Multiverse Mysteries
Murders, mysteries, crimes and cover-ups


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The Demolished Man
by Alfred Bester (1953)


At first glance The Demolished Man comes across as a run-of-the-mill detective story with a few nifty sci-fi trimmings. But Bester's attention to humanitarian issues surrounding the lot of the 'peepers' sparks some intriguing ethical dilemmas. A gorgeous woman and some good old-fashioned corporate crime top off a perfect mix.





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The Caves of Steel
by Isaac Asimov (1954)


Future Earth inhabitants live underground in a vast world city. When a robotics expert is murdered, a detective and his robot partner hunt for the killer in the city's elaborate network of corridors. A favourite with fans and more in-depth character development than usual from the master. Robot novel followed by The Naked Sun (1957).





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The Door Into Summer
by Robert A Heinlein (1956)


Highly regarded tale of temporal revenge sees electronics engineer Dan Davis invent the ultimate household robot, but his greedy business partner and wayward fiancee pull a double-cross. Duped into the 'Long Sleep', he wakes up in the year 2000 and utilises space jumps to inflict his recurring revenge. Heinlein in his heyday.





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Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
by Philip K. Dick (1974)


Jason Tavener is a singer and TV star. He is also a genetically modified human. He wakes up in a "sex and drugs" near-future United States that has become a police state, only to discover he is an unknown with no identity. Some pundits have speculated that the relationships with women in the story may be based on Dick’s personal life. Either way, another work of demented genius.





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Sphere
by Michael Crichton (1987)


When a huge spaceship containing a mysterious sphere is found on the ocean floor a scientific team is sent to investigate. Contact with alien technology proves to have its ups and downs. Steven Spielberg once said that Crichton is the "high priest of high concept", his talent being that he effortlessly makes sense of all the science. This is another of Crichton's tense thrillers with plenty of twists.





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Memory
by Lois McMaster Bujold (1996)


The string of Vorkosigan novels featuring the dwarfish Miles as the hero laid the basis of Bujold's commercial success. After sustaining some serious injuries in the previous novel - Miles stuffs up, gets caught and loses his job as a secret agent. As fate would have it, he gets wrapped up in a mystery that threatens Barrayar itself. Strong entry in the series.





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Kiln People
by David Brin (2002)


As always, highly original and thought-provoking sci-fi. Kiln People depicts a future where humans increase their leisure time by making clay copies ('dittos') of themselves that live for a day - complete with uploadable memories. A private investigator takes on a case that leads us to examine the very nature of individuality. Consistently good author.





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Altered Carbon
by Richard Morgan (2002)


Although the cyberpunk movement had died out by the early-90s, the occasional novel of note that wears the tag is still being published. Morgan's Altered Carbon is a tense 25th century virtual detective tale which has already scored a major movie deal. There's plenty of sex and violence, as well as lots of room for sequels. Hotshot writer.


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