The chronicle of adventures of the survey ship Sarafand as it journeys through space exploring and mapping newly-discovered planets. The mission brings them into contact with man startling life-forms and menacing aliens. On one world the Sarafand sends out six survey modules and seven return: one of them is a shape-changing malevolent alien – but which? On another planet they discover a humanoid civilisation which can move around in time. Suddenly the Sarafand investigators are marooned millions of years in the past. Finally the Sarafand and its crew are stranded in a distant galaxy where everything – including them – is shrinking inexorably to zero size…
WANTED: ONE ENGINEER FOR MANAGERIAL POSITION IN IRUNIUM. WAGES HIGH. DEATH BENEFITS SUDDEN. “I am the Contessa Perdita di Montevarchi. Here in Irunium the only law is my will. “I shall seek out another engineer. But this time he will be a real engineer from a dimension that understands these things, from Slikitter, probably from Earth. He will be treated with respect because his function is valuable to me. Almost inevitably he will terminate as this offal terminated, but that is to be expected of imperfect tools. “He will not at first see the slaves in the mines and I do not with him treated as a slave. My mines must continue to produce gems for my trace across the Dimensions. An engineer is needed so I shall find one….”
HUMAN VS INHUMAN To the reptilian mind – especially the intelligent type of planets like Sergan and Obrac – the lives of others were as nothing to the need for status. To the feline mind – especially to the clever advisor of the master of Sergan – the agonies of others were not only of no consequence, they could even be a source of joy. So when these two types of inhuman intelligences got together to defy the Terran orders against interplanetary kidnapping, space hijacking, and human slavery, it was definitely a case for a top-notch secret agent. Because Earth could not afford a showdown with more than one alien species at a time. The secret agent was Cap Kennedy, Free Acting Terran Envoy, and his pursuit of the SLAVE SHIP FROM SERGAN turned out to be one of his most dangerous single-handed adventures.
Susan Galina and her friend Pat have escaped their normal lives into the elegant, isolated world of the Odyssey, a luxury cruise ship heading from New York to Europe via Bermuda. Pat is working on her doctoral thesis in quantum physics, and Susan is recovering from a recent and unhappy divorce. To Susan’s delight, she discovers that her favourite author, Max Merriwell, is also aboard ship, teaching a writers’ workshop. Susan’s life becomes even more interesting when she meets Tom Clayton, the handsome chief of security. This cruise looks very promising indeed. But the pleasant shipboard vacation turns dark as the Odyssey passes into the Bermuda Triangle. Each year, Max Merriwell writes three novels: a science fiction novel under his own name, a fantasy novel under the pseudonym Mary Maxwell, and a mystery novel under the pseudonym Weldon Merrimax. The trouble begins when Max receives a threatening note that appears to come from Weldon Merrimax, Max’s own pseudonym. Susan hears wolves howling in the night, the ship’s passengers are seized with a dancing mania, and monsters lurk in the ship’s corridors. An eyewitness reports a murder – but the victim of the crime is not on the passenger list and the body is nowhere to be found. While others struggle to understand these strange events, Pat seeks the explanation in quantum theory.
The epic voyage of the spacecraft Leonora Christine will take her and her fifty-strong crew to a planet some thirty light-years distant. But, because the ship will accelerate to close to the speed of light, for those on board subjective time will slow and the journey will be of only a few years’ duration. Then a buffeting by an interstellar dustcloud changes everything. The ship’s deceleration system is damaged irreperably and soon she is gaining velocity. When she attains light-speed, tau zero itself, the disparity between ship-time and external time becomes almost impossibly great. Eons and galaxies hurtle by, and the crew of the Leonora Christine speeds into the unknown.
Among the six hundred thousand stars in the vast Arm of Stars, over six hundred planets had been seeded with human stock by the greatest feat of technology ever achieved, the Ship. And on each of these worlds, the memory of the Ship had faded into legend over the years. The Ship, however, still endured, watching over the colonies on a cyclical and seemingly endless journey through time and space. But in its long odyssey, the Ship had somehow been damaged – it had become as conscious, and lonely, as any human being. And as it visited, again and again, each of the worlds it had seeded, it found tragedy in its wake. For the humans of the Arm of Stars were becoming more and more alien. Even worse, the Ship was beginning to change in ways its designers had never intended . . .
They had been working for a long time to send a ship out into space, but when the great day came it was essential that the ship should be destroyed. They had looked ambitiously at the Moon and at the planets and stars beyond. Now they stared up in fear… Here is the record of the first onslaught of a strange disease that dropped on mankind from the skies. It is the story of an alien plague that worked too swiftly to be counteracted by human science – a plague that did not so much drive men out of their minds as steal the minds from them.
The mighty ships of the Third Time Fleet relentlessly patrolled the Chronotic Empire’s thousand-year frontier, blotting out an error of history here or there before swooping back to challenge other time-travelling civilisations far into the future. Captain Mond Aton had been proud to serve in such a fleet. But now, falsely convicted of cowardice and dereliction of duty, he had been given the cruellest of sentences: to be sent unprotected into time as a lone messenger between the cruising timeships. After such an inconceivable experience in the endless voids there was only one option left to him. To be allowed to die.
In the year of grace 1345, as Sir Roger Baron de Tourneville is gathering an army to join King Edward III in the war against France, a most astonishing event occurs: a huge silver ship descends through the sky and lands in a pasture beside the little village of Ansby in North East Lincolnshire. The Wersgorix, whose scouting ship it is, are quite expert at taking conquering planets, and having determined from orbit that this one is suitable, they initiate standard procedure. Their ship carries guided missiles and nuclear weaponry – but they have long since lost the art (and weapons) of hand-to-hand fighting. And this time it’s no mere primitives the Wersgorix seek to enslave – they’ve launched their invasion against Englishmen! In the end, only one alien is left alive – and Sir Roger’s grand vision is born. He intends for the creature to fly the ship first to France to aid his King, then on to the Holy Land to vanquish the infidel. And then . . . ?
A fast-moving mystery adventure by one of the world’s greatest ever SF writers It is 2010. In two years’ time it will be the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic. Two of the world’s most powerful corporations race to raise the vessel but there are other powers at work, and chaos theory comes into play as plans progress – and six preserved bodies are found. This novel incorporates two of Arthur C.Clarke’s passions – deep sea exploration and future technology – in a fast-moving tale of mysetry and adventure. As operations proceed, the perfectly preserved body of a beautiful girl is found. She was not on the ship’s passenger lists. The quest to uncover the secrets of the wreck and reclaim her becomes an obsession … and for some, a fatal one.