Ten Thousand Light-Years From Home by James Tiptree Jr.

'Unquestionably one of the brightest-burning talents in the constellation of science fiction' The New York Times

Written under the pseudonym James Tiptree Jr., the pioneering and outlandish tales of Alice B. Sheldon are some of the greatest science fiction short stories of the twentieth century, telling of dystopian chases, alien sex and the loneliness of the universe.

'What her work brought to the genre was a blend of lyricism and inventiveness, as if some poet had rewritten a number of clever SF standards and then passed them on to a psychoanalyst' Brian Aldiss

'Feminist dystopian fiction owes just as much to this woman - who wrote as a man - as Margaret Atwood' Vox

The Hair-Carpet Weavers by Andreas Eschbach

In a distant universe, since the beginning of time, workers have spent their lives weaving intricate carpets from the hair of women and girls. But why? Andreas Eschbach's mysterious, poignant space opera explores the absurdity of work and of life itself.

'A novel of ideas that evokes complex emotions through the working out of an intricate and ultimately satisfying plot, with echoes of Gene Wolfe, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Isaac Asimov' The New York Times Book Review

Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley

'Hilarious SF satire. Douglas Adams said it was the only thing like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, although written ten years earlier. It's wonderful' Neil Gaiman

This madcap cosmic farce relates the adventures of the hapless human Carmody, as he attempts to make his way home to Earth after winning the grand prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstake, encountering parallel worlds, incompetent bureaucrats and talking dinosaurs on the way.

'The greatest entertainer ever produced by science fiction ... a feast of wit and intelligence' J. G. Ballard

Trafalgar by Angélica Gorodischer

Part pulp adventure, part otherworldly meditation, this is the story of Trafalgar Medrano: intergalactic trader and lover of bitter coffee and black cigarettes. In the bars and cafés of Rosario, Argentina, he recounts tall tales of his space escapades - involving, among other things, time travel and dancing troglodytes.

'A unique brand of science fiction ... unlike anything I've ever read' Los Angeles Review of Books 

One Billion Years to the End of the World by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky 

'A beautiful book' Ursula K. Le Guin

This mordantly funny and provocative tale from Soviet Russia's leading science fiction writers is the story of astrophysicist Dmitri Malianov. As he reaches a major breakthrough, he finds himself plagued by interruptions, from a mysterious crate of vodka to a glamorous woman on his doorstep. Is the Universe trying to tell him something?

'On putting down one of their books, you feel a cold breeze still lifting the hairs on the back of your neck' The New York Times

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin 

'The best single work of science fiction yet written' Ursula K. Le Guin

The dystopian masterwork that inspired George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-FourWe depicts a futuristic totalitarian society, 'OneState', where humans have become numbers. Suppressed in Russia for decades, it is a chilling vision of a world enslaved by technology.

'Zamyatin's parable looked forward to climate change and surveillance culture ... to peer into its future is to see modernity's reflection gazing darkly back' Economist

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

'Vonnegut looked the world straight in the eye and never flinched' J. G. Ballard

This bitterly funny Cold War satire on the end of the world expresses our deepest fears of Armageddon, and has become a counter-culture classic.

'A satirist with a heart, a moralist with a whoopee cushion' Jay McInerney

'The closest thing we had to a Voltaire' Tom Wolfe

'The time to read Vonnegut is just when you begin to suspect that the world is not what it appears to be. He is not only entertaining, he is electrocuting' The New York Times

Flatland by Edwin Abbott

The book that influenced writers from Carl Sagan to Stephen Hawking, Flatland is set in a two-dimensional world where life exists only in lines and shapes - until one of its inhabitants, 'A. Square', has his perspective transformed forever. This brilliantly eccentric classic is an invitation to see beyond our own reality.

'At once a playful brainteaser about geometry, a pointed satire of Victorian manners - and a strangely compelling argument about the greatest mysteries of the Universe' Wall Street Journal

'Flatland could lead to very profound thought about our Universe and ourselves' Isaac Asimov

The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem

'A giant of twentieth-century science fiction' Guardian

One of the world's most beloved science fiction writers, Stanislaw Lem was famed for his wryly comic, outlandish imaginings of the relationship between humans and technology. In this playful cosmic fantasia, two 'constructors' compete to dream up ever-more ingenious inventions in a universe beyond reality.

'A Jorge Luis Borges for the Space Age, who plays with every concept of philosophy and physics' The New York Times

The Colour Out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft

The master of weird fiction, H. P. Lovecraft combines cosmic fantasy with creeping horror in these three tales of malevolent alien forces, body-switching and travel across the space-time continuum.

'Evil, in Lovecraft, is universal, pervasive' Michael Chabon

'His prescience and novelty seem more and more remarkable ... shows a deeply modern horror at the universe' Guardian

'A unique and visionary world of wonder, terror and delirium' Clive Barker

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