Kirth Gersen carries in his pocket a slip of paper with a list of five names written upon it – the names of five Demon Princes. The Demon Princes are a race of beings who disguise themselves as humans and delight in power and destruction. However, to Kirth they are merely murderers who killed his family and destroyed his home planet – and who deserve to die for those misdeeds. Three have already fallen at Kirth’s hands, but there are two more names on the list.
When Charles Platt set out to answer the question, “Who writes science fiction?” he interviewed almost all the writers who molded the field during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The profiles that Platt wrote have become a definitive source of information about the lives and careers of Isaac Asimov, Jerry Pournelle, Frank Herbert, Frederik Pohl, and dozens more. Originally published in two volumes, the profiles collected here have been specially updated with afterwords written in 2017. “There has never been a better book about science fiction; it is doubtful that there has ever veen a better book about writing of any kind.” -The Cleveland Press. “A book of sharp, insightful, beautifully written essays . . . . This is quite probably the finest book of its type yet to appear.” -Publishers Weekly. “A magnificent achievement, exemplary in its insights, its structure, its editorial restraint and perspective . . . a monumental book.” -Robert Silverberg. “Platt held me spellbound for hours. . . . These are some of the best [interviews] I’ve ever seen.” –Analog magazine. “A superb piece of work . . . full of color and warm empathy, it makes for charming reading.” -Alfred Bester.
Fantasy is one of the most appealing and yet most puzzling of literary genres. Appealing because it can offer dreams, the fulfillment of wishes, and escape; but puzzling because it spans such a wide and diverse range of books. In Fantasy: The 100 Best Books, James Cawthorn and Michael Moorcock present a wide-ranging cross-section of the fantasy genre, from its eighteenth century Gothic origins through nineteenth century literary classics, pulp-era weird fiction, and on to modern favorites. Recognized classics are accompanied by lesser-known works ripe for rediscovery, resulting in an interestingly idiosyncratic and uniquely valuable guide to two-and-a-half centuries of fantastic stories.
Ursula K. Le Guin has won or been nominated for over 200 awards for her fiction, including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy and SFWA Grand Master Awards. She is the acclaimed author of the Earthsea sequence and The Left Hand of Darkness – which alone would qualify her for literary immortality – as well as a remarkable body of short fiction, including the powerful, Hugo-winning ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas’ and the masterpiece of anthropological and environmental SF ‘The Word for World is Forest’ – winner of the Hugo Award for best novella. But Ursula Le Guin’s talents do not stop at fiction. Over the course of her extraordinary career, she has penned numerous essays around themes important to her: anthropology, environmentalism, feminism, social justice and literary criticism to name a few. She has responded in detail to criticism of her own work and even reassessed that work in the context of such critiques. This selection of the best of Le Guin’s non-fiction shows an agile mind, an unparalleled imagination and a ferocious passion to argue against injustice. In 2014 Ursula Le Guin was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and her widely praised acceptance speech is one of the highlights of this volume, which shows that one of modern literature’s most original voices is also one of its purest consciences.
The young Tarzan was unlike the great apes who were his only companions and playmates. Theirs was a simple, savage life, filled with little but killing or being killed. But Tarzan had all of a normal boy’s desire to learn. He had painfully taught himself to read from books left by his dead father. Now he sought to apply this book knowledge to the world around him. He sought for such things as the source of dreams and the whereabouts of God. And he searched for the love and affection that every human being needs. But he was alone in his struggles to grow and understand. The life of the jungle had no room for abstractions.
This stunning collection showcases 11 of Haldeman’s best stories. They range through time and space from planets beyond our wildest dreams to a nightmare future Earth all too close to home. Lindsay and the Red City Blues: A story of revenge – with a heart-stopping twist in the tail. Blood Brothers: A ‘Thieves World’ story. You Can Never Go Back: A self-contained story from the original version of ‘The Forever War’, never before published in book form. And ten more sharp and startling visions of tomorrow.
Connie Willis is one of science fiction’s most decorated authors, with a staggering eleven HUGOs and seven NEBULA AWARDs to her name. She is best known for her sequence of time-travel stories including SF Masterworks DOOMSDAY BOOK and TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG and the HUGO AWARD-winning diptych BLACKOUT and ALL CLEAR. This omnibus collects her solo debut, LINCOLN’S DREAMS, which won the JOHN W. CAMPBELL MEMORIAL AWARD and PASSAGE, shortlisted for the HUGO, NEBULA JOHN W. CAMPBELL and ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARDs.
When Dr Philip Raven, a diplomat working for the League of Nations, dies in the 1930s, he leaves behind a book of dreams outlining the visions he has been experiencing for many years. These visions seem to be glimpses into the future, detailing events that will occur on Earth for the next two hundred years. This fictional ‘history of the future’ proved prescient in many ways, as Wells predicted events such as the Second World War, the rise of chemical warfare, climate change and the growing instability of the Middle East.
The future is a grim place in which the declining human population wanders drugged and lulled by electronic bliss. It’s a world without art, reading and children, a world that people would rather burn themselves alive than endure. Even Spofforth, the most perfect machine ever created, cannot bear it and seeks only that which he cannot have – to cease to be. But there is hope for the future in the passion and joy that a man and woman discover in love and in books, hope even for Spofforth. A haunting novel, reverberating with anguish but also celebrating love and the magic of a dream.
In the far future, it has become possible in advanced psychotherapy for a man to be given dreams as vivid as reality in which he may play any part he chooses. If that man were inclined to see his life as a struggle between good and evil, and if he were blessed with a profound sense of the black humour inherent in his situation, he might choose to play the part of Jesus, called the Christ. If he were inclined to write a book, it might be this one.