HE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MURDER
It was a set-up … but who was behind it, and why did they want Ban Tarleton out of the United Planetary Navy?
Could it have been something to do with the innocent-looking chunk of rock dug from an asteroid by Tarleton’s best friend – a discovery which caused him to be brutally killed?
The Navy was helpless, under the orders of a greater power. Yet even the Star Lords had a weakness. If Tarleton could discover that secret, he and the populace of the beleaguered world might find freedom once again.
2018 AD. The time of the Cold Peace, worse even than the Cold War. The bureaucratic regimes that rule from Washington and Moscow are indistinguishable in their passion for total repression. But in the West, a few dedicated individuals still struggle to find a way out of the trap of human history. Behind the screen of official research their desperate project is nearing completion . . .
You might have thought that the Fiesta of the Holy Hermit in the Mexican town of Los Remedios was just another of those quaint colourful ceremonies that the Indian natives put on each year for the mystification of tourists. And perhaps for the past few hundred years it had bee nothing more than that – but this year was to be different.
For Jacob Clay, the American expatriate, had been poking into the buried secrets of that mountain community which dated back before the Aztec Empire, and he had begun to entertain a shocking suspicion. Before that fiesta was over he was due to learn the volcanic reality behind:
The Holy Hermit – a mummy that was not a mummy…
Tlaloc – a statue that was not just a thing of stone…
Huitzilopochtli – a legend that was stark realism…
And what started as a holiday turned into a nightmare on which pivoted the fates of the very stars themselves!
There are too many men in a world governed by women. They’re bored and disillusioned and often resort to ‘suicide missions’ – jobs in experimental space research. Jorn applies for such a job, is selected and trained as a navigator for the huge ship Javelin, the first to implement the recently discovered faster-than-light Evrak Effect.
Before the Effect is tested, however, it is discovered that life will be extinct within nine years; the sun is burning up, preparing to explode. The Evrak Effect will save a small percentage of mankind, take civilisation to a yet unknown planet. Production on new ships is given priority, the ruthless selection of passengers begins. Twenty-five billion people will be left behind.
Led by Javelin, thirty ships wander in space through many light years of promises, lost hope and death for the original crew and passengers. But life does survive, children grow and learn, to inherit the beginning of another world, another promise.
James Blish has written a compelling novel of gigantic moral problems and of people who learn to cope with their own limitations in order to deal with them.
More than any other series, THE AVENGERS typified the Swinging Sixties – beginning in 1961 with Patrick Macnee starring with Ian Hendry in a grainy, realistic spy thriller, and ending in 1969 with Macnee and the glamorous Linda Thorson blasting off into space in a surreal episode appropriately entitled ‘Bizarre’. Meanwhile we had seen the memorable Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg in roles unusually progressive for British television.
THE NEW AVENGERS in the mid-seventies reflected changing times but retained the essence of the show – as Macnee returned to play alongside another strong, independent heroine in the form of Joanna Lumley’s Purdey. And then there was the film…
THE AVENGERS DOSSIER is a uniquely comprehensive yet humorous survey of all the show’s incarnations. As well as a remarkably detailed episode guide to both series – even covering the kinkiness factor and champagne count in both – this volume gives behind the scenes insights and revelations about every aspect of the programme. The film and its production are examined, and critical essays look at the history behind the cult.
When professional duelist Conn Labro escapes indentured servitude as the star player of Horder’s Emporium, he abandons the gaming world of Thrais and sets out on an interstellar journey filled with murder, deceit, and self-discovery. His only friend on Thrais, discovered dead and tortured, left him enough money to buy himself out of his contract and a curious encrypted “bearer deed” to a mysterious property on the distant edge of the galactic Spray. With the seductive, secretive showgirl Jenore Mordene at his side and a villainous pleasure cult dogging his every move, Labro sets out to learn the truth behind his bearer deed and more about his own past than he had ever dared bargain for.
The alien ruins that dotted Earth’s landscape were an enigma.
Archaeologist Rond Heshke dismissed as a ridiculous hoax the photographic evidence which suggested that the ruins disobeyed the laws of time. The Titanium Legions believed that the ruins had been left behind by an invading force from space, which had been repelled in a past age and whose imminent return was feared.
It was not until the Titanium scientists perfected their time machines that the truth began to emerge piece by piece: that the builders of the ruins belonged not to the stars but to Earth’s own future, and that the dreaded confrontation was indeed shortly due – not with aliens, but in a form more horrifying, more calamitous, than anything imaginable…
For Earth was to be the victim of an extraordinary cosmic accident. Time itself was about to collide! Mankind’s leaders became even more fanatical, pressing on with new plans, determined at all costs to survive…
The ghost was her father’s parting gift, presented by a black-clad secretary in a departure lounge at Narita..
Mona is a young girl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is turned upside down when her pimp sells her to a plastic surgeon in New York and overnight she’s turned into someone else.
Angie Mitchell is a famous Hollywood Sense/Net star with a special talent. And despite the efforts of studio bosses to keep her in ignorance, Angie’s started remembering things. Soon she’ll discover who she really is . . . and why she doesn’t need a deck in order to enter cyberspace.
From inside the matrix, plots are set in motion and human beings are being played like pieces on a board. And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yazuka, the powerful Japanese underworld, whose leaders ruthlessly manipulate people and events to suit their own purposes.
Or so they think . . .
“Mankind will cease to exist at 6pm GMT on 28th March 3256”. A computer prediction which threw the world into panic. What to do? Build a starship and take the chosen few to a new home in the stars. Or search for an alternative timestream where mankind goes on forever.
Matt Helm is to captain the last space shuttle carrying passengers to the starship, but his irrepressible desire for Fern Angelus corrupts his sense of duty. He agrees to take part in her time experiments.
Set against a background of passion and longing, Matt’s uncanny success with mind projection meets unforseen complications. He projects his mind to a future Earth: a world of shallow, extensive seas, mutated trees growing in layers on each other’s branches, and strangely evolved animals like snappersnouts, humpers and energy creatures.
Matt’s strange visions eventually meet reality when he discovers that the last load of passengers for the starship has been left behind; and he is one of them.
It was carnival time on Earth. Prosperity was at its peak; science had triumphed over environment; all human needs were taken care of by computers, robots and androids. There was nothing left for humans to do but enjoy, themselves . . . to seek pleasure where they found it, without inhibitions and without thinking of the price.
Then an android died – in a senseless, brutal murder. And young Derry Horn was shocked out of his boredom and alienation. His life of flabby ease had not prepared him for a fantastically dangerous mission to outlying, primitive stars – but now, at last, he had a reason for living. And even when he found himself a prisoner of ruthless slavers, even when he learned the shocking truth about what the androids really were and where they came from . . . even when he saw all the laws of the orderly, civilised universe he knew turned upside-down and inside-out . . . he fought on.
For that universe had to be shattered and reborn – even if Derry Horn and the Earth he had irrevocably left behind died in the process!
(First published 1968)