In the 25th century, Tober Cove is a wonderful place to be. With most of Earth's population long since departed for other planets, and with them the technology that makes such a journey possible, life here is simple and serene - especially for Fullin, a gifted musician whose talent commands many times the wages of a farmer or fisherman. But Fullin is twenty years old. And at that age, each person in Tober Cove must make the most important decision in life.
Under the benevolent leadership of the League of Peoples, there is no war, little crime, and life is sacred...unless you're an Explorer. The ugly, the flawed, the misfit, the deformed, they are the unwanted, flung to the farthest corners of the galaxy to investigate hostile planets and strange, vicious creatures. Out there, there are a thousand different - and terrible - ways to die.
"Odd but delightful"
Explorer Third Class Youn Sue is Expendable - a member of the highly skilled and highly disposable Explorer Corps trained to undertake hazardous missions so that the rest of humanity need not be upset by their (almost-certain) deaths. With her partner, Tut, Youn is sent to rescue an innocent planet from the extremely dangerous sentient Balrog. But how do you defeat an alien intelligence so advanced that it literally knows what you will do before you do ... especially when it has its own sinister plans?
Oar is the last of her kind - a resident of the so-called "planet of no return", once the Admiralty's dumping ground for undesirables and those who had become expendable. Oar's transparent body is indestructible. Yet the mind it houses grows weary and will soon surrender to the catatonic torpor that has already claimed the others of her genetically altered human race. But Oar cannot sleep, not yet. There are powerful forces seeking her destruction for reasons unknown.
"A fun light read"
Life under the thumb of the Spark Lords - the League's Earthly representatives - is dull but comfortable for Philemon Abu Dhubhai and the other teachers at a third-rate private school for second-rate rich kids. But all that changes when a female student is found murdered by an unknown alien organism, and her boyfriend, the prime suspect, goes missing. Suddenly an unofficial homicide investigation has snared Philemon and five other "misfits", trapping them all in a web of terrifying conspiracy.
"Another solid story in the series"
For the children of Admiral Alexader York, perfection wasn't just expected, it was guaranteed - written into their DNA before they were born. But while Samantha grew into the physical and mental marvel their father had bought and paid for, her twin brother Edward proved a disappointment. Genetic tinkering had raised Sam above the common herd, but Edward's faultless body housed a faulty brain.
"Worthy of a good review!"
Two species lived in peaceful coexistence on the planet Demoth until a deadly plague wiped out millions of the winged Ooloms while leaving humans untouched, helpless to do more than ease the suffering of their alien friends and neighbors. Faye Smallwood saw the horror firsthand, caring for the plague victims in her fahter's hospital. She was there when he discovered the cure that made him famous. She was also there when a freak accident killed him.
"NOT QUITE A SEQUEL"
The New York Times Best-selling fantasy author Anne Bishop makes her U.S. debut in science fiction with this engaging futuristic novella. The Restorers travel the universe fulfilling a purpose handed down through the generations. They live and die aboard city-ships, never knowing the worlds they create and save. What begins as a disastrous training exercise in creating and balancing ecosystems becomes an unexpected fight for survival. The only hope may be the secret project of an untried Restorer.
Award-winning author James Alan Gardner evokes a sense of wonder that is synonymous with great speculative fiction. Now, in his first short-story collection, he brings together the numerous tales that have made his reputation, ranging from the everyday experience to the cosmic, from peanut butter sandwiches to space drives. There are stories of wonder, imagination, humanity, and the unknown and tales that remind us of the importance of possibility.