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.
“Suppose the war took a sudden turn for the worse from the scientific point of view? Suppose some bright scientist on the enemy side found a truly terrible weapon?” This was John Russell Fearn’s main premise for Aftermath, written two years before the end of the second World War.
The author of such hard-science masterpieces as Eater, Benford excels at short fiction as well, from a tale of courage in the aftermath of nuclear war (“To the Storming Gulf”) to a thoughtful commentary on human and primate interaction in his title novella.
With the eyes of the world upon them, four men leave the surface of the earth to conquer space. Only one person among the crowds who watch is endowed with an inward prescience of what will happen. To watch disaster is no one’s wish; to be helpless to avert it is worse. But to be caught up in its horrifying aftermath is something to be avoided at all cost…
In the aftermath of an atomic war, a new international movement of pacifism has arisen. Multitudes of young men have chosen to curb their aggressive instincts through voluntary amputation – disarmament in its most literal sense.
Those who have undergone this procedure are highly esteemed in the new society. But they have a problem – their prosthetics require a rare metal to function, and international tensions are rising over which countries get the right to mine it . . .
There were many reasons why the Time Kings sent their warrior hordes back through the endless corridors of Time. The ancient spaceships had been destroyed by the wrath of a people smarting under the aftermath of the Galactic War. But though the lanes of space were deserted to them, the Time Kings possessed a weapon more deadly than any other – the Amphichron. Sweeping through the grey ages, the warriors destroyed and pillaged the peaceful eras of the past.
In the aftermath of an interstellar war an enigmatic star is discovered, travelling towards the Solar System from the galactic core. Its appearance adds a new and dangerous factor in the turbulent politics of the inhabited worlds as the rival factions – the power-holders of the ReUnited Nations, the rebels who secretly oppose their power, and the Religious Witnesses – all see advantages to be gained.
But what awesome technology started the star on its journey half a million years ago – and why?
When a young British couple, who make jigsaw puzzles, are hired by an ageing Norwegian to take nude photos of themselves in a sculpture park in Oslo, they are drawn into a web of occult Nazi horror. Even more horrifying will be the fate of the whole world some years later if alien visitors achieve their secret aims.
However, the aftermath of events in that Oslo park will provide Anna Sharman with a key to unlock those aims.
Anna is a rebel within Britain’s intelligence service at a time when most of the world appeases the aliens because of the gifts they bring – and if she must lose her own body in order to discover the truth, she will do so.
Where once the mighty Kane has passed, no one who lives forgets. Now, down the trail of past battles, Kane travels again. To the ruins of a devastated city peopled only with half-men and the waif they call their queen. To the half-burnt tavern where a woman Kane wronged long ago holds his child in keeping for the Devil. To the cave kingdom of the giants where glory and its aftermath await discovery. To the house of death itself where Kane retrieves a woman in love.
The past, the future, the present – all these are one for Kane as he travels through the centuries.
“Two Suns Setting”
“The Dark Muse”
“Sing a Last Song of Valdese”
The planet Arcadia was on the verge of economic collapse. Its human colony had been decimated by the strange Relay Effect; in the aftermath, still more colonists were leaving for other worlds. The Hetherington Organisation promised to change that. If the remaining colonists put themselves entirely in their hands for a five-year period, they would transform Arcadia into the most prosperous planet settled by mankind, while preserving its great natural beauty.
It was an offer the Arcadians could not possibly refuse, for the alternative, after all, was an accelerating slide into poverty and, eventually, savagery. Only when the Hetherington Organisation’s first cargo ships arrived, unloading a huge stream of brontomeks – huge robot agricultural machines, heavily armoured – and an army of amorphs, aliens who were capable of moulding themselves into human form, did the colony begin to realise what it had committed itself to.
Brontomek! is a sequel to two earlier books, Syzygy and Mirror Image. Like it’s predecessors it is an ingenious, adventurous tale of the type which has rapidly made Coney one of SF’s foremost entertainers.
Brontomek! won the 1977 BSFA award for best novel.