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The Singularity. It is the era of the posthuman. Artificial intelligences have surpassed the limits of human intellect. Biotechnological beings have rendered people all but extinct. Molecular nanotechnology runs rampant, replicating and reprogramming at will. Contact with extraterrestrial life grows more imminent with each new day. Struggling to survive and thrive in this accelerated world are three generations of the Macx clan: Manfred, an entrepreneur dealing in intelligence amplification technology whose mind is divided between his physical environment and the Internet; his daughter, Amber, on the run from her domineering mother, seeking her fortune in the outer system as an indentured astronaut; and Sirhan, Amber's son, who finds his destiny linked to the fate of all of humanity. For something is systematically dismantling the nine planets of the solar system. Something beyond human comprehension. Something that has no use for biological life in any form...
Hugo Award-winning author Charles Stross presents the next case in The Laundry Files, "a weirdly alluring blend of super-spy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy, and Lovecraftian horror" (Kirkus Reviews). Dominique O'Brien--her friends call her Mo--lives a curious double life with her husband, Bob Howard. To the average civilian, they're boring middle-aged civil servants. But within the labyrinthian secret circles of Her Majesty's government, they're operatives working for the nation's occult security service known as the Laundry, charged with defending Britain against dark supernatural forces threatening humanity.Mo's latest assignment is assisting the police in containing an unusual outbreak: ordinary citizens suddenly imbued with extraordinary abilities of the super-powered kind. Unfortunately these people prefer playing super-pranks instead of super-heroics. The Mayor of London being levitated by a dumpy man in Trafalgar Square would normally be a source of shared amusement for Mo and Bob, but they're currently separated because something's come between them--something evil. An antique violin, an Erich Zann original, made of human white bone, was designed to produce music capable of slaughtering demons. Mo is the custodian of this unholy instrument. It invades her dreams and yearns for the blood of her colleagues--and her husband. And despite Mo's proficiency as a world class violinist, it cannot be controlled...
For outstanding heroism in the field (despite himself), computational demonologist Bob Howard is on the fast track for promotion to management within the Laundry, the supersecret British government agency tasked with defending the realm from occult threats. Assigned to External Assets, Bob discovers the company (unofficially) employs freelance agents to deal with sensitive situations that may embarrass Queen and Country. So when Ray Schiller--an American televangelist with the uncanny ability to miraculously heal the ill--becomes uncomfortably close to the Prime Minister, External Assets dispatches the brilliant, beautiful, and entirely unpredictable Persephone Hazard to infiltrate the Golden Promise Ministries and discover why the preacher is so interested in British politics. And it's Bob's job to make sure Persephone doesn't cause an international incident. But it's a supernatural incident that Bob needs to worry about--a global threat even the Laundry may be unable to clean up...
Reading The Atrocity Archives is sort of the linguistic equivalent to surfing the huge waves of Half Moon Bay with Robin Williams tied to the back of your surfboard. It's exhilarating, lightening, mind-blowing, and exhausting. It's more entertaining than anything as weird as itself. You'll find yourself in is of hysterical laughter and deep thought while teetering on he edge of an abyss. It's an exciting, unpredictably wild ride.
Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.
The Cthulhu Mythos is one of the 20th century's most singularly recognizable literary creations. Initially created by H. P. Lovecraft and a group of his amorphous contemporaries (the so-called "Lovecraft Circle"), The Cthulhu Mythos story cycle has taken on a convoluted, cyclopean life of its own. Some of the most prodigious writers of the 20th century, and some of the most astounding writers of the 21st century have planted their seeds in this fertile soil. The Book of Cthulhu harvests the weirdest and most corpulent crop of these modern mythos tales. From weird fiction masters to enigmatic rising stars, The Book of Cthulhu demonstrates how Mythos fiction has been a major cultural meme throughout the 20th century, and how this type of story is still salient, and terribly powerful today.
IN The Family Trade and The Hidden Family, Miriam got in touch with her roots. Now those roots have begun to strangle her. A young business journalist from Boston, Miriam discovered that her family comes from a parallel timeline, that she is very well- connected, and that her family is way too much like the Mafia for her comfort. She's tried hard to remain her own woman, even going so far as to start a profitable (and legitimate) business in a third timeline she has discovered, outside the family reach. There have been murders and betrayals. Now, however, she may be overreaching - if she gets caught, death or worse is around the bend. For instance, there's the brain-damaged son of the local king who needs a wife.... But they'd never make her do that, would they?
A bold fantasy in the tradition of Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber, The Merchant Princes is a sweeping new series! It begins the day she is fired. Miriam Beckstein, a successful reporter for a hi-tech magazine in Boston, finds ironclad evidence of a money-laundering scheme. But when she takes it to her editor, she's fired on the spot and gets a death threat from the criminals she has uncovered. Before the day is over, she's received a locket left by the mother she never knew- the mother who was murdered when she was an infant. Within is a knotwork pattern, which has a hypnotic effect on her. Before she knows it, she's transported herself to a parallel Earth, a world where knights on horseback chase their prey with automatic weapons, and where world-skipping assassins lurk just on the other side of reality-a world where her true family runs things. Blending the creativity and humor of Roger Zelazny, the adventure of H. Beam Piper and Philip Jose Farmer, and the rigor and scope of a science-fiction writer on the grandest scale, Charles Stross has set a new standard for hard fantasy epics. first of the merchant princes series
Computational demonologist Bob Howard is catching up on his filing in the Laundry archives when a top secret dossier known as the Fuller Memorandum vanishes-along with his boss, who is suspected of stealing the file. And while dealing with Russian agents, ancient demons, and a maniacal death cult, Bob must find the missing memorandum before the world ends up disappearing next.
In the twenty-seventh century, accelerated technology dictates the memories and personalities of people. With most of his own memories deleted, Robin enters The Glasshouse-an experimental polity where he finds himself at the mercy of his own unbalanced psyche.
Now in paperback?from the author of Saturn?s Children.In the year 2018, a daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates. The suspects are a band of marauding orcs, with a dragon in tow for fire support, and the bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four. But Sergeant Sue Smith discovers that this virtual world robbery may be linked to some real world devastation.
The six families of the Clan rule the kingdom of Gruinmarkt from behind the scenes, a mixture of nobility and criminal conspirators whose power to walk between their world and ours makes them rich in both. Miriam, a hip tech journalist from Boston, discovered her alternate world relatives with explosive results that shook three worlds. Now, as the prodigal Countess Helge Thorold-Hjorth, she finds herself ensnared in schemes and plots centuries in the making. She is surrounded by unlikely allies, lethal contraband, and, most dangerous of all, her family. To avoid a slippery slope down to an unmarked grave, Miriam must build a power-base of her own-- with unexpected consequences for three different time-lines, including the quasi- Victorian one exploited by the hidden family.
A G2 star doesn't just explode - not without outside interference. So the survivors of the planet Moscow, which was annihilated in just such an event, have launched a counterattack against the most likely culprit: the neighboring system of New Dresden. But New Dresden wasn't responsible, and as deadly missiles approach their target, Rachel Mansour, agent for the interests of Old Earth, is assigned to find out who was. Opposing her is an unknown - an unimaginable - enemy. At stake is not only the fate of New Dresden, but also the very order of the universe." And the one person who knows the identity of that enemy is a disaffected teenager who calls herself Wednesday Shadowmist. But Wednesday has no idea what she knows.
The name is Howard. Bob Howard. Please don't hurt me... Bob Howard, geekish demonology hacker for The Laundry, must stop a ruthless billionaire from unleashing an eldritch horror, codenamed "Jennifer Morgue" from the ocean's depths for the purpose of ruling the world...
MIRIAM Beckstein is a young, hip business journalist in Boston. She discovered in The Family Trade and The Hidden Family that her family comes from an alternate reality, that she is very well connected, and that her family is too much like the Mafia for comfort. She found herself caught in a family trap in The Clan Corporate and betrothed to a brain-damaged prince, and then all hell broke loose: a coup against the Clan by the Nobility. Now, in The Merchants' War, Miriam has escaped to world three in the turmoil, and remains in hiding from both the Clan and their opponents. She has found her way to her friends, who have a revolution to plan and now must incorporate Miriam to protect her. There is a nasty shooting war going on in the Gruinmarkt world of the Clan, directed on the Clan side from hideouts in the United States, and we know something that Miriam does not, something that she's really going to hate when she finds out-- if she lives long enough to find out. And the Clan does not know that the United States has discovered them and is out to destroy them, too.
The year is AD 7000. The human species is extinct--for the fourth time--due to its fragile nature. Krina Alizond-114 is metahuman, descended from the robots that once served humanity. She's on a journey to the water-world of Shin-Tethys to find her sister Ana. But her trip is interrupted when pirates capture her ship. Their leader, the enigmatic Count Rudi, suspects that there's more to Krina's search than meets the eye. He's correct: Krina and Ana each possess half of the fabled Atlantis Carnet, a lost financial instrument of unbelievable value--capable of bringing down entire civilizations. Krina doesn't know that Count Rudi suspects her motives, so she accepts his offer to get her to Shin-Tethys in exchange for an introduction to Ana. And what neither of them suspects is that a ruthless body-double assassin has stalked Krina across the galaxy, ready to take the Carnet once it is whole--and leave no witnesses alive to tell the tale...
As a newly appointed junior manager within the Laundry--the clandestine organization responsible for protecting Britain against supernatural threats--Bob Howard is expected to show some initiative to help the agency battle the forces of darkness. But shining a light on things best left in the shadows is the last thing Bob wants to do--especially when those shadows hide an occult parasite spreading a deadly virus. Traders employed by a merchant bank in London are showing signs of infection--an array of unusual symptoms such as superstrength and -speed, an uncanny talent for mind control, an extreme allergic reaction to sunlight, and an unquenchable thirst for blood. While his department is tangled up in bureaucratic red tape (and Buffy reruns), debating how to stop the rash of vampirism, Bob digs deeper into the bank's history--only to uncover a bloodcurdling conspiracy between men and monsters...
'Brilliantly disturbing and funny at the same time' -Ben Aaronovitch (author of RIVERS OF LONDON) The fifth Laundry Files novel by Charles Stross, but also a jumping-on point for readers new to the series, The Rhesus Chart sees hacker and supernatural spy Bob Howard take on the (literal) bloodsuckers running London's financial district. LONDON CAN DRAIN THE LIFE OUT OF YOU . . . Bob Howard is an intelligence agent working his way through the ranks of the top secret government agency known as 'the Laundry'. When occult powers threaten the realm, they'll be there to clean up the mess - and deal with the witnesses. There's one kind of threat that the Laundry has never come across in its many decades, and that's vampires. Mention them to a seasoned agent and you'll be laughed out of the room. But when a small team of investment bankers at one of Canary Wharf's most distinguished financial institutions discovers an arcane algorithm that leaves them fearing daylight and craving O positive, someone doesn't want the Laundry to know. And Bob gets caught right in the middle.
Meet Edinburgh Detective Inspector Liz Kavanaugh, head of the Innovative Crimes Investigation Unit, otherwise known as the Rule 34 Squad. They monitor the Internet for potential criminal activity, analyzing trends in the extreme fringes of explicit content. And occasionally, even more disturbing patterns arise... Three ex-cons have been murdered in Germany, Italy, and Scotland. The only things they had in common were arrests for spamming--and a taste for unorthodox entertainment. As the first officer on the scene of the most recent death, Liz finds herself sucked into an international investigation that isn't so much asking who the killer is, but what--and if she doesn't find the answer soon, the homicides could go viral.
Freya Nakamichi-47 is a femmebot, one of the last of her kind still functioning. With no humans left to pay for the pleasures she provides, she agrees to transport a mysterious package from Mercury to Mars-only to become hunted by some very powerful humanoids who will stop at nothing to possess the contents of the package.
Freya Nakamichi-47 is a femmebot, one of the last of her kind still functioning. With no humans left to pay for the pleasures she provides, she agrees to transport a mysterious package from Mercury to Mars-only to become hunted by some very powerful humanoids who will stop at nothing to possess the contents of the package. This story is dedicated to Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein for their stories of robots and rockets. But, beware, these are fully adult robots and so are the spaceships
"In the twenty-first century, life as we know it changed. Faster-than-light travel was perfected, and the Eschaton, a superhuman artificial intelligence, was born. Four hundred years later, the far-flung colonies that arose as a result of these events-- scattered over three thousand years of time and a thousand parsecs of space-- are beginning to rediscover their origins. The New Republic is one such colony. It has existed for centuries in self-imposed isolation, rejecting all but the most basic technology. Now, under attack by a devastating information plague, the colony must reach out to Earth for help. A battle fleet is dispatched, streaking across the stars to the rescue. But things are not what they seem-- secret agendas and ulterior motives abound, both aboard the ship and on the ground. And watching over it all is the Eschaton, which has its own very definite ideas about the outcome ..."
Four hundred years in the future, time travel has been perfected and groundbreaking developments in Artificial Intelligence have been made. But is this a great step forward for humanity--or its ultimate downfall?
The Hugo Award-winning author of such groundbreaking and innovative novels as Accelerando, Halting State, and Saturn's Children delivers a selection of speculative fiction brought together in one collection, showdcasing the limitless imagination of one of the twenty-first century's most daring visionaries.
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