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.
Arthur C. Clarke - The City and the Stars
Men had built cities before, but never such a city as Diaspar; for millennia its protective dome shutout the creeping decay and danger of the world outside. Once, it held powers that rules the stars. But then, as legend had it, The invaders came, driving humanity into this last refuge. It takes one man, A Unique to break through Diaspar's stifling inertia, to smash the legend and discover the true nature of the Invaders.
Arthur C. Clarke - The Ghost from the Grand Banks
It is 2010. In just two years' time it will be the centennial of an event that has haunted the world: the sinking of the Titanic. The remains of what was once the world's greatest ocean liner lie four kilometres down on the Grand Banks of the Atlantic Ocean, an endless reminder of the frailty of man's technology in the face of natural perils. But, a hundred years on, the urge to raise the wreck is irresistible. From the West comes one solution; from the East another. Both are marvels of technological imagination; both can succeed. But there are other powers at work, and the wreck on the Grand Banks may still hold a surprice or two for those who would return her to the eyes of the world...
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 ...
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.
Philip K. Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal -- the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life. Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were never that simple, and his assignment quickly turned into a nightmare kaleidoscope of subterfuge and deceit -- and the threat of death for the hunter rather than the hunted...
Isaac Asimov - Robert Silverberg - The Positronic Man
In a twenty-first century Earth where the development of the positronic brain has revolutionized the way of life, beloved household robot ""Andrew"" struggles with his unusual capacity for emotion and dreams of becoming human.
Olaf Stapledon - Star Maker
One moment a man sits on a suburban hill, gazing curiously at the stars. The next, he is whirling through the firmament, and perhaps the most remarkable of all science fiction journeys has begun. Even Stapledon's other great work, LAST AND FIRST MEN, pales in ambition next to STAR MAKER, which presents nothing less than an entire imagined history of life in the universe, encompassing billions of years.
Bob Shaw - Orbitsville
Fleeing Elizabeth Lindstrom's anger at the death of her son, Vance Garamond, a flickerwing commander, leaves the solar system far behind. Pursued by Earth's space fleet, Garamond finds a vast, alien-built spherical structure which might just change the destiny of the human race.
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Birthday of the World
The recipient of numerous literary prizes, including the National Book Award, the Kafka Award, five Hugo Awards and five Nebula Awards, the renowned writer Ursula K. Le Guin has, in each story and novel, created a provocative, ever-evolving universe filled with diverse worlds and rich characters reminiscent of our earthly selves. Now, in _The Birthday of the World_, this gifted artist returns to these worlds in eight brilliant short works, including a never-before-published novella, each of which probes the essence of humanity.
Greg Bear - Anvil of Stars
82 young people travel the enormity of space on a quest for war and vengence against The Planet Eaters: aliens who turned the Earth - and all but a fragment of humanity - into a smouldering cinder. But how do you conduct a war against aliens whose psychology is unknowable, whose technological brilliance means they can disguise whole planetary sytstems?
Frank Herbert - Destination: Void
Soon after the start, they went mad, the three powerful, disembodied human brains that should have guided them for the 200-year journey to Tau Ceti. Could they manufacture a replacement before emerging from the Solar System into nothingness? Would the circuits reproduce the characteristics they needed, characteristics like conscience, love and guilt? Or would they end up with a zombie? a monster? a power-crazy fanatic? - or a genius? What they did build was fantastic, unguessable. Yet, looking back, it was always on the cards.
Bruce Sterling - Schismatrix
In the last decade, Sterling has emerged a pioneer of crucial, cutting-edge science fiction. Now Ace Books is proud to offer Sterling's stunning world of the Schismatrix - where Shaper revolutionaries struggle against aristocratic Mechanists for ultimate control of man's destiny.
James Smythe - The Testimony
A global thriller presenting an apocalyptic vision of a world on the brink of despair and destruction. What would you do if the world was brought to a standstill? If you heard deafening static followed by the words, 'My children. Do not be afraid'? Would you turn to God? Subscribe to the conspiracy theories? Or put your faith in science and a rational explanation? The lives of all twenty-six people in this account are affected by the message. Most because they heard it. Some because they didn't. The Testimony - a gripping story of the world brought to its knees and of its people, confused and afraid.
Alastair Reynolds - On the Steel Breeze
We have found a distant planet. It carries sign of an alien civilisation. And on a fleet of holoships, vast asteroids hollowed out and turned into miniature worlds, millions of us are heading there. With engines designed to exploit a physics we barely understand we are on a one way journey, travelling at one sixth the speed of light, to a new home. And an encounter with the unknown. And we take with us hopes and lies, secrets and betrayals. And another, quite alien intelligence. The Akinya family have not finished with space. Their destiny still lies with the stars, however they get there, whichever of them make it. And the Mechanism has not finished with the Akinyas…
Douglas Adams - The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five classic novels from Douglas Adams's beloved Hitchiker series. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Facing annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat. Life, the Universe and Everything The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky- so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals can avert Armageddon: mild-mannered Arthur Dent and his stalwart crew. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish Back on Earth, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription conspires to thrust him back to reality. So to speak. Mostly Harmless Just when Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save the Earth from total obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself?
Brian W. Aldiss - Helliconia Spring
A planet orbiting binary suns, Helliconia has a Great Year spanning three millennia of Earth time: cultures are born in spring, flourish in summer, then die with the onset of the generations-long winter. Helliconia is emerging from its centuries-long winter. The tribes of the equatorial continent emerge from their hiding places and are again able to dispute possession of the planet with the ferocious phagors. In Oldorando, love, trade and coinage are being redisovered, This is the first volume of the Helliconia Trilogy - a monumental saga that goes beyond anything yet created by this master among today's imaginative writers.
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.
Nancy Kress - Steal Across the Sky
Aliens appeared one day, built a base on the moon, and put an ad on the internet. The Atoners claim to have wronged humanity ten thousand years before, and request 21 volunteers to visit seven planets and Witness for us. At first, everyone thought it was a joke. Three of those volunteers tell what they found on Kular A and Kular B.
J. G. Ballard - The Terminal Beach
The Terminal Beach is one of Ballard's most brilliant collections of short stories, ranging from the title story's disturbing picture of an abandoned atomic testing island in the Pacific to the shocking Oedipal fantasy of 'The Gioconda of the Twilight Noon'.At the heart of the stories lies the bitter paradox that the extraordinary creative power of man's imagination is matched only by his reckless instinct for destruction.