21 Must Read Futuristic Fantasy

Acts of Caine


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Acts of Caine
By Matthew Woodring Stover

HEROES DIE
But Caine’s no hero. He’s an assassin.

Renowned throughout the land of Ankhana as the Blade of Tyshalle, Caine has killed his share of monarchs and commoners, villains and heroes. He is relentless, unstoppable, simply the best there is at what he does. He is free.

At home on Earth, Caine is Hari Michaelson, a superstar whose adventures command an audience of billions. Yet he is shackled by a rigid caste society, bound to ignore the grim fact that men die on a far-off world for the entertainment of his own planet–bound to keep his rage in check.

Dune


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Dune
By Frank Herbert

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides—who would become known as Muad’Dib—and of a great family’s ambition to bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

Machineries of Empire


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Machineries of Empire
By Yoon Ha Lee

When Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for her unconventional tactics, Kel Command gives her a chance to redeem herself, by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles from the heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake: if the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.

Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress. The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own.

As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao–because she might be his next victim.

The Aeronaut's Windlass


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The Aeronaut’s Windlass
By Jim Butcher

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity. Within their halls, the ruling aristocratic houses develop scientific marvels, foster trade alliances, and maintain fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship Predator. Loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is damaged in combat, Grimm joins a team of Albion agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring his ship.

Steelheart


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Steelheart (The Reckoners)
By Brandon Sanderson

 How far would you go for revenge if someone killed your father?
If someone destroyed your city?
If everything you ever loved was taken from you?
David Charleston will go to any lengths to stop Steelheart. But to exact revenge in Steelheart’s world, David will need the Reckoners—a shadowy group of rebels bent on maintaining justice.
And it turns out that the Reckoners might just need David too.

The Chronicles of Amber


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The Chronicles of Amber
By Roger Zelazny

Carl Corey wakes up in a secluded New York hospital with amnesia. He escapes and investigates, discovering the truth, piece by piece: he is really Prince Corwin, of Amber, the one true world of which our Earth is just a shadow. He is one of nine men who might rule Amber, if he can fight his way past the armies of his older brother Eric.

Hyperion


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Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos)
By Dan Simmons

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the reach of galactic law, waits a creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all.

On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope—and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

Worm


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Worm
By Mark Bowden

The Conficker worm infected its first computer in November 2008, and within a month had infiltrated 1.5 million computers in 195 countries. Banks, telecommunications companies, and critical government networks—including British Parliament and the French and German military—became infected almost instantaneously. No one had ever seen anything like it.

By January 2009, the worm lay hidden in at least eight million computers, and the botnet of linked computers it had created was big enough that an attack might crash the world. In this “masterpiece” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), Mark Bowden expertly lays out a spellbinding tale of how hackers, researchers, millionaire Internet entrepreneurs, and computer security experts found themselves drawn into a battle between those determined to exploit the Internet and those committed to protecting it.

Without Bloodshed


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Without Bloodshed (Starbreaker Series)
By Matthew Graybosch

These words made Morgan Stormrider’s reputation as one of the Phoenix Society’s deadliest IRD officers. He served with distinction as the Society’s avenger, hunting down anybody who dared kill an Adversary in the line of duty. After a decade spent living by the sword, Morgan seeks to bid a farewell to arms and make a new life with his friends as a musician.

Regardless of his faltering faith, the Phoenix Society has a final mission for Morgan Stormrider after a dictator’s accusations make him a liability to the organization. He must put everything aside, travel to Boston, and prove he is not the Society’s assassin. He must put down Alexander Liebenthal’s coup while taking him alive.

 

Arcane Ascension


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Sufficiently Advanced Magic
By Andrew Rowe

Five years ago, Corin Cadence’s brother entered the Serpent Spire — a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire’s trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire’s goddess.

He never returned.

Now, it’s Corin’s turn. He’s headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess.

The Quantum Thief


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The Quantum Thief
By Hannu Rajaniemi

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist, and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy- from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of Mars. Now he’s confined inside the Dilemma Prison, where every day he has to get up and kill himself before his other self can kill him.

Rescued by the mysterious Mieli and her flirtatious spacecraft, Jean is taken to the Oubliette, the Moving City of Mars, where time is currency, memories are treasures, and a moon-turnedsingularity lights the night. What Mieli offers is the chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self-in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed.

Echoes of Empire


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The Garden of Stones (Echoes of Empire)
By Mark T. Barnes

When the Shrīanese Empire explodes into civil war, fighters of all kinds flock to the banners of their lords. Indris, a skilled swordsman and brilliant sorcerer, seeks to end the bloodshed once and for all. He knows this war is simply a ruse—a power play by a ruling Family desperate to take control of the Empire by any means necessary. Indris cares little for the politics except to see that justice is upheld. But even he can’t see the terrible price his opponents are willing to pay to secure their legacy.

A true epic, the first book in the Echoes of Empire series creates a spellbinding new world. With its twisted politics, new races, compelling heroes and villains, and unique magic, The Garden of Stones is a lyrical fantasy on the grandest scale.

Black SUn Rising


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Black Sun Rising (Coldfire)
By C.S. Friedman

Over a millennium ago, Erna, a seismically active yet beautiful world was settled by colonists from far-distant Earth. But the seemingly habitable planet was fraught with perils no one could have foretold. The colonists found themselves caught in a desperate battle for survival against the fae, a terrifying natural force with the power to prey upon the human mind itself, drawing forth a person’s worst nightmare images or most treasured dreams and indiscriminately giving them life.

Twelve centuries after fate first stranded the colonists on Erna, mankind has achieved an uneasy stalemate, and human sorcerers manipulate the fae for their own profit, little realizing that demonic forces which feed upon such efforts are rapidly gaining in strength.

CDying Earth


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Tales of the Dying Earth
By Jack Vance

Jack Vance is one of the most remarkable talents to ever grace the world of science fiction. His unique, stylish voice has been beloved by generations of readers. One of his enduring classics is his 1964 novel, The Dying Earth, and its sequels–a fascinating, baroque tale set on a far-future Earth, under a giant red sun that is soon to go out forever.

This omnibus volume comprised all four books in the series, The Dying Earth, The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel’s Saga and Rialto the Magnificent. It is a must-read for every Science Fiction fan.

Viriconium


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Viriconium
By M. John Harrison

Available to American readers for the first time, this landmark collection gathers four groundbreaking fantasy classics from the acclaimed author of Light. Set in the imagined city of Viriconium, here are the masterworks that revolutionized a genre and enthralled a generation of readers: The Pastel City, A Storm of Wings, In Viriconium, and Viriconium Nights. Back in print after a long absence, these singular tales of a timeless realm and its enigmatic inhabitants are now reborn and compiled to captivate a whole new generation.

Sky Pirates


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Sky Pirates
By William King

Ulrik: a sky pirate sentenced to death in the arena, he has become the greatest gladiator of his age.

Valerius: this sinister sorcerer’s cutting wit and his wicked schemes have ensured that even his wealthy kin want him dead.

Rhea: part human, part predatory cat, this former thief gets what she wants by any means necessary.

All three are about to be trapped in a web of death and intrigue spun by the demon-worshipping Molok and his plan to bind all of the Sky Pirates into an invincible mutant army and rule the dying, demon-haunted world of Urath.

Spell of Catastrophe


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Spell of Catastrophe
By Mayer Alan Brenner

In a world of magic, where computers and nanotechnology are long gone, where thoughtless gods struggle for power with little regard for those below, one unlucky man must make some tough decisions …

Maximillian the Vaguely Disreputable isn’t sure what’s going on in the village of Roosing Oolvaya. Someone–probably a god–has trapped Max’s friend The Great Karlini in a castle that keeps trying to move at the most inconvenient times, and naturally it’s up to Max to figure out how to spring him. But the gods throwing their weight around in Roosing Oolvaya are more than Max bargained for, and soon he’s caught between necromancers, working with a detective named The Creeping Sword, and even dancing with Death itself in a desperate attempt to save the city from catastrophe.

The Sword of Shannara


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The Sword of Shannara
By Terry Brooks

Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races.

Starship Mage


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Interstellar Mage 
By Glynn Stewart

Captain David Rice has a new ship, a new crew, and a new set of Jump Mages to carry him between the stars. All he wants is to haul cargo, make money and keep his head down.

His past, however, is not so willing to let him go. An old enemy is reaching out from beyond the grave to destroy any chance of peace or life for Captain Rice—and old friends are only making things more complicated!

All he wants is to be a businessman, but as the death toll mounts he must decide what is more important: his quiet life or the peace humanity has enjoyed for centuries…

First Colony


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Genesis (First Colony)
By Ken Lozito

Escaping wrongful imprisonment wasn’t something Connor had in mind, but being put into stasis aboard Earth’s first interstellar colony ship was something he couldn’t have prepared for.

For three hundred thousand colonists, the new colony brings the promise of a fresh start…a second chance. Connor might be the wrong man for the colony, but he’s the right man to see that it survives what’s coming.

A new world with new challenges, but the mission has changed.

Salvation


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Salvation
By Peter F. Hamilton

In the year 2204, humanity is expanding into the wider galaxy in leaps and bounds. Cutting-edge technology of linked jump gates has rendered most forms of transportation—including starships—virtually obsolete. Every place on Earth, every distant planet humankind has settled, is now merely a step away from any other. All seems wonderful—until a crashed alien spaceship of unknown origin is found on a newly located world eighty-nine light-years from Earth, carrying a cargo as strange as it is horrifying. To assess the potential of the threat, a high-powered team is dispatched to investigate. But one of them may not be all they seem. . . .

Bursting with tension and big ideas, Peter F. Hamilton’s Salvation is the first book of an all-new series that highlights the inventiveness of an author at the top of his game.

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