Book picks similar to
A Plague of Angels by Sheri S. Tepper
Dinner at Deviant's Palace
Tim Powers - 1985
Dick Award: In a nuclear-ravaged California, a humble musician sets out on a dangerous quest to rescue his lost love from the clutches of a soul-devouring religious cultIn the twenty-second century, the City of Angels is a tragic shell of its former self, having long ago been ruined and reshaped by nuclear disaster. Before he was in a band in Ellay, Gregorio Rivas was a redeemer, rescuing lost souls trapped in the Jaybirds cult of the powerful maniac Norton Jaybush. Rivas had hoped those days were behind him, but a desperate entreaty from a powerful official is pulling him back into the game. The rewards will be plentiful if he can wrest Urania, the official’s daughter and Gregorio’s first love, from Jaybush’s sinister clutches. To do so, the redeemer reborn must face blood-sucking hemogoblins and other monstrosities on his way to discovering the ultimate secrets of this neo-Californian civilization. One of the most ingeniously imaginative writers of our time, Tim Powers dazzles in an early work that displays his unique creative genius. Alive with wit, intelligence, and wild invention, Dinner at Deviant’s Palace is a mad adventure across a dystopian future as only Tim Powers could have imagined it.
The Wind from Nowhere
J.G. Ballard - 1962
The wind came from nowhere … a super-hurricane that blasted round the globe at hundreds of miles per hour burying whole communities beneath piles of rubble, destroying all organized life and driving those it did not kill to seek safety in tunnels and sewers – where they turned against each other in their desperate struggle to survive.
Earthseed: Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents
Octavia E. Butler - 1999
A multiple Hugo and Nebula Award winner’s powerful saga of survival and destiny in a near-future dystopian America.One of the world’s most respected authors of science fiction imagines an apocalyptic near-future Earth where a remarkable young woman discovers that her destiny calls her to try and change the world around her. Octavia E. Butler’s brilliant two-volume Earthseed saga offers a startling vision of an all-too-possible tomorrow, in which walls offer no protection from a civilization gone mad. Parable of the Sower: In the aftermath of worldwide ecological and economic apocalypse, minister’s daughter Lauren Oya Olamina escapes the slaughter that claims the lives of her family and nearly every other member of their gated California community. Heading north with two young companions through an American wasteland, the courageous young woman faces dangers at every turn while spreading the word of a remarkable new religion that embraces survival and change. Parable of the Talents: Called to the new, hard truth of Earthseed, the small community of the dispossessed that now surrounds Lauren Olamina looks to her—their leader—for guidance. But when the evil that has grown out of the ashes of human society destroys all she has built, the prophet is forced to choose between preserving her faith or her family. The Earthseed novels cement Butler’s reputation as “one of the finest voices in fiction—period” (TheWashington Post Book World). Stunningly prescient and breathtakingly relevant to our times, this dark vision of a future America is a masterwork of powerful speculation that ushers us into a broken, dangerously divided world of bigotry, social inequality, mob violence, and ultimately hope.
Orson Scott Card - 1980
His life has been filled with music, and having only songs for companions, he develops a voice that is unlike any heard before. Ansset's voice is both a blessing and a curse, for the young Songbird can reflect all the hopes and fears his auidence feels and, by magnifying their emotions, use his voice to heal--or to destroy. When it is discovered that his is the voice that the Emperor has waited decades for, Ansset is summoned to the Imperial Palace on Old Earth. Many fates rest in Ansset's hands, and his songs will soon be put to the test: either to salve the troubled conscience of a conqueror, or drive him, and the universe, into mad chaos.Songmaster is a haunting story of power and love--the tale of the man who would destroy everything he loves to preserve humanity's peace, and the boy who might just sing the world away.
Children of Time
Adrian Tchaikovsky - 2015
Humanity's last survivors escaped earth's ruins to find a new home. But when they find it, can their desperation overcome its dangers?WHO WILL INHERIT THIS NEW EARTH?The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age—a world terraformed and prepared for human life.But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind's worst nightmare.Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?
The Alchemy of Stone
Ekaterina Sedia - 2008
With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets -- secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. However, this doesn't sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart -- literally! A steampunk novel of romance, political intrigue, and alchemy, The Alchemy of Stone represents a new and intriguing direction by the author of the critically-acclaimed The Secret History of Moscow:
The Tiger Flu
Larissa Lai - 2018
When a denizen from Salt Water City suffering from a mysterious flu comes into their midst, Peristrophe becomes infected and dies, prompting Kirilow to travel to Salt Water City, where the flu is now a pandemic, to find a new starfish who will help save her sisters. There, Kirilow meets Kora, a girl-woman desperate to save her family from the epidemic. Kora has everything Kirilow is looking for, except the will to abandon her own family. But before Kirilow can convince her, both are kidnapped by a group of powerful men to serve as test subjects for a new technology that can cure the mind of the body.Bold, beautiful, and wildly imaginative, The Tiger Flu is at once a female hero's saga, a cyberpunk thriller, and a convention-breaking cautionary tale--a striking metaphor for our complicated times.
Trouble with Lichen
John Wyndham - 1960
Francis, realising the implications for the world of an ever-youthful, wealthy elite, wants to keep it secret, but Diana sees an opportunity to overturn the male status quo by using the lichen to inspire a feminist revolution.As each scientist wrestles with the implications and practicalities of exploiting the discovery, the world comes ever closer to learning the truth . . . Trouble With Lichen is a scintillating story of the power wielded by science in our lives and asks how much trust should we place in those we appoint to be its guardians?
Wesley Chu - 2015
In his time, Earth is a toxic, abandoned world and humans have fled into the outer solar system to survive, eking out a fragile, doomed existence among the other planets and their moons. Those responsible for delaying humanity’s demise believe time travel holds the key, and they have identified James, troubled though he is, as one of a select and expendable few ideally suited for the most dangerous job in history. James is a chronman, undertaking missions into Earth's past to recover resources and treasure without altering the timeline. The laws governing use of time travel are absolute; break any one of them and, one way or another, your life is over. Most chronmen never reach old age; the stress of each jump through time, compounded by the risk to themselves and to the future, means that many chronmen rapidly reach their breaking point, and James Griffin-Mars is nearing his.On a final mission that is to secure his retirement, James meets Elise Kim, an intriguing scientist from a previous century, who is fated to die during the destruction of an oceanic rig. Against his training and his common sense, and in violation of the chronmen’s highest law, James brings Elise back to the future with him, saving her life, but turning them both into fugitives. Remaining free means losing themselves in the wild and poisonous wastes of Earth, somehow finding allies, and perhaps discovering what hope may yet remain for humanity's home world.
Shades of Grey
Jasper Fforde - 2009
In a society where the ability to see the higher end of the color spectrum denotes a better social standing, Eddie Russet belongs to the low-level House of Red and can see his own color—but no other. The sky, the grass, and everything in between are all just shades of grey, and must be colorized by artificial means. Eddie's world wasn't always like this. There's evidence of a never-discussed disaster and now, many years later, technology is poor, news sporadic, the notion of change abhorrent, and nighttime is terrifying: no one can see in the dark. Everyone abides by a bizarre regime of rules and regulations, a system of merits and demerits, where punishment can result in permanent expulsion. Eddie, who works for the Color Control Agency, might well have lived out his rose-tinted life without a hitch. But that changes when he becomes smitten with Jane, a Grey, which is low-caste in this color-centric world. She shows Eddie that all is not well with the world he thinks is just and good. Together, they engage in dangerous revolutionary talk.
To Your Scattered Bodies Go
Philip José Farmer - 1971
When famous adventurer Sir Richard Francis Burton dies, the last thing he expects to do is awaken naked on a foreign planet along the shores of a seemingly endless river. But that's where Burton and billions of other humans (plus a few nonhumans) find themselves as the epic Riverworld saga begins. It seems that all of Earthly humanity has been resurrected on the planet, each with an indestructible container that provides three meals a day, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, a lighter, and the odd tube of lipstick. But why? And by whom? That's what Burton and a handful of fellow adventurers are determined to discover as they construct a boat and set out in search of the river's source, thought to be millions of miles away. Although there are many hardships during the journey--including an encounter with the infamous Hermann Goring--Burton's resolve to complete his quest is strengthened by a visit from the Mysterious Stranger, a being who claims to be a renegade within the very group that created the Riverworld. The stranger tells Burton that he must make it to the river's headwaters, along with a dozen others the Stranger has selected, to help stop an evil experiment at the end of which humanity will simply be allowed to die. --Craig E. Engler