Two novellas by an author who has earned a reputation for original and imaginative writing, with a spark-bladed humour that is unlike anything ever written. Contents: Where have You been Sandaliotis? The Three Armageddons of Enniscorthy Sweeney
An ancient Power awakes. A modern evil mushrooms into apocalypse. Cocooned in a nightmare world, the village of Melfort waits, as The Power feeds on the death and destruction, fuelling its gross appetite. And the dead rise up.
AFTER THE APOCALYPSE the hazardous evolution of mankind continues. And in primeval response to the disaster, humanity’s solutions to catastrophe carve the harsh new world in violent patterns of magic and myth, rite and religion. Brave images scar the ancient hills, the clash of swords and the ageless power of sexuality sign-post another, bloodsoaked path to civilisation.
“The Eternal Footman” completes Morrow’s darkly comic trilogy about God’s untimely demise. With God’s skull in orbit, competing with the moon, a plague of “death awareness” spreads across the Western hemisphere. As the United States sinks into apocalypse, two people fight to preserve life and sanity. One is Nora Burkhart, a schoolteacher who will stop at nothing to save her only son, Kevin. The other is the genius sculptor Gerard Korty, who struggles to create a masterwork that will heal the metaphysical wounds of the age.
The HUGO AWARD-winning novel of Earth after the apocalypse In the depths of the Utah desert, long after the Flame Deluge has scoured the earth clean, the rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicated to the study and preservation of knowledge. By studying the Holy Relics of the past, the Order of St Leibowitz hopes to raise humanity from its fallen state to one of grace. But is such knowledge the key to salvation? Or the certain sign that we are doomed to repeat our most grievous mistakes … ?
The end draws nigh….The year is 2053, and Earth has barely recovered from the Alpha Centauri supernova that destroyed much of the planet’s infrastructure. Now the supernova’s residual effect – a storm of high-energy particles – is racing toward Earth, and an international effort has been launched out of the Sky City space colony to save the planet. But the controversial plan – to build a giant protective shield for Earth – is falling dangerously behind schedule. A series of unexplained murders has disrupted the Sky City workforce, so much so that a brilliant but monstrous criminal has been enlisted to track down the Sky City killer.Then comes more startling news. Evidence indicates that the original supernova was caused deliberately, and that the lethal particle storm will arrive sooner than anyone expected. But who – or what – tried to destroy the Earth? And will the answer come in time to save it from its final apocalypse?
One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives. The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk – a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. Not only have the world’s artificial satellites fallen out of orbit, their recovered remains are pitted and aged, as though they’d been in space far longer than their known lifespans. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside – more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty years in our future. Jason, now a promising young scientist, devotes his life to working against this slow-moving apocalypse. Diane throws herself into hedonism, marrying a sinister cult leader who’s forged a new religion out of the fears of the masses. Earth sends terraforming machines to Mars to let the onrush of time do its work, turning the planet green. Next they send humans…and immediately get back an emissary with thousands of years of stories to tell about the settling of Mars. Then Earth’s probes reveal that an identical barrier has appeared around Mars. Jason, desperate, seeds near space with self-replicating machines that will scatter copies of themselves outward from the sun – and report back on what they find. Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger.
As author and illustrator, Keith Roberts did more than most to define the look of UK science fiction magazines in the 1960s. In addition to his BFSA Award wins, he was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. He is perhaps best known for his seminal alternate history novel, Pavane, but his work covered a broad range of SF’s tropes and settings, as can be seen from the titles collected in this omnibus: The Chalk Giants, Kiteworld and The Grain Kings. THE CHALK GIANTS: After the apocalypse the hazardous evolution of mankind continues. And in primeval response to the disaster, humanity’s solutions to catastrophe carve the harsh new world in violent patterns of magic and myth, rite and religion. Brave images scar the ancient hills, the clash of swords and the ageless power of sexuality sign-post another, bloodsoaked path to civilisation. KITEWORLD: Powerful churches have long kept their grip on the people with a theology of fear that makes formidable demons out of the poor, weak mutants of the surrounding badlands. To ward off these specters, an elaborate, tradition-encrusted system of kites with hex signs or armed observers fly over the realm. The men of this Kite Corps, performing hazardous duty to sustain a myth, are driven to find a separate peace, to transform, if they can, disillusionment into enlightenment, to move forward from an assumption of guilt to an assumption of responsibility. THE GRAIN KINGS: They call them The Grain Kings. Gigantic mechanical monarchs of the wheat-bearing plains that were once the frozen Alaskan wastes. Whole eco-systems in themselves, they can supply the food so desperately needed by the teeming millions of our overpopulated planet. But even now, as the whole world waits in hungry suspense, the great powers battle for control of the prairies and two competing combine harvesters find they are heading on a course of collision.