When a soul goes missing, an occult detective ventures into Hell to retrieve it
When the fourteen-year-old daughter of Singapore Three’s most prominent industrialist dies of anorexia, her parents assume that Pearl’s suffering has come to an end. But somewhere along the way to the Celestial Shores, Pearl’s soul is waylaid, lured by an unknown force to the gates of Hell. To save their daughter from eternal banishment, they come to Detective Inspector Wei Chen, whose jurisdiction lies between this world and the next.
A round-faced cop who is as serious as his beat is strange, Chen has a demon for a wife and a comfort with the supernatural that most mortals cannot match. But finding Pearl Tang will take him further into the abyss than ever before—to a mystifying place where he will have to cooperate with a demonic detective if he wants to survive. It’s easy, Chen will find, to get into Hell. The hard part is getting out.
Snake Agent is the first of the five Detective Inspector Chen Novels, which continue with The Demon and the City and Precious Dragon.
Moving Mars by Greg Bear
Sacrifice, revolution, the promise of freedom. These flood into the life of Casseia Majumdar, daughter of the Binding Multiples. Rebelling against her conservative family, the colonists who occupy Mars, Casseia takes part in the brewing revolution sparked by student protests in the year 2171. Meanwhile, her love life is in a very precarious situation, with her beloved Charles Franklin’s seeking to merge his mind with the most advanced artificial mind. MOVING MARS is a science-fiction look at love and war, family and conviction, heart and mind . . .
Refugee by Piers Anthony
CALIGULA OF THE STARS
Though he was later accused of every crime and sexual perversion in the galaxy, Hope Hubris began as an innocent. Because he defended his older sister against the violent lusts of a wealthy scion, Hope and his peasant family were forced to flee Callisto, one of the moons of Jupiter. Pursued by the bloodthirsty scions across the airless desert, they barely escaped with their lives. The illegal space bubble was overcrowded with refugees, all hoping to reach Jupiter for asylum.
But the space travelers had not reckoned on the terrible threat of high space—the pirates, barbaric men who rape, rob, and murder, with no thought but to satisfy their bestial appetites. It will take all Hope’s ingenuity to survive, but the atrocities he witnesses will never die. There is only one way he can be rid of them . . .
The Blue Hawk by Peter Dickinson
n an ancient kingdom, a boy and his hawk challenge the gods
All his life, Tron has been destined to join the priests who rule his strange desert kingdom. When the old king grows sick, a ritual is called for to restore his health: the sacrifice of a blue hawk, the symbol of the god Gdu. For the first time, Tron is chosen to take part in the ritual. Just before the bird is sacrificed, the young priest notices that its eyes are cloudy. The bird is sick, and to give its soul to the king would be to kill him. And so Tron steals the bird away.
The priests are enraged at his disruption of the ritual. Some call for his head, but others see Tron’s potential. They give him three months to train the wild bird—three months to save its life and rescue the kingdom from the wrath of the gods.
This ebook features an illustrated personal history of Peter Dickinson including rare images from the author’s collection.
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature: In a world where darkness threatens, there is Sunshine . . .
Although it had been mostly deserted since the Voodoo Wars, there hadn’t been any trouble out at the lake for years. Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, head baker at her family’s busy and popular café in downtown New Arcadia, needed a place to get away from all the noise and confusion—of the clientele and her family. Just for a few hours. Just to be able to hear herself think.
She knew about the Others, of course. Everyone did. And several of her family’s best regular customers were from SOF—Special Other Forces—which had been created to deal with the threat and the danger of the Others.
She drove out to her family’s old lakeside cabin and sat on the porch, swinging her feet and enjoying the silence and the silver moonlight on the water.
She never heard them coming. Of course, you don’t when they’re vampires.
Agent of Byzantium by Harry Turtledove
A dashing master spy takes on the enemies of the Byzantine Empire and discovers impossible inventions like gunpowder and telescopes in a magnificent romp from the maestro of alternate-history science fiction
In another, very different timeline—one in which Mohammed embraced Christianity and Islam never came to be—the Byzantine Empire still flourishes in the fourteenth century, and wondrous technologies are emerging earlier than they did in our own. Having lost his family to the ravages of smallpox, Basil Argyros has decided to dedicate his life to Byzantium. A stalwart soldier and able secret agent, Basil serves his emperor courageously, going undercover to unearth Persia’s dastardly plots and disrupting the dark machinations of his beautiful archenemy, the Persian spy Mirrane, while defusing dire threats emerging from the Western realm of the Franco-Saxons. But the world Basil so staunchly defends is changing rapidly, and he must remain ever vigilant, for in this great game of empires, the player who controls the most advanced tools and weaponry—tools like gunpowder, printing, vaccines, and telescopes—must certainly emerge victorious.
A collection of interlocking stories that showcase the courage, ingenuity, and breathtaking derring-do of superspy Basil Argyros, Agent of Byzantium presents the great Harry Turtledove at his alternate-world-building best. At once intricate, exciting, witty, and wildly inventive, this is a many-faceted gem from a master of the genre.
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The Genome by Sergei Lukyaneko
A science fiction thriller by the author of Night Watch, the hit novel that inspired two major motion pictures
Five months after the horrific accident that left him near death and worried that he’d never fly again, master-pilot Alex Romanov lands a new job: captaining the sleek passenger vessel Mirror. Alex is a spesh—a human who has been genetically modified to perform particular tasks. As a captain and pilot, Alex has a genetic imperative to care for passengers and crew—no matter what the cost.
His first mission aboard Mirror is to ferry two representatives of the alien race Zzygou on a tour of human worlds. His task will not be an easy one, for aboard the craft are several speshes who have reason to hate the Others. Dark pasts, deadly secrets, and a stolen gel-crystal worth more than Alex’s entire ship combine to challenge him at every turn. And as the tension escalates, it becomes apparent that greater forces are at work to bring the captain’s world crashing down.
Patton's Spaceship by John Barnes
An unstoppable conspiracy of terror and death threatens a million alternate Earths in the first book of the Timeline Wars science fiction series
There are a million different Earths across an infinite number of timelines—and every one of them is in peril.
Mark Strang became a bodyguard and private investigator when terrorists killed his family; now he spends his days protecting Pittsburgh’s helpless and abused. But while on a mission to save the life of a ten-year-old girl, Strang is inexplicably cast into an alternate reality, transported to a different time on another Earth, where America was defeated in the Second World War and now suffers under the brutal yoke of Nazi oppression. Joining up with the remnants of the Resistance in the Free Zone—and allied with such notable commanders as George Patton and John F. Kennedy—Strang is suddenly a marked man and the last hope in a desperate fight for freedom, not only on this world but on countless others. For a war unlike any other is raging across time and dimensions, threatening every possible Earth, including Strang’s own. And the enemy will not rest until the entire multiverse is in chains.
In his epic and action-packed science fiction saga the Timeline Wars, John Barnes takes alternate-history SF to new heights, ingeniously reinventing and reinvigorating a genre popularized by such acclaimed authors as Harry Turtledove while joining the stellar ranks of Robert Heinlein and Joe Haldeman.
Midshipman's Hope by David Feintuch
David Feintuch’s acclaimed Seafort Saga begins as Nicholas Seafort sets off on an interstellar naval adventure he will never forget
In the year 2194, seventeen-year-old Nicholas Seafort is assigned to the Hibernia as a lowly midshipman. Destination: the thriving colony of Hope Nation. But when a rescue attempt goes devastatingly wrong, Seafort is thrust into a leadership role he never anticipated. The other officers resent him, but Seafort must handle more dangerous problems, from a corrupted navigation computer to a deadly epidemic. Even Hope Nation has a nasty surprise in store. Seafort might be the crew’s only hope . . .
This page-turning science fiction in the vein of Robert Heinlein and Orson Scott Card—with a dash of Horatio Hornblower—marks the captivating debut adventure in Feintuch’s hugely popular Seafort Saga.
Dragonholder by Todd McCaffrey
An enthralling biography of one of the most luminous shining stars of fantasy and science fiction, world builder and dragon master Anne McCaffrey, written by her son, collaborator, and most devoted fan
While you’ve been to Pern . . . you haven’t heard the stories behind the stories.
I propose to fix that.
When Anne McCaffrey’s Hugo Award–winning novella “Weyr Search” appeared in the late 1960s as part of the novel Dragonflight, the science fiction universe was gloriously transformed as readers first experienced the exhilarating thrill of soaring with dragons. With the many Pern novels that followed, McCaffrey steadily won the hearts and unwavering devotion of millions of fans, eventually earning a permanent position on the New York Times bestseller list. Dragonholder celebrates the birth and growth of McCaffrey’s breathtaking literary vision, as well as the momentous events of a life that was in many ways as extraordinary as the worlds and characters that McCaffrey created.
No one understands or appreciates McCaffrey’s life and work better than her son, Todd, does. In Dragonholder, her frequent coauthor and avid fan intimately examines his mother’s childhood and early adulthood, the amazing gift of second sight she inherited from her own mother and grandmother, the trials she faced juggling a career and a family during the turbulent sixties, and her rise to literary stardom—and he reveals the events and influences that ultimately gave rise to the myriad wonders of Pern and the other miraculous worlds borne of Anne McCaffrey’s unparalleled imagination.
Schismatrix Plus by Bruce Sterling
A breathtaking journey through a far-future universe in which the adherents of technological bodily enhancements violently clash with believers in genetic manipulation, from one of the godfathers of cyberpunk
In the generations since humanity first began to spread itself throughout the universe, schisms have torn the race asunder. In the future, as in the past, extreme ideological differences have set man against man, causing serious tensions and violence, particularly between the Mechanist and Shaper sects. For the Mechanists, who believe in high-tech prosthetics as the only means of advancing human development, the Shaper belief in the use of genetic improvement is anathema and therefore must be eradicated, while the rebel Shapers likewise strive for the ultimate destruction of their cybernetic rivals.
Between the two camps travels Abelard Lindsay—a betrayed and exiled Shaper diplomat, well trained in the art of lies and subterfuge—who, over the course of a lifetime of centuries, comes to embrace piracy and revolution en route to quite possibly ushering a shattered humankind toward its bold new destiny.
Considered by many, including the author himself, to be his most powerful work, Schismatrix offers a brilliant, bold, gritty, and startlingly original look into humanity’s future possibilities. In Schismatrix Plus, Sterling also includes every subsequent excursion into the Shaper/Mechanist universe, complementing his acclaimed novel with the complete collection of mind-boggling Schismatrix short fiction.
The Disfavored Hero by Jessica Salmonson
Forced to betray her lord, a disgraced samurai fights to regain her honor
In the fabled land of Naipon, there is no warrior more feared, no samurai more respected than the legendary Tomoe Gozen, whose twin blades can change the course of any battle. After years of service to Lord Shigeno, she is about to renew her oath of loyalty when the sky darkens and a cry of rebellion comes from the hills. Possessed by an evil wizard, the peasants are marching against their master. Tomoe holds off the wave of pitchfork-wielding farmers for as long as she can. Finally, the battle overwhelms her, and the greatest samurai in Naipon falls dead.
She awakes in hell, on a slope lined with bloody corpses. After an eternity of fighting, she reaches the summit and finds herself in the chamber of a wizard who restores her to life. She is alive—but now she must do his bidding. Her honor has been shattered, but Tomoe Gozen will do whatever it takes to win it back.
The Burning Land by Victoria Strauss
In a hidden desert sanctuary, the sorcerer-priest of a reborn faith uncovers dark truths about his world and its masters in the first book of Victoria Strauss’s fantasy masterwork, the Way of Ârata
A realm long held in the iron grasp of godless tyrants, Arsace is finally free to worship its beloved, once-outlawed deity, Ârata. But decades of cruelty and oppression have left their mark—evidenced not only by the desecrated Âratist temples throughout the holy city of Baushpar but by the widespread mistrust and suspicion that has lately fallen on the Shapers, the powerful mages whose magic is beholden to no religious or government institution.
Both a Shaper and a deeply devout priest, Gyalo Amdo Samchen has embarked on a great mission into the sacred Burning Land to rescue the renegades who, years before, fled into the desert to escape the city’s madness—among them the Dreamer Axane, who dares not reveal her forbidden visions of a world beyond. But shocking truths await Gyalo in the hidden sanctuary of Refuge—and what he learns there of his quest, his land, its leaders, and its faith will cause him to question everything he fervently believes while providing the terrible spark that could ignite the war to end all wars.
In a magnificent feat of world building, Victoria Strauss has created a unique, vividly imagined land, society, and religious culture while spinning a riveting tale of duty, revelation, destiny, and magic that places her in the top ranks of contemporary fantasists.