2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
Read by Michael Kramer. Reading time 7 hours
On a voyage into the unexplored universe, the spacecraft Discovery hurtles its human passengers through time toward a confrontation with an unknown, powerful intelligence. Written for the production of a science fiction film of the same name. 1968.
Download 2001: A Space Odyssey; DB58814
2012: The War for Souls by Whitley Strieber
Read by Gary Tipton. Reading time 11 hours 23 minutes
Giant lenses emerge from ancient sites around the world, foretelling a doomsday of December 21, 2012. Chaos reigns as novelist Wylie Dale uncovers evidence that his storyline--about soul-stealing demons from an alternate realm who threaten to enslave humanity--is coming true. Strong language, some descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2007.
Download 2012: The War for Souls, DB66163
2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks
Read by Gregory Gorton. Reading time 12 hours 22 minutes
2030. After a cure for cancer is found, senior citizens retain most of America's remaining resources, provoking attacks by youthful "resentment gangs." Meanwhile, Matthew Bernstein, the first Jewish U.S. president, needs money to rebuild after L.A.'s earthquake. But the Chinese demand territory in exchange for loans. Some strong language. 2011.
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All Clear by Connie Willis
Read by Martha Harmon Pardee. Reading time 25 hours 12 minutes
Trapped time-traveling historians Michael, Eileen, and Polly frantically struggle to survive Hitler's bombers and find a way back to their own world in 2060. At home Mr. Dunworthy and Colin look for the missing three, whose actions have altered history. Sequel to Blackout (DB 71904). Some violence. 2010.
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Accelerando by Charles Stross
Read by Pat Bottino. Reading time 19 hours 50 minutes
Artificial intelligence threatens to destroy Earth's solar system and all biological life. Three generations of the Macx family find their fates inextricably linked to mankind's future--entrepreneur Manfred, daughter Amber, and grandson Sirhan, who uncovers connections to Manfred's early innovations. Explicit descriptions of sex, strong language, and some violence. 2005.
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Against a Dark Background by Iain M. Banks
Read by Erin Jones. Reading time 17 hours 52 minutes
Lady Sharrow goes on the run from the Huhsz, an intergalactic religious cult plotting her assassination. Sharrow's only hope for survival rests on locating the legendary weapon known as the Lazy Gun before the Huhsz finds her. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 1993.
Download Against a Dark Background, DB70320
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Read by Steven Carpenter. Reading time 30 hours 34 minutes
In the thirty-seventh century, mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers are cloistered in sanctuaries to nurture and safeguard knowledge from the corrupting forces of the Secular realm outside. When catastrophe looms, young scholar Erasmas and his highly intelligent friends are called upon to save their world. Bestseller. 2008.
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The Android's Dream by John Scalzi
Read by Pat Bottino. Reading time 14 hours 47 minutes
When a human diplomat kills an alien counterpart, the aliens demand a sheep specimen known as Android's Dream for their coronation ceremony. Eluding adversaries, techie Harris Creek locates the "sheep," which turns out to be Robin Baker--a pet-store owner with dubious DNA. Strong language. 2006.
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At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels by H.P. Lovecraft
Read by George Holmes. Reading time 22 hours 1 minute
Collection of three novels and five short stories spanning the years 1919 to 1933. The title piece chronicles a university expedition to Antarctica, where strange fossils and extremely old ruins are found. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is Lovecraft's masterpiece of demonic horror. Introduction includes author biographical information. 1943.
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Blackout by Connie Willis
Read by Martha Harmon Pardee. Reading time 20 hours 15 minutes.
Oxford, 2060. Time-traveling historians Michael, Eileen, and Polly journey to World War II England only to encounter scheduling glitches and problems with their technology. Matters get worse when the three colleagues realize that their previously held belief--that they are not able to change history--is wrong. Some violence. 2010.
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Buyout by Alexander C. Irvine
Read by John Polk. Reading time 12 hours 33 minutes
2040. Insurance agent Martin Kindred offers buyouts to convicted criminals serving life-without-parole sentences. Prisoners choose voluntary execution in exchange for money payments to their beneficiaries. But as the popularity of the program grows, Martin and his friend Charlie uncover a disturbing conspiracy. Strong language. 2009.
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Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Alternate 1800s. Inventor Leviticus Blue unleashes a zombie-generating gas and decimates Seattle with his Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine. His son Zeke runs into danger trying to clear his father's name, while Zeke's mother Briar rushes to rescue her son within the city's walls. Some violence and some strong language. 2009.
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Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats by Anne McCaffrey
Read by Laural Merlington. Reading time 8 hours 35 minutes
Chessie, a cat who lives aboard a spacecraft with her human, Janina, is kidnapped. Chessie gives birth in captivity, and one kitten forms a telepathic connection with their captor's son. When government disease-control measures threaten the cats, everyone joins forces to save them. Commercial audiobook. 2010.
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The Color of Magic: A Novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett
Read by Kristin Allison. Reading time 6 hours 36 minutes
First Discworld novel, containing four episodic novellas. In the title story a being from the mythical Counterweight Continent visits the twin city of Ankh-Morpork and hires Rincewind the wizard as his guide. Other adventures follow. 1983.
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The Compleat Werewolf and Other Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction by Anthony Boucher
Read by Mark Ashby. Reading time 8 hours 20 minutes
Ten tales of fantasy and science fiction originally published in the 1940s. In the title story a meek professor discovers that he is actually a werewolf. In "Mr. Lupescu" a boy becomes fascinated by his fairy godfather, who has a big red nose, red eyes, and little red wings. 1941.
Download The Compleat Werewolf, DB59504
Counting Heads by David Marusek
Read by Alec Volz. Reading time 21 hours 46 minutes
Technology brings about a new society on Earth. After outcast Samson Harger's politically powerful wife Eleanor and their daughter are killed in a plane crash, his daughter's cryogenically frozen head goes missing. He soon discovers he is not the only one searching for it. Some strong language. 2005.
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Crossover: A Cassandra Kresnov Novel by Joel Shepherd
Read by Erin Jones. Reading time 15 hours 15 minutes
Cassandra Kresnov, an assassin android created by the League for the interstellar war against the Federation, defects to the Federation world of Callay. Once her identity is exposed, she is drawn into the political intrigues of her former enemies. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. 2006.
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Crown of Slaves: Wages of Sin, Book 1 by David Weber
Read by Derald Breneman. Reading time 25 hours 31 minutes
When the Star Kingdom's ally Erewhon grows restive, Queen Elizabeth of Manticore dispatches her niece on a diplomatic mission led by Captain Anton Zilwicki. The envoy is undermined by deception, skullduggery, and radical freed-slave organization leader Jeremy X. Some violence, some strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2003.
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Debt of Bones: The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind
Read by Gabra Zackman. Reading time 3 hours 18 minutes
Young peasant woman Abigail petitions the First Wizard to help her besieged homeland. Zedd refuses, for granting her request would mean forsaking his sacred duty. Then he learns they are bound in a debt of bones. Prequel to Wizard's First Rule (DB 41067). Some violence. 1998.
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Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson
Read by Catherine Byers. Reading time 11 hours 28 minutes
Washington, D.C. As the world faces the frightening ecological realities of global warming and climate change, National Science Foundation statistician Anna Quibler and her husband, Charlie, a senate environmental staffer, must convince political leaders to act. Meanwhile, torrential downpours threaten to flood the city. Some strong language. 2004.
Download Forty Signs of Rain, DB61935
Halo: Contact Harvest by Joseph Staten
Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time 14 hours 4 minutes
The year 2524. Harvest, a peaceful farming colony on a remote planet, is threatened by an aggressive alien empire known as the Covenant. Avery Johnson, a young marine staff sergeant fresh from Earth's civil war, leads an inexperienced militia to save Harvest's citizens--and all of humanity. Some violence. Bestseller. 2007.
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House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds
Read by Erin Jones. Reading time 16 hours 56 minutes
Every two hundred thousand years, the shatterlings--one thousand male and female clones of Abigail Gentian--congregate to share the news from space. But at this reunion, shatterlings Campion and Purslane discover that someone is massacring their siblings and they must track down the killers before the Gentian line disappears. 2008.
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Read by Erin Jones. Reading time 9 hours 14 minutes
In a future North America, Panem's rulers maintain control through a televised survival competition pitting teens from twelve districts in a fight to the death. Sixteen-year-olds Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are this year's girl and boy contestants from District Twelve. Some violence. For junior and senior high readers. 2008.
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Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Read by Mark Ashby. Reading time 8 hours 39 minutes
Alek Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, escapes in a Cyklop Stormwalker from the clutches of the Clanker powers who are plotting global domination. He forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn, a girl disguised as a boy fighting genetically engineered beasts like the airship Leviathan. For senior high readers. 2009.
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Live Free or Die by John Ringo
Read by Mark Boyett. Reading time 17 hours 2 minutes
When the first aliens, the Glatun, arrived they traded peacefully with Earth. Then the Horvath followed, wreaking death, destruction, and slavery. Tyler Vernon leads the resistance against them, but his plans are threatened by an intergalactic war. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2010.
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Man Plus by Frederick Pohl
Read by Richard Hauenstein. Reading time 8 hours 21 minutes
In a future plagued by near certainty of thermonuclear war, the United States races to turn astronaut Roger Torraway into a cyborg able to survive on Mars. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. Nebula Award.
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Marsbound by Joe Haldeman
Read by Theresa Conkin. Reading time 7 hours 29 minutes
Eighteen-year-old Carmen Dula and her family embark on a six-month journey to Mars. After her initial hesitation to leave Earth, Carmen finds normalcy living underground on the red planet until an accident leaves her with a warning message from another life-form. Some strong language. 2008.
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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Read by Rosalyn Landor. Reading time 9 hours 41 minutes
England, 1990s. Kathy H., Ruth, and Tommy attended Hailsham, one of the better academies where human clones bred to be organ donors are sheltered from reality. Now thirty-one, Kathy has been a donor caregiver for eleven years. As her own time to donate nears, Kathy appreciates her privileged upbringing. 2005.
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Obsidian Prey by Jayne Castle
Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time 9 hours 13 minutes
Prospector Lyra Dore's ex-boyfriend Cruz Sweetwater needs help rescuing scientists trapped inside an ancient amethyst ruin. Lyra thought she was done with Cruz, but now she must use her psychic abilities to save them all. Some violence, some strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2009.
Download Obsidian Prey, DB70196
Red Thunder by John Varley
Read by Robert Sams. Reading time 15 hours 12 minutes
To keep China from beating America to Mars, an ex-astronaut, his brilliant unconventional cousin, and four young Floridians build their own spaceship--Red Thunder--to get there first. Their journey becomes a rescue mission for U.S. spacecraft Ares Seven, marooned in space. Some descriptions of sex. 2003.
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The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl
Read by Michael Scherer. Reading time 6 hours 16 minutes
Satirical science fiction about the future of consumerism and corporate America. Advertising executive Mitch Courtenay's most recent project is to convince people to emigrate to inhospitable Venus. Mitch faces dangerous opposition from a colleague, underground conservationists, and his wife who plans to leave him. Some strong language. 1952.
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Star Wars: Legacy of the Force; Betrayal, Book 1 by Aaron Allston
Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time 16 hours 18 minutes
Corellia threatens to rebel against the Galactic Alliance by resurrecting Centerpoint Station, a devastating, moon-sized weapon. The Jedi order dispatches Jacen Solo and his young apprentice (and cousin) Ben Skywalker to disable Centerpoint. Meanwhile, Han Solo faces divided loyalties and devises a way to warn his native Corellia. 2006.
Download Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, DB62798
Star Trek by Alan Dean Foster
Read by Alec Volz. Reading time 9 hours 52 minutes
When the Romulan's behemoth vessel attacks Captain George Kirk's Federation starship Kelvin, the original lives and fates of young James Kirk and teenaged Mr. Spock dramatically change. To stop the growing Romulan threat, they must learn to trust each other. Book adaptation of the 2009 Star Trek film. 2009.
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Steal Across the Sky by Nancy Kress
Read by Gary Tipton. Reading time 10 hours 9 minutes
The alien Atoners invite twenty-one human volunteers on an exploration of seven distant planets to witness the results of Atoners' crimes against humanity committed ten thousand years ago. When recruits Cam, Lucca, and Soledad arrive in the Kular system, they slowly uncover the horrible truth. Some strong language. 2009.
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Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
Read by Richard Davidson. Reading time 25 hours 39 minutes
Born and raised on Mars, Valentine Michael Smith returns to Earth unfamiliar with its cultural and social customs. Tutored in earthly matters by Jubal Harshaw, Smith evolves into a messianic figure preaching free love. Original uncut version. Some explicit descriptions of sex and some strong language. Hugo Award. 1961.
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Terminal Mind by David Walton
Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time 10 hours 35 minutes
Future America. The Philadelphia Crater is splintered: the poor of the Combs barely survive, while the rich of the Rim overindulge in biological modifications. Rimmer Mark McGovern and Comber Darin Kinsley hack into a satellite in protest and accidentally release a destructive virus. Philip K. Dick Award. 2008.
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Things Will Never Be the Same: A Howard Waldrop Reader; Selected Short Fiction, 1980-2005 by Howard Waldrop
Read by Roy Avers. Reading time 13 hours 31 minutes
Sixteen short stories, each with an afterword by the author. In the Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning "The Ugly Chickens," a young biology student traverses rural Mississippi to uncover the true fate of the dodo. Includes "King of Where-I-Go," "Flying Saucer Rock and Roll," and others. 2007.
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The Third Claw of God: An Andrea Cort Novel by Adam-Troy Castro
Read by Madelyn Buzzard. Reading time 13 hours 35 minutes
Prosecutor-at-large Andrea Cort barely survives an attack by Bocaian assassins at a Xana spaceport. But after boarding Bettelhine Corporation's luxurious elevator car, Andrea learns that someone else was the target. Andrea questions her summons from Hans Bettelhine--an infamous world-annihilating arms dealer. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2009.
Download The Third Claw of God, DB70044
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Read by David Cutler. Reading time 31 hours 20 minutes
The Hitchhiker series novels, dated 1979-1992: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and Everything; So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish; Mostly Harmless; and a bonus story, "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe" (1986). Foreword by Neil Gaiman. 2002.
Download The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, DB62183
A War of Gifts: An Ender Story by Orson Scott Card
Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time 2 hours 44 minutes
Holiday-themed science fiction novella. The International Fleet forces minister's son Zeck Morgan to enroll in Battle School, which bans religious observances. Citing his faith, Zeck refuses to participate in war games--but also protests his classmates' commemoration of Saint Nicholas Day. Debate ensues until counselor Ender Wiggin sets Zeck straight. 2007.
Download A War of Gifts, DB70230
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Read by Jonathan Davis. Reading time 19 hours 38 minutes
In a post-oil world where calories are currency, agriculture manager Anderson Lake searches a politically unstable Thailand for new food sources. He meets Emiko, a bioengineered "windup" girl, who works in a Bangkok brothel. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2009.
Download The Windup Girl, DB71063
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Author of The Zombie Survival Guide (DB64675) records firsthand interviews with survivors of humanity's devastating clash with the undead. Personal accounts from all over the world reveal the scope of the conflict, from the first zombie outbreak to the aftermath of war. Strong language and some violence. 2006.
Download World War Z, DB65111