This StoryBundle is dedicated to Vonda McIntyre, who described strangers in strange lands with mind-bending originality and eloquence. Fair winds, astrogator.
The Strangers in Strange Lands Bundle, curated by author, acclaimed editor, and indie publisher Athena Andreadis unveils a panorama of twelve riveting works that reconnoiter a core tenet of science fiction in all its ramifications and flourishes: encountering others.
A saying widely attributed to Dostoyevsky states there are just two stories: "Someone goes on a journey" and "A stranger comes to town". This is even truer of science fiction, which constantly tests the boundaries of these two foundational narratives: what might humans become elsewhere/elsewhen? And what others might we encounter when we leave the safety of our planetary cradle—or even the safety of our comfort zones?
Firmly rooted in the key SFnal theme of the quest to explore and understand the universe, the bundle nevertheless ranges widely across speculative fiction subgenres: space opera, near-future dystopia, far futures with magic-like technology, parallel universes, first contacts. From engineered humans to sentient AIs, from indentured teenagers on Earth to duelists on Mars, from neuter loners to clone group kins, it's all here! Every entry in this spectacular bundle deserves to become a film directed by someone with the flair of Denis Villeneuve or Alfonso Cuarón.
That's not all! Read more about the bundle here, and make sure to click on each cover for a synopsis, reviews and preview of each book!
Forgotten Suns by Judith Tarr
"Forgotten Suns is a rip-roaring adventure in the guise of a space opera. Like any adventure, there is a great journey – though this one spans universes, not just worlds. The world of Forgotten Suns is intricately and tightly woven. Not purely sci-fi, it delves into fantasy at times, seamlessly melding the two genres."– Joelene Pynnonen
The Grasshopper's Child by Gwyneth Jones
"As ever with Gwyneth Jones, the writing is a joy to read: beautiful, vivid and tactile, as here: 'red velvet curtains, worn to rust in the folds, silently coughed out dust when she touched them . . .' I can almost taste that acrid dust in my throat. With ghosts, with technological wizardry, with mystery, modern pirates and murder, and references to The Secret Garden . . . The Grasshopper's Child is a feast."– Katherine Langrish
Hwarhath Stories: Transgressive Tales by Aliens by Eleanor Arnason
"These are magnificent stories, wise, witty, science-fictionally fascinating, moving. This may well end up being the story collection of the year."– Locus, Rich Horton, April 2016
Necessary Ill by Deb Taber
"Taber's debut novel presents an all-too-credible dystopic future world and, in Jin, a complex character whose mind approaches the world and its priorities in a very different way. The characterization of truly genderless individuals—not androgynes or hermaphrodites—and the portrayal of an approach to the world that is both ruthless and compassionate make this an excellent candidate for book discussion groups and provide strong evidence for the availability of significant genre literature. Highly recommended."– Library Journal, starred review, March 15, 2013
Windhome by Kristin Landon
"After an eight-year hiatus, Landon (The Dark Reaches) returns with a complex fourth novel that combines dystopian and first-contact themes. // This is a quiet, tense book, saturated with dread."– Publishers Weekly
Wellside by Robin Shortt
"There's plenty of threat and action in this grand adventure, but the inexplicable marvels are what really drive this promising debut novel."– Carolyn Cushman, Locus Magazine
Unraveling Timelines by Lise Breakey
"Breakey's debut novel blends high-stakes intrigue and fantasy in an imaginative alternate universe. // Breakey suffuses her imagined world with color; the concept of time-hopping is not new, but she plays with history in a remarkably fun and intriguing way. // …readers will enjoy this fast-paced tale of suspense across history."– Publishers Weekly
Carve the Sky by Alexander Jablokov
Combines the virtues of what-if? Extrapolation with the messiness of real life...The influences of this fine first novel range from Albert Bester to Umberto Eco, but Mr. Jablokov has his own way with words...– New York Times (Notable Book of the Year)
Burning the Ice by Laura J. Mixon
"Long-range sequel to Mixon's impressive Proxies (1998)….Tense, complex, and spellbinding."– Kirkus (starred review)
Dreaming Metal by Melissa Scott
"Fast-paced, fascinating, and deeply compelling. I really liked it. I seriously recommend it."– Liz Bourke, Tor.com
Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories by Vandana Singh
"Singh often makes even weird science concepts sound like beautiful poetry. The most engaging aspect of this book is her own widely-ranging and visionary imagination, where she merges eastern and western tropes and traditions and even blurs the lines between genres and narrative styles."– PopMatters
The Last Outpost and Other Tales by Z.S. Adani
"The ruins had laid untouched for several hundred millennia; but was the plague that devastated Tomb really dead, or just waiting?"
Highlight of the magazine and it's free to read! Archaeologists study a planet with mysterious remains of aliens dead some hundreds of thousands ago. The slow unfolding horror of the fate of the inhabitants intertwines with the fate of the expedition.
[Tomb is] dark, moody and excellent!– Liviu Suciu
Pay what you want! You choose how much you want to pay for these awesome books. (Click on each book above to check them out.) You decide how much of your purchase goes to the author and how much goes to help keep StoryBundle running. If your purchase price is $15 or more, you get EIGHT more books: Forgotten Suns by Judith Tarr, The Grasshopper's Child by Gwyneth Jones, Hwarhath Stories: Transgressive Tales by Aliens by Eleanor Arnason, Wellside by Robin Shortt, Unraveling Timelines by Lise Breakey, Dreaming Metal by Melissa Scott, Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories by Vandana Singh and The Last Outpost and Other Tales by Z.S. Adani!
Zero DRM. There's no DRM on any of our books. None. Why? For one, we don't believe DRM actually stops people from sharing what they want to share. Second, and most importantly, we don't believe we should be treating our customers as criminals. So go ahead and put these on your tablets, Kindles and smartphones, but if a friend wants to read the bundle, please have them buy one for themselves. With pay-what-you-want, we believe there's a price for everyone. Or better yet, buy one for them as a gift. Help support indie authors!
Support nonprofits. Best of all, you can also give a portion of the proceeds from each bundle to charity. To learn more about these charities and those they help, click the "Learn More" link next the charities when you purchase.
Easy delivery. It's super convenient to get these ebooks onto your reader of choice—just download and sync. Better yet, if you have a Kindle or Kindle-enabled tablet or smartphone, we can send the books directly to your device. No computer required.
Missed our previous bundles? Check them out here.