Book picks similar to
The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
Nick Sagan - 2003
It is the late twenty-first century and a deadly virus has seeped into human kind's genetic make-up. In only a few generations this plague will have wiped us off the face of the planet, but we're not going down without a fight. Teams of scientists, geneticists and programmers race to find a cure, but time is not on our side and our only hope lies in one last, desperate gamble...Eighteen years later and ten individuals are about to come of age. One of them, a young man, is suddenly startled awake. He has no memory. His surroundings mean nothing to him. All he knows for certain is that someone is trying to kill him. Unsure who he can trust, he is reacquainted with his companions, all of whom are being trained at a special establishment run by the elusive Maestro. As he tries to uncover the identity of his would-be killer, it becomes clear that more - so much more - than just his life is at stake...Smart, stylish, terrifying and thrilling in equal measure, Idlewild fuses the fierce imagination of The Matrix with the chilling social vision of Minority Report, and introduces a singular new literary voice.
Cherie Priest - 2009
Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.
The Windup Girl
Paolo Bacigalupi - 2009
Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko... Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe. What Happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits, when said bio-terrorism's genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? Award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers one of the most highly acclaimed science fiction novels of the twenty-first century.
Bernard Beckett - 2006
Her grueling all-day Examination has just begun, and if she passes, she’ll be admitted into the Academy—the elite governing institution of her utopian society. But Anax is about to discover that for all her learning, the history she’s been taught isn’t the whole story. And the Academy isn’t what she believes it to be. In this brilliant novel of dazzling ingenuity, Anax’s examination leads us into a future where we are confronted with unresolved questions raised by science and philosophy. Centuries old, these questions have gained new urgency in the face of rapidly developing technology. What is consciousness? What makes us human? If artificial intelligence were developed to a high enough capability, what special status could humanity still claim? Outstanding and original, Beckett’s dramatic narrative comes to a shocking conclusion.
Under the Empyrean Sky
Chuck Wendig - 2013
It's the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow. And the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables, trying to earn much-needed ace notes for their families. But Cael's tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He's sick of the mayor's son besting Cael's crew in the scavenging game. And he's worried about losing Gwennie, his first mate and the love of his life, forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry, angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn't seem upset about any of it. Cael's ready to make his own luck . . . even if it means bringing down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and changing life in the Heartland forever.
The Calculating Stars
Mary Robinette Kowal - 2018
The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
Kate Wilhelm - 1976
Sweeping, dramatic, rich with humanity, and rigorous in its science, Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang is widely regarded as a high point of both humanistic and hard SF, winning SF's Hugo Award and Locus Award on its first publication.
Sheri S. Tepper - 2002
Hundreds of years have passed, and all that remains of the time before are fragmented memories distorted by superstition -- as a tragically reduced populace suffers greatly under the tyranny of a repressive ruling order. But destiny has chosen Dismé Latimer to lead a wasted world out of the darkness ... with a book. Written by a courageous scientist ancestor, it is a sacred, unsettling tome rife with disturbing ideas and revelations ... and an impossible hope that compels a gentle, troubled young woman to abandon her abusive home in search of truth and her true self. But common "wisdom" and lore warn of grave dangers out in the world. Evil is there, a malevolence beyond imagining. And in the depths of the Earth, a gargantuan beast asleep for centuries has begun to stir ...
Steven Gould - 2011
Leave your metal behind, all of it. The bugs will eat it, and they'll go right through you to get it…Don't carry it, don't wear it, and for god's sake don't come here if you've got a pacemaker.The bugs showed up about fifty years ago--self-replicating, solar-powered, metal-eating machines. No one knows where they came from. They don't like water, though, so they've stayed in the desert Southwest. The territory. People still live here, but they do it without metal. Log cabins, ceramics, what plastic they can get that will survive the sun and heat. Technology has adapted, and so have the people.Kimble Monroe has chosen to live in the territory. He was born here, and he is extraordinarily well adapted to it. He's one in a million. Maybe one in a billion.In 7th Sigma, Gould builds an extraordinary SF novel of survival and personal triumph against all the odds.
Brown Girl in the Ring
Nalo Hopkinson - 1998
The inner city has had to rediscover old ways-farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother.She must bargain with gods, and give birth to new legends.
The Inverted World
Christopher Priest - 1974
Rails must be freshly laid ahead of the city & carefully removed in its wake. Rivers & mountains present nearly insurmountable challenges to the ingenuity of the city's engineers. But if the city does not move, it will fall farther & farther behind the optimum & into the crushing gravitational field that has transformed life on Earth. The only alternative to progress is death. The secret directorate that governs the city makes sure that its inhabitants know nothing of this. Raised in common in creches, nurtured on synthetic food, prevented above all from venturing outside the closed circuit of the city, they're carefully sheltered from the dire necessities that have come to define human existence. Yet the city is in crisis. People are growing restive. The population is dwindling. The rulers know that, for all their efforts, slowly but surely the city is slipping ever farther behind the optimum. Helward Mann is a member of the city's elite. Better than anyone, he knows how tenuous is the city's continued existence. But the world he's about to discover is infinitely stranger than the strange world he believes he knows so well.
Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders
Richard Ellis Preston Jr. - 2013
Steaming over a territory once known as Southern California — before it was devastated in the alien war — Buckle navigates his massive airship through skies infested with enemy war zeppelins and ravenous alien beasties in this swashbuckling and high-octane steampunk adventure. Life is desperate in the Snow World, and death is quick. Buckle and his ship’s company must brave poisoned wastelands of Noxious Mustard and do battle with forgewalkers, steampipers, and armored locomotives as they plunge from the skies into the underground prison warrens of the fortress city.Captain Romulus Buckle must lead the Pneumatic Zeppelin and its crew of ne’er-do-wells on a desperate mission where he must risk everything to save Balthazar and attempt to prevent a catastrophic war that could wipe out all that is left of civilization and the entire human race.