When Morgan Chane and his comrades of John Dilullo’s interstellar mercenaries invaded the Close World of Arkuu in search of a lost Terran expedition, they found a planet of strange menace. Incredibly powerful monsters prowled though Arkuu’s dense jungles, and the ghosts of the planet’s past haunted its ancient deserted cities. The Arkuuns themselves fought grimly to drive the Terrans away. But at last Chane discovered the Free-Faring, the terrible alien secret of Arkuu..and suddenly he knew why no Terran had left the Closed Worlds alive.
‘No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s…’ So begins H. G. Wells’ classic novel in which Martian lifeforms take over planet Earth. As the Martians emerge, they construct giant killing machines – armed with heatrays – that are impervious to attack. Advancing upon London they destroy everything in their path. Everything, except the few humans they collect in metal traps. Victorian England is a place in which the steam engine is state-of-the-art technology and powered flight is just a dream. Mankind is helpless against the killing machines from Mars, and soon the survivors are left living in a new stone age. And don’t miss the authorised sequel to The War of the Worlds: The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter.
Through the means of what he calls “speculative fiction”, Michael Bishop examines the various links between man and the supernatural by exploring the relationships and conflicts between mortals and deities of other worlds, in other times and within other cultures. His scope isn’t limited to alien environments, however. Bishop’s talent for transforming the commonplace into the fantastic often reaches into our own backyards, and the results are astounding: – A father’s love for his son and the influence of the evangelist’s strange teachings prompt a desperate and violent act. – In a surreal world of unceasing movies where the inhabitants serve constantly as an audience, one man seeks to confront he ultimate power which controls their lives. – A young boy’s talent for ventriloquism results in an irresistible summons from an all-powerful source. – A Midwestern farmer’s compelling visions draw him to the oceanic god of an unusual cult. – Mysterious airborne hieroglyphics become a young scientist’s obsession. With these and other stories, Michael Bishop weaves a colourful tapestry of character, theme and circumstance which attests to his position as on of the best in the field.
Two monstrous armies stand opposed: Vormulac Unsleep’s undead legions out of Turgosheim, and Wratha the Risen’s Renegades, masters of the last great aerie of the Wamphyri. The spoils of war will be revenge, territory, and human flesh! And blood, of course – the sweet blood of Sunside’s Szgany. For the blood is the life, and when life or land are threatened there’s only one course of action for a vampire: battle to the death! Trapped in the middle: Nathan Keogh, Necroscope. And the espers of Earth’s E-Branch, Trask and Zek, Goodly and Chung: Guardians of the Gate against a vampire invasion of Earth! The Necroscope holds the keys; he is the only one who can close the Gates to end the crimson carnage of the Bloodwars! But the past holds many a secret, and the future was ever a devious thing!
In addition to being the man who coined the term ‘the Big Bang’, world-renowned astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle also produced a fine body of science fiction. This omnibus contains three of his SF novels: Ossian’s Ride, October the First Is Too Late & Fifth Planet, co-written with his son, Geoffrey Hoyle. Ossian’s Ride: The year is 1970. Sealed behind an impenetrable barrier in the south of Ireland, the Industrial Corporation of Eire startles the rest of the world with its efficiency, its brilliance . . . October the First Is Too Late: Unusual solar activity has played havoc with terrestrial time: England is in the ’60’s, but in France, it is 1917 and WWI is still raging in western Europe . . . Fifth Planet: Another star is due to pass close to the sun, close enough for conventional spacecraft to reach it. Signs of chlorophyll are detected on one of the worlds, suggesting that it supports life. Rival Soviet and US expeditions are launched to visit it. But what will they find on the ‘Fifth Planet’?
There were nine major planets in the Solar System, and it was within their boundaries that man first set up interplanetary commerce and began trading with the ancient Martian civilization. And then they discovered a tenth planet – a maverick! This tenth world, if it had an orbit, had a strange one, for it was heading inwards from interstellar space, heading close to the Earth-Mars spaceways, upsetting astronautic calculations and raising turmoil on the two inhabited worlds. But even so none suspected then just how much trouble this new world would make. For it was WANDL THE INVADER and it was no barren planetoid. It was a manned world, manned by minds and monsters and travelling into our system with a purpose beyond that of astronomical accident!
Death and Disorder 104. Institute courses told a grim story about the Network – that savage world beyond the closely guarded Institute gates. But they wanted to see for themselves. They had to know. Were they really females there? Would their training as mercenaries prepare them for the wild bands of grisly subhumans? They set out on a journey of discovery only to become the unwitting agents of forces that threatened to destroy the only world they’d ever known.
Mesklin is a vast, inhospitable, disc-shaped planet, so cold that its oceans are liquid methane and its snows are frozen ammonia. It is a world spinning dizzyingly, a world where gravity can be a crushing 700 times greater than Earth’s, a world too hostile for human explorers. But the planet holds secrets of inestimable value, and an unmanned probe that has crashed close to one of its poles must be recovered. Only the Mesklinites, the small creatures so bizarrely adapted to their harsh environment, can help. And so Barlennan, the resourceful and courageous captain of the Mesklinite ship Bree, sets out on an heroic and appalling journey into the terrible unknown. For him and his people, the prize to be gained is as great as that for mankind… Hal Clement’s MISSION OF GRAVITY is universally regarded as one of the most important and best loved novels in the genre. The remarkable and sympathetic depiction of an alien species and the plausible and scientifically based realisation of the strange world they inhabit make it a major landmark in the history of hard SF.
These were the last weeks and days before the end of the world, before total destruction overwhelmed Earth and every living thing on the surface of the planet. No one knew exactly how long they had before the sun turned nova and destroyed not only Earth but all of the other planets in the Solar System. For mankind, the only excape lay in flight to the stars, to Alpha Centauri, more than four light years distant. The hyperdrive, capable of carrying them there at close to the speed of light had been developed, but as yet had not been perfected. In a world without a future, the starships were the only salvation of mankind and they could save only a minute fraction of the population of Earth. Panic is there, but temporarily forgotten by most, as the plans for a mass exodus are speeded up, as the long hours of mounting tension draw to a close and Judgement Day, when the world shall be destroyed by fire, is mo longer a hazy time in the far future, but something very close and very terrible. For those who remained behind, there could be no escape; death would come suddenly, eight minutes after the nova explosion. For those who fled the Solar System in the starships, untried and working on principles only partially understood, there was only the long, terrible journey through the endless night, not knowing what lay at the end of it.
After journeying across the multiverse with other manifestations of the Eternal Champion,Dorian Hawkmoon is stunned to discover that he has returned to a version of his world in which it was his friend and ally, Count Brass, who survived the Battle of Londra, rather than Brass’s daughter – and Hawkmoon’s beloved wife – Yisselda. Driven close to madness by the loss of his wife and children (who never existed in this world), he locks himself away in Castle Brass, painstakingly recreating the battle of Londra, in an attempt to discover a version in which Yisselda also survives. But the paths through the multiverse are treacherous…