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Hyperdrive Hyperdrive

Europe, 2300 AD (more or less). A Marquesan scholar spontaneously begins developing the ability to act as the long-sought hyperdrive, a device–or in this case, a person–capable of reprogramming the space-time continuum and transporting people and objects across the galaxy at will. His abduction by agents of the city-state of Toulouse, who desire to put his abilities to work for them, prompts his boyfriend and childhood best friend to embark on a rescue mission: to Mars. The formerly barren planet has become the garden spot of the solar system, but the societies that flourish there are dramatically different from those that remain on Earth. And even as the would-be rescuers find themselves navigating the fierce local politics of the Martian outposts, they begin to realize that the hyperdrive is already at work.

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L'Affaire FamilleL’Affaire Famille

A supertanker goes missing in the Mozambique Channel. The president of Togo disappears from his mistress’s bed in the middle of the night. The American police find that more than a ton of confiscated cocaine has vanished from an evidence locker in El Paso. Meanwhile, the Bourbon-Busset family, descendants of thirty kings and at least one pope, are busy exploiting these events and a few others elsewhere in the world. The coffers of Riyadh and Rome alike are open to them as they divert funds illegitimately claimed by national governments for their own purposes. Their target? A doctor whose research into a new antiviral holds out the possibility of eradicating HIV completely, but who is also unwilling to share his results for humanitarian purposes. He must be persuaded to do so. And if the family cannot persuade him, then they must find a way to bypass him altogether. The price of failure is twenty million dead.

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Totum HominemTotum Hominem

Past, present, and a possible future blur together in this story about Erin, an obscure copyist whose home lies within the vaguely-defined boundaries of a great valley. The last surviving descendant of a line of rulers called primi who once held sway over the valley, he finds himself at the center of a regional power struggle between the mountaineers of the western hills and the priests of the House of Alexander. When the priests see Erin as a potential threat to their power and move to eliminate him, the mountaineers respond by kidnapping him to save his life. As a refugee in the mountains, he is forced to adjust to existence in a community held together by the loosest possible ties of self-interest while coping with the realization of what the priests have done to him and every other one of their subjects. At the same time, he must decide for himself whether he is fully human or not, and if so, what his rights and obligations are as a man and a member of no group other than the human race.

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Principles of AnarchismPrinciples of Anarchism

“Principles of Anarchism” applies classical logic and deductive reasoning to the subject of human interactions and rights. Beginning with the assumption that all human beings are equal, a concept which is termed the human equality axiom, the author goes on to draw a number of conclusions from this postulate in the manner of a Euclidean proof. These include the surprising contention that no such thing as human rights can exist, the assertion that anarchism is essentially intellectual rather than activist, and the uncomfortable suggestion that historical developments such as cities and industries are harmful to the human race rather than helpful. More centrally, though, the pamphlet argues very simply that any form of authority or government is logically incompatible with the existence of humanity. And it is the implications of this theory, rejection of which requires rejection of the equality axiom as well, which make the argument offered both novel and exceptionally relevant.

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The BettorThe Bettor

Berlin, 1939. An American tourist walks into the bar of the Adlon Hotel and offers, while tipsy, to bet that Germany and Russia will make common cause against Poland in the near future. The locals don’t buy such an outlandish prediction and take him up on his offer. Later that evening, the news comes over the radio that Germany and the USSR have just signed a nonaggression pact. Six years later, Professor Harry Gordon is still gambling, winning a quarter of a million dollars on a long shot at Belmont Park in New York and making steady profits on the stock market as well. He also seems to have acquired even more dangerous hobbies. Aided and abetted by an American draft dodger, an Australian pilot, and a former Soviet spy, the Professor works by devious routes to hammer into the public imagination the idea that there is a worse threat to the American way of life than mere Communism. And then, in the background, he quietly goes about increasing that threat by every means in his power.

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BasmalaIn the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

The Iranian Supreme Court has sentenced two teenagers to death.  Their crime?  Being involved in a three-year long homosexual relationship.  Every gay rights organization in the Western hemisphere has cried foul – and left it at that.  But Major Matthew Martin, an instructor at the Marine Corps University, disagrees with their lack of action, and he’s feeling bored at the moment.  The Major pulls together a few other disenchanted Marines and activists for a little side venture of his own: staging a private invasion of Iran and stopping the execution by rescuing the prisoners.  Meanwhile, across the Gulf in Bahrain, a young imam is building an underground organization of hackers whose aim is to convert popular discontent into a second Arab Spring.  Reasoning from the Quran, he argues that there can be no such thing as an Islamic state, and that all existing states are nothing more than idols, a position that places his group at immediate and lethal odds with the Bahraini government.

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Ships of the DesertShips of the Desert

Sir Charles Grosley is a wildly successful billionaire banker who has suddenly decided to invest his fortune in mining ventures in the war-torn Central African Republic. That doesn’t explain why he’s flying all over the neighboring state of Chad, holding meetings with the local sultans and disturbing the tribal balances of power. Nor does it account for his large purchases of tunneling equipment through a retired Chinese general, or for the private regiment of Sikh veterans that he’s raised to protect his holdings. And Captain Mbala, acting head of counterintelligence for the Central African Armed Forces, would very much like to know what his true motivation is. Meanwhile, in a laboratory beneath the desert, a group of engineers is at work on a spaceship that will finally deliver on the optimistic promises of the 1950s. The Space Age will be reborn and humanity will reach out to colonize the planets in a single stride. But to make the ship fly, two governments must first be destroyed.

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Senator ebook coverThe Senator Dies at Dawn

When a United States Senator is shot during his morning run, Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department at first focuses its investigation on an old political rival from his home state. MPD Detective Lewis, who has been placed in charge of the case, reluctantly accepts the assistance of Special Agent Colfax of the FBI, as he resents federal intrusion into what appears to be a simple murder. Then two more members of Congress die within minutes of one another, but with each killing remaining a distinct event. After a fourth high-profile victim turns up, Lewis and Colfax propose that the murders are the work of an atypical single serial killer targeting a very particular group. Given the lack of forensic evidence, the National Security Agency turns its computing power to running down a suspect who fits every facet of the behavioral profile developed by the detectives. But while the computers are thinking about it, the killer removes another member of Congress. And another. And another…

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A Case of ImpietyA Case of Impiety

In the year 180, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius gave a dinner for several of his close friends and senior officials–and for a farmer who had acquired the rare ability to speak across time and space.  By means of the man’s telepathic abilities, Aurelius finds himself in conversation with an American astronaut of the twenty-first century–a man who once walked on the moon.  Their conversation soon turns from science and history to the state of the world, and Aurelius discovers that the astronaut’s country is engaged at the moment in its version of a consular election.  The Roman telepath obligingly lays before him a summary of the American campaigns, issue by issue.  Aurelius the philosopher, the most insightful of all Rome’s rulers, listens and weighs the politics of the United States in the balance of Stoicism.  Occasionally he is mildly approving; more often he is scathing, and his criticisms, with the weight of eighteen unborn centuries behind them, fall on Clinton and Trump alike with unsparing force.

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The Parallel CongressThe Parallel Congress

On Election Day 2020, voter turnout in the United States is at an all-time low, along with public confidence in the government as a whole.  Philanthropist Alexander Soren decides to capitalize on this growing swell of popular dissatisfaction by launching a radical new project: a Parallel Congress.  Composed of ordinary citizens selected at random from the entire population of the country, it is a statistically perfect representation of all the various backgrounds and opinions that make up American society.  Political parties and advocacy groups, seeing it as a threat to their control of the process of lawmaking, hurry to denounce it.  Nevertheless, the Parallel Congress balances the budget, restructures the tax system, and launches a new national energy policy in a matter of weeks, winning it the love of the general public.  More importantly, its success begins to raise the question of what gives a government legitimacy: tradition, succession, and heritage? Or popularity?

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