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A Case Of Conscience

A Case Of Conscience

Father Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez S.J., is a part of a four man scientific commission to the planet Lithia, there to study a harmonious society of aliens living on a planets which is a biologist’s paradise. He soon finds himself troubled: how can these perfect beings, living in an apparent Eden, have no conception of sin or God? If such a sinless Eden has been created apart from God, then who is responsible?

Winner of the Hugo Award for best novel, 1959.
New introduction by Ken MacLeod.
A Deepness in the Sky

A Deepness in the Sky

The prequel to A Fire Upon The Deep, this is the story of Pham Nuwen, a small cog in the interstellar trading fleet of the Queng Ho. The Queng Ho and the Emergents are orbiting the dormant planet Arachna, which is about to wake up to technology, but the Emergents’ plans are sinister.
A Fall of Moondust

A Fall of Moondust

Time is running out for the passengers and crew of the tourist cruiser Selene, incarcerated in a sea of choking lunar dust. On the surface, her rescuers find their resources stretched to the limit by the mercilessly unpredictable conditions of a totally alien environment.

A brilliantly imagined story of human ingenuity and survival, A FALL OF MOONDUST is a tour-de-force of psychological suspense and sustained dramatic tension by the field’s foremost author.

Shortlisted for the Hugo Award, 1963.
A Fire Upon the Deep

A Fire Upon the Deep

Thousands of years hence, many races inhabit a universe where a mind’s potential is determined by its location in space – from superintelligent entities in the Transcend, to the limited minds of the Unthinking Depths, where only simple creatures and technology can function. Nobody knows what strange force partitioned space into these ‘zones of thought’, but when the warring Straumli realm use an ancient Transcendent artefact as a weapon, they unwittingly unleash an awesome power that destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all natural and artificial intelligence.
Fleeing the threat, a family of scientists, including two children, are taken captive by the Tines – an alien race with a harsh medieval culture – and used as pawns in a ruthless power struggle. A rescue party, not entirely composed of humans, must free the children – and retrieve a secret that may save the rest of interstellar civilization.
A Maze of Death

A Maze of Death

Fourteen people arrive on the strange planet of Delmark-O; they have nothing in common other than a desire to make a fresh start. And they have no idea why they are there and no way of escaping. And then the first murder takes place …
A Scanner Darkly

A Scanner Darkly

A brilliant sci-fi novel from one of the last century’s most influential pop culture figures

Substance D – otherwise known as Death – is the most dangerous drug ever to find its way on to 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.
Always Coming Home

Always Coming Home

A long, long time from now, in the valleys of what will no longer be called Northern California, might be going to have lived a people called the Kesh.

But Always Coming Home is not the story of the Kesh. Rather it is the stories of the Kesh – stories, poems, songs, recipes – Always Coming Home is no less than an anthropological account of a community that does not yet exist, a tour de force of imaginative fiction by one of modern literature’s great voices.
Ammonite

Ammonite

Change or die. These are the only options available on the planet Jeep. Centuries earlier, a deadly virus shattered the original colony, killing the men and forever altering the few surviving women. Now, generations after the colony has lost touch with the rest of humanity, a company arrives to exploit Jeep – and its forces find themselves fighting for their lives.

Terrified of spreading the virus, the company abandons its employees, leaving them afraid and isolated from the natives. In the face of this crisis, anthropologist Marghe Taishan arrives to test a new vaccine. As she risks death to uncover the women’s biological secret, she finds that she, too, is changing – and realizes that not only has she found a home on Jeep, but that she alone carries the seeds of its destruction …

Winner of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award 1993
Arslan

Arslan

A classic of political science fiction

Arslan is a young Asian general who has conquered the USA and then the world, with a small town in Illinois as the capital of his new empire.

Praised by the likes of Orson Scott Card and Samuel R. Delany, ARSLAN is a thoughtful but uncompromising work, one which still retains the power to shock.
Babel-17

Babel-17

In the far future, after human civilization has spread through the galaxy, communications begin to arrive in an apparently alien language. They appear to threaten invasion, but in order to counter the threat, the messages must first be understood.

Joint winner of the Nebula Award for best novel, 1966
Behold The Man

Behold The Man

Meet Karl Glogauer, time traveller and unlikely Messiah. When he finds himself in Palestine in the year 29AD he is shocked to meet the man known as Jesus Christ – a drooling idiot, hiding in the shadows of the carpenter’s shop in Nazareth. But if he is not capable of fulfilling his historical role, then who will take his place?
Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle

One of America’s greatest writers gives us his unique perspective on our fears of nuclear annihilation

Experiment.

Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut’s cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon and, worse still, surviving it.

Solution.

Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding fathers of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he is the inventor of ice-nine, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker’s three eccentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker’s death-wish comes true when his last, fatal, gift to mankind brings about an end that, for all of us, is nigh.
Childhood's End

Childhood's End

Arthur C. Clarke’s classic in which he ponders humanity’s future and possible evolution

When the silent spacecraft arrived and took the light from the world, no one knew what to expect. But, although the Overlords kept themselves hidden from man, they had come to unite a warring world and to offer an end to poverty and crime. When they finally showed themselves it was a shock, but one that humankind could now cope with, and an era of peace, prosperity and endless leisure began.

But the children of this utopia dream strange dreams of distant suns and alien planets, and begin to evolve into something incomprehensible to their parents, and soon they will be ready to join the Overmind … and, in a grand and thrilling metaphysical climax, leave the Earth behind.
China Mountain Zhang

China Mountain Zhang

‘I am Zhang, alone with my light, and in that light I think for a moment that I am free.’

Imagine a world where Chinese Marxism has vanquished the values of capitalism and Lenin is the prophet of choice. A cybernetic world where the new charioteers are flyers, human-powered kites dancing in the skies over New York in a brief grab at glory. A world where the opulence of Beijing marks a new cultural imperialism, as wealthy urbanites flirt with interactive death in illegal speakeasies, and where Arctic research stations and communes on Mars are haunted by their own fragile dangers.

A world of fear and hope, of global disaster and slow healing, where progress can only be found in the cracks of a crumbling hegemony. This is the world of Zhang. An anti-hero who’s still finding his way, treading a path through a totalitarian order – a path that just might make a difference.
Cities In Flight

Cities In Flight

James Blish’s galaxy-spanning masterwork, originally published in four volumes, explores a future in which two crucial discoveries – antigravity devices which enable whole cities to be lifted from the Earth to become giant spaceships, and longevity drugs which enable their inhabitants to live for thousands of years – lead to the establishment of a unique Galactic empire.
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