The Fleet of Worlds series (with Larry Niven)
” … Needs recommending within the science fiction community about as much as a new Harry Potter novel does – well, anywhere.” — Locus
Kirsten Quinn-Kovacs is among the best and brightest of her people. She gratefully serves the gentle race that rescued her ancestors from a dying starship, gave them a world, and nurtures them still. If only the Citizens knew where Kirsten’s people came from ….
A chain reaction of supernovae at the galaxy’s core has unleashed a wave of lethal radiation that will sterilize the galaxy. The Citizens flee, taking their planets, the Fleet of Worlds, with them.
Someone must scout ahead, and Kirsten and her crew eagerly volunteer. Under the guiding eye of Nessus, their Citizen mentor, they explore for any possible dangers in the Fleet’s path—and uncover long-hidden truths that will shake the foundations of worlds.
“A snazzy thriller/mystery that keeps us (and our hero) guessing until the very end … Wide screen galactic scope, nifty super-science, crafty aliens, corporate corruption and cover ups, and a multi-leveled spy vs. spy vs. spy mystery with little being as it first appears make Juggler of Worlds a first class exemplar of pure SF entertainment.” —SFsite
For too long, the Puppeteers have controlled the fate of worlds. Now Sigmund is pulling the strings …
Covert agent Sigmund Ausfaller is Earth’s secret weapon, humanity’s best defense against all conspiracies, real and potential — and imaginary — of foes both human and alien. Who better than a brilliant paranoid to expose the devious plots of others?
He may finally have met his match in Nessus, representative of the secretive Puppeteers, the elder race who wield vastly superior technologies. Nessus schemes in the shadows with Earth’s traitors and adversaries, even after the race he represents abruptly vanishes from Known Space.
As a paranoid, Sigmund had always known things would end horribly for him. Only the when, where, how, why, and by whom of it all had eluded him. That fog has begun to lift …
But even Sigmund has never imagined how far his investigations will take him – or that his destiny is entwined with the fates of worlds.
“Combines sparkling wit and ‘old school’ hard sf with masterly storytelling and cosmic vision … enjoy the return of good, old-fashioned sf, packed with ideas, philosophical musings, and plenty of space action.” —Library Journal
The scariest aliens in the galaxy follow a simple rule: destroy all opposition.
The brilliant, xenophobic Pak are fleeing the chain reaction of supernovae at the galaxy’s core. Nothing and no one is going to impede their migration. Devastated worlds — any civilization that could possibly have interfered — lie shattered in their wake. And now the Fleet of Worlds is in their sights….
The trillion Puppeteers who inhabit the Fleet might have the resources to confront the threat — but Puppeteers are philosophical cowards. They don’t confront anyone. They need allies to investigate the situation and then take action. Who better than the Puppeteers’ newly independent one-time slave world, New Terra?
Sigmund Ausfaller, former Earth intelligence agent and current paranoid, finds himself leading the war against the Pak. With his own allies, the enigmatic, aquatic Gw’oth, Sigmund prepares to face everyone’s mutual enemy. And neither humans nor Gw’oth have any intention of becoming cannon fodder….
“Rescues, captures, kidnappings, reluctant temporary alliances, backdoor negotiations, propaganda campaigns, bluffs and double-bluffs, alien and cross-species politics, and, of course, betrayals. Lots of betrayals … One hopes that Niven and Lerner come up with some additional twists and turns.” —Locus
Fleeing the supernova chain reaction at the galactic core, the cowardly Puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds have — just barely — survived.
They’ve stumbled from one crisis to the next: the rebellion of their human slaves, the relentless questing of the species of Known Space, the spectacular rise of the starfishlike Gw’oth, the onslaught of the genocidal Pak. Catastrophe looms again as past crises return — and converge. Who can possibly save the Fleet of Worlds from its greatest peril yet?
“Longtime Ringworld fans and current series devotees … should be more than satisfied by Niven and Lerner’s signature hard-sf spin on the events in the climactic final chapters.” —Booklist
For decades, the spacefaring species of Known Space have battled over the largest artifact — and grandest prize — in the galaxy: the all-but-limitless resources and technology of the Ringworld. But without warning the Ringworld has vanished, leaving behind three rival war fleets.
Something must justify the blood and treasure that have been spent. If the fallen civilization of the Ringworld can no longer be despoiled of its secrets, the Puppeteers will be forced to surrender theirs. Everyone knows that the Puppeteers are cowards.
But the crises converging upon the trillion Puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds go far beyond even the onrushing armadas:
Adventurer Louis Wu and the exiled Puppeteer leader known only as Hindmost, marooned together for more than a decade, managed to escape from the Ringworld before it disappeared. And throughout those years, as he studied Ringworld technology, Hindmost has plotted to reclaim his power …
Ol’t'ro, the Gw’oth ensemble mind — and, for a century, the Fleet of World’s unsuspected puppet master — is deviously brilliant. And, increasingly unbalanced …
Proteus, the artificial intelligence on which — in desperation — the Puppeteers rely to manage their defenses, is outgrowing its programming. And the supposed constraints on its initiative …
Sigmund Ausfaller, paranoid and disgraced hero of the lost human colony of New Terra, knows that something threatens his adopted home world. And that it must be stopped …
Achilles, the megalomaniac Puppeteer, twice banished — and twice rehabilitated — sees the Fleet of World’s existential crisis as a new opportunity to reclaim supreme power. Whatever the risks …
One way or another, the fabled race of Puppeteers may have come to the end of their days.
The InterstellarNet series
“One of the most original, believable, thoroughly thought-out, and utterly fascinating visions ever of what interstellar contact might really be like.” — Stanley Schmidt, editor of Analog
We are not alone. Now what?
Life changed for physicist Dean Matthews — and everyone else on Earth — the day astronomers heard the radio signal from a neighboring star.
First Contact brought more questions than answers. What were the aliens saying, and what did they want? What could humanity hope to gain — and what did we risk losing — if we replied? Did we dare trust one another? Did we dare not to? And who had any say in the matter?
By sorting out all that, Dean changed lives again. This time across two worlds.
And in the process he set the stage for crises yet more daunting that would bedevil his family — and an expanding number of interstellar civilizations — for generations to come.
” … A twisted plot complete with conspiracies, alien psychology, antimatter physics neep, AI spies, and plenty of shooting action at the end.” — Internet Review of Science Fiction (on the serialized version)
Earth and its interstellar neighbors had been in radio contact for a century and a half. A vigorous commerce in intellectual property had accelerated technical progress for all the species involved. Ideas, riding on radio waves, routinely crossed interstellar space — almost like neighbors chatting over the interstellar back fence. But there is a way over, or under, or around, almost any fence. Sooner or later, when we least expect it, the neighbors, friendly or otherwise, are going to pay a call….
InterstellarNet: New Order is a startling adventure of Second Contact, upfront and personal. Humanity is about to discover that meeting aliens face to face is very different—and a lot more dangerous—than sending and receiving messages.
“A taut near-future thriller about an energy-starved Earth held hostage by a power-mad international cartel … Lerner’s vision of the future is both topical and possible in this crisp, fast-paced hard SF adventure.” —Publishers Weekly
No one expected the oil to last forever. How right they were….
One geopolitical miscalculation sufficed to taint major oil fields with radioactivity and plunge the Middle East into chaos. The oil that remains usable is more prized than ever. No one can build solar farms, wind farms, and electric cars quickly enough to cope. The few countries still able to export oil and natural gas — Russia chief among them – have a stranglehold on the world economy.
And then Phoebe appeared. Rather than divert the onrushing asteroid, America captured it into Earth orbit.
Solar power satellites — cheaply mass-produced in orbit with resources mined from the new moon, to beam vast amounts of power to the ground — offer America its last best hope of avoiding servitude and economic ruin. As though building miles-across structures in space isn’t challenging enough, special interests, everyone from technophobes to eco-extremists to radio astronomers, want to stop the project. And the remaining petro powers will do anything to protect their newfound dominance of world affairs.
NASA engineer Marcus Judson is determined to make the powersat demonstration project a success. And he will –
Even though nothing in his job description mentions combating an international cabal, or going into space to do it.
“Suspense and action enough to fuel any thriller, and even to drive it to the big screen.” —SFrevu
Garner Nanotechnology is developing nanotech-enhanced protective suits and first-aid nanobots. It’s cutting-edge stuff, and when it saves Brent Cleary from a pipeline explosion that killed hundreds, the Army takes notice.
A near-death experience changes a person, so no one is entirely surprised when easy-going Brent turns somber and cold. Not at first. But Kim O’Donnell, Brent’s best friend, can’t make sense of the changes. This just isn’t her friend, and she knows something has gotten into him. Something has indeed gotten into him: lots and lots of medical nanobots.
The experts scoff. The microscopic robots implement foolproof safeguards: they do their jobs and then self-destruct. If any ‘bots did stay behind, they couldn’t do any harm. And every test on Brent comes up negative.
With an Army field trial imminent and the company’s future at stake, no one will confront possible nanotech side effects. The bad news is, Kim is right. Nanobots have changed Brent — and while he is the first of his kind, a human/nanotech hybrid, he has already seen to it that he won’t be the last.
If Kim can’t stop Brent and his cadre … maybe we’ll all change.
We are not alone, and it’s our own damn fault.
Something demonic is stalking the brightest men and women in the computer industry. It attacks without warning or mercy, leaving its prey insane, comatose — or dead.
Something far nastier than any virus, worm, or Trojan horse program is being evolved in laboratory confinement by well-intentioned but misguided researchers. When their artificial life-form escapes onto the Internet, no conventional defense against malicious software can begin to compete. As disasters multiply, computer scientist Doug Carey knows that unconventional measures may be civilization’s last hope.
And that any artificial life-form learns very fast ….
“Moonstruck is not just another alien invasion novel, but truly an original performance.” — Science Fiction Book Club
A New Golden Age … or the Apocalypse?
The moon has suddenly acquired its own satellite: a two-mile-across starship that represents a hitherto unsuspected Galactic Commonwealth. The F’thk, a vaguely centaur-like member species for whom Earth’s ecology is hospitable, have been sent to evaluate humanity for prospective membership.
The F’thk are overtly friendly but very private – “Information is a trade good.” As Earth’s scientists struggle to understand their secretive appraisers, odd inconsistencies emerge. As troubling as those anomalies is the re-emergence of a bit of insanity humanity thought it had outgrown: Cold War and nuclear saber-rattling.
The Galactics’ arrival may signify the start of a glorious new era, or it may presage the cataclysmic end of human civilization. Which outcome do the aliens really desire …
And what will they do if humanity refuses to play its assigned role?
“… A fast-paced, hold-on-to-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller” —Illinois Quarterly
Is this the greatest discovery of all time … or the biggest hoax?
Bob Hanson, the chief scientist of a major aerospace corporation, has made an incredible discovery: a wrecked alien spacecraft adrift in the Asteroid Belt. The evidence is compelling—video images from the Prospector space probe he himself had created. The military enthusiastically embraces an investigation of the extraterrestrials, remarkably indifferent to the inconsistencies that begin to appear.
Undeterred, Hanson keeps digging … and finds much more than he had ever bargained for. Soon on the lam, he, and everyone to whom he turns, is hunted. Before long only one conclusion remains unassailable—that his mysterious opponents play for keeps.
Are aliens manipulating events on Earth? Did unscrupulous corporate executives invent the aliens in search of giga-buck government contracts? Has the Pentagon fabricated an alien menace for its own purposes?
Or is the truth something really unimaginable?
Cosmologically speaking, Earth’s luck ran out in an eye blink. In another million years or so, humanity could have had the technology to shield its cradle from an imminent gamma-ray burst. Or humans might already have spread out among the stars—safe, as a species, from any less-than-galactic-scale disaster. Too bad we didn’t get that million years.
And too bad, with humanity teetering on the brink of extinction, the few desperate survivors on Dark couldn’t leave behind their conflicts…
Dark Secret appeared in Analog, April through July/August 2013 issues.
Ed is a big fan of serials. Several of his novels first appeared in serial form:
- Parts of Fools’ Experiments (as Survival Instinct)
- InterstellarNet: New Order (as A New Order of Things)
- Countdown to Armageddon
Frontiers of Space, Time, and Thought brings together more than a dozen of Edward M. Lerner’s most engaging short stories. Lerner takes the reader on a grand tour of Big Ideas: from virtual reality to artificial intelligence to homicidal time-traveling grandchildren to troubled aliens wondering if they are alone. Journey along in these beguiling tales as we start by colonizing near-Earth space—and end up in the farthest reaches of the multiverse. Lerner’s novels and short fiction have intrigued fans around the world—and this collection will show you why.
But truth can be stranger than fiction—and Lerner is not just a writer; he’s a professional computer engineer and physicist. His fact articles have pride of place in this collection, and they pose some Really Big Questions. How can we protect Earth from asteroids? What will commercialized spaceflight be like in the post-shuttle era? What will privacy (or the lack thereof) mean in the Internet age? He lays out the why, where, and (perhaps the) how of faster-than-light travel; and the challenges of communicating with alien species. Expanded and updated with the latest information, and with full references and links to further reading, these essays will take you to and beyond The Frontiers of Space, Time and Thought.
”A romp through time and history … an intriguing selection.” — Bookloons
Armageddon: Hezbollah has obtained an atomic bomb and a would-be martyr eager to deliver it — and that’s the good news. The bad news, unknown even to Hezbollah, is that their physicist has also found a way to take his new bomb back to a turning point in European history.
Harry Bowen, an American physicist, and Terrence Ambling, a British agent turned historian, are determined to stop Abdul Faisel and prevent the nullification of all Western civilization. Their mission can be accomplished, if at all, only in the darkest of the Dark Ages — and there, too, time is running out.
“A top pick for anyone looking for exciting fiction …”— Midwest Book Review
Paradise: The flip side (in print format; sold separately as an ebook) offers a fiction collection headlined by “A Stranger in Paradise.” These novelettes and short stories, running the thematic gamut from nanotech to the ethics of terraforming other worlds to the conjuring of demons, first appeared in Analog, Amazon Shorts, and Jim Baen’s Universe.
Computing is mere decades young, a set of technologies we have scarcely begun to develop. It’s already been quite a ride. Now: Imagine every gadget around you becoming ever faster, cheaper, tinier, more interconnected, more intelligent . . . especially more intelligent. The stories in Creative Destruction explore what we could face in the next half century or so: artificial intelligence, malicious software to makes us nostalgic for mere viruses, ever-more-perfect virtual reality, direct neural interfaces to computers, ubiquitous networks, and more. The internet? That was nothing.
An astonishing amount of the science and technology in vintage science fiction has come to pass — but much has not. Where’s your laser gun? Your invisibility suit? Your robot servant? When was your last trip by space train, and whatever happened to personal protective force fields?
Despite their obsolescence, these dreams have staying power. For a fresh take on these classic ideas, try Impossible Futures.
From a misty beach in Massachusetts to worlds both distant and alien, some of the best writers in science fiction—some old favorites like Robert J. Sawyer and Stephen Baxter, some up-and-coming—explore some of the many places our future may take us. You’ll find problems we face right now, as in Edward M. Lerner’s “The Night of the RFIDs” and Richard A. Lovett’s “Tiny Berries”; and others that may (or may not?) be much farther down the road, like the very alien viewpoints in Juliette Wade’s “Cold Words” and Carl Frederick’s “The Universe Beneath Our Feet.” You’ll find engaging characters like the very young extraterrestrial with a critical mission (in the White House) and an unforgiving deadline in David D. Levine’s “Pupa,” and the retired astronaut with Alzheimer’s who must remotely salvage a Moon mission in Marianne J. Dyson’s “Fly Me to the Moon.” All are guaranteed to entertain and to make you think in ways you’ve never thought before.
If the twentieth century was the American Century, who will the next one belong to… and what will become of the nation’s capital? Will Washington D.C. be drowned in the rising tides and its glory days forgotten, or will its residents rise to the challenge and remake the world in its image? In these stories you’ll find as many questions as answers, but if assembled authors agree on anything, it’s that we are destined to live in interesting times and more than that… ones that we will have a hand in creating. Ask not what the future can do for you… with stories by Cory Doctorow, James Alan Gardner, Joe Haldeman, Sean McMullen, Kim Stanley Robinson, Allen M. Steele, and many more.
Includes Ed’s story (not the entire collection, above) “A Stranger in Paradise”
The online magazine, “Jim Baen’s Universe,” now in its second successful year, and fans of science fiction and fantasy agree that it’s the place on the internet to find great reading by both top-selling established writers and talented new arrivals. Once again, site editor Eric Flint, creator of the “New York Times” best-selling “Ring of Fire” series, picks the cream of the crop from stories that have appeared in the magazine.
Flint himself, with his frequent collaborator Dave Freer, return to their popular series that began with “Rats, Bats & Vats” in a story set on a hollow asteroid which is under siege by the alien enemy. Someone is killing women of the oldest profession. Captain Rebecca Wuollet has been given the job of catching the killer and, to do it, she’ll need the help of a pair of rats who have been artificially given human-level intelligence. Mike Resnick, Hugo-winner and “New York Times” best-selling author, tells what happens when a pro basketball team gets the best player that money can buy–or that science can manufacture. Hugo Award and World Fantasy Award winner Kristine Kathryn Rusch takes us to World War II Paris, where a child of faerie finds a way to survive the Nazi occupation. Hugo and Nebula winner Nancy Kress looks at the aftermath of World War “III,” and the aliens who have arrived, but not to help the human survivors–they’re only interested in Man’s Best Friend.
Also on board: Award-winning writer Elizabeth Bear; another award-winner and “New York Times” best-selling writer, Garth Nix; a third award-winner, Laura Resnick; and much more in a generous serving of the best SF and fantasy being written today.
Includes Ed’s story (not the entire collection, above) “Creative Destruction”
The 2002 anthology of the previous year’s outstanding science fiction stories. Features the contributions of Brian W. Aldiss, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gregory Benford, David Morrell, Gene Wolfe, Terry Bisson, and Michael Swanwick, among other notable masters of the speculative fiction genre.
Where are the time travelers? After all, if it is possible to move between past and future, shouldn’t someone from somewhen in all the infinite reaches of the future have visited by now? The good news is, there are answers to those questions. But then, there’s the bad news….
In the meantime, here are some other questions to ponder. What if a man could go forward in time to learn about the future—and then backwards in time to correct a dreadful mistake? But what if going back in time was, in and of itself, the most terrible mistake possible?
Could a life’s journey that started off bending—and breaking—a few real estate laws really wind up ending life as we know it? That would have to be impossible. Or would it?
This mind-bending novella will keep readers guessing until the final page.
Includes the bonus time-travel short story “Grandpa?”—one of Edward M. Lerner’s most popular tales.
(Each reference that follows is to a story’s original publication, most often in a magazine. Some of these stories are available in collections, anthologies, or chapbooks listed elsewhere on this page.)
“Dangling Conversations” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November 2000
”Creative Destruction” – Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March 2001
“Hostile Takeover” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May 2001
”Strange Bedfellows” — Artemis, Science and Fiction for a Space-Faring Age, Winter 2001
”Calculating Minds” — Jim Baen’s Universe, April 2009
(The novel InterstellarNet: Origins integrates, expands, and substantially revises the storyline across the above five stories.)
“The Matthews Conundrum” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November 2013
“Championship B’tok” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2014
”Presence of Mind” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, February 2002
”Survival Instinct” (short serialized novel) — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October 2002 and November 2002
(The novel Fools’ Experiments integrates, expands, and substantially revises the storyline across both stories.)
”The Day of the RFIDs” — In the original anthology Future Washington (2005)
”The Night of the RFIDs” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May 2008
“Time Out” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January/February, 2013
“Unplanned Obsolescence” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January/February, 2013
“Tour de Force” — in the original anthology Impossible Futures (2013)
“Blessed Are the Bleak” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April, 2011
”A Time for Heroes” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, June, 2010
”No GUTs, No Glory” — Jim Baen’s Universe, August, 2009
”Small Business” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January/February 2009
”Where Credit Is Due” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October, 2008
”Inside The Box” — Asimov’s Science Fiction, February 2008
”Countdown to Armageddon” (serialized novel) — Jim Baen’s Universe, October 2007 through October 2008
”At the Watering Hole” — Jim Baen’s Universe, August 2007
”Copywrong” — Darker Matter, June 2007 (This is as much satire as it is a story.)
”Chance of Storms” — Jim Baen’s Universe, April 2007
”RSVP” — Darker Matter, March 2007
”A Stranger in Paradise” — Jim Baen’s Universe, February 2007
“Catch a Falling Star” — in the collection Creative Destruction (2006)
“Great Minds” — Jim Baen’s Universe, October 2006
”Better the Devil You Know?” — in Amazon Shorts (a Kindle precursor), 2006
”Two Kinds of People” — In Amazon Shorts (a Kindle precursor), 2006
”A Matter of Perspective” — Artemis, Science Fiction for a Space-Faring Age, Winter, 2003
”By the Rules” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, June, 2003
”Iniquitous Computing” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/August, 2002
”Grandpa?” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/August 2001
===> Watch “The Grandfather Paradox,” the award-winning film adaptation <===
===> Hear “Grandpa?” performed on Escapepod. <==
”Settlement” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January 2001
”Unplanned-For Flying Object” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 1994
“What A Piece of Work is Man” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, February 1991
(In updated and expanded form, most articles through January 2012 are included in the collection Frontiers of Space, Time, and Thought.)
“Alien AWOLs: The Great Silence” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October, 2014
(Fifty years of SETI — and still nothing heard. What does it mean?)
“Alternate Abilities: The Paranormal” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, June, 2014
(Can the paranormal coexist with hard SF?)
“Are We There Yet? (Guest Editorial)” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May, 2014
(What happened to the future that SF once seemed to promise?)
“Alien Dimensions: The Universe Next Door” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April, 2014
(Other (possible) domains of existence in fact and well-crafted fiction)
“Fate of Worlds: 42 Years in the Making,” in the collection Story Behind the Book, Volume 2: Essays on Writing Speculative Fiction (2014)
(All essays pro bono; all proceeds donated to Epilepsy Action)
“Hacked Off (Guest Editorial)” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December, 2013
(Hacking of American infrastructure, why you should care, and what (if anything) is being done about it)
“Alien Worlds: Not in Kansas Any More” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October, 2013
(Alien worlds in fact and well-crafted fiction)
“Victory Lapse (Guest Editorial)” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May, 2013
(Why is NASA celebrating its retreat from crewed spaceflight?)
“Alien Aliens: Beyond Rubber Suits” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April, 2013
(Possible alien life in fact and well-crafted fiction)
“Faster Than a Speeding Photon” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January/February, 2012
(The Why, Where, and (Perhaps the) How of Faster-Than-Light Technology)
“Lost in Space? Follow the Money” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October, 2011
(Life after the Space-Shuttle Era)
“Say, What? Ruminations about Language, Communications, and Science Fiction” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March, 2011
(How to use communications – and how not to – in SF)
”Rock! Bye-Bye, Baby” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November, 2009
(Near-Earth Objects and what we might do about them)
”Insignificance” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October, 2009
(A poem befitting the 400th anniversary of the first use of a telescope for astronomy)
”Follow the Nanobrick Road” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2008
(The coming era of nanotechnology)
”The Old Gray Goo, It Ain’t What It Used To Be” — The Bulletin of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Fall 2007
(A second glimpse of the future of nanotech)
”Beyond This Point Be RFIDs” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2007
(Radio-frequency identification, data mining, and associated threats to privacy)