In another sparkling and slightly askew adventure in the mode of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Jack Vance, Fools Errant’s Filidor Vesh sashays once more through the penultimate age, finding that love is a many splintered thing.
The dandified Archon’s apprentice is literally bowled over by beautiful Emmlyn Podarke — she knocks him flat and steals his credentials, daring him to pursue her to a remote and mostly forgotten corner of Old Earth. Now Filidor must cope with philosophical pirates, prophet-seeking aliens, light-fingered mummers, and a tiny, bothersome voice in his left ear. Meanwhile, the Archon may or may not have been kidnaped, and somebody’s digging up a mysterious ancient artefact buried on the Podarke family farm.
Praise for Matthew Hughes:
“Matthew Hughes does Jack Vance better than anyone except Jack himself” – George R.R. Martin
“Heir apparent to Jack Vance” – Booklist
“Hughes’s boldness is admirable”- New York Review of Science Fiction
“Hughes effortlessly renders fantastic worlds and beings believable”- Publishers Weekly
“A towering talent”- Robert J. Sawyer
“A treasure” – David Gerrold
Eight hundred years have passed since King Connavar of the Rigante and his bastard son, Bane, defeated the invading army of Stone. In that time, Connavar has become a legend, and the Rigante have lost the freedom so many gave their lives to preserve. A conquered people, they live and die under the iron rule of the Varlish, their culture all but destroyed.
One woman remains who follows the ancient paths once trod by the
Rigante. She is the Wyrd of Wishing Tree Wood, and she alone knows the nature of the evil soon to be unleashed on a doomed and unsuspecting world.
In a perilous land, facing an uncertain destiny, she pins her initial hopes on two men: Jaim Grymauch, the giant Rigante fighter, a man haunted by his failure to save the friend he loved from betrayal, and Kaelin Ring, a youth whose deadly talents will earn him the enmity of all Varlish. One will become the Ravenheart, an outlaw leader whose daring exploits will inspire the Rigante. The other will forge a legend and light the fires of rebellion.
The Wyrd knows that ultimately all hopes will rest on a third man. Of the bloodline of Connavar the King, he will need to overcome generations of fear and hatred if he is to achieve his destiny. For he is a Varlish nobleman, and – worse – the son of the Rigante’s greatest enemy . . .
Read by Adjoh Andoh
(p) 2017 Orion Publishing Group
Hidden away from the world by his mother, the powerful sorceress Heloise Oliver, Pierce has grown up working in her restaurant in Desolation Point. One day, unexpectedly, strangers pass through town on the way to the legendary capital city. Look for us, they tell Pierce, if you come to Severluna. You might find a place for yourself in King Arden s court.
Lured by a future far away from the bleak northern coast, Pierce makes his choice. Heloise, bereft and furious, tells her son the truth: about his father, a knight in King Arden s court; about an older brother he never knew existed; about his father s destructive love for King Arden s queen, and Heloise s decision to raise her younger son alone.
As Pierce journeys to Severluna, his path twists and turns through other lives and mysteries: an inn where ancient rites are celebrated, though no one will speak of them; a legendary local chef whose delicacies leave diners slowly withering from hunger; his mysterious wife, who steals Pierce s heart; a young woman whose need to escape is even greater than Pierce s; and finally, in Severluna, King Arden’s youngest son, who is urged by strange and lovely forces to sacrifice his father s kingdom.
Things are changing in that kingdom. Oldmagic is on the rise. The immensely powerful artifact of an ancient god has come to light, and the king is gathering his knights to quest for this profound mystery, which may restore the kingdom to its former glory or destroy it…”
White-skinned, black-haired Sovaz is beautiful and wayward, yet seemingly soulless – as if vampirised by some unknown force. Wife of a very wealthy but older husband, she is the prize ornament of his treasure collection, yet she is toying with a naive young American lover. And while the faces of this doomed trio converge, somewhere outside the glowing casements a creature of darkness prepares to feed…
Here are a novel and twelve short stories encompassing all the richness and variety of Tanith Lee’s unique talent.
This fascinating and disturbing collection casts a new and chilling light on that ancient mythical creature, the mermaid… pinpoints the ultimate peril of mankind’s fascination with the domestic cat… sucks us into the pulsing horror of bricks and mortar with a life of their own… investigates the dark and marvellous legends of tree spirits, and the tantalising allure of other carnal obsessions.
In this, the second book of the epic trilogy begun in The Forging of the Shadows, the once-glorious city of Thrull has become a place of death and despair. Seven years before, Lord Faran Groton, High Priest of the God of Darkness, overthrew Thrull and set loose his army of vampires to plague the city, waiting for the day the sun would rise no more…But the God of Light has his champions as well. A motley trio of survivors searches for the three ancient artifacts which can defeat the darkness. Traveling far beyond their own lands, they will encounter nightmares and disasters before facing their most dangerous enemies — the Dark-born Nations of the Night!
All his life Manvar has had a dream. One day, he will escape the harshly primitive, blizzard-torn lands of the north. He will follow the paths of the Ancients and see for himself the fabled lands of the south: lands without ice and snow and perpetual night; lands of warmth and light, where life is easy and comfortable within walled cities of incredible beauty. Manvar follows his dream, but finds it hollow. Life in the wondrous city of Delphos is not the paradise it seemed.
Hugh had been taught that, according to the ancient sacred writings, the Ship was on a voyage to faraway Centaurus. But he also understood this was actually allegory for a voyage to spiritual perfection. Indeed, how could the Ship move, since its miles and miles of metal corridors were all there was of creation? Science knew that the Ship was all the Universe, and as long as the sacred Convertor was fed, the lights would continue to glow and the air would flow, and the Creator’s Plan would be fulfilled.Of course, there were the muties, grotesquely deformed parodies of humans, who lurked in the upper reaches of the Ship where gravity was weaker. Were they evil incarnate, or merely a divine check on the population, keeping humanity from expanding past the capacity of the Ship to support?
Then Hugh was captured by the muties and met their leader (or leaders), Joe-Jim, with two heads on one body. And he learned the true nature of the Ship and its mission between the stars. But could he make his people believe him before it was to late? Could he make them believe that he must be allowed to fly the ship?
Uma, a beautiful but frightened dancing girl, sells a strange bronze statuette of Nataraja, the dancing Siva, to Dr Chris Anderson, while he was visiting a bazaar in Pollachi, Southern India. He travels back to Kerala and puts the statuette on the bedside cabinet in his hotel room. His sleep is tortured by fantastic nightmares in which he seems hosts of ancient Indian gods and demons, in all their splendour and horror.
He wakes in terror to hear a faint voice whispering in the darkness. The bronze statuette is glowing with unearthly light and there is a smell if incense.
Can a human soul be imprisoned in bronze by the power of weird, unearthly dark magic?
Can Dr Chris Anderson release the psychic prisoner? Who is Uma, the mysterious dancing girl?
From the vaults of the SF Gateway, the most comprehensive digital library of classic SFF titles ever assembled, comes an ideal introduction to the varied work of author, editor and critic, L. Sprague de Camp.
Although arguably best known for his continuation of Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories, de Camp was an important figure in the formative period of modern SF, alongside the likes of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein. In a career spanning seven decades, he won the HUGO, WORLD FANTASY LIFE ACHIEVEMENT and SFWA GRAND MASTER AWARDs. This omnibus collects three previously out-of-print classics: LEST DARKNESS FALL, ROGUE QUEEN and THE TRITONIAN RING.
Lest Darkness Fall:
The Roman Empire had spread order, knowledge and civilisation throughout the ancient world. When Rome fell, the light of reason flickered out across the Empire. The Dark Ages had begun; they would last a thousand years. Could a man from the 20th century prevent the fall of Rome?
Decades before a certain five-year voyage, L. Sprague de Camp sent a spirited crew to a strange and distant world, where their meeting with its inhabitants created chaos in local politics, upset the balance of power and generally created the most entertaining havoc.
The Tritonian Ring:
The gods of Poseidonis – or Atlantis – were powerful and real. Now they were determined to destroy the kingdom ruled by the father of Prince Vakar, the one man whose mind they could not read. The only way to save the kingdom was to discover that thing which the gods feared most.
This gracefully written sequel to Golden Witchbreed powerfully depicts the impact of a high-technology civilization on a decaying planet. Ten years after having served as Earth’s first envoy to Orthe, which is struggling to survive after a planetwide holocaust millennia ago, Lynne de Lisle Christie returns there as an advisor to PanOceania, one of Earth’s giant multinational companies, which is seeking to discover the technological secrets of the Goldens, the ruling race that had destroyed itself while almost obliterating Orthe. Christie seeks to help the native people, some of whom have been her friends, some her enemies, but all closely bound in her memories and loyalties. Instigated by the last of the Golden, a madwoman seeking domination, war between the poor and starving hiyeks of the Desert Coast and the land-loving telestres of the north is aggravated by smuggled high-tech weapons. Christie, while holding a dreadful secret from the Orthe’s past, attempts to mediate. Gentle creates moving, different, yet recognizable societies and people that catch the reader’s emotions as they struggle to save themselves.
Dawn of a new Doomsday
It was in the light of the swift star “God’s-Eye” – said to have been thrown aloft by the Ancients before the Desolation – that Beatra was captured by raiders from under the Earth.
Armed with only a psi-kinetic sand-sword and a Dire Wolf’s eyes, Jeremy Wolfhead followed, and found a strange city ruled by the descendants of an ancient government that had escaped the Desolation – a city that was preparing to emerge and bring to Earth a second, even more horrible, Doomsday!
In the 277th century, Earth is dead, but mankind survives in colonies scattered across the galaxy. To these new worlds come the Immortals, beings with strange ties to ancient Earth who seem to live forever, who can travel light years in days – and who use their strange powers to control the existence of ordinary mortals. On the planet Pentecost, a small group sets out to find and challenge the Immortals. But in the search they themselves are changed: as Immortals, they discover a new threat, not just to themselves, but to the galaxy itself.
Harry Keogh, Necroscope, is no more . . .
And the Wamphyri are back – not only in the Vampire World, where the ancient northern ice has melted to release the original, the most evil, most powerful vampires of all time, but in our world, too. Without Necroscope – the one man who could talk to the dead and undead alike – only Ben Trask and the weirdly talented espers of his secret organisation, E- Branch, stand between Mankind’s survival and its domination by terrible invaders from Starside.
Trask: human lie-detector; David Chung: locator of all things evil; Ian Goodfly: precog, whose glimpses of the ever-furtive future have so often saved the lives of his E-Branch colleagues. Three men, their technology and the esoteric talents against shape-changing challengers from a parallel universe. The odds don’t look good, and Harry Keogh is dead and gone, his motes scattered throughout the Universes of Light. But as Harry himself was witness, death isn’t like that . . .
Harry may be dead, but his legacy lives on.
A man waits for me in the light of the mountaintop.
No, not a man. Antlers rise from his head. A tail, like a lion’s tail, sweeps the ground behind him. He stands on hooves and his legs are as shaggy as the legs of the bison. His hands are tipped with claws like the claws of a cat.
He stares at me and I recognise the look in his eyes. He was the spirit in the young buck. He was the leader of the wolf pack. He was the snake and the mammoth. When he looks at me, my chant dies in my throat. My hands stop tapping on the drum.
Suddenly, I do not feel the strength I once felt, only the ancient terror . . .
In his fourth short-story collection, Watson again demonstrates the extraordinary scope of his imagination. The title story has ancient witchcraft meeting complacent modern suburbia in a tale of spine-chilling horror, while ‘When the Timegate Failed’ casts an unexpected light in the dangers of space travel and man’s powers of self-delusion. Alien matters of a different kind crop up in ‘Windows’, in which mysterious artefacts found on Mars prove to be something of a problem for their chic human owners. Evil Water is a highly inventive collection which is a delight to read.