Galaxy NGC 1232Fleet of Worlds series novels
InterstellarNet series novels
Non-series novels
Nonfiction books
Short fiction
Nonfiction articles

The Fleet of Worlds series (with Larry Niven)

Fleet of Worlds

FOW series, book #1

” … 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.


Juggler of Worlds

FOW series, book #2

“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.

Destroyer of Worlds

FOW series, book #3

“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….

Betrayer of Worlds

FOW series, book #4

“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?



Front cover for "Fate of Worlds"

FOW series, book #5

“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.

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 The InterstellarNet series

InterStellarNet: Origins

InterstellarNet series, book #1

“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.

InterstellarNet: New Order

InterstellarNet series, book #2 (An earlier version was serialized in Analog, May – September 2006.)

” … 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.




InterstellarNet Enigma front cover

InterstellarNet series, book #3. (Also available as a five-part ebook serial.)

An exceptional book in an excellent series … If you enjoy a good story on a large scale told by sympathetic characters, read Interstellar Net: Enigma. If you enjoy space opera, space combat, and unlikely heroes saving the earth, you will enjoy this book. If you enjoy mysteries, the futuristic elements will not detract. This is one of the few novels that combine an action mystery with a sweeping science fiction and excels at being both. Get this novel. Whether you read the others or not, it stands alone. Highly recommended.” — Galaxy’s Edge

Humanity once feared that we might be alone in the universe. Now we know better. And we’ve learned there are worse things than being alone …

Joshua Matthews has the opportunity to write the definitive history of InterstellarNet. In that history he plans to focus attention on the improbability that an interstellar community even exists. But somehow, returning home from the party thrown to celebrate his good fortune, he has lost a month of his life. Everyone is certain he’s been on an epic bender. And so, rather than promoted, he is disgraced, unemployed, and unemployable …

Firh Glithwah, leader of the Hunter clan Arblen Ems, schemes to liberate her people from two decades of ignominious internment and isolation on a remote moon of Uranus. And in the process to take vengeance against their human oppressors …

Reporter Corinne Elman and United Planets intel agent Carl Rowland, each in their own way, remains scarred and haunted by the bloody fiasco that was the Hunter invasion of the Solar System …

And none of them suspects that their tribulations have only begun, or that their lives will entwine—across time and space—to confront the InterstellarNet Enigma.

Winner of the 2015 Canopus Award

Nominated for the 2016 Prometheus Award

Incorporates “Championship B’tok,” nominated for the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novelette

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Non-series novels

As though landing people safely on Mars weren’t daunting enough …

The Space Race of the Sixties, at the height of the Cold War, had been nail-biting—until the Soviet Union forfeited.

In the thirties—amid a second Cold War—China is not about to lose the race to Mars. Nor is the United States. Nor, quite the wildcard, is a secretive cabal drawn from among the world’s multi-billionaires. All of them scrambling to launch deep-space missions on a schedule to make the Sixties contest appear lackadaisical.

Competition that could only continue on the Red Planet.

More treacherous still? The rivalries, resentments, and distrust that simmer just beneath the surface within each expedition.

More difficult yet? Survival on that arid, radiation-drenched, all-but-airless, planet.

These challenges have all somehow fallen into the lap of NASA engineer—and reluctant astronaut—Xander Hopkins.

But the thorniest problem of all? The existential quandary for which neither training nor experience has in any way prepared Xander? Making sense of the seemingly unstoppable plague that has already killed. The plague that seems poised to devastate all life on Mars and another world.


However wildly people had imagined First Contact? They never imagined this.

They weren’t supposed to be there. They hadn’t planned to be there. But neither had they planned for the near-catastrophic explosion that had all but destroyed their interstellar passenger vessel.

There was somewhere on the far fringes of what the rustic locals—for all they knew alone in the universe—egotistically capitalized as the Solar System. But however primitive these humans, scarcely spacefaring at all, they were the last, best, and—however vanishingly small—only hope for the few surviving passengers of the starship Greater Good to avoid lingering deaths on some remote, icy rock.

And the crew of the tiny spaceship Andrew Carnegie? They entertained no plans beyond keeping secret the identity of their destination asteroid, exploiting its storehouse of precious metals, and fantasizing over how to spend their anticipated wealth.

The universe, once again, didn’t give a damn what anyone had planned….

“Impressive character work and invigorating twists … a buried lunar treasure.” — Publishers Weekly

On the Moon’s far side, shielded from Earth’s radio cacophony, Americans are building a radio-astronomy observatory. Russians sift the dust of a lunar “sea” for helium-3 to run future fusion reactors. Commercial robots, remotely operated from Earth, roam the Moon’s near side in a hunt for mineral wealth. Why chase distant asteroids for precious metals? Onetime asteroids must lie close beneath the much-bombarded lunar surface.

Then a prospecting robot encounters a desiccated, spacesuited figure. An alien figure ….

Americans from the lunar observatory investigate. Near the original find, underground, they discover an alien installation. Lunar Russians, realizing that the Americans are up to something clandestine, send their own small team. Each group distrusts the other … even before the fatal “accidents” begin. By the time anyone suspects what ancient evil they have awakened, it may be too late—

For everyone on Earth, too.

Cover of first edition

Think: Dashiell Hammett meets Andy Weir

The Company Man, lowly accountant for the filthy-richest business in the Asteroid Belt, has modest aspirations. Air and water not endlessly recycled. Food that had not been freeze-dried and re-hydrated. A few quiet days at home. And, if he can figure out how, pilfering a bit from the company.

Alas, working as he does for evil geniuses, that final ambition seems impossible — until, at the end of an interminable trek among remote company mining asteroids, a mysterious emergency preempts his return flight. Someone has discovered a flaw in the company’s legendary security, even if people must apparently die to exploit it.

That … isn’t necessarily an obstacle. Or even the least of the consequences, in the Belt, elsewhere in the Solar System, and across Earth itself. With the body count rising, even the vast fortunes at stake cease to matter — and only the Company Man has a chance of averting interplanetary disaster.

 If he survives ….

Dark Secret front cover

(An earlier version was serialized in Analog, April – July/August 2013.)

“I found Dark Secret to be a refreshingly hopeful vision; the important questions it raised — frightening and disturbing as they may be — are ones we ignore at our own peril … I heartily recommend Ed Lerner’s Dark Secret.” — Tangent Online

When the experimental ship Clermont is urgently recalled from a long-range test flight, neither Dana McElwain nor Blake Westford, its captain and crew, imagines that they are about to embark on a much more urgent voyage—or that this new mission will determine the fate of the human race.

A gamma-ray burst—the deadly beam of radiation spawned seven thousand years earlier in the death throes of doomed neutron stars—is about to wipe the Solar System clean of all life. Only the Clermont’s prototype Dark Energy Drive might carry anyone, and any of humanity’s legacy, to safety before that extinction.

And then what? Where beyond the Solar System is safe? What if the price of survival is to become less … human?

“Leave it to Edward M. Lerner to take a notion, run with it, squeeze every ramification out of it, and put it altogether in an irresistible page-turner. Dark Secret is a crackerjack novel—hard science fiction at its best.”
— Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Quantum Night


Energized front cover

(An earlier version was serialized in Analog, June – October 2011.)

“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.

Small Miracles front cover (TPB edition)

Cover from 2014 TPB reissue

“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.

FE cover (cropped)

Cover from 2015 TPB re-release

“When the artificial intelligences … go maverick, they turn out to be the true weapons of mass destruction. A fast, fun read.” — Sci Fi Weekly

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 ….

Lerner makes it look effortless, as though the murderous, self-aware computer virus were the most ordinary thing in the world.” — Winnipeg Free Press


This cover is from the 2011 reissue; the first edition was in 2005. (An earlier version was serialized in Analog, September – December 2003.)

“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?



This cover is from the 2011 reissue; the first edition was in 1991.

“… 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?

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Ed is a big fan of serials. Several of his novels first appeared in serial form:

  • Parts of Fools’ Experiments (as Survival Instinct)
  • Moonstruck
  • InterstellarNet: New Order (as A New Order of Things)
  • Countdown to Armageddon
  • Energized
  • Dark Secret
  • InterstellarNet: Enigma (as an ebook-only serial)

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Nonfiction books

(Updates, integrates, and expands a dozen of Ed’s “science behind the fiction” articles)

“Worth your time, your money, and your consideration, whether you’re interested in accessible science, looking to understand trends in science fiction, or—optimally—both.”   — Trevor Quachri, editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact (excerpted from his guest foreword to the book)

The essential resource for anyone who reads, writes, watches, or studies science fiction

Men have walked on the Moon. Siri and Alexa manage—at least often enough to be helpful—to make sense of the things we say. Biologists have decoded DNA, and doctors have begun to tailor treatments to suit our individual genetic make-ups. In short: science and tech happen.

But faster-than-light travel? Time travel? Telepathy? A six million dollar—as adjusted, of course, for inflation—man? Starfaring aliens? Super-intelligent computers? Those, surely, are mere fodder for storytelling. Or wild extrapolations. Just so many “sci fi” tropes.

Sometimes, yes. But not necessarily.

In Trope-ing the Light Fantastic, physicist, computer engineer, science popularizer, and award-winning science-fiction author Edward M. Lerner entertainingly examines these and many other SF tropes. The science behind the fiction.

Each chapter, along with its eminently accessible scientific discussion, surveys science fiction—foundational and modern, in short and long written form, on TV and the big screen—that illustrates a particular trope. The good, the bad, and occasionally the cringe-worthy. All imparted with wit (and ample references to learn more).

So forget what the Wizard of Oz advised. Let’s pull back the curtain ….

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“One of the leading global writers of hard science fiction.” — The Innovation Show

Best of Edward M. Lerner (cover)Here are the gems! The gateway to the many worlds of Edward M. Lerner!

While you probably know Ed from his SF novels, including the InterstellarNet series and the epic Fleet of Worlds series with Larry Niven, Ed is also a prolific author of acclaimed short fiction. This collection showcases his finest and favorite shorter works.

Faced with the common question of which of his books should someone read first, he has carefully selected these stories to cover his wide range. Now he can answer, “This one!”

Alternate history. Parallel worlds. Future crime. Alien invasion. Alien castaways. Time travel. Quantum intelligence (just don’t call him artificial). A (sort of) haunted robot. Deco punk. In this book, you’ll find these—and more—together with Ed’s reminiscences about each selection and its relationship to other stories, novels, and even series that span his writing career.

These are the best, as determined by awards, award nominations, and the selective tastes of eight top editors and choosy Analog readers.

Each excellent story stands alone—you won’t need to have read anything prior—but you’ll surely want to read more of Ed’s books afterwards.

“Lerner’s world-building and extrapolating are top notch.” — SFScope

Sherlock / Paradise cover thumbnail

Integrates the four stories of the AI PI series and the four stories of the Paradise series

The Sherlock Chronicles

A mile a minute? Nonsense. Even a meat brain knows “mind going a mile a minute” is mere metaphor. For a quantum mind, a light-second per minute would be nearer to apt, if sadly sans alliteration. Ordinarily, I have my metaphorical fingers in hundreds, even thousands, of figurative pies. Any less stimulation than that is boring, and boredom is the bane of a q-mind’s existence.

That events in the “real” world often strike humans as inexplicable is hardly surprising. Meat brains have limits. And so, when an opportunity presented itself, I thought: why not lend a virtual hand? Every moment of diversion was welcome, and this “case,” surely, a harmless amusement. Thus began my detective phase. Only I couldn’t have been more wrong about harmless ….

And if an AI PI isn’t intriguing enough, there’s also The Paradise Quartet

A triumph of ingenuity and sheer willpower had delivered a dying generation ship to the exoplanet Paradise. Too bad the ingenious biotech the colonists deployed to settle on that planet triggered an inexorable devolutionary cycle.

Thousands of years later, possible rescuers arrive — and are themselves ensnared in the manmade trap that is Paradise. Escape will require new ingenuity and more multi-generational striving ….

 Two exciting adventures in one volume.

You’ll meet unforgettable characters and find the pages flipping by

— Robert J. Sawyer

Best known for his SF novels — including the InterstellarNet series and (with Larry Niven) the epic Fleet of Worlds series — Edward M. Lerner is also a prolific author of short fiction. This collection showcases many of his finest stories, featuring works selected from over a decade’s output.

Alternate history. Parallel worlds. Rogue artificial intelligences. Alien invasion. Biting satire as to where the Internet is leading us. A Sherlock Holmes for the next century. Deco punk. Deep thoughts about, well, deep thoughts. In this book, you’ll find these — and more — together with Ed’s reminiscences as to what led him to create these seventeen gems in the first place.

Frontiers of S-T-T (front cover)“If you only read one Hard SF book this year, make it this one. You won’t regret it.” — Tangent Online

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.

Countdown to Armageddon -- A Stranger in Paradise

In print, sold as one double-sided volume. Sold separately as ebooks and audio books (2010 cover)

 “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.

Creative Destruction

(2006 cover)

“For its compelling vision of what could be, you will want take more than a glimpse of Creative Destruction.” — Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction

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.

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Includes Ed’s story “Chance of Storms”

Another great anthology for those times when you’re only briefly … occupied. Forty authors, forty stories, mostly under 2,000 words, mostly reprints. Grouped according to their themes — death, fairy tales, love, magic, and myth. You’ll also find the usual suspects — dragons, ghosts, gods, the undead, weres, and witches.

And merely the cover is well worth the price of admission 🙂

Ed doesn’t write a lot fantasy — hardly any, actually — so his contribution to this antho is out of the ordinary. Almost (as it were) fantastic.

We have it on good authority that Ed is quietly rooting for Dial and Easton to do “Horror for the Throne.” We wonder what that cover will show ….

Seriously, isn’t the cover reason enough?

Includes Ed’s story “Grandpa?”

Looking for something to read while you sit down for just a few minutes on the bus or in a waiting room or …?

Well, look no further. This is just the thing — forty authors, forty stories, mostly under 2,000 words, mostly reprints. Grouped according to their themes — artificial intelligence, technology, space, time travel, space aliens, the arts and media, religion, strange relationships, and reviving the past. There are even a few shaggy dogs.

Just remember — one sitting, one read! Others are waiting!

Ed’s contribution to this anthology, “Grandpa?” (in the time-travel category, if you hadn’t guessed) is perhaps his most popular (very) short story.

===> Watch “The Grandfather Paradox,” the award-winning film adaptation <===

===> Hear “Grandpa?” performed on Escape Pod. <==

sf-by-scientists-front-coverIncludes Ed’s story “Turing de Force”(not to be confused or conflated with his story (see Impossible Futures, below) “Tour de Force”)

Science fiction written by scientists and engineers (including a onetime NASA flight controller), all selected by practicing astronomer and science-fiction author Michael Brotherton. An afterword discussing the underlying science accompanies each story.

Ed’s contribution to the anthology, “Turing de Force” draws upon (if you haven’t already guessed) his extensive background in computer science.

Back in the Sixties, there was a similar book titled Great Science Fiction by Scientists, with contributions from, among others, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Willy Ley, Leo Silzard, and Norbert Weiner, edited by legendary anthologist Groff Conklin. Here’s hoping the new antho looks as distinguished a few decades hence.

Decopunk_coverIncludes Ed’s story “Judy Garland Saves the World (And I Don’t Mean Oz)”

Are you ready for the new wave beyond Steampunk? Then it’s time for something that captures the spirit of another distinctive period, an era of ebullient progress in the arts, literature, science, and technology. Call it Deco Punk, and let’s rock with the bootlegging Twenties and roll with the grim Thirties. It was a time of heady optimism, and — fittingly — the era when modern science fiction was born.

(And just look at that gorgeous cover!)

Contributors other than Ed include Catherine Asaro, Paul Di  Fillipo, Jeff Hecht, and Duncan Eagleson (who also created the splendid cover). (Have we mentioned how much we like this cover?)


draft cover (03-22-2013)Includes Ed’s story “Tour de Force” (not to be confused or conflated with his story (see Science Fiction by Scientists, above)Turing de Force”)

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.

Impossible Futures is filled with tales of wonder, imagination, and longing for yesterday’s tomorrows. — Ben Bova.


Into the New Millennium: Trailblazing Tales From Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 2000 - 2010Includes Ed’s story “The Night of the RFIDs”

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.


Future WashingtonIncludes Ed’s story “The Day of the RFIDs”

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.



The Best of Jim Baen's Universe 2

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.

Year's Best SF 7

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.




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First published as “Time Out”

“A nice … foray into the paradoxes of time travel.” —SFrevu

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.

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Short Fiction

 (Each reference that follows is to a story’s original publication, most often in a magazine. Many of these stories are available in collections, anthologies, or chapbooks listed elsewhere on this page.)

InterstellarNet stories (first to last)

“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

(The above two stories, with modifications, form the opening third of the novel InterstellarNet: Enigma.)

 Survivor stories (first to last)

 “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 story line across both stories.)

RFIDs stories (first to last)

 “The Day of the RFIDs” — In the original anthology Future Washington (2005)

 “The Night of the RFIDs” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May 2008

Paradise stories (first to last)

“A Stranger in Paradise” — Jim Baen’s Universe, February 2007

“Paradise Regained” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January/February 2017

       ===> Hear “Paradise Regained” performed on Escape Pod. <==

“The Gates of Paradise” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May/June 2019

“Paradise Unbound” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September/October 2019

(The Sherlock Chronicles & The Paradise Quartet collects (among other things) the four “Paradise” stories.)

Company stories (first to last)

“The Company Man” — Grantville Gazette, May 2017

“The Company Dick” — Grantville Gazette, September 2017

“The Company Mole” — Grantville Gazette, November 2018 (Part I) and January 2019 (Part II)

“The Company Bane” — Grantville Gazette, March 2019 (Part I) and May 2019 (Part II)

(The novel The Company Man integrates, expands, and substantially revises the story line across the above stories.)

AI PI stories (first to last)

“A Case of Identity” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2015

“The Satellites of Damocles” — Future Science Fiction Digest, June 2019

“The Adventure of the Meat Interpreter” — Grantville Gazette, January 2020

“The Final Problem” — Grantville Gazette, March 2020

(The Sherlock Chronicles & The Paradise Quartet collects (among other things) the four “AI PI” stories.)

“Shoals of Space-Time” stories (first to last)

“On the Shoals of Space-Time” — Grantville Gazette, September 2020

“Marooned in Space-Time” — Grantville Gazette, November 2020

“Adrift in Space-Time” — Grantville Gazette, January 2021

“Ill-Met in Space-Time” — Grantville Gazette, May 2021 (Part I), July 2021 (Part II), and September 2021 (Part III)

“Adrift in Space-Time” — Grantville Gazette, January 2021

Non-series stories (most recent first)

“The Dark at the End of the Tunnel” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May/June 2024

“Soldier of Fortune” — in the (mostly) original anthology Shapers of Worlds IV (2024)

“Relatively Speaking” — Galaxy’s Edge, January 2022

“Sock It to Me” — Grantville Gazette, March 2021

“I’ve Got the World on a String” — Galaxy’s Edge, January 2019

“Clockwork Cataclysm” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January/February 2019

“Harry and the Lewises” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September/October 2018

“The Pilgrimage” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November/December 2017

“My Fifth and Most Exotic Voyage” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September/October 2017

“Too Deep Thought” — Galaxy’s Edge, July 2017

“Nothing to Lose?” — Galaxy’s Edge, May 2017

      ===> Hear “Nothing to Lose” performed on StarShipSofa. <==

“The Torchman’s Tale” — Galaxy’s Edge, January 2017

“Turing de Force” — in the original anthology Science Fiction by Scientists (2016)

“Soap Opera” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 2016

“There’s an App for That” — Sci Phi Journal, July 2015

“Judy Garland Saves the World (And I Don’t Mean Oz) — in the original anthology Deco Punk (2015)

“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

          ===> Hear “A Time for Heroes” performed on StarShipSofa. <==

 “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

“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 Escape Pod. <==

 “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

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“A Visit to the Network Control Center” — Sci Phi Journal, May 2017

“I Clink, Therefore I Am” — Sci Phi Journal, November 2015

“Insignificance” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October, 2009

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Nonfiction articles

(In updated and expanded form, many articles through January 2012 are included in the mixed fiction/nonfiction collection Frontiers of Space, Time, and Thought.

In updated and expanded form, most articles from March 2011 through October 2016 are included in the nonfiction book Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science behind the Fiction.)

“Dystopic? Or Myopic?” (Guest Editorial) — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November/December 2018

(My take on the decidedly dystopian trend in much modern SF.)

“A Mind of Its Own” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Part I in the September 2016 issue and Part II in the October 2016 issue

(How near is true SFnal artificial intelligence? And just how afraid should we be?)

“Here We Go Loopedy Loop: A Brief History of Time Travel” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Part I in the May 2016 issue and Part II in the June 2016 issue

(What is time, anyway? How — except at a second per second forward — can we travel through it?)

“The Dread Question” (Guest Editorial) — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May 2016

(Anent the question this author least likes being asked.)

“A Certain Uncertainty” (guest “Alternate View” column) — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 2016

(Must quantum mechanics be so random?)

“Human 2.0: Being All We Can Be” (in two parts) — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Part I in the January/February 2016 issue and Part II in the March 2016 issue

(From eugenics to genetic engineering to brain-computer interfaces — and all points in between)

“Alien Adventures: Rising to the Challenge” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October 2015

(And if there are no warp drives? How might we get to other stars? What do we need to learn?)

“Alien Altercations: Star (Spanning) Wars” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/August 2015

(Suppose there is someone out there … might we come to blows?)

“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)

 “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)

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