The Best Speculative Fiction eBooks




First Shift: Legacy
by Hugh Howey
First Shift: Legacy

In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate.

In the same year, the CBS network re-aired a program about the effects of propranolol on sufferers of extreme trauma. A simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event.

At almost the same moment in humanity’s broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall. And the ability to forget it ever happened.


 



Walking on Glass
by Iain Banks
Walking on Glass

Graham Park is in love. But Sara ffitch is an enigma to him, a creature of almost perverse mystery. Steven Grout is paranoid — and with justice. He knows that They are out to get him. They are. Quiss, insecure in his fabulous if ramshackle castle, is forced to play interminable impossible games. The solution to the oldest of all paradoxical riddles will release him. But he must find an answer before he knows the question. Park, Grout, Quiss — no trio could be further apart. But their separate courses are set for collision.


 



I'm Starved for You
by Margaret Atwood
I'm Starved for You

The gated community of Consilience isn’t your average American town, but in a near future imagined by bestselling author Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Year of the Flood) it may be as close as anyone can hope to get.

Husband and wife Stan and Charmaine are among thousands who have signed up for a new social order because the old one is all but broken. Outside the walls of Consilience, half the country is out of work, gangs of the drug-addicted and disaffected menace the streets, warlords disrupt the food supply, and overcrowded correctional facilities churn out offenders to make room for more.

The Consilience prison, Positron, is something else altogether. The very heart of the community and its economic engine, it’s a bold experiment in voluntary incarceration. In exchange for a house, food, and what the online brochure hails as “A Meaningful Life,” residents agree to spend one month as inmates, the next as civilians, working as guards or whatever’s required.

Stan and Charmaine have no complaints — until the day Stan discovers an erotic note under the fridge of the house he and Charmaine must share with another couple while they’re back inside Positron. It’s a missive of erotic longing, pressed with a vivid lipstick kiss: “I’m starved for you!” it breathes. If Stan rarely thought about the house’s other residents before — they’ve never met them and don’t know their names; it’s not allowed — now he can’t stop thinking about them, especially the note’s sex-addled author, a woman apparently named Jasmine, so unlike his girlish wife, Charmaine. He HAS to meet her, but in this highly ordered and increasingly surveilled world, disorderly thoughts are a risk, and breaking the rules has dire consequences.

Margaret Atwood, one of the most prophetic authors of our time, delivers a tale of sexual obsession that is equal parts Tom Jones and Brave New World. A hilarious yet harrowing story that lays bare the very real dangers of trading liberty for safety, “I’m Starved for You” evokes the irrepressibility of human appetite and asks just how far a man and a woman are willing to go to get what they’re truly hungry for.

Margaret Atwood is the author of the internationally bestselling novel The Handmaid’s Tale as well as forty other books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Blind Assassin, Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, which was made into a documentary film that recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Atwood was awarded the Booker Prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin.


 



The Drowning Girl
by Caitlín R. Kiernan
The Drowning Girl
Sorry, no description about this book. :(

 



Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain
by A. Lee Martinez
Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain

Emperor Mollusk.

Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth.

Not bad for a guy without a spine.

But what's a villain to do after he's done… everything. With no new ambitions, he's happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel alien invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he'd prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course.

Retirement isn't easy though. If the boredom doesn't get him, there's always the Venusians. Or the Saturnites. Or the Mercurials. Or… well, you get the idea. If that wasn't bad enough, there's also the assassins of a legendary death cult and an up-and-coming megalomaniac (as brilliant as he is bodiless) who have marked Emperor for their own nefarious purposes. But Mollusk isn't about to let the Earth slip out of his own tentacles and into the less capable clutches of another. So it's time to dust off the old death ray and come out of retirement. Except this time, he's not out to rule the world. He's out to save it from the peril of THE SINISTER BRAIN!


 



The Mirage
by Matt Ruff
The Mirage

A mind-bending novel in which an alternate history of 9/11 and its aftermath uncovers startling truths about America and the Middle East

11/9/2001: Christian fundamentalists hijack four jetliners. They fly two into the Tigris & Euphrates World Trade Towers in Baghdad, and a third into the Arab Defense Ministry in Riyadh. The fourth plane, believed to be bound for Mecca, is brought down by its passengers.

The United Arab States declares a War on Terror. Arabian and Persian troops invade the Eastern Seaboard and establish a Green Zone in Washington, D. C…

Summer, 2009: Arab Homeland Security agent Mustafa al Baghdadi interrogates a captured suicide bomber. The prisoner claims that the world they are living in is a mirage-in the real world, America is a superpower, and the Arab states are just a collection of "backward third-world countries." A search of the bomber's apartment turns up a copy of "The New York Times, " dated September 12, 2001, that appears to support his claim. Other captured terrorists have been telling the same story. The president wants answers, but Mustafa soon discovers he's not the only interested party.

The gangster Saddam Hussein is conducting his own investigation. And the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee-a war hero named Osama bin Laden-will stop at nothing to hide the truth. As Mustafa and his colleagues venture deeper into the unsettling world of terrorism, politics, and espionage, they are confronted with questions without any rational answers, and the terrifying possibility that their world is not what it seems.

Acclaimed novelist Matt Ruff has created a shadow world that is eerily recognizable but, at the same time, almost unimaginable. Gripping, subversive, and unexpectedly moving, "The Mirage" probes our deepest convictions and most arresting fears.


 



Wool Omnibus
by Hugh Howey
Wool Omnibus

This Omnibus Edition collects the five Wool books into a single volume. It is for those who arrived late to the party and who wish to save a dollar or two while picking up the same stories in a single package.

The first Wool story was released as a standalone short in July of 2011. Due to reviewer demand, the rest of the story was released over the next six months. My thanks go out to those reviewers who clamored for more. Without you, none of this would exist. Your demand created this as much as I did.

This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.


 



Nightfall
by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg
Nightfall

Imagine living on a planet with six suns that never experiences Darkness. Imagine never having seen the Stars. Then, one by one your suns start to set, gradually leading you into Darkness for the first time ever. Image the terror of such a Nightfall.

Scientists on the planet Kalgash discover that an eclipse — an event that occurs only every 2049 years — is imminent, and that a society unfamiliar with Darkness will be plunged into madness and chaos. They realize that their civilization will end, for the people of Kalgash have a proven fear of Darkness, but they are unable to predict the insanity and destruction that will accompany the awesome splendor of Nightfall.

Based on the classic short story by Asimov, "Nightfall" is unabridged Bookcassette Audio at its best — a spellbinding tale of an alien civilization not unlike our own.


 



Blue Remembered Earth
by Alastair Reynolds
Blue Remembered Earth

BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH is the first volume in a monumental trilogy tracing the Akinya family across more than ten thousand years of future history… out beyond the solar system, into interstellar space and the dawn of galactic society.

One hundred and fifty years from now, in a world where Africa is the dominant technological and economic power, and where crime, war, disease and poverty have been banished to history, Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left in peace, so that he can continue his studies into the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But Geoffrey's family, the vast Akinya business empire, has other plans. After the death of Eunice, Geoffrey's grandmother, erstwhile space explorer and entrepreneur, something awkward has come to light on the Moon, and Geoffrey is tasked — well, blackmailed, really — to go up there and make sure the family's name stays suitably unblemished. But little does Geoffrey realise — or anyone else in the family, for that matter — what he's about to unravel.

Eunice's ashes have already have been scattered in sight of Kilimanjaro. But the secrets she died with are about to come back out into the open, and they could change everything.

Or shatter this near-utopia into shards…


 



Blueprints of the Afterlife
by Ryan Boudinot
Blueprints of the Afterlife

From the “wickedly talented” (Boston Globe) and “darkly funny” (New York Times Book Review) Ryan Boudinot, Blueprints of the Afterlife is a tour de force.

It is the Afterlife. The end of the world is a distant, distorted memory called “the Age of F***ed Up Shit.” A sentient glacier has wiped out most of North America. Medical care is supplied by open-source nanotechnology, and human nervous systems can be hacked.

Abby Fogg is a film archivist with a niggling feeling that her life is not really her own. She may be right. Al Skinner is a former mercenary for the Boeing Army, who’s been dragging his war baggage behind him for nearly a century. Woo-jin Kan is a virtuoso dishwasher with the Hotel and Restaurant Management Olympics medals to prove it. Over them all hovers a mysterious man named Dirk Bickle, who sends all these characters to a full-scale replica of Manhattan under construction in Puget Sound. An ambitious novel that writes large the hopes and anxieties of our time — climate change, social strife, the depersonalization of the digital age — Blueprints of the Afterlife will establish Ryan Boudinot as an exceptional novelist of great daring.

Blueprints of the Afterlife alternates between a richly imagined future in which the apocalypse is a distant, hazy memory, and a present in which a man recounts his search for a secret organization bent on harnessing the brightest minds to control human destiny and life on earth. There are giant heads that appear in the sky. The world's greatest dishwasher. Over 600 clones of an ancient pop singer's backup dancer. Red carpet events. A mystical refrigerator.


 



Prison Nation
by Jenni Merritt
Prison Nation

In the Nation, no one is innocent — not even the children born behind bars. Millie 942B has spent her entire life locked away with her criminal parents and countless other inmates. She believes in the Nation, in its strict laws and harsh punishments.

But when Millie is released on her eighteenth birthday, she finds things are nothing as she was taught. People vanish, never to be seen again. Lies cover every word. Trust is as fragile as ice.

And then there is Reed. Born and raised outside the Prison walls, his dreams and thoughts cause Millie to doubt everything she has ever believed.

What is truly worth fighting for? If she pushes too hard, she could lose her freedom. If she stays silent, she could lose herself. The clock is ticking, and Millie must find the truth before it is too late.


 



After the Apocalypse
by Maureen F. McHugh
After the Apocalypse

The apocalypse was yesterday. These stories are today.

Following up on her first collection, Story Prize finalist Maureen F. McHugh explores the catastrophes, small and large, of twenty-first century life — and what follows after. What happens after the bird flu pandemic? Are our computers smarter than we are? What does the global economy mean for two young girls in China? Are we really who we say we are? And how will we survive the coming zombie apocalypse?


 



Seed
by Rob Ziegler
Seed

It's the dawn of the 22nd century, and the world has fallen apart. Decades of war and resource depletion have toppled governments. The ecosystem has collapsed. A new dust bowl sweeps the American West. The United States has become a nation of migrants -starving masses of nomads who seek out a living in desert wastelands and encampments outside government seed-distribution warehouses.

In this new world, there is a new power. Satori is more than just a corporation, she is an intelligent, living city that grew out of the ruins of Denver. Satori bioengineers both the climate-resistant seed that feeds a hungry nation, and her own post-human genetic Designers, Advocates, and Laborers. What remains of the United States government now exists solely to distribute Satori seed; a defeated American military doles out bar-coded, single-use Satori seed to the nation's starving citizens.

When one of Satori's Designers goes rogue, Agent Sienna Doss-Ex-Army Ranger turned glorified bodyguard-is tasked by the government to bring her
in: The government wants to use the Designer to break Satori's stranglehold on seed production and reassert themselves as the center of power.

Sianna Doss's search for the Designer intersects with Brood and his younger brother Pollo — orphans scrapping by on the fringes of the wastelands. Pollo is abducted, because he is believed to suffer from Tet, a newly emergent disease, the victims of which are harvested by Satori.

As events spin out of control, Brood and Sienna Doss find themselves at the heart of Satori, where an explosive climax promises to reshape the future of the world.


 



Scored
by Lauren McLaughlin
Scored

Set in the future when teenagers are monitored via camera and their recorded actions and confessions plugged into a computer program that determines their ability to succeed. All kids given a "score" that determines their future potential. This score has the ability to get kids into colleges, grant scholarships, or destroy all hope for the above. Scored's reluctant heroine is Imani, a girl whose high score is brought down when her best friend's score plummets. Where do you draw the line between doing what feels morally right and what can mean your future? Friendship, romance, loyalty, family, human connection and human value: all are questioned in this fresh and compelling dystopian novel set in the scarily forseeable future.

From the Hardcover edition.


 



Reamde
by Neal Stephenson
Reamde

Four decades ago, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa family, fled to a wild and lonely mountainous corner of British Columbia to avoid the draft. Smuggling backpack loads of high-grade marijuana across the border into Northern Idaho, he quickly amassed an enormous and illegal fortune. With plenty of time and money to burn, he became addicted to an online fantasy game in which opposing factions battle for power and treasure in a vast cyber realm. Like many serious gamers, he began routinely purchasing virtual gold pieces and other desirables from Chinese gold farmers — young professional players in Asia who accumulated virtual weapons and armor to sell to busy American and European buyers.

For Richard, the game was the perfect opportunity to launder his aging hundred dollar bills and begin his own high-tech start up — a venture that has morphed into a Fortune 500 computer gaming group, Corporation 9592, with its own super successful online role-playing game, T’Rain. But the line between fantasy and reality becomes dangerously blurred when a young gold farmer accidently triggers a virtual war for dominance — and Richard is caught at the center.

In this edgy, 21st century tale, Neal Stephenson, one of the most ambitious and prophetic writers of our time, returns to the terrain of his cyberpunk masterpieces Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon, leading readers through the looking glass and into the dark heart of imagination.


 



The Postmortal
by Drew Magary
The Postmortal

John Farrell is about to get "The Cure."

Old age can never kill him now.

The only problem is, everything else still can…

Imagine a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and-after much political and moral debate-made available to people worldwide. Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems-including evil green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors.

Witty, eerie, and full of humanity, The Postmortal is an unforgettable thriller that envisions a pre-apocalyptic world so real that it is completely terrifying.


 



The Academie
by Amy Joy
The Academie

When Allie Thompson graduated, she thought she'd put high school behind her. But when a series of violent outbreaks by teens sends panic surging through the nation, high school is right where she finds herself again. Now remolded into what the government calls The Academie, what was once the public school system is now the permanent home of everyone 22 and under.

After a year away at college and a lifetime as a model student, Allie doesn't take well to The Academie's militaristic nature or its 16 foot perimeter fences. Remembering all she's left behind, including the boyfriend she's now years away from seeing again, Allie plummets into depression. But when strange things begin to happen and her brother disappears, Allie realizes she must unravel the mystery that is The Academie-before it's too late.

*"A sweet love story." -"Publisher's Weekly"

* "A fantastic debut novel, capturing the romance of "Twilight" and the fun of "Harry Potter, " wrapping it up into something wonderfully unique." -CN James, author of "Bone Machine"

*New edition released July 2013*


 



Embassytown
by China Miéville
Embassytown

In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak.

Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language.

When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties — to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak yet speaks through her.


 



Fuzzy Nation
by John Scalzi
Fuzzy Nation

Jack Holloway works alone, for reasons he doesn't care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorp's headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporation's headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, that's not up for discussion.

Then, in the wake of an accidental cliff collapse, Jack discovers a seam of unimaginably valuable jewels, to which he manages to lay legal claim just as ZaraCorp is cancelling their contract with him for his part in causing the collapse. Briefly in the catbird seat, legally speaking, Jack pressures ZaraCorp into recognizing his claim, and cuts them in as partners to help extract the wealth.

But there's another wrinkle to ZaraCorp's relationship with the planet Zarathustra. Their entire legal right to exploit the verdant Earth-like planet, the basis of the wealth they derive from extracting its resources, is based on being able to certify to the authorities on Earth that Zarathustra is home to no sentient species.

Then a small furry biped-trusting, appealing, and ridiculously cute-shows up at Jack's outback home. Followed by its family. As it dawns on Jack that despite their stature, these are people, he begins to suspect that ZaraCorp's claim to a planet's worth of wealth is very flimsy indeed… and that ZaraCorp may stop at nothing to eliminate the "fuzzys" before their existence becomes more widely known.


 






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