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OF BOOKS AND FLYING MEN…

This week Steve tells you where to get even MORE GREAT SF/F for next to nothing! And if you were reading this column four years ago you might have read the rest. Just sayin’.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 32

THE FINALE: “AI is a spectrum. At what point does a machine intelligence become an AGI, a human-equivalent intelligence? The law is cut-and-dried. The science isn’t. The philosophy certainly isn’t.”

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 31

The Superlifters were far below, zooming around the nightside of Venus. They were towing the Nagasaki on what would certainly be its final journey, regardless of whether it succeeded or failed.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 30

The impacts were still coming. The asteroid capture pipeline was years long, and couldn’t be stopped. In fact, a near-collision with Botticelli Station was the reason the mass driver scheme had failed first time around.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 29

With an average temperature slightly above freezing, Earth-like gravity of 1.1 gees, and a breathable atmosphere, the planet was perfectly suited for human colonization. Or rather, it would have been, if not for the Zergi’i, who happened to live there. This race of furry, sentient quadripeds had vaporized the first humans to enter their solar system, and were now busily constructing their own interstellar strike force, based on plundered human technology, to mount a counter-invasion of the Sol system.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 28

She liked having the head with her. It was, she thought, a benign desire: she had conquered, and this was the proof of that. It was healthy for her to want to dwell on her victory, rather than sinking into some kind of PTSD-induced depression.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 27

The sanitation problem was also out of control. Bots from the Cheap Trick (designed for hazardous waste management) tirelessly swept the air in the cathedral, but barely made a dent. Their efficiency, it was fair to say, was degraded by the Galapajin children’s determination to play with them.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 26

Extending its radiator fins like wings, the cathedral once known as the Nagasaki Maru lifted off from the rock.

In its first 100 microseconds of acceleration, it shed spires and lattices, statues clothed in gold and palladium mined from 11073 Galapagos’s rich trove of ores, and a million fragments of rock. Bits of this granitic casing stayed attached to the needle-nose which had been the cathedral’s spire, giving it the appearance of a drill bit covered with barnacles.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 24

Out of nowhere, a bus-sized fragment plummetted at her. She instinctively threw her weight to the side. The suit picked up on her intent and carried her out of the way, just in time. The fragment hurtled past her and lost itself in space. It looked to have been a piece of the 11073 Galapagos schoolhouse, decorated with children’s murals of the saints.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 23

Father Hirayanagi was a hundred and four years old. His genetic predisposition to longevity had been given a pre-birth assist by further genetic tinkering of a sort no longer practised, and even at the time available only to rich families. He was thus the last surviving Galapajin to have lived through their emigration from Earth.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 21

Dr. Hasselblatter’s furious visage, the set of his silver eyebrows and his imperiously waggling forefinger, made the bureaucrat in Glory quail, even though she knew that Ranting Disciplinarian was just one of Dr. Hasselblatter’s acts, like Kindly Boss and Policy Wonk. What was the true nature of the man behind the act?

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 17

The Kalashnikovs had been printed right here on 11073 Galapagos; they were made of the same tough plastic that the Galapajin used for everything from spacesuit parts to furniture. The ammunition had arrived via the tunnel in the Yonezawas’ basement.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 16

Like every residence in the asteroid, the Yonezawas’ house had a deep basement that was supposed to function as a panic room. In fact, the airlock leading to the basement was so old it probably wouldn’t work, even if they cleared out all the stuff that had accumulated inside it over the decades. Jun swung himself over broken gardening tools, ping-pong bats, bundles of used packaging materials, and unused squeezebags of splart—Galapajin treasures.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 15

Generations of humans had dreamed of uploading their personalities to the cloud, achieving godlike powers of mentation and de facto immortality. That dream remained distant, in terms of both theory and technical feasibility. But brain-computer interfaces were old hat by now, and neural augmentation products had been eagerly taken up by cutting-edge consumers, of whom Glory was one. Her BCI violated no laws, and in fact counted as a plus on her resume.

The contents of its embedded memory crystal were decidedly illegal.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 14

The Galapagos Incident Chapter 14   Elfrida knew that in order to have a hope of extricating Yumiko from the gibbet, she needed a better understanding of how she’d gotten there in the first place. Yonezawa refused to answer her questions; he just sang hymns. Ushijima sagged in his cage, LED light reflecting off the […]

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 13

Yonezawa, Ushijima, and Yumiko were all suspended in cages shaped like hipped vases. The cages hung from a girder above the alley known as the shotengai, or shopping mall. Yumiko was in the middle, Ushijima on her right, Yonezawa on her left. They were causing a traffic jam below, as the Galapajin congregated to stare up at them, unsmiling. Nearby shops were doing a booming trade in snacks and hot drinks.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 12

The woman had been referring, as it turned out, not to Captain Okoli’s choice of viewing matter, but only to the hazardous state of his cabin. In contrast to the captain’s spic-and-span personal demeanor, his cabin was ankle-deep in gadgets, bits and pieces of weaponry, souvenirs, and forgotten food and drink containers.

The Galapagos Incident: Chapter 11

Inasmuch as the PLAN had any discernible war aim – it was the extermination of purebloods. The PLAN slaughtered them by preference, favoring targets where pureblood populations were known to reside…