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Old 10-19-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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November 2012 Book Club Nominations

MobileRead Book Club
November 2012 Nominations


Help us select the next book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for November, 2012.

The nominations will run through midnight EST October 30 or until 10 books have made the list. The first poll will then be posted and will be open for 4 days, followed by a 3 day run-off poll between the two* top choices.

Book selection category for November is:

Science Fiction

In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).

How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.

How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a poll at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.

How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.

How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.

How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.

When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the initial poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations. The nominations are now closed. Please comment if you discover a nomination is not available as an ebook in your area.

* In case of a first or second place tie in the first voting poll, the run-off poll may have more than two choices.


Official choices with three nominations each:

(1) Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Amazon (UK) / Amazon (US) / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles of genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian lore of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

“[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”—The New York Times Book Review

“One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers

“Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”—People

“The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon


From Publishers Weekly:

At once audacious, dazzling, pretentious and infuriating, Mitchell's third novel weaves history, science, suspense, humor and pathos through six separate but loosely related narratives. Like Mitchell's previous works, Ghostwritten and number9dream (which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize), this latest foray relies on a kaleidoscopic plot structure that showcases the author's stylistic virtuosity. Each of the narratives is set in a different time and place, each is written in a different prose style, each is broken off mid-action and brought to conclusion in the second half of the book. Among the volume's most engaging story lines is a witty 1930s-era chronicle, via letters, of a young musician's effort to become an amanuensis for a renowned, blind composer and a hilarious account of a modern-day vanity publisher who is institutionalized by a stroke and plans a madcap escape in order to return to his literary empire (such as it is). Mitchell's ability to throw his voice may remind some readers of David Foster Wallace, though the intermittent hollowness of his ventriloquism frustrates. Still, readers who enjoy the "novel as puzzle" will find much to savor in this original and occasionally very entertaining work.


(2) Ubik by Philip K. Dick
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Google / Kobo Books
Spoiler:
Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business—deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in “half-life,” a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter’s face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all.


(3) Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
Amazon / BooksOnBoard
Spoiler:
In a world where the slightest edge can mean the difference between success and failure, Leisha Camden is beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent...and one of an ever-growing number of human beings who have been genetically modified to never require sleep.

Once considered interesting anomalies, now Leisha and the other "Sleepless" are outcasts—victims of blind hatred, political repression, and shocking mob violence meant to drive them from human society...and, ultimately, from Earth itself.

But Leisha Camden has chosen to remain behind in a world that envies and fears her "gift"—a world marked for destruction in a devastating conspiracy of freedom...and revenge.


(4) The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
Amazon / Apple / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
The most exciting SF debut of the last 5 years - a star to stand alongside Reynolds and Morgan. 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 steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars.

Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself.

Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed . . .

The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future - a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.


(5) The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Fictionwise / Google eBook
Spoiler:
eBook Description: "All the reality of a vividly realized nightmare," The Times of London wrote of John Wyndham's terrifying post-apocalyptic thriller Day of the Triffids, published in 1951. The novel is often labeled science fiction, but it might best be described as a completely unnerving fantasy, even at the distance of half a century- for nothing dates this story of a world rendered helpless by a frightening, unearthly phenomenon. Triffids are odd but interesting plants that seem to appear in everyone's garden. They are curiosities, but little more, until an event occurs that alters human life--what appears to be a meteor shower, spectacular at first, turns into a bizarre green inferno that has blinded virtually everyone and rendered humankind helpless. Even stranger, spores from the inferno have caused triffids to suddenly take on lives of their own--large, crawling vegetation that uproot themselves and roam about, attacking humans and inflicting agony. William Masen happened to escape being blinded in the green inferno--he was hospitalized with his eyes bandaged following surgery--and he is now one of the few humans left who can see, who can avoid being attacked by triffids, who might be able to save mankind from the chaos and possible extinction threatened by this cataclysm. Day of the Triffids is generally held to be John Wyndham's finest novel, and it was his first significant work. His style has been described aptly as "speculative fiction." The real power of Day of the Triffids is not in its pure invention but in its matter-of-fact depiction of bizarre phenomena occurring in the midst of day-to-day life. The narrative voice of William Masen is calm and reasoned throughout as he describes the ongoing nightmare and his attempt to prevail, recalling the struggle from an almost historical perspective. Wyndham tells a mesmerizing story in Day of the Triffids, one that has lost none of its quiet terror. (from Fictionwise)


(6) Deathworld by Harry Harrison
Patricia Clark Memorial Library (files contains offsite links): ePub / Mobi
Spoiler:
Deathworld is the first in a series of novels begun in 1960 and originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction Magazine. It’s the story of Jason dinAlt a professional gambler with psionic skills who finds himself on Pyrrus the deadliest planet to be colonized by humanity. Violent weather, active tectonics, heavy gravity, abundant predators, and a hostile splinter group of colonists is only the beginning of Jason’s quest to learn the truth about Pyrrus.


(7) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Amazon / Kobo / Overdrive
Spoiler:
By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans. (from Amazon)


(8) Summer of Love, A Time Travel by Lisa Mason
Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
Publication Date: May 28, 2010
A Philip K. Dick Award Finalist. A San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book of the Year.

The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.

San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.

Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.

With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

A harrowing coming of age. A friendship ending in tragedy. A terrifying far future. A love spanning five centuries. And a gritty portrait of a unique time in history--the Summer of Love.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (A New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). (from Amazon)


(9) Armageddon 2419 AD by Philip Francis Nowlan
Feedbooks (Kindle) / Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub / LRF
Spoiler:
The original Buck Rogers story.


(10) Metropolis by Thea von Harbou
Feedbooks
Spoiler:
Thea von Harbou's book is the indispensable companion to Fritz Lang's immortal film. As most people know, Lang's film was butchered by German and American editors-we have lost about 25% of the film. Essential scenes and many of the subplots were deleted to make it fit within a small time frame. Reality Check: The shorter the film, the more times they can show it, and the more money they collect. Consequently, with the best of restorations, we are seeing a film with as many gaps as a hockey player's smile.
This book, which was serially published before the film's release, fills in the gaps. You get a better sense of the story that Lang and von Harbou are trying the tell. The book allows you to get inside the heads of Freder and co. in a way that the film does not allow. You get a stronger feel for the dystopic milieu that Freder fixes.

This story is essentially mythic, so devotees of Joseph Campbell, George Lucas, and James N. Frey will devour the book and the film. You see the messianic and redemptive elements that makes this story so enduring. This story is one of my favorites, and rates with anything C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkein wrote, although not with the same level of craftsmanship. (from Amazon)


The nominations are now closed.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 10-25-2012 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Thru 83
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:59 AM   #2
WT Sharpe
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Posts: 30,841
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Wondering if a particular book is available in your country? The following spoiler contains a list of bookstores outside the United States you can search. If you don't see a bookstore on this list for your country, find one that is, send me the link via PM, and I'll add it to the list. In addition, if members let me know that an ebook is unavailable in a particular geographic location, I'll note it in this post, right beside the Inkmesh search for that particular book.

Spoiler:
Australian
Angus Robertson
Booktopia
Borders
Dymocks
Fishpond
Google

Canada
Amazon. Make sure you are logged out. Then go to the Kindle Store. Search for a book. After the search results come up, in the upper right corner of the screen, change the country to Canada and search away.
Google
Sony eBookstore (Upper right corner switch to/from US/CA)

UK
BooksOnBoard (In the upper right corner is a way to switch to the UK store)
Amazon
Foyle's
Google
Penguin
Random House
Waterstones
WH Smith


*** Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick [John F, jabberwock_11, GeckoFriend]
Amazon / Kobo
Spoiler:
By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans. (from Amazon)


*** Armageddon 2419 AD by Philip Francis Nowlan [GA Russell, drofgnal, Dazrin]
Feedbooks (Kindle) / Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub / LRF
Spoiler:
The original Buck Rogers story.


*** Ubik by Philip K. Dick [melancholia, John F, Grey Ram]
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Google / Kobo Books
Spoiler:
Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business—deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in “half-life,” a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter’s face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all.


*** Deathworld by Harry Harrison [caleb72, fantasyfan, sun surfer]
Patricia Clark Memorial Library (files contains offsite links): ePub / Mobi
Spoiler:
Deathworld is the first in a series of novels begun in 1960 and originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction Magazine. It’s the story of Jason dinAlt a professional gambler with psionic skills who finds himself on Pyrrus the deadliest planet to be colonized by humanity. Violent weather, active tectonics, heavy gravity, abundant predators, and a hostile splinter group of colonists is only the beginning of Jason’s quest to learn the truth about Pyrrus.


* Existence by David Brin [JSWolf]
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Sony
Spoiler:
Billions of planets may be ripe for life, even intelligence. So where is Everybody? Do civilizations make the same fatal mistakes, over and over? Might we be the first to cross the mine-field, evading every trap to learn the secret of Existence?

Astronaut Gerald Livingstone grabs a crystal lump of floating space debris. Is it an alien artifact, sent across the vast, interstellar gulf, bearing a message from far civilizations?

"Join us!" What does the enticing invitation mean? To enroll in a great federation of free races?

Only, what of rumors that this starry messenger may not be the first? Have other crystals fallen, across 9,000 years? Some offering welcome... and others... a warning?


*** Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress [JSWolf, fantasyfan, Grey Ram]
Amazon / BooksOnBoard
Spoiler:
In a world where the slightest edge can mean the difference between success and failure, Leisha Camden is beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent...and one of an ever-growing number of human beings who have been genetically modified to never require sleep.

Once considered interesting anomalies, now Leisha and the other "Sleepless" are outcasts—victims of blind hatred, political repression, and shocking mob violence meant to drive them from human society...and, ultimately, from Earth itself.

But Leisha Camden has chosen to remain behind in a world that envies and fears her "gift"—a world marked for destruction in a devastating conspiracy of freedom...and revenge.


*** Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell [sun surfer, issybird, caleb72]
Amazon (UK) / Amazon (US) / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles of genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian lore of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

“[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”—The New York Times Book Review

“One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers

“Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”—People

“The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon


From Publishers Weekly:

At once audacious, dazzling, pretentious and infuriating, Mitchell's third novel weaves history, science, suspense, humor and pathos through six separate but loosely related narratives. Like Mitchell's previous works, Ghostwritten and number9dream (which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize), this latest foray relies on a kaleidoscopic plot structure that showcases the author's stylistic virtuosity. Each of the narratives is set in a different time and place, each is written in a different prose style, each is broken off mid-action and brought to conclusion in the second half of the book. Among the volume's most engaging story lines is a witty 1930s-era chronicle, via letters, of a young musician's effort to become an amanuensis for a renowned, blind composer and a hilarious account of a modern-day vanity publisher who is institutionalized by a stroke and plans a madcap escape in order to return to his literary empire (such as it is). Mitchell's ability to throw his voice may remind some readers of David Foster Wallace, though the intermittent hollowness of his ventriloquism frustrates. Still, readers who enjoy the "novel as puzzle" will find much to savor in this original and occasionally very entertaining work.


** The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon [fantasyfan, Grey Ram]
Amazon
Spoiler:
Amazon user review by Michael J Mazza:

' "The Dreaming Jewels," a novel by Theodore Sturgeon, is a well-written and moving blend of science fiction, horror, mystery, love story, and coming-of-age tale. It tells the story of Horton "Horty" Bluett, a young boy who lives unhappily with his abusive adoptive father. The boy's only "friend" is a jack-in-the-box with glittering, jeweled eyes. To escape the abuse, Horty runs away and joins a traveling freak show, where he is befriended by an extraordinary trio of midgets. Ultimately, Horty's odyssey leads him to seek the mystery behind a strange and marvelous life form that is unlike any other species on earth.

'"Jewels" is a fascinating story. A key theme is the notion of being a "freak," an outcast. Sturgeon effectively explores the emotional ramifications of this theme, and vividly depicts his outcasts' search for love and community. He makes good use of the carnival setting in his narrative. Although the story's villainous characters are a bit shallow, the other characters are complex and well-developed.

'Other important themes in "Jewels" include education, masquerade (including gender-switching), transformation, and communication in its many forms. Sturgeon explores both individuals' desire to dominate and abuse others, as well as the capacity for love and tenderness. Sturgeon's prose style is well suited for the complex task of this book. Overall clear and economical, his prose is at times richly descriptive, at times quite poetic.

'At one point Charles Fort, the tireless documenter of strange phenomena, is mentioned in the book, and that reference is quite resonant. In "The Dreaming Jewels," Sturgeon embraces and celebrates those who are seen as weird or deviant, and discovers the humanity behind the freak show exteriors.'


** The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester [battletux, Format C:]
No links provided.
Spoiler:
Description from Amazon.co.uk:

Long out of print, and hugely influential on both the SF New Wave of the 60s and the cyberpunks of the 80s, Bester's second novel is a fast-moving pyrotechnic extravaganza with enough bloodshed for Tarantino and enough social analysis for Marx. The solar system is torn by warfare--the discovery of a human capacity to move short distances by the power of mind has blown open the balance of economic power. A marooned spaceman, Gully Foyle, seeks revenge on the ship and crew that left him to rot, and pursues them among hereditary industrialists, sensory-deprived monks, circus freaks and the convicts of the deepest Hell on Earth. Marked by hideous facial tattoos, and haunted by his own flaming double, there is nothing that Foyle will not do-- and he is pursued by a selection of Furies as highly coloured as himself. Bester's profligate imagination gives us Dagenham, the radioactive courier, Jizbella, the consummate feminist thief, Robin, the one-way telepath, Ang-Yeovil, secret master of intelligence and Olivia, the albino who sees infra-red. Streetwise and high-gloss, this is one of the finest of SF classics, full of evocative scenery and much-imitated stylistic gimmicks that for once work perfectly.


** Verdant Skies by Steven Lyle Jordan [Format C:, jabberwock_11]
Author's website
Spoiler:
A catastrophic eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera threatens the global biosystem, and drives Earth's desperate residents to seek refuge in any of the four satellite-cities in Earth orbit. The satellite Verdant immediately finds itself under pressure to accept a forced occupation by a population it cannot hold, and certain doom of its own survivability. But a secret group on Verdant has a plan of its own...


*** The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi [Format C:, caleb72, din155]
Amazon / Apple / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
The most exciting SF debut of the last 5 years - a star to stand alongside Reynolds and Morgan. 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 steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars.

Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself.

Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed . . .

The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future - a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.


* Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon [pynch]
Amazon / Kobo
Spoiler:
“Spanning the period between the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, this novel moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska Event, Mexico during the Revolution, postwar Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all.
With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.

The sizable cast of characters includes anarchists, balloonists, gamblers, corporate tycoons, drug enthusiasts, innocents and decadents, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, psychics, and stage magicians, spies, detectives, adventuresses, and hired guns. There are cameo appearances by Nikola Tesla, Bela Lugosi, and Groucho Marx.

As an era of certainty comes crashing down around their ears and an unpredictable future commences, these folks are mostly just trying to pursue their lives. Sometimes they manage to catch up; sometimes it's their lives that pursue them.

Meanwhile, the author is up to his usual business. Characters stop what they're doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically. Contrary-to-the-fact occurrences occur. If it is not the world, it is what the world might be with a minor adjustment or two. According to some, this is one of the main purposes of fiction.

Let the reader decide, let the reader beware. Good luck.”

—Thomas Pynchon


** Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock by Christopher L. Bennett [WT Sharpe, JSWolf]
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Sony Reader Store
Spoiler:
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
There’s likely no more of a thankless job in the Federation than temporal investigation. While starship explorers get to live the human adventure of traveling to other times and realities, it’s up to the dedicated agents of the Federation Department of Temporal Investigations to deal with the consequences to the timestream that the rest of the Galaxy has to live with day by day. But when history as we know it could be wiped out at any moment by time warriors from the future, misused relics of ancient races, or accident-prone starships, only the most disciplined, obsessive, and unimaginative government employees have what it takes to face the existential uncertainty of it all on a daily basis . . . and still stay sane enough to complete their assignments.

That’s where Agents Lucsly and Dulmur come in—stalwart and unflappable, these men are the Federation’s unsung anchors in a chaotic universe. Together with their colleagues in the DTI—and with the help and sometimes hindrance of Starfleet’s finest—they do what they can to keep the timestream, or at least the paperwork, as neat and orderly as they are. But when a series of escalating temporal incursions threatens to open a new front of the history-spanning Temporal Cold War in the twenty-fourth century, Agents Lucsly and Dulmur will need all their investigative skill and unbending determination to stop those who wish to rewrite the past for their own advantage, and to keep the present and the future from devolving into the kind of chaos they really, really hate. (from Amazon)


*** Summer of Love, A Time Travel by Lisa Mason [WT Sharpe, sun surfer, GeckoFriend]
Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
Publication Date: May 28, 2010
A Philip K. Dick Award Finalist. A San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book of the Year.

The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.

San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.

Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.

With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

A harrowing coming of age. A friendship ending in tragedy. A terrifying far future. A love spanning five centuries. And a gritty portrait of a unique time in history--the Summer of Love.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (A New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). (from Amazon)


*** The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham [WT Sharpe, Synamon, din155]
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Fictionwise / Google eBook
Spoiler:
eBook Description: "All the reality of a vividly realized nightmare," The Times of London wrote of John Wyndham's terrifying post-apocalyptic thriller Day of the Triffids, published in 1951. The novel is often labeled science fiction, but it might best be described as a completely unnerving fantasy, even at the distance of half a century- for nothing dates this story of a world rendered helpless by a frightening, unearthly phenomenon. Triffids are odd but interesting plants that seem to appear in everyone's garden. They are curiosities, but little more, until an event occurs that alters human life--what appears to be a meteor shower, spectacular at first, turns into a bizarre green inferno that has blinded virtually everyone and rendered humankind helpless. Even stranger, spores from the inferno have caused triffids to suddenly take on lives of their own--large, crawling vegetation that uproot themselves and roam about, attacking humans and inflicting agony. William Masen happened to escape being blinded in the green inferno--he was hospitalized with his eyes bandaged following surgery--and he is now one of the few humans left who can see, who can avoid being attacked by triffids, who might be able to save mankind from the chaos and possible extinction threatened by this cataclysm. Day of the Triffids is generally held to be John Wyndham's finest novel, and it was his first significant work. His style has been described aptly as "speculative fiction." The real power of Day of the Triffids is not in its pure invention but in its matter-of-fact depiction of bizarre phenomena occurring in the midst of day-to-day life. The narrative voice of William Masen is calm and reasoned throughout as he describes the ongoing nightmare and his attempt to prevail, recalling the struggle from an almost historical perspective. Wyndham tells a mesmerizing story in Day of the Triffids, one that has lost none of its quiet terror. (from Fictionwise)


*** Metropolis by Thea von Harbou [issybird, jabberwock_11, Hamlet53]
Feedbooks
Spoiler:
Thea von Harbou's book is the indispensable companion to Fritz Lang's immortal film. As most people know, Lang's film was butchered by German and American editors-we have lost about 25% of the film. Essential scenes and many of the subplots were deleted to make it fit within a small time frame. Reality Check: The shorter the film, the more times they can show it, and the more money they collect. Consequently, with the best of restorations, we are seeing a film with as many gaps as a hockey player's smile.
This book, which was serially published before the film's release, fills in the gaps. You get a better sense of the story that Lang and von Harbou are trying the tell. The book allows you to get inside the heads of Freder and co. in a way that the film does not allow. You get a stronger feel for the dystopic milieu that Freder fixes.

This story is essentially mythic, so devotees of Joseph Campbell, George Lucas, and James N. Frey will devour the book and the film. You see the messianic and redemptive elements that makes this story so enduring. This story is one of my favorites, and rates with anything C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkein wrote, although not with the same level of craftsmanship. (from Amazon)


* Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks [Rizla]
Amazon
Spoiler:
Book Description:
Publication Date: March 26, 2008 | Series: Culture
"Dazzlingly original." -- Daily Mail
"Gripping, touching and funny." -- TLS

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction. (from Amazon)

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 10-25-2012 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Thru post #83
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:37 AM   #3
John F
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Library availability. U.S. centric. Overdrive and MR library.

Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon (Unavailable)

Armageddon 2419 AD by Philip Francis Nowlan (MR library)

Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress (Overdrive)

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (Overdrive)

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks (Overdrive)

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (Overdrive)

Deathworld by Harry Harrison (MR library)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (Overdrive)

The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon (Unavailable)

Existence by David Brin (Unavailable)

Metropolis by Thea von Harbou (Public domain, Feedbooks)

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Unavailable)

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (Unavailable)

Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock by Christopher L. Bennett


Summer of Love, A Time Travel by Lisa Mason

Ubik by Philip K. Dick (Overdrive)

Verdant Skies by Steven Lyle Jordan (Unavailable)

(through post 59)

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Old 10-20-2012, 06:47 AM   #4
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I'll nominate Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

From Amazon:

Spoiler:
By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.

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Old 10-20-2012, 11:50 AM   #5
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General announcement

Folks, since we've had so many problems with outdated and inaccurate information with Inkmesh, I won't be putting in any Inkmesh links this time. As a result, any spoilers or info as to where your nomination can be purchased can only enhance its chances of winning.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:29 PM   #6
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I nominate the original Buck Rogers story, Armageddon 2419 AD by Philip Francis Nowlan.

It is available from the MR library.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...ghlight=Nowlan

The first two Buck Rogers stories were both novellas, the second being The Airlords of Han. Both are included with this link.
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:31 AM   #7
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I'd like to nominate Ubik by Philip K. Dick.
Amazon Kobo Books Barnes & Noble Google

Quote:
Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business—deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in “half-life,” a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter’s face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:55 AM   #8
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I'll second Ubik.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:14 PM   #9
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I'd like to nominate Deathworld by Harry Harrison. This is available for free all over the place including in our own MR library.

I've never read it but I've been told many times that it's a fantastic story.

Quote:
Deathworld is the first in a series of novels begun in 1960 and originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction Magazine. It’s the story of Jason dinAlt a professional gambler with psionic skills who finds himself on Pyrrus the deadliest planet to be colonized by humanity. Violent weather, active tectonics, heavy gravity, abundant predators, and a hostile splinter group of colonists is only the beginning of Jason’s quest to learn the truth about Pyrrus.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:13 PM   #10
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I'd like to nominate Existence by David Brin.



Quote:
Billions of planets may be ripe for life, even intelligence. So where is Everybody? Do civilizations make the same fatal mistakes, over and over? Might we be the first to cross the mine-field, evading every trap to learn the secret of Existence?

Astronaut Gerald Livingstone grabs a crystal lump of floating space debris. Is it an alien artifact, sent across the vast, interstellar gulf, bearing a message from far civilizations?

"Join us!" What does the enticing invitation mean? To enroll in a great federation of free races?

Only, what of rumors that this starry messenger may not be the first? Have other crystals fallen, across 9,000 years? Some offering welcome... and others... a warning?
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:24 PM   #11
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Another nomination I'd like to make is Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress.



Quote:
In a world where the slightest edge can mean the difference between success and failure, Leisha Camden is beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent...and one of an ever-growing number of human beings who have been genetically modified to never require sleep.

Once considered interesting anomalies, now Leisha and the other "Sleepless" are outcasts—victims of blind hatred, political repression, and shocking mob violence meant to drive them from human society...and, ultimately, from Earth itself.

But Leisha Camden has chosen to remain behind in a world that envies and fears her "gift"—a world marked for destruction in a devastating conspiracy of freedom...and revenge.
You can get the ePub edition for $0.67 from BooksOnBoard.

You can get the Kindle edition for $0.99.

There is a thread about Beggars in Spain over at http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...=beggars+spain. Some of the people posing have good things to say about the book and/or Nancy.

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Old 10-22-2012, 12:55 AM   #12
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I'll nominate Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

Quote:
From Amazon:

A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles of genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian lore of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

“[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”—The New York Times Book Review

“One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers

“Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”—People

“The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon


From Publishers Weekly:

At once audacious, dazzling, pretentious and infuriating, Mitchell's third novel weaves history, science, suspense, humor and pathos through six separate but loosely related narratives. Like Mitchell's previous works, Ghostwritten and number9dream (which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize), this latest foray relies on a kaleidoscopic plot structure that showcases the author's stylistic virtuosity. Each of the narratives is set in a different time and place, each is written in a different prose style, each is broken off mid-action and brought to conclusion in the second half of the book. Among the volume's most engaging story lines is a witty 1930s-era chronicle, via letters, of a young musician's effort to become an amanuensis for a renowned, blind composer and a hilarious account of a modern-day vanity publisher who is institutionalized by a stroke and plans a madcap escape in order to return to his literary empire (such as it is). Mitchell's ability to throw his voice may remind some readers of David Foster Wallace, though the intermittent hollowness of his ventriloquism frustrates. Still, readers who enjoy the "novel as puzzle" will find much to savor in this original and occasionally very entertaining work.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:25 AM   #13
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Second Cloud Atlas.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:18 AM   #14
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I'll third Cloud Atlas.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:17 AM   #15
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I'll nominate The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon. Here is an effective and fair review of the book by Michael J Mazza on the Amazon website:

' "The Dreaming Jewels," a novel by Theodore Sturgeon, is a well-written and moving blend of science fiction, horror, mystery, love story, and coming-of-age tale. It tells the story of Horton "Horty" Bluett, a young boy who lives unhappily with his abusive adoptive father. The boy's only "friend" is a jack-in-the-box with glittering, jeweled eyes. To escape the abuse, Horty runs away and joins a traveling freak show, where he is befriended by an extraordinary trio of midgets. Ultimately, Horty's odyssey leads him to seek the mystery behind a strange and marvelous life form that is unlike any other species on earth.

'"Jewels" is a fascinating story. A key theme is the notion of being a "freak," an outcast. Sturgeon effectively explores the emotional ramifications of this theme, and vividly depicts his outcasts' search for love and community. He makes good use of the carnival setting in his narrative. Although the story's villainous characters are a bit shallow, the other characters are complex and well-developed.

'Other important themes in "Jewels" include education, masquerade (including gender-switching), transformation, and communication in its many forms. Sturgeon explores both individuals' desire to dominate and abuse others, as well as the capacity for love and tenderness. Sturgeon's prose style is well suited for the complex task of this book. Overall clear and economical, his prose is at times richly descriptive, at times quite poetic.

'At one point Charles Fort, the tireless documenter of strange phenomena, is mentioned in the book, and that reference is quite resonant. In "The Dreaming Jewels," Sturgeon embraces and celebrates those who are seen as weird or deviant, and discovers the humanity behind the freak show exteriors.'

The book is available for Kindle and can be purchased here: {where you can read other reviews too}

http://www.amazon.com/Dreaming-Golla...odore+Sturgeon

Last edited by fantasyfan; 10-22-2012 at 07:23 AM.
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