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sci fi – dystopian & post apocalyptic

Sci fi stories that posit a society or world destroyed by something terrible and/or under autocratic rule. Return to general Sci Fi

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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: Language is no longer learned, it is streamed to neural implants regulated by lang-laws. Those who cannot afford monthly Language Streaming services are feral, living at the fringes of society. Big tech corporations control language, the world’s most valuable commodity. But when a massive cyberattack causes a global language outage, catastrophe looms. Europol detective Emyr Morgan is assigned to the case. Suspect number one is Professor Ebba Black, the last native speaker of language in the automated world, and leader of the Babel cyberterrorist organization. But Emyr soon learns that in a world of corporate power, where they who control language control everything, all is not as it seems. After all, if the mysterious Ebba Black is to blame, why is the Russian Federation being framed for an outage it claims to have no responsibility for? And why is Ebba now targeted for assassination? As he and Ebba collide, each with their divergent agendas and value systems, Emyr faces an existential dilemma between loyalty and betrayal, when everything he once believed in is called into question. To prevent the imminent collapse of civilization, and a deadly war between the great federations, he must figure out friend from foe, as his life may very well depend on it. And with the odds stacked against him, he must find a way to stop the Babel Apocalypse.

COMING SOON
The Babel Apocalypse - Vyvyan Evans
The Babel Apocalypse
Available on:

Word Count: 67000

Summary: Androids & Aliens is Scott's third short story collection - eight sci fi and sci-fantasy shorts that run the gamut from cyborgs to (comedic) alien invasions: Rise: The rise in sea levels caused by climate change swallowed Venice beneath the lagoon half a century ago. But what if we could bring it back? Ping: I was a real estate agent by day, and a museum curator in the evening at a sci-fi museum. What I saw one night changed everything. What the Rain Brings: Miriam struggles to make a living in post-climate-change Vancouver. But her friend Catalina has it even worse in the Arizona desert. So Miri hatches a plan. High Seven: Zan dreams of making full reals - immersive live virtual reality skins - but his low score may doom him to a life of cheap coding. Full Real: Dek's given up his life of spying for the city. But one more case awaits him. Will he regret it more if he takes it, or turns it down? Shit City: The Bay Area is being walloped by a hurricane, and seventeen-year-old Jason Vasquez has been relocated to a refugee city in the Nevada Desert. Will it be temporary shelter, or change his life? Firedrake: Kerry has always wondered about his deadly powers. But a mysterious bunch of violet roses starts him on the path to discovery - even if he's not sure he's going to like what he finds. The Last Human Heart: I'm one of the Remainers, the few cyborg humans still living on this busted planet. But if my still-human heart finally gives out, I may not live to find out the truth about who I am. This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place, and the first publication of the Pacific Climate Tryptich - What the Rain Brings, High Seven, and Full Real - in any form.

COMING SOON
Androids & Aliens - J. Scott Coatsworth
Androids & Aliens
Available on:

Word Count: 109,000

Summary: Time is running out for planet Earth. An insidious Martian plague has been infecting the planet for over twenty years, and has resisted all human efforts to eradicate it. With global extinction now imminent, the only possible solution left is to directly access Martian technology by a daring space mission–to the moon first and then Mars. But how feasible is the ambitious plan to send astronauts into space in 1945? Will the super-weapon, hidden by the Martians at the lake on the moon, hold the desperately needed cure for mankind's survival? Can it really be used to instigate the future of another timeline on Earth? The stakes are high and so is the risk of contact and conflict with Martians, but one astronaut unknowingly holds the key to the evolution of the Martian race and the reason why the aliens came to Earth in The War Of The Worlds. Gateway To Mars is the third volume of The Martian Diaries series that continues the classic H.G. Wells Mars novel in a compelling, unmissable action adventure. If you're a fan of The War Of The Worlds you won't want to miss this story of survival, despair and hope, so get your copy today! What readers have said: “A really well written, excellent continuation of the story and a truly brilliant tribute to HG Wells! I do recommend!” “An excellent third part to this incredible series!” “Boy this was a good book! I love the writing style... it's very true to the original story.”

Gateway to Mars - H.E. Wilburson - The Martian Diaries
The Martian Diaries: Vol.3 Gateway To Mars
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Word Count: 150000

Summary: Can a retired assassin be the savior his people need? How does a former assassin save his fellow humans from extinction? By allying them with mrrogs of course! But that’s easier said than done as humans are understandably distrustful and suspicious of sescurei, the official species of the InterGalactic community. Leopold must convince them that Mastrodai’s offer of alliance isn’t a trick, which means diplomacy, patience, and tenacity. Times like this make him grateful that he has two strong mates to lean on. And when it comes to understanding his own people, he’d be wise to follow Alex’s lead. Alex has been too long away from her family and is thrilled to see them again. But with reunions come old pressures, old doubts, and old wounds. She must negotiate who she was with who she is, while helping her mates and her colony come together with the shared goal of freedom. Mastrodai, meanwhile, finds himself in the minority for the first time in his life, and the constant hostility has him doubting the wisdom of their choices. But he’s devoted to his human mates and determined to see things through no matter the discomfort… or danger. Not everyone wants what Leopold and his mates have to give, and he needs to break through the resistance humans have built up after generations of degradation, humiliation, and fear. He must win his people’s trust, solve the riddle of his parents’ rings, and navigate the new complexities of his love life. Being an assassin was so much easier. Reader Discretion advised: PTSD, abusive family, a cult, MMF romance, dystopian.

Resistance - M.D. Grimm - Saga of the Bold People
Resistance
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Word Count: 33000

Summary: Clarity (noun) Four definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell: 1) Coherent and intelligible 2) Transparent or pure 3) Attaining certainty about something 4) Easy to see or hear Clarity features 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Clarity anthology
Clarity
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Genres:

Word Count: 91000

Summary: She barely survived the last round. As the Red Dog Gang closes in on her Family, can she survive the next? After the devastating events of our last chapter, all private eye and mafia wife Jacqueline Spadros wants is to get her life back. Then a missing person she thought she'd never track down falls into her lap. Jacqui is thrown into a series of events which not only puts her and everyone around her into danger, but changes her life forever. Warning: on-screen murder, major consent issues, smoking, language, infidelity, betrayal, description of injury, gore, on-screen suicide, child injury This is chapter 9 of a 13-part serial novel. Please read these books in order: * The Jacq of Spades * The Queen of Diamonds * The Ace of Clubs * The King of Hearts * The Ten of Spades * The Five of Diamonds * The Two of Hearts * The Three of Spades * The Knave of Hearts <-- you are here Book 10 coming October 2023

The Knave of Hearts - Patricia Loofbourrow - Red Dog Conspiracy
The Knave of Hearts
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Word Count: 100,000

Summary: Lida was their last chance for an uncolonized planet. But a world-spanning fungus had colonized it first. Agetha and her husband have spent their whole lives in the fleet’s zero-G. Now all is turmoil as the fleet lands, discovering they are surrounded by a single fungal biomass spanning the entire planet. To build a new home, the fleet must confront a dangerous organism, and Agetha must decide if she can raise a family in this inhospitable landscape. Jane Brighton holds tenuous command over the colony and its administrators. She and the other gene-modded leaders emerged from their four-hundred-year suspended animation to find a crew much different from the one that departed Old Earth. Jane must direct the colony’s fragile growth and defend it against being overrun by the fast-growing biomass. But there is something none of the colonists know. The massive organism that spans the planet is not simply a fungal mass, nor even a chimerical combination of species that once roamed the planet. The biomass has desires and goals, and one is to know these strange beings carving out a home in its midst. Download today to read of the colony’s fate in Of Mycelium and Men! Genres: Space Opera / Science Fiction / Colonization / Alien Contact / LGBT / Non Binary / Trans Market: Adult

Of Mycelium and Men - William C. Tracy - The Biomass Conflux
Of Mycelium and Men
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Word Count: 299

Summary: This action filled, edge of your seat dystopian adventure is set in the near future, when a space probe is returning to Earth from the Cares 1 Asteroid with geological and biological samples frozen in ice for billions of years. It’s big news, the discovery of ancient organisms from an extra-terrestrial body. After the samples arrive at Interplan Astro-Research facility in the quiet city of Worcester Massachusetts, with the world’s media gathered, eager to hear official announcement that the samples are indeed biological, thus discovering evidence of complex life beyond our planet. Not everyone’s excited or happy about having alien lifeforms coming to Earth, and one group of terrorists have planted a thermobaric bomb in an elevator shaft of the facility. The bomb detonates and the facility explodes, killing hundreds of people, workers, protestors, scientists and TV crews, but far from destroying the samples, the explosion has released them from their level one quarantine and unleashes a deadly parasite that quickly infects the citizens of Worcester with infestations of strand red worms that infest the living. Despite efforts to contain the “Cares Pestis” AKA the “MR. Ripple” it spreads fast and becomes through the USA and beyond, causing a complete breakdown of society. But then comes something else, something far more menacing that threatens the very existence of human life on earth, and for Colonel Troy Glass and his fiancé Yvette, a deadly struggle for survival begins as they head west, to a secret government facility known as Haven. On their way, they pick up an eclectic group of fellow survivors, who together, battle against all the odds, both human and alien…

Mr Ripple - - Chris Black
Mr. Ripple
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Word Count: 110725

Summary: 133 years. Time is up. Lead Engineer Tara and her partner Sasha face the coming end of the facility generator. For generations It has served thousands of people who have been hiding underground from the ravages of the war, and the lingering Enemy above. Up and down the Grand Elevator, though the entire facility, every resident's life will be shaken when the generator sparks its last amp. The Great Actual, the anarchistic Citizens, and all of the regressed sub-societies in between will have to face the unknowns of the surface. Old fears will pale against new circumstances beyond their imagination, and new attention brings judgment upon all.

Rubberman's Exodus - Joseph Picard
Rubberman's Exodus
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Word Count: 82000

Summary: Royal Orders is Book 3 of the Suicide Arc. This time, it's Mitsuko Yamato-Windsor's turn in the spotlight. Since leaving the Navy, Mitsuko has become chief of King Edward's personal security, not to mention resuming her engagement. When a would-be assassin nearly kills Edward, she goes on the warpath, following a trail leading to a cult known as the Cubists. Except the founder and leader of the Cubists is no angry cleric running a jihad from the shadows. Master Ansel is, in fact, an affable space engineer who found an interesting philosophy. Someone else has coopted his legacy for violence. To find that person, he suggests she travel to sultry, war-torn Aphrodite with his most brilliant follower: Suicide. Their journey will bring them face-to-face with Gerard Kurz, a man who isn't the fanatic he seems to be. He's worse. And he plans to unleash an ancient technology. He will kidnap Suicide to bend Mitsuko to his will. Only that summons the other Children of Amargosa and the full might of the Navy. It all comes to an explosive head on the peak of Aphrodite's most sacred mountain.

Royal Orders - TS Hottle - Suicide Arc
Royal Orders
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Word Count: 130000

Summary: Life after the Crash. Over a century after the end of the Earth, life goes on in Redemption, the sole remaining Lunar colony, and possibly the last outpost of humankind in the Solar System. But with an existential threat burrowing its way into the Moon's core, humanity must recolonize the homeworld. Twenty brave dropnauts set off on a mission to explore the empty planet. Four of them—Rai, Hera, Ghost and Tien—have trained for two-and-a-half years for the Return. They're bound for Martinez Base, just outside the Old Earth city of San Francisco. But what awaits them there will turn their assumptions upside down—and in the process, either save or destroy what's left of humanity.

Dropnauts - J. Scott Coatsworth
Dropnauts
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Word Count: 105000

Summary: RETURN TO THE MEAN STREETS OF AUTUMN Valerius Bakhoum is dead and buried. Too bad he’s still flat broke and behind on the rent. Unsure what to do with himself—and of who he is—Valerius resumes his career as a detective by taking up the oldest case in his files: where do the children go? Throughout his own youth on the streets of Autumn, last of the Great Flying Cities, Valerius knew his fellow runaways disappeared from back alleys and other hiding places more than anyone realized. Street kids even had a myth to explain it: the Gotchas, who steal urchins away in the night. With nothing but time on his hands, Valerius dives in head-first to settle the question once and for all and runs smack into a more pressing mystery: who killed one of Valerius’ former lovers? And do they know Valerius is still alive? Stalk the shadows of Autumn’s hidden places by Valerius Bakhoum’s side as he shines a light on secrets both sacred and profane, ones with shockingly personal connections to who he was—and who he might become. New Life in Autumn is the sequel to the Manly Wade Wellman Award-winning A Fall in Autumn.

New Life in Autumn - Michael G. Williams
New Life in Autumn
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Word Count: 65000

Summary: A young man sold into servitude has his loyalties tested in ways he never imagined. Raised in an orphanage in Dickens, Daniel doesn't know who his parents were, where he comes from, or even his last name. Like all orphans, on his 16th birthday, he's sold to the highest bidder. Not knowing where he's going, who's bought him, or what they even want with him, Daniel embarks on an adventure he never thought he'd take. He finds love, a family, and a secure future - yet in a split second, makes a decision he ends up regretting the rest of his life. Brothers begins fifteen years before the Red Dog Conspiracy series. Warning: Language, smoking, use of alcohol and drugs, attempted suicide by hanging, M/M underage sexuality with consent issues, forced servitude, blood, gun violence, a man being beaten by a horsewhip, murder, discussion of child prostitution, underage M/F sexuality with age gap (female older).

Brothers - Patricia Loofbourrow - Red Dog Conspiracy
Brothers
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Word Count: 104000

Summary: Seg Holton yearns to leave his isolated farming dome and travel the ravaged Earth, or even to Mars Colony. Only a few things stand in his way: an authoritarian government, deadly storms, and an enchanting outsider who may be the most dangerous of all. Fast-forward 500 years. Civilization has nearly wiped itself out of existence, and is on the long, slow road to recovery, held together by an agreement called the Pact between cities, agricultural domes, and a new global government. Seg is a farmer in Holtondome. Like his ancestors, he's chosen a life of ignorance about technology and the outside world in favor of a simple existence, free of the corruption that almost destroyed the human race. His world turns upside down when Fi arrives. Tall, exotic, and far too wise for her age, she challenges everything he's been taught to believe, making him question for the first time if a simple life is right for him or, indeed, for the rest of humanity. But Fi has secrets darker than her black-ringed eyes — bigger than the Pact — that have implications far beyond Seg and the residents of Holtondome.

Holtondome - Ryan South wick - Timeless Keeper Saga
Holtondome
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: It's the year 2100. Nan has had to leave her peaceful home above what used to be the Arctic Circle for something extraordinarily old-fashioned: a physical meeting with someone in, of all places, a city. If she doesn't contract a fatal disease first, she might choke to death on Manhattan's Rococo holography. And why hasn't she heard anything from her best friend, Trix? But things are about to get a whole lot worse than having dinner with the man who hired her to devise a craft, which should get all those annoying aliens off welfare and back to their home planet. Sue Hollister Barr's first publishing credits included articles in The New York Times and Twisted, a somewhat tongue-in-cheek horror novel first published conventionally in 1992 and still selling. "Holly" has also taught creative writing, with the blessings of state certification, and was senior editor for a literary agency for ten years. "Welcome, my dearest dear, to Rococo—a novella with as many plot flourishes as its name suggests. In a richly imagined future, Nan is designing the propulsion system for a vessel with a mysterious itinerary, and she's working for an elusive boss. Her work, she discovers, is of interest to many parties, and she has the dark suspicion that not all that interest is healthy. There is indeed something sinister afoot, and the voice of Nan's grandfather echoes in her mind: 'Only you can overcome this.' Sue Hollister Barr's characters will draw you into this tale, leading you through fantastic settings and swirling twists. But be warned: once may not be enough. Rococo is a story that invites—and rewards—re-reading." Amanda Coffin, Editor

Rococo - Sue Hollister Barr
Rococo
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Word Count: 50000

Summary: Fourteen-year-old Samantha spends her days exploring the shallow reef behind her island home. With her world locked in a battle against rising seas, scientists deploy genetically modified corals to rebuild reefs and protect the coastline. No one expects the reefs to be a hotbed of evolution, but they are. When an octopus flows off a rock in her lagoon, Samantha is startled. When he purposefully arranges pieces of coral on the sand, trying to communicate, she is shocked. How she responds may determine the fate of life on Earth. The year is 2045, and fourteen-year-old Samantha lives in a world where ocean levels are rising, destroying coastal cities and swallowing islands. Millions of displaced people are homeless. The planet is in a climate tailspin that threatens civilization. Researchers deployed genetically modified corals that can grow in warmer waters. They aimed to sequester carbon dioxide and stabilize the climate. The successful project produced an extensive barrier reef system along the coasts of Georgia and Florida. Samantha lives on a research island off the coast of Georgia with her scientist parents. She becomes obsessed with the ocean, spending all her time exploring the reef. One day, she encounters an octopus attempting to communicate with her. The story dives deep into an exploration of species’ intelligence and the quest to save the planet.

Charlie's Story - Ann R. McNicol
Charlie’s Story
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: Our visions of the future - whether dark or hopeful, thrilling or mundane - have always challenged us to examine our world. How can we improve? What challenges will we face? Are we even ready? Top Science Fiction authors, collectively holding 25 Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Sturgeon awards (a few for Vital stories!), employ the power of engaging fiction to explore these questions and today's most critical issues in medicine. But Vital doesn't stop at speculation. Proceeds will be donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, the global guardian of public health, coordinating the worldwide pandemic response. Read on to build a better future of Healthcare! Featuring stories by Paolo Bacigalupi, David Brin, Tananarive Due, Sally Wiener Grotta, Congyun ("Mu Ming") Gu, James Patrick Kelly, Justin C. Key, Seanan McGuire, Annalee Newitz, Julie Nováková, Lola Robles, Eric Schwitzgebel, Alex Shvartsman, Caroline M. Yoachim Edited by RM Ambrose

Vital anthology
Vital: The Future of Healthcare
RM Ambrose , Paolo Bacigalupi , David Brin , Tanan...
Published:

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: 81000

Summary: As a private eye closes in on her city's secrets, there are those who will go to any lengths to stop her. After the horrific events of our last chapter, Jacqui's in a medical predicament. If she wants to stay free from the Spadros crime syndicate, she has to find the cure for her condition - and time's running out. But just when Jacqui thinks she's found what she's after, she finds herself instead in a much bigger - and deadlier - situation. She's getting closer to discovering what mechanisms really lie beneath the city. And the Red Dog Gang isn't the only one who wants her stopped. Warning: on-screen death, captivity, child murder, terror, blood, bad language, smoking.  

The Three of Spades - Patricia Loofbourrow - Red Dog Conspiracy
The Three of Spades
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Word Count: 115,756

Summary: In a post-apocalyptic world where tyranny and medieval torture reign supreme and witch burnings are an everyday occurrence, a top Witchfinder must confront the very Church he serves when he learns of its dark past and twisted plans for the future. The Church of the Deiparous rules with an iron fist and its rising star, Witchfinder Imperator Malachi Thorne, is committed to leading its cause. Thorne is a man on the fast track to greater things so when a convicted traitor and heretic escapes his grip, he won’t tolerate it marring his perfect record. As he pursues his quarry, he must confront demons, sorcery, and a cult of witches out for his blood. But when Thorne comes face to face with the Church’s dark past and its twisted present, his faith is tested to its limits. Now Thorne must decide who and what he believes in—and what he will do about it.

The Witch Finder - J. Todd Kingrea Deiparian Saga
The Witchfinder
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