Pierson’s puppeteers, strange, three-legged, two-headed aliens, have discovered an immense structure in a hitherto unexplored part of the universe. Frightened of meeting the builders of such a structure, the puppeteers set about assembling a team consisting of two humans, a puppeteer and a kzin, an alien not unlike an eight-foot-tall, red-furred cat, to explore it. The artefact is a vast circular ribbon of matter, some 180 million miles across, with a sun at its centre – the Ringworld. But the expedition goes disastrously wrong when the ship crashlands and its motley crew faces a trek across thousands of miles of the Ringworld’s surface.
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.
Isaac Asimov - I, Robot
The Three Laws of Robotics 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the classic laws governing their behavior. In _I, Robot_ Asimov chronicles the development of the robot from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future - a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete. Here are stories of robots gone mad, mind-reading robots, robots with a sense of humor, robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world, all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asimov's trademark.
Isaac Asimov - Foundation
One of the great masterworks of science fiction, the Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive worldbuilding. The story of our future begins with the history of Foundation and its greatest psychohistorian: Hari Seldon.
Orson Scott Card - Ender in Exile
After twenty-three years, Orson Scott Card returns to his acclaimed best-selling series with the first true, direct sequel to the classic Ender's Game. In Ender’s Game, the world’s most gifted children were taken from their families and sent to an elite training school. At Battle School, they learned combat, strategy, and secret intelligence to fight a dangerous war on behalf of those left on Earth. But they also learned some important and less definable lessons about life. After the life-changing events of those years, these children—now teenagers—must leave the school and readapt to life in the outside world. Having not seen their families or interacted with other people for years—where do they go now? What can they do? Ender fought for humanity, but he is now reviled as a ruthless assassin. No longer allowed to live on Earth, he enters into exile. With his sister Valentine, he chooses to leave the only home he’s ever known to begin a relativistic—and revelatory—journey beyond the stars. What happened during the years between Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead? What did Ender go through from the ages of 12 through 35? The story of those years has never been told. Taking place 3000 years before Ender finally receives his chance at redemption in Speaker for the Dead, this is the long-lost story of Ender. For twenty-three years, millions of readers have wondered and now they will receive the answers. Ender in Exile is Orson Scott Card’s moving return to all the action and the adventure, the profound exploration of war and society, and the characters one never forgot. On one of these ships, there is a baby that just may share the same special gifts as Ender’s old friend Bean…
Frank Herbert - Children of Dune
Book Three in the original Dune series relies heavily upon the events and the background of the first two books. Leto and Ghanima, twin children of Paul Atreides, are old beyond their years, as they hold the genetic memories of their ancestors. Climate change on the planet Arrakis threatens the desert life of the Fremen, the sandworms, and the production of spice. Simon Vance anchors this full-cast production. He is engaged with the characters and the complex plot. His presentation of the many characters is skillful, and the narrative passages never lag. Vance has a serious but light touch and deals adeptly with suspense, dissension, philosophical musings, and fanatical ravings.
Orson Scott Card - Ender's Shadow
Orson Scott Card brings us back to the very beginning of his brilliant Ender Quartet, with a novel that allows us to reenter that world anew. With all the power of his original creation, Card has created a parallel volume to Ender's Game, a book that expands and compliments the first, enhancing its power, illuminating its events and its powerful conclusion. The human race is at War with the "Buggers", an insect-like alien race. The first battles went badly, and now as Earth prepares to defend itself against the imminent threat of total destruction at the hands of an inscrutable alien enemy, all focus is on the development and training of military geniuses who can fight such a war, and win. The long distances of interstellar space have given hope to the defenders of Earth--they have time to train these future commanders up from childhood, forging then into an irresisible force in the high orbital facility called the Battle School. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In this new book, card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean--the one who became Ender's right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers. Bean's past was a battle just to survive. He first appeared on the streets of Rotterdam, a tiny child with a mind leagues beyond anyone else's. He knew he could not survive through strength; he used his tactical genius to gain acceptance into a children's gang, and then to help make that gang a template for success for all the others. He civilized them, and lived to grow older. Bean's desperate struggle to live, and his success, brought him to the attention of the Battle School's recruiters, those people scouring the planet for leaders, tacticians, and generals to save Earth from the threat of alien invasion. Bean was sent into orbit, to the Battle School. And there he met Ender....
Orson Scott Card - Speaker for the Dead
The thrilling sequel to Ender’s Game and winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards—this full cast unabridged recording includes an original postscript written and recorded by the author. Three thousand years have passed since Ender Wiggin won humanity’s war with the Buggers by totally destroying them. Ender remains young, traveling the stars at the speed of relativity, but a hundred years or more might pass on Earth while he experiences a month-long voyage. In three thousand years, Ender’s books The Hive Queen and The Hegemon, written under a pseudonym, have become holy writ, while the name of Ender itself has become anathema: he is the Xenocide, the one who killed an entire race of thinking, feeling beings, killed the only other sapient race humankind had found in all the galaxy. The only ones, that is, until the planet called Lusitania was discovered and colonized. The discovery was seen as a gift to humanity, a chance to redeem the destruction of the Buggers. This time, the Starways Congress vowed, there would be no tragic misunderstanding leading to war. But once again men die, killed by the aliens in a rite no one understands. Ender, now known only as the Speaker for the Dead, comes to Lusitania to speak for those who have died and discovers that in order to tell the truth about them, he must unravel the secrets of Lusitania.
Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451 (angol)
The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen. Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books. The classic novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwells 1984 and Huxleys Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilizations enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity. Bradburys powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which over fifty years from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.
Hannu Rajaniemi - The Quantum Thief
Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself. Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed . . . The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future - a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.
John Scalzi - Old Man's War
With his wife dead and buried, and life nearly over at 75, John Perry takes the only logical course of action left: he joins the army. Now better known as the Colonial Defense Force (CDF), Perry's service-of-choice has extended its reach into interstellar space to pave the way for human colonization of other planets while fending off marauding aliens. The CDF has a trick up its sleeve that makes enlistment especially enticing for seniors: the promise of restoring their youth. After bonding with a group of fellow recruits who dub their clique the Old Farts, Perry finds himself in a new body crafted from his original DNA and upgraded for battle, including a brain-implanted computer. But all too quickly the Old Farts are separated, and Perry must fight for his life on various alien-infested battlegrounds.
Frank Herbert - Dune (angol)
This Hugo and Nebula Award winner is widely to be considered the most prescient SF novel ever. It tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence. The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privileges, however, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium.
Ernest Cline - Ready Player One (angol)
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut - part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed. It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune - and remarkable power - to whoever can unlock them. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved - that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt - among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life - and love - in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
First in the ground-breaking HUNGER GAMES trilogy. Set in a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a lve event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forwar to take her younger sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. Fo her, survival is second nature.
Suzanne Collins - Catching Fire
This is the second book in the ground-breaking "Hunger Games" trilogy. After winning the brutal Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta return to their district, hoping for a peaceful future. But their victory has caused rebellion to break out ...and the Capitol has decided that someone must pay. As Katniss and Peeta are forced to visit the districts on the Capitol's Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. Unless they can convince the world that they are still lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. Then comes the cruelest twist: the contestants for the next Hunger Games are announced, and Katniss and Peeta are forced into the arena once more.
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.
Alastair Reynolds - Redemption Ark
Time: the early twenty-seventh century. Fifty years ago, human intervention triggered an ancient system designed to warn of the emergence of intelligence. For aeons the Inhibitors have waited. Now the response is on its way... Clavain defected to fight on the side of the Conjoiners, a feared and persecuted human faction dedicated to hive-mind consciousness. Four hundred years later, in the terminal stages of a brutal interplanetary war, something has struck terror into the Conjoiner Inner Sanctum. As the nature of the new threat becomes clear, Clavain begins to wonder if it isn't time to defect again. Clavain and a misfit band of allies race towards Resurgam, where a long-lost cache of Doomsday weapons has been discovered; he wants the weapons for the good of humanity. But someone else already controls the lost weapons; and Triumvir Volyova has very definite plans of her own. And the weapons themselves are not exactly lacking in free will...
Alastair Reynolds - Chasm City
The once-utopian Chasm City - a domed human settlement on an otherwise inhospitable planet - has been overrun by a virus known as the Melding Plague, capable of infecting any body, organic or computerized. Now, with the entire city corrupted - from the people to the very buildings they inhabit - only the most wretched sort of existence remains. For security operative Tanner Mirabel, it is the landscape of nightmares through which he searches for a low-life postmortal killer. But the stakes are raised when his search brings him face to face with a centuries-old atrocity that history would rather forget.
Alastair Reynolds - Absolution Gap
Humanity has endured centuries of horrific plague and a particularly brutal interstellar war: it's time for a few decades of peace and quiet. No such luck: for now there is a new threat. Stirred from aeons of sleep, the Inhibitors - ancient alien killing machines - have begun the process of ridding the galaxy of its latest emergent intelligence. Fleeing the first wave of machines, a ragtag group of refugees headed by the war veteran Clavain waits anxiously for the next phase of the cull. But with Clavain sunk deep in despondency, the actual leadership falls to Scorpio, the product of a flawed experiment in genetic engineering. Though Scorpio has every reason to hate humanity, he believes he has put his grudges - along with his criminal past - behind him. Then an unexpected new element enters the colony: an avenging angel, a girl born in ice, gifted with both the power to lead humanity to safety and the ability to draw down mankind’s darkest enemy. Unwilling to resist her charismatic leadership - for now - Scorpio watches as his people are led towards Hela, an apparently insignificant moon light-years away. On Hela, where vast travelling cathedrals circle the world in endless procession, the witnessing of a miraculous event has given birth to an apocalyptic new religion. And as the cathedrals crawl towards the treacherous fissure known as Absolution Gap, a dark and unsettling truth becomes apparent: to beat one enemy, it may be necessary to forge an alliance with something much, much worse... Absolution Gap concludes the story of the Inhibitors told in Revelation Space and Redemption Ark.
Orson Scott Card - Shadow Puppets
Earth and its society has been changed irrevocably in the aftermath of Ender Wiggin's victory over the Formics - the unity enforced upon warring nations by an alien enemy has been shattered. Nations are rising again, seeking territory and influence, and most of all, seeking t control the skills and loyalty of the children from the Battle School. But one person has a better idea. Peter Wiggin, Elder's older, more ruthless brother, sees that any hope for the future of Earth lies in restoring a sense of unity and purpose. And he has an irresistable call on the loyalty of Earth's young warriors. With Bean at his side, the two will reshape our future. Here is the continuing story of Bean and Petra, and the rest of Ender's Dragon Army as they take their places in the new government of Earth