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Engaging the Enemy
Elizabeth Moon
0345447565
March 28, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Nebula Award–winner Moon's third Kylara Vatta novel is sadly more reminiscent of the uninspiring Trading in Danger (2003) than the inspired Marque and Reprisal (2004). Ky has more or less patched up her relationship with her cousin Stella—a good thing, since they're all that remains of the Vatta shipping empire—and finished off the most immediate danger, the renegade Osman Vatta. Ky now faces the much more nebulous threat of an interstellar piracy gang. As she travels from station to station seeking fellow pirate fighters, annoying local officials and repeatedly leaving Stella in the lurch, it's hard to stay interested. It doesn't help that the one genuinely stunning twist-of-fate climax is followed by six plodding chapters on an entirely different topic. Moon's strength is clearly in...


The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Second Annual Collection: 2004
Gardner Dozois (Editor)
0312336608
July 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The latest in Dozois's definitive, must-read short story anthology series takes the pulse of science fiction today, revealing it to be a genre of breathtaking scope and imagination. Classic SF situations take on a new twist: observation/first-contact stories "The Ocean of the Blind" by James L. Cambias and standout "The Clapping Hands of God" by Michael F. Flynn follow humans as they disastrously make contact with alien species that they cannot comprehend; in Stephen Baxter's generation-starship story, "Mayflower II," someone has to stay awake to tend the humans throughout the millennia of travel; and in the postapocalyptic world of Brendan Dubois's "Falling Star" we mourn the loss of our civilization. Several stories first appeared online, including Christopher Rowe's Hugo nominee, "The Voluntary...


Old Man's War
John Scalzi
0765315246
December 27, 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Though a lot of SF writers are more or less efficiently continuing the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein, Scalzi's astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master. Seventy-five-year-old John Perry joins the Colonial Defense Force because he has nothing to keep him on Earth. Suddenly installed in a better-than-new young body, he begins developing loyalty toward his comrades in arms as they battle aliens for habitable planets in a crowded galaxy. As bloody combat experiences pile up, Perry begins wondering whether the slaughter is justified; in short, is being a warrior really a good thing, let alone being human? The definition of "human" keeps expanding as Perry is pushed through a series of mind-stretching revelations. The story obviously resembles such...


Conspiracy in Death
J. D. Robb
0425168131
April 1999
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
Streetwise cop Eve Dallas and her trusty sidekick Peabody face a methodical killer in this latest addition to the In Death series by J.D. Robb, better known as the bestselling author Nora Roberts.

In the late 21st century, on the streets of New York City, a street sleeper is found murdered, his diseased heart removed with surgical precision. His death would typically drop to the bottom of a list of senseless and inexplicable killings, but Lieutenant Dallas, who "would stand for the dead and the living," is not about to let that happen. When her research uncovers similar crimes in several cities that were dropped under mysterious circumstances, Dallas knows she's facing a killer cruel enough to prey on the weakest in society and powerful enough to conspire an extensive coverup.

To complicate matters further, Dallas...



Woken Furies (Takeshi Kovacs Novels)
Richard K. Morgan
0345479718
September 27, 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
In Morgan's powerful third cyberpunk noir SF novel to feature Takeshi Kovacs, whose consciousness is transferred from one ultra–combat-ready body to another in the service of various unscrupulous powers, the interstellar mercenary returns home to Harlan's World, thoroughly pissed and dangerous. Despite his justified cynicism, he finds himself trying to protect a young woman who may house the soul of a martyred revolutionary from centuries earlier. He also must fight a hired killer who's a younger version of himself. To succeed, he has to sift through his past to see which allies and memories he can trust. Morgan has become even more nervy since winning the Philip K. Dick Award for his confident first novel, Altered Carbon (2003). This book develops a baroque, appallingly complicated setting, full of...


Glory in Death
J. D. Robb
0641704321

Hardcover
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Weapons of Choice
John Birmingham
0345457137
Apr 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Australian author Birmingham's stellar debut novel, a United Nations battle group, clustered around the U.S.S. Hillary Clinton (named after "the most uncompromising wartime president in the history of the United States"), is tasked in the year 2021 with stopping ethnic cleansing by an Islamist regime in Indonesia. When an experiment goes horribly wrong on a special ship doing research on wormholes, most of the battle group is deposited in the middle of the U.S. fleet on its way to Midway in 1942. The WWII carriers and supporting vessels attack a Japanese Self-Defense Force ship, triggering devastating computer-operated defensive fire from the 21st-century fleet. While the action sequences are outstanding, this book really shines in depicting the cultural shock that both navies experience. The...


Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)
Neal Stephenson
0553380958
May 2, 2000
Paperback
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Book Review
From the opening line of his breakthrough cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson plunges the reader into a not-too-distant future. It is a world where the Mafia controls pizza delivery, the United States exists as a patchwork of corporate-franchise city-states, and the Internet--incarnate as the Metaverse--looks something like last year's hype would lead you to believe it should. Enter Hiro Protagonist--hacker, samurai swordsman, and pizza-delivery driver. When his best friend fries his brain on a new designer drug called Snow Crash and his beautiful, brainy ex-girlfriend asks for his help, what's a guy with a name like that to do? He rushes to the rescue. A breakneck-paced 21st-century novel, Snow Crash interweaves everything from Sumerian myth to visions of a postmodern civilization on the brink of collapse. Faster...


Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
1593080050
May 2003
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Description
At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of science student Victor Frankenstein, who is obsessed with “bestowing animation upon lifeless matter.” Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts; but upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by loneliness, the creature unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator.

Frankenstein, an instant best-seller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science-
fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound questions about the
nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos. In our age, filled with news of organ donation,...


Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Jules Verne
1593083025
March 2005
Paperback
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Ring of Fire
Eric Flint
1416509089
Sept 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Readers who enjoyed editor Flint's novels (1632; 1633) of a West Virginia town transported by a black hole back in time to Germany during the Thirty Years War will appreciate how neatly the other authors' tales in this strong anthology dovetail with Flint's series. For instance, the aging hippie of Mercedes Lackey's "To Dye For" has already played an important role in 1633. Other stories lead into Flint's forthcoming novel, The Galileo Affair, while still others provide major plot threads for this volume's concluding novella, Flint's "The Wallenstein Gambit." Following their editor's lead, individual contributors concentrate less on the impact that the displaced Americans' technology makes than on how their ideas-and ideals-inspire those newly exposed to them. Thus we see a young priest embracing the ideas of a...


Foundation (Foundation Novels (Paperback))
Isaac Asimov
0553293354
October 1, 1991
Paperback
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Book Review
Foundation marks the first of a series of tales set so far in the future that Earth is all but forgotten by humans who live throughout the galaxy. Yet all is not well with the Galactic Empire. Its vast size is crippling to it. In particular, the administrative planet, honeycombed and tunneled with offices and staff, is vulnerable to attack or breakdown. The only person willing to confront this imminent catastrophe is Hari Seldon, a psychohistorian and mathematician. Seldon can scientifically predict the future, and it doesn't look pretty: a new Dark Age is scheduled to send humanity into barbarism in 500 years. He concocts a scheme to save the knowledge of the race in an Encyclopedia Galactica. But this project will take generations to complete, and who will take up the torch after him? The first Foundation trilogy...


Children of the Mind (Ender, Book 4) (Ender Quartet)
Orson Scott Card
0812522397
June 15, 1997
Paperback
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Book Review
Children of the Mind, fourth in the Ender series, is the conclusion of the story begun in the third book, Xenocide. The author unravels Ender's life and reweaves the threads into unexpected new patterns, including an apparent reincarnation of his threatening older brother, Peter, not to mention another "sister" Valentine. Multiple storylines entwine, as the threat of the Lusitania-bound fleet looms ever nearer. The self-aware computer, Jane, who has always been more than she seemed, faces death at human hands even as she approaches godhood. At the same time, the characters hurry to investigate the origins of the descolada virus before they lose their ability to travel instantaneously between the stars. There is plenty of action and romance to season the text's analyses of Japanese culture and the flux and ebb...


Dune
Brian Herbert
076534078X
Aug 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
SF space opera titans Herbert and Anderson continue to investigate the tantalizing origins of Frank Herbert's Dune universe, this time achieving mixed results in their fifth action-packed collaboration, the bloated but occasionally brilliant second installment of the trilogy that started with Dune: The Butlerian Jihad (2002).Twenty-four years have passed since the independent Thinking Machine, Erasmus, killed Serena Butler's son and began a bloody Holy War against Omnius, a computer "evermind." Leading the League's Army of the Jihad are Primeros Xavier Harkonnen and Vorian Atreides, the son of cymek (human brain/robotic body) General Agamemnon, who, along with his fellow "semi-immortals," shares the computer evermind's wish to eradicate all unnecessary humans but secretly also wants to destroy Omnius. Harkonnen...


Visions in Death
J. D. Robb
042520300X
February 2005
Mass Market Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Though not as gripping as the previous installments in Robb's mid–21st-century In Death series (Remember When, etc.), this new offering showcases her many talents. New York policewoman Eve Dallas is on the trail of a serial killer who strangles his young female victims with a red ribbon and removes their eyes postmortem. Dallas and her longtime partner, Detective Peabody, pursue the criminal with wisecracking vigor and old-fashioned police work, assisted as well by Eve's handsome husband, billionaire businessman Roarke, and a beautiful psychic who volunteers to share her chilling visions of the murders. Naturally, the determined Dallas gets her man, though her toughness is shaken along the way by memories of her own childhood abuse, the murderer's vicious attack on Peabody and a surprising 11th-hour...


The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel
Jasper Fforde
0142001805
February 2003
Paperback
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Book Review
Penzler Pick, January 2002: When I first heard the premise of this unique mystery, I doubted that a first-time author could pull off a complicated caper involving so many assumptions, not the least of which is a complete suspension of disbelief. Jasper Fforde is not only up to the task, he exceeds all expectations.

Imagine this. Great Britain in 1985 is close to being a police state. The Crimean War has dragged on for more than 130 years and Wales is self-governing. The only recognizable thing about this England is her citizens' enduring love of literature. And the Third Most Wanted criminal, Acheron Hades, is stealing characters from England's cherished literary heritage and holding them for ransom.

Bibliophiles will be enchanted, but not surprised, to learn that stealing a character from a book only...



Designated Targets (The Axis of Time Trilogy, Book 2)
John Birmingham
0345457145
October 25, 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
In Birmingham's worthy sequel to Weapons of Choice (2004), the world of the 1940s continues to struggle with the ramifications of the Transition: the intrusion into the middle of WWII by a 21st-century naval task force fighting the global war on terror. While the lion's share of the technological windfall falls into the laps of the U.S. and Great Britain, the Axis acquires enough to increase its deadliness exponentially. Furthermore, Hitler and Stalin make an uneasy peace as they unite to prevent both of their respective systems from being consigned to the ash heap of history, freeing German forces for a renewed invasion of England. The time-displaced warriors from 2021 find that their most implacable foe is not Nazi commando Otto Skorzeny but J. Edgar Hoover, furious at being "outed." The author doesn't make the...


The Reply
Robert Doherty
0440223784
Feb 1998
Paperback
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Book Description
Area 51 was the most secret place in America.  But it was only one piece in a puzzle that stretched from Egypt's Pyramids to the mysterious face on Mars...

Part of a plan begun 5,000 years ago by those who had been here before.  And are coming back.

When scientist Lisa Duncan and Special Forces officer Mike Turcotte uncovered the stunning truth about Area 51--a "training area" on Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada--they opened up a Pandora's box kept hidden from the American public for fifty years.

What they uncovered explained decades of UFO sightings--and the most baffling mysteries of history from the Great Pyramid to Easter Island.

But these findings were only the beginning. Now a signal had come in from outer space: our first contact with extraterrestrials....


Frankenstein (Collector's Library Series)
Mary Shelley
0760750807
March 2004
Hardcover
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Book Description
Frankenstein is the most famous novel by Mary Shelley: a dark Faustian parable of science misused that was an immediate success on its publication in 1818. Purporting to be the record of an explorer, it tells of Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant but wayward student of science, who builds a human from dead flesh. Horrified by what he has done, he abandons his creation. The creature, an outcast for his horrific appearance, learns language and becomes civilized. In time, he attempts to join society but is rejected because he is assumed to have murderous intentions. Spurned, he seeks vengeance on his creator. So begins a cycle of destruction, with Frankenstein and his 'monster' pursuing each other to the extremes of nature until all vestiges of their humanity are lost in monomaniacal hatred. In 1831, Mary Shelley succumbed...


Old Soldiers
David Weber
1416508988
September 6, 2005
Hardcover
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From Booklist
In the campaign on Chartres in Bolo! (2005), Trevor Manecka of the Dinochrome Brigade lost her Bolo, Benjy. She is now going into action again, teamed with a venerable veteran Bolo, Lazarus. Their mission is to plant Concordat colonies where the Melchonian empire is unlikely to find them. Unfortunately, the "Puppies" (i.e., the aliens of Melchonia) have both natural and military intelligence--and the persistence to follow the colonizing expedition across the light-years. The result is a deadly, prolonged battle, recounted with all Weber's customary high-tech vividness, but this time Trevor is not separated from her Bolo or even from her human lover, Edmund Hawthorne. Also convincingly depicted is the process of downloading a human personality into a Bolo, which confers immortality of a sort and gives the novel a...


Memory in Death
J. D. Robb
0399153284
January 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
After clashing with clones and killers in last year's Origin in Death, New York City police lieutenant Eve Dallas ("Her eyes were the color of good, aged whiskey and were long like the rest of her. And like the rest of her, they were all cop") settles back into a more conventional mystery. In December 2059, a mysterious woman shows up in Eve's office claiming to be her "mama." It's Trudy Lombard, the cruel foster mom who took nine-year-old Eve in after Eve killed her abusive father. Trudy made Eve take cold baths and locked her in closets, among other torments, and now Trudy wants Eve to pay $2 million to keep her past a secret. Readers of the series will know how Roarke, Eve's rich, deadly husband, handles the situation; he tosses Trudy out on her ear. When Trudy is found murdered the next day, it's up to Eve to...


Broken Angels
Richard K. Morgan
0345457714
March 2, 2004
Paperback
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Book Review
Critics have compared Richard Morgan's first novel, Altered Carbon, to the classic hardboiled fiction of Raymond Chandler. The comparison doesn't accurately describe Morgan's second novel, Broken Angels. Morgan's prose never approaches Chandler's metaphoric excess, and Morgan's antihero, Takeshi Kovacs, doesn't wisecrack nearly as often as Chandler's hero, Philip Marlowe. Also, Kovacs's far-future universe is considerably darker than Marlowe's noir world. In Kovacs's universe, high-tech implants called "stacks" record memory and personality; this means soldiers can be sent to their deaths, have their stacks implanted in new bodies, and be sent to their deaths again, and again, and again. Generals needn't quibble about wasting lives in massacres or nuclear explosions. The slaughtered soldiers will soon be back in...


Watch on the Rhine (The Posleen War)
John Ringo, Tom Kratman
0743499182
August 2, 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. An axiom of military science is that an army reflects the society it protects, but what happens when that society is confronted with a crisis its dominant ideology can't solve? In this provocative addition to the Posleen War series, a galactic civilization genetically predisposed toward pacifism offers humanity advanced technology so that we can defend ourselves (and them) from the only other sentient species capable of violence—think "Mongol horde in space." After the first enemy landings in 2004, the German chancellor decides, despite fierce opposition, to rejuvenate survivors of the Waffen SS. Eager to redeem their tarnished honor, these veterans display the same steadfastness and fortitude that they did in Russia and Normandy. Ringo (Hell's Faire) and Kratman (A State of...


Rapture in Death
J. D. Robb
0425155188
October 1996
Mass Market Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
The year is 2056. mood-altering drugs are legal, prostitution is licensed, virtual-reality games have replaced TV sets for entertainment and New York supercop Eve Dallas continues her sleuthing in Robb's fourth installment in the Death series (Naked in Death, Glory in Death, etc.). This time around, Eve has married her soul mate, Roarke, and is caught up in the puzzling suicide of a technician who's been working on Roarke's unfinished space resort. The young tech, Eve learns, had cheerfully hanged himself after a VR trip. Back on Earth, autopsies from two similar suicides reveal a pin-sized burn on the brains of the victims. All clues point to a deadly subliminal message in a VR toy?one that Roarke produces. This is sexy, gritty, richly imagined suspense. The fact that it is written by Nora Roberts under the...

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