From backyard miracles to cosmic conundrums, enter the incredible world of Isaac Asimov. Spanning twenty-three years of Asimov’s amazing career, these stories display to the full the exhilarating power of one of science fiction’s most astonishing writers. Each tale is accompanied by Asimov’s own intriguing account of how and why it came to be written.
Pittacus Lore - The Power of Six
I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me . . . he's one of us. Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together? They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed. I am Number Seven. One of six still alive. And I'm ready to fight.
Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game
The human race faces annihilation. An alien threat is on the horizon, ready to strike. And if humanity is to be defended, the government must create the greatest military commander in history. The brilliant young Ender Wiggin is their last hope. But first he must survive the rigours of a brutal military training program - to prove that he can be the leader of all leaders. A saviour for mankind must be produced, through whatever means possible. But are they creating a hero or a monster? This is the multiple award-winning classic ENDER'S GAME - a groundbreaking tale of war, strategy and survival.
Larry Niven - Jerry Pournelle - Lucifer's Hammer
The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival--a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....
Arthur C. Clarke - The Songs of Distant Earth
Just a few islands in a planetwide ocean, Thalassa was a veritable paradise-home to one of the small colonies founded centuries before by robot Mother Ships when the Sun had gone nova and mankind had fled Earth. Mesmerized by the beauty of Thalassa and overwhelmed by its vast resources, the colonists lived an idyllic existence, unaware of the monumental evolutionary event slowly taking place beneath their seas... Then the Magellan arrived in orbit carrying one million refugees from the last, mad days on Earth. And suddenly uncertainty and change had come to the placid paradise that was Thalassa.
Larry Niven - Edward M. Lerner - Fate of Worlds
This is the fifth and last novel in Larry Niven's "Ringworld" series. This series began in 1970, with the publication of Ringworld, now, in conjunction with Edward M. Lerner, Niven brings the series to its conclusion. For decades, the spacefaring species of Known Space have battled over the largest artifact—and grandest prize—in the galaxy: the all-but-limitless resources and technology of the Ringworld, but without warning the Ringworld has vanished, leaving behind three rival war fleets. Something must justify the blood and treasure that have been spent. If the fallen civilization of the Ringworld can no longer be despoiled of its secrets, the nearby advanced, but pacifistic species known as "Puppeteers" will be forced to surrender theirs. Yet, the danger to the Puppeteers goes far beyond mere invasion fleets, the survival of their planet is at stake, plus political intrigue, deadly rivalries, risk and danger at every turn.
Larry Niven - Three Books of Known Space
Let three complete books in one take you on a dazzling journey into science fiction's most famous future history: Known Space! WORLD OF PTAVVS Kzanol was a thrint from a distant galaxy. He had been trapped on Earth in a time-stasis field for two billion years. Now he was on the loose, and telepath Larry Greenberg knew everything he was thinking. Thrints lived to plunder and enslave lesser planets . . . and the planet Kzanol had in mind was Earth! A GIFT FROM EARTH Shrouded in lethal mists, the world named Mount Lookitthat was never meant for humans. Life existed only on one plateau, unreachable except from space. But still the planet had been colonized, and the settlers struggled to survive under a ruthless dictatorship on a rebellion-proof world . . . until fate dealt them a wild card named Matthew Keller, whose secret talent might just be their only hope! TALES OF KNOWN SPACE A classic collection of stories that traces humankind's expansion and colonization throughout the galaxy from the twentieth century to the thirty-first . . . AND MORE: Larry Niven's latest thoughts on the evolution--both creative and "historical"--of known space, as well as an updated Timeline of Known Space and a complete Niven bibliography!
Robert Charles Wilson - Mysterium
In a top-secret government installation near the small town of Two Rivers, Michigan, scientists are investigating a mysterious object discovered several years earlier. Late one evening, the local residents observe strange lights coming from the laboratory. The next morning, they awake to find that their town was literally cut off from the rest of the world...and thrust into a new one! Soon the town is discovered by the bewildered leaders of this new world--at which point, the people of Two Rivers realize that they’ve arrived in a rigid theocracy. The authorities, known as the Bureau de la Covenance Religieuse, have ordered Linneth Stone, a young ethnologist, to analyze the arrivals and report her findings to the Lieutenant in charge. What Linneth finds will challenge the philosophical basis of her society and lead inexorably to a struggle for power centering on the mysterious object that Two Rivers’s government scientists were studying when the town slipped between worlds.
John Scalzi - The Ghost Brigades
A traitor to humanity is helping a trio of alien races destroy humanity -- all of it. His motivations are unclear, his whereabouts unknown. But the traitor left something behind: a recording of his consciousness. That consciousness is poured into Jared Dirac, a warrior born as an adult to fight the battles no one else will take. As Jared fights, he learns more about the man whose personality has been placed in his head -- and learns why he turned traitor. But can Jared, bred to save humanity, be trusted not betray it instead?
Michael Crichton - The Andromeda Strain
The United States government is given a warning by the pre-eminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. Two years later, seventeen satellites are sent into the outer fringes of space to "collect organisms and dust for study." One of them falls to earth, landing in a desolate area of Arizona. Twelve miles from the landing site, in the town of Piedmont, a shocking discovery is made: the streets are littered with the dead bodies of the town's inhabitants, as if they dropped dead in their tracks. The terror has begun . . .
H. G. Wells - The Invisible Man
H.G. Wells' great novel of the dangers of science describes a man cast out from society by his own terrifying discovery. THE INVISIBLE MAN tells the story of Griffin, a brilliant and obsessed scientist dedicated to achieving invisibility. Taking whatever action is necessary to keep his incredible discovery safe, he terrorises the local village where he has sought refuge. Wells skilfully weaves the themes of science, terror and pride as the invisible Griffin gradually loses his sanity and, ultimately, his humanity.
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 . . .
Andy Weir - The Martian
_Apollo 13 meets Castaway in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller-set on the surface of Mars._ Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there. It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him-and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive-and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills-and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit-he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
Olaf Stapledon - Odd John
John Wainwright is a freak, a human mutation with an extraordinary intelligence which is both awesome and frightening to behold. Ordinary humans are mere playthings to him. And Odd John has a plan - to create a new order on Earth, a new supernormal species. But the world is not ready for such a change ...
Alfred Bester - The Computer Connection
Alfred Bester's first science fiction novel since The Stars My Destination was a major event. A fast-moving adventure story set in Earth's future. A band of immortals - as charming a bunch of eccentrics as you'll ever come across - recruit a new member, the brilliant Cherokee physicist Sequoya Guess. Dr. Guess, with group's help, gain control of Extro, the supercomputer that controls all mechanical activity on Earth. They plan to rid Earth of political repression and to further Guess's researches - which may lead to a great leap in human evolution to produce a race of supermen. But Extro takes over Guess instead and turns malevolent. The task of the merry band suddenly becomes a fight in deadly earnest for the future of Earth. Sequoya Guess, whom they love, must be killed. And how do you kill an immortal? Also published as Extro.
Walter Jon Williams - Aristoi
Williams evokes a future reminiscent of Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light, in which the promises of science and technology are fulfilled. In the far-distant future, only a specially adapted group of people--the Aristoi--can operate the ultra-advanced computer system that controls their vast interstellar empire.
Ken MacLeod - Fractions
In a balkanized future of dizzying possibilities, mercenaries contend with guns as smart as they are, nuclear deterrence is a commodity traded on the open market, teenagers deal in "theologically correct" software for fundamentalists, and anarchists have colonized a planet circling another star. Against this background, men and women struggle for a better future against the betrayals that went before. Death is sometimes the end, and sometimes something altogether different… This volume comprises _The Star Fraction_ and _The Stone Canal_.
Ken MacLeod - The Cassini Division
Ellen May Ngewthu is a soldier and leader of the Cassini Division, the elite defense force of the utopian Solar Union. Here in the twenty-fourth century, the forts of the Division, in orbit around Jupiter, are the front line in humanity's long standoff with the unknowable post-humans godlike beings descended from the men and women who transformed themselves with high technology centuries ago. The post-humans' capacities are unknown... but we know they disintegrated Ganymede, we know they punched a wormhole into Jovian space, and we know that the very surface of the solar system's largest planet has been altered by them. Worse, we know that they have been bombarding the inner solar system with powerful data viruses for generations. Now Ellen has a plan to rid humanity of this threat once and for all. But she needs to convince others to mistrust the post-humans as much as she does. In the process, much will be revealed - about history, about power, and about what it is to be human.
Greg Bear - Rogue Planet
The Force is strong in twelve-year-old Anakin Skywalker…so strong that the Jedi Council, despite misgivings, entrusted young Obi-Wan Kenobi with the mission of training him to become a Jedi Knight. Obi-Wan—like his slain Master Qui-Gon—believes Anakin may be the chosen one, the Jedi destined to bring balance to the Force. But first Obi-Wan must help his undisciplined apprentice, who still bears the scars of slavery, find his own balance. Dispatched to the mysterious planet of Zonama Sekot, source of the fastest ships in the galaxy, Obi-Wan and Anakin are swept up in a swirl of deadly intrigue unlike any they have encountered before. It seems there are more secrets on Zonama Sekot than meet the eye. But the search for those secrets will threaten the bond between Obi-Wan and Anakin… and bring the troubled young apprentice face-to-face with his deepest fears—and his darkest destiny.
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Telling
Sutty, an Observer from Earth for the interstellar Ekumen, has been assigned to a new world-a world in the grips of a stern monolithic state, the Corporation. Embracing the sophisticated technology brought by other worlds and desiring to advance even faster into the future, the Akans recently outlawed the past, the old calligraphy, certain words, all ancient beliefs and ways; every citizen must now be a producer-consumer. Their state, not unlike the China of the Cultural Revolution, is one of secular terrorism. Traveling from city to small town, from loudspeakers to bleating cattle, Sutty discovers the remnants of a banned religion, a hidden culture. As she moves deeper into the countryside and the desolate mountains, she learns more about the Telling - the old faith of the Akans - and more about herself. With her intricate creation of an alien world, Ursula K. Le Guin compels us to reflect on our own recent history.