In the year 2100, the invention of the Electron Pump – an apparently inexhaustible supply of free energy – has enabled humanity to devote its time and energies to more than the struggle for survival, finally breaking free of the Earth.
But the Electron Pump works by exchanging materials with a parallel universe, and such unbalancing of the cosmos has consequences. Humans and aliens alike must race to prevent a vast nuclear explosion in the heart of the Sun – and the vaporisation of the Earth exactly eight minutes later …
When his ultra-logical computer tells him that to survive he must become the richest man in the universe, Rod McBan the hundred and fifty-first thought he had a good plan. A telepathic cripple, rejected by many of his people, owner of the Station of Doom, the safety of wealth would keep him safe. In one crowded, unbelievable night he achieved the impossible, became the richest boy in the galaxy.
But Rod McBan will soon discover that money brings trouble. A galaxy of people and other beings – out to rob him, use him or kill him!
A popular and enduring time travel tale by one of science fiction’s all-time greats
When Dan Davis is crossed in love and stabbed in the back by his business associates, the immediate future doesn’t look too bright for him and Pete, his independent-minded tomcat. Suddenly, the lure of suspended animation, the Long Sleep, becomes irresistible and Dan wakes up 30 years later in the 21st century, a time very much to his liking.
The discovery that the robot household appliances he invented have been mass produced is no surprise, but the realization that, far from having been stolen from him, they have, mysteriously, been patented in his name is. There’s only one thing for it. Dan somehow has to travel back in time to investigate.
He may even find Pete … and the girl he really loves.
Ian Watson’s brilliant debut novel was one of the most significant publications in British SF in the 1970s. Intellectually bracing and grippingly written, it is the story of three experiments in linguistics, and is driven by a searching analysis of the nature of communication.
Deep in the Brazilian jungle, an isolated tribe face eviction from their ancestral lands – and the psychedelic fungus that makes their religious language possible.
In a British laboratory, a brilliant linguist conducts cutting-edge experiments – but does his search for answers come at too high a cost?
And in the ultimate test of linguistics, First Contact presents a challenge unlike any humanity has faced before . . .
Fiercely intelligent, energetic and challenging, The Embedding immediately established Watson as a writer of rare power and vision, and is now recognized as a modern classic of SF.
One minute, down-and-out actor Lorenzo Smythe was – as usual – in a bar, drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes. Then a space pilot bought him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knew, he was shanghaied to Mars.
Suddenly he found himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who had been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians was at stake – failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. And Smythe’s own life was on the line – for if he wasn’t assassinated, there was always the possibility that he might be trapped in his new role forever!
He was the most dangerous fugitive alive, but he didn’t exist!
Nickie Haflinger had lived a score of lifetimes . . . but technically he didn’t exist. He was a fugitive from Tarnover, the high-powered government think tank that had educated him. First he had broken his identity code – then he escaped.
Now he had to find a way to restore sanity and personal freedom to the computerised masses and to save a world tottering on the brink of disaster.
He didn’t care how he did it . . . but the government did. That’s when his Tarnover teachers got him back in their labs . . . and Nickie Haflinger was set up for a whole new education!
First published in 1975.
‘No city, no town, no community of more than one thousand people or two hundred buildings to the square mile, shall be built or permitted to exist anywhere in the United States of America.’
Thirtieth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
Two generations after the nuclear holocaust, rumors persisted about a secret desert hideaway where scientists worked with dangerous machines and where men plotted to revive the cities.
Almost a continent away, Len Coulter heard whisperings that fired his imagination. Then one day he found a strange wooden box …
Francis Conway is Swill – one of the millions in the year 2041 who must subsist on the inadequate charities of the state. Life, already difficult, is rapidly becoming impossible for Francis and others like him, as government corruption, official blindness and nature have conspired to turn Swill homes into watery tombs. And now the young boy must find a way to escape the approaching tide of disaster.
The Sea and Summer, published in the US as The Drowning Towers is George Turner’s masterful exploration of the effects of climate change in the not-too-distant future. Comparable to J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World, it was shortlisted for the Nebula and won the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best novel, 1988
A fast-moving space adventure featuring mysterious aliens, a journey to a de-populated planet, a mad run from space cops, a ship captain in trouble, and her AI (Artificially Intelligent) companion/ship’s computer.
It is carnival time on Mars, but Tabitha Jute isn’t partying. She is in hiding from the law, penniless and about to lose her livelihood and her best friend, the space barge “Alice Liddell”. Then, the intriguing Marco Metz offers her some money to take him to Plenty, and then the adventure begins.
Winner of both the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel of the year and the British Science Fiction Association Award for best novel of the year–the only book ever to win both prestigious British awards.
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best novel, 1991
Winner of the BSFA Award for best novel, 1991
In Synners, the line between technology and humanity is hopelessly slim. To be a Synner is to join the online hardcore, an outlaw band of hackers, simulation pirates, and reality synthesizers hooked on artificial reality and virtual space. Now you can change yourself to suit the machines – all it costs you is your freedom, and your humanity.
Synners shows us a world perilously close to our own. A constant stream of new technology spawns new crime before it hits the streets, and the human mind and the external landscape have fused to the point where any encounter with “reality” is incidental. Equal parts thrill-ride and cautionary tale, this classic novel by the Queen of Cyberpunk offers us a terrifying glimpse into the future of our race.
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best novel, 1992
It began with a blinding light, a divine revelation from a mysterious intelligence that called itself VALIS (Vast Active Living Intelligence System). And with that, the fabric of reality was torn apart and laid bare so that anything seemed possible, but nothing seemed quite right.
It was madness, pure and simple. But what if it were true?
The Duke of Atreides has been manoeuvred by his arch-enemy, Baron Harkonnen, into administering the desert planet of Dune. Although it is almost completely without water, Dune is a planet of fabulous wealth, for it is the only source of a drug prized throughout the Galactic Empire. The Duke and his son, Paul, are expecting treachery, and it duly comes – but from a shockingly unexpected place.
Then Paul succeeds his father, and he becomes a catalyst for the native people of Dune, whose knowledge of the ecology of the planet gives them vast power. They have been waiting for a leader like Paul Atreides, a leader who can harness that force …
DUNE: one of the most brilliant science fiction novels ever written, as engrossing and heart-rending today as it was when it was first published half a century ago.
Joint winner of the HUGO AWARD for best novel, 1966
Winner of the NEBULA AWARD for best novel, 1965
The 21st century.
Europe is divided between the First World bourgeoisie, made rich by nanotechnology and the cheap versatile slave labour of genetically engineered Dolls and the Fourth World of refugees and homeless displaced by war and economic upheaval. In London, Alex Sharkey is trying to make his mark as a designer of psychoactive viruses, whilst staying one step ahead of the police and the Triad gangs. At the cost of three hours of his life, he finds an unlikely ally in a scary, super-smart little girl called Milena, but his troubles really start when he helps Milena quicken intelligence in a Doll, turning it into the first of the fairies.
Milena isn’t sure if she’s mad or if she’s the only sane person left in the world; she only knows that she wants to escape to her own private Fairyland and live forever. Although Milena has created the fairies for her own ends, some of the Folk, as fey and dangerous as any in legend, have other ideas about her destiny …
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 …
A stunning novel of alien invasion from a master of the genre
The disappearance of one of Jupiter’s moons, the appearance of “little green men” in Australia and the American Southwest, and the sudden presence of unidentifiable objects on a collision course inside the Earth’s core add up to the inescapable conclusion that the Earth has been invaded by an enemy it cannot fight.
Powerfully and gracefully written, the latest novel by the author of EON and BLOOD MUSIC stands far above most examples of “doomsday” science fiction.