Science Fiction

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Around Distant Suns

What happens when scientists and writers collaborate in the creative process?

Unique stories of distant planets, alien encounters, emergent life, and talking clouds, that’s what.

Writers paired with researchers from the University of St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Science — experts in astrobiology, gravitational microlensing, Miller-Urey experiments, and exoplanet atmospheres. Each pair met several times: to get to know each other, discuss the researcher's work, and let ideas spark.

From these conversations emerged short stories, poems, and radio plays. Some are closely tied to the research work, others are flights of the imagination alighting from that point. Are are fascinating results of the mixing of ideas.

In the last two decades science has discovered an abundance of planetary systems. But science fiction writers have been writing about exoplanets for a good deal longer than scientists. Thus, science fiction is a crucial tool for learning about how humans might interact with these far-off planets. Both groups are addressing deeper questions — what is life, where did we come from, are we alone, what does it all mean — from different angles. See how both fields grow from collaborations such as found here.

Nine Stories Inspired by Research from the St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Science
A novel of Interstellar Contact, Virtual Worlds, and the Essence of Humanity.
by Gustavo Bondoni

Earth is empty of humans. This surprising observation stymies Rome and his shipmates, crew of the starship come to re-establish contact from the colonies. What could have happened in the 500-years of the non-interference treaty to vanish everyone?

Discover the terrifying secret buried deep underground that threatens the existence of everyone on Earth.

“This book is amazing…well formed characters that stand fantastically on their own and when they come together, it's just even better…This is a fast paced, fresh, fantastic work of science fiction.” —Readers' Favorite.

Followed by Splinter
Splinter Cover

Have Humans lost their Humanity,
and can an Artificial Intelligence save them?

The Tau Ceti colony is a Utopia, but tension lurks below the tranquil surface. The peace of the colony is shattered when the Unity spacecraft returns from Earth bearing shocking news.

Rome Permek, computer officer on the ship, returned with a stowaway: Emily Plair, an artificial intelligence from Earth's cyberworld. But the colony is not the quiet refuge they hoped for. Some in the colony see her as a threat and will resort to anything to have her eliminated.

The colony erupts with the questions: Is artificial intelligence truly alive? What rights do they have? What constitutes a good life?

Follow Rome and Emily as they traverse the splintered paradise colony, orbital habitats, virtual environments, and distant worlds.

Sequel to Outside

“A riveting, compulsively readable book. It questions if a computer program can come alive… An original story with developed characters, one of whom has multiple copies, offers unique details, a love angle and keeps you guessing until the end… It’s a book that delivers.”
—Jackie Kingon, author of Sherlock Mars and P Is For Pluto.

Off the Beaten Path: 22 Stories by Gustavo Bondoni

22 science fiction and fantasy stories, including two new, never-before published pieces, from the award-winning Argentinian author Gustavo Bondoni.

Set in corners of the world oft forgotten, these stories will take you from the Namib desert, to the Amazon rainforest, to the far side of the moon.

When you dare step Off the Beaten Path, the results could be catastrophic, but the possible rewards are great.

  • A student journalist desperately tries to save the world from a malevolent spirit, by using a recording of a dying old woman's last words.
  • Can a small band of scientists use robotics to save the last of an endangered New Zealand parrot from a genetically engineered menace?
  • A firefighter at Chernobyl finds comfort from an unexpected source.
  • Can an ageing rock musician calm the vengeful ghost of his old friend?
  • Were fairies responsible for humanity's oldest story?

Some of these stories will shock you with a horrifying twist; others will tug at your heartstrings with their emotional resonance. But all will intrigue and move you.

P is for Pluto
by Jackie Kingon

Molly is heading to Pluto.
Send in the clones...

Molly's Bistro is opening a new branch of the famous Martian restaurant on Pluto. But the opening is delayed when their chef is murdered. With the Pluto Police taking a relaxed approach to crime, Molly heads to Pluto to help crack the case and get the restaurant back on track. But she will have to face clone confusion, kidnapping chocolatiers, and the space mafia in order to solve this mystery.

This sequel to Jackie Kingon's Sherlock Mars contains the same mixture of science fiction. mystery, and humor that made her previous book a success.
Pillar of Frozen Light
Science fiction novel of romance, philosophy, interstellar travel, and mysterious artefacts.
by Barry Rosenberg

Jonan’s indulgent life on Earth is upturned when he meets Yerudit, a remarkable woman from a distant colony. After an intense affair, Yerudit leaves Jonan to pursue a pilgrimage across the galaxy. He finds himself following her on his own journey of self-discovery: encountering enigmatic artefacts, haunted by a shadowy figure, and discovering a life he never realised he was missing.

This novel combines romance with philosophy, strange alien vistas with quiet mindfulness, star travel technology with simple self-reliance. Through it all stands the Pillar, an inexplicable object that gives those who encounter it a glimpse of knowledge beyond human understanding.

"The twists are plentiful and the descriptions are literally out of this world, making this an immersive novel that’s easy to enjoy. Rosenberg’s inventiveness is matched with amusing and snappy dialogue that adds to the characterization of Jonan on his journey from a generally selfish person into a being of the galaxy. Overall, I’d definitely recommend Pillar of Frozen Light" 5 Stars ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite
Sherlock Mars
Science Fiction Mystery Comedy by Jackie Kingon.

A riotous concoction: fine dining, virtual reality, and murder. Delightfully weird.

Molly Marbles runs a successful bistro on terraformed Mars. When a virtual restaurant opens next door, offering the experience of delicacies from across the solar system with none of the calories, what will it do to her business?

Then, when the virtual restaurant’s owner is murdered in her kitchen, Molly, amateur detective, cranks into high gear to help the police solve the mystery.

Meanwhile, she is planning her pop-star daughter’s wedding, keeping her kitchen staff from feuding, and protecting her android friend from the humans-only mob. Plus, the infamous Cereal Serial Killer has escaped from prison.Things are getting hectic, but Molly is a resilient and resourceful woman, whose knack for mysteries has her nick-named ‘Sherlock Mars’.
Warrior Errant
Military Science Fiction novel
by Harry Elliott

Humanity has moved to the stars; Earth is an old legend. Now the moons of Mitera are home: stormy Landbreak, bleak Avernus, verdant Ishra. These different worlds have shaped distinct societies.

A deadly insurgency has broken out on Ishra, and the military forces of these contrasting cultures combine to help fight it. They must overcome their differences and mutual suspicions or risk being destroyed by a hostile environment and a canny enemy.

Private James Dalton of Landbreak has questions. Why are they fighting? How can he work with the enigmatic Avernii Transhumans? What secrets lie in the depths of Ishra’s vast jungle?

Follow Private Dalton and his squad as they experience the horrors of war, face their prejudices, and discover their own place in this conflict. As the Avernii say, “A warrior must know his fight.” But James Dalton may not survive the answers he so desperately seeks.
The Madness of Pursuit
Novella by Carmelo Rafala.

Dema Ägan is a notorious pirate woman, who killed her former captain, stole his ship, and plies the seas with her J’Niah witch companion, Rymah. Or so the legends say.

Searching for clues about the famous fugitive, a mysterious man is presented with several books which tell her story from different points of view. As he – and we – read these conflicting tales of adventure on seas filled with danger, ancient power, love and betrayal, we come to see there might be more to her story than the legends suggest.

“A magnificent speculative reimagining of classical nautical fiction. Rafala’s swashbuckling tale fuses adventures on the high seas with alien tech to create a compelling modern narrative.”— Tendai Huchu, author of The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician.
Soul Searching
Near-future SF thriller by Stephen Embleton.

Science has learned to understand the soul, and can track souls through this life and beyond.

A specialist unit of the South African police is using a Soul Tracker device in a harrowing search for a serial killer. As Tracker Ruth Hicks and her partner Franklin Banks race to find the killer before the next victim dies, the case becomes frighteningly personal. They begin to question the morality of their methods.

When one’s soul can incriminate them before birth, can there ever be justice?
Who can be trusted with the power to look inside the soul?

“Tense and exciting with lots of good twists. I really enjoyed it!” —V Anne Smith, author of A Code for Carolyn: A Genomic Thriller
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