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Mockingbird

Walter Tevis

Mockingbird is a powerful novel of a future world where humans are dying. Those that survive spend their days in a narcotic bliss or choose a quick suicide rather than slow extinction. Humanity's salvation rests with an android who has no desire to live, and a man and a woman who must discover love, hope, and dreams of a world reborn.

The future is a grim place in which the declining human population wanders, drugged and lulled by electronic bliss. It's a world without art, reading and children, a world where people would rather burn themselves alive than endure. Even Spofforth, the most perfect machine ever created, cannot bear it and seeks only that which he cannot have - to cease to be. But there is hope for the future in the passion and joy that a man and woman discover in love and in books, hope even for Spofforth. A haunting novel, reverberating with anguish but also celebrating love and the magic of a dream.

The Diamond Age

Neal Stephenson

Decades into our future, a stone's throw from the ancient city of Shanghai, a brilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth, has just broken the rigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful neo-Victorians. He's made an illicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, commissioned by an eccentric duke for his grandchild. Stolen for Hackworth's own daughter, the Primer's purpose is to educate and raise a girl capable of thinking for herself. It performs its function superbly. Unfortunately for Hackworth, his smuggled copy has fallen into the wrong hands.

Young Nell and her brother Harv are thetes--members of the poor, tribeless class. Neglected by their mother, Harv looks after Nell. When he and his gang waylay a certain neo-Victorian--John Percival Hackworth-- in the seamy streets of their neighborhood, Harv brings Nell something special: the Primer.

Following the discovery of his crime, Hackworth begins an odyssey of his own. Expelled from the neo-Victorian paradise, squeezed by agents of Protocol Enforcement on one side and a Mandarin underworld crimelord on the other, he searches for an elusive figure known as the Alchemist. His and Nell's quest will ultimately lead them to another seeker whose fate is bound up with the Primer-- a woman who holds the key to a vast, subversive information network that is destined to decode and reprogram the future of humanity.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Philip K. Dick

By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep... They even built humans.

Emigrees to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn't want to be identified, they just blended in.

Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

China Mountain Zhang

Maureen F. McHugh

'I am Zhang, alone with my light, and in that light I think for a moment that I am free.' Imagine a world: a sinocentric world where Chinese Marxism has vanquished the values of capitalism and Lenin is the prophet of choice. A cybernetic world where the new charioteers are flyers, human-powered kites dancing in the skies over New York in a brief grab at glory. A world where the opulence of Beijing marks a new cultural imperialism, as wealthy urbanites flirt with interactive death in illegal speakeasies, and where Arctic research stations and communes on Mars are haunted by their own fragile dangers.

A world of fear and hope, of global disaster and slow healing, where progress can only be found in the cracks of a crumbling hegemony. The world of Zhang. An anti-hero who's still finding his way, treading a path through a totalitarian order - a path that just might make a difference.

A Scanner Darkly

Philip K. Dick

Bob Arctor is a dealer of the lethally addictive drug Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, Fred takes on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D - which Arctor takes in massive doses - gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize he is narcing on himself.

Caustically funny, eerily accurate in its depiction of junkies, scam artists, and the walking brain-dead, Philip K. Dick's industrial-grade stress test of identity is as unnerving as it is enthralling.

Minority Report

Philip K. Dick

Viewed by many as the greatest science fiction writer on any planet, Philip K. Dick has written some of the most intriguing, original, and thought-provoking fiction of our time. This collection includes stories that will make you laugh, cringe... and stop and think.

In "The Minority Report," a special unit that employs those with the power of precognition to prevent crimes proves itself less than reliable. This story was the basis of the feature film Minority Report.

In, "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale," an everyguy's yearning for more exciting "memories" places him in a danger he never could have imagined. This story was the basis of the feature film Total Recall.

In "Paycheck," a mechanic who has no memory of the previous two years of his life finds that a bag of seemingly worthless and unrelated objects can actually unlock the secret of his recent past, and insure that he has a future. This story was the basis of the feature film Paycheck.

In "Second Variety," the UN's technological advances to win a global war veer out of control, threatening to destroy all of humankind. This story was the basis of the feature film Screamers.

And "The Eyes Have It" is a whimsical, laugh-out-loud play on the words of the title.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by Malcolm Edwards
  • The Minority Report - (1956)
  • Impostor - (1953)
  • Second Variety - (1953)
  • War Game - (1959)
  • What the Dead Men Say - (1964)
  • Oh, to Be a Blobel! - (1964)
  • The Electric Ant - (1969)
  • Faith of Our Fathers - (1967)
  • We Can Remember It for You Wholesale - (1966)

Vurt

Vurt: Book 1

Jeff Noon

Take a trip in a stranger's head. Along rainshot streets with the stash riders, a posse of hip malcontents, hooked on the most powerful drug you can imagine ...Vurt feathers ...But as the Game Cat says, Be careful, be very careful. This ride is not for the weak ...Scribble isn't listening. He has to find his lost love. A journey towards the ultimate, perhaps even mythical, Vurt Feather ...Curious Yellow.

Altered Carbon

Takeshi Kovacs Series: Book 1

Richard K. Morgan

In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats "existence" as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning....

Woken Furies

Takeshi Kovacs Series: Book 3

Richard K. Morgan

Takeshi Kovacs has come home. Home to Harlan's World. An ocean planet with only 5% of its landmass poking above the dangerous and unpredictable seas. Try and get above the weather in anything more sophisticated than a helicopter and the Martian orbital platforms will burn you out of the sky. And death doesn't just wait for you in the seas and the skies.

On land, from the tropical beaches and swamps of Kossuth to the icy, machine-infested wastes of New Hokkaido the hard won gains of the Quellist revolution have been lost. The First Families, the corporations and the Yakuza have a stranglehold on everything. Embarked on a journey of implacable retribution for a lost love, Kovacs is blown off course and into a maelstrom of political intrigue and technological mystery as the ghosts of Harlan's World and his own violent past rise to claim their due. Quellcrist Falconer is back from the dead, they say, and hunting her down for the First Families is a savage young Envoy called Kovacs who's been in storage.

Little Brother

Little Brother: Book 1

Cory Doctorow

Marcus, a.k.a "w1n5t0n," is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school's intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they're mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

Download this book for free from the author's website.

Black Man

Richard K. Morgan

Published in the US as Thirteen

One hundred years from now, and against all the odds, Earth has found a new stability; the political order has reached some sort of balance, and the new colony on Mars is growing. But the fraught years of the 21st century have left an uneasy legacy... Genetically engineered alpha males, designed to fight the century's wars have no wars to fight and are surplus to requirements. And a man bred and designed to fight is a dangerous man to have around in peacetime. Many of them have left for Mars but now one has come back and killed everyone else on the shuttle he returned in.

Only one man, a genengineered ex-soldier himself, can hunt him down and so begins a frenetic man-hunt and a battle survival. And a search for the truth about what was really done with the world's last soldiers.

BLACK MAN is an unstoppable SF thriller but it is also a novel about predjudice, about the ramifications of playing with our genetic blue-print. It is about our capacity for violence but more worrying, our capacity for deceit and corruption. This is another landmark of modern SF from one of its most exciting and commercial authors.

A Fire in the Sun

Budayeen: Marîd Audran: Book 2

George Alec Effinger

Marid Audran has become everything he once despised. Not so long ago, he was a hustler in the Budayeen, an Arabian ghetto in a Balkanized future Earth.

Back then, as often as not, he didn't have the money to buy himself a drink. But he had his independence.

Now Marid works for Friedlander Bey, "godfather" of the Budayeen, a man whose power stretches across a shattered, crumbling world. During the day, Marid is a policeman... and Bey's personal envoy to the police. His new position has brought him money and power which he would abandon in a moment if he could return to a life of neither owning nor being owned. Which, unfortunately, isn't one of his options.

It's also not an issue. For something dark is afoot. Something that is sending the city into chaos. Helping a child-mutilator to avoid arrest. Sending a killer to murder Marid's partner. Murdering prostitutes and savaging their remains. Signs point to the hand of Abu Adil-the one man in the city whose power rivals Friedlander Bey's. Whatever happens next, it's not going to be good news for Marid Audran...

The Electric Church

Avery Cates: Book 1

Jeff Somers

In the near future, the only thing growing faster than the criminal population is the Electric Church, a new religion founded by a mysterious man named Dennis Squalor. The Church preaches that life is too brief to contemplate the mysteries of the universe: eternity is required. In order to achieve this, the converted become Monks -- cyborgs with human brains, enhanced robotic bodies, and virtually unlimited life spans.

Enter Avery Cates, a dangerous criminal known as the best killer-for-hire around. The authorities have a special mission in mind for Cates: assassinate Dennis Squalor. But for Cates, the assignment will be the most dangerous job he's ever undertaken -- and it may well be his last.

Burning Chrome

William Gibson

Best-known for his seminal sf novel Neuromancer, William Gibson is actually best when writing short fiction. Tautly-written and suspenseful, Burning Chrome collects 10 of his best short stories with a preface from Bruce Sterling, now available for the first time in trade paperback. These brilliant, high-resolution stories show Gibson's characters and intensely-realized worlds at his absolute best, from the chip-enhanced couriers of "Johnny Mnemonic" to the street-tech melancholy of "Burning Chrome."

Table of Contents:

  • Preface - essay by Bruce Sterling
  • Johnny Mnemonic - (1981) - shortstory
  • The Gernsback Continuum - (1981) - shortstory
  • Fragments of a Hologram Rose - (1977) - shortstory
  • The Belonging Kind - (1981) - shortstory by John Shirley and William Gibson
  • Hinterlands - (1981) - shortstory
  • Red Star, Winter Orbit - (1983) - novelette by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
  • New Rose Hotel - (1984) - shortstory
  • The Winter Market - (1985) - novelette
  • Dogfight - (1985) - novelette by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson
  • Burning Chrome - (1982) - novelette

When Gravity Fails

Budayeen: Marîd Audran: Book 1

George Alec Effinger

In a decadent world of cheap pleasures and easy death, Marid Audrian has kept his independence the hardway. Still, like everything else in the Budayeen, he's available... for a price.

For a new kind of killer roams the streets of the Arab ghetto, a madman whose bootlegged personality cartridges range from a sinister James Bond to a sadistic disemboweler named Khan. And Marid Audrian has been made an offer he can't refuse.

The 200-year-old "godfather" of the Budayeen's underworld has enlisted Marid as his instrument of vengeance. But first Marid must undergo the most sophisticated of surgical implants before he dares to confront a killer who carries the power of every psychopath since the beginning of time.

Count Zero

The Sprawl Trilogy: Book 2

William Gibson

A corporate mercenary wakes in a reconstructed body, a beautiful woman by his side. Then Hosaka Corporation reactivates him, for a mission more dangerous than the one he's recovering from: to get a defecting chief of R&D-and the biochip he's perfected-out intact. But this proves to be of supreme interest to certain other parties-some of whom aren't remotely human.

Limbo

Bernard Wolfe

LIMBO is a uniquely unusual, dazzling novel of the future that is unlike anything you have ever read- or are likely to read.

Dr. Martine, a neurosurgeon, flees a limited nuclear war to a forgotten island in the Indian Ocean. After 18 years of performing "humane" lobotomies on island natives, he sets out to rediscover the world. What he finds is a grotesque post-bomb society in which self-mutilation and installed prosthetic limbs are used to mute the urge to make war.

Bernard Wolfe, co-author of Really The Blues, grapples with the largest issues of our century in Limbo.

Genesis

Bernard Beckett

Anax thinks she knows history. Her grueling all-day Examination has just begun, and if she passes, she'll be admitted into the Academy--the elite governing institution of her utopian society. But Anax is about to discover that for all her learning, the history she's been taught isn't the whole story. And the Academy isn't what she believes it to be.

In this brilliant novel of dazzling ingenuity, Anax's examination leads us into a future where we are confronted with unresolved questions raised by science and philosophy. Centuries old, these questions have gained new urgency in the face of rapidly developing technology. What is consciousness? What makes us human? If artificial intelligence were developed to a high enough capability, what special status could humanity still claim? Outstanding and original, Beckett's dramatic narrative comes to a shocking conclusion.

Moxyland

Lauren Beukes

A frighteningly persuasive, high-tech fable, this novel follows the lives of four narrators living in an alternative futuristic Cape Town, South Africa.

Kendra, an art-school dropout, brands herself for a nanotech marketing program; Lerato, an ambitious AIDS baby, plots to defect from her corporate employers; Tendeka, a hot-headed activist, is becoming increasingly rabid; and Toby, a roguish blogger, discovers that the video games he plays for cash are much more than they seem.

On a collision course that will rewire their lives, this story crackles with bold and infectious ideas, connecting a ruthless corporate-apartheid government with video games, biotech attack dogs, slippery online identities, a township soccer school, shocking cell phones, addictive branding, and genetically modified art. Taking hedonistic trends in society to their ultimate conclusions, this tale paints anything but a forecasted utopia, satirically undermining the reified idea of progress as society's white knight.

Virtual Light

The Bridge Trilogy: Book 1

William Gibson

2005: Welcome to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millenium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich--or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash...

The Exile Kiss

Budayeen: Marîd Audran: Book 3

George Alec Effinger

Marîd Audran has risen from hustling on the streets of the decadent Budayeen ghetto to being the right-hand man of one of the Maghreb’s most feared men. As an enforcer for the powerful Friedlander Bey, Marîd is just beginning to enjoy his newfound wealth and privilege, when he and Bey are betrayed by a rival and accused of murder.

Sentenced to exile and abandoned to die in the vast Arabian desert, Marîd and Bey must somehow survive the searing sands and make their way back to the now-hostile Budayeen-and, then, take their vengeance.

By turns thrilling and philosophical, The Exile Kiss is the culmination of one of the great works of modern SF.

Forever Peace

Forever War: Book 2

Joe Haldeman

In the year 2043, the Ngumi War rages. Limited nuclear strikes have been used on Atlanta and two enemy cities, but the war goes on, fought by 'soldierboys' -- indestructible war machines operated by remote control by soldiers hundreds of miles away.

Julian Class is one of these soldiers, and for him war is truly hell. The psychological strain of being jacked-in to his soldierboy -- and the genocidal results -- are becoming too much to bear. Now he and his companion, Dr Amelia Harding, have made a terrifying scientific discovery, which could literally take the universe back to square one. Except that for Julian, the discovery isn't so much terrifying as tempting....

The Running Man

Stephen King

In the year 2025, the best men don't run for President, they run for their lives....

Ben Richards is out of work and out of luck. His eighteen-month-old daughter is sick, and neither Ben nor his wife can afford to take her to a doctor. For a man with no cash and no hope from the poor side of town, there's only one thing to do: become a contestant on one of the Network's Games, shows where you can win more money than you've ever dreamed of--or die trying. Now, Ben's going prime-time on the Network's highest-rated viewer participation show. And he's about to become prey for the masses....

Tik-Tok

John Sladek

Something has gone very seriously wrong with Tik-Tok's "asimov circuits." They should keep him on the straight and narrow, following Asimov's first law of robotics: A robot shall not injure a human being, or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm. But, that's not what's happening. Although every thing looks fine from the surface, and Tik-Tok maintains the outward appearance of a mild-mannered robot, his agenda is murderously different. And, it's not just because of his artistic tendencies and sympathy for the robot rights movement, either.

A Calculated Life

A Calculated Life: Book 1

Anne Charnock

Late in the twenty-first century, big business is booming and state institutions are thriving thanks to advances in genetic engineering, which have produced a compliant population free of addictions. Violent crime is a rarity.

Hyper-intelligent Jayna is a star performer at top predictive agency Mayhew McCline, where she forecasts economic and social trends. A brilliant mathematical modeler, she far outshines her co-workers, often correcting their work on the quiet. Her latest coup: finding a link between northeasterly winds and violent crime.

When a string of events contradicts her forecasts, Jayna suspects she needs more data and better intuition. She needs direct interactions with the rest of society. Bravely-and naively-she sets out to disrupt her strict routine and stumbles unwittingly into a world where her IQ is increasingly irrelevant... a place where human relationships and the complexity of life are difficult for her to decode. And as she experiments with taking risks, she crosses the line into corporate intrigue and disloyalty.

Can Jayna confront the question of what it means to live a "normal" life? Or has the possibility of a "normal" life already been eclipsed for everyone?

Firebreak

Nicole Kornher-Stace

"Twenty minutes to power curfew, and my kill counter's stalled at eight hundred eighty-seven while I've been standing here like an idiot. My health bar is flashing ominously, but I'm down to four heal patches, and I have to be smart."

New Liberty City, 2134.

Two corporations have replaced the US, splitting the country's remaining forty-five states (five have been submerged under the ocean) between them: Stellaxis Innovations and Greenleaf. There are nine supercities within the continental US, and New Liberty City is the only amalgamated city split between the two megacorps, and thus at a perpetual state of civil war as the feeds broadcast the atrocities committed by each side.

Here, Mallory streams Stellaxis's wargame SecOps on BestLife, spending more time jacked in than in the world just to eke out a hardscrabble living from tips. When a chance encounter with one of the game's rare super-soldiers leads to a side job for Mal--looking to link an actual missing girl to one of the SecOps characters. Mal's sudden burst in online fame rivals her deepening fear of what she is uncovering about BestLife's developer, and puts her in the kind of danger she's only experienced through her avatar.

Author Kornher-Stace's adult science fiction debut--Firebreak-- is loaded with ambitious challenges and a city to save.

Distraction

Bruce Sterling

From Bruce Sterling, bestselling author of Heavy Weather and Holy Fire, comes this startling, disturbing, and darkly comic vision of the future of America. It is the story of a once great nation coming apart at the seams while an unending spectacle of politics, science, sex, and corruption has everyone too busy to notice....

It's November 2044, an election year, and the state of the Union is a farce. The federal government is broke, cities are privately owned, the military is shaking down citizens in the streets, and Wyoming is on fire. The last place anyone expects to find an answer is the nation's capital.

Washington has become a circus and no one knows that better than Oscar Valparaiso. A master political spin doctor, Oscar has been in the background for years, doing his best to put the proper spin on anything that comes up. Now he wants to do something quite unusual in politics. He wants to make a difference. But Oscar has a skeleton in his closet: a grotesque and unspeakable scandal that haunts his personal life.

He has one unexpected ally: Dr. Greta Penninger. She is a gifted neurologist at the bleeding edge of the neural revolution. Together Oscar and Greta know the human mind inside and out. And they are about to use that knowledge to spread a very powerful message: that it's a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It's an idea whose time has come...again. And once again so have its enemies: every technofanatic, government goon, and reactionary laptop assassin in America.

Like all revolutionaries, Oscar and Greta might not survive to change the world, but they're determined to put a new spin on it.

R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)

Karel Capek

R.U.R.-a play written in 1920, premiered in Prague in 1921, and first performed in New York in 1922-garnered worldwide acclaim for its author and popularized the word robot.

Mass-produced as efficient laborers to serve man, Capek's Robots are an android product-they remember everything but think of nothing new. But the Utopian life they provide ultimately lacks meaning, and the humans they serve stop reproducing. When the Robots revolt, killing all but one of their masters, they must strain to learn the secret of self-duplication. It is not until two Robots fall in love and are christened "Adam" and "Eve" by the last surviving human that Nature emerges triumphant.

The Departure

Owner Series: Book 1

Neal Asher

Earth

An overpopulated world is under the brutal, high-tech thumb of the Committee. Towering robot shepherds, pain-inducers, and reader guns maintain control over masses of zero-asset citizens, but for the elite this not enough. Twelve billion must human beings must die before the Earth can be stabilized, and the Argus satellite laser network is almost ready.

Waking in a crate destined for an incinerator, Alan Saul remembers only pain and his torturer's face. But he has company: Janus, a rogue AI inhabiting the forbidden hardware in his skull. Saul intends to stop Argus and get his revenge on the Committee–once he finds out who he used to be.

Mars

Abandoned by the Committee, the Antares Base faces extinction. The colonists there will not be returning to Earth nor will they be receiving any additional supplies or support. Unless they are very ingenious, they will run out of resources and be dead within five years.

As if that's not dire enough, Varalia Delex finds herself caught in a violent power struggle with the base's ruthless political officers–who see everyone else as expendable. As spilled blood turns the Red Planet even redder, Var discovers that Mars holds very new and interesting ways to die.

Homeland

Little Brother: Book 2

Cory Doctorow

In Cory Doctorow's wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco-an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.

A few years later, California's economy collapses, but Marcus's hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform. Soon his former nemesis Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. It's incendiary stuff-and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier.

Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him-but he can't admit to being the leaker, because that will cost his employer the election. He's surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can't even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He's not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he's gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they're used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.

Fast-moving, passionate, and as current as next week, Homeland is every bit the equal of Little Brother -- a paean to activism, to courage, to the drive to make the world a better place.

Download this book for free from the author's website.

Frontera

Lewis Shiner

Corporate mercenary Kane, hired by the giant conglomerate Pulsystems, journeys to the long-abandoned Frontera, the first permanent Mars settlement, and finds that he has become an unwilling human weapon in the battle for new technology.