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Diaspora

Greg Egan

The boldest and most wildly speculative writer of our time, Greg Egan has envisioned a quantum Brave New World -- a masterful saga of a time when not only human life, but fleshly reality itself, will be nothing but a memory...

It is the thirtieth century.The "world" has evolved into a vast network of probes, satellites, and servers knitting the solar system into one scape from the outer planets to the sun. Humanity, too, has reconfigured itself. Most people have chosen immortality, joining the polises to become conscious software. Others have opted for disposable, renewable robotic bodies that remain in contact with the physical world. A few holdouts stubbornly remain fleshers struggling to shape an antiquated existence in the muck and jungle of Earth.

And then there is the Orphan, a genderless digital being grown from a mind seed.

When an unforeseen disaster ravages the fleshers, it awakens the polises to the possibility of their own extinction from bizarre astrophysical processes that seemingly violate fundamental laws of nature. It is up to the Orphan and a group of refugees to find the knowledge that will save them all--a search that will lead them on a quantum adventure to a higher dimension beyond the macrocosmos....

Robot Visions

The Positronic Robot Stories: Book 4

Isaac Asimov

From the writer whose name is synonymous with the science of robotics comes five decades of robot visions-36 landmark stories and essays, plus three rare tales-gathered together in one volume .

The Cyberiad

Stanislaw Lem

Trurl and Klaupacius are constructor robots who try to out-invent each other. They travel to the far corners of the cosmos to take on freelance problem-solving jobs, with dire consequences for their employers.

A Fire Upon the Deep

Zones of Thought: Book 1

Vernor Vinge

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 "regions of thought," but when the warring Straumli realm use an ancient Transcendent artifact 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 mission, not entirely composed of humans, must rescue the children-and a secret that may save the rest of interstellar civilization.

The Bicentennial Man

The Positronic Robot Stories

Isaac Asimov

Hugo, Nebula and Locus Award winning novelette. It originally appeared in the anthology Stellar #2 (1976) edited by Judy-Lynn del Rey. It has been reprinted many times and can be found in the anthologies:

The story is included in the collections:

The story was later expanded into the novel The Positronic Man (1992), written in collaboration with Robert Silverberg. It has been turned into a movie starring Robin Williams.

Bolo!

Bolo: Book 10

David Weber

Controlled by their tireless electronic brains which were programmed to admit no possibility of defeat, the gigantic robot tanks known as Bolos were almost indestructible, and nearly unstoppable. Their artificial intelligences were designed to make them selflessly serve and protect humans throughout the galaxy and made each Bolo the epitome of the knight sans peur et sans reproche, and often far more noble than the humans who gave them their orders.

Now, David Weber, New York Times best-selling author of the Honor Harrington series, continues the history of the Bolo, in four short novels, one of them published here for the first time. One Bolo is driven over the edge by the very humans it is pledged to protect. Another Bolo must decide whether or not to disobey when it is given an order that constitutes genocide. A third must hunt one of its own kind whose robot brain is damaged and rescue two children which the deranged Bolo thinks it is protecting from a nonexistent enemy. And more, including as a bonus, David Weber's own authoritative technical history of the Bolo, all in a volume that will be irresistible both for David Weber's huge readership and Bolo fans everywhere.

Network Effect

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 5

Martha Wells

I'm usually alone in my head, and that's where 90 plus per cent of my problems are.

It calls itself Murderbot, but only when no-one can hear. It's a private joke. Funny.

It doesn't care, it tells itself, and its attachment to the humans around it is merely professional obligation.

It tries to never drop the F-bomb.

"Friends."

Ugh.

So, when its human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.

Drastic action it is, then.

Another F-bomb.

"Feelings."

Ugh.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Philip K. Dick

By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep... They even built humans.

Emigrees to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn't want to be identified, they just blended in.

Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

The Rise of Endymion

The Hyperion Cantos: Book 4

Dan Simmons

In The Rise of Endymion, Dan Simmons brings to a triumphant conclusion one of the most celebrated, compelling, and dramatic science fiction sagas of our time. Brilliant, provocative, unfailingly inventive, the odyssey began with the Hugo Award-winning Hyperion, continued through the critically acclaimed The Fall of Hyperion and Endymion, and now ascends to its greatest heights yet....

The final chapter of this magnificent saga begins with two momentous events: the death and resurrection of Pope Julius XV and the coming-of-age of the new messiah. Her name is Aenea and she is the only person who can counter the pope and his plan to unleash the Pax Fleet, the Church's military wing, on a final genocidal Crusade to gain total dominion over the universe. The Church is allied with the infamous AI Core, which has offered immortality to humankind--or at least to those faithful who pledge total obedience to the Church--but at what terrible price? The Core has its own dark motives and secrets, and only Aenea knows what they are.

Aenea, too, has an ally. Her protector, Raul Endymion, onetime shepherd and convicted murderer, finds her in exile undergoing a strange apprenticeship on Old Earth. Here she has gained access to an information matrix created by the Others--the same mysterious Others who moved Old Earth to save it from the Core. But who are these Others? What has Aenea learned from them? And why has Old Earth been turned into a stage upon which cybrids from the past--from John Keats to Frank Lloyd Wright--repeat historical dramas of human genius for purposes known only to the Others?

The answers to these questions must wait. Together with the android A. Bettik, Endymion and his beloved Aenea embark on a final mission to find and comprehend the underlying fabric of the universe. The surprising nature of this medium and Aenea's ability to instruct her growing army of disciples in its discovery and use could provide the one weapon powerful enough to thwart their enemies while liberating humanity. Meanwhile, the enigmatic Shrike--monster, angel, killing machine--has followed them on their intergalactic sojourn and now stands ready to complete its own mission, revealing at last the long-held secret of its origin and purpose.

In The Rise of Endymion, Dan Simmons masterfully weaves together the complex strands of this extraordinary series. He answers all of the unsolved mysteries posed in the earlier volumes and brings the story full circle to the planet Hyperion, where it all began. A work of unparalleled power and vision, The Rise of Endymion is a masterpiece of the imagination by one of our most gifted writers.

The Lifecycle of Software Objects

Ted Chiang

Hugo-winning and Nebula-nominated Novella

What's the best way to create artificial intelligence? In 1950, Alan Turing wrote, 'Many people think that a very abstract activity, like the playing of chess, would be best. It can also be maintained that it is best to provide the machine with the best sense organs that money can buy, and then teach it to understand and speak English. This process could follow the normal teaching of a child. Things would be pointed out and named, etc. Again I do not know what the right answer is, but I think both approaches should be tried.'

The first approach has been tried many times in both science fiction and reality. In this new novella, at over 30,000 words, his longest work to date, Ted Chiang offers a detailed imagining of how the second approach might work within the contemporary landscape of startup companies, massively-multiplayer online gaming, and open-source software. It's a story of two people and the artificial intelligences they helped create, following them for more than a decade as they deal with the upgrades and obsolescence that are inevitable in the world of software. At the same time, it's an examination of the difference between processing power and intelligence, and of what it means to have a real relationship with an artificial entity.

Read this story online for free at Subterranean Press.

All Systems Red

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 1

Martha Wells

Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning Novella and Prometheus Award-nominated series

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn't a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied 'droid -- a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as "Murderbot." Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

Also appeared in the anthology Nebula Awards Showcase 2019, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

The Prefect

Revelation Space: Prefect Dreyfus Emergency: Book 1

Alastair Reynolds

Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the multi-faceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, the teeming hub of a human interstellar empire spanning many worlds.

His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that leaves nine hundred people dead, a crime that appalls even a hardened cop like Dreyfus. But then his investigation uncovers something even more potentially dangerous-a covert plot by an enigmatic entity seeking nothing less than total control of the Glitter Band...

I, Robot

The Positronic Robot Stories: Book 1

Isaac Asimov

The three laws of Robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
  2. A robot must obey orders givein to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world--all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov's trademark.

Table of Contents: sub-series in [ ] all sub-series are part of the The Positronic Robot Stories series

  • Introduction (I, Robot) - short story
  • Robbie (1940) - short story (variant of Strange Playfellow)
  • Runaround - [Mike Donovan] (1942) - novelette
  • Reason - [Mike Donovan] (1941) - short story
  • Catch That Rabbit - [Mike Donovan] (1944) - short story
  • Liar! - [Susan Calvin] (1941) - short story
  • Little Lost Robot - [Susan Calvin] (1947) - novelette
  • Escape! - [Susan Calvin] (1945) - short story
  • Evidence - [Susan Calvin] - (1946) - novelette
  • The Evitable Conflict - [Susan Calvin] - (1950) - novelette

Fugitive Telemetry

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 6

Martha Wells

No, I didn't kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn't dump the body in the station mall.

When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people - who knew?) Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans! Again!

This story takes place between the end of Exit Strategy and the flashbacks in Network Effect, after the short story "Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory".

Exit Strategy

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 4

Martha Wells

BSFA Award-nominated Novella and Prometheus Award-nominated series

Murderbot wasn't programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right?

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah--its former owner (protector? friend?)--submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit.

But who's going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue?

And what will become of it when it's caught?

The Robots of Dawn

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 3

Isaac Asimov

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...?

The Complete Robot

The Positronic Robot Stories

Isaac Asimov

The complete collection of Isaac Asimov's classic Robot stories.In these stories, Asimov creates the Three Laws of Robotics and ushers in the Robot Age - when Earth is ruled by master-machines and when robots are more human than mankind.The Complete Robot is the ultimate collection of timeless, amazing and amusing robot stories from the greatest science fiction writer of all time, offering golden insights into robot thought processes. Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics were programmed into real computers thirty years ago at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - with suprising results. Readers of today still have many surprises in store...

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (The Complete Robot) - (1982) - essay
  • Some Non-Human Robots - (1982) - essay
  • A Boy's Best Friend - (1975) - short story
  • Sally - (1953) - short story
  • Someday - (1956) - short story
  • Some Immobile Robots - (1982) - essay
  • Point of View - (1975) - short story
  • Think! - (1977) - short story
  • True Love - (1977) - short story
  • Some Metallic Robots - (1982) - essay
  • Robot AL-76 Goes Astray - (1942) - short story
  • Victory Unintentional - (1942) - short story
  • Stranger in Paradise - (1974) - novelette
  • Light Verse - (1973) - short story
  • Segregationist - (1967) - short story
  • Robbie - (1940) - short story
  • Some Humanoid Robots - (1982) - essay
  • Let's Get Together - (1957) - short story
  • Mirror Image - (1972) - short story
  • The Tercentenary Incident - (1976) - short story
  • Powell and Donovan - (1982) - essay
  • First Law - (1956) - short story
  • Runaround - (1942) - novelette
  • Reason - (1941) - short story
  • Catch That Rabbit - (1944) - short story
  • Susan Calvin - (1982) - essay
  • Liar! - (1941) - short story
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed - (1951) - short story
  • Lenny - (1958) - short story
  • Galley Slave - (1957) - novelette
  • Little Lost Robot - (1947) - novelette
  • Risk - (1955) - novelette
  • Escape! - (1945) - short story
  • Evidence - (1946) - novelette
  • The Evitable Conflict - (1950) - novelette
  • Feminine Intuition - (1969) - novelette
  • Two Climaxes - (1982) - essay
  • --That Thou Art Mindful of Him! - (1974) - novelette
  • The Bicentennial Man - (1976) - novelette
  • A Last Word - (1982) - essay

Artificial Condition

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 2

Martha Wells

Hugo and Locus Award-winning and Nebula-nominated Novella and Prometheus Award-nominated series

It has a dark past -- one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself "Murderbot". But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don't want to know what the "A" stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks...

Rogue Protocol

The Murderbot Diaries: Book 3

Martha Wells

Prometheus Award-nominated series

Sci-fi's favorite antisocial A.I. is back on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr. Mensah's SecUnit is.

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good.

The Invincible

Ace SF Special, Series 2: Book 4

Stanislaw Lem

An interstellar 2nd-class cruiser called Invincible, lands on Regis III which seems bleakly uninhabited, to investigate the loss of sister ship, Condor. The crew finds evidence of a form of quasilife, born thru evolution of autonomous, self-replicating machines. The evolution was controlled by robot wars. The survivors are swarms of minuscule, insectoid machines. Individually or in small groups they're harmless & capable of only simple behavior. However, when bothered, they form huge swarms displaying complex behavior arising from self-organization & are able to defeat an intruder by a powerful surge of EMI. Some members of the crew suffer complete memory erasure as a consequence. Big clouds are also capable of high speed travel to the troposphere. The angered crew attempts to fight the enemy, but eventually recognize the meaninglessness of their efforts in the most direct sense of the word.

The novel turns into an analysis of the relationship between different life domains & their place in the cosmos. It's a thought experiment demonstrating that evolution may not necessarily lead to dominance by intellectually superior life forms. The plot also involves a Conrad-like dilemma, juxtaposing human values & the efficiency of mechanical insects.

Spin Control

Spin Trilogy: Book 2

Chris Moriarty

Call Arkady a clone with a conscience. Or call him a traitor. A member of the space-faring Syndicates, Arkady has defected to Israel with a hot commodity: a genetic weapon powerful enough to wipe out humanity. But Israel’s not buying it. They’re selling it–and Arkady–to the highest bidder.

As the auction heats up, the Artificial Life Emancipation Front sends in Major Catherine Li. Drummed out of the Peacekeepers for executing Syndicate prisoners, Li has now literally hooked up with an AI who has lived many lifetimes and shunted through many bodies. But while they have their own conflicting loyalties to contend with, together they’re just one player in a mysterious high-stakes game....

The Naked Sun

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 2

Isaac Asimov

A millennium into the future, two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the Galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. On the beautiful Outer World planet of Solaria, a handful of human colonists lead a hermit-like existence, their every need attended to by their faithful robot servants.

To this strange and provocative planet comes Detective Elijah Baley, sent from the streets of New York with his positronic partner, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw, to solve an incredible murder that has rocked Solaria to its foundations. The victim had been so reclusive that he appeared to his associates only through holographic projection. Yet someone had gotten close enough to bludgeon him to death while robots looked on. Now Baley and Olivaw are faced with two clear impossibilities: Either the Solarian was killed by one of his robots - unthinkable under the laws of Robotics - or he was killed by the woman who loved him so much that she never came into his presence!

On the Steel Breeze

Poseidon's Children: Book 2

Alastair Reynolds

Chiku Yellow is earthbound: living a peaceful life on a changing world as humanity explores a thousand new ways to experience life.

Chiku Red is space-bound: blasted into deep space to investigate Eunice Akinya's last journey, and maybe discover the final secrets of space travel.

Chiku Green is planet-bound: travelling thousands of lightyears to the planet Crucible. A new home for humankind; it's a habitable planet hosting a fascinating alien labyrinth.

All three are Chiku Akinya.

All three are pivotal to our future in space.

All three are in danger...

Robots and Empire

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 4

Isaac Asimov

Long after his humiliating defeat at the hands of Earthman Elijah Baley, Keldon Amadiro embarked on a plan to destroy planet Earth. But even after his death, Baley's vision continued to guide his robot partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, who had the wisdom of a great man behind him and an indestructable will to win....

WWW: Watch

The WWW Trilogy: Book 2

Robert J. Sawyer

Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer continues his "wildly though- provoking" science fiction saga of a sentient World Wide Web.

Webmind is an emerging consciousness that has befriended Caitlin Decter and grown eager to learn about her world. But Webmind has also come to the attention of WATCH-the secret government agency that monitors the Internet for any threat to the United States-and they're fully aware of Caitlin's involvement in its awakening.

WATCH is convinced that Webmind represents a risk to national security and wants it purged from cyberspace. But Caitlin believes in Webmind's capacity for compassion-and she will do anything and everything necessary to protect her friend.

The Positronic Man

The Positronic Robot Stories: Book 3

Robert Silverberg
Isaac Asimov

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.

Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory

The Murderbot Diaries

Martha Wells

This Murderbot short story, set just after the 4th novella, Exit Strategy, was published on Tor.com, April 19, 2021.

Read this story for free at Tor.com.

A Choice of Gods

Clifford D. Simak

One night in July, 2135, there were some eight billion people on Earth. The next morning there were perhaps 400. There was no clue to what had happened to the world's population -- but, over the centuries that followed, still stranger things occurred.

The human lifespan now stretched to millenia instead of decades, and much of the remaining population developed the ability to move at will among the stars -- and abandoned their homeworld for a life in deep space.

Then, after 3000 years, a star-rover discovered what had happened to Earth's original inhabitants -- and that they were coming to reclaim their heritage. Those who had stayed behind knew, with a growing fear, that the mystery of what had been done to Earth and why was about to be solved ... in a way that would change humanity forever.

Spin State

Spin Trilogy: Book 1

Chris Moriarty

UN Peacekeeper Major Catherine Li has made thirty-seven faster-than-light jumps in her lifetime - and has probably forgotten more than most people remember. But that's what backup hard drives are for. And Li should know; she's been hacking her memory for fifteen years in order to pass as human. But no memory upgrade can prepare Li for what she finds on Compson's World: a mining colony she once called home and to which she is sent after a botched raid puts her on the bad side of the powers that be. A dead physicist who just happens to be her cloned twin. A missing dataset that could change the interstellar balance of power and turn a cold war hot. And a mining "accident" that is starting to look more and more like murder...

Suddenly Li is chasing a killer in an alien world miles underground where everyone has a secret. And one wrong turn in streamspace, one misstep in the dark alleys of blackmarket tech and interstellar espionage, one risky hookup with an AI could literally blow her mind.

The Collapsium

The Queendom of Sol: Book 1

Wil McCarthy

No writer stretches the boundaries of science fiction like Wil McCarthy does. Now this acclaimed author has crafted his most wildly ambitious and stunningly original novel yet, an unforgettable tale set in a wondrous future in which the secrets of matter have been unlocked and death itself is but a memory. A future also imperiled by a bitter rivalry between two brilliant scientists: one perhaps the greatest genius in the history of humankind, the other, its greatest monster...

In the eighth decade of the glorious reign of Her Majesty Tamra Lutui, the Queendom of Sol enjoys a peace and prosperity even gods might envy. In fact, two awesome technologies have given human beings all the powers--and caprices--of the gods they once worshiped. The first is wellstone, a form of programmable matter capable of emulating almost any substance: natural, artificial, even hypothetical. The second is collapsium, a deadly crystal, composed of miniature black holes, that allows the virtually instantaneous transmission of information and matter--including humans--throughout the solar system.

Bruno de Towaji, royal consort and the inventor of collapsium, dreams of building the arc de fin, an almost mythical device capable of probing the farthest reaches of spacetime. Marlon Sykes, de Towaji's rival in both love and science, is meanwhile hard at work on a vast telecommunications project whose first step consists of constructing a ring of collapsium around the sun. But when a ruthless saboteur attacks the Ring Collapsiter and sends it falling toward the sun, the two scientists must put aside personal animosity and combine their prodigious intellects to prevent the destruction of the solar system... and every living thing within it.

In his most daring work yet, Wil McCarthy blasts us into a mythical realm--by turns hilarious, magnificent, and deeply moving--where two archmasters of physics compete for love and honor against a backdrop of stellar catastrophe. The Collapsium is a bold work of the imagination.

Olympos

The Ilium / Olympos Duology: Book 2

Dan Simmons

Beneath the gaze of the gods, the mighty armies of Greece and Troy met in fierce and glorious combat, scrupulously following the text set forth in Homer's timeless narrative. But that was before one observer -- Twenty-first Century scholar Thomas Hockenberry -- stirred the bloody brew; before an enraged Achilles joined forces with his archenemy Hector; and before the fleet-footed mankiller turned his murderous wrath on Zeus, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Apollo, and the entire pantheon of divine manipulators.

Now, all bets are off.

Iron Sunrise

Eschaton Series: Book 2

Charles Stross

When the planet of Moscow was annihilated, its few survivors launched a counter-attack against the most likely culprit: the neighboring system of New Dresden. But New Dresden wasn't responsible, and as the deadly missiles approach their target, Rachel Mansour, agent for the interests of Old Earth, is assigned to find out who was.

And the one person who knows is a disaffected teenager who calls herself Wednesday Shadowmist. But Wednesday has no idea what she knows...

Damage

David D. Levine

In the extremities of war, we may know what we've been, but not what we will become. "Damage" is a tale of desperate times, desperate measures, and the inner life of a fighter spacecraft.

This story is included in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 1 (2016), edited by Neil Clarke, Nebula Awards Showcase 2017, edited by Julie E. Czerneda, and Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Tor.com Short Fiction (2018), edited by Irene Gallo.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Accelerando

Macx Family

Charles Stross

For three generations, the Macz family has struggled to cope with the rampant technological achievements that have rendered humans near obsolete. And mankind's end encroaches even closer when something starts to dismantle the nine planets of the solar system in an effort to annihilate all biological lifeforms.

Read the full novel for free at the author's website.

Compulsory

The Murderbot Diaries

Martha Wells

Even the humans think about killing the humans, especially here. I hate mines, and mining, and humans who work in mining, and of all the stupid mines I can remember, I hate this stupid mine the most. But the humans hate it more. My risk-assessment module predicts a 53 percent chance of a human-on-­human massacre before the end of the contract.

This Murderbot short story was published by WIRED magazine as part of their series "The Future of Work", on December 17, 2018.

Read this story for free at WIRED Magazine.

The Caves of Steel

Elijah Bailey / R. Daneel Olivaw: Book 1

Isaac Asimov

A millennium into the future two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Isaac Asimov's Robot novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together.

Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New York City police detective Elijah Baley had little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions. But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer. The relationship between Life and his Spacer superiors, who distrusted all Earthmen, was strained from the start. Then he learned that they had assigned him a partner: R. Daneel Olivaw. Worst of all was that the "R" stood for robot--and his positronic partner was made in the image and likeness of the murder victim!

The Peace War

Across Realtime: Book 1

Vernor Vinge

The Peace War is quintessential hard-science adventure. The Peace Authority conquered the world with a weapon that never should have been a weapon--the "bobble," a spherical force-field impenetrable by any force known to mankind. Encasing governmental installations and military bases in bobbles, the Authority becomes virtually omnipotent. But they've never caught Paul Hoehler, the maverick who invented the technology, and who has been working quietly for decades to develop a way to defeat the Authority.

With the help of an underground network of determined, independent scientists and a teenager who may be the apprentice genius he's needed for so long, he will shake the world, in the fast-paced hard-science thriller that garnered Vinge the first of his four Hugo nominations for best novel.

Forward the Foundation

The Foundation Series: Book 7

Isaac Asimov

A stunning testament to his creative genius. Forward The Foundation is a the saga's dramatic climax -- the story Asimov fans have been waiting for. An exciting tale of danger, intrigue, and suspense, Forward The Foundation brings to vivid life Asimov's best loved characters: hero Hari Seldon, who struggles to perfect his revolutionary theory of psychohistory to ensure the survival of humanity; Cleon II, the vain and crafty emperor of the Galactic Empire.

Great Sky River

The Galactic Center Series: Book 3

Gregory Benford

At the center of the galaxy, a small band of humans, trapped on the barren world of Snowglade and facing extinction, discovers that they will play a new role in the order of the universe.

The Trials

The Red: Book 2

Linda Nagata

In the wake of nuclear terrorism, a squad of elite soldiers must combat artificial intelligence and seek justice in this military political thriller, a sequel to The Red: First Light.

Lieutenant James Shelley and his squad of US Army soldiers were on a quest for justice when they carried out the unauthorized mission known as First Light. They returned home to America to face a court-martial, determined to expose the corruption in the chain of command that compelled their actions. But in a country still reeling from the nuclear terrorism of Coma Day, the courtroom is just one battlefield of many.

A new cycle of violence ignites when rumors of the elusive, rogue AI known as the Red go public - and Shelley is, once again, pulled into the fray. Challenged by his enemies, driven by ideals, Shelley feels compelled to act. But are the harrowing choices he makes really his own, or are they made for him, by the Red? And with millions of lives at stake in a game of nuclear cat-and-mouse, does the answer even matter?

Going Dark

The Red: Book 3

Linda Nagata

In the third book in The Red Trilogy, former Army Lt. James Shelley becomes a black ops sniper working for the Red--a suspected rogue artificial intelligence that is ripped from today's headlines.

James Shelley has left his lover, Delphi, and his companion-in-arms, Jayne Vasquez, with a fortune acquired from a fallen oligarch. They believe him to be dead, and he doesn't try to set the record straight. His long-running question has been answered: There are other soldiers like him who have served the purposes of the Red--and he has accepted his place among them. As a soldier of the Red he pursues covert missions designed to nudge history away from existential threats--but that doesn't mean the world is growing more orderly. It's only in the froth of a "managed chaos" that human potential can grow and thrive. Shelley's missions eventually take him into orbit--and into conflict with those he loves--Delphi and Jaynie--who are determined to escape the influence of the Red.

Prelude to Foundation

The Foundation Series: Book 6

Isaac Asimov

It is the year 12,020 G.E. and Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows there are those who would see him fall - those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future.

Hari Seldon has come to Trantor to deliver his paper on psychohistory, his remarkable theory of prediction. Little does the young Outworld mathematician know that he has already sealed his fate and the fate of humanity. For Hari possesses the prophetic power that makes him the most wanted man in the Empire... the man who holds the key to the future - an apocalyptic power to be know forever after as the Foundation.

Tower of Glass

Robert Silverberg

Simeon Krug has a vision--and the vast wealth necessary to turn dream into reality. What he wishes is to communicate with the stars, to answer signals from deep space. The colossal tower he's constructing for this purpose soars above the Arctic tundra, and the seemingly perfect androids building it view Krug as their god. But, Krug is only flesh-and-blood, and when his androids discover the truth, their anger knows no bounds... and it threatens much more than the tower.

RUR & War with the Newts

Karel Capek

Written against the background of the rise of Nazism, War With the Newts concerns the discovery in the South Pacific of a sea-dwelling race, which is enslaved and exploited by mankind. In time they rebel, laying siege to the strongholds of their former masters in a global war for supremacy. R.U.R., or Rossum's Universal Robots, seen by many as a modern interpretation of the 'golem' myth, is regarded as the most important play in the history of SF. It introduced the word 'robot' and gave the genre one of its most enduring tropes.

Foundation and Earth

The Foundation Series: Book 5

Isaac Asimov

The fifth novel in Asimov's popular Foundation series opens with second thoughts. Councilman Golan Trevize is wondering if he was right to choose a collective mind as the best possible future for humanity over the anarchy of contentious individuals, nations and planets. To test his conclusion, he decides he must know the past and goes in search of legendary Earth, all references to which have been erased from galactic libraries. The societies encountered along the way become arguing points in a book-long colloquy about man's fate, conducted by Trevize and traveling companion Bliss, who is part of the first world/mind, Gaia.

Starfish

Rifters: Book 1

Peter Watts

A huge international corporation has developed a facility along the Juan de Fuca Ridge at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to exploit geothermal power. They send a bio-engineered crew--people who have been altered to withstand the pressure and breathe the seawater--down to live and work in this weird, fertile undersea darkness.

Unfortunately the only people suitable for long-term employment in these experimental power stations are crazy, some of them in unpleasant ways. How many of them can survive, or will be allowed to survive, while worldwide disaster approaches from below?

Backscatter

Gregory Benford

Life might emerge under the most unlikely conditions... or in the last extremity.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Wetware

Ware: Book 2

Rudy Rucker

In 2030, bopper robots in their lunar refuge have founds a way to infuse DNA wetware with their own software code. The result is a new lifeform: the "meatbop." Fair is fair, after all. Humans built the boppers, now bops are building humans... sort of. It's all part of an insidious plot that's about to ensnare Della Taze--who doesn't think she killed her lover while in drug-induced ecstasy... but isn't sure. And it's certainly catastrophic enough to call Cobb Anderson -- the pheezer who started it all -- out of cold-storage heaven.

WWW: Wake

The WWW Trilogy: Book 1

Robert J. Sawyer

Caitlin Decter is young, pretty, feisty, a genius at math-and blind. Still, she can surf the net with the best of them, following its complex paths clearly in her mind. But Caitlin's brain long ago co-opted her primary visual cortex to help her navigate online. So when she receives an implant to restore her sight, instead of seeing reality, the landscape of the World Wide Web explodes into her consciousness, spreading out all around her in a riot of colors and shapes. While exploring this amazing realm, she discovers something-some other-lurking in the background. And it's getting more and more intelligent with each passing day...

The Silver Metal Lover

Silver Metal Lover: Book 1

Tanith Lee

Love is made of more than mere flesh and blood....

Tanith Lee is one of the most thought-provoking and imaginative authors of our time. In this unforgettably poignant novel, Lee has created a classic tale--a beautiful, tragic, erotic, and ultimately triumphant love story of the future.

For sixteen-year-old Jane, life is a mystery she despairs of ever mastering. She and her friends are the idle, pampered children of the privileged class, living in luxury on an Earth remade by natural disaster. Until Jane's life is changed forever by a chance encounter with a robot minstrel with auburn hair and silver skin, whose songs ignite in her a desperate and inexplicable passion.

Jane is certain that Silver is more than just a machine built to please. And she will give up everything to prove it. So she escapes into the city's violent, decaying slums to embrace a love bordering on madness. Or is it something more? Has Jane glimpsed in Silver something no one else has dared to see--not even the robot or his creators? A love so perfect it must be destroyed, for no human could ever compete?

The Children of the Sky

Zones of Thought: Book 3

Vernor Vinge

After nearly twenty years, Vernor Vinge has produced an enthralling sequel to his memorable bestselling novel A Fire Upon the Deep.

Ten years have passed on Tines World, where Ravna Bergnsdot and a number of human children ended up after a disaster that nearly obliterated humankind throughout the galaxy. Ravna and the pack animals for which the planet is named have survived a war, and Ravna has saved more than one hundred children who were in cold-sleep aboard the vessel that brought them.

While there is peace among the Tines, there are those among them--and among the humans--who seek power... and no matter the cost, these malcontents are determined to overturn the fledgling civilization that has taken root since the humans landed.

On a world of fascinating wonders and terrifying dangers, Vernor Vinge has created a powerful novel of adventure and discovery that will entrance the many readers of A Fire Upon the Deep. Filled with the inventiveness, excitement, and human drama that have become hallmarks of his work, this new novel is sure to become another great milestone in Vinge's already stellar career.

The Mad Scientist's Daughter

Cassandra Rose Clarke

There's never been anyone - or anything - quite like Finn. He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task is to tutor Cat. When the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

The Complete Roderick

Roderick

John Sladek

Roderick is a robot and this is his autobiography. Sladek conveys, with great sensitivity and insight the innocence of an artificial intelligence and asks profound questions about mankind's right to manipulate others. It also portrays how a numerological mind might structure a narrative.

Inventive, funny yet melancholy this is one of SF's greatest creative geniuses writing at his thought-provoking best.

This is an omnibus edition that includes Roderick and Roderick at Random.

The Red: First Light

The Red: Book 1

Linda Nagata

There Needs To Be A War Going On Somewhere.

Lieutenant James Shelley commands a high-tech squad of soldiers in a rural district within the African Sahel. They hunt insurgents each night on a harrowing patrol, guided by three simple goals: protect civilians, kill the enemy, and stay alive - because in a for-profit war manufactured by the defense industry there can be no cause worth dying for. To keep his soldiers safe, Shelley uses every high-tech asset available to him - but his best weapon is a flawless sense of imminent danger... as if God is with him, whispering warnings in his ear.

The Clockwork Dynasty

Daniel H. Wilson

Present day: When a young anthropologist specializing in ancient technology uncovers a terrible secret concealed in the workings of a three-hundred-year-old mechanical doll, she is thrown into a hidden world that lurks just under the surface of our own. With her career and her life at stake, June Stefanov will ally with a remarkable traveler who exposes her to a reality she never imagined, as they embark on an around-the-world adventure and discover breathtaking secrets of the past...

Russia, 1725: In the depths of the Kremlin, the tsar's loyal mechanician brings to life two astonishingly humanlike mechanical beings. Peter and Elena are a brother and sister fallen out of time, possessed with uncanny power, and destined to serve great empires. Struggling to blend into pre-Victorian society, they are pulled into a legendary war that has raged for centuries.

The Clockwork Dynasty seamlessly interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings designed to live by ironclad principles, yet constantly searching for meaning. As June plunges deeper into their world, her choices will ultimately determine their survival or extermination. Richly-imagined and heart-pounding, Daniel H. Wilson's novel expertly draws on his robotics and science background, combining exquisitely drawn characters with visionary technology--and riveting action.

Saturn's Children

Saturn's Children: Book 1

Charles Stross

Sometime in the twenty-third century, humanity went extinct-leaving only androids behind. Freya Nakamichi 47 is a femmebot, one of the last of her kind still functioning. With no humans left to pay for the pleasures she provides, she agrees to transport a mysterious package from Mercury to Mars.

Unfortunately for Freya, she has just made herself a moving target for some very powerful, very determined humanoids who will stop at nothing to possess the contents of the package.

Roderick

Roderick: Book 1

John Sladek

Roderick is a robot and this is his autobiography. Sladek conveys, with great sensitivity and insight the innocence of an artificial intelligence and asks profound questions about mankind's right to manipulate others. It also portrays how a numerological mind might structure a narrative.

Maelstrom

Rifters: Book 2

Peter Watts

This is the way the world ends:

A nuclear strike on a deep sea vent. The target was an ancient microbe-voracious enough to drive the whole biosphere to extinction-and a handful of amphibious humans called rifters who'd inadvertently released it from three billion years of solitary confinement.

The resulting tsunami killed millions. It's not as through there was a choice: saving the world excuses almost any degree of collateral damage.

Unless, of course, you miss the target.

Now North America's west coast lies in ruins. Millions of refugees rally around a mythical figure mysteriously risen from the deep sea. A world already wobbling towards collapse barely notices the spread of one more blight along its shores. And buried in the seething fast-forward jungle that use to be called Internet, something vast and inhuman reaches out to a woman with empty white eyes and machinery in her chest. A woman driven by rage, and incubating Armageddon.

Her name is Lenie Clarke. She's a rifter. She's not nearly as dead as everyone thinks.

And the whole damn world is collateral damage as far as she's concerned....

Fool's War

Sarah Zettel

For 500 years we have carried our ancient hatreds and millennia-old wars into interstellar space. With them have gone the seeds of new self-aware lifeforms mutating from artificial intelligences, technoviruses, and info-flow. Beings with no bodies and no limits, evolving to leap from cyberspace to outer space. Beings born to be our rivals...

Katmer Al Shei, owner of the starship Pasadena, does not know she is carrying a live entity in her ship's computer systems. Or that the electronic network her family helped weave holds a new race fighting for survival. Or that her ship's professional Fool is trying to avert a battle that could destroy entire worlds. And when Al Shei learns the truth, all she'll really know is that it's time to take sides...

Robogenesis

Robopocalypse: Book 2

Daniel H. Wilson

Humankind had triumphed over the machines. At the end of Robopocalypse, the modern world was largely devastated, humankind was pressed to the point of annihilation, and the earth was left in tatters . . . but the master artificial intelligence presence known as Archos had been killed.

In Robogenesis, we see that Archos has survived. Spread across the far reaches of the world, the machine code has fragmented into millions of pieces, hiding and regrouping. In a series of riveting narratives, Robogenesis explores the fates of characters new and old, robotic and human, as they fight to build a new world in the wake of a devastating war. Readers will bear witness as survivors find one another, form into groups, and react to a drastically different (and deadly) technological landscape. All the while, the remnants of Archos's shattered intelligence are seeping deeper into new breeds of machines, mounting a war that will not allow for humans to win again.

Daniel H. Wilson makes a triumphant return to the apocalyptic world he created, for an action-filled, raucous, very smart thrill ride about humanity and technology pushed to the tipping point.

Gridlinked

Agent Cormac Series: Book 1

Neal Asher

Gridlinked is a science fiction adventure in the classic, fast-paced, action-packed tradition of Harry Harrison and Poul Anderson, with a dash of cyberpunk and a splash of Ian Fleming added to spice the mix.

Cormac is a legendary Earth Central Security agent, the James Bond of a wealthy future where "runcibles" (matter transmitters controlled by AIs) allow interstellar travel in an eye blink throughout the settled worlds of the Polity. Unfortunately Cormac is nearly burnt out, "gridlinked" to the AI net so long that his humanity has begun to drain away. He has to take the cold-turkey cure and shake his addiction to having his brain on the net.

Now he must do without just as he’s sent to investigate the unique runcible disaster that's wiped out the entire human colony on planet Samarkand in a thirty-megaton explosion. With the runcible out, Cormac must get there by ship, but he has incurred the wrath of a vicious psychopath called Arian Pelter, who now follows him across the galaxy with a terrifying psychotic killer android in tow. And deep beneath Samarkand's surface there are buried mysteries, fiercely guarded.

This is fast-moving, edge-of-the-seat entertainment, and a great introduction to the work of one of the most exciting new SF talents in years.

Robopocalypse

Robopocalypse: Book 1

Daniel H. Wilson

They are in your house. They are in your car. They are in the skies… Now they’re coming for you.

In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late.

When the Robot War ignites -- at a moment known later as Zero Hour -- humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years.

R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)

Karel Capek

R.U.R.-a play written in 1920, premiered in Prague in 1921, and first performed in New York in 1922-garnered worldwide acclaim for its author and popularized the word robot.

Mass-produced as efficient laborers to serve man, Capek's Robots are an android product-they remember everything but think of nothing new. But the Utopian life they provide ultimately lacks meaning, and the humans they serve stop reproducing. When the Robots revolt, killing all but one of their masters, they must strain to learn the secret of self-duplication. It is not until two Robots fall in love and are christened "Adam" and "Eve" by the last surviving human that Nature emerges triumphant.

Poseidon's Wake

Poseidon's Children: Book 3

Alastair Reynolds

Two hundred years after the fall of Mechanism, human society has achieved a kind of stability. There are colonies beneath the oceans, throughout the solar system, and beyond: on the worlds of extrasolar systems. Vast hemirelativistic ships connect these colonies, travelling at half the speed of light. Or rather they would, if the ominous presence of the alien Watchkeepers had not led to an enforced moratorium on interstellar travel.

But when a seemingly impossible radio signal reaches the colony Crucible, everything changes:

Send Ndege

Its origin is unpopulated, unexplored space. No one could be there at least, not if they travelled using human technology so who could have sent it? How did they get there? And what use do they have for the disgraced scientist Ndege Akinya?

Finding the answers will require one of the greatest expeditions humankind has ever launched, a journey further than ever attempted before, conducted under the implacable scrutiny of the Watchkeepers.

But as a mission is prepared on Crucible, it turns out they werent the only ones to see the message or its potential...

The Warren

Brian Evenson

X doesn't have a name. He thought he had one--or many--but that might be the result of the failing memories of the personalities imprinted within him. Or maybe he really is called X.

He's also not as human as he believes himself to be.

But when he discovers the existence of another--above ground, outside the protection of the Warren--X must learn what it means to be human, or face the destruction of their two species.

Colossus

Colossus: Book 1

D. F. Jones

Charles Forbin has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the construction of his own supercomputer, Colossus, rejecting romantic and social endeavours in order to create the United States' very first Artificially Intelligent defence system.

Colossus is a supercomputer capable of in-taking and analyzing data rapidly, allowing it to make real time decisions about the nation's defense.

But Colossus soon exceeds even Forbin's calculated expectations, learning to think independently of the Colossus Programming Office, processing data over one hundred times faster than Forbin and his team had originally anticipated.

The President hands off full control of the nation's missiles and other defense protocols to Colossus and makes the announcement to the world that he has ensured peace.

However, the USSR quickly announces that it too has a supercomputer, Guardian, with capabilities similar to that of Colossus.

Forbin is concerned when Colossus asks--asks--to communicate with Guardian. The computer he built shouldn't be able to ask at all...

Colossus and Guardian begin to communicate, quickly bypassing existing knowledge ... and the parameters placed on them by their creators. They are perfectly smart and totally in control. However, they lack human empathy and emotion, creating horrific scenarios.

Colossus and its Russian counterpart, Guardian, soon compromise US military secrecy, ultimately subjugating their creators with the threat of nuclear war.

And while Colossus has been specifically designed not to understand emotion - so as to make quicker and more logical decisions about America's safety - this is exactly the thing that makes him so lethal; Colossus does not experience human empathy and is incapable of understanding the moral ramifications of his decisions.

Having handed over total control of American defence missiles to Colossus, the President and Forbin must act quickly to shut down the unstable machine.

Will Forbin be able to take down the machine he's spent ten years building?

Will Colossus cause real damage before it's too late?

Find out in D.F. Jones's thrilling novel Colossus, which deals with the ongoing battle - both physical and philosophical - between man and machine, addresses the author's own apprehensive attitude towards our future. His message is still as poignant and moving today and when the novel was originally published in 1966.

vN: The First Machine Dynasty

Machine Dynasties: Book 1

Madeline Ashby

Amy Peterson is a self-replicating humanoid robot known as a VonNeumann.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother's past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she's learning impossible things about her clade's history - like the fact that she alone can kill humans without failsafing...

The Garden of Rama

Rama Series: Book 3

Arthur C. Clarke
Gentry Lee

In the year 2130 a mysterious spaceship, Rama, arrived in the solar system. It was huge, but empty - apparently abandoned. By the time Rama departed for its next unknown destination many wonders had been uncovered, but few mysteries solved. Only one thing was clear: everything the enigmatic builders of Rama did, they did in threes.

Eighty years later the second alien craft arrived in the solar system. This time, Earth had been waiting. Now Rama II is on its way out of the solar system. Aboard it are three humans, two men and a woman, left behind when the expedition departed. Ahead of them lies the unknown, a voyage no human has ever experienced; and at the end of it may lie the truth about Rama.

3001: The Final Odyssey

Space Odyssey: Book 4

Arthur C. Clarke

One thousand years after the Jupiter mission to explore the mysterious Monolith had been destroyed, after Dave Bowman was transformed into the Star Child, Frank Poole drifted in space, frozen and forgotten, leaving the supercomputer HAL inoperable. But now Poole has returned to life, awakening in a world far different from the one he left behind--and just as the Monolith may be stirring once again . . .

Queen of Angels

Queen of Angels: Book 1

Greg Bear

Los Angeles 2047, a city on the eve of the Binary Millennium. Public Defender Mary Choy faces her toughest assignment yet - to bring back Emanuel Goldsmith, acclaimed poet turned mass killer, from the heart of a Caribbean island that is about to explode in revolution.

The Centauri Device

M. John Harrison

John Truck was to outward appearances just another lowlife spaceship captain. But he was also the last of the Centaurans - or at least, half of him was - which meant that he was the only person who could operate the Centauri Device, a sentient bomb which might hold the key to settling a vicious space war.

M. John Harrison's classic novel turns the conventions of space opera on their head, and is written with the precision and brilliance for which is famed.

Machinehood

S. B. Divya

Welga Ramirez, executive bodyguard and ex-special forces, is about to retire early when her client is killed in front of her. It's 2095 and people don't usually die from violence. Humanity is entirely dependent on pills that not only help them stay alive, but allow them to compete with artificial intelligence in an increasingly competitive gig economy. Daily doses protect against designer diseases, flow enhances focus, zips and buffs enhance physical strength and speed, and juvers speed the healing process.

All that changes when Welga's client is killed by The Machinehood, a new and mysterious terrorist group that has simultaneously attacked several major pill funders. The Machinehood operatives seem to be part human, part machine, something the world has never seen. They issue an ultimatum: stop all pill production in one week.

Global panic ensues as pill production slows and many become ill. Thousands destroy their bots in fear of a strong AI takeover. But the US government believes the Machinehood is a cover for an old enemy. One that Welga is uniquely qualified to fight.

Welga, determined to take down the Machinehood, is pulled back into intelligence work by the government that betrayed her. But who are the Machinehood and what do they really want?

The Forever Machine

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 26

Frank Riley
Mark Clifton

The government ordered it built: a thinking machine that could foresee catastrophe and eliminate human error. Research trainee Joe Carter sees another possibility--create a machine that will make ordinary people telepathic--and immortal.

This Galaxy Novel is available for free on the Internet Archives.