In the lands of the True Game, your lifelong identity will emerge as you play. Prince or Sorcerer, Armiger or Tragamor, Demon or Doyen…
Which will it be?
Space-wanderer Earl Dumarest is on the planet Toy to consult the giant computer which may contain information on the whereabouts of Earth, his lost home-world.
But soon he realises Toy is a place that gives away nothing for free. Before Dumarest can gain the information he needs, he must take part in the Toy Games – must fight like a tin soldier in a vast nursery.
And there is nothing playful about the Games on Toy. The pain is real enough; the wounds, the blood – and death.
(First published 1969)
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…
Castle Banat: a stronghold of insane enormity, created by a monstrous architectural genius. The size of Banat is such that it even has its own weather. Inside, room after room is filled with fantastical horrors: Banat holds an infinity of mystery and terrible wonder.
The castle is home to the Family, the clans that make up the vampires of the world. One of their greatest rites is the Golden, the sacrifice of a victim whose blood is the sweetest and most powerful there is. But in 186-, at a gathering three centuries in the planning, the Golden is murdered, brutally devoured by person or persons unknown.
The Parisian vampire Beheim, new to the game, is charged with finding the culprit. So begins a journey through the vastness of Banat and into the very core of the vampire mind; a personal odyssey of sublime terror.
Set against a backdrop that is one of the greatest imaginative feats since Gormenghast, and full of the passionate games and sheer sexual force of the vampire, The Golden is fabulous gothic mystery and exceptionally powerful storytelling.
Both “Drink Me, Francesca” and “Out There Where the Big Ships Go” examine – in differing but related ways – humanity’s first encounter with other intelligent life, and its inevitable profound consequences. In the former, one member of an interstellar expeditionary force is drawn into communion with an intangible, superior being; in the latter an astronaut, believed long dead, returns to Earth bringing with him an alien game whose subtleties the human race must master in order to show itself worthy of membership in the galactic community.
“The Attleborough Poltergeist” is an eerie account of an apparently paranormal phenomenon which proves to have an even stranger scientific explanation, while the long title story is a surprising – and successful – departure: a full-blooded, adventurous fantasy reminiscent of Rider Haggard. A Victorian Army officer, doing surveying work in Asia Minor, stumbles upon a hidden valley in a remote mountain range. There he discovers a cult whose members literally tend and spin the loom of human destiny, and who await his long-predicted arrival to fulfil a strange and unexpected role in their society.