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sci fi – cyberpunk

Sci fi stories in a cyber realm, often featuring hackers in a dystopian society. Return to general Sci Fi

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Word Count: 38000

Summary: RISE (noun / verb) Eight definitions to inspire writers around the world, and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell: 1) An upward slope or movement 2) A beginning or origin 3) An increase in amount or number 4) An angry reaction 5) To take up arms 6) To return from death 7) To become heartened or elated 8) To exert oneself to meet a challenge Rise features 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Rise Anthology
Rise
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Genres:

Word Count: 32000

Summary: After a job gone wrong, Special Agent Olgo is trapped within the bowels of Mars with no means of escape. The device that imprisons the trauma within them is about to fail, and the past terrors kept hidden by it must be contained for Olgo’s sanity and everyone's safety. From the darkness comes a tiny voice, and a tinier hope: "Hello?" *** The first book in the ‘Cold Rush' Verse follows Agent Olgo as their corporate masters give them what could be their big break: a mission to Mars. But trying to change the working conditions in the planet's underground cities proves more challenging than the agent could have imagined. When a wearable device Olgo uses to block emotions begins to fail, an unlikely friendship changes everything as Olgo struggles to prevent spilling more blood on the Red Planet.

Cold Rising - Rohan O'Duill - Cold Rush
Cold Rising
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Word Count: 119000

Summary: A single father fights to retain control as he shares his body and mind with an evolving AI. It’s been nine years since the government banned all technology. So, when Joel Lodowick, a young transgender father struggling to support his five-year-old daughter, has an old bionic upload itself into his head, he is faced with a decision: Go to the cops and risk prosecution? Or use the robot’s skills to turn his life around? Scared of losing his daughter, Joel chooses the latter. Heightened intelligence and physical enhancements quickly land him a better job and a brighter future. But things take a sinister turn when Joel realizes his uninvited companion has an agenda of its own, which may or may not include leaving him in control. Unable to approach the government who covered up the truth about AI sentience, Joel finds himself on the run. With his daughter’s life on the line and his own body turning against him, he must find a way to convince the bionic in his head to value his human life before he loses the chance forever. Find out what happens in My Heart is Human by Reese Hogan!

My Heart is Human - Reese Hogan
My Heart Is Human
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Word Count: 117000

Summary: You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family… Quirk and Moth have avoided killing each other long enough to solve another case. They decide on a local job next, and take up the search for a missing scientist. How could Quirk know this new mystery put them on a headlong collision course with his troubled past, a plethora of personal issues, and a hoard of genetic hybrid creatures with an appetite for anything that moves? When their client dies in mysterious circumstances, law enforcement pursues the dysfunctional duo all the way to a research lab in frozen Yellowknife. Can Quirk and Moth find the scientist before they are banged up for murder, or has she already been eaten? Is it coincidence Quirk’s father-in-law bought the company? Can they expose the shadow from Quirk’s past and clear their names? Quirk and Moth need time, but it’s fast running out, and the bodies are piling up. Find out what happens in The Carborundum Conundrum!

The Carborundum Conundrum - Robin C.M. Duncan - Quirk & Moth
The Carborundum Conundrum
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: Welcome to Hub! Just a few simple rules apply: 1. Never Steal from Dragons 2. See Rule #1 3. Never Work for Dragons In Hub, a city of treachery and deceit, Gelsey, a pixie, is one of the best thieves around. When a smash and grab assignment turns into a job interview with a powerful dragon, Gelsey finds herself a part of a crew including five more of the best criminals Hub has to offer. Her crew includes Silai, a con artist with a deadly secret. Kelthar, a mage who’s bent on self-destruction. Aikila, a smuggler set on avenging her father's murder. Nyx, a hacker coming off a busted run, and Lorcan, a mercenary whose child is being held hostage. The dragon pulls all their strings, forcing them to accept an impossible job: break into a fortress nobody in all of Hub’s long history has ever cracked. And if they fail, they’ll end up dead one way or another. A wild mix of fairy tale and Cyberpunk that hits all the marks of classic crime capers. Reads like Elmore Leonard and Neil Stephenson playing D&D in a pixie-infested bar and having the time of their lives way past last call. Kat Richardson, Bestselling author of the Greywalker novels Dugan weaves an excellent heist story by blending the fantasy, cyberpunk, and even noir genres. The world building is top notch, including the lore which uses familiar creatures, but in new ways. This is the book for you if you enjoy cyberpunk, urban fantasy, heist stories, or any combination thereof! Bishop O'Connell Author of American Faerie Tale series and Two-Gun Witch

Never Steal From Dragons - Patrick Dugan - PixiePunk
Never Steal from Dragons
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Word Count: 100000

Summary: They say, “Never work with androids or children.” Quirk had one job to do, deliver papers to a Milan mafia boss, before leaving Earth for his home in the asteroids. But that was before being tailed, poisoned—oh, yes—and hijacked into raising foulmouthed fourteen-year-old convent girl Angelika Moratti, aka Moth, who'd rather see him asphyxiate in space. Fleeing assassins, Quirk, Moth and her syRen® android S-0778 ride the space elevator to the Moon, where Quirk hires on to hunt an ex-terra-former who somehow used an android to murder his doctor. But which android of the two hundred under Lunaville’s dome? The trail of bodies grows, time is running out; the only way they can save the dome and the two thousand souls beneath it is to solve The Mandroid Murders. Genres: Science Fiction / Thriller / Mystery / Adventure / LGBT and Non Binary Market: Adult

The Mandroid Murders - Robin C.M. Duncan
The Mandroid Murders
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Word Count: 45000

Summary: Tangents & Tachyons is Scott's second anthology - six sci fi and sci-fantasy shorts that run the gamut from time travel to hopepunk and retro spec fic: Eventide: Tanner Black awakes to find himself in his own study, staring out the window at the end of the Universe. But who brought him there, and why? Chinatown: Deryn lives in an old San Francisco department store with his girlfriend Gracie, and scrapes by with his talent as a dreamcaster for the Chinese overlords. But what if a dream could change the world? Across the Transom: What if someone or something took over your body on an urgent mission to save your world? Pareidolia: Simon's not like other college kids. His mind can rearrange random patterns to reveal the images lurking inside. But where did his strange gift come from? And what if there are others like him out there too? Lamplighter: Fen has a crush on his friend Lewin, who's in a competing guild. But when the world goes dark, only a little illumination can save it. And only Fen, Lewin and their friend Alissa can light the spark. A Liminal Sky short. Prolepsis: Sean is the closeted twenty-five-year-old editor of an 80's sci-fi 'zine called Prolepsis. When an unabashedly queer story arrives from a mysterious writer, it blows open Sean's closet door, and offers him the chance to change the world - and the future. Plus two flash fiction stories – The System and The Frog Prince, never before published. This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place.

Tangents & Tachons - J. Scott Coatsworth
Tangents & Tachyons
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Word Count: 100212

Summary: The America of our near-future is divided across socio-economic and technological-philosophical lines. The Traditionalists eschew any and all post-human technologies in favor of tangible materials. They uphold strict hierarchical structures based on religion, family, and leadership. They long for the return of the global markets wiped out by a world-shaking disaster called The Great Tide. The Interconnected stand in stark opposition to their ways, living without property, family, or religion, and modifying their bodies with the help of new and invasive technologies. They speak to each other wordlessly, employing a technological telepathy they call ‘thexting’ to communicate mind to mind, and embrace the gifting economy of Merit to maintain their post-scarcity lifestyles. Marto, the traveling Interconnected historian, has exiled himself to protect the ones he loves from his dark secret. In his absence, Helen, a runaway Traditionalist aristocrat, struggles to find her place among the Interconnected, unwilling to return to her cruel family. Reyleena, the former head of security in the Interconnected town of Reverside, has returned to a life of quiet solitude, broken occasionally by the impositions of The Other, an omnipresent AI, who will not leave her alone. Meanwhile, Barnabas, the Traditionalist leader of New Atlantic, fights to return to his township in the wake of an attack. Nora, his sister, remains in Reverside and must come to terms with her new life in captivity.

The Wakeful Wanderer's Guide to Disillusionment - Jim Infantino - Wakeful Wanderer's Guide
The Wakeful Wanderer’s Guide
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Word Count: 99000

Summary: It’s kill or be killed for the crew of the Ungovernable. With the mafia after their heads, ex-smuggler pilot Jez and the crew have two choices—run, or fight back. Problem is, there’s nowhere in the System to run. So instead, they’re going to take the entire crime syndicate down. But pulling a sting on the mafia—and living to tell the tale—is going to take a hell of a lot more than just good intentions. And when you can’t even trust the people you’re working with—well, let’s just say they’ll have to master the art of subterfuge, or die trying. Trojan Horse is the sixth book in R.M. Olson’s science fiction space opera series The Ungovernable. With a crazy, close-knit crew, plenty of humour, and loads of action, Firefly meets Ocean’s Eleven in this fast-paced, kick-ass, wickedly fun series.

Trojan Horse - R.M. Olson - The Ungovernable
Trojan Horse
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Word Count: 120,000

Summary: In Zero-Day Rising, the third book of the BetterWorld trilogy, Kiyoko resolves to free her sister and bring down President Rand and MediaCorp. However, MediaCorp unleashes its ultimate plan: direct mind control with cerebral implants. Can Kiyoko and Waylee’s team stop them? Can they penetrate MediaCorp’s networks and end the company’s grip over humanity? All while eluding the biggest manhunt in history, in a country where everyone and everything is under surveillance?

Zero-Day Rising - T.C. Weber
Zero-Day Rising
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Word Count: 84000

Summary: Someone’s hunting the Ungovernable. And they’re not going to stop until every one of the crew is dead. When an enemy from ex-smuggler pilot Jez’s past reappears, determined to extract revenge, the crew of the Ungovernable have two options: fight, or run. But when a hyperjump gone wrong leaves the Ungovernable crippled, her weapons down and her cloaking disabled, their options become scarce indeed. As they scramble to repair the ship with rapidly-dwindling supplies and even more rapidly-dwindling oxygen, their pursuers are inexorably closing in. And if they’re going to survive, each of the crew will have to confront dangerous secrets from their past, before those secrets come back to destroy them. Time Bomb is the third book in R.M. Olson’s science fiction space opera series The Ungovernable. With a crazy, close-knit crew, plenty of humour, and loads of action, Firefly meets Ocean’s Eleven in this fast-paced, kick-ass, wickedly fun series.

Time Bomb - R.M. Olson - The Ungovernable
Time Bomb
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Word Count: 325

Summary: It’s 200 years after WWIII and he earth is poisoned with Carbon-14 and plutonium. Following the decade long night of nuclear winter and the Great Famines, what’s left of the human race is fragmented and much of the old world is nuclear wastelands inhabited by different factions, from the cannibalistic Ferals, who have reverted to savagery, to the Scavengers who pick among the ruins of the old world cities for useful items to barter with the Dusteaters, nomadic warlike factions who are at war with the despotic Utopians, the most technologically advanced and powerful of the human enclaves, who have forged a new civilization that is controlled by an elite of fertile scientists and intelligentsia who live underground in Sub City, which sprawls beneath Silo City and Surfer Town, where the infertile topsiders called the Mudsurfers live and work for their troglodyte masters. Thundersky often wonders why he doesn’t get sick? All the topsiders get sick from the radiation and the cancers. So sick, that living to 35 is considered a grand old age. Only the Scholars live for longer. But the Scholars manufacture the medicinals that everybody needs to survive. Thundersky is different, not only is he immune from the radiation and cancers that have plagued the earth for 500 years, he’s also a genius and just 19, he has designed an antimatter impulse drive capable of achieving 50% the speed of light. It’s been months since Thundersky submitted his data and applied to the prestigious Tech Training Academy but has heard nothing since. Not all the Scholars are tyrants; some believe the exploitation of topsiders is cruel and wrong. The human experimentations conducted in the Utopian prisons on Dusteater terrorists is barbaric and inhuman. Among them, Grand High Scholar Blackstone Washington and High Scholar Blossom Flora, who for the past twenty years, following the purge of the geneticists and bioengineers have been protecting the “Genesis Child” from the Grand High Council who would kill him. But now people are getting suspicious and asking questions about the topsider who never gets sick, they must act quickly before his true identity is discovered and contrive to bring Thundersky into Sub City and alter his records with a little help from the ARTI-QS-Six-Zero-Two Quantum AI. Zim Steven, head of the SSS is soon suspicious of the new young genius and discovers that he is the Genesis Child, but before he can act, an ancient quantum system is activated at a secret location beneath the flooded ruins of Manhattan, and a countdown begins to unleash another thermonuclear holocaust upon our dying world and a race against time begins. Thundersky is selected to go to New York with an elite team of military tacticals to locate the NORAD system and deactivate it. Meanwhile, Zim Steven lays his plans to make certain that Thundersky and his companions never return to Silo City alive. After their transport drone is shot down by Dusteaters, Corporal Venus Jane and Fox, Thundersky and his best friend Tiger White are the only survivors, with just an armored vehicle. They are pursued by Dusteaters and the infamous Godders of Pennsylvania and a desperate battle for survival begins. While in the wilderness, the foursome make unlikely allies, and Thundersky falls in love with a handsome young Dusteater fighter, Reaper Bloodbuck. Utopia’s arch enemy, the queen of the Dusteaters, the Prophetess will reveal things to Thundersky’s that will unravel his life and everything he believes in, and soon, it’s realized that the humble Mudsurfer is far more powerful than even the Scholars could have imagined…

Norad's Ghost – Chris Black
NORAD's Ghost
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Word Count: 78000

Summary: She’s lost her ship, lost her job, lost her reputation, and is on the run from the law. Jez is a damn good pilot, and she’s always worked alone. Until she got picked up for smuggling, that is. Now she’s an ex-con and ex-employed, and there are plenty of people with old scores to settle. So when a mysterious stranger in a battered pilot's coat comes to her with an offer that sounds too good to be true, she reluctantly agrees to listen. All she has to do is fly one little job. Four ex-convicts. One charismatic mastermind. And the most dangerous heist the System has ever seen. Firefly meets Ocean’s Eleven in R.M. Olson’s fast-paced, kick-ass, wickedly fun space opera series, The Ungovernable. Grab a copy and join the crew.

Zero Day Threat - R.M. Olson - The Ungovernable
Zero Day Threat
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Word Count: 124000

Summary: Althea struggles to adapt to an unexpected twist in her life—not being kidnapped in six whole months. The strange police from the faraway city claim the abilities she thought of as magic are really ‘psionics,’ and say she is far stronger than anyone they have ever seen. Despite their curiosity, they let her remain in the Badlands to protect her from an evil they call corporations. Of course, Althea knows all too well how powerful her healing gift is. For most of her life, she’d been a prize taken in raids. Tribes have killed to own her, and she let them. But the Prophet is done being passive. Having a family changes everything. No longer afraid to use her powers to protect herself, Althea refuses to be taken again… even when corporate mercenaries find her.

Prophet's Journey - Matthew S. Cox
Prophet's Journey
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Word Count: 52,500

Summary: The cerebral interface has revolutionised society. Need a ride? With a thought, the cab is on its way. Want an adventure? Enter a VR 5 computer game nearly indistinguishable from reality. Amanda arranges for her Big Sisters Program little sister, Rachel, to spend a day gaming as a fourteenth birthday present. Amanda never suspects that her insane ex-boyfriend, Jim, will use a computer virus to trap her and her companions in the game. A pleasant diversion becomes a life and death struggle as her party seek a way to come back to the real world without triggering a program that will cause nanobots to rip their brains to shreds. To complicate matters, in the game scenario the adventurers have been transformed into cats. Will the party survive? Will Amanda admit that Rachel’s older brother, Tyrell, might just be her future? Will the computer virus Jim used to trap them become a cyber plague that could kill thousands?

Cats - Stephen B. Pearl - Cyberworld
Cats
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Word Count: 100,000

Summary: In The Wrath of Leviathan, the second book of the BetterWorld trilogy, Waylee faces life in prison for daring to expose MediaCorp's schemes to control the world. Exiled in São Paulo, her sister Kiyoko and their hacker friends continue the fight, seeking to end the conglomerate's stranglehold on virtual reality, information, and politics. But MediaCorp and their government allies may quash the rebellion before it takes off. And unknown to Kiyoko and her friends, a team of ruthless mercenaries is after them, and is closing in fast.

The Wrath of Leviathan - T.C. Weber - BetterWorld
The Wrath of Leviathan
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Word Count: 144000

Summary: Risa Black will decide the fate of an entire planet. After all, an angel told her so. Orphaned young, she grows up among the resistance, fighting to give the people of Mars command of their own destiny. Two governments from Earth vie for control of the Red Planet. She wants them gone, regardless of how many explosives it takes. To the outside world, she’s an emotionless, broken marionette. Inside, her father’s fiery end haunts her every waking moment. She never cared for destiny or politics, until the angel Raziel focused her anger. Both friend and foe alike believe her grip on sanity tenuous, but she knows he is real, and pities those who will never feel his divine presence. Whenever her adrenaline wears off, guilt at what her bombs did cuts deep, as does the apathy of the citizens she fights to liberate. The pain worsens after unexpected love cracks open her armored heart, causing her to question the role she plays in the bloody conflict. Torn between duty and desire, she learns change never comes without loss. Even to the Hand of Raziel.

The Hand of Raziel - Matthew S. Cox - Daughter of Mars
The Hand of Raziel
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Word Count: 131000

Summary:

In the aftermath of World War Three, the most famous face in the world belongs to a nine year old girl.

Maya Oman is the daughter of the woman who controls what’s left of civilization, the CEO of Ascendant Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Her smile is as ubiquitous as air, selling everything from vital medicine to vanity drugs with risky side effects. Lifelike android clones reside in over a dozen homes, shielding her from the violent resentment of a population straining under her mother’s boot heel. Ascendant’s power comes from Xenodril, a drug capable of reversing the effects of Fade, a disease some claim came from aliens or from the governments that predate the war. Only Ascendant sells it, and at a price only Citizens can afford. The rest are left to die. Maya’s earliest memories are of living alone in a penthouse apartment, desperate for the attention of a mother who never visits. Forbidden to go out except to record advertising video, her only friend has been the ‘net. When she is taken for ransom by a group of mercenaries with nothing left to lose, she discovers her life may not be what she thought it was—or wants.

Heir Ascendant - Matthew S. Cox - Faded Skies
Heir Ascendant
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Word Count: 148000

Summary: For most twelve-year-olds, being kidnapped is terrifying. For Althea, it’s only Tuesday. Her powers of healing make her a precious commodity in the Badlands, a place where the strong write the law in blood. For as long as she can remember, she has lived either as a possession or a goddess. Althea contents herself with captivity as long as she can help others, even those who killed to own her. After three whole months in the same village, the friendship of a young warrior makes her feel almost like a member of the tribe rather than a prisoner. Alas, raiders seize her yet again. For the first time in six years, being stolen hurts. Following a reluctant escape, she questions if she should dare risk using her powers to defend herself, and those she has come to love. Her attempt to return to the tribe leaves her lost and alone and, for the first time in her life, trying to stay free. Alas, two threats far beyond her experience to understand also hunt her. One wishes to use her for his grand scheme—and one wants to destroy her.

Prophet of the Badlands - Matthew S. Cox
Prophet of the Badlands
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Word Count: 119000

Summary: Most cops get to deal with living criminals, but Agent Kirsten Wren isn’t most cops. A gifted psionic with a troubled past, she possesses a rare combination of abilities that makes her a powerful weapon against paranormal threats. Adrift in a society that fears people like her, she feels alone in a city of millions. In 2418, rampant violence and corporate warfare have left no shortage of angry wraiths. Most are little more than fleeting shadows or eerie whispers in the darkness, but every so often, one gathers enough strength to threaten the living. A series of attacks by androids known as dolls leave the normal police baffled. Unable to explain what made the machines malfunction, they punt the case to Division 0. Kirsten’s investigation into who – or what – is behind the random murders soon makes her a target for corporate assassins. Despite her past, and the cynical city around her, she clings to the belief that no one is beyond redemption. Alas, the killer is desperate to claim as many innocent souls as possible, and one might just be hers.

Division Zero - Matthew S. Cox - Division Zero
Division Zero
Published:
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