The Gem Planet, the Storm Planet, the Sand Planet . . . one of these three marvel worlds held the secret Casher O’Neill sought. Casher had wandered the inhabited galaxy seeking justice, seeking the cosmic power that would enable him to return to his home world and overthrow its usurper. But in the search he found much more than he had sought, for there were things more incredible among the stars than he had dreamed of.
Marooned! The pulsating Well World Saga continues… As Volume Three opens, Mavra Chang has been a prisoner on the Well World for eleven years. Her once human friends are now grotesquely mutated, and her own body is monstrously changed. Mavra is abandoned. Her only hope, the planetoid circling above her, containing Obie, the supercomputer that could restore her body. But Obie can only be reached by entering the northern hemisphere, where no creature of blood and flesh can exist. yet Mavra’s eyes were shining. After all these years the great game was on again, the game she was born to play…
They were three: Maq Ancor, the master assassin, Macician Cherry, space illusionist, Sine Anura, mistress of the erotic. Chosen for the great quest, the journey into the heart of mankind’s greatest creation: Zeus. Zeus who made the new worlds for Man, endlessly forming, linking, organising the spread of Man into the new Zeus-created lands. So great was the undertaking that it had passed beyond the control of Man. Zeus, obeying with ruthless logic its original program, was lethal in what it deemed to be its own defence. For Man to regain control he had to understand what he had created. This was the great quest, the ultimate journey of discovery.
Expressway to an Uncharted Sphere “Theyre about!” the woman whispered, and Crane abruptly saw a strange light shining through the heavy black curtains that shrouded the house. He crossed to the window and before anyone could stop him he drew the curtain back. At first he did not understand what he saw: a round gleaming, colour-running orb stared unwinkingly back into his face. It was an eye. An immense sad eye staring at him through the chink of the curtains, an eye surrounded by a living whorl of flame that he had last seen engulfing poor Barney in the parking lot. At least three others had disappeared into the strange world from which those aliens had come, and a girl had been driven insane by them. And before Crane’s quest to unravel the secret of the Map Country was complete, the fate of two worlds would hang in the balance.
It’s 2026, and the Alpha Centauri supernova has risen like a second sun, rushing Earth toward its last summer. Floods, fires, starvation and disease paralyze the planet. A flash of gamma rays has destroyed all microchips worldwide, leaving an already devastated Earth without communications, transportation, weaponry or medicine. The disaster sets three groups of survivors on separate quests. A militant cult seizes the opportunity to free their leader from her long court-mandated coma. Three cancer patients also search for a man in judicial sleep: the brilliant scientist – and monstrous criminal – who alone can continue the experimental treatment that keeps them alive. From a far greater distance come the survivors of the first manned Mars expedition, struggling homeward to a world that has changed far beyond their darkest fears. And standing at the crossroads is one man, U.S. President Saul Steinmetz, who faces a crucial decision that will affect the fate of his own people… and the world.
The son of a Civil War veteran, Edgar Rice Burroughs was a prolific writer for the early pulp magazines. Famous the world over as the creator of Tarzan – and in SF circles for his Martian tales featuring John Carter – Burroughs is a household name. But John Carter wasn’t the only Earthman to champion another world. This omnibus collects PIRATES OF VENUS, LOST ON VENUS and CARSON OF VENUS – the first three of Burroughs’ classic pulp tales of Carson Napier on the waterworld of Amtor – better known to us as Venus. PIRATES OF VENUS: The shimmering, cloud-covered planet of Venus conceals a wondrous secret: the strikingly beautiful yet deadly world of Amtor. In Amtor, cities of immortal beings flourish in giant trees reaching thousands of feet into the sky; ferocious beasts stalk the wilderness below; rare flashes of sunlight precipitate devastating storms; and the inhabitants believe their world is saucer-shaped with a fiery center and icy rim. Stranded on Amtor after his spaceship crashes, astronaut Carson Napier is swept into a world where revolution is ripe, the love of a princess comes at a dear price, and death can come as easily from the blade of a sword as from the ray of a futuristic gun. LOST ON VENUS: Napier’s adventures continue in this pulse-pounding sequel to PIRATES OF VENUS. Here the intrepid and wry explorer takes on a savage world in order to rescue the princess from her sworn enemies. Napier’s epic quest for Duare takes him through the streets of the City of the Dead, into the terrifying Room of the Seven Doors, and face to face with fantastic and perilous creatures. LOST ON VENUS brims with the action, suspense and wit unique to the Master of Adventure. CARSON OF VENUS: Carson Napier, first Earthman to reach Venus, had to keep alert every instant of his stay on that world of mist and mystery. For its lands were unmapped, its inhabitants many, varied and strange, and he had taken an obligation to restore a native princess to her lost homeland. On terrible oceans where dreaded sea-monsters dwelled, in deep forests where terror haunted every branch, and behind the walls of eerie cities where power-mad chieftains plotted uncanny schemes, CARSON OF VENUS is fast-paced science fiction adventure.
The Potters of Firsk includes the majority of Vance’s ‘Magnus Ridolph’ stories, previously collected in The Many Worlds of Magnus Ridolph. In the VIE edition this book is titled Gadget Stories. Contents: Planet of the Black Dust, Dead Ahead (“Ultimate Quest”), Hard Luck Diggings, Sanatoris Short-cut, The Unspeakable McInch, The Howling Bounders, The King of Thieves, The Sub-standard Sardines, To B or Not to C or to D (“Cosmic Hotfoot”), Spa of the Stars, The Enchanted Princess (“The Dreamer”), The Potters of Firsk, The Visitors (“Winner Lose All”), Plagian Siphon (“The Uninhibited Robot”; “The Planet Machine”), Dover Spargill’s Ghastly Floater, Sabotage on Sulfur Planet, Three Legged Joe, Four Hundred Blackbirds, Sjambak, Parapsyche, Sail 25 (“Gateway to Strangeness”; “Dust of Far Suns”). All Jack Vance titles in the SFGateway use the author’s preferred texts, as restored for the Vance Integral Edition (VIE), an extensive project masterminded by an international online community of Vance’s admirers. In general, we also use the VIE titles, and have adopted the arrangement of short story collections to eliminate overlaps.