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sci fi – social sci fi

Sci fi stories that speculates less about technology per se and more about future directions of society. Return to general Sci Fi

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Word Count: 180000

Summary: In November 2039, marine scientist Wend Taylor heaves themself aboard a zero-emissions boat skippered by elusive nature photographer Viola Yang. Guided by instinct, ocean dreams, and a shared birthday in 1972, they barter stories for passage across the Pacific. Aljon, Viola’s younger cousin, keeps a watchful eye and an innovative galley. Story by story, the trio rethink secrets, flying dreams, and how they experience their own minds. When they reach Hawaiʻi and prepare to part ways, opportunity and mystery pull them closer together. Both scientific and personal discoveries take shape as they join with ex-lovers, lost friends, and found family. Wend must navigate an ever-shifting future, complicated by bioengineered microbes and a plot to silence scientists, entangled with inexplicable dreams and a calling to Be the Sea.

COMING SOON
Book Cover: Be the Sea
Be the Sea
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Word Count: 75000

Summary: Enjoy the next chapter in this dark, psychological, steam-powered future mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Patricia Loofbourrow. Recovering from the tremendous losses she's suffered in our last chapter, private eye and mafia wife Jacqueline Spadros gets a new case from an unlikely source: her mobster husband. But when a mutual friend goes missing, Jacqui and her husband must join forces on a case which quickly turns deadly.

The Four of Clubs - Patricia Loofbourrow - Red Dog Conspiracy
The Four of Clubs
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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: 96000

Summary: "Today I swam through MOMA. Leon says it was a waste, encasing the art, then flooding the museum—frivolous and elitist. I say it was a gesture of optimism, a triumph of technology and political will." Want to thrill to the possibilities of a hopeful future? We asked a bunch of sci-fi writers to spin tales of a better future, imagining ways in which the world might become a better place. From a swim through an underwater museum to a joyous dance at a futuristic concert, from the eco-friendly aftermath of an alien invasion and retreat to the refurbishing of an old climate-ravaged home in New Vancouver, these fourteen short sci-fi stories will to restore your faith in the future. A world transformed is a world we can all hope for. Book three in the Writers Save the World short story anthologies. If you enjoy this book, check out Fix the World and Save the World.

Transform the World - J. Scott Coatsworth
Transform the World
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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.

The Babel Apocalypse - Vyvyan Evans
The Babel Apocalypse
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Word Count: 140000

Summary: Jack Kirby just wants peace. Deeply scarred from a failed mission and struggling with the loss of his lover, Jack takes a job  as a Religious Program Specialist on a remote PreCol station. There, he finds what he never expected: a family. Marsha, a complicated woman with a deep connection to the spiritual world. Jenny, a cheerful ensign with a dangerous past. Mark, driven to demolish the atavistic cult he was born into. Can Jack protect them all as they become entangled in an espionage game with galactic stakes?

Unity - Gina A. Pond
Unity
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Word Count: 3,000

Summary: Lem and her dog, Spock, have a late-night encounter with a stowaway. ’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Teapot… Not a creature was stirring, not even a lonely robot; The stockings were hung in the mess hall with care In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The Night Before - SI CLARKE
The Night Before
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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.

Androids & Aliens - J. Scott Coatsworth
Androids & Aliens
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Word Count: 52,000

Summary: A secret unicorn, a desperate family, and a cop dead set on hunting them down. Lem and the rag-tag gang of galactic adventurers on the starship Teapot are set to become roadies for the galaxy’s hottest band – but an urgent call from Bexley’s family means the rock stars will have to wait. Bexley’s soon-to-be-born sibling has a big secret: wings. On planet Hwin, skeledivergence is outlawed, so the Teapot crew swoop in to help the family escape. But their planet won’t let them go that easily. Hunted across the galaxy by a fanatical and eerily familiar cop, the Teapotters must find a way to outwit their pursuer and secure a future for skeledivergent people everywhere. Dive into the next adventure in this satirical space opera series. Artfully intertwining deep themes with tongue-in-cheek humour and intergalactic ridiculousness, Consider Pegasus is a must-read for fans of Ryka Aoki’s Light from Uncommon Stars or TJ Berry’s Space Unicorn Blues.  Scroll up and grab your copy now!

Consider Pegasus - SI Clarke
Consider Pegasus
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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: 5200

Summary: There’s something in the dark … but is Lem’s imagination worse than reality? Out in the vast emptiness of the galaxy, anything can happen. It’s a fact that Lem and her trusty companion Spock know all too well. Sometimes, the things lurking in the darkness are all in your head. Then again, maybe there really is something out there. With her talking dog and an infuriatingly literal AI by her side, Lem must rely on nothing but her strength and wits to help her.  As a humorous homage to Arthur C Clarke’s classic A Walk in the Dark, this short adventure is a not-actually-scary sci-fi horror story that’s perfect for fans of Martha Wells and John Scalzi. 

Jurassic Dark - SI Clarke
Jurassic Dark
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Word Count: 13,800

Summary: Get ready to enter a world where the only way to escape from work is death! Richard is a man who would rather be in jail than have to get a job, but his attempts to get arrested keep failing. That is, until he's transported to an office planet where the cubicles are made of particle board, the spreadsheets are endless, and the boss is a whip-wielding maniac. With the help of a rebel coworker named Destiny and a newfound power, Richard must navigate the impossible maze of the office and take on the oppressive boss to save her people. Planet of the Wage Slaves is a hilarious, satirical take on the modern work environment that will have you laughing and cringing at the same time. It's the perfect read for anyone who has ever felt trapped in a soul-sucking job or who just wants a good dose of surreal sci-fi comedy. So put down that TPS report, grab a copy of Planet of the Wage Slaves, and join Richard on his absurd journey through the cubicle jungle!

Planet of the Wage Salves - J. Manfred Weichsel
Planet of the Wage Slaves
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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: 128000

Summary: In the wake of a worsening climate crisis, magic runs rampant and demons roam across the Canadian prairies. A long-dead god stirs in the Pacific Ocean, while the wilderness is choked by invasive, screaming grass. The Cascade has shattered political stability, leaving a scandal-plagued government clinging to power in Ottawa. As catastrophe looms ahead, a precognitive rainman, Ian Mallory, stands between run-of-the-mill corruption and a nightmarish, dystopian future. It is up to a diverse and unlikely band of activists, scientists, journalists, and one underpaid, emoji-spell wielding intern to save their beleaguered country from its own worst impulses

Cascade - Rachel A. Rosen
Cascade
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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: 56000

Summary: This time, the universe puts the cat in catastrophe. Plucked from her home on Earth and ending up aboard a strange spaceship in an even stranger universe, Lem and the misfit crew of the Teapot have more than enough trouble on their hands… and then they receive an urgent last-minute call to save a race of cat-people from certain destruction. Stuck with a disaster-platypus of a project manager and an entire race of people seemingly determined to thwart their own rescue, the Teapot’s crew face the impossible job of herding cats and helping evacuate the planet before it’s blown to smithereens. Can Lem and the gang avert disaster and save this race of infuriating cat-people? Perfect for fans of wacky and imaginative sci-fi stories, this satirical space opera is a ridiculous adventure that will delight readers of John Scalzi’s take on Fuzzy Nation or TJ Berry’s Space Unicorn Blues.

Judgement Dave - SI Clarke
Judgement Dave
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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: 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
Published:
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