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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

Note: these books are currently sorted by release date, with newest first.

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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: 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.

COMING SOON
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.

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

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: He didn’t want a job, but he fell into a portal, and now he’s going to learn that there’s no escape from beneath an office planet! Planet of the Wage Slaves is a 13,800 word sci fi satire.

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: 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...
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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: Information not available

Summary: Worlds collide and peace shatters in Book 3 of The Meaning Wars… On the way to a new wormhole-building gig, Crystal and her husband Jai fight over the future of their family. But the safe haven of their base is paradise compared to Pluto. Recovering from her imprisonment, Sarah and her cousin Toby try to scrape their lives back together and stay out of trouble on the icy planetoid. Rebel leader Patience Ngouabi's actions have triggered a growing insurrection on the colony planet of Indus, and the shock waves have reached even the Solar system's worlds. Both Crystal and Sarah will have to decide between uneasy peace and constant danger - if they get to choose at all. Content advisory: this book contains references to abuse, sexual scenes, torture, and mental health issues. Reader discretion is advised.

The Meaning Wars - Michelle Browne - Meaning Wars
The Meaning Wars
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Word Count: 51000

Summary: Escaping intergalactic kidnappers has never been quite so ridiculous. When Lem and her faithful dog, Spock, retreat from the city for a few days of hiking in Algonquin Park, the last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by aliens. No, scratch that. The last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by a bunch of strangely adorable intergalactic bounty hunters aboard a ship called the Teapot. After Lem falls in with an unlikely group of allies – including a talking horse, a sarcastic robot, an overly anxious giant parrot, and a cloud of sentient glitter gas – the gang must devise a cunning plan to escape their captors and make it back home safely. But things won’t be as easy as they first seem. Lost in deep space and running out of fuel, this chaotic crew are faced with the daunting task of navigating an alien planet, breaking into a space station, and discovering the real reason they’re all there… Packed with preposterous scenarios, quirky characters, and oodles of humour, The Left Hand of Dog tackles complex subjects such as gender, the need to belong, and the importance of honest communication. Perfect for fans of Charlie Jane Anders’ Victories Greater than Death – especially ones who enjoy endless references to Red Dwarf, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. This book will show you that the universe is a very strange place indeed. Scroll up and grab your copy now!

SALE
The Left Hand of Dog - SI Clarke
The Left Hand of Dog SALE
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Word Count: 36000

Summary: INK (NOUN) Five definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell: 1) A colored fluid used for writing 2) The action of signing a deal 3) A black liquid ejected by squid 4) Publicity in the written media 5) A slang word for tattoos Ink features 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Ink Anthology
Ink
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Word Count: 41000

Summary: The dream of a mad scientist has evolved into a nightmare! Jennifer will do anything to be famous. She thinks she's gotten her big break after a night at the club lands her in bed with a producer, and the next morning he offers her a jungle adventure show. But instead, she and her two friends are unwittingly trafficked to the Congo for a sinister purpose. A cult lives in the jungle that worships the dark legacy of Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov as they work to accomplish his insane life’s goal. Will Jennifer escape the jungle compound, or will she fulfill their twisted vision of humanity’s future and become a broodmare to make an inhuman monster?

Jungle Jitters - J. Manfred Weischsel
Jungle Jitters
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Word Count: 70000

Summary: Jacqui faces her biggest mystery yet - and her greatest fear. A drive-by shooting leaves Jacqueline Spadros with little remaining support for the life she's built apart from her estranged husband Tony. As evidence grows that the Hart Family is behind the attacks, which up to now have been laid on the doorstep of the notorious Red Dog Gang, Tony brings formal charges against the Harts before the Commission. Jacqui wants to stop the Red Dog Gang and learn the truth about Charles Hart's obsession with her. But the truth is stranger than she ever imagined. And what she learns changes everything. This is chapter 7 of a 13-part future steampunk noir series. Please begin with The Jacq of Spades and read the books in order.

The Two of Hearts - Patricia Loofbourrow - The Red Dog Conspiracy
The Two of Hearts
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Word Count: 111,000

Summary:

New York: two years after the Third World War. Humanity is rebuilding its cities brick by brick; the damage done to the people, however, is a lot harder to repair.
Dan Hardacre is one of those people. An aspiring stage actor and experienced draft-dodger, Dan struggles to find his place within the Utopic rebuild of New York City. When he’s not caught up with the duties of work, Dan lives a quiet life in mourning for his mother, Dyani, who went missing when he was a teenager.
One night, Dan experiences a vivid, terrifying nightmare that puts him right on the front lines of the war for which he dodged the draft; it ends with him facing Death itself in the form of a metallic, faceless humanoid creature that calls itself the Valkyrie. To investigate the reason behind his haunting experience, Dan seeks out a meeting with his estranged father, who reveals the startling truth about Dan’s dream: it wasn’t a dream.
With this newfound knowledge and the powers it brings, Dan makes it his mission to return to the scene of his nightmare. However, he soon comes to know that confronting the Valkyrie not only endangers him but the war-withstanding world he leaves behind.

Road to Juneau - Liam Quane
ROAD TO JUNEAU
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