Greg Egan’s Perihelion Summer is a story of people struggling to adapt to a suddenly alien environment, and the friendships and alliances they forge as they try to find their way in a world where the old maps have lost their meaning.
Taraxippus is coming: a black hole one tenth the mass of the sun is about to enter the solar system.
Matt and his friends are taking no chances. They board a mobile aquaculture rig, the Mandjet, self-sustaining in food, power and fresh water, and decide to sit out the encounter off-shore. As Taraxippus draws nearer, new observations throw the original predictions for its trajectory into doubt, and by the time it leaves the solar system, the conditions of life across the globe will be changed forever.
Charles Stross - Neptune's Brood
The year is AD 7000. The human species is nearly extinct—for the fourth time—due to its fragile nature. Krina Alizond-114 is metahuman, descended from the robots that once served humanity. She’s on a journey to the water world of Shin-Tethys to find her sister Ana. But her trip is interrupted when pirates capture her ship. Their leader, the enigmatic Count Rudi, believes that there’s more to Krina’s search than meets the eye. He’s correct: Krina and Ana each possess half of the fabled Atlantis Carnet, a lost financial instrument of unbelievable value—capable of bringing down entire civilizations. Krina doesn’t know that Count Rudi suspects her motives, so she accepts his offer to get her to Shin-Tethys in exchange for an introduction to Ana. And what neither of them suspects is that a ruthless body-double assassin has stalked Krina across the galaxy, ready to take the carnet once it is whole—and leave no witnesses alive to tell the tale…
Greg Egan - Dichronauts
Seth is a surveyor, along with his friend Theo, a leech-like creature running through his skull who tells Seth what lies to his left and right. Theo, in turn, relies on Seth for mobility, and for ordinary vision looking forwards and backwards. Like everyone else in their world, they are symbionts, depending on each other to survive. In the universe containing Seth's world, light cannot travel in all directions: there is a “dark cone” to the north and south. Seth can only face to the east (or the west, if he tips his head backwards). If he starts to turn to the north or south, his body stretches out across the landscape, and to rotate as far as north-north-east is every bit as impossible as accelerating to the speed of light. Every living thing in Seth’s world is in a state of perpetual migration as they follow the sun’s shifting orbit and the narrow habitable zone it creates. Cities are being constantly disassembled at one edge and rebuilt at the other, with surveyors mapping safe routes ahead. But when Seth and Theo join an expedition to the edge of the habitable zone, they discover a terrifying threat: a fissure in the surface of the world, so deep and wide that no one can perceive its limits. As the habitable zone continues to move, the migration will soon be blocked by this unbridgeable void, and the expedition has only one option to save its city from annihilation: descend into the unknown.
Adrian Tchaikovsky - Children of Time
A race for survival among the stars... Humanity's last survivors escaped earth's ruins to find a new home. But when they find it, can their desperation overcome its dangers? WHO WILL INHERIT THIS NEW EARTH? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind's worst nightmare. Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?
A. G. Hawk - Starless night
Locked into Timelessness - "I want to die" My Kingdom Will Come - "A few hours later I was standing in the window of a room on floor three hundred and twenty-one, sipping my beer, and watching the lake below. An uncomfortable thought somehow wiggled itself into my head: it’s time I finally wrote something."
Poul Anderson - Harvest of Stars
Earth lies crushed in the grip of totalitarianism. To save her planet, Kyra Davis is sent on a mission to liberate the last bastion of freedom and to rescue its legendary leader. Her bold adventure will sweep her from Earth's rebel enclaves, to the decadent court of an exotic lunar colony, from the virtual realities of biotech and artificial intelligence to a brave new world menaced by a dying star.
Alastair Reynolds - The Prefect
Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a policeman of sorts, and one of the best. His force is Panoply, and his beat is the multi-faceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone. These days, his job is his life. A murderous attack against a Glitter Band habitat is nasty, but it looks to be an open-and-shut case - until Dreyfus starts looking under some stones that some very powerful people would really rather stayed unturned. What he uncovers is far more serious than mere gruesome murder: a covert takeover bid by a shadowy figure, Aurora (who may once have been human but certainly isn't now), who believes the people of the Glitter Band should no longer be in charge of their own destiny. Dreyfus discovers that to save something precious, you may have to destroy part of it.
Alastair Reynolds - Pushing Ice
2057. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclear-powered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. But when Janus, one of Saturn's ice moons, inexplicably leaves its natural orbit and heads out of the solar system at high speed, Bella is ordered to shadow it for the few vital days before it falls forever out of reach. In accepting this mission she sets her ship and her crew on a collision course with destiny-for Janus has many surprises in store, and not all of them are welcome...
Alastair Reynolds - Century Rain
Three hundred years in the future, Verity Auger is a specialist in the archaeological exploration of Earth, rendered uninhabitable after the technological catastrophe known as the Nanocaust. After a field-trip to goes badly wrong, Verity is forced to redeem herself by participating in a dangerous mission, for which her expertise in invaluable. Using a backdoor into an unstable alien transit system, Auger's faction has discovered something astonishing at the far end of a wormhole: mid twentieth-century Earth, preserved like a fly in amber. Is it a window into the past, a simulation, or something else entirely? _Century Rain_ is not just a time-travel story, nor a tale of alternate history. Part hard SF thriller, part interstellar adventure, part noir romance, _Century Rain_ is something altogether stranger.
Stephen Baxter - Ultima
Fresh from his latest collaboration with Terry Pratchett on the Long Earth sequence Stephen Baxter now returns to the mysteries and challanges first hinted at in his acclaimed novel PROXIMA. In PROXIMA we discovered ancient alien artifacts on the planet of Per Ardua - hatches that allowed us to step across light years of space as if we were stepping into another room. The universe opened up to us. Now in ULTIMA the consequences of this new freedom make themselves felt. And we discover that there are minds in the universe that are billions of years old and they have a plan for us. For some of us. But as we learn the true nature of the universe we also discover that we have countless pasts all meeting in this present and that our future is terrifyingly finite. It's time for us to fight to take back control. This is grand scale, big idea SF of the best possible sort. It is set to build on the massive success of PROXIMA and define Stephen Baxter's work going forward.
Stephen Baxter - Proxima
“Stephen Baxter has been heralded, with some merit, as Arthur C. Clarke’s literary heir, and Proxima certainly reinforces this accolade in spades.”—Concatenation Mankind’s future in this galaxy could be all but infinite. There are hundreds of billions of red dwarf stars, lasting trillions of years—and their planets can be habitable for humans. Such is the world of Proxima Centauri. And its promise could mean the never-ending existence of humanity. But first it must be colonized, and no one wants to be a settler. There is no glamor that accompanies it, nor is there the ease of becoming a citizen of an already-tamed world. There is only hardship...loneliness...emptiness, even as war brews in the solar system. But that’s where Yuri comes in. Because sometimes exploration isn’t voluntary. It must be coerced.
Ken MacLeod - Newton's Wake
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE In the aftermath of the Hard Rapture-a cataclysmic war sparked by the explosive evolution of Earth's artificial intelligences into godlike beings-a few remnants of humanity managed to survive. Some even prospered. Lucinda Carlyle, head of an ambitious clan of galactic entrepreneurs, had carved out a profitable niche for herself and her kin by taking control of the Skein, a chain of interstellar gates left behind by the posthumans. But on a world called Eurydice, a remote planet at the farthest rim of the galaxy, Lucinda stumbled upon a forgotten relic of the past that could threaten the Carlyles' way of life. For, in the last instants before the war, a desperate band of scientists had scanned billions of human personalities into digital storage, and sent them into space in the hope of one day resurrecting them to the flesh. Now, armed, dangerous, and very much alive, these revenants have triggered a fateful confrontation that could shatter the balance of power, and even change the nature of reality itself.
Peter Watts - Blindsight
Two months since the stars fell... Two months since sixty-five thousand alien objects clenched around the Earth like a luminous fist, screaming to the heavens as the atmosphere burned them to ash. Two months since that moment of brief, bright surveillance by agents unknown. Two months of silence, while a world holds its breath. Now some half-derelict space probe, sparking fitfully past Neptune's orbit, hears a whisper from the edge of the solar system: a faint signal sweeping the cosmos like a lighthouse beam. Whatever's out there isn't talking to us. It's talking to some distant star, perhaps. Or perhaps to something closer, something en route. So who do you send to force introductions on an intelligence with motives unknown, maybe unknowable? Who do you send to meet the alien when the alien doesn't want to meet? You send a linguist with multiple personalities, her brain surgically partitioned into separate, sentient processing cores. You send a biologist so radically interfaced with machinery that he sees x-rays and tastes ultrasound, so compromised by grafts and splices he no longer feels his own flesh. You send a pacifist warrior in the faint hope she won't be needed, and the fainter one she'll do any good if she is. You send a monster to command them all, an extinct hominid predator once called vampire, recalled from the grave with the voodoo of recombinant genetics and the blood of sociopaths. And you send a synthesistan informational topologist with half his mind gone - as an interface between here and there, a conduit through which the Dead Center might hope to understand the Bleeding Edge. You send them all to the edge of interstellar space, praying you can trust such freaks and retrofits with the fate of a world. You fear they may be more alien than the thing they've been sent to find. But you'd give anything for that to be true, if you only knew what was waiting for them...
Greg Egan - The Arrows of Time
In an alien universe where space and time play by different rules, interstellar voyages last longer for the travellers than for those they left behind. After six generations in flight, the inhabitants of the mountain-sized spacecraft the Peerless have used their borrowed time to develop advanced technology that could save their home world from annihilation. But not every traveller feels allegiance to a world they have never seen, and as tensions mount over the risks of turning the ship around and starting the long voyage home, a new complication arises: the prospect of constructing a messaging system that will give the Peerless news of its own future. While some of the crew welcome the opportunity to be warned of impending dangers - and perhaps even hear reports of the ship's triumphant return - others are convinced that knowing what lies ahead will be oppressive, and that the system will be abused. Agata longs for a chance to hear a message from the ancestors back on the home world, proving that the sacrifices of the travellers have not been in vain, but her most outspoken rival, Ramiro, fears that the system will undermine every decision the travellers make. When a vote fails to settle the matter and dissent erupts into violence, Ramiro, Agata and their allies must seek a new way to bring peace to the Peerless - by traveling to a world where time runs in reverse. THE ARROWS OF TIME is the final volume of the Orthogonal trilogy, bringing a powerful and surprising conclusion to the epic story of the Peerless that began with THE CLOCKWORK ROCKET and THE ETERNAL FLAME.
Greg Egan - The Eternal Flame
The generation ship Peerless is suffering from a population explosion, and the only way to reduce the number of children is by drastically limiting the females' food intake. So population control consists of two barbaric choices: starvation, or suicide. Trying to find a better way, a biologist starts experimenting with animals, and stumbles on a technique that radically alters the reproductive cycle. But while the advantages are obvious, there's a major drawback: while it spares women from their old role - reproduction without hope of survival - it will essentially wipe out an entire sex. Amid the turmoil created by this new possibility, physicists on the ship are working to develop the technology they will need to complete the mission of the Peerless. One of the expedition's founders dreamed of discovering the Eternal Flame: a way to generate thrust without consuming any fuel at all. The inhabitants on board the Peerless have some hard choices to make - and the wrong one could spell extinction for their entire race.
Greg Egan - Oceanic
Collected together here for the first time are twelve stories by the incomparable Greg Egan, one of the most exciting writers of science fiction working today. In these dozen glimpses into the future Egan continues to explore the essence of what it is to be human, and the nature of what - and who - we are, in stories that range from parables of contemporary human conflict and ambition to far-future tales of our immortal descendants. Return to the universe of the meta-civilisation known as the Amalgam, which Egan explored in his critically acclaimed novel Incandescence: 'Riding the Crocodile', which recounts an epic endeavour a million years from now to bridge the divide between the Amalgam and the reclusive Aloof; 'Glory', set in the same future, in which two archaeologists strive to decipher the artefacts of an ancient civilisation, and 'Hot Rock', where an obscure, sunless world conceals mind-spinning technological marvels, bitter factional struggles, and a many-layered secret history. This superb collection also includes the title story, the Hugo Award-winning 'Oceanic': a boy is inducted into a religion that becomes the centre of his life, but as an adult he must face evidence that casts a new light on his faith.
Greg Egan - Quarantine
It's late in the 21st century and bioengineering has become such a commonplace that people are able to modify their minds in any way they wish. It is an era which has been shaped by information systems so vast that security, in any form, is easily breached. You can be just exactly what you want to be, but the world outside and your life in it aren't going to run any more smoothly... Because one night, thirty three years ago, the stars went out and everything disappeared from the sky. 'The Bubble' - a perfect sphere centred on the sun - made its appearance and isolated the earth from the solar system. Humanity has been cut off ... Quarantined.
Stephen Baxter - Moonseed
In the 1970s astronauts brought rock samples back from the Moon. Many remained locked away for decades … including one unique piece of bedrock, the Moonseed. At last exposed to daylight, it proves to be deadly, though not to people. It kills the Earth. In his new novel, Stephen Baxter, ‘the best SF author in Britain’ (SFX), contemplates rock – living rock. Transported to Earth by Apollo astronaut Jays Malone in 1972, a single shard of bedrock from the Moon contains within its innocuous-looking shell the power to destroy worlds. Geologist Henry Meacher – his career at JPL in ruins, his marriage over – is given a sample of the Moon bedrock to analyse. He goes with it to Edinburgh University, the only place that will have him. There the deadly Moon rock accidentally comes into contact with the Earth’s core in the form of lava from Edinburgh’s famous extinct volcanoes. It turns solid rock to seething Moonseed dust. Soon perhaps the whole world will be infected. Inspired, terrified, Henry Meacher is a changed man. If the worst happens, his plan is to take Earth’s displaced peoples from the Earth to the Moon. Baxter’s stunning story is one of disaster, desperate measures and damage limitation, forcing humanity to an excess of ingenuity and courage. Ironically, it is a newly terraformed Moon that holds the key to our survival…
Kim Stanley Robinson - Aurora (angol)
A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system. Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers. Our voyage from Earth began generations ago. Now, we approach our destination. A new home. AURORA.
Neal Stephenson - Seveneves
What would happen if the world were ending? A catastrophic event renders the Earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . . Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth. A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.
James L. Cambias - A Darkling Sea
On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace. But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war. Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain, in A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.