Joe Zieja taught us the game in “Five Books I Haven’t Read But Want To and Am Going to Summarize Anyway Based on Their Titles and Covers”. Filers took it from there.
The Dark Forest, by Cixin Liu, translated by Joel Martinsen.
The destiny of humankind changes forever when some kind of weirdass fucking train appears above the Earth. The front of the engine is like if only death-metal fans were into steampunk. In Norway, death-metal fan and wannabe bassist Larch Umber is inspired by the appearance of the alien conveyance to feverishly compose a song cycle he calls “The Dark Forest” because he thinks it sounds cool and, really, all the forests are dark now what with the weirdass fucking alien train blotting out the sun. Larch’s race against time to recruit a band to record his masterpiece reaches a crisis point when his guitarist refuses to play anything in E-flat. Then the aliens alight, and turn out to be fans of an ever-so-slightly different subgenre of metal, and discord reigns throughout the solar system.
Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel.
People unclear on the concept decide to be ghosts for Halloween, but the tents they choose to drape themselves in are much too large, and also, you’re not supposed to set them up. They nevertheless make it partway across the field between their village and the one with the Halloween party, albeit slowly, when they hit the wall. And behind that wall, a pile of rocks has been awaiting its chance at revenge…
Space Raptor Butt Invasion, by Chuck Tingle.
In the post-singularity future, stock photos have gained sentience. Hijinx ensue.
Camestros Felapton https://file770.com/?p=29549&cpage=1#comment-447427
The End of All Things by John Scalzi
In dystopian nanny state, cigarette smokers have been banished to live in giant flying aircraft carriers. In a bizarre twist only they can save humanity from global catastrophe. But can they generate enough secondhand smoke before disaster engulfs the Earth?
The UNSS Wolverine returns from the first expedition to the sixth planet. Celebration soon turns to horror though as an extraterrestrial virus escapes quarantine mutating into a human infectious disease causing severe gastrointestinal distress. Doctor Cronos Romano of the International CDC discovers not only a cure but a government conspiracy to use the disease to assume dictatorship of Earth. On the lam he tries to reach the resistance and distribute the formula for the cure to the general populace.
Rocket Ship Galileo – Robert Heinlein
On a cold winter’s day, in a small village far from the hustle and bustle of the capitol and its bickering courtiers, a group of adventurers meet at their old stomping ground and favorite inn, the Rusty Bearclaw, to discuss what they’ve found about the goings-on of the self-proclaimed High King Lordibadman and his minions. To nobody’s surprise (except Glinliadiel, the morose high elf who would rather be off on an entirely different and golden-glowier continent, to be completely honest, and who’d just basically skulked around town for the past year trying to pick up the local milkmaids by flashing his pointing ears seductively toward them), there are reports throughout the land of ork sightings, and rumors of dragons terrorizing the more remote mountain villages. Dirk “Rocket Ship” Galileo and his brooding, whiny, master necromancer brother, “Doctor” Smith, have come up with a plan to stop Lordibadman, but is it too late?
Colt McCartney, better known to the galaxy as the Red Baron, has made a name as one of the Company’s best star pilots, turning the tide in countless battles across the Thousand Systems against the nefarious White Tide syndicate. However, when the White Tide score a victory against one of the Company’s core world’s, wiping out an entire city in a single strike, Colt finds himself implicated in a terrible conspiracy which seems to go to the very top.
Disgraced and cast out from the company’s fighter squadron, the Red Baron is finally offered a position in the Company’s mysterious legal support wing. But will completing his assignments lead him to the answers about what really happened on Tavany Snoe, and allow Colt to clear his name for good?
Camestros Felapton https://file770.com/?p=29549&cpage=1#comment-447479
After finding a genie in a bottle, Bob Biscuit wishes that he wants to ‘paint the town red’. To his horror, his wish comes true and now he and his friend have to paint it back a normal colour before anybody notices. Hilarity ensues.
Camestros Felapton https://file770.com/?p=29549&cpage=1#comment-447482
She came from the haunted lands to work as a gargoyle repair service operator only to find that eccentric fishermen keep ruining her work.
A young person has to leave the city for the countryside, where the only mystery she has to solve is why this small landlocked village needs a lighthouse.
In this gender-swapped retelling of the Alice stories, Jole demonstrates that all you need to make your way through a psychotropic landscape is good manners
Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross.
[This plot description has been removed for the sake of any children that might happen to be in the audience.]
Hal Winslow’s Old Buddy https://file770.com/?p=29549&cpage=1#comment-447496
The Stars My Destination Alfred Bester
Gully and Jisbella were young, beautiful, and talented. They dreamed of stardom. But after that fateful night in Tijuana, it all came crashing down for Gully. Jiz woke up with a tasteful crescent moon discreetly placed on one shoulder, but Gully . . . . “I told you to put those damn tats on your back, not your face, Gul,” she insisted. “Now you’ll never be a leading man.” Gully is left without his girl, his looks, and the Hollywood future he’d imagined. Can he reclaim his tattered hopes, or will he be forever relegated to supporting roles? Can he still get that house in the Hollywood Hills, or at least Bel Air? Can he find a laser surgeon willing to take on his case? You’ll be on the edge of your La-Z-Boy, cheering him on!
Bridge of Birds, Barry Hughart
A daring use of non-standard materials ends in catastrophe for a young architect.
Steve Wright https://file770.com/?p=29549&cpage=1#comment-447552
The Gates of Eden, by Brian Stableford.
She longed to work at the biosphere project. She’d brought her own overalls and everything. But they refused to let her anywhere near the dome until she did something about that rampant athlete’s foot.
Gregory N. Hullender https://file770.com/?p=29549&cpage=2#comment-447570
Seveneves. In this sequel to The House of the Seven Gables, Phoebe and Holgrave decide to return to the house because it was too bright at night to sleep in the countryside. But the curse is still there, so they only stay a week.
Monster Hunter International by L.Correia
Pensively the hero is trying to decide if he will dare suggest that particular shade of slate nail polish to his love.
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
Hong “Ninefox” Gil-dong had put his life as SpecOps dirtiest dealer behind him and plunged into his dream of being a sushi chef at the most exclusive sushi restaurant on Station Zeta. But when the station is attacked by giant space urchin, he realizes that he must embrace both his old and new skills to triumph over the celestial menace.
Camestros Felapton https://file770.com/?p=29549&cpage=2#comment-447629
In this tour-de-force of magical realism we are taken inside the minds of inanimate objects during WW2. Kurt is the embodied consciousness of a Junkers Ju 88 multirole combat aircraft. Diana is the genius-loci of Saint Pauls cathedral. Each night of the London Blitz they share stories of their lives via a shared psychic connection.
“Black Amazon of Mars”: A beautiful redhead starts a lawn care business on Mars. The Martian foliage may be huge and tough, but she and her trusty axe can take out any killer grass! If only she hadn’t been pressured into hiring her unemployed cousin, who’s botanophobic!
House of Shattered Wings
In a world where humans have always flown, the Feathered Throne of Kes has laid unclaimed for almost a century. Now, the former Kingdom is split between those hoping to restore a monarch to the throne, and those defending the New Way – a fledgling system of representative democracy which has given voice to the furthest reaches of the kingdom for the first time.
As both a Parliamentary Representative and a younger daughter of Hawk House, Lira is no stranger to conflicted loyalties. But when a mysterious accident cripples the leader of her party, she finds herself embroiled in a political conflict which threatens to consume ally and enemy alike…
Hal Winslow’s Old Buddy https://file770.com/?p=29549&cpage=2#comment-447679
Catwings: A Catwings Tale by Ursula K. Le Guin
The protagonists become stranded in a tree. But then they realize that they are cats. With wings. And tails, too, but mostly wings. The cats find this vastly amusing; the birds, not so much.
Did I mention that the cats have wings?
Cora Buhlert https://file770.com/?p=29549&cpage=2#comment-447690
Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer:
It’s goose hunting season in the Voztavoz mountains of the planet Makalak, when the hunters in their suborbital ships tackle gigantic flocks of galactic geese during their annual migration to their winter quarters. One of the hunters is Mycroft who finds himself caught in a desperate struggle for survival, after his ship is struck by lightning during one of the feared thunderstorms of Voztavoz. Can Mycroft make it back to the city, alone and on foot. And will he bring home a goose for the non-denominational (cause religion has been banned) winter holiday dinner?
Cora Buhlert https://file770.com/?p=29549&cpage=2#comment-447690
Company Town by Madeline Ashby:
The shocking story of what happens when the letters of the neon sign on top of a derelict factory gain sentience and begin rearranging themselves in what appears to be a monstrous game of scrabble. However, one young woman living in the town at the foot of the factory, known only as Company Town, believes that the sentient letters are really sending a dire warning…