The Long Winter is over.
The People of the New Springtime must go out and reclaim their world.
For generations the survivors of the cataclysm have sheltered in cocoons buried in the earth and waited for the gods to grow tired of hurling down death-stars onto a frozen world. Now it is time for Koshmar and the boy-chronicler, Hresh, and the rest of Koshmar’s tribe to emerge into the sun. A strange and savage landscape awaits them, where rat-wolves, bloodbirds and soulless hjjk-men stalk – and terrifyingly altered other creatures.
In the ruins of Vengiboneeza, the ancient capital of the sapphire-eyes folk, Hresh dares to celebrate their triumph – and suffers a shattering defeat at the realisation of a great and terrible truth.
(First published 1988)
The day of ice and fire, that brings in its wake devastation to the world.
Dr Robert Graham, noted nuclear physicist, has campaigned hard and long for disarmament.
Now his patience is at an end.
With an ill-assorted handful of desperate, like-minded ‘terrorists’, he plans to hold the human race to ransom. His bargaining power is terrifying – nothing short of Ragnarok itself. The world governments must listen – or the countdown to nuclear winter has already begun . . .
The chronicles of THE WINTER OF THE WORLD echo down the ages in half-remembered myth and song – tales of mysterious powers of the Mastersmiths, of the forging of great weapons, of the subterranean kingdoms of the duergar, of Gods who walked abroad, and of the Powers that struggled endlessly for dominion.
In the Northlands, beleaguered by the ever-encroaching Ice and the marauding Ekwesh, a young cowherd, Alv, saved from the raiders by the mysterious Mastersmith, discovers in himself an uncanny power to shape metal – but it is a power that may easily be turned to evil ends, and on a dreadful night Alv flees the Mastersmith, and embarks on the quest to find both his own destiny, and a weapon that will let him stand against the Power of the Ice.
For the people in this novel, the concerns of everyday life are beginning to transmute into the extraordinary and to reveal the forces, dark and light, that truly govern their lives. So it is for Pierce Moffett, would-be historian and author, who has moved from New York to the Faraway Hills, where he seems to discover – or rediscover – a path into magic, past and present. And so it is for Rosie Rasmussen, a single mother grappling with her mysterious uncle’s legacy and her young daughter Samantha’s inexplicable seizures. For Pierce’s lover Rose Ryder, another path unfolds: she’s drawn into a cult that promises to exorcise her demons – the same cult that Samantha’s father has joined. It is the dark of the year, between Halloween and the winter solstice, and the gateway is open between the worlds of the living and the dead. A great cycle of time is ending, and Pierce and Rosie, Samantha and Rose Ryder must take sides in an age-old war that is approaching the final battle…Or is it?
The siege was over. The citadel of Avillis had burned, burned through the night, with its terrible Lord and his monstrous children in it. Nothing remained now but broken walls, charred stumps where trees had, grown, tattered lattices open to the sky. But at the heart of the palace the great Cup of Avillis stood untouched: pure gold, crusted with jewels each worth an emperor’s ransom. Small wonder that Kachil, common thief, should covet it. Or Feluce, dapper arrogant climber; riches would mean much to him. But why did Havor of Taon, the hawk, join them to carry the cursed Cup away? For it was Havor who found that the Chalice once stolen could not be lightly cast aside, even in horror and despair. While always, inexorably, half-seen, slipping through shadows, shapes in the mind’s eye, three phantom riders followed after it across the winter-blasted plain.
This chilling tale of flight and inescapable pursuit rises to a confrontation of ghostly powers. Havor thought his story could have only one ending, but the spirit world can summon Forces of Light as well as Dark.
The death-stars had come, and they had kept on coming for hundreds of thousands of years, falling upon the Earth, swept upon it by a vagrant star that had passed through the outer reaches of the solar system. They brought with them a time of unending darkness and cold. It was an event that occured every twenty-six million years, and there was no turning it aside.
But all that was done with now. At last the death-stars had ceased to fall, the sky had cleared of dust and cinders, the sun’s warmth again was able to break through the clouds. The glaciers relinquished their hold on the land; the Long Winter ended; the New Springtime began. The world was born anew.
Now each year was warmer than the last. The fair seasons of spring and summer, long lost from the world, came again with increasing power. And the People, having survived the dark time in their sealed cocoons, were spreading rapidly across the fertile land. But others were already there. The hjjks, the somber cold-eyed insect-folk, had never retreated, even at the time of greatest chill. The world had fallen to them by default, and they had been its sole masters for seven hundred thousand years. They were not likely to share it gladly now . . .
Omega: an apocalyptic rumour from the Eastern Front. Omega: something that will alter all the strategic calculations of the Earth’s great military blocs. Omega: the code name for a weapon that may well bring doomsday with it. But if Omega is indeed the agent that will destroy the world, that world is not our own. For this is a timeline in which World War Two never truly ended: a timeline in which Hitler died in a plane crash, Britain joined Germany in its battle against Communist Russia, and the present is an age of intermittent, but deadly, armed conflict between the USSR, the European Alliance, and the USA.
The frontier regions are radioactive wastelands, nuclear winter threatens catastrophe, global confrontation could erupt again any time – and that’s before Omega is taken into account…This is the reality experienced by Owen Meredith when an accident forces his consciousness from the England we know into the mind of his cognate self in that other darker, Europe.
Switching back and forth between being plain Owen Meredith and troubled Major Owain Maredudd, Owen is faced not only with a Cold War going Hot, but with a deep crisis of identity. Who is he? Whose twisted destiny is he treading? Did the ordinary domestic life he remembers ever even take place? Perhaps the universe of Owain and Omega is merely a symptom of mental illness – but if so, why is it so urgently tangible?