Messages from a far distant sun are received on Earth, causing chaos. Who is sending them, and why are they in English? A ship is sent on a twelve year journey to find the answers, and in the process they find a secret so deadly it threatens all organic life everywhere . . .
In this wide-ranging series of essays, an award-winning science fiction critic explores how the related genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror evolve, merge, and finally “evaporate” into new and more dynamic forms. Beginning with a discussion of how literary readers “unlearned” how to read the fantastic during the heyday of realistic fiction, Gary K. Wolfe goes on to show how the fantastic reasserted itself in popular genre literature, and how these genres themselves grew increasingly unstable in terms of both narrative form and the worlds they portray. More detailed discussions of how specific contemporary writers have promoted this evolution are followed by a final essay examining how the competing discourses have led toward an emerging synthesis of critical approaches and vocabularies. The essays cover a vast range of authors and texts, and include substantial discussions of very current fiction published within the last few years.
Widely regarded as the one essential book for every science fiction fan, The Year's Best Science Fiction (Winner of the 2002 Locus Award for Best Anthology) continues to uphold its standard of excellence with more than two dozen stories representing the previous year's best SF writing. This year's volume includes Ian R. MacLeod, Nancy Kress, Greg Egan, Maureen F. McHugh, Robert Reed, Paul McAuley, Michael Swanwick, Robert Silverberg, Charles Stross, John Kessel, Gregory Benford and many other talented authors of SF, as well as thorough summations of the year and a recommended reading list.
In a triumphant return to the Revelation Space universe, the author declared by SFX to be “one of SF’s best and most ambitious novelists” offers his first collection. With eight short stories and novellas—including three never before seen— Galactic North imparts the centuries-spanning events that have produced this dark and turbulent world… Centuries from now, solidarity stretches thin as humanity spreads past the solar system and to the nearest stars. Technology has produced powerful new tools—but lethal risk will always accompany great advancement. And without foresight, opposing groups may fracture multiple worlds. Between the Demarchists and the Conjoiners, the basic right to expand human intelligence—beyond its natural limits—has become a war-worthy cause. Only vast lighthugger starships bind these squabbling colonies together, manned by the panicky and paranoid Ultras. And the hyperpigs just try to keep their heads down. The rich get richer. And everyone tries not to think about the worrying number of extinct alien civilizations turning up on the outer reaches of settled space…because who’s to say that humanity won’t be next? From the Paperback edition.
The final chapter of humanity's future has begun and one man, Nigel Walmsley, has been alive through it all. An ancient scientist from the distant past, Walmsley had been marooned inside an anomaly of time and space. From here he recalls Earth's desperate struggle against the mechs, a violent artificial intelligence dedicated to total annihilation. In a strange space-time continuum called the Esty, the last few survivors from humanity's ravaged planets have taken refuge, readying themselves for a final stand against their ruthless executioners. Three generations of men stand between the mechs and total oblivion for the human race: Toby Bishop, a young warrior-in-training; Killeen Bishop, Toby's father and leader of the last remnants of humanity; and Killeen's own father, long believed dead, but now mysteriously returned to his family. As the mechs continue to carve their swathe of destruction through the galaxy, these three men hold the sole hope for the survival of the human race.
The Oxford Companion to English Literature has long been established as the leading reference resource for students, teachers, scholars, and general readers of English literature. It provides unrivalled coverage of all aspects of English literature - from writers, their works, and the historical and cultural context in which they wrote, to critics, literary theory, and allusions. For the seventh edition, the Companion has been thoroughly revised and updated to meet the needs and concerns of today's students and general readers. Over 1,000 new entries have been added, ranging from new writers - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Patrick Marber, David Mitchell, Arundhati Roy - to increased coverage of writers and literary movements from around the world. Coverage of American literature has been substantially increased, with new entries on writers such as Cormac McCarthy and Amy Tan and on movements and publications. Contextual and historical coverage has also been expanded, with new entries on European history and culture, post-colonial literature, as well as writers and literary movements from around the world that have influenced English literature. The Companion has always been a quick and dependable source of reference for students, and the new edition confirms its pre-eminent role as the go-to resource of first choice. All entries have been reviewed, and details of new works, biographies, and criticism have been brought right up to date. So also has coverage of the themes, approaches and concepts encountered by students today, from terms to articles on literary theory and theorists. There is increased coverage of writers from around the world, as well as from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and of contextual topics, including film and television, music, and art. Cross-referencing has been thoroughly updated, with stronger linking from writers to thematic and conceptual entries. Meanwhile coverage of popular genres such as children's literature, science fiction, biography, reportage, crime fiction, fantasy or travel literature has been increased substantially, with new entries on writers from Philip Pullman to Anne Frank and from Anais Nin to Douglas Adams. The seventh edition of this classic Companion - now under the editorship of Dinah Birch, assisted by a team of 28 distinguished associate editors, and over 150 contributors - ensures that it retains its status as the most authoritative, informative, and accessible guide to literature available.
A research team and a blind old sailor slyly spar over the truth of a long-ago shipwreck, a mad island of dead gods and the mystery of a lost manuscript. Neither sailor nor interviewer is what they seem; and both must learn to work together to find what they seek. Seemingly, Clarence St. Elmo sits old and blind in the Sailor's Safe Harbor Home. A patient interviewer sifts his wandering memories for details of the wreck of the Unicorn, a cargo schooner lost long ago in the South Pacific. But Clarence St. Elmo is also a young man who finds himself on a cursed ship with a cargo of dead gods destined to be sunk in the Sea of Time. His love waits for his return, while mad voices in his head slyly pry for clues to a lost book. And always beyond the words and the memories, the dreadful storm circles closer. A romance of memory, across the sea of time.From the book:Describe the dance in the moonlight. The girl stopped dancing at the first bird chirp of dawn. The ruined walls pooled the remainder of night like a hollow on a beach when the tide draws away. Exhausted, I stared up at a patch of coloring on a tree-top. My heart beat for a drum. The girl looked at the sky, then regretfully towards the dark entrance to the crumbled house. She wasn't a bit tired. But she intended to retire for the day, no doubt taking me and Cut-Throat with her. She could do it, too. In the faint light her face was hungry and pretty and determined as a tiger's. If I bolted she would be on me before I made the archway. I crossed looks with Cut-Throat. He shook his head slightly, telling me the same. I tried not to look at the other fellow, who had no eyes to meet. He just stood there in rotting sea-man's clothes listening for the clap of her hands.But our Cut-Throat had taken the girl's measure. He'd noted what rhythm and time made her feet stamp, made her toss her ropes of hair. Now he began a slow sad dirge for the dying night. She turned to him, hands raised to clap an order. But I took her left hand and bowed and stepped forward my right foot and she had no choice in her perfection of movement but to step back and then half turn as I did and we stepped forwards together two steps, then turned together as I placed my left hand on the small of her back and we skipped left three steps as the fiddle slyly slipped from dirge to a laughing tune that ran faster and faster till we were whirling and turning over the cold stones.
Once upon a moment, the One spoke to He and She, and learned that infinity and eternity are slippery concepts. At best. Don't miss Gregory Benford's mindbending short story The Final Now, a Tor.com Original. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
She was cold, hurt, and doomed, but otherwise reasonably cheery. Life might emerge under the most unlikely conditions...or in the last extremity. From the author of the "Galactic Center" novel comes Gregory Benford's hard sci-fi tale, Backscatter. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
The third novel in the award-winning author's classic Galactic Center series is available once again. "A challenging, pacesetting work of hard science fiction that should not be missed."--"Los Angeles Times."