Josetta is a princess of one of the Five Families. But she is far from the throne, so she is free to spend her days working in the poorest sections of the city. Rafe Adova lives the life of a career gambler in those slums. He has no real ambition – until the night he helps a girl names Corene, who looks like she’s stumbled into the wrong bar. Josetta is fascinated by the man who has helped her sister. Rafe is unlike anyone she’s ever encountered – someone seemingly devoid of elemental blessings. Rafe is also drawn to Josetta, but when he is assaulted by foreign mercenaries and the reason behind the attack is discovered, Rafe and Josetta realise that the truth could endanger not only their newfound love but also their very lives . . .
Following the development of massive airships, naïve Londoner Bert Smallways becomes accidentally involved in a German plot to invade America by air and reduce New York to rubble. But although bombers devastate the city, they cannot overwhelm the country, and their attack leads not to victory but to the beginning of a new and horrific age for humanity. And so dawns the era of Total War, in which brutal aerial bombardments reduce the great cultures of the twentieth century to nothing. As civilization collapses around the Englishman, now stranded in a ruined America, he clings to only one hope – that he might return to London, and marry the woman he loves.
Sixteen humans have come together on Damien, a distant world where once, dreams were stolen and atrocities took place. They have gathered to view the last rising of a manmade nova, the testament to a war none can forget. Soon, time will warp and masks will fall. Soon, violence will erupt anew – along with treachery, horror, murder, release and love. Soon, some will find justice . . . and others, judgement. Soon. Now, sixteen humans have gathered – to await the light of the Murdered Star.
Poul Anderson’s stories are classics from the golden age of science fiction and beyond. A master storyteller, Anderson wrote tales ranging from the immediate to the distant future, from Earth to far-flung galaxies, from hard science fiction to fantasy – all the elements stirred and blended as only Anderson could! THE QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS is the second volume of The Collected Works of Poul Anderson and collects his best works from a writing career that spans over 50 years. This volume contains 23 stories including: ‘The Queen of Air and Darkness’ (1972 Hugo Award-winner) ‘Jennifer’s Lament’ ‘Industrial Revolution’ ‘The Longest Voyage’ (1960 Hugo Award-winner) ‘Marque and Reprisal’
Young Walter Scot is hot on the heels of cattle raiders in the service of the dark Lord of Soulis when he encounters his kinsman Michael Scot – and his life is changed for ever. Even in the turbulent Borderlands of the thirteenth-century Scotland Michael had a fearsome reputation as a magician and master of forbidden arts, trafficking with the demons of middle air. Now he has returned from years of exile with the Pope’s pardon and the favour of the Emperor, a peaceful man of God – and yet strange events still follow him. The mysterious fire that blasts the raiders. The fourth voice that laughs where only three men were seen. The luxury that suddenly appears to furnish his long-abandoned castle – the mystery about him only deepens. But still darker forces are at work behind the bloody rivalries of Border politics, black sorceries stirring within the sinister castle of Hermitage. When Walter’s father is ambushed and killed, his betrothed flung into a dungeon and his lands and his very life threatened by the necromancer-baron Soulis, Michael appears to offer the aid he desperately needs. Aid that, as Walter soon discovers, is almost as frightening as his enemies’ threats – as he is transported to another world, ensnaring, enchanting, seductive. There he finds a new life, new heroism and a new, all-consuming love. But there is a terrible price he must pay…
Rob Hasson was an Air Patrolman, one of the best, until the day someone jumped him in mid-air and sent him hurtling into a fall that should have killed him. Now his mind, still tormented by memories of the shrieking air and rushing ground, protects his patched-together body by refusing to let him fly again. And what use to anyone is an Air Patrolman who’s afraid to fly? Rob Hasson thinks he’s a coward. No one could have foreseen the chain of events that would prove him wrong.
Unexpectedly, long thought lost, the first manned Jupiter probe has returned – but only a madman would have tried to land it at Kennedy International! The result is the biggest air disaster in history. And that’s only the beginning . . .
The glowing ovoid plummeted downward, the whole sky screaming like a metallic banshee as the air boiled away from its sides. A supersonic bang broke over the forest, but the thing was already gliding down to Earth. As the ovoid settled in among the trees, the entire forest burst into flames. A thin black line appeared and etched a perfect circle on the side of the metal egg, then thickened into a door. The air was rent by a searing hiss. Slowly, the strange being – soon to be known to all mankind as VOR – began to emerge . . .
Earthly medicine – helpless in the face of a plague from space. Unexpectedly, long thought lost, the first manned Jupiter probe has returned – but only a madman would have tried to land it at Kennedy International! The result is the biggest air disaster in history. And that’s only the beginning: now comes The Jupiter Plague.
There’s no mistaking the terminal phase of irreversible catastrophe. The climate has gone berserk. Rising oceans inundate swamps and deserts. Genetic engineers have yet to redesign the human body to cope with the crud in the air, the water, the food, the soil. Now time has run out. With Earth a lost cause, the satellite worlds twinkling in orbit are prime territory for takeover by the powerful and rich. They are a single battleground on which the richest and most powerful megacorps, Kyocera-Merck and Samurai Industries, fight, no holds barred. In the artificial purity of satellite air or beneath the bilious skies of Earth, despite newly evolved bacterial plagues and bribe-taking androids, Robert Silverberg’s characters pursue destinies both outrageously self interested and heartwrenchingly familiar in a savagely funny story of our planets last gasp.