Black Projects, White Knights: The Company Dossiers Kage Baker  
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This collection brings together the early Company stories in one volume for the first time with three previously unpublished works, including "The Queen in Yellow," written exclusively for this compilation. In these tales sci-fi fans follow the secret activities of the Company's field agents—once human, now centuries-old time-traveling immortal cyborgs—as they attempt to retrieve history's lost treasures. Botanist Mendoza's search for the rare hallucinogenic Black Elysium grape in 1844 Spanish-held Santa Barbara, facilitator Joseph's dreamlike solicitation of the ailing Robert Louis Stevenson in 1879, and marine salvage specialist Kalugin's recovering of an invaluable Eugène Delacroix painting from a sunken yacht off the coast of Los Angeles in 1894 are included.

The Life of the World to Come Kage Baker  
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From idea to flesh to myth, this is the story of Alec Checkerfield: Seventh Earl of Finsbury, pirate, renegade, hero, anomaly, Mendoza's once and future love.

Mendoza is a Preserver, which means that she's sent back from the twenty-fourth century by Dr. Zeus, Incorporated - the Company - to recover things from the past which would otherwise be lost. She's a botanist, a good one. She's an immortal, indestructible cyborg. And she's a woman in love.

In sixteenth century England, Mendoza fell for a native, a renegade, a tall, dark, not handsome man who radiated determination and sexuality. He died a martyr's death, burned at the stake. In nineteenth century America, Mendoza fell for an eerily identical native, a renegade, a tall, dark, not handsome man who radiated determination and sexuality. When he died, she killed six men to avenge him.

The Company didn't like that - bad for business. But she's immortal and indestructible, so they couldn't hurt her. Instead, they dumped her in the Back Way Back.

Meanwhile, back in the future, three eccentric geniuses sit in a parlor at Oxford University and play at being the new Inklings, the heirs of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. Working for Dr. Zeus, they create heroic stories and give them flesh, myths in blood and DNA to protect the future from the World to Come, the fearsome Silence that will fall on the world in 2355. They create a hero, a tall, dark, not handsome man who radiates determination and sexuality.

"Now," stranded 150,000 years in the past, there are no natives for Mendoza to fall in love with. She tends a garden of maize, and she pines for the man she lost, twice. For Three. Thousand. Years.

Then, one day, out of the sky and out of the future comes a renegade, a timefaring pirate, a tall, dark, not handsome man who radiates determination and sexuality. This is the beginning of the end.

The Children of the Company Kage Baker  
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Take a ride through time with the devil. In the sixth book of the Company series, we meet Executive Facilitator General Labienus. Hes used his immortal centuries to plot a complete takeover of the world since he was a young god-figure in Sumeria. In a meditative mood, he reviews his interesting career. He muses on his subversion of the Company black project ADONAI. He considers also Aegeus, his despised rival for power, who has discovered and captured a useful race of mortals known as Homo sapiens umbratilis. Their unique talents may enable him to seize ultimate power. Labienus plans a double cross that will kill two birds with one stone: he will woo away Aegeus promising protege, the Facilitator Victor, and at the same time dispose of a ghost from his own past who has become inconvenient. The Hugo-nominated novella Son Observe The Time, telling that part of the story, is included here in its entirety. Fans of the series will love this book, and new readers will be enthralled.

The Machine's Child Kage Baker  
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Kage Baker's trademark series of SF adventure continues now in a direct sequel to The Life of the World to Come. Mendoza was banished long ago, to a prison lost in time where rebellious immortals are "dealt with." Now her past lovers: Alec, Nicholas, and Bell-Fairfax, are determined to rescue her, but first they must learn how to live together, because all three happen to be sharing Alec's body. What they find when they discover Mendoza is even worse than what they could imagined, and enough for them to decide to finally fight back against the Company.

Gods and Pawns Kage Baker  
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In the Company, you’re either a God or a Pawn, but sometimes you have to be both. The eight stories, reprinted for the first time in this collection delve further into the history and exploits of the Company and its operatives, including Mendoza, Lewis, and Alec.

The book opens with the novella, "To the Land Beyond the Sunset," starring Lewis and Mendoza, and involving a strange tribe in Bolivia whose members claim to be gods. Their ability to grow a small tropical paradise in the middle of the desert certainly seems godlike, and it's Mendoza's job to figure what their secret is."Standing in His Light" features Van Drouten, and her role in the career of the artist Jan Vermeer. The story illustrates how, with a little help from the Company, lost masterpieces can be found (or created) easily. Other stories include "Welcome to Olympus, Mr. Hearst," which opens up intriguing questions about The Company, and the original novelette, "Hellfire at Twilight," which concludes the volume and tells of Lewis infiltrating the famous Hellfire Club in the England of the 18th century.

This book is a compelling read for every Baker fan, and essential for Company addicts

Rude Mechanicals Kage Baker  
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The year is 1934, the scene is a Wood Near Athens — temporarily relocated to the environs of the Hollywood Bowl, as German theater impresario Max Reinhardt attempts to stage his famous production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Fortunately for Reinhardt, he has immortal assistance in the person of Literature Specialist Lewis, a cyborg working undercover for Dr. Zeus Incorporated, masters of time travel. Lewis is tasked with preserving Reinhardt's promptbooks for future Company profits at auction. Unfortunately for Reinhardt, there are complications... For Joseph, Lewis's fellow cyborg, is on the case as well, attempting to salvage a botched mission of his own. It involves the lost treasure of the Cahuenga Pass, a missing diamond, a third-century pope, burglary, disguises, car chases, and a legendary Hollywood party spot. All of which interact, more or less disastrously, with Lewis's mission and Reinhardt's Shakespearean extravaganza. Will the show go on?

The Sons of Heaven Kage Baker  
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This is the Kage Baker novel everyone has been waiting for: the conclusion to the story of Mendoza and The Company. In The Sons of Heaven, the forces gathering to seize power finally move on the Company. The immortal Lewis wakes to find himself blinded, crippled, and left with no weapons but his voice, his memory, and the friendship of one extraordinary little girl. Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax, resurrected Victorian superman, plans for world domination. The immortal Mendoza makes a desperate bargain to delay him. Enforcer Budu, assisted by Joseph, enlists an unexpected ally in his plans to free his old warriors and bring judgment on his former masters. Executive Facilitator Suleyman uses his intelligence operation to uncover the secret of Alpha-Omega, vital to the mortals’ survival. The mortal masters of the Company, terrified of a coup, invest in a plan they believe will terminate their immortal servants. And they awaken a powerful AI whom they call Dr Zeus. This web of a story is filled with great climaxes, wonderful surprises, and gripping characters many readers have grown to love or hate. It's a triumph of SF!

Mother Aegypt and Other Stories Kage Baker, Mike Dringenberg  
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A brand new short story collection from Kage Baker, including an original novella set in her ongoing series of The Company, "Mother Aegypt". The Company novels are being released by Tor, and include The Graveyard Game and The Life of the World to Come. "In each story, Baker's even hand and compelling characterizations entrance. Listen closely, and perhaps you will hear the collective sigh of delight from intelligent lovers of fantasy the world over. A book to savor." —Booklist "These wry and often wise narratives prove Baker is one of the most accomplished fantasists of our era." —Publishers Weekly

Crash J. G. Ballard  
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Walking on Glass Iain Banks  
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By the author of "Canal Dreams" and "The Wasp Factory", this novel is about three men - Graham Park, Steven Grant and Quiss. No trio of people could be further apart, but their separate courses are set for collision.

Canal Dreams Iain Banks  
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Hisako Onoda, world famous cellist, refuses to fly. And so she travels to Europe as a passenger on a tanker bound through the Panama Canal. But Panama is a country whose politics are as volatile as the local freedom fighters. When Hisako's ship is captured, it is not long before the atmosphere is as flammable as an oxy-acetylene torch, and the tension as sharp as the spike on her cello. CANAL DREAMS is a novel of deceptive simplicity and dark, original power: stark psychological insights mesh with vividly realised scenarios in an ominous projection of global realpolitik. The result is yet another major landmark in the quite remarkable career of an outstanding modern novelist.

The Bridge Iain Banks  
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The man who wakes up in the extraordinary world of a bridge has amnesia, and his doctor doesn't seem to want to cure him. Does it matter? Exploring the bridge occupies most of his days. But at night there are his dreams. Dreams in which desperate men drive sealed carriages across barren mountains to a bizarre rendezvous; an illiterate barbarian storms an enchanted tower under a stream of verbal abuse; and broken men walk forever over bridges without end, taunted by visions of a doomed sexuality. Lying in bed unconscious after an accident wouldn't be much fun, you'd think. Oh yes? It depends who and what you've left behind. Which is the stranger reality, day or night? Frequently hilarious and consistently disturbing, THE BRIDGE is a novel of outrageous contrasts, constructed chaos and elegant absurdities.

Whit Iain Banks  
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Isis Whit is no ordinary teenager. An innocent in the ways of the world, an ingenue when it comes to fashion, she does however rejoice in some neat healing powers, a way with animals and the exalted status of Elect of God of the Luskentyrian Sect. Part of the 1995 Scottish Book Fortnight promotion.

A Song of Stone Iain Banks  
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This brutal tale starts in a bleak, brutal European any-war. Abel and Morgan live in a forboding castle, alone and isolated, until the conflict intrudes on their numb lives in the form of a cruel mercenary lieutenant and her violent, ravaging men who take up residence. From there, the tale disintegrates into darkness and atrocity, punctuated by Abel's memories of earlier joy and pain. Iain Banks pushes the story steadily downward, dragging the morbidly fascinated reader into the depths of human despair. Gang rape, torture, and incest are seen through Abel's uncaring eyes—this book is not for the squeamish. And although Banks strives for a Passion play in the end, what's missing is even the tiniest kernel of real redemption. Fans of The Wasp Factory and Banks's other non-science fiction works will find familiar details here, but A Song of Stone stands alone as a fable of hopelessness. —Therese Littleton

The Business Iain Banks  
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Iain Banks is a multi-generic, multi-task dream. On one hand, he's produced a series of science fiction novels (Feersum Endjinn, Inversions) that have achieved cult status in his native Britain. On the other hand, he has dipped into the world of contemporary fiction with a number of equally successful works (The Bridge, Complicity). Fans of both rely on Banks's acidic wit, elegantly clever prose, and sometimes befuddling but always fascinating plot twists.

The Business, a sly satire of corporate success, begins with every promise of fulfilling those standards. Kathryn Telman, "a senior executive officer, third level (counting from the top) in a commercial organization which has had many different names through the ages but which, these days, we usually just refer to as the Business," has been selected to negotiate the Business's purchase of the sovereign state of Thulahn (where "the royal palace is heated by yak dung" and the "national sport is emigration"). Corporate takeovers are small potatoes compared to the acquisition of an entire country, and Kathryn's politely scheming superiors have set their sights on a seat at the United Nations and the "unrestricted use of that perfect smuggling route called the diplomatic bag."

Kathryn's voice, at once polished and gritty, is the novel's strongest point. Her wry dissections of the Business, its motives and ambitions, its members, and the delightful irony of negotiating with Thulahn's crown prince (who is more interested in matrimony than marketeering) are sheer reading pleasure. And the notion of an ancient, omnipotent, secretive corporation is a great starting point for any number of stories. But The Business is, sadly, next to bankrupt on the level of plot. Of the two storylines that structure the novel (the takeover of Thulahn and Kathryn's growing suspicion of high-level fraud), neither amounts to much. Their development and resolution, such as they are, seem so haphazard that the reader might wonder whether Banks just lost interest in his own story.

For dedicated Banks fans, The Business may not be on a par with his other outings, but the pleasure of his prose is nonetheless satisfying. Newcomers to the Banks mystique, having no points of reference, may be well content with his arch humor and forceful characterization. —Kelly Flynn

Dead Air Iain Banks  
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Iain Banks' daring new novel opens in a loft apartment in the East End, in a former factory due to be knocked down in a few days. Ken Nott is a devoutly contrarian vaguely left-wing radio shock-jock living in London. After a wedding breakfast people start dropping fruits from a balcony on to a deserted carpark ten storeys below, then they start dropping other things; an old TV that doesn't work, a blown loudspeaker, beanbags, other unwanted furniture...Then they get carried away and start dropping things that are still working, while wrecking the rest of the apartment. But mobile phones start ringing and they're told to turn on a TV, because a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Centre. At ease with the volatility of modernity, Iain Banks is also our most accomplished literary writer of narrative-driven adventure stories that never ignore the injustices and moral conundrums of the real world. His new novel, set in contemporary London, displays the trademark dark wit, buoyancy and momentum of his finest work. It will be one of the most important novels of 2002.

The Steep Approach to Garbadale Iain Banks  
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Dark family secrets, a long-lost love affair and a multi-million pound gaming business lie at the heart of Iain Banks's fabulous new novel. The Wopuld family built its fortune on a board game called Empire! ? now a hugely successful computer game. So successful, the American Spraint Corp wants to buy the firm out. Young renegade Alban, who has been evading the family clutches for years, is run to ground and persuaded to attend the forthcoming family gathering ? part birthday party, part Extraordinary General Meeting ? convened by Win, Wopuld matriarch and most powerful member of the board, at Garbadale, the family's highland castle. Being drawn back into the bosom of the clan brings an inevitable and disconcerting confrontation with Alban's past. What drove his mother to take her own life? And is he yet ready to see Sophie, his beautiful, enchanting cousin and teenage love, at the EGM? Grandmother Win's revelations will radically alter Alban's perspective for ever.

Against a Dark Background Iain M. Banks  
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When the religious Huhsz cult attempts to get its hands on the Lazy Gun, the most deadly and enigmatic weapon constructed, Lady Sharrow, a former antiquities thief, sets out to stop the Huhsz.

Feersum Endjinn Iain M. Banks  
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In a future where the ancients have long since departed Earth for the stars, those left behind live complacent lives filled with technological marvels they no longer understand. Then a cosmic threat known as the Encroachment begins a devastating ice age on Earth, and it sets in motion a series of events that will bring together a cast of original characters who must struggle through war, political intrigues and age-old mysteries to save the world. (B 4worned, 1 oph Banx' carrokters theenx en funetic inglish, which makes for some tough reading but also some innovative prose.)

Complicity Iain M. Banks  
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COMPLICITY n. 1. the fact of being an accomplice, esp. in a criminal act A few spliffs, a spot of mild S&M, phone through the copy for tomorrow's front page, catch up with the latest from your mystery source - could be big, could be very big - in fact, just a regular day at the office for free-wheeling, substance-abusing Cameron Colley, a fully paid-up Gonzo hack on an Edinburgh newspaper. The source is pretty thin, but Cameron senses a scoop and checks out a series of bizarre deaths from a few years ago - only to find that the police are checking out a series of bizarre deaths that are happening right now. And Cameron just might know more about it than he'd care to admit ...Involvement; connection; liability - Complicity is a stunting exploration of the morality of greed, corruption and violence, venturing fearlessly into the darker recesses of human purpose.

Inversions Iain M. Banks  
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In the winter palace, the King's new physician has more enemies than she at first realizes, but she also has more remedies to hand than those who wish her ill can know about. In another palace across the mountains, the chief bodyguard of the regicidal Protector General also has his enemies.

The Algebraist Iain M. Banks  
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It is 4034 AD. Humanity has made it to the stars. Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of the year. The Nasqueron Dwellers inhabit a gas giant on the outskirts of the galaxy, in a system awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of civilisation. In the meantime, they are dismissed as decadents living in a state of highly developed barbarism, hoarding data without order, hunting their own young and fighting pointless formal wars. Seconded to a military-religious order he's barely heard of - part of the baroque hierarchy of the Mercatoria, the latest galactic hegemony - Fassin Taak has to travel again amongst the Dwellers. He is in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years. But with each day that passes a war draws closer - a war that threatens to overwhelm everything and everyone he's ever known. As complex, turbulent, flamboyant and spectacular as the gas giant on which it is set, the new science fiction novel from Iain M. Banks is space opera on a truly epic scale.

The Official Pokemon Handbook Maria S. Barbo  
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With the world going Pokemon crazy, the only thing to do is add The Official Pokemon Handbook to your shopping list.

This complete companion to 150 Pokemon species, is an absolute gem and is perfect for anyone who has ever been touched by the phenomenon that is sweeping the globe.

With an introduction by Professor Oak, who explains that the reader's mission is to collect and train as many of the 150 known species of Pokemon as is humanly possible, all Pokemon life is there, from Pikachu to Pidgeotto, Squirtle to Snorlax and Charmander to Caterpie.

Loaded with statistics, training tips and secret facts and figures about all the characters, this official guide to the world of Pokemon is an absolute must-have for anyone who wants to enter this coolest of cool kingdoms and play to win.

Age 8 and over —Susan Harrison

Dawnthief James Barclay  
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This energetic first fantasy novel is familiar in outline, but told with unusual intensity. "The Raven" is a group of seven mercenaries, just starting to lose their fighting edge, who reluctantly get hired by a mage from a college of magic with a nasty reputation for blood sacrifice. Their mission: to save the world from major bad guys called the Wytch Lords. These, defeated long ago at great cost, have escaped their sorcerous confinement and will be unstoppable once they've grown new bodies; meanwhile their teeming minions are already going to war. The only hope is Dawnthief, a lost super-spell which, if correctly cast, can zap even Wytch Lords—but make one mistake and the sun will never come up again. A typical fantasy-quest shopping list emerges: you need the dragon-guarded amulet to open the ancient mage's workshop to find the portal leading to the demon watching over the parchment with the spell, which itself requires three "catalyst" talismans hidden in difficult places. What makes Dawnthief a ripping yarn is Barclay's ruthless pace and lack of sentimentality. No character is too nice, innocent or important to die or suffer hideous tortures. The death toll is horrific, as are the many exotic ways of dying in this dangerous world. This is a breathless, action-crammed fantasy thriller. —David Langford

Noonshade James Barclay  
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In a market already overcrowded with heroic action fantasy, it is always refreshing to discover an author who does more than tread out the usual sword-and-sorcery tale in three huge doorstopper-sized volumes. James Barclay is just such an author as he more than adequately proved with his scorching debut Dawnthief. Now, his band of slightly ageing past-their-prime mercenaries, The Raven, are back and attempting to right the wrongs from the previous story. The Dawnthief spell has been cast but it has ripped apart a hole between dimensions that will allow an invasion of dragons into Balia and signal the land's destruction. The Raven are forced into an alliance with Sha-Kaan, a dragon whose brood are fighting a desperate war in the dragon dimension. With Balia having to defend itself against armies of Wesmen, The Raven are the only ones able to help the Kaan defeat their enemies and save Balia.

What follows is, quite simply, spectacular storytelling. Barclay reads like a seasoned fantasy veteran, not a writer on only his second novel, and his plotting, characterisation and dialogue are all perfectly honed. Where he excels most though is in the action scenes and Noonshade contains some of the best sword and magic battles ever written. You can feel the air burn with the crackle of spells, almost cry out in pain yourself as a sword cuts through flesh and mourn for a slaughtered character as you would a loved one.

The plot twists and turns with energy and pace but it is the characters that make this such a real treat, especially the Raven who deserve the same cult status as Gemmell's Waylander. Each member of the Raven is a fully realised character, with plausible motivations and plenty of emotional conflict. And it's good to see the female characters getting a bit more page-time too.

The third volume of this trilogy, Nightchild, is out in 2001 and Barclay leaves us hanging wickedly on a thread with just enough questions and unresolved conflicts to be tied up in book three. The Chronicles of the Raven is one the most exciting and exhilarating series in a long time and on this showing James Barclay is a writer with a fantastic future ahead of him. Stunning stuff. —Jonathan Weir

Orbital Resonance John Barnes  
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Melpomene Murray's concerns are those of any teenager: homework, friends, dates. But Melpomene lives on the Flying Dutchman, an asteroid colony located thousands of miles from an Earth almost destroyed by disease, war, and pollution. She and her spaceborn classmates are humanity's last hope, and Mel's just starting to realize how heavy a responsibility that is. Her parents and teachers have trained her from birth to lead mankind into the future.

What they never realized is that Melpomene might have plans of her own...

Patton's Spaceship John Barnes  
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Combining the suspense of the detective thriller with the awesome wonder of space/time adventure. Crux of Battle begins an epic tale of a war across one million alternate Earths.

"One of the most able and impressive of SF's rising stars!" The Washington PostAn exciting blend of time travel, alien invasion, and chase/action from the critically hailed author of Mother of Storms, Kaleidoscope Century, and other novels published by Tor.

One For The Morning Glory John Barnes  
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Shortly after little Prince Amatus secretly sips the Wine of the Gods, leaving him without the left side of his body, four mysterious Companions appear to help the prince with the curious curse and to guide him along a perilous quest to manhood. Reprint. PW.

Washington's Dirigible John Barnes  
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The second volume in the time travel/parallel universe series sends Pittsburgh private eye Mark Strang, trained with nightmarish weaponry and teamed with the woman of his dreams, to an alternative 1776, where he becomes his own worst enemy.

Caesar's Bicycle John Barnes  
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Mark Strang is asked to travel far back in time to the period of Caesar and the great Roman Triumvirate, in order to investigate the disappearance of a fellow time agent. What he discovers is that Caesar has been subverted by a Closer representative and that the Triumvirate has been undermined with civil war, mutual destruction, and the rewriting of history looming in the near future.

Earth Made of Glass John Barnes  
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In a sequel to A Million Open Doors, John Barnes writes another novel in the universe of the Thousand Cultures. Humanity dwells in colonies (some natural and some artificial) spread over hundreds of planets that lost touch with each other for over a thousand years. Due to the invention of the springer, an instantaneous teleportation device, the worlds are communicating again. But after centuries of isolation, reunification results in intense cultural and economic stress.

Giraut and Margaret, characters from the earlier book, are now a husband and wife diplomatic team for the Council of Humanity. They also do clandestine work for the Office of Special Projects, an undercover organization that deals with serious problems that result when local governments prove intractable. Their next assignment: promote peace and cooperation on Briand, a hellish planet whose physical hostility is matched only by the hatred its two cultures show to each other.

Tamil Mandalam was founded by classical Tamils, and Kintulum was founded by classical Mayans. Tamils believe themselves to be perfect and believe that once the springer does open Briand to humanity, they will show the rest of the universe how to live. The Mayans, when they communicate at all, apparently feel the same way. The magnificence of each culture's accomplishments in art and literature is overshadowed by citizens' bigotry.

A difficult assignment indeed; as if high gravity, high temperatures and ethnic attacks weren't enough, Giraut and Margaret's mission grows even more troublesome because of their marital problems, Margaret's depression, and the bureaucratic thick-headedness of Briand's Ambassador. —Bonnie Bouman

Finity John Barnes  
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A skilled SF author who's been publishing novels since 1987, John Barnes seems underrated in the field—perhaps because he is so versatile. His 1990s work included the disaster blockbuster Mother of Storms, the doom-ridden political tragedy Earth Made of Glass, and—the only whimsical fantasy to rival William Goldman's The Princess Bride—Barnes—Barnes's One for Morning Glory.

Finity could be called his Philip K. Dick novel. Opening in a future where Hitler won and American expats huddle in the remaining free countries like New Zealand, it features several Dick-style chatty machines and what seems to be an increasing breakdown of reality. The hero Lyle Peripart, an "abductive logic" expert, confronts the great mystery of 2062: what happened to the USA, which is vaguely accepted as still existing but can't be visited, can't be phoned, can't even be thought about for long?

Soon Peripart faces assassination, but some of the forces manipulating the world seem to be on his side—his own gentle fiancée saves him by switching mysteriously into an armed secret agent with hair-trigger reflexes, and back again. All the people our hero knows have mutually incompatible pasts ... Answers await within the former USA, whose idealistic Department for the Pursuit of Happiness did something deeply strange to quantum reality: Peripart joins a crazy expedition to learn just what. The ultimate surprises are daft and delightful. This is great fun. —David Langford

Apocalypses & Apostrophes John Barnes  
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John Barnes writes hard SF with a heart; his speculations are always grounded in working things out from first principles, but he remembers to think also about how his imaginary situations might feel. "Gentleman Pervert, Out on a Spree", for example, starts with some speculation about tagging, and the speed with which an information age can make a marginal life get worse—Ken is photographed kerb-crawling and is then divorced and sacked before he even gets home.

It moves, though, in unexpected directions—no excuses are made for Ken and his compulsions, and yet we get to know and even love him like a deeply flawed younger brother. When Barnes writes of the fall of civilisation to Christianity and/or barbarism, his rationalism does not rule out empathy for other ways of seeing—and a sense that armed conflict always involves collateral losses of more than just lives. The doomed soldier of "Advice to the Civilized" knows that in that regret lies the whole difference between civilisation and barbarism. The stories come packaged with some non-fiction—Barnes writes well about building a world and his views on style and criticism; inspirationally about education and his hopes for the future. —Roz Kaveney

Candle John Barnes  
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The Merchants of Souls John Barnes  
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In The Merchants of Souls, a new movement on Earth seeks to use the recorded personalities of the dead as their helpless virtual reality playthings. To the worlds of the interstellar Thousand Cultures, where the reborn are accepted as normal citizens, its a monstrous crime and reinforces their distaste for Earth. If Earth cannot be stopped from ratifying its plans, the entire structure of galactic human civilization will collapse.

The Sky So Big and Black John Barnes  
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"They don't make 'em like that any more!" say fans of the classic juvenile SF novels, Alexei Panshin's Rite of Passage (1968) and the run of Robert A. Heinlein novels that begins with Rocket Ship Galileo (1947) and ends with Podkayne of Mars (1963). Except—John Barnes has made one like that: The Sky So Big and Black. The book's brilliant teenage protagonist, hard science, brisk pace, didactic moments, and strong characterization make it clear that Barnes is working consciously in the tradition of Panshin and Heinlein (especially Heinlein's Red Planet [1949] and Podkayne of Mars). Like his models, Barnes does a superb job. The Sky So Big and Black is a classic. Read it, and give it to any smart, perhaps-outcast young reader whom you want to infect with the science fiction meme.

Terpsichore "Teri" Murray lives on Mars, an eco-prospector-in-training and the daughter of a widowed ecospector. Instead of gold, ecospectors seek underground rivers and gas pockets, which they blast to the Martian surface in hopes of earning fabulous wealth. The ecospector life is hard, primitive, dangerous, and perhaps doomed to extinction, as the Martian atmosphere thickens and the genetically engineered "Mars-form" humans increase their population. An Earth-form human, Teri doesn't want to give up ecospecting, which she loves as much as she hates the city and school where she's forced to spend part of every year. But she finds herself with new, far more ominous worries when a devastating planetwide disaster isolates the colonies from one another, strands Teri in the Martian outback with several injured young children, and opens the entire planet to attack by One True, the collective intelligence that rules Earth in a terrifyingly total dictatorship. —Cynthia Ward

The Duke of Uranium John Barnes  
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Fifteen hundred years in the future: after seven wars with the alien Rubahy, after settlement upon settlement and resettlement of every piece of dirt available, after every imaginable religious and political upheaval. Mars has been terraformed for a thousand years, glaciers cover Europe, central Africa is Earth's breadbasket, some space freighters have twentieth-generation crews. More people live in space than on Earth. And no one has found a way around the light-speed limit; the human race is still confined to one solar system, though now we share it with the Rubahy.

Six thousand human nations, ranging from the mighty Hive to puny tribes of a few thousand. Hundreds of zybots, secret conspiracies to reshape all of human history. Thousands of sovereign economic monopolies ranging from powerful the powerful Duchy of Uranium to the tiny Barony of Paper Clips. The complex faith of the Wager, with its hundreds of variants and heresies. A world of unimaginable complexity.

Into this world steps Jak Jinnaka, eighteen years old, a handsome intelligent natural athlete with secrets unknown even to himself in his past, and one thing on his mind: "Dude, where's the party?"

Then thugs kidnap Jak's girlfriend, beating Jak and his friends to a pulp, Jak's kindly old uncle turns out to be a spymaster, Jak is suddenly on a secret mission — and then the weird parts begin to happen. Looks like he found the party ....

The Merchants of Souls John Barnes  
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The sequel to A Million Open Doors and Earth Made of Glass

Special agent Giraut Leones, betrayed by his superior and closest friend, swore he would never work for the Office of Special Projects again—but now he must. A new movement on Earth seeks to use the recorded personalities of the dead as helpless virtual reality playthings, and to the worlds of the Thousand Cultures—where the reborn are accepted as normal citizens—it—it's a monstrous crime. If Giraut cannot stop Earth from ratifying its plans, the tenuous structure of interstellar human civilization will collapse.

Complicating matters, Giraut's brain now hosts a second consciousness-the revived mind of his long-dead friend Raimbaut. Together, Giraut and Raimbaut must confront their shared past while struggling with a deadly present.

In the Hall of the Martian King John Barnes  
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A Martian monarch has taken possession of a priceless relic: the lifelog diary of the mysterious messiah who founded the Wager, the religion that forms the basis of all interstellar society. The Hive Intel conglomerate wants the lifelog and hires Jak to get it. It's a simple job, until other spies-including Ambassador Dujuv, Uncle Sib, and Jak's evil ex-girlfriend-arrive on Mars and turn the assignment into a wild ride of mind control, murder, and looming interplanetary war. For the lifelog contains a devastating secret that can overturn the status quo of whole worlds-a secret that Hive Intel will suppress at all costs. In the past, Jak has completed missions by betraying his friends. Now in order to succeed, Jak Jinnaka must betray the entire human race...

The Armies of Memory John Barnes  
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Giraut Leones, special agent for the Thousand Cultures’ shadowy Office of Special Plans, is turning fifty—and someone is trying to kill him.

Giraut’s had a long career; the number of entities that might want him dead is effectively limitless. But recently Giraut was approached by the Lost Legion, an Occitan underground linked to an alliance of illegally human-settled worlds beyond the frontier. Also, it turns out that the Lost Legion colony has a "psypyx" —a consciousness-recording—of Shan, onetime boss of the Office of Special Plans. If they have that, they have literally thousands of devastating secrets.

Now, returning to his native Nou Occitan, Giraut will encounter violence and treachery from human and artificial consciousnesses alike. As bigotry and mob violence erupt throughout the rapidly destabilizing interstellar situation, Giraut will be called on the make the ultimate sacrifice, for the sake of civilization itself

Raft Stephen Baxter  
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Timelike Infinity Stephen Baxter  
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Pursued by the Qax and their great, sentient ships, a band of rebels escapes into the past, where they find allies from fifteen hundred years ago.

Anti-Ice Stephen Baxter  
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Discovering a new element, Anti-Ice, a mysterious substance that unleashes vast energies when warmed, a millionaire industrialist dreams of power from an item that promises world peace—or world destruction.

The Time Ships Stephen Baxter  
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What if the time machine from H.G. Wells' classic novel of the same name had fallen into government hands? That's the question that led Stephen Baxter to create this modern-day sequel, which combines a basic Wellsian premise with a Baxteresque universe-spanning epic. The Time Traveller, driven by his failure to save Weena from the Morlocks, sets off again for the future. But this time the future has changed, altered by the very tale of the Traveller's previous journey.

Ring Stephen Baxter  
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