Amazon and Google Play have quite a selection of excellent modern Sci-Fi on sale for $2 and $3. Neal Stephenson and Jeff Vandermeer are the most well known but I highly recommend both Normal by Warren Ellis and The Sparrow by Mary Daria Ellis
The Confusion: Volume Two of The Baroque Cycle - Neal Stephenson $1.99
From Publishers Weekly
The title of Stephenson's vast, splendid and absorbing sequel to Quicksilver
(2003) suggests the state of mind that even devoted fans may face on occasion as they follow the glorious and exceedingly complex parallel stories of Jack Shaftoe, amiable criminal mastermind, and Eliza, Countess de la Zeur, courageous secret agent and former prisoner in a Turkish harem. In 1689, Jack recovers his memory in Algiers, evades galley slavery and joins a quest for the lost treasure of a Spanish pirate named Carlos Olancho Macho y Macho. This leads to adventures at sea worthy of Patrick O'Brian, and hairbreadth escapes from the jaws of the Inquisition. Meanwhile, Eliza is captured by the historical (and distinguished) French privateer Jean Bart while trying to escape to England with her baby. She must then navigate the intrigues of the court of Louis XIV, which are less lethal than those of the Inquisition by a small margin, but still make for uneasy sleep for a friendless female spy. Her correspondence with such scientific minds as Wilhelm Leibniz helps propel the saga's chronicling of the roots of modern science at a respectable clip. Of course, one can't call anything about the Baroque Cycle "brisk," but the richness of detail and language lending verisimilitude t? the setting and depth to the characters should be reward enough for most readers.
Borne - Jeff VanderMeer - $2.99
Named one of the most anticipated books of 2017 by The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Book Riot, Chicago Reader, The Week, and Publishers Weekly.
"Am I a person?" Borne asked me.
"Yes, you are a person," I told him. "But like a person, you can be a weapon, too."
, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a biotech firm now derelict—and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech.
One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump—plant or animal?—but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts—and definitely against Wick's wishes—Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun
to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford.
born, but I had
But as Borne grows, he begins to threaten the balance of power in the city and to put the security of her sanctuary with Wick at risk. For the Company, it seems, may not be truly dead, and new enemies are creeping in. What Borne will lay bare to Rachel as he changes is how precarious her existence has been, and how dependent on subterfuge and secrets. In the aftermath, nothing may ever be the same.
Normal - Warren Ellis - $2.99
An Amazon Best Book of December 2016: [amazon.com]
Unpredictable and daringly written, Warren Ellis's compact novel Normal
is a mind-blowing morsel of paranoia…or prescience. Institutionalized in the wilds of Oregon for a mental breakdown, foresight strategist Adam Dearden finds himself among former colleagues from around the globe who "gazed into the abyss" of the future, freaked out, and are now struggling to make peace—if they can—with what they believe to be humanity's and the planet's dark destiny. When the bizarre and impossible disappearance of a new inmate disrupts Adam's therapy before it begins, Adam is galvanized to exorcise his demons and solve the mystery before the future pounces on him and the other patients and destroys their last refuge. Chilling, bold, challenging, and dark, Normal
is will hit the sweet spot for fans of David Mitchell, Jeff VanderMeer, or anyone who fears that the future is already here. --Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review
"Fantastic . . . A crackling, funny, and frightening horror story from a unique voice in genre lit." ―Kirkus Reviews
is abnormal, fascinating, and terrifying. Deceptively compact, it contains multitudes. Great stuff that still has me thinking." ―Jeff VanderMeer
is hectic and smart and brutal and funny, and queasy-making, too. Like William Gibson and Margaret Atwood, Warren Ellis is one of those writers who seem to have an all-access backstage pass to the total weirdness of the now." ―Lauren Beukes
"Warren Ellis has been conjuring futures for years, and now he asks the question: at what cost? Part futurist anthropology, part locked-room mystery, Normal
is funny, creepy, perceptive, and surprisingly personal. If you, like me, are an avid consumer of what-ifs and what-nows, you probably have a responsibility to read this book." ―Robin Sloan
"A seriously good writer with a seriously wicked imagination." ―Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"Last summer, Warren Ellis serialized a novel, "Normal," as a series of four novellas; today, they're collected in a single, short book that mainlines a month's worth of terrifying futuristic fiction in one go. . .This is Warren Ellis at his most darkly hilarious and most ascerbic. If you loved Transmetropolitan, laughed at Gun Machine, this one will please and scare you." ―Cory Doctrow, Boing Boing
"[An] exceptional new thriller . . . This slim sci-fi mystery will puzzle, engage your senses and stick with you, maybe popping up days later when one of its passages resonates uncomfortably in the real world outside the book's pages. Normal
chills not by overt action or gory effects, but by slyly transporting readers outside their comfort zone, offering a look into a future that seems increasingly plausible after all." ―Barbara Clark, BookPage
"Warren Ellis is a twisted genius." ―Lauren Beukes, author of Broken Monsters
Zero World - Jason Hough - $1.99
Technologically enhanced superspy Peter Caswell has been dispatched on a top-secret assignment unlike any he's ever faced. A spaceship that vanished years ago has been found, along with the bodies of its murdered crew—save one. Peter's mission is to find the missing crew member, who fled through what appears to be a tear in the fabric of space. Beyond this mysterious doorway lies an even more confounding reality: a world that seems to be Earth's twin.
Peter discovers that this mirrored world is indeed different from his home, and far more dangerous. Cut off from all support, and with only days to complete his operation, Peter must track his quarry alone on an alien world. But he's unprepared for what awaits on the planet's surface, where his skills will be put to the ultimate test—and everything he knows about the universe will be challenged in ways he never could have imagined.
"This is sci-fi writing at its best. I couldn't put the book down."—Felicia Day, author of You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
"An enjoyable read . . . Expect minor whiplash from the frenetic pace."—Entertainment Weekly
"[A] science fiction [novel that] smashes The Bourne Identity
together with The End of Eternity
to create a thrilling action rampage that confirms Hough as an important new voice in genre fiction."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"No one has created a multiverse like Jason Hough does in Zero World
. Imagine Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
meets James Bond."—New York Journal of Books
"A fast-paced cinematic novel full of action . . . Story, character, world building, action—all points are firing on all cylinders here."—Bookreporter
"Hough has combined all the ingredients of a first-rate sci-fi thriller."—Kirkus Reviews
Otherworld by Jason Segel - $1.99
"Full of high stakes, thrillers, and fantastic twists and turns, fans of Ready Player One are sure to love this addictive read." —Buzzfeed
"A potent commentary on how much we're willing to give up to the lure of technology." —EW
"A fantastic journey from start to finish." —Hypable
New York Times bestselling authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller imagine a world in which you can leave your body behind and give into your greatest desires in the first book in a fast-paced trilogy perfect for fans of the hit HBO show Westworld and anyone interested in the terrifying possibilities of the future of technology.
That's how Otherworld traps you. It introduces you to sensations you'd never be able to feel in real life. You discover what's been missing—because it's taboo or illegal or because you lack the guts to do it for real. And when you find out what's missing it's almost impossible to let it go again.
There are no screens. There are no controls. You don't just see and hear it—you taste, smell, and touch it too. In this new reality, there are no laws to break or rules to obey. You can live your best life. Indulge every desire.
This is Otherworld—
a virtual reality game so addictive you'll never want it to end. And Simon has just discovered that for some, it might not.
The frightening future that Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller have imagined is not far away. Otherworld
asks the question we'll all soon be asking: if technology can deliver everything we want, how much are we willing to pay?
"An engaging VR cautionary tale." —The A.V. Club
The Sparrow - Mary Doria Rusell - $1.99
A visionary work that combines speculative fiction with deep philosophical inquiry, The Sparrow
tells the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads a scientific mission entrusted with a profound task: to make first contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life. The mission begins in faith, hope, and beauty, but a series of small misunderstandings brings it to a catastrophic end.
Praise for The Sparrow
"A startling, engrossing, and moral work of fiction."—The New York Times Book Review
"Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow
is one of them."—Entertainment Weekly
"Powerful . . . The Sparrow
tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Provocative, challenging . . . recalls both Arthur C. Clarke and H. G. Wells, with a dash of Ray Bradbury for good measure."—The Dallas Morning News
"[Mary Doria] Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense."—USA Today