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Science Fiction October 2012
"Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of our science."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist and poet
New and Recently Released!
Rapture of the Nerds - by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross
Publisher: Tor
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/04/2012
Share Rapture of the Nerds ISBN-13: 9780765329103
ISBN-10: 0765329107
Humorous SF. Post-singularity biotech advances let people create or simulate physical reality to their tastes. But Huw Jones, Welsh potter and crabby technophobe, suspects that the universal metaconsciousness zapping all those helpful technologies down to Earth has a hidden agenda. He staunchly rejects technology's dubious conveniences and plasticky not-realities -- except at parties, which is how Huw ends up hung-over (with a bad biohazard tattoo), kidnapped by aliens, plunked into women's lingerie, and on the run from galactic authorities while he tries to save the world. Fans of brainy, comical SF like TV's Dr. Who will dig this!
Nebula Awards Showcase 2012 - edited by James P. Kelly and John Kessel
Publisher: Pyr
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 05/22/2012
Share Nebula Awards Showcase 2012 ISBN-13: 9781616146191
ISBN-10: 1616146192
SF Short Stories. The Nebulas recognize the best in SF, fantasy, and speculative fiction. The 2012 anthology of winners (and top nominees) includes many superb SF offerings. Juicy excerpts of Connie Willis's two-part Blackout/All Clear capture the verve that made it the year's coveted Best Novel award-winner. Geoff Landis's "The Sultan of the Clouds," a pulpy story of Venutian terraforming with a modern twist, is also sure to please. An introductory chapter on changing trends in speculative fiction genres -- plus the inclusion of several other major award winners (like the late James Tiptree's Solstice Award-winning tale of alien sex, "And I Awoke And Found Me Here On The Cold Hill's Side") -- makes this a great sampler for both new and long-time SF readers.
KOP Killer - by Warren Hammond
Publisher: Tor
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/05/2012
Share KOP Killer ISBN-13: 9780765328274
ISBN-10: 0765328275
Noir SF. Juno Mozambe has come down in the world since he was just another dirty cop in the Koba Office of Police -- and that's even worse than it sounds, when the world in question is the sleazy, low-tech, backwater planet Lagarto. His wife is dead, and KOP's current chief Emil Mota murdered Juno's former partner. Juno assembles a vigilante team of ex-cops to bring Mota down, but -- as members of his crew start turning up slaughtered -- ends up on the trail of something much bigger and more deadly than Mota. If you like edgy noir SF like Richard K. Morgan's Altered Carbon, you'll love this, too. The KOP series (of which this is 3rd) begins with KOP.
The Unincorporated Future - by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin
Publisher: Tor
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/21/2012
Share The Unincorporated Future ISBN-13: 9780765328816
ISBN-10: 076532881X
Space Opera. The war between Outer Alliance rebels and the United Human Federation takes a shocking turn in this conclusion to the Unincorporated quartet. UHF president Hektor Sambianco marshals subtle, terrifying forces in defense of his oppressive, corporate world-order. Meanwhile, General J.D. Black scores several daring wins for the Alliance. The rebels' final victory seems tantalizingly near, when Hektor suddenly massacres billions of innocents. Alliance president Sandra O'Toole grimly accepts that she must become equally ruthless to end the war. Fans of the series will love this "smooth, thoughtful, and compulsively readable" (Publishers Weekly) wrap-up; newcomers will want to start with Book 1, The Unincorporated Man.
Focus on: Hard SF
Incandescence - by Greg Egan
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 05/01/2008
Share Incandescence ISBN-13: 9781597801287
ISBN-10: 1597801283
Hard SF. An award-winning author imagines 50 million years of alien history to deliver a glowing speculative discussion Newtonian mechanics, Einstein's theory of relativity, and much more. Aliens of the Amalgam exist indefinitely, exploring the universe as digital signals zipping through space. Only the Amalgam's fiery hot center, the Bulge, remains a mystery. A secretive race dwells there, the Aloof, who persist in utter, silent isolation. The meeting of Roi (one of the Aloof) and Rakesh (an alien from outside the Bulge) sparks scientific discoveries that could save both their worlds. SF doesn't come any harder -- or more elegantly written -- than this. Fans of Gregory Benford, Arthur C. Clarke, Hal Clement, and Robert Forward should all take note.
Fleet of Worlds - by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner
Publisher: Tor
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/26/2008
Share Fleet of Worlds ISBN-13: 9780765357830
ISBN-10: 0765357836
Hard SF. A benevolent alien race, the Citizens, rescued the freeze-dried embryos of humanity's last survivors from a dying starship centuries ago. Raised to think of themselves as Colonists, the humans assist the Citizens with their interstellar explorations. But Kirsten Quinn-Kovacs, a navigator of the research vessel Explorer, uncovers a terrible truth that will change several worlds: Earth still exists, but is on the edge of destruction. Not only have the Citizens lied to enslave humanity for generations, they have hidden their contact with the "wild humans" trying to flee. Coauthored by Larry Niven and Ed Lerner, Fleet of Worlds is both a prequel to Niven's iconic Ringworld and 1st in a series continued by Juggler of Worlds.
A Deepness in the Sky - by Vernor Vinge
Publisher: Tor
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/01/2000
Share A Deepness in the Sky ISBN-13: 9780812536355
ISBN-10: 0812536355
Hard SF. Second in the Zones series, A Deepness in the Sky returns to the world of Arachnea, introduced in Book 1, A Fire Upon the Deep. Set 30,000 years earlier, this riveting prequel establishes how protagonist Pham Numen acquired his legendary shrewdness and heroism while traveling with the Qeng Ho, a band of human interstellar traders. They discover the Spiders, Arachnea's highly advanced native race, who have only just emerged from cyclical hibernation but stand poised for a remarkable technological boom. Only the Qeng Ho stand between the Spiders and the Emergents, rival humans bent on conquest, while a hidden threat of nuclear destruction looms over them all. The series continues in Book 3, The Children of the Sky.
Implied Spaces - by Walter Jon Williams
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 05/28/2008
Share Implied Spaces ISBN-13: 9781597801256
ISBN-10: 1597801259
Hard SF. Bored computer scientist Aristide gleefully explores pocket universes that the Eleven -- a post-singularity collective of sentient, planet-sized computer intelligences -- have layered between reality. His swashbuckling adventures turn serious after one of the Eleven (unbeknownst to the others) launches a plan to destroy civilization. Accompanied by a helpful AI avatar of the Eleven (who capriciously manifests as a talking cat called "Bitsy"), Aristide battles a network of deadly alien priests, survives a zombie attack or three, and grapples with the terrifying force of love. A refreshingly different hard-SF read, Implied Spaces offers a skillful blend of advanced physics, artificial intelligence theory, and dazzling fantasy elements.
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