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Genre: Fiction

This is the Omnibus edition of and .

February 13, 2082, First Contact. Sixty-two thousand objects of unknown origin plunge into Earth’s atmosphere—a perfect grid of falling stars screaming across the radio spectrum as they burn. Not even ashes reach the ground. Three hundred and sixty degrees of global surveillance: something just took a snapshot.

And then… nothing.

The world holds its breath and waits for the Second Coming—and while it waits, it fractures. Hive-minds coalesce, speaking in tongues; paleogeneticists resurrect nightmares from the dawn of humanity; soldiers are fitted with zombie switches to turn off consciousness in combat; half the population has retreated into the ersatz security of a virtual environment called Heaven.

Extinction beckons for .

But from deep space: whispers. Something out there talks—but not to us. Two ships, and the , are launched to discover the origin of Earth’s visitation, one bound for the outer dark of the Kuiper Belt, the other for the heart of the Solar System.

Their crews can barely be called human, what they will face certainly can’t.

Genre: Fiction

Prepare for a different kind of singularity in Peter Watts’ , the follow-up to the Hugo-nominated novel

It’s the eve of the twenty-second century: a world where the dearly departed send postcards back from Heaven and evangelicals make scientific breakthroughs by speaking in tongues; where genetically engineered vampires solve problems intractable to baseline humans and soldiers come with zombie switches that shut off self-awareness during combat. And it’s all under surveillance by an alien presence that refuses to show itself.

Daniel Brüks is a living fossil: a field biologist in a world where biology has turned computational, a cat’s-paw used by terrorists to kill thousands. Taking refuge in the Oregon desert, he’s turned his back on a humanity that shatters into strange new subspecies with every heartbeat. But he awakens one night to find himself at the center of a storm that will turn all of history inside-out.

Now he’s trapped on a ship bound for the center of the solar system. To his left is a grief-stricken soldier, obsessed by whispered messages from a dead son. To his right is a pilot who hasn’t yet found the man she’s sworn to kill on sight. A vampire and its entourage of zombie bodyguards lurk in the shadows behind. And dead ahead, a handful of rapture-stricken monks takes them all to a meeting with something they will only call “The Angels of the Asteroids.”

Their pilgrimage brings Dan Brüks, the fossil man, face-to-face with the biggest evolutionary breakpoint since the origin of thought itself.

Genre: Fiction

Combining complex science with skillfully executed prose, these edgy, award-winning tales explore the shifting border between the known and the alien.

The beauty and peril of technology and the passion and penalties of conviction merge in narratives that are by turns dark, satiric, and introspective. Among these bold storylines:

• A seemingly humanized monster from John Carpenter’s reveals the true villains in an Antarctic showdown;

• An artificial intelligence shields a biologically enhanced prodigy from her overwhelmed parents;

• A deep-sea diver discovers her true nature lies not within the confines of her mission but in the depths of her psyche;

• A court psychologist analyzes a psychotic graduate student who has learned to reprogram reality itself; and

• A father tries to hold his broken family together in the wake of an ongoing assault by sentient rainstorms.

Gorgeously saturnine and exceptionally powerful, these collected fictions are both intensely thought-provoking and impossible to forget.

Genre: Fiction

Lacey Hillcrest of Pensacola, 50 years old and a devout Pentecostal, had been diagnosed with inoperable lymphatic cancer and given six months to live. Five years later she was still alive. She attributed her survival to a decorative silver-plated cross received from her sister, Gracey Balfour.

On the morning of 27 June, Mrs Hillcrest and her sister patronized the Museum of Quackery and Pseudoscience, owned and managed by one Linus C. Velikovsky, where she got to know about placebo. Within a month she was dead.

The charge against Mr Velikovsky was negligent homicide.

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