For eons, the Amplitur had searched space for intelligent species, each of which was joyously welcomed to take part in the fulfillment of the Amplitur Purpose. Whether it wanted to or not. When the Amplitur and their allies stumbled upon the races called the Weave, the Purpose seemed poised for a great leap forward. But the Weave’s surprising unity also gave it the ability to fight the Amplitur and their cause. And fight it did ? for thousands of years.Will Dulac was a New Orleans composer who thought the tiny reef off Belize would be the perfect spot to drop anchor and finish his latest symphony in solitude. What he found instead was a group of alien visitors ? a scouting party for the Weave, looking. for allies among what they believed to be a uniquely warlike race: Humans. Will tried to convince the aliens that Man was fundamentally peaceful, for he understood that Human involvement would destroy the race. But all too soon, it didn’t matter. The Amplitur had discovered Earth…
We call it a gismo. That’s right, a gismo. A bit difficult to describe. Like a cross, I suppose, without the top part. Sort of two arms on a stand. What happens is this. You hang something on one arm. Anything at all. A watch, a bracelet, money, anything. I supposed you could hang a locomotive on, only it’s a bit heavy. But anyway you hang something on and there on the opposite arm appears an exact replica. And I mean exact. You can’t tell the difference. So nobody need make anything any more. What you need you hang on the gismo. No work. No want. No starvation. No nothing. When you’ve got a gismo, you’ve got everything.
In the northern reaches of the Empire of Elabon, Gerin, called the Fox, battled to save his domain from destruction by the warlike Trokmoi and their wizard-leader, Balamung.Assisted by the giant Van of the Strong Arm, Gerin prepared to make the hazardous journey to the city of Elabon, there to enlist the aid of a sorcerer more powerful than the Tokmoi masge.Pursued by demons, beset by bloodthirsty nobles, and encumbered by the presence of the beautiful Elise whom Gerin had sworn to protect, the comrades encountered greater dangers than either had ever known.
She distrusted him at first, not least because she knew his words were lies. “Call me Grey,” he said, but that was not his name. Fear gripped her like a hand. No one but the priestess could look upon the relics: the Ring, the Jewel and the Bone. It was for the bone that this grey stranger had come. He was like a thief, but she realized with a sinking heart that he was armed with as much magic as herself, and maybe more.
In his magical stronghold at the heart of a petrified forest Lebarran Magister gathers the surviving loyal members of the Order of the Apotheosis and plans for his coming triumph over the free peoples. And in the Void, waiting hungrily for Lebarran’s call, is the monstrous Unformed; malign, implacable. Unaware that the far-reaching eye of the evil sorcerer is resting on him, Red Cordell joins those allied to Prince Phaedran to face the shadow of Lebarran’s ambition. Red’s friend, the dwarf-giant Krost, travels to his homeland to enlist the strength of the giants; Aurilia gathers the Sisterhood of enchantresses; Vallawn marshals his fellow wizards; the militia are called to arms. Only the enigmatic healer, Hallifort, refuses to lend his powers. And so the army marches: towards a hopeless war; towards bloodshed and heartbreak; towards the growing evil that threatens the whole Continent from its fastness in the Leafless Forest…
It’s just another sleazy, smoggy day at KLAX: But today is anything but normal. Green Army Commandos is what they call themselves. They’re violent ecoterrorists, they’re armed to the teeth, and they haven’t just taken over the station – they’re hijacking the news itself. The Bad News Is they’ve wired themselves and the station with enough high explosives to blow a significant hole in the planet they’re trying to save – and they’re ready to do it unless their entirely impossible demands are met. The Good News Is the KLAX Action News Team has an exclusive on the most explosive story of the decade – their own kidnapping – and the ratings are going through the roof.
After withstanding the power of the Black Jewel and saving the city of Hamadan from the conquest of the Dark Empire of Granbretan, Hawkmoon set off for the Kamarg, where friendship and love await him. But the journey is beyond treacherous. With his boon companion, Oladahn, the beastman of the Bulgar Mountains, Hawkmoon discovers the peaceful city of Soryandum, which holds the power to transcend the confines of time and space. This power, which keeps the city from falling to the Dark Empire, could keep the Kamarg safe. But alas his love Yisselda is now a prisoner of the Mad God, whose powerful amulet is linked to Hawkmoon’s ultimate destiny: a power that began at creation and calls heroes to arms throughout existence. Hawkmoon must rip this amulet from the neck of the Mad God if he hopes to save the Kamarg and free his friends and his one true love from the Dark Empire’s relentless wrath.
BLINDING LIGHT, NOISE BEYOND SOUND – A JOURNEY INTO NOTHINGNESS… Imperial Intelligence Agent Brion Bayard was catapulted into nothingness by an unknown force and woke to find himself in a universe not his own. Surrounded by hulking, cannibalistic ape men who called themselves Hagroon, Bayard was soon entrapped in a web of time lines. He found himself running from the Hagroon into the arms of Dzok, the educated monkey man of Xonijeel; transported by Dzok to a universe where Napoleon the Fifth was in power and left there to the tender powers of the beautiful witch Olivia; struggling with the bonds of a fictitious past, always striving to regain his lost universe of Zero-zero Stockholm so he could bring the warning which might save his world from sudden, violent death…
Parallel Worlds! Earth, cerated out of universal chaos, and the Dreamlands, spawned of the dreams of men. But where dreams turn to nightmares, Death is the only crossing-point… Ex-waking worlders David Hero and Eldin the Wanderer are now sellswords in that ephemeral dimension called Deramland. Once a talented artist of the fantastic, now Hero’s art is the wizardry of his swordplay. Once a lecturing professor, now Eldin professes a knowledge of the dark, mysterious Dream Realms second to none. A formidable pair! But face to face with Yibb-Tstll and the Gaunts of Night, the Eidolon Lathi and her brood, and the mad, alien First One who plots to set free dreaming Cthulu from eon-old imprisonment…what can mere men do? Take up arms with the Heroes of Dreams and laugh in the face of the world’s worst nightmare!
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.