This is the story of a strange and terrible world of the future. A world where children live without parents and family. There is no sense of the past in this world, no sense of history except in the mind of Lothar. Some say he is crazy; others only know that the Elders do not approve of his peculiar ways and that all conversations with him are forbidden. Dal is somehow attracted to Lothar, tolerating his impatience as he tells of past times that he has constructed in his mind from the scrapbooks he has hidden away in his cubicle.
John Crowley evokes, with absolute precision, the ordinary-and not so ordinary-moments that reflect and illuminate the essential nature of family life. Moving gracefully back and forth between the imaginary planet Brxx and our own familiar Earth, this deeply affecting tale examines the primal importance of stories, while challenging some of our most common misconceptions about those who are “different” and those who are not.
For Poilar Crookleg, the Pilgrimage to Kosa Saag has been a lifelong dream. Each year twenty men and twenty women attempt to reach the Summit, converse with the gods, and return with new knowledge. A few Pilgrims return as madmen. Most are never seen again. Poilar and his childhood friend Traiben are determined to survive the terrifying journey not as madmen but as teachers of wisdom. Traversing mysterious Kingdoms and blasted landscapes, braving ghosts and monstrous apparitions, they will arrive at the secret of the gods themselves – a secret that will shatter centuries of belief and change their world forever.
When the Order of Planetary Engineers sent Hall Davenant to Ganymede for a terraforming survey, they knew that the job on the airless, frigid Jovian moon would be tough. Changing it to resemble Earth – with fertile land, water and good air – was the biggest and most important planet conversion job ever attempted by the Engineers. But they hadn’t counted on the already too Earthlike behaviour of the Ganymede colonists, who had never altered the ancient Earth-born habits of intrigue, bigotry and double-dyed treachery!
When a distinguished astrophysicist is presented with evidence of a new artefact approaching the solar system, his initial reaction is that the figures must be wrong. But they are not. The mysterious object is not only real, it is heading towards us at an incredible velocity. Then the data indicates that the visitor is a black hole. A black hole that can change direction. A black hole that is sending us a message… I DESIRE CONVERSE Eater is a fast-paced thriller from an author who is both a great storyteller and a highly respected scientist. It is a combination that makes for classic SF.
Tom Jones is naïve, impressionable and very, very willing. His chief talent is conversing with dolphins in the Aquatic Mammals Division of HMS Profundis, a gargantuan submarine destined to roam the ocean depths for a century following the nuclear holocaust. Years pass and mad captain succeeds mad captain. Eventually the ship falls under the command of one Admiral Prood, a kind, understanding man who finally comes to a startling conclusion. He is God the Father. The Almighty Himself. And all he needs now is a son to sit at his right hand. Enter the innocent Tom Jones.
It all began simply enough. A client had vanished, and Jay Corcoran went to investigate the man’s empty hotel suite. But Corcoran’s trick vision spotted the room-sized box stuck to the outside wall of the suite. There was no way to get into the box, so Corcoran cabled his long-time pal Tom Boone. Boone had a talent. When threatened he could “step around a corner” into some otherwhere. Boone stepped into the box, taking Corcoran with him. The box turned out to be a time traveler machine that transported them back to 1745 England, where they found a family of refugees from a million years in the future. In that far future, alien Infinites were converting humanity to incorporeal form. When the family had refused conversion, they had to flee. For more than a century, the family had lain hidden in their time bubble. Suddenly, the Infinites’ killer monster broke through–and things grew complicated as the family fled to the distant past and the farther future.
This collection of works includes the novella The Redward Edward Papers, along with five short stories. Delicatessen was painted in faded, faded, ornate letters on the store window, and a battered metal sign advertised a well-known soft drink. Edward had never been in the place before, but the instant he entered he recognized it as an archetype. Such places are always owned by men named Hans or Ernest and have splintery wooden floors which are swept an average of once every quarter of an hour. They smell very strongly of vinegar and have very little on display in the way of wares – on top of the glass display case, a large pickle jar, usually almost empty, inside the case a small piece of cheese, a small end of roast beef and a small end of ham, perhaps one knackwurst, a pint of salad, and some rye bread. In that part of the establishment referred to by Ernest or Hans as The Back is the beer, the soft drinks, the stove on which the coffee is made To Go. One winces at the small resources on or out of which Erny is obliged to sustain life, one goes on wincing for ten, twenty, thirty years, wondering if Erny is ever going to be able to make enough money to afford a large piece of roast beef, an entire ham, or a whole rye bread. And then one day Erny isn’t there any more and one learns that he has retired and moved to Florida where, in partnership with his brother-in-law, a retired plumbing contractor from New Brunswick or Queens, he now owns and operates three motels, a liquor license, a restaurant, and an all-night grocery. Never again will one hear Erny’s inimitable conversation, to wit: “What can I do for you?”… The odor of vinegar was very sharp. The man behind the counter had scant hair around his head and abundant flesh around his jaws. “You are the Grand Logothete”, said Edward. This time, so sharp and so strong the odor of vinegar that he never smelled the mandragore at all, even after he went blind and before he lost consciousness…
Harry Keough, aka the Necroscope, has always considered himself a master of the Mobius Continuum – a dimension existing parallel to all space and time and his personal instantaneous gateway to anywhere in the multiverse. But this is hardly overweening conceit on Harry’s part, for to his knowledge he is not unique; two other intelligences, with powers similar to his, do indeed exist. One such is the long-dead August Ferdinand Mobius himself, the German astronomer, mathematician, and discoverer of the eponymous Mobius Strip which led him to explore, posthumously, his previously conjectural Continuum; and the other is Harry’s son, who has not only inherited his father’s mathematical skill but also the metaphysical talent by means of which the Necroscope converses with dead people in their graves! Picture Harry’s confusion, then, on returning home via the Mobius Continuum from an adventure in Las Vegas, as he witnesses however briefly a flailing figure hurtling conscious but uncontrolled through the endless midnight of the Continuum. Who could this be – how can it be? – that a helpless, silently protesting other is rushing meteor-like across the Continuum’s Stygian vault? Moreover, if he hasn’t arrived here voluntarily, then what vile murderer has sent his victim on this monstrous journey to the end of life itself? For Harry is sure that this is neither his son’s nor Professor Mobius’ doing. Who and where is he, this Mobius murderer? It is a mystery that only the Necroscope can ever hope to solve – but at what risk to his own life?