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It’s the ORBITAL CLOUD Giveaway contest!

by nickmamatas

We haven’t done one of these in a while, but it is that time once again—we’re giving away four copies of Taiyo Fujii’s latest book, Orbital Cloud!

If you read Fujii’s previous novel, Gene Mapper, you already know what Fujii is all about: near-future settings, hard science fiction, a positive outlook on humanity, and intriguing thriller plots. Orbital Cloud is all that and more:
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In the year 2020, Kazumi Kimura, proprietor of shooting star forecast website Meteor News, notices some suspicious orbiting space debris. Rumors spread online that the debris is actually an orbital weapon targeting the International Space Station. Halfway across the world, at NORAD, Staff Sergeant Daryl Freeman begins his own investigation of the threat. At the same time, billionaire entrepreneur Ronnie Smark and his journalist daughter prepare to check in to an orbital hotel as part of a stunt promoting private space tourism. Then Kazumi receives highly sensitive, and potentially explosive, information from a genius Iranian scientist. And so begins an unprecedented international battle against space-based terror that will soon involve the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, NORAD, and the CIA.

Check out a sample excerpt on The Verge and also in the ebook version of March’s Lightspeed Magazine.

Convinced you want a copy yet?

Yeeeeeah, you’re convinced! So here is our contest:

In a comment to this post, tell us about your favorite work of hard science fiction—that is, SF that mooooostly holds true to the laws of physics as they were known at the time of the story’s writing. You can write a little hundred-word essay, or poem (we like villanelles) or fannish rant or whatever you like. Friday afternoon, we’ll pick four winners. We ship anywhere, and you can submit in English, Japanese, Spanish, Greek, or German.

So let’s play!

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7 Responses to “It’s the ORBITAL CLOUD Giveaway contest!”

  1. Jeremiah Tolbert says:

    My favorite work of hard science fiction is Gateway by Fredrick Pohl. I’d read a lot about black holes prior to this book, but this book dramatized them in a really great way. Runner-ups would include Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson and Rendevous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.

  2. Carrie Laben says:

    I’m partial to all the works of James Tiptree Jr. that fall on the harder side of the spectrum, but for the purposes of this contest I’ll sing the praises of The Girl Who Was Plugged In, which takes place on the borderland between technology and biology. Written four years before I was born, it wouldn’t seem out of place of it was written today (although in some places it was so prescient that it might seem too obvious now). Like all of Tiptree’s best work it shows that the best hard sf has solid psychology, not just gee-whiz factor.

  3. Terre says:

    For hard scifi, I’m liking Cage of Zeus. Takes place in the not too distant future, to the point where we’ve colonized a small portion of Mars (with a dome and pumping in greenhouse gases), and we have space stations on and around Jupiter’s moons to prepare for colonization there. The main focus though is the advancement of gender related bioengineering, the affect this has on both LGBT and bigotry, and how humanity plans to use the ability to create a dual gender species to advance humanity into the cosmos.

  4. Pilar says:

    I really love The Martian by Andy Weir. Besides being very funny and clever, I love how uplifting it is. It’s silly but I love the optimism, it makes the book so much more than just a hard sci-if read for me

  5. Jmitsu says:

    Biogenesis by Tatsuaki Ishiguro

    I was pleased to find
    Reading Biogenesis by Ishiguro,
    A piece of fiction quite divine.

    A work of a biologist line for line
    Filled with human nature’s woe
    I was pleased to find

    Tales of people who undermine
    Nature, which results in an effect like a domino
    A piece of fiction quite divine.

    A father whose daughter’s only lifeline
    Are the sea slugs hidden in the undertow
    I was pleased to find

    A flower which would refine
    A nuclear reaction that could deal quite a blow
    I was pleased to find

    A species of mouse quite resigned
    To extinction even as it was aglow
    I was pleased to find
    A piece of fiction quite divine.

  6. Mike D. says:

    The word “science” conjures up associations of advanced versions of high school-level physics, biology, and chemistry. While stories of these types of “hard science fiction” are plentiful, rare are the choices that dabble in otherwise more esoteric realms; i.e. the science of economics. There’s one story that entirely fits this bill: Hayford Peirce’s novelette “High Yield Bond” (1975). Not only is it ingenious in the science of economics, but it also shoulders its way into absurdity in parallel to the timeless tale of a working man’s plight, albeit an alien starting at an entry-level position, bounding hierarchically and financially upwards… but for whose ultimate benefit? There’s nothing out like this story is all of hard science fiction.

  7. Ben B. says:

    I adore “Altered Carbon” by Richard Morgan. It puts the “Hard” back into Hard Sci-fi by taking hard-boiled fiction, cyberpunk and hard SF, then grafting them into a sleek ultra-violent chrome chassis for the throbbing prose within. It’s set in a future where the technology to digitize human personality is commonplace. People can be uploaded and even re-sleeved into different bodies. This has solved the problem of FTL travel by allowing mankind to transmit consciousnesses via needlecast to far off colonies. It’s also led to the commodification of human beings. The super-rich now never die. And a prison sentence can lead to your upload being bought and traded like a human Pokémon card. It’s a chilling vision of capitalism run amok used as backdrop for a story that’s like a Chandler yarn on Speed and Synthwave.


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