Contest of Worlds

August Seebeck's great-aunt is a bit nuts, or is she? Every Saturday night for the last few weeks she finds a corpse in her bath. The body is gone by the next day. August didn't believe her until one night he saw people shoving a boy into the second-floor bathroom of her home. This discovery leads August into the Contest of Worlds. A game played by superbeings, of which August is one. Follow August's adventures in Damien Broderick's books, Godplayers and K-Machines. For more multiverse fun, check-out Roger Zelazny's Nine Prices of Amber.

In a pinch for time

Don't have a lot of time to read but want to enjoy a decent science fiction story? Give Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction of the Century a try. You find luminaries like Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke. The collection was compiled by Orson Scott Card, another great science fiction author. Enjoy!

A Woolly Story

Have you ever wanted a pet? How about a really big pet, like a mammoth. John Varley writes just a story in Mammoth. Multibillionaire Howard Christian always gets what he wants. He wants a live mammoth and is willing to pay. Christian sends a team to Canada to hunt for a frozen intact woolly mammoth to use for DNA. The team finds one, along with the body of 12,000 year old mummified man, who is wearing a wristwatch...

Remembering Patrick McGoohan

Patrick McGoohanPatrick McGoohan

Reading the New York Times yesterday, I was surprised and saddened to see that the actor Patrick McGoohan had died. As a teenager, I became quite a fan of the cult 60's television series The Prisoner which McGoohan created and starred in. It was a strange sci-fi/spy series about a retired spy known only as "Number 6" who is trapped in an unusual retirement village for people who know too much. We are never quite sure who is holding him there, and the series uses his story of opposing his mysterious jailers to contemplate ideas of personal freedom and government oppression. I'm not doing it justice here, but this was a wild and wonderful creation of McGoohan's imagination, so check out The Prisoner yourself from our collection.

P.S. McGoohan is also known for his role in the movie Braveheart later in his career.

Second Foundation

Isaac Asimov, one of the world's greatest science fiction authors wrote the Foundation series. Many authors have written stories within Asimov's universe. Three of them are Gregory Benford, Greg Bear, and David Brin. Between them, they wrote Second Foundation trilogy, Foundation's Fear, Foundation and Chaos, and Foundation's Triumph. The stories follow the rise, fall, and rise again of the human galactic empire.

You Cannot Change the Laws of Physics

Well, maybe the laws of physics can be changed. At least they can be in author S. M. Stirling's Emberverse series. It all starts in Dies the Fire. An electrical storm centered over the island of Nantucket has rendered all electrically powered devices useless and firearms inoperable. The works changes in an instant as people band together in feudal groups to survice. The story continues in The Protector's War, A Meeting at Corvallis, The Sunrise Lands, and The Scourge of God.

What is your favorite post-apocalyptic book?

Invasion of the saucer people, kind of

While conducting a seismic survey in the Sahara, Rip Cantrell makes a startling discovery, a flying saucer. Rip and his girlfriend Charlotte Pine do all they can to protect the saucer from profit seekers who try to steal the saucer for their own gain. Follow their adventure in Stephen Coonts' Saucer. Our heroes return in the sequel Saucer: the Conquest.

Majority rules... NOT

What happens when the majority is wrong? Philip K. Dick has an idea in the Minority Report. Ask Police Commissioner John Anderton, Tom Cruise in the film version. Commissioner Anderton helped form the Precrime System. It uses "precogs" to see future crimes, identifying criminals to prevent crimes from ever happening. Unfortunately, Anderton becomes a victim of his own system. The precogs identify him as a future criminal. The only way he can survive is by finding the truth buried within the precog's "minority report."

If you don't have time to read the story, we also have it available on BOCD.

Good vs. Evil

People have been talking about the end of the world for a long time. Author G. P. Taylor's stories show how it may have happened in the 1700's. In the story Shadowmancer, Vicar Obadiah Demurral decides to take on God and take over the universe. Only two youths and a mysterious person from Africa stand in his way. Wormwood tells the story of Agetta Lamian, the young housemaid of Dr. Sabian Blake. Dr. Blake has found an ancient book titled Nemorensis, which has the power to unlock the secrets of the universe. Can they save not only London but the world from the certain destruction by the comet Wormwood?

What is truth?

Author Ken MacLeod explores truth, deception, and blogs in his novel The Execution Channel. After the 9/11 attacks on Boston and Philadelphia, the war on terror has continued. Terrorist attacks are still taking place. Conspiracy theories are everywhere as the world slides towards further division. Government-backed bloggers post disinformation to help spread the chaos. And in the background, the Execution Channel, a pirate TV station, shows state-sponsored executions 24x7.

What is truth? Is history (truth) written by the victor?

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