization', but in practice it's simple piracy. While he's on the ground, being shot at and firebombed by local resistance forces, Lawrence hears stories about the Temple of the Fallen Dragon - and a sect devoted to the worship of a mythical creature that fell to the ground millennia ago. More importantly, its priests are said to guard a hoard of treasure large enough to buy lifelong happiness - which information prompts him to mount a private-enterprise operation of his own.
Ken MacLeod - Divisions
This volume comprises _The Cassini Division_ and _The Sky Road._ The Cassini Division: In the 24th century, post humans, god-like descendents of humans who transformed themselves with high technology, have warped the very fabric of the solar system for unknowable reasons. Ellen May Ngewthu has a plan to rid humanity of these beings, but she must first travel the entirety of the Solar Union, convincing others that post-humans are the threat she knows they are... The Sky Road: Her rockets redundant, her people rebellious, and her borders defenseless against the Sino-Soviet Union, Myra Godwin appeals to the crumbling West for help as she faces the end of the space age. And, centuries in the future, as humanity again reaches into space, a young scholar could make the difference between success and failure. For his mysterious new lover has seduced him into the idea of extrapolating the ship's future from the dark archives of the past.
James S. A. Corey - Leviathan Wakes
Humanity has colonized the planets - interstellar travel is still beyond our reach, but the solar system has become a dense network of colonies. But there are tensions - the mineral-rich outer planets resent their dependence on Earth and Mars and the political and military clout they wield over the Belt and beyond.Now, when Captain Jim Holden's ice miner stumbles across a derelict, abandoned ship, he uncovers a secret that threatens to throw the entire system into war. Attacked by a stealth ship belonging to the Mars fleet, Holden must find a way to uncover the motives behind the attack, stop a war and find the truth behind a vast conspiracy that threatens the entire human race.
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?
Peter F. Hamilton - Pandora's Star
In AD 2329, humanity has colonised over four hundred planets, all of them interlinked by wormholes. With Earth at its centre, the Intersolar Commonwealth now occupies a sphere of space approximately four hundred light years across. When an astronomer on the outermost world of Gralmond observes a star 2000 light years distant - and then a neighbouring one - vanish, it is time for the Commonwealth to discover what happened to them. For what if their disappearance indicates some kind of galactic conflict? Since a conventional wormhole cannot be used to reach these vanished stars, for the first time humans need to build a faster-than-light starship, the Second Chance. But it arrives to find each 'vanished' star encased in a giant force field - and within one of them resides a massive alien civilisation.
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.
Justina Robson - Natural History
A daring and original new novel from one of sci fi’s most provocative voices, Natural History is a stunning work of bold ideas, unforgettable characters, and epic adventure as one woman seeks to explore what may be the greatest mystery of all.... IMAGINE A WORLD... Half-human, half-machine, Voyager Isol was as beautiful as a coiled scorpion–and just as dangerous. Her claim that she’d found a distant but habitable earthlike planet was welcome news to the rest of the Forged. But it could mean the end of what was left of the humanity who’d created and once enslaved them. IMAGINE A FATE... It was on behalf of the “unevolved” humans that Professor Zephyr Duquesne, cultural archaeologist and historian of Earth’s lost worlds, was chosen by the Gaiasol military authority to uncover the truth about this second “earth.” And her voyage, traveling inside the body of Isol, will take her to the center of a storm exploding across a spectrum of space and time, dimension and consciousness. IMAGINE THE IMPOSSIBLE... On an abandoned planet, in a wrinkle of time, Isol and Zephyr will find a gift and a curse: a power so vast that once unlocked, it will change the universe forever. With civil war looming, Zephyr’s perilous journey will lead her to a past where one civilization mysteriously vanished...and another may soon follow.
Orson Scott Card - Aaron Johnston - Earth Unaware
The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador's telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it's hard to know what to make of it. It's massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light. El Cavador has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big for the ship. There are claim-jumping corporate ships bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems not important. They're wrong. It's the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. The first Formic War is about to begin...
Orson Scott Card - Aaron Johnston - Earth Afire
One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. This is the story of the First Formic War. Victor Delgado beat the alien ship to Earth, but just barely. Not soon enough to convince skeptical governments that there was a threat. They didn’t believe that until space stations and ships and colonies went up in sudden flame. And when that happened, only Mazer Rackham and the Mobile Operations Police could move fast enough to meet the threat.
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).
Greg Egan - Diaspora
A dramatic insight into the future of Man in the 30th century and beyond where life is divided into three; fleshers - true homo-sapines; Gleisner robots - human minds within machines; and polises - supercomputers teeming with intellgent software containing copies of human personalities.
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!
Doris Lessing - Re: Colonised Planet 5, Shikasta
This is the first volume in the series of novels Doris Lessing calls collectively Canopus in Argos: Archives. Presented as a compilation of documents, reports, letters, speeches and journal entries, this purports to be a general study of the planet Shikasta–clearly the planet Earth–to be used by history students of the higher planet Canopus and to be stored in the Canopian archives. For eons, galactic empires have struggled against one another, and Shikasta is one of the main battlegrounds. Johor, an emissary from Canopus and the primary contributor to the archives, visits Shikasta over the millennia from the time of the giants and the biblical great flood up to the present. With every visit he tries to distract Shikastans from the evil influences of the planet Shammat but notes with dismay the ever-growing chaos and destruction of Shikasta as its people hurl themselves towards World War III and annihilation.
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.