28 Mar Hugo Award for Best Novel
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The Hugo Award for Best Novel is one of the Hugo Awards given each year for science fiction or fantasy stories published in English or translated into English during the previous calendar year and are one of the most prestigious science fiction awards, having been termed as “among the highest honours bestowed in science fiction and fantasy writing”. The awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories. Be sure to check out the official website of the Hugo Awards here.
Below are the list of winners – enjoy!
The Fifth Season – N K Jemisin
This is the way the world ends…for the last time. A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.
The Three-Body Problem – Cixin Liu, Ken Liu (translator)
1967: Ye Wenjie witnesses Red Guards beat her father to death during China’s Cultural Revolution. This singular event will shape not only the rest of her life but also the future of mankind. Four decades later, Beijing police ask nanotech engineer Wang Miao to infiltrate a secretive cabal of scientists after a spate of inexplicable suicides. Wang’s investigation will lead him to a mysterious online game and immerse him in a virtual world ruled by the intractable and unpredicatable interaction of its three suns. This is the Three-Body Problem and it is the key to everything: the key to the scientists’ deaths, the key to a conspiracy that spans light-years and the key to the extinction-level threat humanity now faces.
Ancillary Justice – Ann Leckie
Ancillary Justice is the story of a warship trapped in a human body and her search for revenge. The Radch are conquerors to be feared – resist and they’ll turn you into a ‘corpse soldier’ – one of an army of dead prisoners animated by a warship’s AI mind. Whole planets are conquered by their own people. The colossal warship called The Justice of Toren has been destroyed – but one ship-possessed soldier has escaped the devastation. Used to controlling thousands of hands, thousands of mouths, The Justice now has only two hands, and one mouth with which to tell her tale. But one fragile, human body might just be enough to take revenge against those who destroyed her.
Redshirts – John Scalzi
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is even more delighted when he’s assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn’t be better… although there are a few strange things going on… (1) Every Away Mission involves a lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) The ship’s captain, the chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these encounters; (3) At least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed. Suddenly it’s less surprising how much energy is expended below decks on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned an Away Mission. Andrew’s fate may have been sealed… until he stumbles on a piece of information that changes everything and offers him and his fellow redshirts a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.
Among Others – Jo Walton
‘It doesn’t matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.’ Fifteen-year-old Morwenna lives in Wales with her twin sister and a mother who spins dark magic for ill. One day, Mori and her mother fight a powerful, magical battle that kills her sister and leaves Mori crippled. Devastated, Mori flees to her long-lost father in England. Adrift, outcast at boarding school, Mori retreats into the worlds she knows best: her magic and her books. She works a spell to meet kindred souls and continues to devour every fantasy and science fiction novel she can lay her hands on. But danger lurks…She knows her mother is looking for her and that when she finds her, there will be no escape.
Blackout – Connie Willis
Blackout is the opening movement of a vast, absorbing two-volume novel. The narrative opens in Oxford, England in 2060, where a trio of time traveling scholars prepares to depart for various corners of the Second World War. Their mission: to observe, from a safe vantage point, the day-to-day nature of life during this critical historical moment. As the action ranges from the evacuation of Dunkirk to the manor houses of rural England to the quotidian horrors of London during the Blitz, the objective nature of their roles gradually changes. Cut off from the safety net of the future and caught up in the chaotic events that make up history, they are forced to participate, in unexpected ways, in the defining events of the era. Blackout is an ingeniously constructed time travel novel and a grand entertainment. More than that, it is a moving, exquisitely detailed portrait of a world under siege, a world dominated by chaos, uncertainty, and the threat of imminent extinction. It is the rare sort of book that transcends the limits of genre, offering pleasure, insight, and illumination on virtually every page.
All Clear – Connie Willis
Traveling back in time, from Oxford circa 2060 into the thick of World War II, was a routine excursion for three British historians eager to study firsthand the heroism and horrors of the Dunkirk evacuation and the London Blitz. But getting marooned in war-torn 1940 England has turned Michael Davies, Merope Ward, and Polly Churchill from temporal tourists into besieged citizens struggling to survive Hitler’s devastating onslaught. And now there’s more to worry about than just getting back home: The impossibility of altering past events has always been a core belief of time-travel theory – but it may be tragically wrong. When discrepancies in the historical record begin cropping up, it suggests that one or all of the future visitors have somehow changed the past – and, ultimately, the outcome of the war.
The City & The City – China Mieville
When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Bes el, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger. Borlu must travel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own, across a border like no other. With shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & The City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.
The Windup Girl – Paolo Bacigalupi
Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen’s calorie representative in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, he combs Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs long thought to be extinct. There he meets the windup girl – the beautiful and enigmatic Emiko – now abandoned to the slums. She is one of the New People, bred to suit the whims of the rich. Engineered as slaves, soldiers and toys, they are the new underclass in a chilling near future where oil has run out, calorie companies dominate nations and bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe. And as Lake becomes increasingly obsessed with Emiko, conspiracies breed in the heat and political tensions threaten to spiral out of control. Businessmen and ministry officials, wealthy foreigners and landless refugees all have their own agendas. But no one anticipates the devastating influence of the Windup Girl.
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union – Michael Chabon
Set in the Jewish homeland of… Alaska, this is a brilliantly original novel from Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay’. What if, as Franklin Roosevelt once proposed, Alaska – and not Israel – had become the homeland for the Jews after the Second World War? In Michael Chabon’s Yiddish-speaking ‘Alyeska’, Orthodox gangs in side-curls and knee breeches roam the streets of Sitka, where Detective Meyer Landsman discovers the corpse of a heroin-addled chess prodigy in the flophouse Meyer calls home. Marionette strings stretch back to the hands of charismatic Rebbe Gold, leader of a sect that seems to have drawn its mission statement from the Cosa Nostra. Meyer is determined to unsnarl the meaning behind the murder. Even if that means surrendering his badge and his dignity to the chief of Sitka’s homicide unit – his fearsome ex-wife Bina. A novel of colossal ambition and heart, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union interweaves a homage to the stylish menace of 1940s film noir with a bittersweet fable of identity, home and faith.
Rainbows End – Vernor Vinge
San Diego, California, 2025. Robert Gu is a recovering Alzheimer’s patient. The world that he remembers was much as we know it today. Now, as he regains his faculties through a cure developed during the years of his near-fatal decline, he discovers that the world has changed and so has his place in it. He was a world-renowned poet. Now he is seventy-five years old, though by a medical miracle he looks much younger, and he’s starting over, for the first time unsure of his poetic gifts. Living with his son’s family, he has no choice but to learn how to cope with a new information age in which the virtual and the real are a seamless continuum, layers of reality built on digital views seen by a single person or millions, depending on your choice. But the consensus reality of the digital world is available only if, like his thirteen-year-old granddaughter Miri, you know how to wear your wireless access – through nodes designed into ‘smart’ clothes -and to see the digital context – through ‘smart’ contact lenses. With knowledge comes risk. When Robert begins to re-train at Fairmont High, learning with other older people what is second nature to Miri and other teens at school, he unwittingly becomes part of a wide-ranging conspiracy to use technology as a tool for world domination. In a world where every computer chip has Homeland Security built-in, this conspiracy is something that baffles even the most sophisticated security analysts, including Robert’s son and daughter-in law, two top people in the U.S. military. And even Miri, in her attempts to protect her grandfather, may be entangled in the plot. As Robert becomes more deeply involved in conspiracy, he is shocked to learn of a radical change planned for the UCSD Geisel Library; all the books there, and worldwide, would cease to physically exist. He and his fellow re-trainees feel compelled to join protests against the change. With forces around the world converging on San Diego, both the conspiracy and the protest climax in a spectacular moment as unique and satisfying as it is unexpected.
Spin – Robert Charles Wilson
Spin is Robert Charles Wilson’s Hugo Award-winning masterpiece – a stunning combination of a galactic “what if” and a small-scale, very human story. One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives. The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk – a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. Not only have the world’s artificial satellites fallen out of orbit, their recovered remains are pitted and aged, as though they’d been in space far longer than their known lifespans. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, a space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside – more than a hundred million years per year on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty years in our future. Jason, now a promising young scientist, devotes his life to working against this slow-moving apocalypse. Diane throws herself into hedonism, marrying a sinister cult leader who’s forged a new religion out of the fears of the masses. Earth sends terraforming machines to Mars to let the onrush of time do its work, turning the planet green. Next they send humans…and immediately get back an emissary with thousands of years of stories to tell about the settling of Mars. Then Earth’s probes reveal that an identical barrier has appeared around Mars. Jason, desperate, seeds near space with self-replicating machines that will scatter copies of themselves outward from the sun – and report back on what they find. Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke
Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation’s past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.
Paladin of Souls – Lois McMaster Bujold
Follow Lois McMaster Bujold, one of the most honored authors in the field of fantasy and science fiction, to a land threatened by treacherous war and beset by demons – as a royal dowager, released from the curse of madness and manipulated by an untrustworthy god, is plunged into a desperate struggle to preserve the endangered souls of a realm.
Hominids – Robert J. Sawyer
Hominids examines two unique species of people. We are one of those species; the other is the Neanderthals of a parallel world where they became the dominant intelligence. The Neanderthal civilization has reached heights of culture and science comparable to our own, but with radically different history, society and philosophy. Ponter Boddit, a Neanderthal physicist, accidentally pierces the barrier between worlds and is transferred to our universe. Almost immediately recognized as a Neanderthal, but only much later as a scientist, he is quarantined and studied, alone and bewildered, a stranger in a strange land. But Ponter is also befriended – by a doctor and a physicist who share his questing intelligence, and especially by Canadian geneticist Mary Vaughan, a woman with whom he develops a special rapport. Ponter’s partner, Adikor Huld, finds himself with a messy lab, a missing body, suspicious people all around and an explosive murder trial. How can he possibly prove his innocence when he has no idea what actually happened to Ponter?
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the time until his release ticks away, he can feel a storm brewing. Two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr Wednesday claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But the storm is about to break…Disturbing, gripping and profoundly strange, Gaiman’s epic novel sees him on the road to the heart of America.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling
When the Quidditch World Cup is disrupted by Voldemort’s rampaging supporters and the terrifying Dark Mark is resurrected, it is obvious to Harry that, far from failing, Voldemort is getting stronger. The ultimate symbol to the magic world of the evil Lord’s return would be if the one and only survivor of his death curse, Harry Potter, could finally be beaten. So when Harry is entered for the Triwizard Tournament – a competition between three wizarding schools to find the ultimate magician – he knows that rather than win it, he just has to get through the trials alive.
A Deepness in the Sky – Vernor Vinge
After thousands of years searching, humans stand on the verge of first contact with an alien race. Two human groups: the Qeng Ho, a culture of free traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds. The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens’ very doorstep for their strange star to relight and for their planet to reawaken, as it does every two hundred and fifty years…. Then, following terrible treachery, the Qeng Ho must fight for their freedom and for the lives of the unsuspecting innocents on the planet below, while the aliens themselves play a role unsuspected by the Qeng Ho and Emergents alike.
Blue Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson
The final novel in Kim Stanley Robinson’s massively successful and lavishly praised Mars trilogy. Mars has grown up It is fully terraformed – genetically engineered plants and animals live by newly built canals and young but stormy seas. It is politically independent. A brave and buzzing new world. Most of the First Hundred have died. Those that remain are like walking myths to Martian youth. Earth has grown too much Chronic overpopulation, bitter nationalism, scarce resources. For too many Terrans, Mars is a mocking utopia. A dream to live for, fight for…perhaps even die for.
The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson
The future is small. The future is nano… and who could be smaller or more insignificant than poor Little Nell – an orphan girl alone and adrift in a world of Confucian Law, Neo-Victorian values and warring nano-technology? Well, not quite alone. Because Nell has a friend, of sorts. A guide, a teacher, an armed and unarmed combat instructor, a book and a computer: “The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer” is all these and much much more. It is illicit, magical, dangerous. And it isn’t Nell’s. It was stolen. And now some very powerful people want to get their hands on this highly desirable object. Nell is about to discover that the world can feel very small indeed…
Mirror Dance – Lois McMaster Bujold
Miles Vorkosigan is in trouble. His brother, a cloned stranger formed from tissue stolen from Miles when he was a child, wants to murder and replace him. Unfortunately, Mark has learned that without Miles, he is… nothing.
Green Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson
The second novel in Kim Stanley Robinson’s massively successful and lavishly praised Mars trilogy. Mars can be plundered – for the benefit of a ravaged Earth. It can be terraformed to suit Man’s needs – frozen lakes form, lichen grows, the atmosphere slowly becomes breathable. But most importantly, Mars can be owned. On Earth, countries are bought and sold by the transnationals. Why not Mars too? Man’s dream is underway, but so is his greatest test. The survivors of the First Hundred – Hiroko, Nadia, Maya and Simon among them – know that technology alone is not enough. Trust and co-operation are need to create a new world – but these qualities are as thin on the ground as the air they breathe.
The Doomsday Book – Connie Willis
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity’s history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received. But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin – barely of age herself – finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history’s darkest hours.
A Fire Upon the Deep – 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.
Barrayar – Lois McMaster Bujold
Following her marriage to the notorious ‘Butcher of Komarr’, Lord Aral Vorkosigan, Captain Cordelia Naismith has become an outcast on her own world. Sick of combat and betrayal, she is ready to settle down to a quiet life on Barrayar, interrupted only by the occasional ceremonial appearances required of the Lady Vorkosigan. At least, that was the plan…With the death of the emperor, Aral has become Regent for the infant heir to the throne of Barrayar, thus making him – and his family – a target for traitors and malcontents. It takes but one lapse in the constant, deadly game of palace intrigue for things to go terribly wrong. An assassination attempt on the young emperor fails but the poison gas used does find a victim: the pregnant Cordelia. The Lady Vorkosigan herself is unharmed, but the gas seriously affects the growth and development of their unborn child, Miles. Irreparable cell-damage means that the heir to House Vorkosigan is born with bones that are, and will always be, unnaturally brittle, and he will never stand taller than his mother’s shoulder. But what he lacks in strength, the young Miles more than makes up for in spirit. Neither Aral nor Cordelia could possibly guess the part their fragile son is destined to play in the future of the empire…
The Vor Game – Lois McMaster Bujold
Miles Vorkosigan has shaken the High Command of his home planet Barrayar to the core and has been sent to the other side of the galaxy as a result. There Miles runs into his old pals, the Dendarii Free Mercenaries. And a good thing, too, because it turns out that Miles’s childhood chum–Emperor Gregor to you and me–has been the victim of foul play, and only Miles can save him. In fact, Miles knows he must save Gregor. Because if he doesn’t, then the only person who could become emperor is Miles himself, which is, for Miles, a fate worse than death!
Hyperion – Dan Simmons
On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, therewaits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. Thereare those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. Inthe Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backwardthrough time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, withthe entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage toHyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Eachcarries a desperate hope – and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate ofhumanity in his hands.
The Uplift War – David Brin
Brin’s tales are set in a future universe in which no species can reach sentience without being “uplifted” by a patron race. But the greatest mystery of all remains unsolved: who uplifted humankind? As galactic armadas clash in quest of the ancient fleet of the Progenitors, a brutal alien race seizes the dying planet of Garth. The various uplifted inhabitants of Garth must battle their overlords or face ultimate extinction. At stake is the existence of Terran society and Earth, and the fate of the entire Five Galaxies.
Speaker for the Dead – Orson Scott Card
Three thousand planet-bound years have passed while Ender the star-traveller remains young. In that time his name has become anathema, for he is the one who killed an entire race of thinking, feeling beings. No other has been found – until Lusitania is discovered. The young race there offers mankind a chance to redeem the previous destruction. The only humans allowed near are trained xenobiologists. But once again there are tragic misunderstandings. And when Ender, as Andrew Wiggin, is called to Lusitania to speak for the dead – to present to the community the terrible truth of why men have been killed by aliens – his actions can, and will, reverberate through an entire galactic empire.
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
The human race faces annihilation. An alien threat is on the horizon, ready to strike. And if humanity is to be defended, the government must create the greatest military commander in history. The brilliant young Ender Wiggin is their last hope. But first he must survive the rigours of a brutal military training program – to prove that he can be the leader of all leaders. A saviour for mankind must be produced, through whatever means possible. But are they creating a hero or a monster? This is the multiple award-winning classic Ender’s Game – a groundbreaking tale of war, strategy and survival.
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Case was the hottest computer cowboy cruising the information superhighway – jacking his consciousness into cyberspace, soaring through tactile lattices of data and logic, rustling encoded secrets for anyone with the money to buy his skills. Then he double-crossed the wrong people, who caught up with him in a big way – and burned the talent out of his brain, micron by micron. Banished from cyberspace, trapped in the meat of his physical body, Case courted death in the high-tech underworld. Until a shadowy conspiracy offered him a second chance – and a cure – for a price…
Startide Rising – David Brin
The Terran exploration vessel “Streaker” has crashed in the uncharted water world of Kithrup, bearing one of the most important discoveries in galactic history. Below, a handful of her human and dolphin crew battles armed rebellion and a hostile planet to safeguard her secret – the fate of the Progenitors, the fabled First Race who seeded wisdom throughout the stars.
Foundation’s Edge – Isaac Asimov
It is 498 years since the two Foundations came into existence – half-way through the Interregnum planned by Hari Seldon. The Second Foundation has once more successfully concealed its existence so that the laws of psychohistory can operate to usher in a new Empire ruled by the mental sciences. The Second Foundation is thought to be extinct…except by Councilman Golan Trevize. Trevize fears that the mysterious Second Foundation will bid for power once a new Galactic Empire is established. To prevent Trevize spreading alarm’ the Mayor of Terminus exiles him to the abandoned ruins of Trantor. Accompanying Trevize is Janov Pelorat’ Professor of Ancient History at the University of Terminus. Pelorat hopes to find on Trantor a clue to the location of the planet that gave birth to the human race. His belief in the existence of Earth is considered as far-fetched as Trevize’s belief that the Second Foundation endures. But the truths discovered by both of them on Trantor are far stranger than they could have guessed.
The Snow Queen – Joan D. Vinge
The imperious Winter colonists have ruled the planet Tiamat for 150 years, deriving wealth from the slaughter of the sea mers. But soon the galactic stargate will close, isolating Tiamat, and the 150-year reign of the Summer primitives will begin. Their only chance at surviving the change is if Arienrhod, the ageless, corrupt Snow Queen, can destroy destiny with an act of genocide. Arienrhod is not without competition as Moon, a young Summer-tribe sibyl, and the nemesis of the Snow Queen, battles to break a conspiracy that spans space. Interstellar politics, a millennia-long secret conspiracy, and a civilization whose hidden machineries might still control the fate of worlds all form the background to this spectacular hard science fiction novel from Joan D. Vinge.
The Fountains of Paradise – Arthur C. Clarke
In the 22nd century visionary scientist Vannevar Morgan conceives the most grandiose engineering project of all time, and one which will revolutionize the future of humankind of space: a Space Elevator, 36,000 kilometres high, anchored to an equatorial island in the Indian Ocean.
Gateway – Frederik Pohl
Wealth… or death. Those were the choices Gateway offered. Humans had discovered this artificial spaceport, full of working interstellar ships left behind by the mysterious, vanished Heechee. Their destinations are preprogrammed. They are easy to operate, but impossible to control. Some came back with discoveries which made their intrepid pilots rich; others returned with their remains barely identifiable. It was the ultimate game of Russian roulette, but in this resource-starved future there was no shortage of desperate volunteers.
Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang – Kate Wilhelm
The Sumner family can read the signs: the droughts and floods, the blighted crops, the shortages, the rampant diseases and plagues, and, above all, the increasing sterility all point to one thing. Their isolated farm in the Appalachian Mountains gives them the ideal place to survive the coming breakdown, and their wealth and know-how gives them the means. Men and women must clone themselves for humanity to survive. But what then?
The Forever War – Joe Haldeman
Private William Mandella is a reluctant hero in an interstellar war against an unknowable and unconquerable alien enemy. But his greatest test will be when he returns home. Relativity means that for every few months’ tour of duty centuries have passed on Earth, isolating the combatants ever more from the world for whose future they are fighting.
The Dispossessed – Ursula K. Le Guin
The Principle of Simultaneity is a scientific breakthrough which will revolutionize interstellar civilization by making possible instantaneous communication. It is the life work of Shevek, a brilliant physicist from the arid anarchist world of Anarres. But Shevek’s work is being stifled by jealous colleagues, so he travels to Anarres’s sister-planet Urras, hoping to find more liberty and tolerance there. But he soon finds himself being used as a pawn in a deadly political game.
Rendezvous With Rama – Arthur C. Clarke
Rama is a vast alien spacecraft that enters the Solar System, A perfect cylinder some fifty kilometres long, spinning rapidly, racing through space, Rama is a technological marvel, a mysterious and deeply enigmatic alien artifact. It is Mankind’s first visitor from the stars and must be investigated…
The Gods Themselves – Isaac Asimov
In the year 2100, mankind on Earth, settlers in a lunar colony and aliens from the para-universe, a strange universe parallel in time to our own, are faced with a race against time to prevent total destruction of the Earth. The invention of the Inter-Universe Electron Pump has threatened the rate of hydrogen fusion in the sun, leading, inevitably, to the possibilty of a vast explosion – and the vapourisation of the Earth exactly eight minutes later…
To Your Scattered Bodies Go – P. J. Farmer
All those who ever lived on Earth have found themselves resurrected – healthy, young, and naked as newborns – on the grassy banks of a mighty river, in a world unknown. Miraculously provided with food, but with no clues to the meaning of their strange new afterlife, billions of people from every period of Earth’s history – and prehistory – must start again.Sir Francis Bacon would be the first to glimpse the incredible way-station, a link between worlds. This forbidden sight would spur the renowned 19th-century explorer to uncover the truth. Along with a remarkable group of compatriots, including Alice Liddell Hargreaves (the Victorian girl who was the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland), an English-speaking Neanderthal, a WWII Holocaust survivor, and a wise extraterrestrial, Burton sets sail on the magnificent river. His mission: to confront humankind’s mysterious benefactors, and learn the true purpose – innocent or evil – of the Riverworld…
Ringworld – Larry Niven
Pierson’s puppeteers, strange, three-legged, two-headed aliens, have discovered an immense structure in a hitherto unexplored part of the universe. Frightened of meeting the builders of such a structure, the puppeteers set about assembling a team consisting of two humans, a puppeteer and a kzin, an alien not unlike an eight-foot-tall, red-furred cat, to explore it. The artefact is a vast circular ribbon of matter, some 180 million miles across, with a sun at its centre – the Ringworld. But the expedition goes disastrously wrong when the ship crashlands and its motley crew faces a trek across thousands of miles of the Ringworld’s surface.
The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin
Genly Ai is an ethnologist observing the people of the planet Gethen, a world perpetually in winter. The people there are androgynous, normally neuter, but they can become male ot female at the peak of their sexual cycle. They seem to Genly Ai alien, unsophisticated and confusing. But he is drawn into the complex politics of the planet and, during a long, tortuous journey across the ice with a politician who has fallen from favour and has been outcast, he loses his professional detachment and reaches a painful understanding of the true nature of Gethenians and, in a moving and memorable sequence, even finds love…
Lord of Light – Roger Zelazny
Imagine a distant world where gods walk as men, but wield vast and hidden powers. Here they have made the stage on which they build a subtle pattern of alliance, love, and deadly enmity. Are they truly immortal? Who are these gods who rule the destiny of a teeming world? Their names include Brahma, Kali, Krishna and also he who was called Buddha, the Lord of Light, but who now prefers to be known simply as Sam. The gradual unfolding of the story – how the colonization of another planet became a re-enactment of Eastern mythology – is one of the great imaginative feats of modern science fiction.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – Robert A. Heinlein
On Luna – an open penal colony of the twenty-first century – a revolution is being plotted. The conspirators are a strange assortment: an engaging jack-of-all-trades, his luscious blonde girlfriend, and a lonely talking computer. Their aim – the overthrow of the hated Authority. Everything goes well until…
Dune – Frank Herbert
The Duke of Atreides has been manoeuvred by his arch-enemy, Baron Harkonnen, into administering the desert planet of Dune. Although it is almost completely without water, Dune is a planet of fabulous wealth, for it is the only source of a drug prized throughout the Galactic Empire. The Duke and his son, Paul, are expecting treachery, and it duly comes – but from a shockingly unexpected place. Then Paul succeeds his father, and he becomes a catalyst for the native people of Dune, whose knowledge of the ecology of the planet gives them vast power. They have been waiting for a leader like Paul Atreides, a leader who can harness that force…
This Immortal – Roger Zelazny
Conrad Nomikos has a long, rich personal history that he’d rather not talk about and a job he would rather not do. Escorting an alien grandee on a tour around a shattered post-nuclear war Earth is not something he relishes, especially when he becomes central to an intrigue determining Earth’s future.
The Wanderer – Fritz Leiber
The Wanderer inspires feelings of pure terror in the hearts of the five billion human being inhabiting planet earth. The presence of the alien planet causes increasingly severe tragedies and chaos. However, one man stands apart from the mass of frightened humanity. For him, the legendary Wanderer is a mere tale of bizarre alien domination and human submission. His conception of the Wanderer bleeds into unrequited love for the mysterious ‘she’ who owns him. Join sci-fi master Fritz Leiber as he concocts a powerful allegorical novel that pierces to the heart of the human condition.
Way Station – Clifford D. Simak
Neighbors saw Enoch Wallace as an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he had done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. They must never know that inside his unchanging house, he met and conversed with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.
The Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick
A dazzling speculative novel of ‘counterfactual history’ from one of America’s most highly-regarded science fiction authors. Philip K. Dick’s acclaimed cult novel gives us a horrifying glimpse of an alternative world – one where the Allies have lost the Second World War. In this nightmare dystopia the Nazis have taken over New York, the Japanese control California and the African continent is virtually wiped out. In a neutral buffer zone in America that divides the world’s new rival superpowers, lives the author of an underground bestseller. His book offers a new vision of reality – an alternative theory of world history in which the Axis powers were defeated – giving hope to the disenchanted. Does ‘reality’ lie with him, or is his world just one among many others?
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A. Heinlein
Epic, ambitious and entertaining, Stranger in a Strange Land caused controversy and uproar when it was first published. Still topical and challenging today, the story of Valentine Michael Smith, the first man from Mars to visit Earth, is in the great tradition of stories that endure through the power of the author’s imagination that stretches from Gulliver’s Travels to 1984.
A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter M. Miller
Widely considered one of the most accomplished, powerful, and enduring classics of modern speculative fiction, Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz is a true landmark of twentieth-century literature – a chilling and still-provocative look at a post-apocalyptic future.In a nightmarish ruined world slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness, the infant rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicated to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. From here the story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing through a sharp, satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to recelebrate its grand foibles and repeat its grievous mistakes. Seriously funny, stunning, and tragic, eternally fresh, imaginative, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze. It is now, as it always has been, a masterpiece.
Starship Troopers – Robert A. Heinlein
Starship Troopers is told through the eyes of Starship Trooper Johnny Rico, from his idealistic enlistment in the infantry of the future, through his rigorous training to the command of his own platoon of infantrymen. His destiny is a galactic war of unlimited violence and destruction, in which he and his fellow troopers scour the metal-strewn emptiness of space to hunt down a terrifying enemy – an insect life form which threatens the very future of mankind.
The Big Time – Fritz Leiber
Have you ever worried about your memory, because it doesn’t seem to recall exactly the same past from one day to the next? Have you ever thought that the whole universe might be a crazy, mixed-up dream? If you have, then you’ve had hints of the Change War. It’s been going on for a billion years and it will last another billion or so. Up and down the timeline, the two sides – “Spiders” and “Snakes” – battle endlessly to change the future and the past. Our lives, our memories, are their battleground. And in the midst of the war is the Place, outside space and time, where Greta Forzane and the other Entertainers provide solace and r-&-r for tired time warriors.
Double Star – Robert A. Heinlein
One minute, down and out actor Lorenzo Smythe was – as usual – in a bar, drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes. Then a space pilot bought him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knew, he was shanghaied to Mars. Suddenly he found himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who had been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians was at stake – failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. And Smythe’s own life was on the line – for if he wasn’t assassinated, there was always the possibility that he might be trapped in his new role forever!
The Forever Machine – Mark Clifton & Frank Riley
The government ordered it built: a thinking machine that could foresee catastrophe and eliminate human error. Reasearch trainee Joe Carter sees another possibility – create a machine that will make ordinary people telepathic – and immortal.
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen. Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books. The classic novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity. Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which over fifty years from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.
The Demolished Man – Alfred Bester
In the year 2301, guns are only museum pieces and benign telepaths sweep the minds of the populace to detect crimes before they happen. In 2301 murder is virtually impossible, but one man is about to change that…Ben Reich, a psychopathic business magnate, has devised the ultimate scheme to eliminate the competition and destroy the order of his society. The Demolished Man is a masterpiece of imaginative suspense, set in a superbly imagined world in which everything has changed except the ancient instinct for murder.