He reached for Churan’s throat and his hands closed on air… …yet the alien had not moved. With a chill of terror, Naismith realized that his arm had passed completely through the ugly, green-skinned body. The aliens’ laughter swelled out, malicious and mocking. Behind him, Lall’s voice said, “A nice try. But not good enough.”
Personality has a physical basis and what is in itself bio-chemical can be modified by bio-chemical means. The new formula could dissolve a man’s personality into a state of plasticity from which almost any kind of temperament could be re-fashioned. Worlds were at war. With technologies resting in an uneasy equilibrium victory or defeat depended upon morale. Morale depended upon personality. Personality depended upon the new formula! A weapon as insidious as that could work both ways. An unscrupulous government could use it to control men’s minds to a degree which had never been possible before. The Automatic State lay just around the corner. Bill Stokes and his underground movement were faced with a savage dilemma. Disloyalty could mean defeat for their own people, but to keep faith with the present regime could lead to the end of individual human independence.
The Empire of Toromon had finally declared war. The attacks on its planes had been nothing compared to the final insult – the kidnapping of the Crown Prince. But how would the members of this civilisation – one of the few that survived the Great Fire – get beyond the deadly radiation barrier, behind which the enemy lay? And assuming they got beyond the barrier, how would they deal with that enemy – the Lord of the Flames – whose very presence was unknown to the people among whom he lived?
In a barbaric, demon-infested world, no one stands against the all-powerful magic of the Unnamed Enemy, who is called Master of Fiends. No on except young Jarrel and his three friends – Scythe, Archer and Mandra – each with their own special powers. And they have taken on the impossible task of rescuing their friend, the wizard Cryl, who is held captive beyond the Barrier Peaks. Trying to pass beneath the Peaks, they must battle the weird beings of that underworld and their monstrous ruler, the Keeper of the Chasms. And beyond those terrors lies something even worse – the ghastly realm of the Enemy, and his demon horde from the Farther Darkness…