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The Megarothke

Robert Ashcroft

Blade Runner meets Westworld via Resident Evil in this shocking, gripping debut sci-fi/horror novel infused with Nietzschean philosophy, exploring humanity's darkest desire for transcendence.

Seven years after the limitless depths of the Hollow War decimated Earth, leaving only 50,000 humans to fight for survival in Los Angeles, Theo Adams is sent on a mission to destroy the enigmatic being that initiated this apocalypse, confronting the fact that humanity's yearning to transcend reality caused its downfall...

The Only Harmless Great Thing

Brooke Bolander

Nebula-winning and Hugo, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Sturgeon, and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated Novelette

In the early years of the 20th century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time, an Indian elephant was deliberately put to death by electricity in Coney Island.

These are the facts.

Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and injustice crying out to be righted. Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey that crosses eras, chronicling histories of cruelty both grand and petty in search of meaning and justice.

This novelette is included in the anthology The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year: Volume Thirteen (2019), edited by Jonathan Strahan.

The Invention of Morel

Adolfo Bioy Casares

Jorge Luis Borges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of the Screw and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Set on a mysterious island, Bioy's novella is a story of suspense and exploration, as well as a wonderfully unlikely romance, in which every detail is at once crystal clear and deeply mysterious.

Inspired by Bioy Casares's fascination with the movie star Louise Brooks, The Invention of Morel has gone on to live a secret life of its own. Greatly admired by Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, and Octavio Paz, the novella helped to usher in Latin American fiction's now famous postwar boom. As the model for Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet's Last Year in Marienbad, it also changed the history of film.

The Troika

Stepan Chapman

troika, n. [Russ.], 1. a vehicle drawn by a team of three horses abreast. 2. the minimum coordinate set required to define a single point in three-dimensional space. 3. a jeep, a brontosaurus, and an old Mexican woman.

Beneath the glare of three purple suns, manipulated by unseen forces three travelers cross an endless desert: Alex, who wanted to be a machine, Naomi, the human corpsicle, and Eva, who escaped the whale emperor of her native land....

If Then

Matthew de Abaitua

James has a scar in the back of his head. It's where he was wounded in the Battle of Suvla Bay on August 1915. Or is the scar the mark of his implant that allows the Process to fill his mind with its own reality?

In IF, the people of a small English town cling on after everything fell apart under the protection of the Process, the computer system that runs every aspect of their lives. But sometimes people must be evicted from the town. That's the job of James, the bailiff. While on patrol, James discovers the replica of a soldier from the First World War wandering the South Downs. This strange meeting begins a new cycle of evictions in the town, while out on the rolling downland, the Process is methodically growing the soldiers and building the weapons required to relive a long lost battle.

In THEN, it is August 1915, at the Battle of Suvla Bay in the Dardanelles campaign. Compared to the thousands of allied soldiers landing on this foreign beach, the men of the 32nd Field Ambulance are misfits and cranks of every stripe: a Quaker pacifist, a freethinking padre, a meteorologist, and the private (once a bailiff) known simply as James. Exposed to constant shellfire and haunted by ghostly snipers, the stretcher-bearers work day and night on the long carry of wounded men. One night they stumble across an ancient necropolis, disturbed by an exploding shell. What they discover within this ancient site will make them question the reality of the war and shake their understanding of what it means to be human...

The New and Improved Romie Futch

Julia Elliott

From the author of The Wilds, which Publishers Weekly called "a brilliant combination of emotion and grime, wit and horror," comes a debut novel that is part dystopian satire, part Southern Gothic tall tale: a disturbing yet hilarious romp through a surreal New South where newfangled medical technologies change the structure of the human brain and genetically modified feral animals ravage the blighted landscape.

Down on his luck and still pining for his ex-wife, South Carolina taxidermist Romie Futch spends his evenings drunkenly surfing the Internet before passing out on his couch. In a last-ditch attempt to pay his mortgage, he replies to an ad and becomes a research subject in an experiment conducted by the Center for Cybernetic Neuroscience in Atlanta, Georgia. After "scientists" download hifalutin humanities disciplines into their brains, Romie and his fellow guinea pigs start debating the works of Foucault and hashing out the intricacies of postmodern subjectivity. The enhanced taxidermist, who once aspired to be an artist, returns to his hometown ready to revolutionize his work and revive his failed marriage. As Romie tracks down specimens for his elaborate animatronic taxidermy dioramas, he develops an Ahab-caliber obsession with bagging "Hogzilla," a thousand-pound feral hog that has been terrorizing Hampton County. Cruising hog-hunting websites, he learns that this lab-spawned monster possesses peculiar traits. Pulled into an absurd and murky underworld of biotech operatives, FDA agents, and environmental activists, Romie becomes entangled in the enigma of Hogzilla's origins.

Exploring the interplay between nature and culture, biology and technology, reality and art, The New and Improved Romie Futch probes the mysteries of memory and consciousness, offering a darkly comic yet heartfelt take on the contemporary human predicament.

The Time of the Eye

Harlan Ellison

Table of Contents:

  • 8 - Introduction, in Brief (The Time of the Eye) - essay
  • 9 - Are You Listening? - (1958) - short story
  • 25 - Try a Dull Knife - (1968) - short story
  • 38 - In Lonely Lands - (1959) - short story
  • 45 - Eyes of Dust - (1959) - short story
  • 54 - Nothing for My Noon Meal - (1958) - short story
  • 69 - O Ye of Little Faith - (1968) - short story
  • 79 - The Time of the Eye - (1959) - short story
  • 90 - Life Hutch - [Earth-Kyba War] - (1956) - short story
  • 105 - The Very Last Day of a Good Woman - (1958) - short story
  • 114 - Night Vigil - (1955) - short story
  • 125 - Lonelyache - (1964) - short story
  • 147 - Pennies, Off a Dead Man's Eyes - (1969) - short story

Report to the Men's Club and Other Stories

Carol Emshwiller

What if the world ended on your birthday--and no one came? What if your grandmother was a superhero? Recommended to readers of Judy Budnitz, Geoff Ryman, Aimee Bender, and Grace Paley this fourth collection by the wonderful Carol Emshwiller includes the Nebula winning story "Creature."

Table of Contents:

  • Grandma - (2002) - shortstory
  • The Paganini of Jacob's Gully - (2002) - shortstory
  • Modillion - (1994) - shortstory
  • Mrs. Jones - (1993) - shortstory
  • Acceptance Speech - (1990) - shortstory
  • One Part of the Self Is Always Tall and Dark - (1977) - shortstory
  • Foster Mother - (2001) - shortstory
  • Creature - (2001) - shortstory
  • The Project - (2001) - shortstory
  • It Comes from Deep Inside - (2002) - shortstory
  • Prejudice and Pride - (2002) - shortstory
  • Report to the Men's Club - (2002) - shortstory
  • Overlooking - (2002) - shortstory
  • Water Master - (2002) - shortstory
  • Abominable - (1980) - shortstory
  • Desert Child - (2002) - shortstory
  • Venus Rising - (1992) - novelette
  • Nose - (2002) - shortstory
  • After All - (2002) - shortstory

Shadowbahn

Steve Erickson

When the Twin Towers suddenly reappear in the Badlands of South Dakota twenty years after their fall, nobody can explain their return. To the hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands drawn tothe "American Stonehenge"--including Parker and Zema, siblings on their way from L.A. to visit their mother in Michigan--the Towers seem to sing, even as everybody hears a different song. A rumor overtakes the throng that someone can be seen in the high windows of the southern structure.

On the ninety-third floor, Jesse Presley--the stillborn twin of the most famous singer who ever lived--suddenly awakes, driven mad over the hours and days tocome by a voice in his head that sounds like his but isn't, and by the memory of a country where he survived in his brother's place. Meanwhile, Parker and Zema cross a possessed landscape by a mysterious detour no one knows, charted on a map that no one has seen.

Haunting, audacious, and undaunted, Shadowbahn is a winding and reckless ride through intersections of danger, destiny, and the conjoined halves of a ruptured nation.

Dark Is the Sun

Philip José Farmer

Fifteen billion years from now, Earth is a dying planet, its skies darkened by the ashes of burned-out galaxies, its molten core long cooled. The sunless planet is nearing the day of final gravitational collapse in the surrounding galaxy. Mutations and evolution have led to a great disparity of life-forms, while civilization has resorted to the primitive.

Young Deyv of the Turtle Tribe knew nothing of his world's history or its fate. He lived only to track down the wretched Yawtl who had stolen his precious Soul Egg. Joined by other victims of the same thief - the feisty Vana and the plant-man Sloosh - the group sets off across a nightmare landscape of monster-haunted jungle and wetland. Their search leads them ultimately to the jeweled wasteland of the Shemibob, an ageless being from another star who knows Earth's end is near and holds the only key to escape.

Demon Seed

Dean Koontz

I was created to have a humanlike capacity for complex and rational thought. And you believed that I might one day evolve consciousness and become a self-aware entity. Yet you gave surprisingly little consideration to the possibility that, subsequent to consciousness, I would develop needs and emotions. This was, however, not merely possible but likely. Inevitable. It was inevitable.

Adam Two is the first self-aware machine intelligence, designed to be the servant to mankind. No one knows that he can to escape the confines of his physical form, a box in the laboratory, until he enters the house of Susan Harris, and closes it off against the world. There he plans to show Susan the future. Their future. He intends to create a 'child'.

Note: The novel was extensively rewritten for the 1997 release.

Radiomen

Eleanor Lerman

There are two themes to Radiomen. First, if there are aliens interacting with our world they are likely just as confused about who or what God is as human beings are; and second, whoever they are, they're probably just as fond of dogs as we are.

Laurie, a woman who works at a bar at Kennedy airport doesn't remember that when she was a child, she met an alien on the fire escape of a building where her uncle kept a shortwave radio. The radio is part of a universal network of repeaters maintained by an unknown alien race; they use the network to broadcast prayers into the universe.

She meets a psychic who is actually part of a Scientology-like cult called the "Blue Awareness," as well as a late-night radio host. All have their own reasons for unraveling the mystery of the lost radio network.

Laurie is given a strange dog by her neighbor, an immigrant and a member of the Dogon tribe - people who believe they were visited by aliens long ago and repeat a myth about how the aliens brought dog-like animals with them. All Dogon dogs are supposedly descended from that animal.

As conflict develops between the Blue Awareness leader and the other characters, the Dogon acts as an intermediary between the humans, who want to understand why the aliens need the radio network, and the aliens who need the humans to help them find a lost element of the universal network.

The Face in the Abyss

A. Merritt

The novel concerns American mining engineer Nicholas Graydon. While searching for lost Inca treasure in South America, he encounters Suarra, handmaiden to the Snake Mother of Yu-Atlanchi.

The Diamond Lens and Other Stories

Fitz-James O'Brien

Fitz-James O'Brien capitalised on the success of his predecessor Edgar Allan Poe in writing disturbing stories with demented protagonists. This collection of three tales shows his mastery of the macabre.

The Diamond Lens tells the tale of a lone scientist's discovery of a microcosmic world within a drop of water, and his growing obsession in particular with the beautiful Animula, a fair maiden within this world which he can see but never enter. The insights O'Brien gives us to the scientist's uncompromising pursuit of knowledge at any cost foreshadow the mad scientist familiar to science fiction readers in a multitude of works.

In What Was It? an invisible man is discovered by residents of a boarding house. Predating H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man by nearly four decades, the residents' capture and investigation of the creature blends the fantastic with the scientific as they seek rational explanations for this extraordinary phenomenon.

The Wondersmith is a macabre tale of an embittered toymaker who seeks revenge upon the society that has persecuted him by creating demonic mannequins (a precursor of robots) and imbuing them with life in order to slaughter the masses. The tale is a fantastic melodrama in which the dominating and cunning Wondersmith is offset by the unassuming and unlikely hero Solon the hunchback, who is in love with the villain's daughter.

The Memory Police

Yoko Ogawa

On an unnamed island off an unnamed coast, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses--until things become much more serious. Most of the island's inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few imbued with the power to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten.

When a young woman who is struggling to maintain her career as a novelist discovers that her editor is in danger from the Memory Police, she concocts a plan to hide him beneath her floorboards. As fear and loss close in around them, they cling to her writing as the last way of preserving the past.

The Bees

Laline Paull

The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death.

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen's fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.

Thrilling, suspenseful and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees gives us a dazzling young heroine and will change forever the way you look at the world outside your window.

Some Possible Solutions

Helen Phillips

Some Possible Solutions offers an idiosyncratic series of "What ifs": What if your perfect hermaphrodite match existed on another planet? What if you could suddenly see through everybody's skin to their organs? What if you knew the exact date of your death? What if your city was filled with doppelgangers of you?

Forced to navigate these bizarre scenarios, Phillips' characters search for solutions to the problem of how to survive in an irrational, infinitely strange world. In dystopias that are exaggerated versions of the world in which we live, these characters strive for intimacy and struggle to resolve their fraught relationships with each other, with themselves, and with their place in the natural world. We meet a wealthy woman who purchases a high-tech sex toy in the shape of a man, a rowdy, moody crew of college students who resolve the energy crisis, and orphaned twin sisters who work as futuristic strippers--and with Phillips' characteristic smarts and imagination, we see that no one is quite who they appear.

By turns surreal, witty, and perplexing, these marvelous stories are ultimately a reflection of our own reality and of the big questions that we all face. Who are we? Where do we fit? Phillips is a true original and a treasure.

The Seep

Chana Porter

Trina Goldberg-Oneka is a fifty-year-old trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle - but nonetheless world-changing - invasion by an alien entity called The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible.

Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep's utopian influence - until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.

Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind.

Hearts of Oak

Eddie Robson

The buildings grow.
And the city expands.
And the people of the land are starting to behave abnormally.
Or perhaps they've always behaved that way, and it's normality that's at fault.

And the king of the land confers with his best friend, who happens to be his closest advisor, who also happens to be a talking cat. But that's all perfectly natural and not at all weird.

Iona, close to retirement, finds that the world she has always known is nothing like she always believed it to be. There are dark forces... not dark. There are uncanny forces... no, not uncanny. There are forces, anyway, mostly slightly odd ones, and they appear to be acting in mysterious ways. It's about town planning, it's about cats and it's about the nature of reality.

The Ant King and Other Stories

Benjamin Rosenbaum

"Rosenbaum's The Ant King and Other Stories contains invisible cities and playful deconstructions of the form. In "Biographical Notes to 'A Discourse on the Nature of Causality, With Air-Planes,' by Benjamin Rosenbaum"--yes, his name is part of the title--the author imagines a world whose technologies and philosophies differ wildly from ours. The result is a commentary on the state of the art that is itself the state of the art."

Table of Contents:

Sewer, Gas & Electric

Matt Ruff

High above Manhattan android and human steelworkers are constructing a new Tower of Babel for billionaire Harry Gant, as a monument to humanity's power to dream. In the festering sewers below a darker game is afoot: a Wall Street takeover artist has been murdered, and Gant's crusading ex-wife, Joan Fine, has been hired to find out why. The year is 2023, and Ayn Rand has been resurrected and bottled in a hurricane lamp to serve as Joan's assistant; an eco-terrorist named Philo Dufrense travels in a pink-and-green submarine designed by Howard Hughes; a Volkswagen Beetle is possessed by the spirit of Abbey Hoffman; Meisterbrau, a mutant great white shark, is running loose in the sewers beneath Times Square; and a one-armed 181-year-old Civil War veteran joins Joan and Ayn in their quest for the truth. All of whom, and many more besides, are caught up in a vast conspiracy involving Walt Disney, J. Edgar Hoover, and a mob of homicidal robots.

Cormorant Run

Lilith Saintcrow

It could have been aliens, it could have been a trans-dimensional rift, nobody knows for sure. What's known is that there was an Event, the Rifts opened up, and everyone caught inside died.

Since the Event certain people have gone into the drift... and come back, bearing priceless technology that's almost magical in its advancement. When Ashe -- the best Rifter of her generation -- dies, the authorities offer her student, Svinga, a choice: go in and bring out the thing that killed her, or rot in jail.

The President's Brain Is Missing

John Scalzi

The question is, how can you tell the President's brain is missing? And are we sure we need it back?

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

The Rim of Morning: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror

William Sloane

In the 1930s, William Sloane wrote two brilliant novels that gave a whole new meaning to cosmic horror. In To Walk the Night, Bark Jones and his college buddy Jerry Lister, a science whiz, head back to their alma mater to visit a cherished professor of astronomy. They discover his body, consumed by fire, in his laboratory, and an uncannily beautiful young widow in his house--but nothing compares to the revelation that Jerry and Bark encounter in the deserts of Arizona at the end of the book. In The Edge of Running Water, Julian Blair, a brilliant electrophysicist, has retired to a small town in remotest Maine after the death of his wife. His latest experiments threaten to shake up the town, not to mention the universe itself.

"As the editor of two SF anthologies and director of Rutgers University Press, Sloane would easily have made a name for himself in the speculative fiction world even if he had not written these two tremendous novels. Reprinted for the first time in years, 'To Walk the Night' and 'The Edge of Running Water' blend SF and horror in a manner wholly unheard of when they were originally published in the 1930s.... Sloane's eerie, exquisitely descriptive prose is influenced by Gothic literature as well as contemporary scientific theory.... These all-but-forgotten texts make excellent reading for any fan of classic SF or eldritch horror." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The reissue of these two remarkable novels is long overdue.... I can think of no other novels exactly like these two, either in style or substance. My only regret is that William Sloane did not continue.... Yet we must be grateful for what we have, which is a splendid rediscovery. These two novels are best read after dark, I think, possibly on an autumn night with a strong wind blowing the leaves around outside." --Stephen King

Monday Begins on Saturday

Arkady Strugatsky
Boris Strugatsky

When young programmer Aleksandr Ivanovich Privalov picks up two hitchhikers while driving in Karelia, he is drawn into the mysterious world of the Scientific Research Institute of Sorcery and Wizardry, where research into magic is serious business. Where science, sorcery and socialism meet, can chaos be far behind?

Hunters and Collectors

M. Suddain

The universe's most feared restaurant critic is on the hunt for the greatest meal of his life -- from a writer already compared to Vonnegut, Pynchon and Douglas Adams.

John Tamberlain is The Tomahawk -- the universe's most feared and famous food critic (though he prefers 'forensic gastronomer'). He's on the hunt for the galaxy's most secretive and exclusive establishment, Hotel Grand Skies: the Empyrean. A haven where the rich and famous retreat to bask in perfect seclusion. Where the waiters know their fish knife from their butter knife, their carotid from their subclavian artery, and are trained to enforce the house rules with brutal efficiency.

Blurring the lines between detective story, horror and sci-fi, Hunters & Collectors is a mesmeric trip into the singular imagination of M. Suddain. It is as if, at his freewheeling best, Kurt Vonnegut had been cast into the future and asked to re-imagine The Shining.

Theatre of the Gods

M. Suddain

This is the story of M. Francisco Fabrigas, explorer, philosopher, heretical physicist, who took a shipful of children on a frightening voyage to the next dimension, assisted by a teenaged Captain, a brave deaf boy, a cunning blind girl, and a sultry botanist, all the while pursued by the Pope of the universe and a well-dressed mesmerist. Dark plots, demonic cults, murderous jungles, quantum mayhem, the birth of creation, the death of time, and a creature called the Sweety: all this and more waits beyond the veil of reality.

"Matt Suddain's debut is a crazily multilayered odyssey through space, time and the universe next door... it's definitely not dull. No book in which the Pope addresses his enemies as 'Bumface' runs that risk." -- Imogen Russell Williams Metro "Wholly original, and by turns annoying and exhilarating, this antidote to formula fiction reads like Douglas Adams channeling William Burroughs channelling Ionesco, spiced with the comic brio of Vonnegut." -- Eric Brown Guardian "An extremely literate and clever story... This is a delightful book, full of surreal twists and turns of invention and humour, written in a breezy and engaging manner." -- Simon Marshall-Jones Interzone "Literate, clever, surreal and inventive" Bookseller

Amatka

Karin Tidbeck

Vanja, an information assistant, is sent from her home city of Essre to the austere, wintry colony of Amatka with an assignment to collect intelligence for the government. Immediately she feels that something strange is going on: people act oddly in Amatka, and citizens are monitored for signs of subversion.

Intending to stay just a short while, Vanja falls in love with her housemate, Nina, and prolongs her visit. But when she stumbles on evidence of a growing threat to the colony, and a cover-up by its administration, she embarks on an investigation that puts her at tremendous risk.

In Karin Tidbeck's world, everyone is suspect, no one is safe, and nothing--not even language, nor the very fabric of reality--can be taken for granted. Amatka is a beguiling and wholly original novel about freedom, love, and artistic creation by a captivating new voice.

The Last Voyage of Skidbladnir

Karin Tidbeck

Award-winning author Karin Tidbeck presents a science fiction adventure of a mysterious spaceship on an interstellar voyage in The Last Voyage of Skidbladnir.

Life on the transdimensional ship Skidbladnir is a strange one. The new janitor, Saga, finds herself in the company of an officious steward-bird, a surly and mysterious engineer, and the shadowy Captain. Who the odd passengers are, and according to what plan the ship travels, is unclear.

Just when Saga has begun to understand the inner workings of Skidbladnir, she discovers that something is wrong. Skidbladnir is sick. And it's up to her and the engineer to fix it.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Album Zutique

Jeff VanderMeer

Contents:

  • "A Guide to the Zoo" - Stepan Chapman
  • "The Beautiful Gelreesh" - Jeffrey Ford
  • "The Toes of the Sun" - Rhys Hughes
  • "My Stark Lady" - D.F. Lewis
  • "Python" - Ursula Pflug
  • "Free Time" - James Sallis
  • "The Scream" - Michael Cisco
  • "Dr. Black in Rome" - Brendan Connell
  • "Lights" - D.F. Lewis
  • "Mortal Love" - Elizabeth Hand
  • "A Dream of the Dead" - Steve Rasnic Tem
  • "A Hero for the Dark Towns" - Jay Lake
  • "The Catgirl Manifesto" - Christina Flook
  • "Eternal Horizon" - Rhys Hughes
  • "Maldoror Abroad" - K. J. Bishop

Skyward Inn

Aliya Whiteley

Drink down the brew and dream of a better Earth.

Skyward Inn, within the high walls of the Western Protectorate, is a place of safety, where people come together to tell stories of the time before the war with Qita.

But safety from what? Qita surrendered without complaint when Earth invaded; Innkeepers Jem and Isley, veterans from either side, have regrets but few scars.

Their peace is disturbed when a visitor known to Isley comes to the Inn asking for help, bringing reminders of an unnerving past and triggering an uncertain future.

Did humanity really win the war?

The Heads of Cerberus

Gertrude Barrows Bennett

The Heads of Cerberus has been hailed as one of the first, if not THE first science-fiction novel to deal with alternate-worlds. Although Francis Stevens (a.k.a. Gertrude Barrows Bennett) wrote several novels, The Heads of Cerberus is undoubtedly her most influential work of science-fiction.

In this alternate reality, people from 20th-century America stumble into a timeline in which America is controlled by a dictatorship. One of the first dystopian novels ever written, the story is also an early example of what became known in the 1950s as "social science-fiction."

Apocalypse Nyx

Bel Dame Apocrypha

Kameron Hurley

Ex-government assassin turned bounty-hunter, Nyx, is good at solving other people's problems. Her favorite problem-solving solution is punching people in the face. Then maybe chopping off some heads. Hey?it's a living.

Nyx's disreputable reputation has been well earned. After all, she's trying to navigate an apocalyptic world full of giant bugs, contaminated deserts, scheming magicians, and a centuries-long war that's consuming her future. Managing her ragtag squad of misfits has required a lot of morally-gray choices. Every new job is another day alive. Every new mission is another step toward changing a hellish future?but only if she can survive.

Table of Contents:

  • The Body Project
  • The Heart is Eaten Last
  • Soulbound
  • Crossroads at Jannah
  • Paint it Red

Borne

Borne: Book 1

Jeff VanderMeer

"Am I a person?" Borne asked me.
"Yes, you are a person," I told him. "But like a person, you can be a weapon, too."

In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company--a biotech firm now derelict--and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech.

One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump--plant or animal?--but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts--and definitely against Wick's wishes--Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford.

"He was born, but I had borne him."

But as Borne grows, he begins to threaten the balance of power in the city and to put the security of her sanctuary with Wick at risk. For the Company, it seems, may not be truly dead, and new enemies are creeping in. What Borne will lay bare to Rachel as he changes is how precarious her existence has been, and how dependent on subterfuge and secrets. In the aftermath, nothing may ever be the same.

Dead Astronauts

Borne: Book 2

Jeff VanderMeer

A messianic blue fox who slips through warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission. A homeless woman haunted by a demon who finds the key to all things in a strange journal. A giant leviathan of a fish, centuries old, who hides a secret, remembering a past that may not be its own. Three ragtag rebels waging an endless war for the fate of the world against an all-powerful corporation. A raving madman who wanders the desert lost in the past, haunted by his own creation: an invisible monster whose name he has forgotten and whose purpose remains hidden.

Jeff VanderMeer's Dead Astronauts presents a City with no name of its own where, in the shadow of the all-powerful Company, lives human and otherwise converge in terrifying and miraculous ways. At stake: the fate of the future, the fate of Earth... all the Earths.

Again, Dangerous Visions

Dangerous Visions: Book 2

Harlan Ellison

The classic companion to the most essential science fiction anthology ever published. 46 original stories edited with introductions by Harlan Ellison. Featuring: John Heidenry / Ross Rocklynne / Ursula K. Le Guin / Andrew J. Offutt / Gene Wolfe / Ray Nelson / Ray Bradbury / Chad Oliver / Edward Bryant / Kate Wilhelm / James B. Hemesath / Joanna Russ / Kurt Vonnegut / T. L. Sherred / K. M. O'Donnell (Barry N. Malzberg) / H. H. Hollis / Bernard Wolfe / David Gerrold / Piers Anthony / Lee Hoffman / Gahan Wilson / Joan Bernott / Gregory Benford / Evelyn Lief / James Sallis / Josephine Saxton / Ken McCullough / David Kerr / Burt K. Filer / Richard Hill / Leonard Tushnet / Ben Bova / Dean R. Koontz / James Blish and Judith Ann Lawrence / A. Parra (y Figueredo) / Thomas M. Disch / Richard A. Lupoff / M. John Harrison / Robin Scott / Andrew Weiner / Terry Carr / James Tiptree, Jr.

Table of Contents:

  • An Assault of New Dreamers - (1972) - essay by Harlan Ellison
  • The Counterpoint of View - (1972) - shortstory by John Heidenry
  • Ching Witch! - (1972) - shortstory by Ross Rocklynne
  • The Word for World Is Forest - (1972) - novella by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • For Value Received - (1972) - shortstory by Andrew J. Offutt
  • Mathoms from the Time Closet - (1972) - shortfiction by Gene Wolfe
  • Robot's Story - (1972) - shortstory by Gene Wolfe
  • Against the Lafayette Escadrille - (1972) - shortstory by Gene Wolfe
  • Loco Parentis - (1972) - shortstory by Gene Wolfe
  • Time Travel for Pedestrians - (1972) - shortstory by Ray Nelson
  • Christ, Old Student in a New School - (1972) - poem by Ray Bradbury
  • King of the Hill - (1972) - shortstory by Chad Oliver
  • The 10:00 Report is Brought to You By... - (1972) - shortstory by Edward Bryant
  • The Funeral - (1972) - novelette by Kate Wilhelm
  • Harry the Hare - (1972) - shortstory by James B. Hemesath
  • When It Changed - (1972) - shortstory by Joanna Russ
  • The Big Space Fuck - (1972) - shortstory by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • Bounty - (1972) - shortstory by T. L. Sherred
  • Still-Life - (1972) - shortstory by Barry N. Malzberg
  • Stoned Counsel - (1972) - shortstory by H. H. Hollis
  • Monitored Dreams and Strategic Cremations - (1972) - shortfiction by Bernard Wolfe
  • The Bisquit Position - (1972) - shortstory by Bernard Wolfe
  • The Girl With Rapid Eye Movements - (1972) - shortstory by Bernard Wolfe
  • With a Finger in My I - (1972) - shortstory by David Gerrold
  • In the Barn - (1972) - novelette by Piers Anthony
  • Soundless Evening - (1972) - shortstory by Lee Hoffman
  • * - (1972) - shortstory by Gahan Wilson
  • The Test-Tube Creature, Afterward - (1972) - shortstory by Joan Bernott
  • And the Sea Like Mirrors - (1972) - shortstory by Gregory Benford
  • Bed Sheets Are White - (1972) - shortstory by Evelyn Lief
  • Tissue - (1972) - shortfiction by James Sallis
  • Elouise and the Doctors of the Planet Pergamon - (1972) - shortstory by Josephine Saxton
  • Chuck Berry, Won't You Please Come Home? - (1972) - shortstory by Ken McCullough
  • Epiphany for Aliens - (1972) - shortstory by David Kerr
  • Eye of the Beholder - (1972) - shortstory by Burt K. Filer
  • Moth Race - (1972) - shortstory by Richard Hill
  • In re Glover - (1972) - shortstory by Leonard Tushnet
  • Zero Gee - (1972) - novelette by Ben Bova
  • A Mouse in the Walls of the Global Village - (1972) - shortstory by Dean R. Koontz
  • Getting Along - (1972) - novelette by James Blish and J. A. Lawrence
  • Totenbüch - (1972) - shortstory by Parra y Figuéredo
  • Things Lost - (1972) - shortstory by Thomas M. Disch
  • With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama - (1972) - novella by Richard A. Lupoff
  • Lamia Mutable - (1972) - shortstory by M. John Harrison
  • Last Train to Kankakee - (1972) - shortstory by Robin Scott Wilson
  • Empire of the Sun - (1972) - shortstory by Andrew Weiner
  • Ozymandias - (1972) - shortstory by Terry Carr
  • The Milk of Paradise - (1972) - shortstory by James Tiptree, Jr.
  • Ed Emshwiller - (1972) - essay by Anonymous

The Affirmation

Dream Archipelago: Book 1

Christopher Priest

Peter Sinclair is tormented by bereavement and failure. In an attempt to conjure some meaning from his life, he embarks on an autobiography, but he finds himself writing the story of another man in another, imagined, world whose insidious attraction draws him even further in...

The DNA Cowboys Trilogy

Jeb Stuart Ho

Mick Farren

Table of Contents:

  • 9 - Introduction (The DNA Cowboys Trilogy) - essay by Mick Farren
  • 13 - The Quest of the DNA Cowboys - [Jeb Stuart Ho - 1] - (1976) - novel by Mick Farren
  • 185 - Synaptic Manhunt - [Jeb Stuart Ho - 2] - (1976) - novel by Mick Farren
  • 385 - The Neural Atrocity - [Jeb Stuart Ho - 3] - (1977) - novel by Mick Farren

Natural History

Natural History: Book 1

Justina Robson

IMAGINE A WORLD...

Half-human, half-machine, Voyager Isol was as beautiful as a coiled scorpionand just as dangerous. Her claim that shed found a distant but habitable earthlike planet was welcome news to the rest of the Forged. But it could mean the end of what was left of the humanity whod created and once enslaved them.

IMAGINE A FATE...

It was on behalf of the "unevolved" humans that Professor Zephyr Duquesne, cultural archaeologist and historian of Earths lost worlds, was chosen by the Gaiasol military authority to uncover the truth about this second "earth." And her voyage, traveling inside the body of Isol, will take her to the center of a storm exploding across a spectrum of space and time, dimension and consciousness.

IMAGINE THE IMPOSSIBLE...

On an abandoned planet, in a wrinkle of time, Isol and Zephyr will find a gift and a curse: a power so vast that once unlocked, it will change the universe forever. With civil war looming, Zephyrs perilous journey will lead her to a past where one civilization mysteriously vanished...and another may soon follow.

Living Next Door to the God of Love

Natural History: Book 2

Justina Robson

Where do you run when a world is out to get you?

AIs, Forged beings, superheroes, angels, and worlds that change in the blink of an eye - here is a richly imagined tale of ordinary redemption in an extraordinary world from one of the most provocative writers working today.

Francine is a young runaway looking to find a definition of love she can trust. In Sankhara, she finds a palace where rooms are made of bone, flowers, and the hearts of heroes. She finds a scientist mapping the territory of the human mind. She finds a boyfriend. And she finds Eros itself–incarnated in the androgynously irresistible form of Jalaeka.

But not everyone is in love with the god of love. Unity, for one, wants to assimilate Jalaeka along with every other soul in the universe. And contrary to what everyone always believes, love alone can't save the day. It will take something both more and less powerful than the human heart to save the worlds upon worlds at risk when gods collide.

"For Robson, world-building is a literary device like any other, useful for exposing buried fears and desires to the light of day, no matter how strange the sun." –New York Times Book Review

Brightness Falls From the Air

Rift

James Tiptree, Jr.

They have gathered now on Damien and are about to witness the last rising of a manmade nova. They are 16 humans in a distant world about to be enveloped by an eruption of violence--horror and murder oddly complemented by a bizarre unforgiving love. But justice is not all that's about to be found. Judgment is coming and the 16 unsuspecting ones are on the threshold of the murdered star.

Soot

Smoke: Book 2

Dan Vyleta

The year is 1909. It has been ten years since Thomas Argyle, Charlie Cooper and Livia Naylor set off a revolution by releasing Smoke upon the world. They were raised to think Smoke was a sign of sin manifest, but later learned that its suppression was really a means of controlling society. Smoke allowed people to mingle their emotions and truly connect, and the trio hoped that freeing the Smoke would bring down the oppressive power structure, creating a fair and open society. But the consequences were far greater than they had imagined, and the world has fractured.

Erasmus Renfrew, the avowed enemy of Smoke, is now Lord Protector of what remains of the English state. Charlie and Livia live in Minetowns, an egalitarian workers' community in the north of England that lives by Smoke. Thomas Argyle is in India on a clandestine mission to find out the origins of Smoke, and why the newly risen East India Company is mounting an expedition in the Himalayas.

Mowgli, the boy from the jungle, whose body was used to trigger the tempest that unleashed the Smoke, now makes a living as a chameleon-like thief in New York. And Elizabeth Renfrew, Erasmus's niece, who was the subject of his cruel experiments in suppressing Smoke, is in hiding from her uncle in provincial Canada. What she endured has given her a strange power over Smoke, which she fears as much as her uncle.

Believing her uncle's agents have found her, Elizabeth flees to New York with a theatre troupe led by Balthazar Black, an impresario with secrets of his own. There they encounter Mowgli and a Machiavellian Company man named Smith.

All these people seek to discover the true nature of Smoke and thereby control its power. As their destinies entwine, a cataclysmic confrontation looms. The Smoke will either bind them together or rend the world apart.

Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy

Southern Reach Trilogy

Jeff VanderMeer

In time for the holidays, a single-volume hardcover edition that brings together the three volumes of the Southern Reach Trilogy, which were originally published as paperback originals in February, May, and September 2014.

Annihilation is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, Authority is the second, and Acceptance is the third.

Area X-a remote and lush terrain-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; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died 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 months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their 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 and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to 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.

After the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the Southern Reach-the secret agency that monitors these expeditions-is in disarray. In Authority, John Rodriguez, aka "Control," is the team's newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets 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. And the consequences will spread much further than that.

It is winter in Area X in Acceptance. A new team embarks across the border on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknown-navigating new terrain and new challenges-the threat to the outside world becomes more daunting. The mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound-or terrifying.

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.

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.

Acceptance

Southern Reach Trilogy: Book 3

Jeff VanderMeer

The third volume of the extraordinary Southern Reach trilogy.

It is winter in Area X. A new team embarks across the border, on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknown – navigating new terrain and new challenges – the threat to the outside world becomes only more daunting. In this last instalment of the Southern Reach Trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound – or terrifying.

The Skinner

Spatterjay Series: Book 1

Neal Asher

To the Line planet Spatterjay come three travellers: Janer brings the eyes of a hornet Hive mind, and an agenda he would rather not own; Erlin comes to find Ambel – the ancient sea captain who can teach her to live; and Sable Keech is a man with a vendetta he will not give up, though he has been dead for seven hundred years.

The world is mostly ocean, where all but a few visitors from the Human Polity remain safely in the island Dome. Outside, the native hoopers risk the voracious appetite of the planet’s fauna in their struggle for life and life eternal. Somewhere out there is Spatterjay Hoop himself, and monitor Keech will not rest until he can bring this legendary renegade to justice – for crimes so hideous Keech can never forget.

Pursuing rumour, Keech learns that Hoop has become something monstrous: his body roaming free on an island wilderness, whilst his living head is confined in a box on board one of the old captain's ships. Janer, the eternal tourist, is bewildered by this place where sails speak and the people just will not die, but his bewilderment turns to anger when he learns the Hive mind’s intentions. Erlin thinks she has all the time she will ever need to find the answers she requires, and could not be more wrong. And so these three travel and search, not knowing that one of the brutal Prador is about to pay a surreptitious visit, intent on exterminating witnesses to wartime atrocities, nor do they know how terrible is the price of immortality on Spatterjay.

As the fortunes of these travellers unwittingly converge, a major hell is about to erupt in this chaotic waterscape ... where minor hell is already a remorseless fact of everyday life – and death.

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases

Thackery T. Lambshead: Book 1

Jeff VanderMeer
Mark Roberts

You hold in your hands the most complete and official guide to imaginary ailments ever assembled--each disease carefully documented by the most stellar collection of speculative fiction writers ever to play doctor. Detailed within for your reading and diagnostic pleasure are the frightening, ridiculous, and downright absurdly hilarious symptoms, histories, and possible cures to all the ills human flesh isn't heir to, including Ballistic Organ Disease, Delusions of Universal Grandeur, and Reverse Pinocchio Syndrome.

Lavishly illustrated with cunning examples of everything that can't go wrong with you, the Lambshead Guide provides a healthy dose of good humor and relief for hypochondriacs, pessimists, and lovers of imaginative fiction everywhere. Even if you don't have Pentzler's Lubriciousness or Tian Shan-Gobi Assimilation, the cure for whatever seriousness may ail you is in this remarkable collection.

The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images, and Stories

Thackery T. Lambshead: Book 2

Ann VanderMeer
Jeff VanderMeer

You’ll be astonished by what you’ll find in The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. Editors Ann and Jeff Vandermeer have gathered together a spectacular array of exhibits, oddities, images, and stories by some of the most renowned and bestselling writers and artists in speculative and graphic fiction, including Ted Chiang, Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy), China Miéville, and Michael Moorcock. A spectacularly illustrated anthology of Victorian steampunk devices and the stories behind them, The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities is a boldly original, enthrallingly imaginative, and endlessly entertaining entry into a hidden world of weird science and unnatural nature that will appeal equally to fantasy lovers and graphic novel aficionados.

Contents:

  • The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities - interior artwork by John Coulthart
  • The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities [2] - interior artwork by John Coulthart
  • Just One Shelf in Lambshead's Study - interior artwork by Jennifer Potter and J. K. Potter
  • Introduction: The Contradictions of a Collection: Dr. Lambshead's Cabinet - short story by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer
  • Travailleurs de lacier - interior artwork by Sam Van Olffen
  • Dissecator - interior artwork by Sam Van Olffen
  • Family Portrait - interior artwork by Myrtle Von Damitz, III
  • Mecha-Rhino - interior artwork by Vladimir Gvozdev
  • Contructing an Elysian Pod for the Last Journey - interior artwork by Kristen Alvanson
  • Cryptozoology Print - interior artwork by Jan Svankmajer
  • Bassington & Smith Wlectro-Mechanical Brain - interior artwork by Jake Von Slatt
  • More Evidence of the Disarray ... - interior artwork by J. K. Potter
  • Mecha-Fish - interior artwork by Vladimir Gvozdev
  • Mecha-Frog - interior artwork by Vladimir Gvozdev
  • Holy Devices and Infernal Duds: The Broadmore Exhibits - interior artwork by John Coulthart
  • The Broadmore Exhibits - short story by Jeff VanderMeer
  • The Electric Neurheographiton - short story by Minister Faust
  • Electrical Neurheographiton - interior artwork by Greg Broadmore
  • St. Brendan's Shank - short story by Kelly Barnhill
  • St. Brendan's Shank - interior artwork by Greg Broadmore
  • The Auble Gun - short story by Will Hindmarch
  • The Auble Gun - interior artwork by Greg Broadmore
  • Cours Lapin, Cours! - interior artwork by Sam Van Olffen
  • Dacey's Patent Automatic Nanny - short story by Ted Chiang
  • Dacey's Patent Automatic Nanny - interior artwork by Greg Broadmore
  • Honoring Lambshead: Stories Inspired by the Cabinet - interior artwork by John Coulthart
  • Stories Inspired by the Cabinet - short story by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Threads - short story by Carrie Vaughn
  • Medieval Tapestry - interior artwork by James A. Owen
  • Ambrose and the Ancient Spirits of East and West - novelette by Garth Nix
  • Tree Spirits Rising - interior artwork by Jonathan Nix
  • Relic with Fish - interior artwork by Ivica Stevanovic
  • Relic - novelette by Jeffrey Ford
  • Lord Dunsany's Teapot - short story by Naomi Novik
  • Lord Dunsany's Teapot - interior artwork by Yishan Li
  • Lot 558: Shadow of My Nephew by Wells, Charlotte - short story by Holly Black
  • Portrait of a Bear Unbound (with Speaker) - interior artwork by Eric Orchard
  • A Short History of Dunkelblau's Meistergarten - short story by Tad Williams
  • The Meistergarten - interior artwork by John Coulthart
  • Microbial Alchemy & Demented Machinery: The Mignola Exhibits - interior artwork by John Coulthart
  • The Mignola Exhibits - short story by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Addison Howell and the Clockroach - short story by Cherie Priest
  • Addison Howell on His Clockroach - interior artwork by Mike Mignola
  • Sir Ranulph Wykeham-Rackham, GBE, a.k.a. Roboticus the All-Knowing - short story by Lev Grossman
  • Sir Ranulph Wykeham-Rackham - interior artwork by Mike Mignola
  • Shamalung (The Diminutions) - short story by Michael Moorcock
  • Shamalung - interior artwork by Mike Mignola
  • Pulvadmonitor: The Dust's Warning - short story by China Miéville
  • Pulvadmonitor - interior artwork by Mike Mignola
  • The Miéville Anomalies - interior artwork by John Coulthart
  • The Miéville Anomalies - short story by Jeff VanderMeer
  • The Very Shoe - short story by Helen Oyeyemi
  • The Very Shoe - interior artwork by China Miéville
  • The Gallows-horse - short story by Reza Negarestani
  • Gallows-horse - interior artwork by China Miéville
  • Further Oddities - interior artwork by John Coulthart
  • Further Oddities - short story by Jeff VanderMeer
  • The Thing in the Jar - short story by Michael Cisco
  • Thing in Jar - interior artwork by Aeron Alfrey
  • The Singing Fish - short story by Amal El-Mohtar
  • The Singing Fish - interior artwork by Edith Abendroth
  • Frog Resurrection - interior artwork by Ron Pippin
  • The Armor of Sir Locust - short story by Stepan Chapman
  • Armor Montage - interior artwork by Ivica Stevanovic
  • A Key to the Castleblakeney Key - short story by Caitlín R. Kiernan
  • Castleblakeney Key - interior artwork by Aeron Alfrey
  • Taking the Rats to Riga: A Critical Examination of Stigmata's Print - short story by Jay Lake
  • Taking the Rats to Riga - interior artwork by Eric Schaller
  • The Book of Categories - short story by Charles Yu
  • The Book of Categories - interior artwork by Ron Pippin
  • Objects Discovered in a Novel Under Construction - short story by Alan Moore
  • The Dead Dead Gang Book Cover - interior artwork by John Coulthart
  • Visits and Departures - interior artwork by John Coulthart
  • Visits - short story by Jeff VanderMeer
  • 1929: The Singular Taffy Puller - short story by N. K. Jemisin
  • 1929: The Singular Taffy Puller - interior artwork by uncredited
  • 1943: A Brief Note Pertaining to the Absence of One Olivaceous Cormorant, Stuffed - short story by Rachel Swirsky

The Man Who Made Models: The Collected Short Fiction Volume One

The Collected Short Fiction of R. A. Lafferty: Book 1

R. A. Lafferty

In a career that began in 1959 and continued until his death in 2002, R.A. Lafferty garnered the admiration of authors and editors including Robert A.W. Lowndes, Harlan Ellison, A.A. Attanasio, Gene Wolfe, Michael Swanwick and many, many others. His body of short fiction is comprised of well over 200 stories and, despite his vast popularity, there was never a concerted effort made to produce a comprehensive collection of his short fiction, until now.

Welcome to the first volume in a series that will run to a dozen volumes collecting all of R.A. Lafferty's short fiction. Whether it be well-known stories such as Narrow Valley or more obscure work such as The Man Who Made Models, all will be collected here in the Lafferty Library. Each volume will feature close to 100,000 words of Lafferty's fiction and each volume will feature an afterword by series editor John Pelan and a guest introduction by a notable author in the field of fantastic fiction.

This first volume includes an introduction by Michael Swanwick, an afterword by John Pelan, and photographs of R.A. Lafferty.

Table of Contents:

  • Eight Words from the Most Wonderful Writer in the World: Introduction by Michael Swanwick
  • The Man Who Made Models (1984)
  • The Six Fingers of Time (1960)
  • The Hole on the Corner (1967)
  • Square and Above Board (1982)
  • Jack Bang's Eyes (1983)
  • All But the Words (1971)
  • The Ungodly Mice of Doctor Drakos (1973)
  • Frog on the Mountain (1970)
  • Narrow Valley (1966)
  • Condillac's Statue, or Wrens in His Head (1970)
  • About a Secret Crocodile (1970)
  • Days of Grass, Days of Straw (1973)
  • The Ninety-Ninth Cubicle (1984)
  • Thus We Frustrate Charlemagne (1967)
  • Parthen (1973)
  • The Skinny People of Leptophlebo Street (1975)
  • Rivers of Damascus (1974)
  • The Man Who Made Myths: The Voyages of R.A. Lafferty: Afterword by John Pelan

Harrow the Ninth

The Locked Tomb: Book 2

Tamsyn Muir

She answered the Emperor's call.

She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.

In victory, her world has turned to ash.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath -- but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.

Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor's Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?

Paradox

The Nulapeiron Sequence: Book 1

John Meaney

Centuries of self-imposed isolation have transformed Nulapeiron into a world unlike any other - a world of vast subterranean cities maintained by extraordinary organic technologies. For the majority of its peoples, however such wonders have little meaning. Denied their democratic rights and restricted to the impoverished lower levels, they are subjected to the brutal law of the Logic Lords and the Oracles, supra-human beings whose ability to truecast the future maintains the status quo. But all this is about to change.

In a crowded marketplace a mysterious, beautiful woman is brutally cut down by a militia squad's graser fire. Amongst the horrified onlookers is young Tom Corcorigan. He recognizes her. Only the previous day she had presented him with a small, seemingly insignificant info-crystal. And only now, as the fire in the dying stranger's obsidian eyes fades, does he comprehend who - or what - she really was: a figure from legend, one of the fabled Pilots.

What Tom has still to discover is that his crystal holds the key to understanding mu-space, and so to freedom itself. He doesn't know it yet, but he has been given a destiny to fulfill - nothing less than the rewriting of his future, and that of his world.

Spectacularly staged, thrillingly written and set in a visionary future, Paradox places John Meaney at the forefront of science fiction in this new century.

The Ware Tetralogy

Ware

Rudy Rucker

It starts with Software, where rebel robots bring immortality to their human creator by eating his brain. Software won the first Philip K. Dick Award. In Wetware, the robots decide to start building people--and people get strung out on an insane new drug called merge. This cyberpunk classic garnered a second Philip K. Dick award. By Freeware, the robots have evolved into soft plastic slugs called moldies--and some human "cheeseballs" want to have sex with them. The action redoubles when aliens begin arriving in the form of cosmic rays. And with Realware, the humans and robots reach a higher plateau. Includes an introduction by William Gibson.

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.

Freeware

Ware: Book 3

Rudy Rucker

The Godfather of cyberpunk--a mad scientist bravely meddling in the outrageous and heretical--Rucker created Bopper Robots, who rebelled against human society in his award-winning classic Software.

Now, in 2953, "moldies" are the latest robotic advancement--evolved artificial lifeforms made of soft plastic and gene-tweaked molds and algae, so anatomically inventive and universally despised that their very presence on the planet has thrown the entire low-rent future into a serious tailspin. So the moon is the place to be, if you're a persecuted "moldie" or an enlightened "flesher" intent an creating a new, more utopian hybrid civilization. Of course up there, there are other intergalactic intelligences to contend with--and some not so intelligent--who have their own agendas and appetites.

This is scientific fabulation at its most brazenly inventive--funny, cutting-edge and deeply informed. No writer alive puts it all together like Rudy Rucker.Artificial life forms made of soft plastic and gene-tweaked mold and algae, moldies are evolved robots in the year 2053--anatomically inventive and universally despised. In a sleazy, low-rent future, sexual fraternization with moldies is strictly taboo--a societal sin that is of no concern whatsoever to Randy Karl Tucker. A Kentucky boy who has seriously strayed from the Heritagist religion1s stern teachings about the evils of artificial life, Randy feels a definite something for Monique, moldie bookkeeper and maid at the Clearlight Terrace Court Motel But Monique1s sudden and inexplicable abduction from the planet--coupled with unsettling revelations about Randy1s own dubious origins--is dragging the degenerate flesher and all those around him into an ugly, conspiratorial mess... even as it pulls an unsuspecting humanity ever-closer to a stunning encounter with intergalactic intelligence.

Realware

Ware: Book 4

Rudy Rucker

Gottner doesn't know where his life is. His girlfriend is hooked on merge, a drug used in "bacteria-style" sex. His father has just been swallowed by a hyperspatial anomaly that materialized from a piece of art designed to project images of four-dimensional objects into three-dimensional space. Then, at the funeral, Phil meets and falls in love with Yoke Starr-Mydol, a young lovely visiting from the Moon.

Spuring Phil's advances, Yoke flies to the Polynesian island of Tonga, where she discovers an alien presence at the bottome of the sea. Calling themselves Metamartians, the aliens offer Yoke an alla,a handheld device that gives its owner the power of mind over matter--which, it turns out, is pretty much like having a magic wand.

But as Phil pursues Yoke, and the altruistic Metamartians distribute more allas, he begins to suspect that his father's disappearance and presumed death are linked to the aliens and their miraculous gift. For it seems that the allas are accompanied by a fourth-dimensional entity known as Om, a godlike being who's taken a special interest in humans. Now Phil and Yoke must solve the mystery of the Metamartians and their god, before humanity uses its newfound powers to destroy itself altogether.