Sunday, March 15, 2015

Readers' Choice Spotlight - Science Fiction

Remember to vote for your pick in each category and to enter the giveaway on this page.

Amish Vampires in Space
Kerry Nietz

Jebediah has a secret that will change his world forever and send his people into space.

The Amish world of Alabaster calls upon an ancient promise to escape destruction. Then end up on a cargo ship bound for the stars.

But they are not the only cargo on board. Some of it is alive...or used to be.

Now, with vampires taking over and closing in on the Amish refugees, these simple believers must decide whether their faith depends upon their honored traditions or something even older.

Ghosts of A.R.C.A.D.I.A.
Ramsey Isler

The greatest video game system the world has ever seen has been hacked. 

ARCADIA was the first platform to offer a complete simulated reality experience using direct brain scans to trick the gamer's senses and, more importantly, to read their minds to know what they wanted to do next. It was hailed as a breakthrough; the most innovative invention since the television. It sold out in record time. Then the hackers started stealing. 

It started simply enough; just a few users of the ARCADIA game system had their bank accounts infiltrated, and a little bit of cash went missing. But the problem grew, and hundreds of thousands of people lost money. The FBI got involved, and ARCADIA headsets were taken off store shelves. 

Miguel Naciamento, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and hedonist, has taken on the story of ARCADIA. Determined to find the hackers, Miguel becomes entrenched in a mystery that involves an androgynous hacker, a veteran government specialist on cyber-warfare, and even the creator of ARCADIA. As Miguel's investigation leads him to the true source of the hacks that brought ARCADIA to the brink of destruction, he makes a discovery that proves that ARCADIA has become more advanced than anyone could have imagined, but he'll have to fight hard and face his own fears to ensure that ARCADIA survives to fulfill its true potential. 

Living Backwards
Tracy Sweeney

Twenty-nine-year-old Jillian Cross refuses to believe that a pair of skinny jeans has led to her untimely demise. Life just isn't that cruel. But when an overly-enthusiastic attempt at squeezing herself into them leads her to fall and lose consciousness, she is faced with just that possibility. When she awakens with both a bruised ego and a bump on her head, she's not in her tiny apartment but her childhood bedroom circa 1999-the spring of her senior year in high school. Jillian knows that time travel isn't logical. But then again, neither was her decision to wear skinny jeans. As she attempts to navigate her way through the halls of Reynolds High, walking the same path and making the same choices she made years before, she knows that any change she makes can have a catastrophic effect on her future. But when she strikes up an unexpected friendship with motorcycle-riding, cigarette-smoking Luke Chambers, can she pretend to be the same shy girl she once was? At least she has her pink sparkly flask to take the edge off. One little change won't hurt, right?

The God Particle
Daniel Danser

CERN’s Hadron Collider is the world’s most powerful machine; its sole purpose is to prove the existence of the mysterious God Particles – the essential building blocks of the universe. But after a series of global catastrophes, suspicion arises as to whether they are occurring naturally or are somehow connected to the Collider’s experiments. 

After the sudden death of the project’s director general, professor of physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tom Halligan, is headhunted by CERN’s governing council to continue the search for the elusive particles. 

He is soon embroiled in a titanic struggle against sinister forces that are intent on creating a chain of events, the outcome of which will determine the fate of civilization. 

The battle to save the planet from annihilation is being fought by the most unlikely of heroes.

The Little Universe
Jason Matthews

What if you could create a universe--a miniature self-enclosed universe? Imagine having probing cameras that could focus to any star or planet looking for life. And once you found life, what if you could accelerate time and watch it evolve? What might you find? Primordial soup. Strange beings. Alien societies. Profound wisdom. 

These are not the questions Jon Gruber ponders as he pedals to his next carpentry job. Over thirty and unmarried, he doesn't even own a car. But a new assignment challenges him to rethink his place in the world. Is he a loser? Or is he about to become a partner in an experiment of phenomenal discovery? 

Webster Adams, astronomer, inventor, and Jon's latest client, performs such an experiment. To Webster's amazement, he finds planets and cultures beyond his wildest dreams. His little universe turns into a discovery machine--an overnight goldmine. He and his crew observe societies that evolve so far past them on levels of technology and spirituality, the world will be forever changed. 

Webster's lovely daughter, Whitney, also overwhelms Jon. She opens his eyes to the deeper meanings within the experiment--to the divine nature and connectedness of all life, by finding the most advanced beings within the project--the spirit guides from Theta 7.

The Little Universe is a God-game at multiple levels. For Webster Adams, one question immediately comes to light. "If I can create a universe," he wonders, "then who created ours?"

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