Robots, spaceships, futuristic megacities, planets orbiting distant stars. These icons of science fiction are now in our daily news. Science fiction, once maligned as mere pulp, has motivated cutting-edge scientific research, inspired new technologies, and changed how we view everyday life - and its themes and questions permeate popular culture. Take an unparalleled look at the influence, history, and greatest works of science fiction with illuminating insights and fascinating facts about this wide-ranging genre.
"Deserves a Hugo of Its Own"
Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.
"brought an old classic to life"
Originally written for the pulp magazines of the 1920s and '30s, H. P. Lovecraft's astonishing tales blend elements of horror, science fiction, and cosmic terror that are as powerful today as they were when first published. This tome brings together all of Lovecraft's harrowing stories, including the complete Cthulhu Mythos cycle, just the way they were when first released.
"This has bugged me for a while..."
George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.
"Great Book, With an Amazing Narrator"
When prospector Bob Broadhead went out to Gateway on the Heechee spacecraft, he decided he would know which was the right mission to make him his fortune. Three missions later, now famous and permanently rich, Robinette Broadhead has to face what happened to him and what he is...in a journey into himself as perilous and even more horrifying than the nightmare trip through the interstellar void that he drove himself to take!
"A human-focused SF classic"
It's America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some 20 years earlier the United States lost a war - and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan.
"Wanted to see what all the buzz was about!"
When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
"“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”"
The science fiction classic that coined the term "time machine" and is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel. A must listen for any fan of science fiction!
"Random Pauses in Speech. (Captain Kirk narrates)"
The second Dune installment explores new developments on the planet Arrakis, with its intricate social order and strange, threatening environment. Dune Messiah picks up the story of the man known as Muad'Dib, heir to a power unimaginable, bringing to fruition an ambition of unparalleled scale: the centuries-old scheme to create a superbeing who reigns not in the heavens but among men. But the question is: DO all paths of glory lead to the grave?
"A nice continuation"
For 12,000 years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future, to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last 30,000 years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire, both scientists and scholars, and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations.
"The Foundation Trilogy is a True Classic"
Twenty years ago, it was as if someone turned on a light. The future blazed into existence with each deliberate word that William Gibson laid down. The winner of Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, Neuromancer didn't just explode onto the science fiction scene - it permeated into the collective consciousness, culture, science, and technology.Today, there is only one science fiction masterpiece to thank for the term "cyberpunk," for easing the way into the information age and Internet society.
"Still my favorite novel"
The sand-blasted world of Arrakis has become green, watered, and fertile. Old Paul Atreides, who led the desert Fremen to political and religious domination of the galaxy, is gone. But for the children of Dune, the very blossoming of their land contains the seeds of its own destruction. The altered climate is destroying the giant sandworms, and this in turn is disastrous for the planet's economy.
"great story, more production problems"
Stranger in a Strange Land tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, an earthling born and educated on Mars, who arrives on Earth with superhuman powers and a total ignorance of the mores of man. Smith is destined to become a freak, a media commodity, a scam artist, a searcher, and finally, a messiah.
"Enhanced version seems to correct audio defects"
Join the Army and See the Universe. That is the motto of The Third Space War, also known as The First Interstellar War, but most commonly as The Bug War. In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial best sellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe - and into battle with the Terrain Mobile Infantry against mankind's most alarming enemy.
"Well Aged Heinlein"
It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill. Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment: find them and then..."retire" them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn't want to be found!
"This is the original Do Androids Dream of Electric"
It has been 40 years since the publication of this classic science-fiction novel that changed the way we look at the stars and ourselves. From the savannas of Africa at the dawn of mankind to the rings of Saturn as man adventures to the outer rim of our solar system, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a journey unlike any other.
"The glory and horror of space"
Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business - deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in "half-life," a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter's face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time.
Cat's Cradle is Kurt Vonnegut's satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet's ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist; a complete, original theology created by a calypso singer; and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny. A book that left an indelible mark on an entire generation of readers, Cat's Cradle is one of this century's most important works...and Vonnegut at his very best.
"Great book, awful recording"
More than 3,000 years have passed since the first events recorded in Dune. Only one link survives with those tumultuous times: the grotesque figure of Leto Atreides, son of the prophet Paul Muad'Dib, and now the virtually immortal God Emperor of Dune. He alone understands the future, and he knows with a terrible certainty that the evolution of his race is at an end unless he can breed new qualities into his species.
"Almost as good as the original"
From early work like "Rescue Party" and "The Lion of Comarre", through classic stories including "The Star", "Earthlight", "The Nine Billion Names of God", and "The Sentinel" (kernel of the later novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey), all the way to later work like "A Meeting with Medusa" and "The Hammer of God", this comprehensive short story collection encapsulates one of the great science fiction careers of all time.
"Wow! So happy in Audio form!"
Captain Future flies into action, displaying the most exciting aspects of science fiction. Although modeled to a degree after Doc Savage, Captain Future is also the ultimate space opera hero. Coming complete with not only a tragic, yet inspiring origin story driving him into defending interstellar justice, everyone and everything Curt Newton encounters is colorful, vibrant, and over the top, definite trademarks of the best space opera.
In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George's dreams for his own purposes.
Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) was a prolific English writer of stories and novels and is frequently credited as being the father of science fiction. The Time Machine, first published in 1895, is possibly Wells' most famous work. It tells the story of the inventor of a vehicle which allows him to travel in time and his firsthand account of his adventures as he travels millions of years into the future, where mankind has evolved into something very different from the humans of the 19th century.
Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) was a prolific English writer of science fiction stories and novels and is frequently credited as being the father of science fiction. 'The Star' is the story of a shooting star which is discovered hurtling towards our solar system. It is on a collision course with Neptune. When the celestial crash occurs, the two planets combine into a gigantic burning star which is being drawn rapidly and irresistibly towards our sun. But on what trajectory? Will it hit any other planets on its way?
After translating an ancient runic manuscript, he claims to have discovered a route that would allow a man to reach the center of the Earth, by descending into a volcano. Accompanied by his nephew, Axel, and a guide named Hans, they travel down the Icelandic volcano where they encounter many dangers, including prehistoric animals. Their journey is ultimately cut short when the three are put in a dangerous situation that may result not only in the end of the adventure, but also the end of their lives!
The planet Bienvenido is in crisis. It has finally escaped the Void, emerging into regular space. But it's millions of light-years from Commonwealth assistance, and humans are battling the Fallers for control of their world. This rapacious adversary, evolved to destroy all sentient life, has infiltrated every level of human society - hijacking unwilling bodies so its citizens fear their leaders, friends and family. A mysterious figure known as the Warrior Angel leads a desperate resistance.
"amazing space opera!"
'Brother', by Nigel Fairs. Auron scientist Gustav Nyrron is back aboard the Liberator, on his way home. But Avon does not trust him, and soon a drugged Nyrron wakes to find himself in Avon’s clutches on a devastated world. In this desert, their pasts are waiting for them...and a devastating truth that will shake their very beliefs to the core. 'Poison', by Iain McLaughlin. Federation Freighter Antares is a ship with many secrets. Why is it making regular runs to a heavily guarded frontier world?
It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws. The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. May we be forgiven! But this is not the only sin upon us. We have committed a greater crime, and for this crime there is no name.
"Amazing story, narrated expertly"
Three enhanced audiobooks performed by the stars of the classic BBC television series. "Spy" by Simon Guerrier, starring Jan Chappell as Cally, Michael Keating as Vila and Gemma Whelan as Arta. Cally and Vila are undercover on the Federation-controlled world Cortol Four. It's a mission with an irresistible prize. And it's a mission that goes horribly wrong....
When Gabriel Utterson takes charge of the will of his good friend Dr Jekyll, in which the doctor leaves everything to the mysterious Mr Hyde, he's alarmed at what appears to be a recipe for murder. Over the following months, he investigates Mr Hyde until he uncovers a horrific murder. What's the relationship between his friend and the murderer, and can Utterson save the doctor?
Connie Ramos is a Mexican American woman living on the streets of New York. Once ambitious and proud, she has lost her child, her husband, her dignity - and now they want to take her sanity. After being unjustly committed to a mental institution, Connie is contacted by an envoy from the year 2137, who shows her a time of sexual and racial equality, environmental purity, and unprecedented self-actualization. But Connie also bears witness to another potential outcome: a society of grotesque exploitation.
Ourelle was the closest planet to legendary Earth that Earl Dumarest had reached. There the legend of the Original People persisted among the several strange races that populated this world out along a far arm of the Milky Way. Somehow the boy named Jondelle held the key to further data in Earl's quest, but before he could obtain it, the child was kidnapped.
From out of the distant past - or is it the far future? - flies top fighter pilot Dusty Ayres! America, you are next! As those words rang though the War Department room, officers gasped in horror. Fire-Eyes, emperor of the world, had invaded their secret council to hurl his challenge. And America knew only one answer - War Declared! Rising to that challenge is Air Force Captain Dusty Ayres, flying the Silver Flash, accompanied by his fighting wingmen, Curly Brooks and Biff Bolton.
"The president's son will be returned if you send us Captain Ayres in exchange." From the enemy camp came this message. And as Dusty answered, he knew he was starting on the greatest mission of the war - he was going to play a lone hand against the Black Invaders, who sought to crush America beneath their barbarous wings! Once again, America's greatest war pilot is thrust into a sky duel with his arch-foe, The Black Hawk.
"A Meeting with Medusa" was first published in the December 1971 issue of Playboy. Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) is regarded as one of the most-influential science fiction writers of all time. He was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
"The Road to the Sea" was first published in the spring 1951 issue of Two Complete Science-Adventure Books.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) is regarded as one of the most-influential science fiction writers of all time. He was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
It's 1953. Britain and her empire are diminished. Nazi Germany controls Europe and a vast African territory. There has been no Holocaust. Instead the Jews have been exiled to Madagaskar, a tropical ghetto ruled by the SS. Returning home after a disastrous mission to Africa, ex-mercenary Burton Cole finds his lover has disappeared. Desperate to discover her, he is drawn into a conspiracy that will lead him back to the Dark Continent.
Herbert George Wells (1866 - 1946) was a prolific English writer of science fiction stories and novels, and is credited as being the father of science fiction. 'The Stolen Bacillus' is the tale of an eminent bacteriologist whose test-tube of live cholera bacteria is stolen by an anarchist who plans to release it into London's water supply.
Conspirators plot to explode a train carrying nerve gas. A perfect servant suddenly reveals himself to be the insidious Dr. Fu Manchu. Science-fantasy wars, racism, corporate capitalism, drug addiction, and various medical and psychiatric horrors all play their parts in this mosaic, experimental novel. Here is William S. Burroughs at his coruscating and hilarious best.
The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.
"Still a classic of visionary science fiction"
At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence.
In a world devastated by nuclear war with humanity on the edge of extinction, aliens finally make contact. They rescue those humans they can, keeping most survivors in suspended animation while the aliens begin the slow process of rehabilitating the planet. When Lilith Iyapo is "awakened", she finds that she has been chosen to revive her fellow humans in small groups by first preparing them to meet the utterly terrifying aliens, then training them to survive on the wilderness that the planet has become. But the aliens cannot help humanity without altering it forever.
The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival--a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....
"Good story from front to back"
The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course, there's a catch to the invitation....
A Signature Performance: Tim Curry, the source of our inspiration, returns – this time, he captures the quirky enthusiasm of this goofily visionary adventure.
"Feels like Jules Verne"
The Jordan Foundation sponsored the Proxima Centauri Expedition in 2119, in attempt to reach the nearer stars of the galaxy. But that was far in the mythic past. The original purpose of the Ship's epic voyage has long been forgotten, and for generations the giant spaceship, lost between the stars, is the only world that the people aboard have known. A strange civilization has evolved, with its own superstitions, savage religion, rigid class structure and mutant outcasts.
"Brilliant first half, second half thrown in."
At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation - complete for the first time, and the first ever directly from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.
"A comment on negative reviews"
In this Hugo Award-winning classic, Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he had done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. But what his neighbors must never know is that, inside his unchanging house, he meets with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.
"A very special novel that will inspire you."
Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere 24 hours before is gone forever.
Kurt Vonnegut's first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a supercomputer and run completely by machines. Paul's rebellion is vintage Vonnegut - wildly funny, deadly serious, and terrifyingly close to reality.
"Not Vonnegut's best effort."
A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. What he ultimately discovers will prove far more astonishing than anything he'd either dreaded or hoped for.
"Brilliant, beautiful, sad, terrifying"
For 4,000 years, an immortal has spread the seeds of a master race, using the downtrodden as his private breeding stock. But now a young ghetto telepath has found a way to awaken - and rule - her superhuman kind, igniting a psychic battle as she challenges her creator for her right to free her people.
"The value of diversity in fiction authors."
Vannemar Morgan's dream is to link Earth to the stars with the greatest engineering feat of all time: a 24,000-mile-high space elevator. But first he must solve a million technical, political, and economic problems while allaying the wrath of God. For the only possible site on the planet for Morgans Orbital Tower is the monastery atop the Sacred Mountain of Sri Kanda.
"Human-focused science fiction"
The planet Athshe was a paradise whose people were blessed with a mystical awareness of existence. Then the conquerors arrived and began to rape, enslave, and kill humans with a flicker of humanity. The athseans were unskilled in the ways of war, and without weapons. But the gentle tribesmen possessed strange powers over their dreams. And the alien conquerors had taught them how to hate....
"She is talent incarnate"
In the first book of John Christopher's classic series, it is the year 2100, and the world is controlled by the machines called Tripods. Life goes on largely as it had in the pre-industrial era, as all of humanity is subject to mental controls which prevent anyone from challenging the established order.
"Love the book"
Jenkins was a robot. He was built to be the perfect worker, tireless and uncomplaining. But, quite unexpectedly, he also became a close companion to generation after generation of his owners as the human race matured, moved beyond the confines of its once tiny planet, and eventually changed beyond all recognition.
It's the 23rd Century and at age 21... your life is over! Logan-6 has been trained to kill; born and bred from conception to be the best of the best. But his time is short and before his life ends he's got one final mission: Find and destroy Sanctuary, a fabled haven for those that chose to defy the system. But when Logan meets and falls in love with Jessica, he begins to question the very system he swore to protect and soon they're both running for their lives.
"A Different Logan's Run"