Carl Kovak was an expendable political prisoner as far as the Eastern Totalitarian Government was concerned. He was being sent into orbit in a lead lined capsule to see if it offered adequate protection from cosmic rays. Carl was strapped in and waiting for blast-off when the first bombs fell. The lead saved his body but doubt was splitting his mind. He had believed in the honesty and integrity of the West. But what if the West had started the war? Finally, after incredible hardships and dangers, Carl Kovak found the answer. Neither East nor West had launched the atomic missiles… they had come from Space! Now alien invaders and savage mutant stalked the earth. Could a handful of human heroes survive against such terrible odds?
George Mallory was out for a quiet day’s shooting. A typical country-man, in typical English country. His day’s sport was interrupted by the beginning of the greatest catastrophe in man’s history – an alien space ship was crashing as his feet. The ghastly monstrosity that emerged was so hideously repulsive that no one would have guessed at the degree of intelligence and potential friendliness in its strange mind. Mallory shot first and asked questions afterwards. With its dying strength, the alien cursed the earth with a scientific horror beyond the comprehension of man, a horror that turned the beasts against us. The only escape seemed to lie out in space… but the devastating effect of the cosmic rays wrought havoc in the minds of the space men and the lunar expedition turned on itself in deadly carnage. What would be the outcome of the terrible conflict between man and beast?
When Zaan, the ruler of the dying world of Ginya, set his sights on Earth as a place where his race could prosper and be safe from extinction, conquest was assured. The people of Earth were decadent and sunk in idle complacency and peace and technological advancement came to the world when the Ginyan race became Earth’s overlords. Only a small group of human beings saw far enough ahead to exile themselves on dark Zoaster with a view to freeing the world from alien rule in the future, hoping to build up an army of synthetic supermen who would one day sweep the Ginyan race from the face of the Earth. They did not count on the weird elementals that dwelt on Zoaster, spirits of evil and darkness . . .
In the waning years of the Middle Ages, before Christendom had completely scoured the world of magic, both Faery and Man lived on Europe’s shores. This is the story of those last days: of the halfling children of the Liri king, who were of both realms but chose the one we call the other; of how they schemed and fought for survival, hounded from the Baltic to the ice caves of Greenland to the Mediterranean coast; of how they loved and how they died. It is the epic master piece, the adventure at once erotic, violent and magnificently sad, that Poul Anderson has always wanted to write.
Fifteen billion years from now, Earth is a dying planet, its skies darkened by the ashes of burned-out galaxies, its molten core long cooled. The sunless planet is nearing the day of final gravitational collapse in the surrounding galaxy. Mutations and evolution have led to a great disparity of life-forms, while civilization has resorted to the primitive. Young Deyv of the Turtle Tribe knew nothing of his world’s history or its fate. He lived only to track down the wretched Yawtl who had stolen his precious Soul Egg. Joined by other victims of the same thief – the feisty Vana and the plant-man Sloosh – the group sets off across a nightmare landscape of monster-haunted jungle and wetland. Their search leads them ultimately to the jeweled wasteland of the Shemibob, an ageless being from another star who knows Earth’s end is near and holds the only key to escape.
Slippery Jim diGriz is in the process of robbing the new Mint on Paskonjak when the heist goes terribly wrong. Threatened with a horrific death, Slippery Jim is allowed to cut a deal with the Galactic League: voyage to the planet Liokukae and bring back a missing artifact – the only known evidence of alien life-forms found in 32,000 years of galactic exploration. For diGriz there are a few catches. One is Liokukae itself – a dumping ground for the League’s misfits, murderers, maniacs, and the incurably obnoxious. Another is a little matter of life and death. To ensure the utterly untrustworthy diGriz’s cooperation, the League has given him a slow-acting poison, allowing him thirty days in which to succeed . . . or die. Now the Stainless Steel Rat is on his way to a world that is hurtling backward down the evolutionary scale – a land of fanatic, goat-herding Fundamentaloids, murderous Machmen, and a rusty guru named Iron John. DiGriz has developed an almost perfect cover: a four-member rock band that has a way of giving its audiences what they want to hear. But while the days tick away and diGriz’s life expectancy lowers, the mission evolves from finding an artifact to liberating a planet . . . which is a tune the Stainless Steel Rat most certainly knows how to sing.
Best known for his Hugo Award-winning classic A Case of Conscience, Blish was one of the first serious SF writers to involve themselves with tie-in novels, writing eleven Star Trek adaptations as well as the first original adult Star Trek novel, Spock Must Die. This omnibus contains three of his long out-of-print works: Black Easter, The Day After Judgement and The Seedling Stars. BLACK EASTER: A gripping story about primal evil: a sinister intermingling of power, politics, modern theology, the dark forces of necromancy, and what proves, all too terribly, not to be superstition. THE DAY AFTER JUDGEMENT: Develops and extends the characters from BLACK EASTER. It suggests that God may not be dead, or that demons may not be inherently self-destructive, as something appears to be restraining the actions of the demons upon Earth. THE SEEDLING STARS: You didn’t make an Adapted Man with just a wave of the wand. It involved an elaborate constellation of techniques, known collectively as pantropy, that changed the human pattern in a man’s shape and chemistry before he was born. And the pantropists didn’t stop there. Education, thoughts, ancestors and the world itself were changed, because the Adapted Men were produced to live and thrive in the alien environments found only in space. They were crucial to a daring plan to colonize the universe.
A typically unsettling tale of different realities from a master of the genre Yielding to a compulsion he can’t explain, Ted Barton interrupts his vacation in order to visit the town of his birth, Millgate, Virginia. But upon entering the sleepy, isolated little hamlet, Ted is distraught to find that the place bears no resemblance to the one he left behind – and never did. He also discovers that in this Millgate Ted Barton died of scarlet fever when he was nine years old. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that it is literally impossible to escape. Unable to leave, Ted struggles to find the reason for such disturbing incongruities, but before long, he finds himself in the midst of a struggle between good and evil that stretches far beyond the confines of the valley. Winner of both the HUGO and JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARDs for best novel, widely regarded as the premiere science fiction writer of his day, and the object of cult-like adoration from his legions of fans, Philip K. Dick has come to be seen in a literary light that defies classification in much the same way as Borges and Calvino. With breathtaking insight, he utilizes vividly unfamiliar worlds to evoke the hauntingly and hilariously familiar in our society and ourselves.
The long-awaited and much-demanded sequel to A PLAGUE OF ANGELS, continuing the story of Abasio, once a farmboy, now, so Blue, his talking horse, is happy to inform people, a man who goes hither and thither helping orphans in this world where renascent mythical beasts and fairy tale ‘archetypes’ now live. … And when he comes agross little Xulai from Tingawan, one of the Ten Thousand Islands, far across the western Sea, she informs him that she too is an orphan, and implores his help carrying out the last request of the Princess Xu-i-lok, who has been dying since the day she married Duke Justinian, who refused the royal order to marry Alicia, the Prince’s sister. Xulai is Princess Xu-i-lok’s Soul Carrier, and the task she must complete means visiting the scary forest in the dead of night – but it is the only thing that will bring the princess a measure of peace. Abasio, helper of orphans, promises though she must do this alone, he will be near, to aid her if necessary … and it is, for there are dark things abroad … And Xulai’s job is not yet done, for with the princess now dead, the grieving Duke is left a widower – and Alicia, Duchess Altamont, still wishes to marry him. It’s not just the man she wants, but his lands too … and her plans do not bode well for anyone except her …