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The Gone World

Thomas Sweterlitsch

March 9th, 1997: A family murdered, a daughter missing. All evidence points to a dangerous suspect: ex-Navy SEAL Patrick Mursult, who has vanished without a trace. NCIS Special Agent Shannon Moss is determined to take down Mursult and bring the girl home. But Moss isn't only up against the clock -- working together with the FBI, the case runs against walls of uncooperative witnesses and a lack of solid leads. Spanning the coal towns and mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, every moment without a break in the case brings everyone involved closer to tragedy.

Shannon Moss, however, is one of the few federal agents with clearance to investigate strands of the multiverse -- to experience possible futures that grow out of the circumstances of the present.

April 19th, 2014: Moss arrives seventeen years in the future to question witnesses whose lives have changed far from their fears and tensions that had made them so reticent to talk about the killing of the Mursult family when it was close at hand. Filling in details of the long past case, Moss learns the terrible truth about Mursult and the fate of the missing girl.

Moss returns to the present with the information she needs to close the case, but at what cost? Every decision she makes, every plot she unravels, has terrifying consequences -- consequences she sees with every trip to a new future.

Yellow Blue Tibia

Adam Roberts

Russia, 1946. With the Nazis recently defeated, Stalin gathers half a dozen of the top Soviet science fiction authors in a dacha in the countryside. Convinced that the defeat of America is only a few years away-and equally convinced that the Soviet Union needs a massive external threat to hold it together-Stalin orders the writers to compose a massively detailed and highly believable story about an alien race poised to invade the earth. The little group of writers gets down to the task and spends months working until new orders come from Moscow to immediately halt the project. The scientists obey and live their lives until, in the aftermath of Chernobyl, the survivors gather again, because something strange has happened: the story they invented in 1946 is starting to come true.

Annihilation

Southern Reach Trilogy: Book 1

Jeff VanderMeer

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers--they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding--but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

The Fold

Threshold (Clines): Book 2

Peter Clines

STEP INTO THE FOLD.

IT'S PERFECTLY SAFE.

The folks in Mike Erikson's small new England town would say he was just your average, everyday guy. And that's exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he's chosen isn't much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he's content with his quiet and peaceful existence.

That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistable mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: far out in the California desert, a team of DARPA scientist has invented a device they affectionately call the Albuquerque Door. Using a cryptic computer equation and magnetic fields to "fold" dimensions, it shrinks distances so a traveler can travel hundreds of feet in a single step.

The invention promises to make mankind's dreams of teleportation a reality. And, the scientists insist, travelling through the Door is completely safe.

Yet evidence is mounting that this miraculous machine isn't quite what it seems -- and that its creators are harboring a dangerous secret.

As his investigation draws him deeper into the puzzle, Mike begins to fear there is only one answer that makes sense, And if he's right, it may be only a matter of time before the project destroys... everything.

Mysterium

Robert Charles Wilson

A science fiction mystery from the author of THE HARVEST, in which a small American town vanishes, and its inhabitants wake up one morning in a world strangely different from their own - a world of curfews, rationing and secret police.

Dimension of Miracles

Robert Sheckley

Thomas Carmody wins the Intergalactic Sweepstakes and leaves Earth behind. He ends up following his fast-talking Prize from place to place, seeing talking dinosaurs, a perfect city smothering its residents with motherly love, a giant slightly bored God and much more. The only problem is that Death is chasing closely after him and there seems to be no way to get safely home...

The Divine Invasion

The Valis Trilogy: Book 2

Philip K. Dick

God is not dead, he has merely been exiled to an extraterrestrial planet. And it is on this planet that God meets Herb Asher and convinces him to help retake Earth from the demonic Belial. Featuring virtual reality, parallel worlds, and interstellar travel, The Divine Invasion blends philosophy and adventure in a way few authors can achieve.

As the middle novel of Dick's VALIS trilogy, The Divine Invasion plays a pivotal role in answering the questions raised by the first novel, expanding that world while exploring just how much anyone can really know--even God himself.

Authority

Southern Reach Trilogy: Book 2

Jeff VanderMeer

In the second volume of the Southern Reach Trilogy, questions are answered, stakes are raised, and mysteries are deepened...

Following the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in 'Annihilation', the second book of the Southern Reach trilogy introduces John Rodriguez, the new head of the government agency responsible for the safeguarding of Area X. His first day is spent grappling with the fall-out from the last expedition. Area X itself remains a mystery. But, as instructed by a higher authority known only as The Voice, the self-styled Control must battle to 'put his house in order'.

From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the mysteries of Area X begin to reveal themselves--and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he's promised to serve.

Undermined and under pressure to make sense of everything, Rodriguez retreats into his past in a labyrinthine search for answers. Yet the more he uncovers, the more he risks, for the secrets of the Southern Reach are more sinister than anyone could have known.

To Your Scattered Bodies Go

The Riverworld Saga: Book 1

Philip José Farmer

All those who ever lived on Earth have found themselves resurrected--healthy, young, and naked as newborns--on the grassy banks of a mighty river, in a world unknown. Miraculously provided with food, but with no clues to the meaning of their strange new afterlife, billions of people from every period of Earth's history--and prehistory--must start again.

Sir Francis Bacon would be the first to glimpse the incredible way-station, a link between worlds. This forbidden sight would spur the renowned 19th-century explorer to uncover the truth. Along with a remarkable group of compatriots, including Alice Liddell Hargreaves (the Victorian girl who was the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland), an English-speaking Neanderthal, a WWII Holocaust survivor, and a wise extraterrestrial, Burton sets sail on the magnificent river. His mission: to confront humankind's mysterious benefactors, and learn the true purpose--innocent or evil--of the Riverworld...

Radio Free Albemuth

Philip K. Dick

In Radio Free Albemuth, his last novel, Philip K. Dick morphed and recombined themes that had informed his fiction from A Scanner Darkly to VALIS and produced a wild, impassioned work that reads like a visionary alternate history of the United States. Agonizingly suspenseful, darkly hilarious, and filled with enough conspiracy theories to thrill the most hardened paranoid, Radio Free Albemuth is proof of Dick's stature as our century's greatest science fiction writer.

The Years of Rice and Salt

Kim Stanley Robinson

It is the fourteenth century and one of the most apocalyptic events in human history is set to occur - the coming of the Black Death. History teaches us that a third of Europe's population was destroyed. But what if? What if the plague killed 99 percent of the population instead? How would the world have changed? This is a look at the history that could have been - a history that stretches across centuries, a history that sees dynasties and nations rise and crumble, a history that spans horrible famine and magnificent innovation. These are the years of rice and salt.

This is a universe where the first ship to reach the New World travels across the Pacific Ocean from China and colonization spreads from west to east. This is a universe where the Industrial Revolution is triggered by the world's greatest scientific minds - in India. This is a universe where Buddhism and Islam are the most influential and practiced religions and Christianity is merely a historical footnote.

Through the eyes of soldiers and kings, explorers and philosophers, slaves and scholars, Robinson renders an immensely rich tapestry. Rewriting history and probing the most profound questions as only he can, Robinson shines his extraordinary light on the place of religion, culture, power, and even love on such an Earth. From the steppes of Asia to the shores of the Western Hemisphere, from the age of Akbar to the present and beyond, here is the stunning story of the creation of a new world.

The Fabulous Riverboat

The Riverworld Saga: Book 2

Philip José Farmer

Resurrected on the lush, mysterious banks of Riverworld, along with the rest of humanity, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) has a dream: to build a riverboat that will rival the most magnificent paddle-wheelers ever navigated on the mighty Mississippi. Then, to steer it up the endless waterway that dominates his new home planet--and at last discover its hidden source.

But before he can carry out his plan, he first must undertake a dangerous voyage to unearth a fallen meteor. This mission would require striking an uneasy alliance with the bloodthirsty Viking Erik Bloodaxe, treacherous King John of England, legendary French swordsman Cyrano de Bergerac, Greek adventurer Odysseus, and the infamous Nazi Hermann Göring. All for the purpose of storming the ominous stone tower at the mouth of the river, where the all-powerful overseers of Riverworld--and their secrets--lie in wait...

All Flesh Is Grass

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 38

Clifford D. Simak

The strange but beautiful purple blossoms now grew wild in his backyard. One day Brad Carter tripped and fell into an alternate world, a world peopled by these very flowers.

Hybrids

The Neanderthal Parallax: Book 3

Robert J. Sawyer

Ponter Boddit and his Homo sapiens lover, geneticist Mary Vaughan, are torn between two worlds, struggling to find a way to make their star-crossed relationship work. Aided by banned Neanderthal technology, they plan to conceive the first hybrid child, a symbol of hope for the joining of their two versions of reality.

But after an experiment shows that Mary's religious faith - something completely absent in Neanderthals - is a quirk of the neurological wiring of Homo sapiens brains, Ponter and Mary must decide whether their child should be predisposed to atheism or belief. Meanwhile, as Mary's Earth is dealing with a collapse of its planetary magnetic field, her boss, the enigmatic Jock Krieger, has turned envious eyes on the unspoiled Eden that is the Neanderthal world...

That Hideous Strength

The Cosmic Trilogy: Book 3

C. S. Lewis

The final book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which includes Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, That Hideous Strength concludes the adventures of the matchless Dr. Ransom.

The dark forces that were repulsed in Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra are massed for an assault on the planet Earth itself. Word is on the wind that the mighty wizard Merlin has come back to the land of the living after many centuries, holding the key to ultimate power for that force which can find him and bend him to its will.

A sinister technocratic organization is gaining power throughout Europe with a plan to "recondition" society, and it is up to Ransom and his friends to squelch this threat by applying age-old wisdom to a new universe dominated by science.

The two groups struggle to a climactic resolution that brings the Space Trilogy to a magnificent, crashing close.

The Dark Design

The Riverworld Saga: Book 3

Philip José Farmer

Years have passed on Riverworld. Entire nations have risen, and savage wars have been fought--all since the dead of Earth found themselves resurrected in their magnificent new homeworld. Yet the truth about the Ethicals, the powerful engineers of this mysterious "afterlife," remains unknown. But a curious cross-section of humanity is determined to change that situation... at any cost.

Intrepid explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton leads the most remarkable voyage of discovery he has ever undertaken. Hot on his heels are Samuel Clemens, King John of England, and Cyrano de Bergerac. Spurred by the promise of ultimate answers, they chart a course across the vast polar sea--and toward the awesome tower that looms above it. But getting there will be more than half the battle. For death on Riverworld has become chillingly final...

Empress of the Sun

Everness: Book 3

Ian McDonald

World-hopping, high-action adventure starring a smart boy with computer skills and a tough girl who pilots a blimp

The airship Everness makes a Heisenberg Jump to an alternate Earth unlike any her crew has ever seen. Everett, Sen, and the crew find themselves above a plain that goes on forever in every direction without any horizon. There they find an Alderson Disc, an astronomical megastructure of incredibly strong material reaching from the orbit of Mercury to the orbit of Jupiter.

Then they meet the Jiju, the dominant species on a plane where the dinosaurs didn't die out. They evolved, diversified, and have a twenty-five million year technology head-start on humanity. War between their kingdoms is inevitable, total and terrible.

Everness has jumped right into the midst of a faction fight between rival nations, the Fabreen and Dityu empires. The airship is attacked, but then defended by the forces of the Fabreen, who offers theEverness crew protection. But what is the true motive behind Empress Aswiu's aid? What is her price?

The crew of the Everness is divided in a very alien world, a world fast approaching the point of apocalypse.

The Magic Labyrinth

The Riverworld Saga: Book 4

Philip José Farmer

The answers behind the enigmatic origins of Riverworld lie at last within reach, as the remarkable gathering of Earthlings--including Sir Richard Francis Burton, Samuel Clemens, Alice Liddell Hargreaves (the real-life Alice in Wonderland), Cyrano de Bergerac, Ulysses S. Grant, and Baron Von Richtoven--finally breaches the stronghold of Riverworld's extraordinary super-race.

But answers would lead to more enigmatic questions...

Who is the Mysterious Stranger who taunted the Riverworld resurrectees with hints of the truth? What is the key to the gargantuan computer that wields the power of life and death? The astonishing secrets lie within the Dark Tower--but only for those brave enough to seek them and wise enough to decipher them...

Good News from Outer Space

John Kessel

The year is 1999. The millennium is approaching fast, and America is ready to believe that the World is indeed about to End. The economy is a disaster, despite a complete restructuring of the money supply. Nuclear war in the middle east has created a new, permanent gasoline shortage. Gene-splicing technology has given terrorists almost undetectable weapons. Poverty, drugs, disease are rampant in the cities, while the new Christian Fundamentalism has taken almost total control of the countryside. The Church is even running the prison system. The most popular on-line news service in America is the Hemisphere Confidential Report, a computer network descendant of today's supermarket tabloids.

George Eberhart is HCR's top reporter and writer--once a legitmate newsman, the crumbling economy has forced him into writing "news" that is little more than fiction. But now George is onto something, something real. He has perceived a pattern in the sensationalist stories he reports, a pattern that has led him to believe that the stories of alien invasion may be something more than hysteria.

The Reverend Jimmy-Don Gilray is a TV evangelist, whose Zion Tribulation Hour brings in millions of dollars and converts every day. His message is simple: on the stroke of midnight, December 31, 1999, God will send his messengers to Earth in a spaceship, and the Day of Judgement will dawn. There is nothing that The Rev wants less than some reporter proving that the Aliens are already here.

And meanwhile, all over America, strange beings who look human are doing totally inexplicable things--committing acts which seem like meaningless cruelty or kindness to their victims.

The Gods of Riverworld

The Riverworld Saga: Book 5

Philip José Farmer

Thirty-five billion people from throughout Earth's history were resurrected along the great and winding waterways of Riverworld. Most began life anew--accepting without question the sustenance provided by their mysterious benefactors. But a rebellious handful burned to confront the unseen masters who controlled their fate--and these few launched an invasion that would ultimately yield the mind-boggling truth.

Now Riverworld's omnipotent leaders have been confronted, and the renegades of Riverworld--led by the intrepid Sir Richard Francis Burton--control the fantastic mechanism that once ruled them. But the most awesome challenge lies ahead. For in the vast corridors and secret rooms of the tower stronghold, an unknown enemy watches and waits to usurp the usurpers...