Embassytown: a city of contradictions on the outskirts of the universe. Avice is an immerser, a traveller on the immer, the sea of space and time below the everyday, now returned to her birth planet. Here on Arieka, humans are not the only intelligent life, and Avice has a rare bond with the natives, the enigmatic Hosts – who cannot lie. Only a tiny cadre of unique human Ambassadors can speak Language, and connect the two communities. But an unimaginable new arrival has come to Embassytown. And when this Ambassador speaks, everything changes. Catastrophe looms. Avice knows the only hope is for her to speak directly to the alien Hosts. And that is impossible.
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.
China Miéville - Kraken (angol)
British fantasist Miéville mashes up cop drama, cults, popular culture, magic, and gods in a Lovecraftian New Weird caper sure to delight fans of Perdido Street Station and The City & the City. When a nine-meter-long dead squid is stolen, tank and all, from a London museum, curator Billy Harrow finds himself swept up in a world he didn't know existed: one of worshippers of the giant squid, animated golems, talking tattoos, and animal familiars on strike. Forced on the lam with a renegade kraken cultist and stalked by cops and crazies, Billy finds his quest to recover the squid sidelined by questions as to what force may now be unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Even Miéville's eloquent prose can't conceal the meandering, bewildering plot, but his fans will happily swap linearity for this dizzying whirl of outrageous details and fantastic characters.
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.
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...
China Miéville - Un Lun Dun
In present-day London, strange things start happening around Zanna: dogs stop to stare at her, birds circle her head. Then, she and her friend Deeba find themselves in an alternate reality where obsolete objects such as old typewriters eventually "seep" and strange people and creatures dwell, including sentient "unbrellas." The girls learn that Zanna is the chosen one, the "shwazzy," of UnLondon. However, her first fight with the nefarious Smog isn't what was predicted in the book of prophecies. The girls soon end up back in London with Zanna unable to recall their time away. Alone in the memory, Deeba pieces together the Smog's plot and finds a way back to UnLondon via library stacks.
Ray Bradbury - The Martian Chronicles
Written in the age of the atom, when America and Europe optimistically viewed the discovery of life on Mars as inevitable, Bradbury's closely interwoven tales of a brutal, stark and unforgiving Martian landscape are both astonishing and insightful. The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity's repeated attempts to colonize the red planet. Thefirst men were few. Most succumbed to a disease called the Great Loneliness when they saw their home planet dwindle to the size of a fist. Those few who survived found no welcome on Mars. But more rockets arrived from Earth, and more. People brought their old prejudoces with them – and their desires and fantasies and tainted dreams.
Roger Zelazny - Lord of Light
Imagine a distant world where gods walk as men, but wield vast and hidden powers. Here they have made the stage on which they build a subtle pattern of alliance, love, and deadly enmity. Are they truly immortal? Who are these gods who rule the destiny of a teeming world? Their names include Brahma, Kali, Krishna and also he who was called Buddha, the Lord of Light, but who now prefers to be known simply as Sam. The gradual unfolding of the story - how the colonization of another planet became a re-enactment of Eastern mythology - is one of the great imaginative feats of modern science fiction.
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Lathe of Heaven
George Orr is a mild and unremarkable man who finds the world a less than pleasant place to live: seven billion people jostle for living space and food. But George dreams dreams which do in fact change reality - and he has no means of controlling this extraordinary power. Psychiatrist Dr William Haber offers to help. At first sceptical of George's powers, he comes to astonished belief. When he allows ambition to get the better of ethics, George finds himself caught up in a situation of alarming peril.
Brian Herbert - Kevin J. Anderson - The Winds of Dune
With their usual skill, Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson have taken ideas left behind by Frank Herbert and filled them with living characters and a true sense of wonder. Where Paul of Dune picked up the saga directly after the events of Dune, The Winds of Dune begins after the events of Dune Messiah. Paul has walked off into the sand, blind, and is presumed dead. Jessica and Gurney are on Caladan; Alia is trying to hold the Imperial government together with Duncan; Mohiam dead at the hands of Stilgar; Irulan imprisoned. Paul’s former friend, Bronso of Ix, now seems to be leading opposition to the House of Atreides. Herbert and Anderson’s newest book in this landmark series will concentrate on these characters as well the growing battle between Jessica, and her daughter, Alia.
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.
Brian Herbert - Kevin J. Anderson - Hunters of Dune
Hunters of Dune and the concluding volume, Sandworms of Dune, bring together the great story lines and beloved characters in Frank Herbert's classic Dune universe, ranging from the time of the Butlerian Jihad to the original Dune series and beyond. Based directly on Frank Herbert's final outline, which lay hidden in a safe-deposit box for a decade, these two volumes will finally answer the urgent questions Dune fans have been debating for two decades. At the end of Chapterhouse: Dune--Frank Herbert's final novel--a ship carrying the ghola of Duncan Idaho, Sheeana (a young woman who can control sandworms), and a crew of various refugees escapes into the uncharted galaxy, fleeing from the monstrous Honored Matres, dark counterparts to the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood. The nearly invincible Honored Matres have swarmed into the known universe, driven from their home by a terrifying, mysterious Enemy. As designed by the creative genius of Frank Herbert, the primary story of Hunters and Sandworms is the exotic odyssey of Duncan's no-ship as it is forced to elude the diabolical traps set by the ferocious, unknown Enemy. To strengthen their forces, the fugitives have used genetic technology from Scytale, the last Tleilaxu Master, to revive key figures from Dune's past—including Paul Muad'Dib and his beloved Chani, Lady Jessica, Stilgar, Thufir Hawat, and even Dr. Wellington Yueh. Each of these characters will use their special talents to meet the challenges thrown at them. Failure is unthinkable--not only is their survival at stake, but they hold the fate of the entire human race in their hands.
Vernor Vinge - A Deepness in the Sky
After thousands of years of searching, humans stand on the verge of first contact with an alien race. Two human groups: The Qeng Ho, a culture of free, innovative traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds. The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens' very doorstep for their strange star to relight and for the alien planet to reawaken, as it does every two hundred and fifty years... Amidst terrible treachery, the Qeng Ho must fight for their freedom and for the lives of the unsuspecting innocents on the planet below, while the aliens themselves play a role unsuspected by the Qeng Ho and Emergents alike.
Paolo Bacigalupi - The Windup Girl
Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's calorie representative in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, he combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs long thought to be extinct. There he meets the windup girl - the beautiful and enigmatic Emiko - now abandoned to the slums. She is one of the New People, bred to suit the whims of the rich. Engineered as slaves, soldiers and toys, they are the new underclass in a chilling near future where oil has run out, calorie companies dominate nations and bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe. And as Lake becomes increasingly obsessed with Emiko, conspiracies breed in the heat and political tensions threaten to spiral out of control. Businessmen and ministry officials, wealthy foreigners and landless refugees all have their own agendas. But no one anticipates the devastating influence of the Windup Girl.
Arthur C. Clarke - Childhood's End
The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city--intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began. But at what cost? With the advent of peace, man ceases to strive for creative greatness, and a malaise settles over the human race. To those who resist, it becomes evident that the Overlords have an agenda of their own. As civilization approaches the crossroads, will the Overlords spell the end for humankind . . . or the beginning?
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?
Robert Holdstock - Mythago Wood
The mystery of Ryhope Wood had obsessed George Huxley to the point of madness. The strange manifestations which haunted him suggested that this last fragment of primeval forest was inhabited by animals long believed to be extinct, and figures of ancient myths. Now Huxley is dead, and his sons take up his life's work. What they find inside Mythago Wood is a perilous world far more strange than anything they could have imagined...
Isaac Asimov - The Robots of Dawn
A puzzling case of roboticide sends New York Detective Elijah Baley on an intense search for a murderer. Armed with his own instincts, his quirky logic, and the immutable Three Laws of Robotics, Baley is determined to solve the case. But can anything prepare a simple Earthman for the psychological complexities of a world where a beautiful woman can easily have fallen in love with an all-too-human robot...?
Isaac Asimov - Prelude to Foundation
It is the year 12,020 g.e. and the last Galactic Emperor of the Autun dynasty, Cleon I, sits uneasily on the throne. These are troubled times and Oeon is desperate to flnd a way to calm them. When young Outworld mathematician Hari Seldon arrives on Trantor to present a paper on psychohistory, his astounding theory of prediction, the Emperor believes that his future security may rest on Seldon's prophetic powers. But Hari Seldon becomes the most wanted man in the Empire as he struggles desperately to keep his remarkable theory from falling into the wrong hands. At the same time he must forge the key to the future - a power to be known as the Foundation!
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.