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Science Fiction Booklists

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Explorers in Spaceships

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Axis
by Robert Charles Wilson Details
Wildly praised by readers and critics alike, Robert Charles Wilson's "Spin" won science fiction's highest honor, the Hugo Award for Best Novel. Now, in its direct sequel, Wilson takes us to the "world next door" -- the planet engineered by the mysterious Hypotheticals to support human life, and connected to Earth by way of the Arch that towers hundreds of miles over the Indian Ocean. Humans are colonizing this new world -- and, predictably, fiercely exploiting its resources. Lise Adams is a young woman attempting to uncover the mystery of her father's disappearance ten years earlier. Turk Findley is an ex-sailor and sometimes-drifter. They come together when an infall of cometary dust seeds the planet with tiny remnant Hypothetical machines. Soon, this seemingly hospitable world will become very alien indeed-- as the nature of time is once again twisted, by entities unknown.
By Schism Rent Asunder
by David Weber Details
The mercantile kingdom of Charis evaluates the agenda of a mysterious being who calls himself Merlin, a person who is playing a pivotal role in humanity's struggle against the oppressive forces of the Church of God Awaiting.
Cauldron
by Jack McDevitt Details
When a young physicist unveils an efficient star drive capable of reaching the core of the galaxy, veteran star pilot Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins finds herself back in the deepest reaches of space, and on the verge of discovering the origins of the deadly omega clouds that continue to haunt her.
Halo: The Cole Protocol
by Jimmy Baca Details
In the first, desperate days of the Human-Covenant War, the UNSC has enacted the Cole Protocol to safeguard Earth and its Inner Colonies from discovery by a merciless alien foe. When the Prophets send their best -- an ambitious and ruthless Elite -- to destroy the the Outer Colonies and acquire the location of Earth, a three-man renegade squad led by Navy Lieutenant Jacob Keyes fights to hold together a shaky alliance between human survivors and the Covenant settlement of Kig-Yar.
Lost and Found: A Novel
by Alan Dean Foster Details
Marc Walker is camping alone in the California wilderness to win a bet with his hometown Chicago buddies when he's cold-cocked by buglike purple aliens and whisked into interstellar space. When he comes to, he finds himself isolated in a force field, along with his tent; selected pieces of the surrounding Sierra Nevada scenery; and George, a dog that talks, thanks to a universal translator and canine cranial upgrade. Through his furry friend and a snooty, octopus-like fellow captive, Walker learns that he and a menagerie of colorful extraterrestrials are prisoners on a galactic slave ship and destined to be sold as curios by their enterprising, amoral captors to the highest bidder.
Runner
by William C. Dietz Details
In a crumbling futuristic society, Jak Rebo is a Runner -- an interstellar courier -- whose present job is to deliver a future religious leader to his people, while avoiding assassins. If that's not enough, he gets involved with a very beautiful woman who holds the secret to instantaneous travel between star systems -- a secret that some would kill for. With death waiting at every port, Jak soon realizes that this time he is running for his life.
Singularity Sky
by Charles Stross Details
It's 400 years in the future. The human race has perfected time travel, made great advancements in technology and information, and seen the rise of Artificial Intelligence. Is this all a great step for humanity? Or will it be our ultimate downfall?
Spin Control
by Chris Moriarty Details
Call Arkady a clone with a conscience. Or call him a traitor. A member of the space-faring Syndicates, Arkady has defected to Israel with a hot commodity: a genetic weapon powerful enough to wipe out humanity. But Israel's not buying it. They're selling it -- and Arkady -- to the highest bidder. As the auction heats up, the Artificial Life Emancipation Front sends in Major Catherine Li. Drummed out of the Peacekeepers for executing Syndicate prisoners, Li has now literally hooked up with an AI who has lived many lifetimes and shunted through many bodies. But while they have their own conflicting loyalties to contend with, together they're just one player in a mysterious high-stakes game.
The Margarets
by Sheri Tepper Details
Tepper envisions humanity's existence in a crowded league with alien races as tentative. To forestall humanity's wholesale extinction, Earthgov cuts a deal with the Interstellar Trade Organization by selling off 90 percent of its citizens as slaves and pets. One of the contract's unwitting victims is Margaret Bain, who, as the only child on the sparsely populated Martian moon Phobos, finds companionship by creating imaginary versions of herself as, for example, a queen, a warrior, even a boy. Each time Margaret faces a crisis, the other Margarets split off and grow to adulthood on other worlds. In the end, however, the separate Margarets must reunite, skills and experiences intact, to save Earth from ultimate destruction.
The Prefect
by Alastair Reynolds Details
Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the multi-faceted utopian society of the Glitter Band. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that leaves 900 people dead, a crime that appalls even a hardened cop like Dreyfus. But then his investigation uncovers something even more potentially dangerous -- a covert plot by an enigmatic entity seeking nothing less than total control of the Glitter Band.
The Sky People
by S.M. Stirling Details
A long time ago, in a time line slightly to one side of our own, aliens terraformed Mars and Venus, a fact that, when discovered, transforms the course of the second half of the 20th century into a frantic though peaceful race. Amid Venus' lush vegetation and fierce wildlife, Cajun ranger Marc Vitrac's wilderness savvy makes him valuable but gets him sent on a dirigible expedition to rescue survivors of a crashed Russian shuttle and to discover that the aliens left behind an AI that is either wearing out or insane. It takes all his savvy, including taming a dinosaur, to get his friends out of a sticky situation.
The Stone Gods
by Jeanette Winterson Details
On the airwaves, all the talk is of the new blue planet -- pristine and plentiful, as our own was 65 million years ago, before we took it to the edge of destruction. Off the air, Billie Crusoe and the renegade Robo sapien Spike are falling in love. Along with Captain Handsome and Pink, they're assigned to colonize the new blue planet. But when a technical maneuver intended to make it habitable backfires, Billie and Spike's flight to the future becomes a surprising return to the distant past, and they discover that "everything is imprinted forever with what once was."
The Sunless Countries
by Karl Schroeder Details
As entire towns fall victim to a mysterious threat, perhaps from outside, a religious movement begins insisting that the world is eternal, not created. The Eternists confiscate books, censor the news and force through a referendum subjecting science to popular vote, while sun lighter Hayden Griffin teams up with local historian Leal to investigate the attacks.
Updated 12/15/2011
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