Book picks similar to
Venus by Ben Bova
Stephen Baxter - 2013
The age of star formation is long past. Yet there is life here, feeding off the energies of the stellar remnants, and there is mind, a tremendous galaxy-spanning intelligence each of whose thoughts lasts a hundred thousand years. And this mind cradles memories of a long-gone age when a more compact universe was full of light... The 27th century: Proxima Centauri, an undistinguished red dwarf star, is the nearest star to our sun. How would it be to live on such a world?
A World Out of Time
Larry Niven - 1976
Once he was outbound, where the Society that ruled Earth could not reach him, he headed his starship toward the galactic core, where the unimaginable energies of the Universe wrenched the fabric of time and space and promised final escape from his captors.Then he returned to an Earth eons older than the one he'd left...a planet that had had 3,000,000 years to develop perils he had never dreamed of -- perils that became nightmares that he had to escape...somehow!
Alastair Reynolds - 2009
Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different—and rigidly enforced—level of technology. Horsetown is pre-industrial; in Neon Heights they have television and electric trains . . .Following an infiltration mission that went tragically wrong, Quillon has been living incognito, working as a pathologist in the district morgue. But when a near-dead angel drops onto his dissecting table, Quillon's world is wrenched apart one more time, for the angel is a winged posthuman from Spearpoint's Celestial Levels—and with the dying body comes bad news.If Quillon is to save his life, he must leave his home and journey into the cold and hostile lands beyond Spearpoint's base, starting an exile that will take him further than he could ever imagine. But there is far more at stake than just Quillon's own survival, for the limiting technologies of the zones are determined not by governments or police, but by the very nature of reality—and reality itself is showing worrying signs of instability . . .Terminal World is a snarling, drooling, crazy-eyed mongrel of a book: equal parts steampunk, western, planetary romance, and far-future SF.
Isaac Asimov - 1989
In the twenty-third century pioneers have escaped the crowded earth for life in self-sustaining orbital colonies. One of the colonies, Rotor, has broken away from the solar system to create its own renegade utopia around an unknown red star two light-years from Earth: a star named Nemesis. Now a fifteen-year-old Rotorian girl has learned of the dire threat that nemesis poses to Earth's people--but she is prevented from warning them. Soon she will realize that Nemesis endangers Rotor as well. And so it will be up to her alone to save both Earth and Rotor as--drawn inexorably by Nemesis, the death star--they hurtle toward certain disaster.
Greg Bear - 1985
NASA, NATO, and the UN sent explorers to the asteroid's surface...and discovered marvels and mysteries to drive researchers mad.For the Stone was from space--but perhaps not our space; it came from the future-but perhaps not our future; and within the hollowed asteroid was Thistledown. The remains of a vanished civilization. A human--English, Russian, and Chinese-speaking--civilization. Seven vast chambers containing forests, lakes, rivers, hanging cities...And museums describing the Death; the catastrophic war that was about to occur; the horror and the long winter that would follow. But while scientists and politicians bickered about how to use the information to stop the Death, the Stone yielded a secret that made even Earth's survival pale into insignificance.
David Brin - 1980
Did some cryptic patron race begin the job long ago, then abandon us? Or did we leap all by ourselves? That question burns, yet a greater mystery looms ahead, in the furnace of a star. Under the caverns of Mercury, Expedition Sundiver prepares for the most momentous voyage in our history – into the boiling inferno of the sun, seeking our destiny in the cosmic order of life.
The Butlerian Jihad
Brian Herbert - 2002
Anderson. Working from Frank Herbert's own notes, the acclaimed authors reveal the chapter of the Dune saga most eagerly anticipated by readers: the Butlerian Jihad.Throughout the Dune novels, Frank Herbert frequently referred to the war in which humans wrested their freedom from "thinking machines." In Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson bring to life the story of that war, a tale previously seen only in tantalizing hints and clues. Finally, we see how Serena Butler's passionate grief ignites the struggle that will liberate humans from their machine masters; here is the amazing tale of the Zensunni Wanderers, who escape bondage to flee to the desert world where they will declare themselves the Free Men of Dune. And here is the backward, nearly forgotten planet of Arrakis, where traders have discovered the remarkable properties of the spice melange....
Against a Dark Background
Iain M. Banks - 1993
On an island with a glass shore - relic of some even more ancient conflict - she discovers she is to be hunted by the Huhsz, a religious cult which believes she is the last obstacle before their faith's apotheosis. She has to run, knowing her only hope of finally escaping the Huhsz is to find the last of the ancient, apocalyptically powerful but seemingly cursed Lazy Guns. But that is just the first as well as the final step on a search that takes her on an odyssey through the exotic Golterian system and results in both a trail of destruction and a journey into her own past, as well as that of her family and the system itself; a journey that changes everything.
The Engines of God
Jack McDevitt - 1994
Now, as faster-than-light drive opens the stars to exploration, humans are finding other relics of the race they call the Monument-Makers - each different, and each heartbreakingly beautiful. But except for a set of footprints on Jupiter's moon Iapetus, there is no trace of the enigmatic race that has left them behind. Then a team of scientists working on a dead world discover an ominous new image of the Monument-Makers. Somehow it all fits with other lost civilizations, and possibly with Earth's own future. And distant past. But Earth itself is on the brink of ecological disaster - there is no time to search for answers. Even to a question that may hold the key to survival for the entire human race...
Neal Asher - 2002
This remote world is mostly ocean, and it is a rare visitor who ventures beyond the safety of the island Dome. Outside it, only the native Hoopers dare risk the voracious appetites of the planet's wildlife. But somewhere out there is Spatterjay Hoop -- and Keech will not rest until he brings this legendary renegade to justice for hideous crimes committed centuries ago during the Prador Wars.While Keech is discovering that Hoop is now a monster -- his body and head living apart from each other -- Janer is bewildered by a place where the native inhabitants just will not die and angry when he finally learns the Hive mind's intentions for him. Meanwhile, Erlin thinks she has plenty of time to find the answers she seeks, but could not be more wrong. For one of the most brutal of the alien Prador is about to pay the planet a surreptitious visit, intent on exterminating all remaining witnesses to his wartime atrocities. As the visitors' paths converge, major hell is about to erupt in a chaotic waterscape where minor hell is already a remorseless fact of everyday life . . . and death.
The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story
Stephen R. Donaldson - 1990
Donaldson returns with this exciting and long-awaited new series that takes us into a stunningly imagined future to tell a timeless story of adventure and the implacable conflict of good and evil within each of us.Angus Thermopyle was an ore pirate and a murderer; even the most disreputable asteroid pilots of Delta Sector stayed locked out of his way. Those who didn't ended up in the lockup--or dead. But when Thermopyle arrived at Mallory's Bar & Sleep with a gorgeous woman by his side the regulars had to take notice. Her name was Morn Hyland, and she had been a police officer--until she met up with Thermopyle.But one person in Mallory's Bar wasn't intimidated. Nick Succorso had his own reputation as a bold pirate and he had a sleek frigate fitted for deep space. Everyone knew that Thermopyle and Succorso were on a collision course. What nobody expected was how quickly it would be over--or how devastating victory would be. It was common enough example of rivalry and revenge--or so everyone thought. The REAL story was something entirely different.In The Real Story, Stephen R. Donaldson takes us to a remarkably detailed world of faster-than-light travel, politics, betrayal, and a shadowy presence just outside our view to tell the fiercest, most profound story he has ever written.
Arthur C. Clarke - 2003
Suddenly the planet and every living thing on it no longer exist in a single timeline. Instead, the world becomes a patchwork of eras, from prehistory to 2037, each with its own indigenous inhabitants.Scattered across the planet are floating silver orbs impervious to all weapons and impossible to communicate with. Are these technologically advanced devices responsible for creating and sustaining the rifts in time? Are they cameras through which inscrutable alien eyes are watching? Or are they something stranger and more terrifying still?The answer may lie in the ancient city of Babylon, where two groups of refugees from 2037: three cosmonauts returning to Earth from the International Space Station, and three United Nations peacekeepers on a mission in Afghanistan have detected radio signals: the only such signals on the planet, apart from their own. The peacekeepers find allies in nineteenth-century British troops and in the armies of Alexander the Great. The astronauts, crash-landed in the steppes of Asia, join forces with the Mongol horde led by Genghis Khan. The two sides set out for Babylon, each determined to win the race for knowledge . . . and the power that lies within.Yet the real power is beyond human control, perhaps even human understanding. As two great armies face off before the gates of Babylon, it watches, waiting. . . .
Charles Stross - 2003
It pushed Earth through the greatest technological evolution ever known, while warning that time travel is forbidden, and transgressors will be eliminated.Distant descendants of this ultra high-tech Earth live in parochial simplicity on the far-flung worlds of the New Republic. Their way of life is threatened by the arrival of an alien information plague known as the Festival. As forbidden technologies are literally dropped from the sky, suppressed political factions descend into revolutionary turmoil.A battle fleet is sent from Earth to destroy the Festival, but Spaceship engineer Martin Springfield and U.N. diplomat Rachel Mansour have been assigned rather different tasks. Their orders are to diffuse the crisis or to sabotage the New Republic's war-fleet, whatever the cost, before the Eschaton takes hostile action on a galactic scale.