A selection of Russian and foreign science fiction books for the year
Almost two years ago we made a selection of interesting fantastic books , published in 2014. And at the beginning of this year we decided to support this initiative - we offer you some of the most interesting, in the opinion of readers, fantastic works, published in 2016 (both in Russian and in English).
On the other side of the rift
Skillfully combining complex scientific theories and beautiful style, Peter Watts explores the ever-changing frontier between the known and the unknown.
In his new book, a creepy alien monster tells his story about true monsters that he met in Antarctica. A forensic psychiatrist meets a murderer who has learned to change reality, and an unhappy father is trying to save his family in a world where thunderclouds have regained consciousness. Here, the Earth’s ambassador makes the first contact with the alien race, but things are far from what he expected. Here the history of the alternative theocratic Earth unfolds, where every person truly knows that there is a God, and faith becomes the lot of the pagans. And, finally, here the team of the intergalactic highway builders finds the most incredible form of life in the Universe, but will only the alien mind be able to survive after such a meeting ?
Fugitives Unearthly glow
The blinding brilliance erupted in the night sky forever divided the life of the whole country into “before” and “after”, and all its inhabitants into those who saw this unearthly beauty and those who slept peacefully. The first became ruthless killers, the second - their victims. And there is only one way out - run where your eyes are. This is exactly what Jack Kolklu and his wife and their two children are trying to do - to escape from their hometown, engulfed in shooting and fire. To escape to the place where people who were not amazed by the general madness still remained, to the place where they can find protection. On this terrible way they face many deadly dangers, one of which is their own little son. Unlike his parents and sister, he also saw that beautiful glow ...
Melanie is a very special girl.
Every morning, she obediently waits while the soldiers take her out of the room. Chaining her to the chair and holding the gun, the soldiers tremble with fear. Melanie jokes: “I don't bite,” but no one laughs.
Only in this world, where the population of Birmingham is zero, where the teeth are a weapon more terrible than a rifle, can a 10-year-old girl be terrified by soldiers battered by life. Is she just a child ... or not?
Mars was empty until we appeared on it. In 2026, the first colonists from Earth are sent to the Red Planet. Their mission is to create favorable conditions for life on Mars, on the surface of which the pioneers are already waiting for a variety of devices and mechanisms, abandoned here by cargo ships. Future Martians plan to melt the polar caps, raise the temperature of the atmosphere and populate the surface of the planet with bacteria ... But among the colonists there are those who do not agree to change the original appearance of the Red Planet, those who wish to declare Mars independent from Earth and they are ready to fight for their beliefs last!
Whatever happens, reader, remember: the killer is Glass Jack, even if crime is impossible, even if all the evidence points to another. And in the aristocratic orbital mansions, and in the slum bubbles of the asteroid belt, they know that for Glass Jack nothing is impossible. Neither law enforcement officers, nor vacuum, nor absolute cold, nor government, nor omnipotent, genetically modified, corporate families, nor the Law regulating everything will stop him.
And therefore, it is not surprising that when the Solar System was shaken up by rumors about technology that allows you to move faster than the speed of light, Glass Jack was also implicated in them. How could the most dangerous, cruel and intelligent criminal of the XXVI century pass by what, according to the laws of physics, simply cannot be?
Jason Dessen, an eminent physicist, once abandoned a brilliant scientific career and became an ordinary college teacher. Now all his attention is given to the family - his beloved wife and son. They are most important to Jason. And suddenly - this is an absurd kidnapping ... Unknown as a mask, he attacked Dessen on the street, sat him in a car at gunpoint, drove him to an abandoned building and injected him with an incomprehensible drug in a vein. Jason lost consciousness. When he awoke, he found himself surrounded by a mass of people; they all turned to him as an old friend, and excitedly congratulated him on his return - and with the fact that his discovery had finally worked. That's just Dessen did not know any of these people. And even more so I did not know what I did for the discovery ...
This book was published in English in 2016, but in January 2017 it should go on sale in Russian.
Sleeping giants (sleeping giants)
A girl named Rose rides her bike and falls into the hole. She wakes up at the bottom of the pit, whose walls are decorated with intricate glowing carvings. But the firefighters, who had come to pull her out, discover a far more strange thing: the girl is in the giant's giant metal arm. Seventeen years later, the mystery of the hand remains unsolved: its origin, structure, and purpose are incomprehensible. Radiocarbon analysis shows something inordinate, military reports are edited, there are not even intelligible theories.
The search for answers continues.
Rose grew and became a highly qualified physicist who led a secret team trying to solve a giant hand puzzle. Obviously, they are on the verge of an incredible discovery. But will it benefit humanity?
Star Nomad (Star Wanderer)
The first book of the cycle Fallen Empire.
The Alliance crushed the empire of tyranny. This is a time for celebration, but not for the fighter pilot Captain Alice Marchenko. After she barely survived the final battle, she was abandoned far from her home planet, billions of kilometers from her young daughter. There is no money, anything of value, too; no passing transport to Perun, its homeland and the last stronghold of the Empire is planned. But Alice has a plan: to steal from the dump a shabby cargo ship full of thugs outside the law. But her plan does not take into account the elite cyborg soldier who finds himself on that ship and had its own plans for it. As a former servant of the Empire, he does not cherish the love of Alliance pilots. He loved to kill them. Alice has a lot of problems, but she has to get home to her daughter.
Too Like the Lightning
Mycroft Canner - convict. For his crimes, he is obliged, as is customary in the 25th century, to roam the world and be useful to everyone he meets. Carlisle Foster is the spiritual mentor in a world where public manifestation of religiosity is a crime, but he is confident that one cannot just brush aside the human spiritual world.
The world in which Mycroft and Carlisle live is just as strange for us as our 21st century people in the 1500s would be strange. This is a utopia that is technologically abundant, as well as complex and coercive labeling systems for all socially published texts and speech. The fact that for us - normal gender differences, in the 25th century - taboo in most cases. Most of the population is part of various global clans of like-minded people whose economic and cultural competition is carefully managed by the Chief Planners. From our point of view, this is a crazy combination of heaven and hell. For them - a normal life.
And in such a world, Mycroft and Carlisle stumbled upon the boy Bridger, who is able to shake the whole system, easily making their dreams a reality. This boy is able to endow life with inanimate objects ...
Angie is a veteran of the IT industry with 20 years of experience. During the day, she works as an analyst at Tomo, the corporation that created the world's largest social network. And at night, Angie uses her access to a database to get profiles of domestic rapists to kill the worst of them. She cannot get rid of her past, but she can save other women.
When the corporation introduced its new product, which uses the fears of its users to increase profits, Angie realized that the corporation is another monster. She decided to destroy Tomo with the help of her experience as a programmer and hacker, creating a new social network that is completely distributed, protected and indestructible. If she succeeds, it will be the end of centralization on the Internet.