It is the year 2450. Humanity is scattered among the stars, which teem with intelligent life, while the home world has been destroyed by an inadvertent catastrophe two hundred years before. Thus all Earthmen are exiles, and Earth itself is only a memory. Hydros is a world of great complexity. It has almost no landmass, only a great globe-encompassing ocean with occasional tiny islands. Its seas swarm with apparently intelligent life-forms of a hundred kinds, and one – a bipedal humanoid form – has created a kind of land for itself: floating islands, woven from sea-borne materials, buffered by elaborate barricades against the ceaseless tidal surges that circle the planet. To Hydros have come an assortment of Earthmen. For them it’s a world of no return: having no form of outbound space transportation. This brilliantly inventive novel tells their story, as they travel across the planet’s endless ocean in search of the mysterious area from which no human has ever returned – the Face of the Waters. (First published 1991)
Jeremy Dodge knew the Earth would face starvation if it were not for the new science of “aquaculture”. With the world’s population numbering many billions, only the extra food being cultivated on the bottom of the sea could feed everyone. But, like the rest of the surface-dwellers, Jeremy did not know what a vicious monopoly underwater cultivation had become. That is, until the dreadful moment when he himself was kidnapped and dragged beneath the depths. And there he was to learn that just making his own escape would not be enough – he would have to save mankind from the tyranny of a new race of water-breathing human monsters!
A manuscript is found: filled with small, precise writing and smelling of pit-water, it tells the story of an old recluse and his strange home – and its even stranger, jade-green double, seen by the recluse on an otherworldly plain where gigantic gods and monsters roam. Soon his more earthly home is no less terrible than his bizarre vision, as swine-like creatures boil from a cavern beneath the ground and besiege it. But a still greater horror will face the recluse – more inexorable, merciless and awful than any creature that can be fought or killed.