Covert agent Sigmund Ausfaller is Earth's secret weapon, humanity's best defense against all conspiracies, real and imaginary, and all foes both human and alien. Who better than a brilliant paranoid to expose the devious plots of others?
But Sigmund may finally have met his match in Nessus, representative of the secretive Puppeteers, the elder race who wield vastly superior technologies.
For decades, the spacefaring species of known space have battled over the largest artifact - and grandest prize - in the galaxy: the all-but-limitless resources and technology of the Ringworld. Now, without warning, the Ringworld has vanished, leaving behind three rival war fleets. If the fallen civilization of the Ringworld can no longer be despoiled of its secrets, the puppeteers will be forced to surrender theirs - everyone knows that they are cowards. But the crises converging upon the trillion puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds go far beyond even the onrushing armadas.
"A fitting end to a great story from 42 years ago"
Since fleeing the supernova chain reaction at the galactic core, the cowardly Puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds have - just barely - survived one crisis after another: the rebellion of their human slaves, the relentless questing of the species of Known Space, the spectacular rise of the starfishlike Gw'oth, the onslaught of the genocidal Pak. Now fresh disaster looms, as though past crises have returned and converged. Who can possibly save the Fleet this time?
"Different voices. Better voices..."
The newly liberated humans of the Fleet of Worlds and Sigmund Ausfaller, who had been transported by the Puppeteers from Earth to the Fleet, must contend not only with the sly Puppeteers but also the threat of the Pak, a very smart and utterly ruthless species who are fleeing the exploding galactic core in an armada of ships at near light speed. The Pak are headed towards the Fleet of Worlds, having destroyed entire planets in their wake.
"A wonderful story in Known Space"
Fleet of Worlds takes a closer look at Human-Puppeteer (Citizen) relations and the events leading up to Niven's first Ringworld novel. Kirsten Quinn-Kovacks is among the best and brightest of her people. She gratefully serves the gentle race that rescued her ancestors from a dying starship, gave them a world, and nurtures them still. If only the Citizens knew where Kirsten's people came from.
Where are all the time travelers? After all, if it is possible to move between past and future, shouldn't someone from somewhen in all the infinite reaches of the future have visited by now? The good news is, there are answers to those questions.
Life changes for everyone in general - and for physicist Dean Matthews in particular - when astronomers detect a radio signal from a nearby star. First Contact forces humanity to face hard questions, and do it fast. Every answer spawns new questions. Every solution sets in motion a new and more daunting crisis to challenge Dean, his family - and an expanding number of interstellar civilizations - or generations to come.
"Way too many rough edges"
InterstellarNet: New Order chronicles the startling events of Second Contact, upfront and personal, as humanity discovers that meeting aliens face to face is very different - and a lot more dangerous - than sending and receiving messages.
Garner Nanotechnology is developing nanotech-enhanced protective suits and autonomous first-aid nanobots. It’s cutting-edge stuff, and when it saves Brent Cleary from a pipeline explosion that killed hundreds, the Army takes notice. Near-death experience changes a person, so no one is entirely surprised when easy-going Brent turns somber and studious, focused and cold. Not at first. But Kim O’Donnell, Brent’s best friend, cannot get past some of the changes. This just isn’t her friend, and she wonders what’s gotten into him.
What if First Contact doesn't come the way we expect it-or with the sort of aliens we expect? When every side has secrets within secrets to keep, how is anyone supposed to know the truth - or live to tell about it? Is what the Prospector probe reported the greatest discovery of all time ... or the biggest hoax? Bob Hanson, the chief scientist of a major aerospace corporation, has made an incredible discovery. Video images from the space probe he created reveal a wrecked alien spacecraft adrift in the Asteroid Belt.
"Worth listening too"
Computing is mere decades young, a set of technologies we have scarcely begun to develop. It's already been quite a ride. Now, imagine every gadget around you becoming ever faster, cheaper, tinier, more interconnected, more intelligent...especially more intelligent. The stories in Creative Destruction explore what we could face in the next half century or so....
A geopolitical miscalculation tainted the world’s major oil fields with radioactivity and plunged the Middle East into chaos. Any oil that remains usable is more prized than ever. No one can build solar farms, wind farms, and electric cars quickly enough to cope. The few countries still able to export petroleum and natural gas - Russia chief among them - have a stranglehold on the world economy. Then, from the darkness of space, came Phoebe. Rather than deflect the onrushing asteroid, America coaxed it into Earth’s orbit.
Hezbollah has obtained an atomic bomb and a would-be martyr eager to deliver it - and that's the good news. The bad news, unknown even to Hezbollah, is that their physicist has also found a way to take his new bomb back to a turning point in European history. Harry Bowen, an American physicist, and Terrence Ambling, a British agent turned historian, are determined to stop Abdul Faisel and prevent the nullification of all Western civilization.
"The clock is ticking..and so should you be!"
The moon has suddenly acquired its own satellite: a two-mile-across starship that represents a hitherto unsuspected Galactic Commonwealth. The F'thk, a vaguely centaur-like member species for whom Earth's ecology is hospitable, have been sent to evaluate humanity for prospective membership. The F'thk are overtly friendly but very private - "Information is a trade good." As Earth's scientists struggle to understand their secretive appraisers, odd inconsistencies emerge. As troubling as those anomalies is the reemergence of a bit of insanity humanity thought it had outgrown: cold war and nuclear saber-rattling.
"terrible perforamnce, ok story"
Enter the peripatetic and creative mind of speculative-fiction author Edward M. Lerner.... "A Stranger in Paradise": The Firster generation ships spread humanity thinly across a million cubic light-years, in hundreds of tiny enclaves in as many alien environments. Many colonies eventually died out. Some managed to eke out a hardscrabble existence, their memories of Earth warped or nonexistent. Few retained any vestige of civilization...and for those who somehow survived, there is the Reunification Corps.